Friday, September 23, 2011

Sin City (2005)

Written by Frank Miller (graphic novel)
Directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
Starring Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis

Mickey Rourke starts off this movie as Marv, a loveable, hell-bent, brute seeking revenge on his lover’s murderers. Clive Owen plays Dwight a slick hit man trying to stop a crazed cop from killing innocent bystanders. Bruce Willis, as Hartigan, is an ageing cop whose soul purpose in life is to save the life of an innocent girl Nancy (Jessica Alba) who becomes a college student stripper.

The film revolves around three heroes with individual story arcs from three separate graphic novels from the famous author Frank Miller. The stories are intertwined and connected by their location, sin city. Millers’ graphic novels have been extremely successful and so this film has a lot to live up to… and it does! In both the books and film, each character becomes a private investigator of their own particular mystery. 

The film was primarily shot on green screen and projected in black and white with few highlights of color. The color scheme and even shot selection is heavily influenced by the graphic novels. This is a very effective dramatic style of filmmaking. It’s as if each frame looks more like a work of art then a scene from a movie. This is the kind of film that bridges the gap between comic book fans and film buffs.

Top 5 rating. The action is exciting and easy to follow; the characters are developed and have dynamic motivation. No audience member will be confused or board while watching.  This film is definitely recommend as a must see. 

*** This rating system is the expressed opinion of this blogger alone. Please reference the first blog post for more details.

Good movie = Top 5 Rating
Bad movie = Bottom 5 Rating
Middle of the road movie = No Rating

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drive (2011)

Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn

Hossein Amini (screenplay), James Sallis (book)

Starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan.

The film begins with a very exciting chase scene involving a heist. The Driver waits patiently while the robbers hustle to jump in the car while the faint sound of police sirens get louder and closer. What’s so suppressing about the film is that the opening scene is the most compelling and elaborate sequence of the film. The movie tends to take every moment incredibly seriously as we follow Goslings character through his everyday life. The unnamed main character (Ryan Gosling) known only as ‘The Driver’ has very few conversations but the meaning behind his star is captured in almost every interaction. The films soundtrack does most of the communication as far as emotional relevance goes. Carey Mulligan is a wonderful match for Gosling as she fixes her eyes on his and reacts to him genuinely.

It’s the same old story:       Guy meets girl
                                                Falls in love
                                                Girl is in trouble
                                                Guy kills everybody to save her. 
                                                (Overly gruesome in parts)
The plot is simple enough… but here is where the true plot shines because it’s not a movie that's supposed to stand out as a unique and eloquent story with characters that are exceptional and awe-inspiring. This is a plain story done stylistically in a way that speaks to the audience on a fundamental level. It’s about desire for the things we can’t have.

The audience is left with the frustration that comes with doing the right thing and dealing with the consequences. You won’t see the film and then be amazed at what you learned but you will be sucked into the movie and go through all the emotions that the characters have to offer.

This film has an impact because of the filmmaker’s passion for the characters story not the story its self. It doesn’t rate as a top 5 or a bottom 5. It gets a mention because it is an experience. It’s a movie to see that won’t disappoint while your watching it…

*** This rating system is the expressed opinion of this blogger alone. Please reference the first blog post for more details.

Good movie = Top 5 Rating
Bad movie = Bottom 5 Rating
Middle of the road movie = No Rating

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Casablanca (1942)

Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Original Play: Everybody comes to Rick's
Written by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison 
Starring: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman

A powerful love story sparked and overwrought with the political dangers of the second world war. Set in the a north African City Casablanca gives a stunning portrait of life in the 1930’s as political refugees escape from the Nazi insurgence by fleeing to America. In the first act Humphrey Bogart is shown as a powerful and difficult bar owner who stumbles upon a pair of blank visas for the passage to America. Through out the story his long lost lover, Ingrid Bergman, and her husband are in search for those very visas that Bogart bargains with to reconnect with his old flame. 

The story has a stunning ending and is one of the most famous films of all time because of the catch phrase and infamous toast “here’s looking at you, kid!”

All in all, this film gets a top 5 rating because of its cultural acclaim far and wide. When released, this film was just another movie but has grown to become a phenomenon in the romantic world of cinema. The story is solid and the classic feel to the black and white frames make this movie a must see. This film is essential for any study of classic movie making. 
This Film is one of my favorites!

How It Works

A word about this rating system

In the movie ‘High Fidelity’ Starring John Cusack, & Jack Black, there is a peculiare system where everything is rated as the top 5. The top 5 songs at a funeral, or top 5 things you love about someone, and even top 5 worst relationships of your life. This is a dramatic way of expressing ones opinion and so in honor of this wonderful movie and silly rating system, this blog will be following in that tradition. So a movie is either good (top 5) Bad (bottom 5) or indifferent which has no rating at all.
Good movies: Top 5 Rating
Bad movies: Bottom 5 Rating
Ok Movies: No Rating
In simple terms,          a thumbs up (top 5)
a thumbs down (bottom 5)
a neutral (no rating)
This will be a blog about movies only. Movies in theaters, movies on DVD, movies that can't be found anymore. There will be reviews of all kinds of movies here and I plan to make them interesting with lots of pictures. Hopefully there will be lots of good movies to review. If you like this blog, I invite you to follow my twitter handle... Click Here!