Brotherly Love

Jim Sheridan, Tobey Maquire, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal; that should be enough reasons to go and watch it. Or rent it.

Here’s another great little film. They’re all great actors in their limited ways and especially Tobey Maquire delivers. He is absolute amazing and his transformation during the film is really quite shocking. I’d say it’s his best performance since The Ice Storm or Deconstructing Harry, or perhaps ever.  Sam Shepard is in it too by the way.

Maybe this film doesn’t offer much new, but the way it’s told, it’s not exactly your average senseless entertainment. There’s definitely more to it than that. Considering the structure of the film, it works surprisingly well. Great drama. Even a few funny bits like every films should. But it’s still not quite the same as Trading Places.

Post Apocalyptic Season: On the road again

John Hillcoat may not have directed a lot of films, but The Road is definitely one to remember him by. Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Charlize Theron star in this stunning interpretation of Cormac McCarthy‘s book. Robert Duvall also has a small role, I should mention that since he is somewhat known actor.

Now this film is not a film set in post apocalyptic hell, telling a story about something else that could be set in any other place, like usually is the case. This film is set in this type of hell for a reason. Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee are the stars here and they do a great job with their performances. They are both amazing and the story is heartwarming and heartbreaking and powerful, although pretty slow paced and again there’s not that much happening really, it’s more about what’s going on in the characters’ heads.

There’s the usual post apocalyptic stuff too, but it all holds together quite well. Somehow the good characters of Post Apocalyptic films are always on they way somewhere whereas the baddies are happy where they are.

There’s been some discussion about the ending and comparing it to the novel, but I haven’t read the book and would like to think that the film makers have a right to add their own interpretations and offer their own options to the viewers as well, regardless if it’s something or other explicitly or implicitly in the original novel.

Post Apocalyptic Season: Mad Max the Book Worm

Surely Denzel Washington is one of those actors who don’t end up in bad films? Well he is absolutely great actor, but you must admit Denzel Washington is a very busy actor and nobody can pick the winner all the time. Although even in  a bad film he’s still the best thing about it. And I thought American Ganster is beautiful, amazing really. But there’s a couple of films nobody ever seems to remember. And for a reason.

I have a feeling The Book of Eli will become one of those for Denzel Washington. What’s the Book of Eli and what’s it for, where is it going? Can anyone guess?

It’s a shame really as the Hughes Brothers have done a couple of decent films in the past. The film has it’s moments, the fight scenes are fairly graphic, but that’s about it. Denzel’s character isn’t very interesting, Gary Oldman doesn’t seem all that interested. Gary Oldman is Gary Oldman, he’s just doing what he does best, which isn’t bad, but it’s not really memorable as such, not the way his Dracula or act in Leon was. Mila Kunis is cute but remains in the background. The story itself is just pretty pointless. There’s a couple of funny moments, but really, compared to Mel Gibson, Denzel isn’t really that funny. Nor is he trying to be. It’s very dry. But then again, it’s mostly taking place in the middle of the desert.

Post Apocalyptic Season: Woody the Zombie Killer

I tell you, it’s no winter wonderland, it’s Zombieland. In Zombieland there’s no snow, no Santa Claus, but nonetheless a clown or two. Or three, if you count Jesse Eisenberg.

Now don’t get me wrong, Zombieland isn’t all that bad. It’s actually quite funny, if not even a little bit clever. And have you seen a bad film with both Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray in it. Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray? Ok, so they’ve both made quite a few films. And Bill Murray mostly good ones. Well, Kingpin? Anyone?

It’s not Dawn of the Dead, it’s closer to Shaun of the Dead. There’s this weird adult comedy genre where you can splatter the blood and gore all over the place and swear all you want, but the content is still more or less the stuff an average teenager would find tacky and childish. It’s just missing sex really. But I can think of a couple of reasons for that. Cute girls though.

So maybe I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg or the type of films he does. And maybe nobody’s ever heard of Ruben Fleischer, the director, and maybe there’s really not so much going on in this film (that couldn’t have been shown in 30 minutes or less), but it’s still ok when you’re in need of brainless popcorn filled entertainment. There’s obviously lots of brainless activity in this film.That’s zombieland, that’s why it’s called Zombieland.

And it is, as it should, quite different from the other post apocalyptic season films here. It’s the dessert. Let’s try some starters next with Denzel and The Book of Eli, followed by main course, The Road. I’m not sure this will stay three course meal.

I just really don’t understand who likes these nerd/geek type of films. Can anyone please tell me?

There will be no blood

Absolutely amazing cast, what could possibly go wrong? My high expectations of Nine were crushed.

If you consider this an original piece of art, there’s quite a few things to point out, but I think we’ll have to stop there. If something has been done well, should it not be left alone? One of the writers (it’s a joke really that there should be several writers behind this film), Anthony Minghella, is working on The Lives of Other, which is most likely a remake of a very very good German film by the same name. Can’t you just leave the good films alone. Can’t you come up with your own good ideas? Or at least combine ‘your’ good ideas from several other films, like Quentin Tarantino does. I’m still not convinced musical is a genre that’s actually working. There aren’t many good examples of popular musical films in the last ten to fifteen years or so. Daniel Day Lewis and his bad Italian accent don’t exactly inspire me, Judi Dench has done better, Fergie should stick to what she knows best. Nicole Kidman at least appears to have realised what’s best for her, so we don’t get to see her for more then a minute or so. Penelope Cruz is the only bright star shining here, her performance is as good as it can be. But no one can save Nine. But I can tell you the film is very ironic. Which kind of makes it funny. But not funny enough to actually enjoy it.

The American Dream, by Jim Sheridan

Now this is not a new film – every now and then I find a film I shouldn’t have missed when it first came out.

I recently watched Brothers, which reminded me that there’s a very good director called Jim Sheridan, and I decided to check what films by him I might have missed. So I came across In America, done before Sheridan’s next ‘hit’ or miss, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Very powerful and heartwarming story with two simply adorable child actresses who completely steal the show, literally, all the time. Samantha Morton plays mum, and Paddy Considine plays dad, and they are both very good too giving great performances. And Djimon Hounsou‘s character is the finishing touch.

The story is simple, but on another level very fulfilling, and clearly very personal to Sheridan himself. In America is not the latest blockbuster, but there haven’t been many better films in the last couple of years.