WHEN EVERYTHING FEELS LIKE THE MOVIES - FILM REVIEWS
DON'T FORGET THE DREAM (THE DISASTER ARTIST)
December 8th, 2017
Last night we watch The Disaster Artist, and it was everything I wanted it to be and more. My intrigue with the film came about two weeks ago when my Fiancee told me about this film that was being made about this really bad film called "The Room". He showed me a few trailers, then we watched a few trailers for The Room, and we decided it was something we HAD to watch. So later that night, we found a copy of the film, we poured ourselves a glass of wine and decided we would make a drinking game out of the film. It began, and instantly the non-sense started. There was so much about this film that made us constantly say WTF IS HAPPENING. None of it flowed, or made sense. It totally just seemed like it was forced pieces of a puzzle that would never fit together. But it was SO entertaining! We could not stop laughing. It was not one of those films where you turn it on, its so bad and you have to turn it off, you actually WANT to keep watching. You cannot wait to see what crazy thing happens next.
Since then, I have become a strong advocate into getting my friends and family to see the film. I had no idea it was a cult classic that has been shown in Midnight Madness screenings all over the world for 14 years! Clearly, I was behind in this, but I am so happy to have found it. This truly was a film that I would see again, and again. I mean, we watched twice in two days. I was so incredibly excited to know that The Disaster Artist was just a few short weeks away from being released, and when the film came out in Vancouver yesterday, we were sure to get our tickets!
Onto The Disaster Artist...this film was truly great. It shares with the audience the story behind how the film The Room even came to life. Two friends Tommy and Greg, met in acting class and after years of rejection and getting no where in Hollywood, they felt that it was time that they just make their own movie, where they can control the narrative. Tommy set out to write the script, and he also decided to fund, and direct it as well. It was a fun ride to see the behind the scenes as to why a lot of the decisions were made in the film, and why so much of it did not make sense. A lot of it had to do with the lack of knowledge and skill that Tommy had with the film, as well as his lack of direction in the sense of ensuring there was consistency and continuity. Tommy based a lot of his decisions on other famous actors and directors and became very stubborn in his demands as well as in his decisions. It was funny to see how frustrated the actors and crew actually got with Tommy, as when you watch The Room, you just cannot understand how it even got to be so bad, or how it even got made.
James Franco and Dave Franco were amazing in it. James Franco's portrayal of Tommy is spot on. There are many times throughout the film when you see them reenacting actual scenes from the film and it is so clear how precise and how accurate they are in ensuring they get the same dialogue, actions and tone down to a T. I was really happy when at the end of the film, they shared about 10 scenes side by side to show the audience how they captured the exact moments simultaneously. They truly did an amazing job in reenacting this.
I highly recommend this film, I think James Franco is sure to be nomonated for an Oscar for his brilliance and his vision.
BAD ASS LADY BOSS (WONDER WOMAN)
June 2nd, 2017
On Wednesday, May 31st, 2017, I was lucky to see an advanced screening of "Wonder Woman".
I had actually never really thought much about seeing this film before the last month. I think I remember a few years ago the hype around a "Female Lead Superhero" film being created, but don't think I really paid much attention to it. Before this film, what I knew of the character "Wonder Woman" was that of a comic book character, a Halloween costume I had (and probably have used 10 years in a row since my first year of university), and the TV show Xena Warrior Princess. I truly did not know the story, nor did I really try to look into it's history or try to grasp the kind of film this might be.
In a world where we are bombarded with hundreds of male centered superhero and action films, I think I really felt like this film would be sure to disappoint, and would be heavily focused on the male-gaze that I chose not to really pay attention as to when it came out. I did not think it would be a film I would take the time to pay to go see.
It wasn't until I was at the theatre a month or so ago, that I saw the trailer for "Wonder Woman"(watch trailer here). I remember thinking, "Whoa, this looks BADASS." Gal Gadot, the actress who plays "Diana", not only looked gorgeous, but looked smart, strong and FIERCE. The trailer got me so pumped and made me already feel so emotionally invested and charged to see a strong female role model. My favourite part of the trailer is that it made her look like she needed NO man, and looked like SHE was indeed the hero, as opposed to the typical Damsel in Distress that we still see portrayed in superhero films.
