Deadpool - 8 / 10
You saw a bullet create a hole in my other hole so you thought my movie is worth watching, right ?
Oh wait, you may be wondering why the Deadpool narrative review, but that's because I like it and it sounds fancy!
How do I usually start a review with? The storyline, right ? Well my movie doesn't have a great story to deal with. Like those other Marvel films, yes I’m talking about the Wolverine movies, I hunt the ones who gave me super powers and get back my girl.
But stop! I got a better love story here and my audience won't get to feel the “love” completely.
Now, I'll be honest, the plot is a pretty straight-forward revenge story. It's very simple and easy to follow. It doesn't do anything new in that department as it is an origin story as you needed to know how I was born, right ? You would think jumping from place to place, flashback to flashback would confuse you and many other people, but it doesn't because I’m hilarious dammit and Ryan made sure of this.
Sure, I know that you all saw my Red Band Trailer (several times, mostly for the blood and music) so you might have got an idea of what kind of “superhero” I am. Since my creators and publishers have allowed me to break the fourth wall in my great movie, and even regenerate my body parts, you could say I’m a bit rambunctious. And I truly am. You can’t imagine what it means to completely regenerate my whole body! Sorry my mind wondered. Back to my movie, I know that you just want to see blood spurt in slow motion and my sharp blades eviscerating everything and everyone, so don’t worry, Tim Miller has packed a lot of cool stuff to keep you guys interested.
But be aware – I’m not the type of superhero who protects the city; I’m neither a watchful guardian, nor a genius, billionaire, playboy, whatever. When you step into the theaters and wait for the commercials to end, right from the opening credits (and I’ll talk more about this bellow), you stay entertained, even after the credit ends and I ask you to leave.
Storywise, before I became the violent, wise-cracking super-anti-jerk-hero named Deadpool, Wade Wilson (that’s my human name, but I’m sure you knew) was just a violent, wise-cracking neighborhood spidey tough guy for hire. And apparently I only had one friend, the big mouth bartender Weasel (TJ Miller in this case). But then I meet the hooker/waitress Vanessa (played by Morena Baccarin) and my whole world bended over. Since we both had a messy life, a big mouth (wink) and a sharp temper, we were just perfect for each other. The rest of the story you can understand from the trailer, so go watch it again.
Did I mentioned that I troll almost everyone I know in this ? Most superheroes and even that once “failed” super hero dude, Ryan Reynolds. What. A. Looser !
I guess it’s time to enter performance side of the review. So this Reynolds dude is the show stealer of my movie. He’s “like super hot” and has a great voice and I approve his brilliant portrayal of me – I really hope you guys are reading this in his voice! Or at least trying. Without him narrating, my movie wouldn't have been so awesome and I’m pretty sure that this role will patch his career from now on.
The other guys don’t really matter but some of them did a really good job. Morenna Baccarin looked pretty hot and aside some sexy scenes and puns, she was a really good damsel in distress. Oh, and Ed Skrein was pretty awesome when he had a blade sticking out of his left shoulder.
TJ Miller had a couple of juicy extra scenes (that will be seen on the extra DVD) and you can also see some of the funny one in all the trailers, combined.
So, earlier I mentioned the opening credits. Well they were fucking awesome, right ? And since I like hearing myself speak (in this case, hearing myself write…) in this opening scene we see a single moment frozen in time – the inside and outside of an SUV as it flips over on a busy highway. In slow motion, off course. Because how fun it is to have a slow motion moment in a frozen scene, right ? So, in this slow motion, the camera travels through the vehicle, focusing on the precarious and humorous positions of several bad (and stupid) guys who have gone all over the place because of the crash.
As we travelling through this continuously bizarre montage, the only thing we hear is 1981 hit song of Juice Newton, “Angel of the Morning” and on this awesome rollercoaster ride, we also see the movie’s opening credits with awesome references to the actors and other people, with phrases like “Starring God's Perfect Idiot”, “A Hot Chick”, “A British Villain”, “A CGI Character” and even “Produced by Asshats” or “Directed by an Overpaid Tool”. And that’s fucking hilarious and unique, right ? Right ?
Basically, all the action sequences are glorious, engaging and entertaining and they appeal both visually and violently.
The CGI effects are sturdy, my eyes and expressions included, and the action sequences are, as I said before, pretty fucking awesome. Small in scale (because of their budget, as the pricks from 20th century fox did not believe in me) but nevertheless, very fun.
