Category Archives: films

Submarine (2010)

When I heard that ‘Maurice Moss’ (Richard Ayoade) from the British television series ‘The IT Crowd’ (which also co-starred, now Apatow-recognized, Chris O’Dowd) had made a movie, I knew I had to watch it. Fortunately Netflix Instant made that easy.  ‘Submarine’ is Ayoade’s 2010 directorial debut about a boy, Oliver Tate, growing up in South Wales (a country next, to England, but not a part of England for other uninformed American’s, like myself).  Oliver is an imaginative boy who falls for Jordana Bevan, a straightforward, no-nonsense type.

ImageThroughout the film Oliver is thrown troubles that most teenagers receive such as living alongside his parents strained relationship, and their confounding personalities on an individual level.  Oliver also deals with the ups and downs on life amongst peers and discovers not the type of person he is, but the types of things he’s capable of.

Craig Roberts, who portrayed Oliver, delivers a tenacious and impressive performance that is sure to resonant with the awkward teen in everyone.  His performance is equally countered by, the young, Yasmin Paige, who is able to present Jordana in an authentic light of young womanhood when you have ‘tomboy’ tendencies but are still a ‘girl’ on the inside with ‘gooey’ emotions and reactions.  The sweet and wonderfully strange young love of Oliver and Jordana is counter-balanced by Oliver’s parents Lloyd and Jill Tate, portrayed by the enjoyable Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins, respectively.

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‘Submarine’ is visually alluring design sensibilities from Gary Williamson, which is reminiscent of Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry films.  The story arc is standard, yet enjoyable, and while I have not read John Dunthorne’s novel, of the same name, I am sure his characters are as vivid and distinctive on page as they are one screen.

Also, you have to talk about the youthful soundtrack, with original songs contributed by Alex Turner of ‘the Artic Monkeys’ and the score by Andrew Hewitt that gives such depth to pivotal scenes; you cannot imagine the movie without them.

‘Submarine’ is great for a laugh and a nostalgic look back to what your teen years were likely mirrors your own.  It also provides comfort and reliability if you are currently swimming through your teen years.  I highly recommend this film and it is easy to see why Harvey Weinstein, Sundance, BAFTA, and the Toronto Film Festival did as well.

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Darling Companion (2012)

This movie will be released in NY & LA on April 20th and I’m seriously thinking about taking the train 3 hours to see it, it looks absolutely delightful and while I do, admit-tingly, kneel at the the altar that is Diane Keaton i’m also a huge fan of Lawrence Kasdan who has directed great films such as Mumford, First Kiss, Wyatt Earp, I Love You to Death, and the Big Chill.  I’m also a huge fan of elisabeth moss and I’m excited to see her in something aside from her Mad Men role and Excedrin commercials 🙂

Bobby Van’s ‘Take Me to Broadway’ number in ‘Small Town Girl’

 

Bobby Van’s commute to work in 1953’s ‘Small Town Girl’ is both endearing and astounding, all that hopping is sure to put a smile on your face and if it doesn’t the pup that hops along with him towards the end surely will I highly recommend this movie, if only for Van’s number.

L!fe Happens (2011)

 

Here’s a new one that I can’t wait to see and that will be released tomorrow, co-written by and starring Krysten Ritter (who was fabulous in the series premiere of ‘The B in Apartment 23’) this got decent reviews on the LA Film Festival last summer and I really want to see it!

March 2012 Movies 60 – 75

I was travelling for two weeks out of march at the lovely SXSW Music Festival and then in Chicago for a week so my film list was a bit neglected but I tried to keep up. April will definitely be better :]

Mar 01 – A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Mar 02 – Win Win (2011)
Mar 07 – Take Care of my Cat! (Goyangileul Butaghae) (2002)
Mar 08 – Only You (1992)
Mar 09 – What a Way to Go! (1964)
Mar 13 – Maybe (Tokkiwa rijeodeu) (2009)
Mar 22 – Salmon Fishing the Yemen (2012)
Mar 23 – Star Trek Generations (1994)
Mar 23 – Saving Face Documentary (2012)
Mar 23 – Case de mi Padre (2012)
Mar 23 – Friends with Kids (2012)
Mar 24 – Game Change (2012)
Mar 25 – Tinker, Tailer, Solider, Spy (2011)
Mar 26 – Footloose (2011)
Mar 30 – If a Man Answers (1962)
Mar 30 – The Hunger Games (2012)

Comic-Con Documentary

So in an attempt to keep this blog fresh and up to date I’ve decided to start posting film I’m excited to see along with my reviews and my watch lists. This brings us to a great documentary that is being released (limiited, of course) this friday, April 6th in Santa Monica–no word on a wider release date yet but I’ll keep you updated :]

Directed by Morgan Spurlock and interviewing comic fans “great and small” this documentary looks truly delicious.

