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Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Vampire flick, but not conventional at all
A vampire living in Detroit. A vampire living in Tangier. Because of the depression and hopelessness that he lives in due to the fate of humanity, they decide to meet after many years. In addition to addressing the small difficulties of daily vampire life, they receive an unexpected visit from her sister (also a vampire, of course). Jarmusch gives us (again) a story without beginning or end. Some very funny dialogue, especially considering they are vampires. But it has many holes, and does not come to be perceived as a finished work. Great performances from Swinton and Hiddleston. They convey very well the mixture of vampiric coldness while still letting clearly see the love between them. This film is another reinterpretation of vampire stories. And quite an original one. But unfortunately, I must say that capsizes. The tedium and the slow pace of Jarmusch appear again. Interesting characters construction with very human suffering and discomfort, with a day-to-day imprint, in an unreal context, but without drawing on fantastic events. I liked how he achieves a bleak, depressing, gloomy atmosphere, both indoors (clusters of jumbled things, low light, old TV) and external (Detroit car rides). Ava's character (the sister) is unexploited. Definitely, Jarmsuch is boring. Level of entertainment: if you are tired, as soporific does a good job.
Cop Car (2015)
Regular idea, poorly executed
Plot: Two friends adrift in the countryside find and steal a police car, unaware that belongs to a sheriff of questionable ethics amid very shady business. The chase begins. The plot is a poor idea, with a good starting point, but with little expansion, little development. We can see a type-casted Bacon as the villain, which we've already seen. The child Freedson-Jackson does well. To my surprise, I found it to be a very poor film. With a kick-off that could have developed into a great picture, but stays as a flat thing without any surprises. With many bumps in the story, the story leaves us out and lacks elements to engage us in the plot and feel the tension of a genre film. The first moments of the boys in the car are very fresh and full of childlike innocence, but then nothing big happens. Perhaps the idea of the argument would have worked for a short film. A better introduction is missing and a much much better finale. Entertainment level: moderate.
Tôkyô kazoku (2013)
A two hour visit to Japan
Almost always when seeing oriental movies, I find myself in front of the cultural abyss that separates us. I see the characters almost as if they were from another dimension, making strange gestures, eating strange things and saying strange things. This film is no exception. But in that very strangeness, the director manages to tell a daily and customary story as simple and direct as the title of the film. That is what the film is, no more and no less: a family in Tokyo. Although at the beginning it becomes very heavy, then picks up a lot and I could enjoy a mundane story and nothing flashy but somehow therein lies its value as a movie. In the normality, the wonder of family relationships appears. And in this case, we can be dragged to the parallel universe of life and Japanese culture, in which we find extremely different but also tremendously universal things. I think the movie does not "pass", but worth it for the "Japan-curious". The screenplay delivers an everyday, simple story. The are A LOT of actors, but a special mention for Yoshiyuki (the grandmother) and Yu Aoi (Noriko, the girlfriend of Shuji).
Casse-tête chinois (2013)
French freshness to laugh and think
A very fresh and current plot. With a lively back and forth between the first person's "off" thoughts and concrete dialogue between characters. The actors Duris and Tautou nail their papers, although it is not a job to highlight. The rest does well. In tune with its trilogy's predecessors ("L'auberge espagnole" and "The Russian Dolls") Kaplisch gives us a very entertaining, very fresh comedy with a seal undoubtedly French. This time, we see the characters through the crisis of the 40s (or late 30s). I think that Klapisch could very well summarize the "evils" afflicting this generation at this historic moment, resulting in a film that becomes very close, with situations that can happen to anyone and very relatable characters. OK, yes ....it's a little strange that everything happens to him, but I think the situations are very possible in the world today, and are synthesized in a character in a few months (allowed for the sake of comic effect) . With very funny moments and others flatter, I think achieves the goal. It is not an awesome movie, but recommended for a very pleasant time.