And the OST was hand picked by yours truly. Just awesome energy pumping music. I saw in the theater how crazy you went when I walked in slow motion on “X Gon Give it to Ya”. Basically, the whole sound editing was technically brilliant. Oh, and how about Shoop from the Salt-N-Pepa ? Awesome, right ? I know you left the theater singing this old tune.
You guys are still reading this ? Ah, you’re waiting for the end piece, right ? Hmm, if you really wanna see a different kinda superhero, I mean, super awesome dude in red suit, splicing bad guys, go get your tickets, don’t just wait for the torrent version. It’s the only way you will enjoy this super awesome movie, next to random people. And get lots of laugh out of it.
Go ! Go !
22 Jump Street - 7.5 / 10
"Someone get the man some water. He's black, he's been through a lot!" - Schmidt
When “21 Jump Street” hit theaters in 2012, not many expected it to leave such a mark in the comedy side of last 3-5 years. With recent action-comedy adaptations like “Get Smart” and “The A-Team” receiving mixed critical reviews, it stood to reason that “21 Jump Street” might follow in the same footsteps.
Let's be honest; was any of us really prepared for how absolutely hysterical "21 Jump Street" was? I know I wasn't. So, since I laughed my face off (and paid millions of dollars in surgery to have a new face put in, that I regret wasn't Nicolas Cage's face - yes, this is a “Face/Off” reference/joke, get over it), i said that this new one it's a must see.
However, directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord managed to craft a potent comedy, creating a film that earned some of the best reviews of the year. Anchored by the all-star duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the film would go on to earn over $200 million at the domestic box office alone. It was only a matter of time until the executives at Columbia and MGM decided to turn this fluke into a franchise, calling on a sequel for the box office smash.
Like I was saying, I was very surprised when I saw “21 Jump Street” as I didn't have very high hopes for it. It was hilarious, had very likable characters and a good plot. Since I enjoyed it so much, I was extremely happy to hear there was a sequel coming. Since Miller and Lord did an excellent job with the first film and “The Lego Movie”, I had very high hopes for this film, but what I got was a plot that was too similar to the first and the same jokes repeated over and over again.
This film constantly acknowledges the fact that it's a sequel to a movie that was kind of an unexpected success, and it uses that to essentially make the same film again. But that's the joke.
With a premise surrounding the reoccurring, self-aware joke, "do the same thing as last time and people will be happy", "22 Jump Street" takes the attractive yet dumb cop (Channing Tatum) and comically weird looking but smart cop (Jonah Hill) and moves them from 21 Jump St. across the street to 22 Jump St.; a new building which is acknowledged (in a very tongue-in-cheek manner) as having a much more expensive look for absolutely no reason.
First off it's very predictable, and the character development is taken directly from the first Jump Street. As much as I thought I knew what was coming, most of the funny scenes were not spoiled by trailers. Which is definitely refreshing to hear about a comedy, especially in these days.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have really good chemistry here. Both are very funny and the film is quite aware of their chemistry. There's a gag throughout the whole film that is essentially a bromance that treats their relationship as police officers and partners as a real relationship.
There's scenes that you would see in a romance film but are played for laughs because they are between Tatum and Hill. These work well because of the chemistry and it's quite funny. It's funny to me because I would have never though that a G.I. Joe and that kid from "Superbad" would one day be hilarious as hell together in an action- comedy, yet here we are. They bounce off each other really well, and I'm certain there's plenty of times where their lines are improv and it's completely seamless. They're great together and I hope they do another series or something after the Jump Street movies because they are so brilliant as a duo. It's quite hard to imagine better casting for the roles of Jenko and Schmidt. Tatum and Hill appear to have been working together for decades, honing an act to impeccable heights, so good is their banter.
As mentioned before, the movie is quite self aware about how it's just a rehash of the first movie, and they make it work. Also an end credits sequence essentially seals the deal with this whole running joke.
Between the two however, it's likely that you'll fall in love with Tatum, who has never been more puppy-dog lovable - and as an excellent case in point, his blissful thickness can't quite get more amusing than his delivery of a line about Cate Blanchett or 'carte blanche' in actual fact.
The surprising humorous twist was the additional screen time Ice Cube's character, captain Dickson got in the sequel.