February 2012 Movies 34-59

Feb 01 – The Greatest (2009)
Feb 02 – Capote (2005)
Feb 02 – Just Wright (2010)
Feb 03 – The African Queen (1951)
Feb 04 – Fever Pitch (1997)
Feb 04 – White Palace (1990)
Feb 05 – Moneyball (2011)
Feb 05 – Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
Feb 05 – Masterpiece Classics Jane Austen’s Persuasion (2007)
Feb 06 – Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Feb 06 – Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942)
Feb 08 – Take Me Home Tonight (2011)
Feb 09 – Don’t Look Back (1967)
Feb 09 – The Six Wives of Henry Lefay (2009)
Feb 10 – Bob Dylan A&E Biography (2005)
Feb 14 – White Valentine (1999)
Feb 16 – Linda Linda Linda (2005)
Feb 17 – Wake (2009)
Feb 18 – The Artist (2011)
Feb 24 – The Harvey Girls (1946)
Feb 25 – Guess Who’s coming to Dinner? (1967)
Feb 25 – The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Feb 25 – Bullitt (1968)
Feb 25 – The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Feb 28 – Avenue Montaigne (20007)
Feb 29 – The Smiths : The Complete Picture (1992)

Wild Target (2010) J. Lynn

‘Wild Target’ is a lovely import from Englad circa 2010. Despite it’s cheeky humor, that is a signature of many great films from our neighbors ‘across the pond’, and it’s talented cast it never quite found a foothold for distribution in America. Image

Bill Nighy stars as the films introverted and uptight assassin to Emily Blunt’s quirky and unhinged con woman. Rupert Grint is thrown in as some lovely color and humor to the film, who’s main purpose was to lighten the sexual tension between Blunt and Nighy’s characters, and help avoid a few holes where deux ex machina would had pushed the movie from tongue-in-cheek to just another failed attempt to be slyly funny (see: ‘The Love Guru’).

I found this movie enjoyable and chuckle worthy. It’s quirky throughout int a way that is endearing and not aggravating. It’s not really enough to write home about, but it’s definitely enough to write an adoring blog post about. It’s on Netflix for instant viewing and I would say it’s definitely worth a viewing. So grab yourself a Royal Oak pale ale, some fish’n chips and settle in for a few hours of kitschy fun!

The Descendants (2011) Alexander Payne

So here’s another film that’s not so off the beaten path, Alexander Payne’s third installment to his awesome movie track record, The Descendants. The film center’s around George Clooney’s character of a jilted and suddenly single father.

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One of the great attributes of Payne’s films, consistently, is his ability to write/direct real people. Characters on screen that you know in your life (and if you can’t think of anyone you know like that person, odds are you are that person in your life). Payne’s films consistently display men coming to terms with their life in a way that is so tangible it leaves the audience comforted with a notion of not being alone. And this is coming from a twenty-four year old girl.

Payne’s paired up with unsung and highly talented Phedon Papamichael again. Papamichael is a working d.p. in Hollywood, every cinematography students dream, who has been shooting and average of two to three films a year. And his style just becomes more refined with every shoot. Papamichael is not afraid to expand his shooting portfolio or test out new styles that show real foresight on his side.  His portrayal of Clooney’s run to  find out more about his philandering wife and the close-ups of a reflective Clooney taking in the terms of his life throughout the film are two elements that stick out the most vividly in my mind. I cannot wait to see this talented duo team up again in next years Nebraska.

The characters in this film range from angsty teen daughter, played by talented young actress Shailene Woodley, to gruff and clueless grandfather, Robert Forster, are the charm of this film. No one fleshes out a movie quite as well as Alexander Payne and his casting team.

Mix the talented Payne’s palatable script, the actors, and the vibrant flora and fauna of Hawaii (a great expose on the idea of living in ‘paradise’) and you’ve an ace film. I’m happy to see that the SAG’s and the Golden Globe’s have acknowledge this film, even though it was inevitable they would as this is the kind of fete that they love, but it’s also one that the everyday man can relate to. Hence the beauty of a Payne film.

My advice is go see this movie if you haven’t already. And if you can see it in a beach resort town during the off season with all the elderly locals, like I did, it’s an added bonus. One of the great things about watching films with an audience is watching people who have a good 30 years life experience on you, is they cheer when the “retarded” youngin’ ‘Sid’ gets punched in the face; real color.

Little Women (1994) Gillian Anderson

I spent the weekend at my fathers house and let me tell you, movies look so much better on a 55-inch screen. Men and their TVs, I’m starting to think there’s something to it!

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Here’s a great piece of trivia, apparently Christina Ricci auditioned for the role of young Amy but it was given to Kristen Dunst instead, a decision I can understand, is easy to believe that a young Dunst would be more conventional beautiful than a young Ricci would once Amy finally marries Laurie.

And now for my favorite quote which is delivered by Susan Sarandon in the role as the mother ‘Mrs. March’ or ‘Marmee’.

If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find
yourself believing that’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish
is the wonderful workings of your mind: Your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage.
These are the things I cherish so in you. I so wish I could give my girls a more just world.
But I know you’ll make it a better place.