A struggle against inner and outer dangers
The script is the best feature of the film. It has details of personality. Could have made a better movie with it. Haden Church achieves a commendable performance, even throughout the movie, but without big moments. Good intentions are seen in the feature film debut of the director, but it doesn't go all the way. It could have been a much more intense film. With inevitables reference to "Fargo", especially the snow as the big star and a crime as a starting point. Very interesting as the plot unfolds, fragments, and it will illuminate the reasons why the protagonist is in the situation he is. We can also highlight the ethical problem: good action, evil deed, guilt and punishment. This director can be to follow. The rhythm is a little slow. The best scene are the final 15 seconds.
Fresh winds with 80's aroma
In this Famuyiwa's written and directed feature, we can enjoy a fresh argument and quite worthy, very dynamic. With regards to the acting work, a tremendous cast (thums up point for the casting crew). There is a great acting deployment, and most, does the job.The three protagonists manage to be very funny. Despite not being the movie of the season, it's a good production. Both clothing and aesthetics, as well as the plot, make it appear as a film tribute to the 80s / 90s. Very good staging, costumes, makeup, etc .... even bikes !! Smelling of Goonies, ET, Back to the future, etc. At times we seem to be looking at something already seen, but it gives turns with surprise and originality (remaining 110% American). Very funny the infinite array of characters. Smart game between the black and white culture (a black film for whites? A black film for blacks? A movie where the race doesn't matter?). The director has a message to convey, and has fun doing it. A bomb of retro coolness.
Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015)
One of the greatest women in music history
An experienced documentarist who poses her eye on one of the greatest in the history of music. Very remarkable the amount of footage of Janis in her glory days. Presetns a lot of testimonials from people very close to her(both professionally, and personally), which allows us to feel a little more closely, both the achievements and thesuccesses, as well as the sorrows and sufferings of the genius of Janis. Another positive aspect is the letters or written records of Janis. IT also lets us enjoy many moments of live music, which is always good in a music documentary. Very exciting and entertaining.
The Amazing Nina Simone (2015)
A film that at times seems made by a film student or amateur. Some details of editing and post-production are very poor, which could made by someone who is experimenting with a new piece of video editing software (eg. old photo frames rococo designs, words that float through the screen, ....) At first many unnecessary details of the career of Mrs. Simone. But then it gets interesting and let us get to know a "diva" of music of all times. A woman with "three" pairs of eggs. An artist with all the letters, who carried out his career with great sacrifice and had an admirable social and political commitment. The film itself deserves a "5" but it's worth for her story. It would have been better with more footage of live music. Level of entertainment: the first 20 minutes a little boring, afterwards it gets better.
La Vénus à la fourrure (2013)
This is what cinema is about
A theater director makes a casting. An actress arrives very late. The play is based on "Venus in Furs", a book of Leopold Sacher-Masoch which gave origin to the word masochism. The script is a pearl. A film where the script is 90 of it all. Sharp and clever dialogue. The acting work is amazing. The actress is a 10. Tremendous. It achieves a range of expressiveness, conveying very different things at different times in the movie. IT even gives the impression that they are different actresses. A film of these might be called "single-room". A single room, two actors, and pure dialogue. For those who do not like very talkies, give up before you start. Polanski at his 80 years achieved a great movie. It could be a movie based on a play based on a book or a play based on a movie based on a play or .... Plays with the "text" and reality all the time and creates an incredible dynamism throughout the film, with very few resources (the script, basically). It deserves special comment the stunning metamorphosis of the character Vanda, achieved with minimal makeup and costume changes. We are seeing how the characters are moving through different times, both internally and in relation to each other. The incessant back and forth between the "real" dialogue and dialogue of the script of the play, blurs the line between fact and fiction; resource that makes us think a little beyond what is explicitly said in the dialogue. And if all this is combined with the fact that we are on the subject of sadism and masochism ... ..delicious.
A fabulous journey of the imagination
T. S. Spivet lives with his family in a ranch in the western US. It has a privileged mind, drowned by the rural life. One day he receives a call saying that one of his inventions have been awarded and embarks on a journey across the country only to collect the prize. The screenplay delivers a nice story. Of those epic tales featuring children. As often happens with films in which the lead is a boy, the young actor is fundamental. He achieves very good moments. The last movie of the Jeunet / Laurant duet (Amélie, Delicatessen, Eternal Love, etc.). A contemporary fable. The journey of a child crossing the country: nearly a fantastic and touching road movie; the story of an odyssey with magical touches from a mind like JP Jeunet. The film has a cinematography and directing that gives pleasure to the eye and carries the story very well. But I would have liked to see more things like the ones he dazzled us with in Amélie and Delicatessen. I got the impression of a sweetened Jeunet, Hollywoodized, off ... At times it even seems influenced by Tim Burton and Wes Anderson. Near the end, the movie goes off a little (total American moment).