Now Ice Cube was one of the biggest surprises to me in this film because I have never like him as an actor. He played up the angry black captain stereotype in the first film and it did all right for him. But what I realize now is that I didn't care because he just started off angry and never had motive. In this film they give him reason to be the angry black captain and that pushes into hilarity. Now I love his character and would watch a whole movie with him. It's just a good example how character development does add to an audience's enjoyment with a film.
Why, after what I said above, I didn’t give a bigger score ? Because somewhere at the end, the movie just gets painful to watch in some scenes, because of the script and the surreal things they do. I know that this is still a “remake” of a 70’s show, but some scenes are downright silly.
The last thing I think I can say is that the action in this movie is bigger than the last one, and overall better. There are more jokes while the fights are happening and it's all actual realistic conversations I've imagined real people would have if they got into that sort of fight, for example. There's one which makes fun of a really old cliché really well and it was one of the funniest scenes of the whole movie, that's all I'm going to say.
So in the end, was "22 Jump Street" enjoyable? Yes. Was it better than the first? No. Was it a rehash? Definitely! But it did redeem itself a little bit by acknowledging that fact.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - 7.5 / 10
Her (2013) - 9 / 10
"Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt." - Theodore Twombly
Can we love a machine? Other films and novels have tackled this, generally accepting that if a machine takes on human form it could be quite possible. With "Her" we go a step further - no physical form whatsoever, just a disembodied voice with a near-infinite intelligence. Is such a thing capable of loving or being loved? This film suggests yes, and makes a strong argument for that.
There is a distinctive sad tone to the film and many other reviewers call the film "hauntingly melancholy" and I like that description because it’s so true. It’s been a long time since I saw a movie that felt so heavy in a lot of ways. And this is weird, since this is a movie about a man and a computer sharing a romantic relationship and I'm feeling their emotions.
What is so wonderful about “Her” is the world that Spike Jonze creates. Is that this is a world exactly like ours. The key for me is how casually his characters use their tech. People walk around with tech sticking out of their ears, talking to themselves, and going about their business completely oblivious to what's happening around them. We have, "interactions," and, "connections," with other people through our devices. We walk past strangers who are using the same tech and having the same experience. We rely so much on these devices to go through day to day living.
The future that this movie portraits is a world that reminiscence the basic stuff, such as handwritten letters, as if they are timelessly special, while the innovations have become just ordinary, assuming that the rarity of the quality to everyday life is what makes one thing valuable.
Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore Twombly, a man separated from his wife who spends most of his time working, checking emails, playing video games, and talking to his computer. But like I said before, he is not the only person partaking in this ritual. The majority of the characters and extras in the film are talking to their ear pieces and interacting with their computers, or OS (operating system). Things change when OS-1 comes out, introducing the world's first artificially intelligent OS. Shortly thereafter we are introduced to Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johnansson). This first encounter will forever change Theodore's life.
Instead of talking to “Siri” about a new email, listening to music, or taking a picture, Theodore shares all of these rituals with Samantha. So he's not just listening to music. He's listening to a song Samantha picked out (or composed) just for him. He's not just taking a picture of a sunset. Instead he and Samantha can experience it. They converse about what they're doing instead of just contemplating about meaninglessly.
By giving the tech a personality and the ability to think, it makes the experience of being alone not so lonely. Theodore and Samantha overcome many obstacles in their relationship, the first being that Samantha isn't just an OS. Samantha is, well, Samantha. A free thinking, super intrusive mind that has desires and needs and can be happy and afraid all at once. It's brilliant how the outside world views their relationship. In short, it's perfectly okay to have this relationship.
The film's message is quite clear: love can happen anywhere, to anyone, and even to anything. It is depicted as sweet, until it slowly stumbles and finally realizes that there is no better relationship than the concrete interaction to people.
Scarelett's performance was absolutely incredible. She brings vibrancy, energy, and of course, great sex appeal as the voice of Theodore's sexy OS. When I come to think of it, I can't actually think who else could have voiced such a character. Instantly recognizable, Samantha transports us to a world that you could only dream of. Her presence is in her voice! That's the whole point of her portrayal. And, boy, you sure know it as you get drawn in by the calm comfort and sexuality of her tone. What I would have liked to see was Johansson actually physically appear on screen as the surrogate Samantha hires to act as her body for sex. But, hey, I imagine the whole point of "Her" was the appreciation of somebody through some outer body experience - the complexity and unbelievable mass communications system that we can only hope to see in years to come.
