Posted tagged ‘movie’

Go see “A Single Man” starring Colin Firth!

September 9, 2010

I saw it last night with a friend, and highly enjoyed it. This Oscar-nominated film was Tom Ford’s directorial debut (he’s an accomplished fashion designer). Upon starting the movie, my friend and I wondered if it would be super depressing. I mean, basically it starts off with Colin Firth’s character dreaming about his late lover’s death. You soon realize the death recently took place, and has consumed his life (in a negative way, obviously).

But the artistic direction actually makes the sadness bearable. Here’s one example:

Ford doesn’t just show you a sad Colin Firth (his character is a gay man named George Falconer). Instead, he juxtaposes shots of his hopeless demeanor with shots of his “perfect” neighbors. The camera zooms in on their shiny smiles, polished shoes, and coiffed hair. But the images of the neighbors actually make you feel uneasy.

Their happiness seems ultra-contrived/fake when juxtaposed with Falconer’s mannerisms, the somber background music, and Falconer’s meaningful flashbacks. The family may look perfect on the outside, but Falconer’s life and sadness seem more real. This ambiguity of “What’s the ideal life?” sort of makes Falconer’s situation less painful to watch. This  effect was clearly achieved through Ford’s direction.

Still, Falconer is desperate, with plans to kill himself that day. He brings his gun to work (he’s a college professor), cleans out his office, and tells his class what he really wants to say (a change for him). But when he’s about to shoot himself in his car, he’s disrupted by an inspired student.

The rest of the movie shows the various happenings that keep Falconer from killing himself. But you sort of wonder if Falconer would have had the strength to kill himself anyway. There’s still a flicker in his eyes that makes you think he loves life too much (despite his sad circumstances).

I won’t say what ends up happening to Falconer. But I will say that the movie makes you think a lot about the intersection of will and chance. Sometimes you want something to happen, but fate has it otherwise. And sometimes you change your mind about what you want, but fate hands you what you originally wanted.  Does it really matter what you ended up wanting so long as fate is at play?

I definitely think so. Because your fate can change depending on your thoughts and corresponding choices. It might not, but it can.

I love movies about dysfunctional families!

August 10, 2010

I don’t know why– they just make me laugh! Call me sadistic, but that’s how I feel!

I think part of it is because these movies are very real to me. They show the way things are, not some idealized world.

Yesterday I saw a dysfunctional family movie, and I must say it’s the best movie I’ve seen in a long time! I couldn’t stop laughing!

In “The Kids Are All Right” Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a married lesbian couple who have daughter and a son. Toward the beginning of the movie the son wants to meet his sperm donor (who’s also the daughter’s sperm donor).

The daughter ends up calling him, and the three of them meet up. They sort of hit it off and decide to hang out again. The mothers soon find out about this, and are pretty apprehensive about letting this stranger into their lives. But they agree to meet the donor in order to support their kids.

Anyway, craziness ensues. I won’t give away too much, but basically the entrance of this man into their lives upends the family’s stability. Not that there weren’t issues to begin with. One of the moms is extremely controlling and obsessive, and the other feels like she’s not being supported  by her wife career wise.

The kids are actually pretty normal, but the parents issues blow up. At this point (and actually throughout the movie) you see amazing performances by Bening and Moore. Oh my god, the way Bening looks when she’s mad is remarkable! She has a glacial look that sends chills down your spine.

And Moore’s portrayal of a self-conscious, wordsmith (the way she uses words make her so charming!) is almost as good.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes to laugh and appreciate strangeness!

Go see Toy Story 3!!!

June 28, 2010

Madison, me and Gul at Toy Story 3

I saw it with some friends (in 3D) the other day, and loved it! I actually don’t really remember Toy Story 1 that much, and never saw Toy Story 2. But that didn’t matter! I appreciated the movie all the same.

It’s a good idea for a plot. The toys’ owner, Andy, is headed off to college. The toys mistakenly get the impression he doesn’t want them anymore. They accidentally get taken to a daycare, but they (with the exception of Woody) don’t try to leave because they think Andy no longer cares about them.

Gul and Zeynep at Toy Story 3

Woody successfully leaves the daycare.

But when he finds out many of the other toys at the daycare are evil, he goes back to save his pals. The toys’ plan for escaping the daycare is pretty creative! And there are so many funny aspects of the movie, including Ken’s (as in Barbie’s boyfriend) obsession with his appearance, and Buzz Lightyear’s Spanish setting.

Check out the movie if you can!

WALL-E a touching, inspirational movie

January 27, 2010

I watched WALL-E for the first time last night. What a good movie it was! I know lots of people agree, but regardless of their opinions at face value WALL-E is a sweet, clever and inspirational movie.

Basically, WALL-E is a robot who is all alone on Earth. His job is to clean the planet, which humans have left a complete mess.

As WALL-E goes around compacting trash into cubes he will eventually use to construct buildings, humans are on a “cruise” in Outer Space. Their plan is to return to Earth once it is clean again.

WALL-E’s lonely existence changes when a robot from Outer space arrives on a special mission. But WALL-E’s joy is shattered when his companion stops functioning, and is taken away by a spaceship.

The rest of the story deals with WALL-E’s mission to reunite with his love in outer space, the sedentary and meaningless lives humans have developed in Outer space, and their eventual desire to return to Earth to both improve it and live again.

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarofarfan/2619195966.

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“Julie and Julia” sort of cheesy

January 21, 2010

I finished the movie the other day, and wasn’t a huge fan. I mean, it was entertaining and Meryl Streep did a great job as Julia. But I thought that Julie’s character was pretty annoying. She was a little too obsessive and whiny.

But additionally I thought a lot of her lines were rather contrived. One particular scene sticks out in my mind. She keeps questioning what she should should blog about. She wonders what her passion is. She is saying all this right after she made it clear she loves to cook. I thought it was a little unrealistic she’d have no idea what to blog about.

“Sugar” not just about baseball

January 15, 2010

It’s been a little while since I saw the movie “Sugar,” but I thought I would blog about it anyway because it was so good. It’s about a Dominican baseball star nicknamed Sugar who is recruited to play baseball in the United States.

At first I thought I wouldn’t really enjoy the movie. I’m not what you call a sports fan. But, the movie is about so much more than just baseball.

While it provides an interesting perspective on the obsession with baseball in the Dominican Republic, and the opportunity it provides young Dominicans, the movie largely explores the idea of adapting to a new culture.

Sugar is sent to a minor league baseball team in a podunk part of Iowa. Because his salary is so low he must live with a family. Their customs are so different from what he’s used to, and he doesn’t know English.

He must deal with the stress of trying to understand them, and the overall life in Iowa, as well as how to succeed at baseball. He feels pressure to try performance-enhancing drugs, and experiences extreme frustration when he gets hurt. That could impact the rest of his baseball career.

What makes things more difficult is he is away from his family and girlfriend.

The ending of the movie was a little shocking to me. I won’t give it away, in case you go see it.

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Itching for a good movie? Check out Disgrace

October 7, 2009

disgraceI hadn’t been to the movies in awhile, so the other day I decided to check out “Disgrace” starring John Malkovich. I highly recommend it. Malkovich plays a professor in Cape Town, South Africa who mistreats women, specifically female students.

He is forced to resign from the university, and goes to spend some time with his daughter in a rural part of South Africa. One day several young men burglarize the daughter’s home, and one of them rapes her.

One starts to wonder if that crime is all that much different than what the woman’s father was doing at the university. That creates a brilliant tension between the father and daughter, and the father and his conscience.

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