Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Remaking: Cronenberg's The Brood....Really? Quit While You're Ahead.

I am really at a loss right now. How are these endeavors being financed? /Film reports that Crazies director, Breck Eisner, is in the talks to remake David Cronenberg's The Brood. Why are they even trying? This is totally having my faith in this industy, slip further. Cronenberg is a genius and cannot really be topped in my oppinion. Like how is anyone making Videodrome again...HOW? Or how bout Dead Ringers for that matter. Like give up before you start I say. How this is being approved for a remake is beyond me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Vicious Kind

Went to a screening of The Vicious Kind this evening. You may have heard of this film more recently, since its been nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. One for Best Screenplay for Lee Toland Krieger, and one for Best Male Lead for Adam Scott. However this film premiered at Sundance last year and, if I am not mistaken, has been making the rounds to numerous film festivals winning all of the awards it been nominated for. Woohoo!

Firstly I must applaud the screenplay because it is quite something. I believe this brand of subtle comedy comes about-properly-very seldom. It's that type of laughter that is generated hesitantly...if that makes sense. That type of laughter that surfaces so subtly within a dramatic text that your not quite sure if you should be laughing or not. Which, I believe, further emphasizes the authenticity and human quality to the film. In doing so, the film very much deserves the praise it's getting. However, in addition to this the acclaim is duly noted and also depends on the acting; mostly and importantly due to Adam Scott's performance.

There is a reason Scott is being nominated with the likes of Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth he's quite the revelation in this film. It was revealed, at the Q&A after the screening, that a large portion of Scott's little quips in the film that highlight and generated the type of laughter I spoke about above were improvisation on his part. This shows a true understanding, on Scott's part, of the material at hand and demonstrates his abilities overall. In the long run we'll be seeing a lot more of him to come, that's for sure. Also I must mention J.K. Simmons as an unsung hero here, he was great too, but not featured enough to have the opportunity to outshine Scott's performance.

I must commend the film all around as it just goes to show how an emerging filmmaker, with the right components--a very hard working team, great performances, a superb screenplay etc.--can achieve the appropriate praise it deserves. Bravo!

I very much recommend this film to all, as it demonstrates a type of cinema that is authentically human. A type of cinema that is scarce these days, and shouldn't be. Spread the words folks! This is how films like these get around town...with the moviegoing public's help! So spread it!

Happy moviegoing!

Side Note: One of the producers of the film wrote a contribution to the magazine I worked for, Moving Pictures, here is the link.

Again happy moviegoing!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Requeim For A Dream

Hoping to generate some type of discussion with my peers about it, I feel like this needs to be posted. Thing is I am at a loss on how to assess my verdict for the film (for this particular viewing) because I couldn't finish the last ten minutes. I fast forwarded through in addition to shielding my eyes. I have to confess that this reaction was mainly due to the snippets of Ellen Burstyn being electrocuted but that's besides the point. How does one assess or make final conclusions on a film that they couldn't see through? Normally I wouldn't think twice about it and merely pass it by. But the film is just too good to pass up a chance to talk about it.

I started the film and was amazed that this has slipped through the cracks in my years of continuous movie watching. The split screens, fish bowl lenses, the music, the score, cinematography. Holy shit the acting. Ellen Burstyn is absolutely amazing! She is a marvel unto herself. Scenes where there is split screen, stand out for me, like when Harry and Marion are right beside each other, just stunning. What's so impressive, in my book, is how each formal aspect of the film supports one another, they all play into each other, while simultaneously highlighting specifics where necessary. In addition I think, these formal features become a performance within it self. They further externalize either a state of mind or feeling, emphasizing the fragile or fractured state of mind each character may be in. I thought it was just impeccable!

But how to conclude? Questions arise obviously. Does this film still obtain it's potency when you don't finish it properly? Does it still carry the same legitimacy as a text when it makes an audience stop viewing it? Not sure. But I will say this...that this film is scary. Scary but fucken incredible. I recommend the viewing to anyone who want to see great quality within cinema. But with warning.

Happy moviegoing folks!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Finally Saw Inglorious Basterds

And let me just tell you....HOLY MOTHER OF MERCY.

I went to a screening of Inglorious Basterds hosted by Creative Screenwriting Magazine on Wednesday with a Q&A following the screening with Quentin himself. I've had a few days to process now so this is what I've concluded. Quentin Tarantino is becoming just more and more impressive. He's unreal.

I don't want to talk about how the movie is about movies and such. Although that could be a whole other post to itself. But I'd like to focus on formal features which make the film quite the piece. The opening scene is absolutely impeccable, it's pretty much flawless. The genius in screenwriting is highlighted best here. Obviously the screenplay is one of the best features of the film, but I don't expect less from Tarantino. The cinematography in this film is also once of its outstanding qualities. The scene when Shosanna gets dressed for the premiere with "Cat People" playing along, stunning. You can see here, merely from the photos posted, how gorgeous the film is shot.

Acting. Unfortunately I have to mention that I feel like Brad Pitt's character could have been played by merely anyone. Not that he wasn't enjoyable but he was merely there, and not present. Now Christoph Waltz on the other hand, he plays Col. Hans Landa(seen above), was perfection. I can't imagine anyone else there. I can't believe how present he was. It's just odd cause that thin silver line that differentiates those moments of good acting between great acting in a performance disappears here and he was just on the whole time. Fucken brilliant.

Hearing Quentin speak about his process after the screening revealed just how much he goes through to punch out a product like this. He types out ever page by hand on an old Smith Corona from the 80s. One finger at a time. Wow huh?! In addition he explained how the story came into being, morphed into an insane 12hour mini series, soap opera and then widdeled down and polished into the piece you can see today. Finally finished for a 153min running time because Luc Bresson made a comment on how Tarantino is the one of the directors that actually make him want to get up and go see a movie in the theater.

The learning experience it would be to have a chance to work on a film like this is unsurmountable in my brain. I can't even imagine at this point, he was swearing up a storm and could not stop fidgeting or staying still. Mayhem!

Either way I recommend this to anyone who likes Quentin's previous stuff, and for anyone who wants to see a damn great movie.

Happy moviegoing!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nine! It's About Time I Write About It

So I have to say despite my hesitations about having any expectations for this film whatsoever I must say I am super excited for it already. Not only is one of my favorite actors playing my favorite director, but all of the released footage and photos look stunning. Here is the newly released trailer so you can see what I mean. I am really excited to see what Rob Marshal has cooked up now. He managed to make, the "unfilmmable" play, Chicago well. So I guess we shall see.
Happy moviegoing!