Of course, though, Phoenix's lead was something brilliant, in the writing and performance. What he does with the character is quite incredible, as we see this man who has been through a lot; divorce, loneliness, etc, but is still quite naive. He still doesn't understand certain things, and sometimes sees things and situations in a child-like way. This was beautiful, as again is shows you what people can be like when in love.
This near tangible relationship with a non tangible being is, at first glance, odd. There is a scene where Theodore can't find Samantha. His connection to the server isn't going through. He frantically searches for connectivity, like a parent looking for a lost child at Disneyland. We don't look at this as crazy. We can sympathize because we do the same thing, like when we search for free wi-fi or that elusive 3G bar we desperately need for a phone call. Heaven help us if for one minute we can't receive an update or check our email, for the alternative is...alone time...
When Theodore can't connect to the server, he is left alone, and the thought of being alone scares the hell out of him.
The music is something I can't flaw. This soundtrack is just so perfect and works incredibly with the film. It's almost as if it's a mirror to the emotions you feel. There's a wonderful scene where you literally see nothing, but it's acted so well and intertwined with the music so brilliantly that it's as if you’re seeing everything, and not just a blank screen. Even though there was a slight over use of sequences of Twombly mopeing around the city, the music mixed with it so well that it was more of a feeling that another sequence.
It may seem all absurd, but if you think about it, it really is not, the way we are already all bound to our gadgets in one way or the other. As it is now, actual personal human interaction is already being compromised by our dependence on technology. This film will make you reflect and reconsider your own attachments to technology and people around you who love you.
In the end, the message is simple, no matter how much technology evolves to make our lives easier, it can never be a satisfying substitute for human interaction and intimacy, but despite the message being unoriginal, it is conveyed in the most creatively honest way.
12 Years a Slave (2013) - 9.5 / 10
"Sin, there is no sin. I can do as I wish with my property” - Edwin Epps
Based on the true story of Solomon Northup, we follow the man from the time he is kidnapped and forced into slavery until his life changes again. Based on the book with the same name, written by Northup himself, it's clear where the film eventually goes. No doubt this film will get much comparison to Tarantino's Django, which also dared to show slavery in a gloves off kind of way, but this is a film that deals with slavery in a much less entertaining or satisfactory fashion. Rather, the film is brutal and does not shy away from being ugly and emotionally charged.
In my opinion, this movie is more similar to “The Girl Next Door” Both movies were absolutely horrible to watch, but left me thinking deep questions about society, and my part in it. Sadism sells, you only have to look at the “Saw” movies to see this. To use violence in cinema effectively requires a great skill for not only the actors but the plot, the characters and direction, all have to remain very focused. Each slave in this film has their character developed so when they are objectified the viewer knows the slaves emotions, thoughts and their humanity.
McQueen uses a special technique, by framing his actors' faces in extreme close-up, the eyes staring into despair, the nostrils flaming up in aggression. Naked flesh are shown not because of erotic content, but rather because of desperation and meaningless. Long takes and wide shots are not uncommon in his films, and here they display an excessive amount of fantastic scenes and performances that work to discomfort the viewer as much as possible. This is an extremely uncomfortable film to watch.
The camera gets up close as the audience watches the blood and flesh torn from the backs of people tied to whipping posts. There are moment-by-moment reminders to the slaves that they have no rights.
The many ways in which slavery dehumanizes people are shown here: a mother is torn from her children as the family is sold to different owners; a husband will never see his family again; educated blacks must hide their literacy from the owners; horrid working conditions; any form of defiance is met with strokes from the lash; every human comfort, every expression of human decency is denied to the slave for a lifetime and most important, every form of cruelty directed at the slave is acceptable because they are seen as property, not as fellow humans.
Acting was superb! I don’t know what other director could have picked a better cast. By the end of the film, I know that people will be in tears at the resolution and the emotion that emanate. A man's most prized possession is his freedom. Rob any man of that injustice, and soon his hope, spirit, and soul will follow. But Solomon was a man who did not, and would not give his soul, and his spirit fall into despair and hopelessness.
As Northup, Chiwetel Ejiofor is excellent. He handles the character with a great deal of emotional layer and considering the brutal and realistic nature of the film, it's hard to imagine many who could take on such a brave role. But even beyond this being just another film about slavery, McQueen goes the extra length to depict the film in such a fashion that we are almost forced to feel something.
