With my 4th move in as many years, and all of the issues it brings (setting up internet, cable, utilities, etc); my mom’s visit to Chicago; a house warming and other birthday and good bye parties; I simply could not find time to update The Blog of Big Ideas in July.
With all of that behind me, I now give you my first full film review of the month: Only God Forgives
Continue reading Hiatus’ over. A review of the film “Only God Forgives” (2013)
Genre: Drama/ Comedy/ Thriller
Cast: Jamie Foxx (Django), Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz), Leonardo DiCaprio (Calvin Candie), Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen), Kerry Washington (Broomhilda)
Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino
It usually takes less than 30 seconds to be able to tell if you’re watching a Quentin Tarantino film. In Django Unchained, the director of modern classics like Pulp Fiction opens the story as he usually does: with a hell of a lot of confidence; the kind that drives him to splash the screen with huge blood red letters that go through the main credits as the soundtrack quickly asserts itself to the sound of the title song Django! (by L. Bacalov and R. Roberts). The tone is confident and the film declares its arrival without a second to spare. My appreciation of Tarantino has always been rooted in his attention to detail, where even something as seemingly trivial as the credits can become part of the narrative.
Continue reading Film Review: Django Unchained (2012)
Genre: Drama, Horror
Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller
Director: Lynn Ramsay
There is something wrong with Kevin, the director knows it, the camera knows it and we are certain of it. Eva, his mother, played by a glum Tilda Swinton, feels that there is something wrong but she can’t quite pinpoint it or act upon it. From the moment she was pregnant, she was not at ease, perhaps even saddened at the fact that her carefree lifestyle of travels had been suddenly replaced by a growing fetus inside her uterus. Franklin, her husband, played by an aloof John C. Reilly, could not be happier about the birth of their first child, unaware of his wife’s discomfort.
During the first years of child rearing, even before he can speak fluently, Kevin seems rebellious and distant towards Eva, almost looking at her with a mixture of anger and disdain. Maybe he can feel her mother’s hesitation during pregnancy? As Kevin grows older, he seems to begin to grow ever more distant, defiant and hurtful, seemingly preferring the company of his father, the ever-loving and increasingly permissive Franklin.
Continue reading Film Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Jean Reno (Leon), Natalie Portman (Mathilda), Gary Oldman (Stansfield)
Before emotionally troubled hitmen were popularized once again by characters like Jason Bourne, director Luc Besson brought “Leon: The Professional” to the big screen. Played by the effortlessly cool and capable Jean Reno, the film has amassed a cult following ever since it was released in 1994, helping to cement its position close to the top of the IMDB Top 250 list.
Jean Reno plays Leon, a rather unremarkable middle aged hitman who has grown to become the ultimate expression of strategic and methodical violence. He works for a single client, local mob boss Tony (Danny Aiello), who has taken him under his wing ever since he landed as an illiterate immigrant in the New York harbor. Continue reading IMDB Top 250: Leon: The Professional
Director: Anton Corbijn
Cast: George Clooney (Jack / Edward), Violante Placido (Clara)
In “The American” George Clooney plays his least likable character yet: a hitman named Edward (or Jack) who is trying to “get out” of the business. The film, directed by Anton Corbijn, begins with an unshaven and shirtless Edward sitting next to a comfortably naked woman he has grown fond of. Not long after, the idyllic retreat they both share becomes a nightmarish frozen forest where Clooney is being followed by men who are trying to kill him.
As he aptly disposes of the threat, Clooney’s eyes fill with fear and sadness, showing that he plays a man who kills because he feels he has to and not because he can. While he remains calm and his hand is steady, there’s an uneasiness in his spirit that is at the center of what the film is about.
Continue reading Film Review: The American (2010)
Director: Evan Glodell
Cast: Evan Glodell (Woodrow), Jessie Wiseman (Milly), Tyler Dawson (Aiden), Rebekah Brandes (Courtney)
Bellflower is a modest, art-house wild ride of a film that is written and directed by Evan Glodell, who also brings his talent to the fore leading a group of compelling actors that inhabit a world awash in sunlight, where only certain colors, like blood red, pop out of the screen.
Glodell plays Woodrow, a seemingly unemployed handyman who plans to build a flamethrower and other weapons of mass destruction in the best Mad Max fashion, alongside his equally resourceful best friend Aiden. (Tyler Dawson). Together they pal around, drinking, bar hopping, always looking for the next girl as they await the moment in which their projects come to fruition. While Aiden is a free-spirit, Woodrow just goes with the flow, open to finding the sort of companionship his loneliness craves for.
Continue reading Film review: Bellflower (2011)