Friday, February 28, 2014

Winters Tale (2014)

Written by Akiva Goldsman, Mark Helprin
Direced by Akiva Goldsman
Starring Colin Ferrell, Russell Crowe, Jessica Brown Findlay

A winters tale is confusing story about love, time travel, demons and angels and miracles. The plot begins with a small time thief and he is trying to find his destiny. He stumbles apon a horse that changes his life. He meets a girl who is dying and he falls in love with her. Ultimately the story takes lot of turns and lots of breaks from the conventional storytelling structure.

Collin Ferrell stars in this film along side Judith. They both do a good job falling in love with eachother but that’s about all I can say about hteir performance. Russell Crowe is good in this fllm but he’s good in most things. The entire movie makes little sence and everything kind of drags on without direction.

If you liked the film, The time travelers wife, you might like this one. For me this film is a waste of time and money and efforts because the story doesn’t really hit the major points. I excpect more form the story.

Bottom 5. It was Valentine ’s Day and I needed a romantic flick to take my girl.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nebraska (2013)

Written by Bob Nelson

Directed by Alexander Payne

Starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte

This film is about an old man who gets a ‘million dollar winner’ ticket in the mail. His son tries to talk him out of it but they both end up bonding over the experience as they travel to claim the prize. The film is set in the Midwest and takes place across a few Midwestern states.

The cinematography is clean and simple. Each scene has a honest, real quality. The film is in black & white and that cinematic look helps with the classic quality of the story.  Will Forte helps to bring a bit of comedy to the film although he portrays an honest character with little tongue and check. Bruce Dern deserves to be recognized for being willing to portray such a sick and sad man.

The film really hits home for people of all ages. This kind story revolves around the spirit and truth we all tend to forget about. The story tells a compeling tale that illuminates a strong focus on the true value of things. If you like deep, honest films look no further.

Top 5. The true value of things is often missed but not in this film.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Kingdom Of Heaven (2005)

Written By William Monahan
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Orlando Bloom, Jeramy Arons, Liam Neeson & Eva Green

Orlando Bloom does a great job in this film. He is a good action fighter for the silver screen and it plays on in this film in particular. His swordplay alone is worth the watch. If you like Orlando bloom you will almost be sure to love this film.

But this film is not just eye candy for the masses. This film makes an amazing story out of something that we really don’t talk about much, The Crusades. The Kingdom of Heaven is literally about the Holy Land of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.  Western Christian’s commanded and ordained by the Pop of Rome and The Muslim brotherhood, known as Islam. The Muslims and the Christians are fighting over the part of the world that roots both religions, Jerusalem. The film explores the meaning behind why each side fights and what is gained and lost in the process.

Ridley Scott directs the film and you can tell. Just watch the master at work making this 1500 year old war look brand spankin’ new. Ridley Scott does an amazing job with this film just like all his other films, Blade Runner, Alien, Prometheus, Gladiator, A good year.

Top 5: This is not only a great film but a great subject to explore. The crusades killed thousands of men and what did it solve? This film does a great job of portraying that in the right light.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mission Impossible (1996)

Directed by Brian De Palma
Wrtiten by Bruce Geller
Starring Tom Cruz

Mission impossible is just what it sounds like. A team of spies all decide to try and take on some impossible mission with unbelievable odds and pull off what seemed impossible. But if that wasn’t enough for you they they also run into incredible opposition by the organization (CIA) that they are employed by. Tom Cruz is forced to become a rogue agent and find who framed him in this massive conspiracy cover up.

Tom Cruz Stars in this action adventure thriller. He looks young and athletic and everything about this movie screams 90s. Tom Cruz does a great job, like he always does, by being a strong lead character. The cinematography is incredible. And the art direction and scene construction is superb. This is a great blockbuster movie for the whole family to enjoy.

The story glide on ice all the way till the end credits. There is almost no down time for this action adventure. If you like Tom Cruz, or the old mission impossible Television show, my bet is you’ll enjoy this one.

