Archive for September, 2011

Barney’s Version :) :) :) :) :)

Aesthetic Appeal- 🙂 Richard J. Lewis directed a beautiful movie that can touches your heart. He is able to bring out the comedic elements in a very serious story; all while intertwining many facets of one mans life.


Story- 🙂 🙂  We follow Paul Giamatti (Barney) through the three major parts of his life, it just so happens that the three major events were all marriages. It’s a journey through obligation, convince, and love all the while dissecting human relationships between father and son, friend and lover, soul mates, best friends, and many more. But at no point does the story overextend itself; it finds a way to combine almost every genre of film in to one of last years most amazing stories.


Acting- 🙂 🙂 the amazing cast gives and equally amazing performane form the three wives Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, and Rachelle Lefevre, to Dustin Hoffman as Barneys father in one of the most subtly brilliant comedic roles of his career. All this of course is highlight by maybe the best performance by Paul Giamatti.


Aesthetic Appeal- 🙂 Iciar Bollain directs a stunning movie; the composition of the film is as beautiful as the locations in which it was shot.


Story- 🙂 🙂 Writer Paul Laverty uses the production of a movie about Christopher Columbus to introduce his main characters into a volatile fight between the locals and the governing powers. The crew has chosen this place because the budget of the film is tight and here he can hire local actors and extras for severely reduced pay. Things go smoothly until a conflict erupts over the privatization of the water supply. The trouble is that one of the local actors, is a leading activist in the protest, eventually an all out war ensues and the crew must make life changing decisions that could mean life and death.


Acting- 🙂 Gael Garcia Bernal and Luis Tosar give moving performance and really tie the movies two storylines together making this a truly complete film.

Aesthetic Appeal- 🙂 it was shot and edited in the way that most of Guy Ritchies films are, it does venture out a little bit in a few completely animated scenes.

Story- 😕 After seven years in solitary, Jake (Jason Statham) is released from prison. He amasses a lot of money by gambling. He’s ready to seek his revenge on Dorothy (Ray Liotta) a less then reputable casino owner who sent Jake to prison. Doctors tell Jake he has a rare disease and will die in three days. Then he meets up with Vincent Pastore and Andre Benjamin 3000 and from there the story becomes convoluted and full of it self. It’s something you have to watch to fully understand its attempt at complexity.

Acting- 🙂 The acting was strong all around from all contributors but nothing earth shattering. It was pleasant to see that Andre 3000 did have some acting chops and was one of the strongest things on the screen.

It’s a more then watchable film but it’s not a movie you’d expect to see in many movie collections.

Aesthetic Appeal- 🙂 🙂 Everything director Derek Cianfrance did in this movie compliments the emotion of the story. Some scenes looked to be shot with a simple handheld camera but this actually added to the real feel and raw emotion of the film.


Story- 🙂 🙂 It’s examines the dynamic of a contemporary relationship from it’s beautiful conception to its devastating conclusion. It may be the saddest movie ever and is jokingly referred to as the robot test because it’s almost impossible to restrain from crying during the film.


Acting- 🙂 🙂 Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give the most emotionally naked performances that the silver screen has ever seen. As emotionally driving as Ryan Goslings performance was in the Notebook he far surpasses anything we have seen from him before. I’d go as far to say that it was the rawest and most honest performance I’ve ever witnessed.


In the end this may be the only movie I ever rate with a perfect score. So please go see it at least once and although it doesn’t have your typical happy ending it will completely satisfy you in every way.

Aesthetic Appeal- 🙂 Nicolas Winding Refn directed a gritty masterpiece. His use of still photos and paper clippings was as unique as it was brilliant. The use of camera angles and selective focus combined with a unique editing style makes audiences cling to the edge of their seats.


Story- 🙂 A young man who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending 30 years in solitary confinement. During this time, his alter ego, Charles Bronson, supplants his own personality. This movie is called an classified in action/biography/crime but the comedic elements of this movie are hard to ignore. All in all Charles Bronson/Michael Peterson was a more then interesting guy and you should enjoy the story.


Acting- 🙂 🙂 Tom Hardy is masterful in his first leading role, he gives as convincing a performance as I have ever seem and is hopefully representative of a new wave of action heroes that can actually act.

Aesthetic Appeal- 🙂 it’s shot well and the location is the perfect fit to the story. I’m sure most of you have herd of the horrible American remake, but the original Finish version is far superior in its directing and cinematic appeal. The Director uses wide empty shots to evoke the feeling of isolation and loneliness in the characters.

Story-  🙂 it’s the tale of a vampire child her struggle to live, but mostly its her love story with a boy who is as alienated from the world as she is and the struggle to keep each other safe. Most of you will draw comparisons from this to Twilight and in no way are these stories on the same level, Let the Right One In is a far superior story.