Revitalized epidemia/zombie movie
The movie shows an original plot for the genre. Some dialogues are simpletons, and a little flat, but all-in-all saves the day. The actress passes with a C-. MY opinion is that the movie is for those who like the genre. A movie worth seeing, considering the huge amount of remakes and plagiarisms. An original vision of the genre of "contagion" (if that even exists). The movie has good pace and keeps the mystery. Rather grotesque scenes to enjoy. For grose/lovers. The girl rots from the inside out. The opening scene is marvelous.It might get you off sex, for a while.
The Rocket (2013)
A beautiful tale
The screenplay combines local aspects of life and traditions of Laos, with a way of telling which makes it universal. The story opens in a very pleasant way, and continues to evolve throughout the film. Give it up for the boy Disamoe. He was chosen for this movie as a child of the street, without acting training. Excels in the paper. The work is very surprising, showing a display of acting abilities that promises much (if we ever get to see him again). The girl is also fine. These films, a priori,are great, because they let us spy places and realities unknown to us: in this case Laos, a place not only devastated by poverty, but by the legacy of war. A direction and a highly polished, at times almost poetic photograph, which embellishes the horrors being shown. The director is showing various aspects of the life of the "not favored" in this country, trying to maintain a balance between drama and very harsh situations on the one hand, and moments of laughter, or lightened on the other. I must say that it has perhaps predictable moments, commonplaces and more corny ones, but I think maybe were attempts to avoid falling into melodrama and total tragedy that could have been. The director could have opted for something more authentic, and not so standard. I think that in that difficulty lies the reason because this has not become a great movie; despite which it still is worth seeing. (Detail: amazing "James Brown" character) For an amazing blog, visit: quenometoque.wix.com/unaltodelante
Når dyrene drømmer (2014)
New twist to werewolves
A twist to a theme already seen many times, but is an original
contribution. Through concise and fair dialogue, we can see a clear
intention not to give everything chewed to the viewer, not explaining
everything that happens (which came out very well in my opinion).The
lead actress does a fine job. Perhaps a rewriting of the myth of the
werewolf, perhaps a metaphor for the animal in us, maybe a social
critique to the aggression that the horde develops when something is
different and frightens us. Probably all that together. I liked the
point made by the father/mother and father/daughter relationship in the
context of the situation they are living. Either way, it's a movie with
original features, beautifully set in a rural town in Denmark, and with
decent special effects.
Adieu au langage (2014)
What is this?
What a piece of crap! A great filmmaker has the luxury of an experimental delirium. I found no connecting thread, nothing to follow, loose dialogues, meaningless phrases .... I could not tell what it is about. There seems to be a couple talking about something at times ... and a dog (?). The director uses sequences interrupted by different images, with a lot of distortion and saturation of colors, white and black, noise ... Maybe it's only for connoisseurs. If someone wants to explain it to me....grateful will I be.
At least it's short (just over 1 hour). Do not watch it! Nothing more to say.
Humasn being inhumans
A documentary on the issue of captive orcas, their indomitableness and the concealment of the facts by large companies (Sea World, in this case) that starkly exploit these poor animals, regardless of the risks for the people who work there. An interesting back-and-forth between the most recent case of attacks by killer whales and the history of similar cases. Good repertoire of image file. Filled with interviews. Creates a strong argument on the subject of captivity without appealing in any time to the orderly and explicit explanation of the topic. Discloses a far from our everyday reality issue, but to whivh we can all contribute to prolonge at any time as consumers. Moving scene when the fisherman recounts hunting orcas.