There's a scene about halfway through in which Northup is left roped up with only his tiptoes to keep him from hanging. During this scene, McQueen carries the image in a single shot for several minutes, what seems to stretch into an eternity, during which everything around Northup goes as if nothing happens. Slaves go about their day, while the slave drivers don't budge an inch to help. As Ejiofor is obviously not choking here in real life, it is to his credit that we are convinced he is suffering for such an extended period of time. And the rest of the performance carries on with the same professionalism.
Appearances from Benedict Cumberdatch, Quvenzhale Wallis, Paul Dano (with his haunting acapella song - “Run nigger run, run so fast / Stoved his head in a hornets nest / Run nigger run well the pattyroller'll get you / Run nigger run well you better get away.”) and Paul Giamitti are all very welcome. Brad Pitt also appears towards the end in a role which completely turns the film around. Although his appearance is minor, his character renews our faith in the world and brings a sense of happiness that seems to be completely lost. All of the performances are Outstanding. Making her cinematic debut, Lupito Nyong'o as the object of Epps' attention, Patsey, gives a performance beyond that of many season stars.
For me, Fassbender stole the show. There’s one particular scene near the end of the movie that simply won him the award in my opinion. It was when his prized slave, Patsey (played by Nupita Lyong'o), went missing and suddenly came back from her Sunday stroll down the road. That whole 10 minute clip, all filmed in one take, was stunning.
The score by Hans Zimmer deserves a special mention for perfectly complimenting the visuals and cinematography and also enhance the effect that this film has.
Regardless, while the film may be disturbing and difficult to sit through, it is simply brilliant all the way through, and by far the most honest depiction of slavery that I've ever seen.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - 8 / 10
“Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I've been a poor man, and I've been a rich man. And I choose rich every fucking time.” - Jordan Belfort
I'll just start by saying that I’m not a fan of Scorsese’s work. I really enjoyed a couple of his movies, but I never liked his style in particular and I’m not chasing after or prioritizing his movies.
The Wolf of Wall Street is too much of everything: sex, drugs, profanity, laughs, dialogue, narration.
From the opening shot of DiCaprio snorting cocaine from between a prostitute's open legs, this is 3 hours of absolute depravity. And it's hilarious.
This was the fifth collaboration between much lauded director Martin Scorsese and, until now, Oscar looser Leonardo DiCaprio. Looking at the other 4 movies - Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), The Departed (2006) and Shutter Island (2010) - The Wolf of Wall Street signals the moment the two finally took the step over the edge.
The film somewhat comes close to Scorsese's older film, Goodfellas: a man who love affairs, with a job that betrays both of his marriage and any moral standards, however the guy lacks the sympathy which defines the character's humanity. The main character's human figure here has all the negative sides. Compare him to the other goodfella, his motivations and attempts are much insignificant, because of course, he has it all.
The combination of Scorsese's narrative and Leonardo DiCaprio's performance creates a profound feeling of hatred towards Belfort. Despite having this ability of character development and appeal to the audience, the film severely lacks in describing exactly what crimes Belfort actually committed on Wall Street. The lack of factual details behind the true story is instead taken up by screen time consisting of Belfort's drug use and addiction to sex.
DiCaprio plays the perfect antihero: Belfort is a liar, he cheats on his wife, he steals money from people, he is constantly drugged out of his mind and so on. Still, it's very difficult to hate him, and I think most people actually envy him: who wouldn't want to have so much money, so that you can throw $100 bills in the trash without blinking? DiCaprio's performance is wonderful, and I hope he'll finally win the Oscar he deserves.
Also nominated for Oscar (again, after Moneyball) is Jonah Hill, playing Belfort's neurotic business partner, Donnie Azoff. It was recently revealed that Hill accepted without even thinking, the minimum pay of $60,000 for this role, simply because he was desperate to work with Scorsese, one of his heroes. This enthusiasm is immediately visible as he takes the role like a starved cat to food. His chemistry with DiCaprio is effortless and unforced, creating a warm, humorous and believable relationship upon which the movie basically survives.
Hill gave the performance of his acting career, the character had deeper roots than his normal characters and it allows you to see a different side of his acting.
It's hard to believe that Jonah Hill is that same actor that played the goofy kid in “Superbad” way back in 2007. It's the best performance of his I think I've seen (maybe even better than in Moneyball). For those 3 hours he genuinely was Donny Azoff, and played the role perfectly.