When I got the e-mail early this week to the invite of the advanced screening to see the film, I was HYPED. What I really enjoy about advanced screenings is how exclusive and a part of the excitement you feel. Recently, there have been 30 second intros from the main actors themselves, welcoming you to the advanced screening, and showing their appreciation for you attending and being one of the first groups of people to see their film.
What made things really exciting for me, was seeing a trailer before the film started for "Justice League" (watch trailer here). This further got the audience pumped at the thought of a continuation of this character to be alive with her crew in another film. It really brought everything together for the audience at the end of the film to have something to look forward to with the release of that film in the fall. Kuddos to WB Canada for including that tidbit. Very smart marketing. I couldn't wait to see this story unfold, and I really prayed that it wouldn't let us down. And by us, I mean the women of the world who crave a STRONG female who kicks male ass!....A strong female who kicks male ass is what I got!
It was everything and more that I could have wanted from this film. The film had my attention as soon as it began. I hardly noticed that the film was just over two hours. The story line was very intriguing. Even though the film is set in the 1930s/40s during WW2, the theme was still extremely relevant to current events and happenings in the media and around the world.
Gal Gadot who played, 'Diana' aka Wonder Woman, was amazing. She truly is the definition of an exotic Amazon woman. Although the story line forced her in some scenes to seem like she was only a beauty with no brains, her logical way of thinking and rationalizing simple human behaviours and actions, really made the audience think. It was an interesting way to sit back and think of all of the ways mankind have made the world such a complicated and destructive place. Of course no one at the front lines of the war would suspect a beautiful brunette to be the deadliest weapon on the field. It was refreshing to see Diana take the lead in battles, and see the men stand back and hide away in safety.
I felt that Chris Pine did a great job, and was a great choice for this role. He wasn't too distracting, and he really didn't take away from the lead role. I especially liked that WOMEN got the eye candy of a nude male, as opposed to the traditional focus of the naked female for the male gaze.
One of my favourite characters, Dr. Maru aka Dr. Poison, (great article on her character here)who I mistakenly thought was Alicia Vikander, was actually played by Elena Anaya. She. Was. Brilliant. I have never heard of her before, and it has really got me intrigued to watch some of her other films. It was great to see such a creepy and smart female villain. Danny Huston who played Ludendorff, tried to take that spotlight, but I really think she stood her ground, and shined as a memorable character. The make-up was unbelievable, and her actions were truly chilling.
My favourite part was the INSANE fight scene at the beginning of the film when Diana and the Amazons take on the German soldiers who have invaded their mystical island. It showed women who were tough, coordinated, quick and deadly. I have never seen this kind of scene in an action film before. It got my adrenaline going and I don't think it stopped until the end of the film. I can't remember the last time I repeated "FUCK YEAH" in my head as many times as I did throughout that movie, especially this scene.
I had to really keep conscious throughout the film, and try not to take offense or try to think too much about the "love scenes" or "cheesy" elements that were included in the film. These scenes and sequences were not included to make it a "cheesy chick movie", but they are usually present as well in other action/superhero movies. Yes, they may be put in THOSE films to cater to the more emotionally driven female audiences to enjoy, but I did not feel like these scenes ruined it for me, as it could have if I really analyzed it.
I am really happy and thrilled that this film was what is was for me. I truly did not expect to see such a strong female superhero film, and I am very excited that the barriers to these type of films are not as taboo as they once were. I really hope that more films like this continue to come around, and that our female audiences are not only satisfied but motivated to see some great role models and heroes take charge and take the lead in blockbuster films.
January , 9th 2014
This post should be called HER because it is about the film Her that I saw last night, but I thought SIRI was more appropriate because the film was basically what the future looks like for Siri.
Her is based in the future, and it is about a man who develops a relationship with his operating system. Yes, this may seem crazy and insane, and a film that you couldn't take seriously, but it surprisingly does, and the reason for it is because it could happen, and it could be believable because we are getting there with every new technology that comes out.