Jurassic World (2015)
Originality out of the table
The nephews of the manager of the park come to visit her aunt and enjoy the park. A former soldier who now trains dinosaurs facing entrepreneurs who want to use the dinosaurs for military purposes. Obviously, a dinosaur escapes and everybody starts screaming and running. A somewhat empty film. It works only if you feel like disconnecting 2 hours, to hang out. Very little originality, at times looks like a remake of the first film, but it clearly is not, and is far from reaching it. Almost plagiarized scenes (I imagine as a tribute. I did not like it. Nothing new. Not even the special effects surprise.
Under the Skin (2013)
Too boring for the little visual enjoyment
I could say there's no script (dialogue-wise). Just small talk with ocasional characters. No explanation whatsoever about the main character. Johansson in a rigid, unchanging role. Only a small gesture appears toward the end of the film. It is not clear what the director wanted to say. A movie towards the tacit and implicit, with no doubt risky but, for me, it's not worth it. Trying to think a little further, can perhaps be seen as a reflection on appearances, the superficial, inside/outside ...The only thing salvageable are some shocking scenes of visual content and very well done (within her "home"). Applause for soundtrack, a mix of samplers and much distortion totaling some scenes, giving atmosphere of strangeness, but with much tension. But the film conveys little and bores. Recommended only for those who are looking forward to a predominantly visual experience, with no clear argument.
A fine comic movie
With a story that is pretty good, but it's not great. Quite cohesive. Good point showing the old superhero training the young one. A little too many cliché phrases. Paul Rudd is quite good, handles well the comic point, which otherwise would be a disaster.It's entertaining, with good special effects. Some great fighting scenes, specially the one in which they make the giant train. They have made a decent movie with a superhero who at first seems to not give much of itself. The little superhero has rightfully earns a place amongst marvel MOVIES superheroes. Nice ending with the reference to Avengers. quenometoque.wix.com/unaltodelante
Near Death Experience (2014)
Nihilism and nature
It is a film of a single actor, that in a depressive and depressing spiral, develops a series of existencialists monologues, alternating with images of the mountain where it is located. An exercise in cinema, with some redeemable things, but basically very boring. I cannot say anything about Houellebecq. He does it well, but it's never clear if he's acting. If he wanted to convey a visually unpleasant person, he succeeded. The screenplay is more than brief. Basically, philosophical ramblings bathed in gloom. Some very interesting, some more acidic, some more funny, but with little cohesion. If they had made a short 20 minutes long, only of the spoken part, perhaps the result would have been better. As for aesthetics, many still shots of nature with low image quality, raw photography. As an experience, it was worth it. But for the sake of truth, it is a movie hard to endure. Only for braves wanting to experience.
El eslabón podrido (2015)
One of the best Argentine films in the last year
I would say that is one of the best Argentine films I saw in the last year. Something never seen in Argentine cinema. A story that smells of fire and "mates", of folklore, of fresh grass, sunsets... and blood. I liked the directing and photography, that brilliantly capture the atmosphere of a rural town, but at the same time giving it a mystical touch, as if we were seeing a slightly parallel dimension. Some moments of very accomplished aesthetic beauty.The script is brightly original. Dialogues in perspective in the just measure, with some phrases that seem incomplete, without saying too much, no certainties, maintaining the essential tension of the film. Acting work is monumental. Ziembrowski achieves a polished performance. Marini has fantastic moments. Applause for them. A dark tale brilliantly told. Highly recommended for the brave. Beware the susceptible ones.
The Invitation (2015)
An intense experience
A powerful feature film. Despite some reminiscence (group of friends, dinner, the house atmosphere, colors) with "Coherence" is undoubtedly an original movie. A very interesting point made by the director (who had already done Girlfight and Jennifer's Body) over a possible processing of the pain of a loss, in a quite denying way, perhaps cynical, reaching extremes of aggressiveness. A lot of tension, making us doubt who you believe (or even what is real) at every step, until the crux of the matter comes; you may wait a little for that, but it's worth it. Point for the director for not using low blows. Worthwhile if you want to spend a very intense time. With regards to actors' work, "Will" comes out unscathed. "Eden" maybe a little artificial, but I think it is an intentional nuance given by the director. The rest comes off well. The screenplay is pretty good. Although it is not revolutionary, the pace is accurate, keeps the suspense, and plays with ambiguity.