Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Movie Reviews: Greenberg, Precious, The Informant!, A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker, Julie and Julia

Greenberg
- Actress Greta Gerwig was OUTSTANDING in this. She should be nominated next year for her performance.
- Ben Stiller plays a character who is hateable, but it's all very real, and comes around full circle to the end.
- The end moment is ok, not going to satisfy a lot of viewers. I get the idea that director Noah Baumbach has become a masterful storyteller, but has not yet mastered the art of the ending. In some ways it works. Not a big deal enough to ruin the movie.
- I really appreciate what is being explored in Stiller's character. Sometimes we are jerks. It takes him time to open his mind to the reality of his flaws.
- This film has achieved the rare ability to be very truthful in its portrayal of certain relationships and human vulnerabilities.

Precious
- Really well directed, the shots were all interesting, the casting was strong, and the acting was as good as it could be
BUT
- the writing is pretty average stuff. I CANT STAND when writers exploit situations like rape, drugs, violence, and abuse to force drama into a story. Precious could have just been poor and fat and you could have still had an amazing story.
- I'm not saying those topics shouldn't be explored in film; but that's just it, exploring them is ok, exploiting them because you can't write without forced shock value, it just isn't talent.

A Serious Man
- It's about a man alienated by the absurdity of the outside world
- My next film is about a man alienated by the absurdity of the outside world
So that was helpful to see. The way the Coen brothers handled it was masterful as usual. There was something I didn't love about it even though it's a well done film. I think it was the performance of the main actor. I'm exploring a similar character in my film and have cast Will Hines as the lead. I must say I like what Will is doing with the role much more! I must also say I didn't see this movie till after I wrote the script, and what happens in it is much different. We shoot April 9-11!

The Informant!
- Soderbergh. Hmm. Interesting director. This movie has the cheekyness of Oceans movies and is really tongue in cheek. Cheeks. Very stylized and poppy. Liked it, didn't love it.
- It's a good story and really inventive how he approached a true story almost like a superhero movie.
- My favorite thing is the use of the main character's thoughts. Often times voiceover is a lazy choice when something should be shown instead of told - but here it's a great layer, especially because the thoughts don't always lineup with the viewer's experience.
- Matt Damon does a good job. He's proven to be a pretty solid performer. Extremely versatile, easy to cast.
- Lots of comedian parts: Scott Adsit, Patton Oswalt, Joel McHale, Paul F Tompkins
- Ann Cusack has the same voice as Joan Cusack
- The real thing: Read about the topic of the movie - Mark Whitacre - totally insane! Read this part. (it's a spoiler for the movie though)

The Hurt Locker
- Thought it was well done. Well Shot, the best thing about it is the perspective - the idea of being addicted to war. Making a statement that some people want to fight. Some people like it.
- But it wasn't the best movie of 2009 for me, though it was way better than Avatar. To me, the best movie was The Messenger, also about the current war.

Julie and Julia
- Would have preferred to see just the life story of Julia Child. God I love her, always did. I love Julia Child because I love cooking, but also because she is one of the most delightful characters this world has ever seen.
- The Julie story is about a girl who blogs about cooking all of Julia's recipes and then gets a book deal. It's annoying to see her story because she's not portrayed as particularly likable or interesting. In fact, Julie's character - however close to the real Julie or not - has it all come to her so easily. She seems bland, spoiled, and it's not really rewarding to see her win at the end and get the movie/book deal that we are now watching. I'm not sure if it's because the real person is this way, or the portrayal is this way. Either way - isn't it damn annoying when people get book deals from coming up with some half-brained blog idea? I love my success stories to come from hard work. I like Larry Flynt's success story better than this one.
- It is interesting to see "blogging" treated realistically in a movie. Sign of the times. Often times movies don't know how to handle social realities such as the small details of life especially when it involves technology and internet use.
- I still give it mad props for showing how delightful Julia Child and french cooking are. I'm also really interested in the book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" the first real gourmet handbook for the American housewife.
- The real Julia/Julia blog.
- Julia Child

She was 6'2".
She had a really funny voice
She was full of joy
She was funny
She had more bravado in the kitchen than anyone who was ever on tv, and could handle a chicken carcass like nobody's business
She made magical things and influenced modern food culture in very big ways

It looks different now

This blog. Nothin spectacular, but I had to make it ok up in here. FOR ALL THE READERS!