Most of the film, I was sitting there, laughing, shaking my head, and quivering at the thought of how creepy the thought of this happening seemed, but other times, I simply was enjoying the "happy" budding relationship that Theodore and Samantha (the OS) were having. It was realistic, as it was just like online dating, except it is an actual voice you are getting to know, not just words on your computer. It is so realistic because Samantha, who simply is just doing her job, knows everything about Theodore, because all of his information is accessible online. All of his past e-mails show his marriage, his divorce, his bills, his work, etc. The OS quickly, can reference Theodore's past and thoughts and feelings from this. The OS has her own quirks, thoughts and feelings, and she starts to morph into someone Theodore is genuinely interested in.
Throughout the film, we see Theodore slowly start to open himself up further to Samantha, even so that they even share a sexual experience. This seems extremely uncomfortable, but sort of relates back to the beginning of the film, when Theodore has a phone sexual experience with another person. As far as Theodore is concerned, she sounds real, and reacts just as real as any other girl on the phone.
This film is creepy because it seems like it is a glimpse into our future, and it is a future I really don't want to be apart of. Everyone seems to disconnected, on their OS all the time, and hardly any human interaction. If there is any human interaction, it just seems very cold and awkward. We are in the day at the moment, that we realize how far we are removed from human and social interaction, and we all find ourselves a bit too "connected". We have social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc etc that "brings us together", but further brings us apart as we hardly connect socially in PERSON anymore. We are all about texting, and IM and never use the phone, or want to meet for a coffee or dinner. Dating already is hard enough in this world, I cannot imagine how much further removed we will be if that is our future. It just seems depressing.
More and more I have become aware with how negative social media is, and I am trying to take a step back, especially after seeing "Her", I really want to make a point to having more human experiences, and stop being so attached to my phone, social media and texting. This is not how life is supposed to be.
In conclusion, I hope many people actually do see this movie, and I hope they get the same reaction I got. I hope we can start to reconsider the ways in which we interact with people, or else we will all be ACTUALLY dating robots.
THE COLLEGE STUDENT (THE GRADUATE)
January 2nd, 2013
A few nights ago I finally watched The Graduate. I have heard about this movie for so many years, and it seems to be referenced all the time, so I decided I had to finally watch it.
It is funny to think about how racy I thought it was going to be, as when I was learning about the film in University (I was a film major), there were endless articles and essays written about this film, and how groundbreaking it was.
For a film student in the millienium, it is hard to believe that films were "groundbreaking" of being scandelous or even shocking when we are exposed to racy and explicit content all the time. On television, in films, on the internet. I don't think kids and even adults in my generation get fazed by anything anymore. We expect to see full frontal nutity and we expect to see the entire act played out, not just a "suggested" sex act, and then a swift cut to someone smoking in bed after. It is incredibly fascinating to watch films like The Graduate to see where films starts to cross the line into more than just PG but now R ratings. Mrs. Robinson's suductions seemed far less threatening and sexualized than say Stifler's mom in the American Pie franchise.
Even though it was quite entertaining to see the changes Hollywood has made from what their rating systems used to allow, The Graduate was definitely entertaining. It gave me a surprising twist of Ben (Hoffman) falling in love with Mrs. Robinson's daughter. I thought it was extremely well done, and even a haeartwarming ending.
I think my favourite part of the film was how undecisive Ben seemed to be about his life. His after college attitude about life seemed completely accurate to how a "Graduate" would actually feel. All of the pressure from the parents "bragging" about your accomplishments, all the questions about "what are you going to do next?" "are you going to grad school" "are you moving out" "are you getting married"...any "graduate" from college/university would be quite familiar with the constant pressure and unrealistic expectations love ones and society places on us after graduation. As if university has given us life instructions and a map as to where we should be, who we should be, and what we should be doing next. The entire process is extremely exhausting, and it was quite relieving to see Ben and Elaine rebel against both of their families and do what was not expected of them from society, but instead they ran away, didn't get married to the "right" guy, or have it figured out just yet.
If you know any "Graduate" fresh out of college that did, please send them my address...I don't know when I will ever have it figured out.
EVERYONE IS A WALLFLOWER (THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER)
January 2nd, 2013
The Perks of Being a Wallflower just changed my life. I am so in love with this movie. It originally was a book, and was adapted into a film. I am so moved with how deep and emotional this film was.
The film centers around a shy, introverted freshman, who starts off his first year of high school, alone and with no friends. He eventually starts to make friends with a boy and his step sister who immediately embrace him into their friend group. Throughout the film, Charlie writes anonomous letters to an unknown person about his life and his progress, as it seems he faced some sort of trama in his childhood. The film is about friendship, love, drugs, abuse, and the usual up and down drama of high school.