The beautiful Margot Robbie plays Jordan's second wife, Naomi. Robbie is great in her role, seducing and sexual yet trustworthy, Naomi is not just the eye candy in the movie and it’s quite easy for such a sexually based character to be objectified in films, whereas Robbie triggers real emotion of sympathy from the audience towards the end of the movie in various Jordan related scenes.
Also notable strong performance from Rob Reiner (his dad) and Kyle Chandler (FBI agent). And for only few scenes, Matthew McConaughey, as Belfort's mentor, Mark Hanna, steals the show in his usual way, that reminded me of his role from Magic Mike.
The only criticism I would perhaps make, and I’m really picky here, is the running time. At 3 hours, I'll admit there was a slight lapse in my concentration and I think that some dialogues could have been slightly shortened.
The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the most brutal, honest and smart films I have seen in the past 5-6 years. Done with a twisted, dark sense of humor, we see the effect money has on people, and its almost impossible to dislike any of the characters, despite them being money grubbing, cocaine sniffing, deceptive, womanizing, yet extremely ingenious and dexterous individuals.
Don Jon (2013) - 8 / 10
“There's only a few things I really care about in life. My body. My pad. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. My porn.” - Jon
So…Sex? Hard to talk about. Masturbation? Hmm, harder to talk about. Masturbation + Pornography? Dear Lord, now we're taboo.
Is this a great movie? No, but it is an original one and it feels like a breath of fresh air in the current Marvel Comics shoot-'em-bang-bang-explode movie thingy.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed and stars as Jon, a twenty-something man who loves women but not as much as watching porn.
The former child star has turned into quite the up-and-coming young actor as he's worked on rebranding himself as something more than that kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun and 10 things I hate about you. Over the years, he's starred in such films as The Dark Knight Rises, 50/50 or Looper, and proved to us that he’s the type of actor that can play a comedy or a drama with such ease. However, his most impressive performance to date might just be the one he gave in front and behind the camera with Don Jon.
Don Jon touches on that extremely embarrassing fact that every guy is terrified that his most deep secret will come out. What secret is that? Well, it's probably best hearing from the protagonist, Jon, himself: "Every guy looks at porn, every day.”
This movie shows us a real problem, the process of porn turning our heads, making us believe in perfection and making us selfish as lovers. You watch porn and think that you don't have to please a woman, you don't have to worry about anyone but yourself. In the real world, in relationships, the other person matters just as much as you, but sometimes, even the real thing is not as good as the fantasy and the ease of it.
Don Jon is about that confusion of liking and appreciating porn more than real women, of becoming addicted to the idea of “perfection" and ultimately making us aware of the effect it has on all us men, making us irritated little boys, incapable of truly connecting with another person.
The message is not that porn is bad, only the way we think and use it is misleading to reality.
I think that this is the first movie I've seen which accurately depicts 21st century man's relationship with pornography as a simple fact of life, without judgement. Usually in a Hollywood film the guy watching porn is seen as some kind of creep, but here, as Jon himself says, “every guy watches porn, and if he says he doesn't he's a liar”.
What really impressed me about Don Jon, though, are the performances that Levitt pulls out of his colleagues/actors. I've honestly never seen Scarlett Johansson give a better performance than she did as Jon's trashy New Jersey girlfriend, Barbara, maybe even better than her ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona” role. She's absolutely despicable as she slowly begin to reveal her true intentions and tries to paint Jon as the bad guy when she discovers his addiction. She’s addicted to sugary fantasies of male sacrifice, waiting for her prince on the white horse to come and swipe her of her feet. "He gave up EVERYTHING for her," she comments as they come out of her latest chick flick 'Special Someone'. "It was MEANT to be!” she said, daydreaming.
On top of that, Tony Danza gives a extremely amusing and ridiculous performance as Jon's impulsive father who gets into dick-measuring (figurative :P) contest with his son every Sunday at family lunch.
Julianne Moore is fantastic in the role of Esther, playing a much larger role than I had originally expected, and did a great job helping Jon grow as a person. And yes, she’s still hot, even though she’s 53 years old.
However, the most impressive of them all is Levitt himself, who has repeatedly proved that he is one hell of an actor and one who has earned my trust as a moviegoer. The role is something so far from what I would have ever pictured him portraying, but he pulls it off beautifully as he plays the scumbag good-guy stereotype.
