Tag Archives: film

Restrepo (2010)

Restrepo (Hetherington and Junger, 2010)

Cinema offers viewers the ability to visit different landscapes, different worlds, different universes; however, these journeys are usually kept within the confines of a constructed reality, a world that exists on the reels of film and perhaps in our minds, but not in our ‘world.’ Documentaries still create this barrier, but the realism of the genre is at worst an examination of a world that many of us are unaware of and are, at best, a portrayal of some truth that all great films can reach. I have not, and likely will not, travel to Afghanistan in my lifetime, nor do I plan on fighting in any literal wars, so Restrepo‘s portrait in to life during wartime in one of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones makes an attempt at capturing the spirit of men tied together by a desire for combat. Continue reading

Taking on 2010: Oscar Predictions (Round 1)

I am a gambling man, a betting man if you will. I will bet on literally anything as long as my bookies will take the bet, and I have a lot of bookies, so they take a lot of bets. I know my film though, so the debt I have built up since the most recent hits I took in a combination of Starcraft II betting, Atlantic City, and Professional Ice Fishing needs to go away and fast before I lose a(nother) body part. So it’s Oscar time baby, and I’m giving you my keys to success, so we can all be winners together!

Yesterday morning the Oscar nominees were announced, each and every category. Like most years there were surprises and disappointments, probably not as many as other years, but we are not here to talk about quality or these disappointments (not directly anyway, we’ll get there friends), we are here to make knee jerk predictions based on my knowledge of the system. As the time of the show comes closer I will do a follow up post in list only form, but I think the fun here is still in making educated guesses. You know what people love? People love nice lists we can check down, so here are some of the methods that result in my madness:

  1. The King’s Speech leads all nominees with 12 nominations
  2. Toy Story 3 is nominated for Best Animated Film and Best Picture
  3. True Grit is the surprise second leading nominee getter
  4. Christopher Nolan, Mila Kunis, and Andrew Garfield/The Social Network’s supporting cast seem to be the people snubbed
  5. The Town seems to be the film supplanted by Winter’s Bone

Checklist made. Films screened. Islands shuttered. All systems are go! Continue reading

The Illusionist (2010)

The Illusionist (Chomet, 2010)

The previous year was an incredibly strong year for animated films the world over. Japan delivered the strongest showing with Summer Wars, Ireland brought the fantastic The Secret of Kells, and France yielded the joyous display of absurdity known as A Town Called Panic. And once again we find ourselves in France for Sylvain Chomet’s adaptation of Jaques Tati’s script for The Illusionist. While Chomet plays his comedy in a broad sense, likely a departure from Tati’s signature style, the pull of the film is located in its ability to balance strong emotional scenes with the tension of an ever changing world. Continue reading

The Green Hornet (2011)

The Green Hornet (Gondry, 2011)

I had a chance to catch an advanced 3-D screening of Michel Gondry’s latest film, The Green Hornet, last night, so I am taking a bit of a break from my 2010 coverage to venture in to the present. Never early enough to get a jump on the current year, especially when that jump involves the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, and others. Not to mention a script from the men who penned Superbad, an Asian pop star taking up acting, and one of the more compelling comedians working today. So with all this talent involved this cannot possibly go wrong, right? Continue reading

Taking on 2010: Lead Performances

We walk a road, a long road. Follow up my previous Top Supporting Performances of 2010 post I now am going to take a look at those who occupy the screens for the majority of a film. The A-listers, the stars and starlets who dazzle us with those big performances, those few who have risen to the top of their profession, jumping from reel to reel with ease. As was the case with the Supporting Performances list, I have not seen every 2010 film but I have seen most of the contenders. I need to let it be known, mostly for the leading females (and two males, I reckon), that I have not seen Another Year, Blue Valentine, or The American. Apologies to all the terrific talents involved with those films. I also seem to be in a position where I will be counting Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives as a 2011 film because I do not think it is being released around me until April. With those two notices issued we move on to the leading men. Continue reading

Taking on 2010: Supporting Performances

With the year officially over, and my inclusion of 2010 winding down as well, I need to start wrapping up my end of the year awards. Naturally I have not seen all the films I hoped to get to over the year, but life happens. I am going to try and continue to catch up with films that need to be seen, but for the most part I think I have had a chance to see most of the films that boast the buzzed about performances. It should probably be noted that I am only drawing from a sample size of 80 films for these lists. Continue reading

Now In The Morning I Sleep Alone, Sweep The Streets I Used To Own

The Social Network (Fincher, 2010)

It seems that once every year a film comes out during ‘Oscar season’ that is labeled as immensely topical, a true testament to our time that perfectly captures a specific mentality that defines our world now, perhaps even defines a generation as a whole. Most of the time these films are mislabeled. Last year we had Up in the Air, the year before was Milk, and now it seems that David Fincher’s The Social Network has taken the mantle of my generation’s voice. However, just like all of these other films that are incorrectly labeled as purely topical ploys for attention, Fincher makes an attempt to transcend the times and deliver a cinematic experience from what appears to admittedly be a very topical concept: the invention of Facebook. So does Fincher deliver a film accessible by all, or something better left just for friends? Continue reading