Acting- 🙂 🙂 the entire story is produced with grade school children and they seemed like seasoned professionals in front of the camera. It’s something you have to see to believe.

Somewhere :?

Aesthetic Appeal- 😕 Most of the movie felt more like a news cast with either long drawn out shots with no cuts, or scenes that felt like a two camera newscast. A lot of people called it brave to take such a simplistic cinematic approach. Many of the scenes were also shot in real time hence the newscast fell the most commonly used examples are the two real time stripper sequences.


Story-  😕 A hard-living Hollywood actor re-examines his life after his 11-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit. Not many peaks and valleys in this story more like a boring reality TV series, the ending also leaves much to be desired.


Acting- 😕 A lot of the shortcomings here probably fall victim to the story itself Elle Fanning was better then good especially for a person of her age. Steven Dorffs performance was uninspired, although much of that may have been under the direction of Sofia Coppola but I don’t believe you ever want to sympathize with his character.

Sukiyaki Western Django :) :) :)

Aesthetic Appeal- 🙂 🙂 The movie was well shot, although nothing overly spectacular. Where this movie gets its draw is from the mixing of genres; it’s common knowledge that Sergio Leone barrowed a lot of ideas and techniques from old samurai films. So much in fact that his film a fist full of dollars was almost and exact copy of Akira Kurosawa’s film Yojimbo, this film joins the two bound motifs of both the west and the sword. Director Takashi Mikke brings the elements that make both the code of the gun slinger and the samurai appealing to the audience, joining both weapons and styles in some intriguing battle sequences.

Story – 🙂 it’s essentially a reproduction of the war of the roses but also seems to draw influence for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.   

Acting – 😕 The acting was satisfactory or better from all the actors except for the two scenes involving Quentin Tarantino. He is there to generate revenue and broaden the audience that would otherwise view this film, however he is unbearable to watch and is the only main detractor in this film.

Scientists in Geneva announced a week ago that they had documented a finding that would shake the scientific world. These scientists claimed to have clocked a subatomic particle traveling 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. For those of us without doctoral degrees in physics, including myself, we ask ourselves the question…okay…so what??? From my understanding of the current science news reporting, Einstein’s Theory E-MC2 states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light and the field of modern physics is founded on this theory. For this foundation and near fundamental theory of modern physics to be disapproved would be an earth shattering discovery in the scientific community. So to scientists around the world, this discovery is a pretty big deal. However, I am still not physicist–what I find most interesting about this discovery is the rate at which this news has spread not only to the scientific community, but to the population around the world. In my opinion, this finding would be similar to findings Galileo made back in the early 1600s. Galileo had scientifics findings that supported a theory that the earth revolved around the sun. At a time when few could read, few could write and many scientific findings were scrutinized or banned by the Catholic church, news of groundbreaking scientific discoveries traveled slow, if at all. In today’s society the widespread availability of news allows people globally to have immediate access to information via the internet, television and social media sites. In constrast to Galileo’s findings, within an instant of the scientists in Geneva’s findings being published, news of the discovery had been printed in articles both in newspaperes and online, broadcast on television networks around the world and even tweeted to millions of social network followers. People around the world received notification of this potentially huge scientific finding almost instantly, whereas not even hundreds of years ago but even decades ago this news would not have traveled so far or so fast. Do people necessarily understand or even care about this new scientific finding—that’s still to be determined, however now people have access to this information through the multitudes of high speed and widely available media news outlets.

Most people praise Jaws for the suspense it built up because the audience didn’t see the villain (shark) until the end of the movie.  However the directors vision originally included the shark throughout the movie, but the mechanical shark kept breaking forcing him to shot the scenes without its inclusion. Without the shark it gave the first time viewer the ability to create their own version of what the shark looked like and in most cases the audiences mind can dream up a personalized and more terrifying image then what is on screen. Much like we can dream up for what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, this technique also draws the audience because no mater what’s going on in the story audience members are drawn to the mystery of the unknown. Steven Spielberg actually wanted to re-shoot some of the sequences once the shark was up and running again but his editor Verna Fields put her foot down and strongly discouraged a re-shot. This situation reminds me of the midnight ride of Paul Revere he was actually arrested just outside of town and the second rider William Dawes was actually the one who completed the ride, much in the same way most people  overlook Vernas contributions to film. Jaws was the last movie Verna edited while Spielbergs career went on to included many more blockbusters suck as the Indiana Jones movies and E.T. So as in life as in directing sometimes its better to be lucky then skilled and it doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with good people, but partial credit for the success of Jaws should be given to a broken shark and Verna Fields the editor that understood suspense.