Movie of the Day – Big Fish

Tim Burton is a director that I seem to be torn between liking and hating his work.  I think he is currently stuck in this MOMA exhibit of a career where he just takes old properties and adds a veneer of Gothic, Hot Topic look and makes Johnny Depp dress up in weird clothes and acts frilly.  He does the same thing again and again, which gets tiring to watch as he can make amazing movies without having to resort to the old stable of characters, thematic elements, familiar score and overly gothic imagery.

Today’s film proves that he can evolve and present us something amazing and unique, while still retaining what makes him the director that we are familiar with.  Big Fish is a film that manages to take all the familiar tones of a Burton film, but present in a way that blends all those elements together to tell a beautiful narrative with a Southern, Gothic fantasy twist that lends well to his talents.

Read more of this post

Movie of the Day – Haywire

I really hope that Gina Carano becomes the new face of female action.  Don’t get me wrong in that there are plenty of strong female leads in action/adventure films, but there is something jarring about watching a 110 lb female like say Angelina Jolie in Salt, one punch knocking out NFL linebackers.  There isn’t anything believable about that and she just does seem like her character to do damage with those waffish arms.  But Carano, an MMA fighter a body that looks like it’s built Ford tough, that I can believe in.  So continuing his tradition of casting non-traditional actors and actresses in high profile Hollywood film, Steven Soderbergh gives us the action heroine that we deserve when watching a woman dismantle guys her size without breaking a nail, and looking damn fine if I must say so.

Read more of this post

Movie of the Day – Stay

With a 26% rating on RottenTomatoes.com, Stay is really an enigma of a film.  On the outset, I should be hating a film that is flat on the story even when it tries and fails spectacularly to be deep and mind bending.  I should know better not to get tripped up in a film that relies on its laurels of visuals and trippy, factured narrative.  Maybe I enjoy the film for the cast of incredible talent and Mr. Baby Goose himself, Ryan Gosling.  The more I reflect on the film and the more I watch it, I find myself being sucked into the film itself, almost too David Lynchian in it’s appearance and structure.  Damn my love of David Lynch.

Read more of this post

Movie of the Day – Beginners

Today, I am going back to an older review I did in August about the film Beginners.  I recently got the chance to re-watch the film over the holiday break and still found myself enraptured with the beauty and story of the film.  Beginners is a film that could have went a different path in the overall story, instead focusing on the romanticism that blossoms at every stage in life.  It’s not about endings, although for some characters their end comes in a real way, but rather about the beginning of something new, something that we all experience.  It’s love, at the most base perhaps, that propels the story about three people, all tied to together from each others beginning, middle and end of their lives.  Christopher Plummer plays a newly free gay man, one that wasn’t able to fully express himself till after the death of his wife.  Feeling that he could begin the life that he always wanted, Ewan McGregor’s character must learn to understand and begin a new relationship with a father he thought he knew.  All the while his love life is at a constant stop and go, he begins to feel love, or something close to it, when Melanie Laurent comes into his life.

I am linking to my original review so that I can save myself some of the emotions and finger dexterity I will use in writing about this again.  Even seeing the film a second time I couldn’t help but feel moved by the beauty and honesty that comes from the story and acting.  It’s like watching people fall in love again for the first time, particularly from Christopher Plummer’s perspective.

I think this is one of the better romantic films to come out this year, next to Like Crazy of course, that was vastly under appreciated and not widely seen.  It’s a gorgeous movie through and through, with the soft touches that Mike Mills brings to the cinematography and framing, this is a pretty picture with pretty actors.

This is, at its heart, a movie about starting over.  Not just about falling in love, although it does make you want to go home to your loved one and hug them, but it’s about understanding life and the little nuances that make up your life.  Oliver was a lost soul, even more confused than most since his dad admitted he was gay the whole time him and his wife were married.  It resets your life in a way that you have to learn about someone you grew up with and raised you, all over again.  But while we have to begin a new relationship with someone who we thought we knew, we start a new with someone we want to know more about.  Anna and Oliver start their relationship essentially psychoanalyzing one another and embark on a whimsical relationship that has each character discovering love and themselves over the course of their time together….more