Monday, November 29, 2004

A Home At The End Of The World

The touching story of 3 outcasts learning to love, fit in(out), and live. Producer John Hart made brilliant decisions when choosing director Michael Mayer and keeping Author Michael Cunningham as screenwriter. The script is tight, being witty intense and upbeat all at the same time. Despite being a sad story you are not left feeling down at the end, but rather uplifted.
The casting is perfect for my picture of the characters. Robin Wright Penn shines in her clever, free spirited Claire. The character is complete and well thought out. She owns the role in her own saucy way. Newcomer Dallas Roberts is comletely at home as Jonathan. he seems to fit well with the uptight, yet fun-loving Jonathan. I would expect to see great things from him in the future.
The biggest surprise for me, however, was Colin Farrell. He was actually acting and he only lost his american accent for a brief second in the entire piece. He was more than convincing and crazy intense as Bobby, a lost soul floating who remains almost creepily positive despite a life of loss and heartache. This is likely the best I have ever seen from Farrell, and unfoutunately it may be the best i'll ever see from him. He just doesn't get enough roles like this that truly let him act.

Overall the film was well done. The DP was great. there are shots where you just want to hold the characters and make their pain go away. The pacing is nearly perfect and dialogue sewn up tight. I definately reccommend this film to anyone who has ever been outside of the norm and those who want to know what it feels like (as it does give the insight or maybe it's just that i've been on the ouside and the film really worked for me).

A Home At The End Of The World is not onlu a must see, but a must own.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

After the Sunset (2004)

Dir: Brett Ratner
Release: Wide Release 11/12/04

So I am a total sucker for heist films and "After the Sunset" definitely fills the need. In this film directed by action director Brett Ratner, we encounter FBI Agent Stan Lloyd (Woody Harrleson) who has tracked his arc h-nemesis Max Burdett (Peirce Brosnan) to a beautiful island where he is living with his beautiful woman and partner in crime Lola Cirrillo (Salma Hayek). Agent Lloyd is certain that Max is on the island to complete his set and streak by stealing the third Napoleon Diamond off of a cruise ship that is only in port for 7 days. Well, I don't really have to tell you the rest of the story because we have seen it 100 times. Needless to say, in the end the good guys get what they need and the bad guys, well there really aren't any so it doesn't really matter.

I must admit there wasn't really anything outstanding about this movie but it served its purpose. I love heist films because they usually take me to exotic places and make me forget about my boring life. They distract me with beautiful people pulling of crimes with ingenious plans and get away with it all. I love a film where I can root for the bad guy, a.k.a. "The Thief," and not feel bad for it. This is why I will probably see just about every heist film made for the rest of my life. I just freaking like them.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Please Mr. Lucas, don't make me hate you.

I have seen the trailer for Star Wars Episode III a number of times now, and all I can hope is that the film is half as good as the trailer. As a child, I grew up with Star Wars. They were pure movie magic and if I had to pinpoint the moment in my life when I thought I wanted to make movies, it was watching Star Wars. The latest two installments have been, to say the least, very disappointing.

It seems that George Lucas has become so focused on special effects that he has lost any interest in making good movies. For me, this is the most crucial installment of the new films. This is where we see the birth of Darth Vader (the greatest sci-fi villain of all time) and the change of the whole feel of the universe. I am expecting to be disappointed with the film, but somewhere deep inside me would love to be happy with the film. Basically, I hope George Lucas doesn't make me regret ever having seen a Star Wars film, which is exactly what is going to happen if this film is as large of a disappointment as the last two have been.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I Heart Huckabees

I Heart Huckabees (2004)
Dir: David O. Russel
Release: Currently in limited release
Trailer link

Wow, this movie is described as an existential comedy and that about sums it up. I just came from the film and I really think that I will need a day or two (and even possibly a second viewing) to fully process everything that I experienced. I can’t really write too much about story without ruining the film but I will share some of my other observations.

They could not have cast this film better. I really loved the chemistry between Catherine (Lilly Tomlin) and Bernard (Dustin Hoffman). The only better cast and written character in the film was Cahterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert) as the dark morose “life sucks get over it” French connection.

There is a particular effect used in the trailer that is also used in the film that could have easily gotten old but was always used effectively so I can’t complain.

There are a number of incredibly funny moments woven artfully with moments of spiritual and emotional enlightenment. If you enjoy a good laugh, meaningful dialogue and superb acting then you will enjoy I Heart Huckabees.