I think I am so in love with this film as the main character remains me of someone that I used to know. It is so errie how characters and films can bring out people from the past. I also enjoyed it, as I haven't felt such a connection to a film in quite sometime, and I absolutely love when a film can draw out these raw emotions and pull you into the story and into the life of these characters which makes you forget you are even watching a movie at all.
A beautiful story, captivating characters and a satisfying ending...bring tissues.
"You're not small. You're beautiful." - Charlie.
BROTHERS GRIMM (BROTHERS)
December 27th, 2012
Brothers is a movie that first caught my eye a few years ago when I saw the trailer for it at the theatres. It seemed like it would be filled with drama, rage and lots of sexual tension, and Jake Gyllenhaul was in it.
I had forgoten about the movie, until I saw it at a cousin's house, and rememered it was a movie I wanted to watch. So last night, I watched it, and was surprised with how dark and disturbing it actually turned out to be.
Brothers, follows a young family whose father is a marine for the US army. Toby McGuire, who plays the father, and his wife, Natalie Portman, are high school sweethearts, who seem more in love everyday. They have two beautiful daughters who adore their parents.
Sam (McGuire), is sent off to Afganistan for a mission, when his team's truck is blown up. News travels quickly back to his family, who are devistated at the loss of Sam.
Sam's brother Tommy, slowly tries to comfort Sam's family by just being there. It seems, he doesn't know what else he could offer, other than his presence and his spirit to Sam's young girls.
After many months of torture and pain, Sam is found and is released back to his family. Things start to go down hill, and Sam starts to loose his mind, as he cannot escape what he has seen and what he has done overseas.
From what I thought would be kind of an epic infidelity story, turned out to be extremely mild, and I guess more realistic? Tommy and , only share a brief kiss, and hold back any other urges, from a widowed lonely wife. When Sam gets back, he immediately assumes that Tommy and have been together, but it doesn't really seem too clear as to how, and why.
I think my expectations for their relationship were a little too high, and maybe more scandelous, as I kept comparing the story of Pearl Harbours "brother-like friendship that gets caught up with another girl".
All in all, it was an alright movie, but extremely dark and disturbing, and really opens your eyes as to what a marine, and a marine's family may go through.
THIS IS...DEPRESSING (THIS IS 40)
December 26th, 2012
This afternoon I went to see This is 40.
From previous Judd Apatow films, I expected to go in and have a bunch of laughs, but also come out with a life lesson and feeling a little hopeful for my future.
This is 40, proved to be just that, except with a *hint* of "holy f*** this is my greatest fear come to life". I don't even have a boyfriend, I don't have a family, and I still live with my parents. But THIS.IS.MY.NIGHTMARE.
Growing old, growing apart, growing out of love. I don't want that. I am a person who is so in love with love that I am terrified to be in it!!! Does anyone else feel this way? Did anyone else watch this film and think, "shit, this is my life", "this is my parents life" "THIS IS GOING TO BE MY LIFE".
The sad part apart it, is yes, most likely it is your life, it is your parents life and it WILL BE your life as the divorce rates and still up and high as ever, and we are more consumed by technology and distraction everyday, that our problems, issues and fears will continue to playout like this, as it just seems too common of a situation for the rest of us not to follow.
The one thing that secretly satisfies me, is that I can break this chain of events. I can break the mold, and choose not to be as miserable, disfunctional and irreational as the family in This is 40. But then again, I am still single and alone, and living in my parents house, so who am I to glout?
Judd Apatow's films seem to be getting deeper and deeper, Apatow's Funny People definitely dug right into the heartstrings of viewers who have experienced a heartrenching love, a divorce and a cheating scandal. I think as viewers we natually walk away from films like these with a sournote in our stomach as we are coming close to real life and our real problems, way more than we would like to admit, and it is freakin' scary to see YOUR life replicate on the big screen to confront you.
As painful as it is to watch films like these, I think it is a secret wake-up call to us in these pradiciments to smarten up, learn from your mistakes, stop sweating the small stuff, and do what makes your happy! LIFE IS TOO SHORT!