Monthly Archives: January 2010

Up in the Air

Oh dear, how time flies! I’ve gotten so behind in everything I haven’t been able to commit any time at all to this lonely blog. Well, here I am. I’m back!

Up In The Air is one of the great films of the year (or I suppose the past year). Directed by Jason Reitman, and starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga, it’s spectacular. Catologuing the story of a man who flies from city to city firing people for bosses who are just, for lack of a better expression, don’t have the balls. Realizing his loneliness in his estranged lifestyle, he falls in love with the beautiful and similiarly minded Alex (Farmiga).

The acting is incredible–it’s probably the best I’ve seen Clooney, and although Farmiga is relatively new on the mainstream scene , she’s also quite brilliant. The dialogue is quick, and witty, the story fast paced and charming. The overall themes of loneliness are devestating, and if you at all feel as if you are alone, bring your tissues, you’ll need them.

The music is also great. The soundtrack is complilation of different artists, prominently featuring Crosby, Stills and Nash. I particularly love one song entitled Help Yourself by Sad Brad Smith. The original compositions are done by Rolfe Kent. It’s a great complilation.

From the opening scene panning over airplane views of the West, great crop circles and fields with a bluesy version of This Land is Your Land, to the spectaculayly devestating ending, the film is a masterpiece, if I do say so. Despite the lonliness and despair, and the rather unglamorous lifestyle that Clooney leads in the film, he makes you want to be him, and fly from city to city, living a life in airports and hotels, instead of being trapped in one place in one life. The acting, script, and music are brilliant, as well as the cinemoography. All in all, a true deserver of a best picture.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ( I know, wow!)

Overall: everything is amazing from the quick, witty dialogue, to the convincing devestating acting. Simply amazing.

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Golden Globes

Just a friendly reminder that the Golden Globes are on tomorrow night! Hosted by Ricky Gervais it’s sure to be great. Keep in tune for a special edition of the winners of those awards.

Also, the Critic’s Choice awards were last night. You can see the winners here.

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Featured Actor… Natalie Wood

I think this is going to become popular on this blog, since I don’t have time to watch a lot of new movies, and coming up with reviews for them takes a lot of time and effort. This way, I can cover a lot more ground in a shorter amount of time! So, here it is, ladies and gentlemen, Natalie Wood.

Miracle On 34th Street 1947, although only nine years old in the role, I find Wood brilliant as the little girl who doesn’t believe in Santa Clause. This fantastic holiday favorite is definitely a must see, for all ages. Wood is brilliant in the beginning stages of her acting career, and it makes you really want to believe in a real Santa.

West Side Story 1961, probably one of my favorite musicals ever, this film is a great representation of the broadway play. The music, by Bernstein and Sondheim is fantastic, and the Jerome Robbins choreography is brilliant, and fantastically fun. A great movie all around. Fun, and sad all in one, this is a must see for all.

Love With The Proper Stranger 1963, this romantic film starring Wood and Steve McQueen (dreamy) is very well acted. Although sad, this film has a happy ending. Not sappy, but still romantic, this is one of my favorite movies.

The Great Race 1965, this comedy is simply fun and random. I still love to watch this movie as much as I did when I was ten. This film really is funny, and with a cast including Wood, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis how could you not like it?

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Featured Actor… Paul Newman

Since watching movies takes much more time than I have on my hands, but this is a film blog, I’ve decided to add a new feature to it. I will choose a featured actor and write little blurbs about great movies they’ve been in! This time, I’ve decided to choose Paul Newman, since my friend and I were just discussing him, and he’s a fantastic actor.So, here goes!

The Hustler 1961, this film is about a Eddie Nelson (Newman) a small time pool hustler who tries to take on the big time. With disastrous results the first time, he comes back to face “Minnesota Fats” to triumph in the second round. This film is wonderfully acted, and beautifully directed. The shots are terrific, and Newman is a genius. Watching an amazing performance of a fall from grace in a scarcely crowded pool room is only one of the many great performances given by Newman in this film.

Cool Hand Luke 1967, the story of a man who ends up in a rural prison, there isn’t much to say about the story without giving it away. Desperately sad, with a brilliant performance from George Kennedy, Newman’s supporting actor, this film is devastating and fantastic. Be sure to grab your tissues.

The Sting 1973, as an older man in this one starring with Robert Redford, this film is about a couple of conmen trying to revenge murder. Set in the 1930s, it’s a beautiful set piece. The music is really fun, and sets a great mood for this pre-Ocean 11s con-movie.