Top 5 rating. This film played an important roll in my development as a film aficionado.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Doubt (2008)

Written & Directed By John Patrick Shanley
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, & Amy Adams

     This film is incredibly well done. It’s about a catholic priest and an accusation of sexual misconduct. The issues are obvious I. E. is there any proof, what are the next steps to be taken. All of this casting shadows on the father Flynn Hoffman’s character.

     Philip Seymour Hoffman does an amazing job in this film. He is willing to play the character that represents evil and innocence at the same time. His role as the all-knowing father figure is nothing short of brilliance. Amy Adams plays an incredibly innocent nun. And Meryl Streep play and uptight suspicious nun. All are incredibly well played and totally believable. You will get caught up in the story no matter what you think.

     This story is an uncomfortable one for most people. The craft of the film is electrifying and daring. I would say there is no other film I can liken it to because it stands in a class of its own. This film should have won all the awards.

Top 5. No matter how uncomfortable you feel this film will take you down a path that is incredibly brilliant. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

Written by Jordan Belfort, Terence Winter
Directed By Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie & Matthew McConaughey

     The Wolf of Wall Street is an adaptation of the book from the same name. Jordan Belfort’s memoir is a “larger than life” tail of a stock broker who made millions of dollars by faking stock prices and gaming the stock market. This film is an exciting and wild experience of a man on the edge of sanity and complete narcissistic hysteria. despite the fact that this man had no appreciation for human dignity, the film portrays drugs, sex, crime and the demoralization of woman as being glorifying acts of success. I found it hard to take anything useful away from this film.  I mostly ended up hating the character and being thankful I don’t use narcotics.

     This film screams Scorsese. Its plays just a like a good fellas film mixed with casino elements of easy money. Despite hating Jorden Belfort the man, I loved Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of him. DiCaprio does a drug induced human being very well. Take a look at basketball diaries for more on this subject. The filmmaking is superb as you would expect form Scorsese.

     The style film is incredibly dynamic and full of one montage after the next. Scorsese tends to do that type of character development while making each moment feel like a lifetime of experience. If you liked Goodfellas or Mean Streets you will almost definitely like this film.

No rating. Classic Scorsese film without the respectfulness for women or human dignity.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffmen: A Dedication

Dear Philip,

        Your body of work has been vast and transformative for many. There are few you haven’t enjoyed your mastery of one character or another. Many have marveled at your variety of faces that you mascaraed from piece to piece. Your craft has been tested and you training rewarded and honored. I just want take a few moments to dedicate my own experience of you.

        At 19, I worked in a DVD rental Shop. This was in 2003. I loved movies. So many times customers would come in and tell me, “I need great movie most people haven’t seen?” Often I would point them in directions like Magnolia, or The Talented Mr. Ripley. No one can forget your character in Almost Famous shouting that Jim Morrison is a buffoon and the b42s are Gods! I often would sometimes drop your name to Movie Rental snobs who would refuse to rent anything that didn’t have independent written on the cover. If you were in it, the movie had street cred.

        I remember watching 25th hour in the theatre and thinking this guy is incredible. So many different characters he plays without judgment or narcissism.  Your desire to disappear was as mystifying as your ability to reappear in new and deeper form. Your award for Capote was justified even if the rest of your work seemed to go unnoticed by the masses.

       You surprised me in The Master. I loved your candor and sophistication. I always enjoyed your commanding rolls as much as you repressed characters. Taking a look at the breadth of your style, I compare Brandt from The Big Labowski and Father Flynn from Doubt. Both portraits couldn’t be any further from one another and yet you do them both with such exactness. It is truly a delight to analogize your life’s work.

       But you were taken from us much too soon. I was so sorry to hear the news. It is an indescribable lost that I cannot explain or quantify.  For those of us who love acting, storytelling, and the world of the cinema, a beacon of light has just gone out. I will always treasure your work and characters as gifts to the world. I’m sorry to lose you. Rest in eternal piece.

Just another fan,


List of Films Hoffman has been in:

Catching Fire (Hunger Games)
The Master
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Almost Famous
Punch Drunk Love