Nah, this blog has occasional perusers these days. But it had its day. Boy oh boy did it have it's day. Back in those days, being a blogger or having a blog was worth having a conversation about. These days it seems to be more of a functional tool.

Or at least this one is. I'm about to write some movie reviews! Watch out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

this blog is a visual graveyard

Started in 2004, it's been around 6 years now.

This new "Echo" thing you might be seeing is because my old commenting system haloscan no longer exists.

The banner is old, the colors are drab. Sorry people this isn't a visually rich experience. I'd like it to be prettier but haven't had the time.

The time will come soon, it's just barely professional.



This guy is working on building me a better thing.

And here's a photo of me from my high school graduation:

I'm on the right.

Movie Review: Avatar

It sucked and here's why:

- It should have been a kids movie and been consistent with that tone. That means no using the word "bitch" all the time (they are also probably not going to be saying it that way in the future) and NO SEX SCENE WTF!
- The characters were cartoonish - the bad guys where cheesy as hell - WHICH WORKS IN A KIDS MOVIE! - take Small Soldiers for example - great kids movie, cheesy bad guy totally works.
COME ON JAMES CAMERON - You made my favorite action movies of all time - Terminator 1 and 2 - that dialogue was adult, sophistocated when it needed to be, and dealt with the "future" appropriately. It was a great script. This was more expensive and terribly written, terribly acted. The Terminator movies were well acted. So honestly what the hell was Cameron thinking. UNOBTAINIUM???? That's what it's called? Right.
I even liked Titanic.
- Yes, it was "enjoyable" but so was Ratatouille and that was well written with strong acting and solid voice over performance.

Ferngully was a better movie when it comes to rainforest love stories.

And killing all those US soldiers during wartime? And it's being embraced by American families? Um ... ok.

And about me?
I'm totally exhausted, must rejuvenate.

- We go into production period for our next shoots on Friday so that means that from now till April 11th I'm shooting films!

- Then we have a month to edit. (Till May)

- I'm also moving out of my crappy apartment by May 1st.

- And on May 9th I'm going to the Cannes Film Festival, and will be in Europe till June 8th when I'll be visiting friends and family.

AND THEN WHO KNOWS WHAT AFTER THAT! I'll have my stuff stored at my parents' house in the meantime. Hoping for a summer job before the next semester starts up. Maybe I'll work on a movie somewheres?

Things I'm addicted to right now:
- the snooze button. I go for 5 more minutes OVER and OVEr
- Chocolate - I think it's really an addiciton. Every day there's an intense craving and I feed it. I don't think it's a problem but I do find it odd to have such an intense craving on a regular basis.

Knowledges - random links I've been hanging on to for you.

If you'd like to hear a great perspective on life and have your heart warmed - watch the bottom video from Rogert Ebert on Oprah in this post.

Alexander McQueen's last collection

spectacular.

Crazy statue about justice with a map of a concentration camp. Unexpected from such a statue.

Deniro on Acting

"The talent is in the choice" - Adler

NY's Fashion Week runway shows music playlists.


These are burgers wrapped in bacon and cheese with hot dogs sticking out of them. They take the pain away.

Pattern is Movement "Light of the World" mp3

Tim and Eric Awesome show came back

OFFICIAL TIM AND ERIC AWESOME SHOW, GREAT JOB! SEASON CINCO PROMO! from Tim and Eric on Vimeo.
WISH I HAD TIME TO WATCH IT :( they are my heroes.


Hey, want more stupidity?
Here:

What's up with that puppy, right?

- awesome list of sad heartbreaky songs
- a pretty crazy story about a woman who had sex with her brother - unlike any story I've heard before ... glad I don't have a brother?
- Priceless video of James Brown drunk