Other Famous Newman Films:

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Hombre

What Not To See With Newman:

The Color of Money, 1986 a sequel to the great The Hustler, this film doesn’t compare. Beginning well and slowly unraveling, the film isn’t even worth watching.

Paul Newman was an amazing actor, who unfortunately passed away September 28th, 2008. A tragic loss for the film industry. Fortunately, his films still are around today so we can watch him whenever we need to remember what great acting really is.

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Golden Globes

The Golden Globes are this Sunday! And although I don’t usually watch the Golden Globes, knowing who won is always important. Although some of the categories don’t matter, and usually the T.V. ones are interesting to look at but hold no meaning in the future, some of them can be used to determine who will the *dramatic pause* Oscars! Hosted by Ricky Gervais this year (who I find very funny), here are the nominies…

Best Motion Picture – Drama

  • Avatar
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

  • (500) Days of Summer
  • The Hangover
  • It’s Complicated
  • Julie & Julia
  • Nine

Best Actor – Drama

  • Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • George Clooney (Up in the Air)
  • Colin Firth (A Single Man)
  • Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
  • Tobey Maguire (Brother)

Best Actress – Drama

  • Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria)
  • Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Helen Mirren (The Last Station)
  • Carey Mulligan (An Education)
  • “Gabby” Sidibe (Precious)

Best Director

  • Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • James Cameron (Avatar)
  • Clint Eastwood (Invictus)
  • Jason Reitman (Up in the Air)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)

Best Screenplay

  • District 9
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • It’s Complicated
  • Up in the Air

Best Original Score

  • Avatar
  • The Informant!
  • A Single Man
  • p
  • Where the Wild Things Are

For a full list of the nominess head over here!

Stay tuned for commentary on the winners (and a special style edition about the red carpet).

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Bonnie & Clyde

I think this is the first review I’ve done of my old film, but I’ve been meaning to do a lot more of these. Of course, no one will be running to a movie theater to buy tickets and popcorn for this 1967 flick, but I hope that when I do these “old-time” reviews, that a rental will be in order.

This classic starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway is the time-old story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The two bank robbers who for a short run, ruled the West. Directed by Arthur Penn, this film is both classic and iconic.

The movie moves fast. Nothing slows down the thieves, and their beginning is short explained. Entranced by Clyde’s smooth talking and daring deeds, Bonnie is immediately on board. Although she at first appears shy, she is just as devious as any thief could be.

Despite Clyde’s lack of “loverboy” attitude, the two make a pretty pair. They are perfect for the roles, and the personalities they portray are perfect for one another. Desperately in love with Clyde, Bonnie is lovestruck and rebellious while Clyde denies her the pleasure of his kisses, and thoroughly enjoys the thrill of the crime.

Also starring Gene Hackman, Michael J Pollard, and Estelle Parsons, the film is stylized perfectly. The orange and brown themed colors depict perfectly the arid grasses of the West, and reflect the lack of “green” that Bonnie and Clyde are living from. Escaping the police, and running across city lines, there is nothing dryer than the open fields of the West, into which the Barrow gang’s future couldnt’ be any bleaker.

Historically knowing the ending (and in case you didn’t you might want to read up on your history books), the entire movie is a suspenseful build up to the partner’s death. A movie that has changed the course of the film industry (if interested in that, see here), once you’ve seen it, the image of their flailing bodies, shot to death, choreographed beautifully and devastatingly will never leave your mind.

The classic film is one of loneliness, desperation, and the hard times of the 1930’s.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Overall: A classic film, with fantastic acting. The style and image of the film is fantastic. A definite classic, and a great watch.

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Avatar Updates

On Friday night I went to see Avatar for the second time. Even better the second time, this film is quickly making itself to the top of my favorite movies list. Sam Worthington is amazing (and delicious, both as a human and an avatar). The people themselves, and the world they live in, are absolutely beautiful, and the story is engaging and intense. I would recommend this film to absolutely anyone, and rave about it to everyone I meet. In recent updates…

This film is now the top grossing film of 2009 domestically, and is slowly creeping its way up the line. It recently passed Transformer’s 2, and it’s totally domestic gross is now $393.8 million. It is likely to pass Spiderman to become the 8th highest grossing film of all time domestically. It is the second highest grossing film of all time internationally, only behind Titanic. Directed by James Cameron, the director Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time, the race is on for which of this high-grossing director’s films will make it to the top (I’m rooting for Avatar). I’ll definitely keep updates on what’s happening with this fantastic film!

Click here for a preview of the fabulous film.

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