I must confess that the only 2 things that come to my mind when I think of this movie are the opening sound of his Macbook Pro, that’s his leitmotif of getting ready for “business” and his writing for Jon's weekly confessions in church, that’s just hilarious: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been one week since my last confession. Since last Sunday I had sexual relations out of wedlock two times. I also watched pornographic videos and masturbated seventeen times. For these, and all the sins in my life, I am sorry.” - Jon.
Yes, the film does have a lot of sexual humor and content in it, but it has some reason to, seeing as the film is dealing with addiction to pornography. And what may have seemed immature and like teenage humor for the first little bit of the film, soon went away and it became one of the most penetrating and intelligent films of the year.
It's the kind of film you would almost want younger teens to see in order to learn something and perhaps plan their own lives and future relationships a little more differently.
Pe 4 aprilie 1979, se nastea unul dintre cei mai talentati si carismatici actori de la Hollywood. Heath Ledger a reusit in cativa ani sa ajunga pe lista celor mai mari nume, insa actorul a devenit o legenda dupa moartea sa cutremuratoare in 2008. Astazi, Heath Ledger ar fi implinit 33 de ani, iar fanii nu vor uita niciodata rolul Jokerului din blockbusterul The Dark Knight care i-a adus si un Oscar post mortem.
La doar 28 de ani, Heath Ledger reusea sa ofere o intepretare magistrala cu un rol care avea sa scrie istorie, Jokerul din The Dark Knight. Astazi actorul ar fi implinit 33 de ani ocazie cu care, John Caglione Jr., make-up artistul de la The Dark Knight a postat pe site-ul sau personal imagini nemaivazute cu Heath Ledger de la filmarile pentru The Dark Knight.
La doar 20 de ani australianul Heath Ledger venea in Los Angeles pentru a-si incerca norocul la Hollywood, dupa ce jucase in cateva productii locale. A atras atentia publicului in comedia "10 Things I Hate About You" si a fost imediat pus pe lista celor mai doriti tineri actori.In 2000, a jucat alaturi de Mel Gibson in Patriotul, au urmat in 2001 rolurile din filme populare ca "A Knight's Tale" si "Monster's Ball", unde a jucat alaturi de Halle Berry si Billy Bob Thornton.
Anul 2005 a fost unul din cele mai prolifice din cariera sa. Dupa ce a jucat rolul lui Jacob Grimm in Fratii Grimm, alaturi de Matt Damon si Monica Bellucci si i-a dat viata celebrului Casanova in filmul cu acelasi titlu, Ledger a dat lovitura cu Brokeback Mountain, unul din cele mai controversate filme din ultimii ani. Australianul nu s-a ferit sa faca o miscare riscanta si a acceptat rolul unui cowboy homosexual.Pentru rolul din Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger a fost nominalizat la Oscar si Globurile de Aur. In 2005, a fost numit actorul anului de catre New York Critics Circle si San Franciso Critics Circle.
Dina Ossana, scenarista filmului Brokeback Mountain, isi aduce aminte ca a insistat ca Heath Ledger sa citeasca scenariul: "Am vrut neaparat ca el sa joace in acest film. Mi-a spus ca atunci cand a primit scenariul, era cu iubita sa de atunci, Naomi Watts, iar ea sarea in pat de bucurie, incurajandu-l sa accepte rolul. I-a zis ca acest rol il va rasplati intr-un mod in care nu si-a imaginat niciodata."
Producatorul filmului, James Schamus, a declarat pentru Entertaiment Weekly ca rolul din Brokeback Mountain a fost scris cu gandul la el: "Intotdeauna am stiut ca el este cel care trebuie sa joace rolul lui Ennis, era facut pentru el. Intalnirea dintre el si Ang Lee, regizorul, a fost amuzanta. Ang nu vroia decat 45 de minute pentru a se uita la el. Cand Heath a plecat de la masa, regizorul a stiut imediat ca el este omul perfect pentru acest rol."
Cunoscut pentru capacitatea sa de a se indentifica total cu personajele jucate, Heath Ledger s-a simtit la fel de singur si deprimat pe durata filmarilor ca Ennis, cel pe care-l juca in drama premiata cu 3 Oscaruri. "Ma suna si imi spunea ca se simte singur, deprimat. Cred ca nu a fost la fel de bine primit pe platou cum a fost cand filma The Brothers Grimm. Insa, nu stiu ce a facut, dar a oferit o intepretare exceptionala" si-a adus aminte regizorul Terry Gilliam, care a lucrat cu Ledger la filmul The Brothers Grimm.
Heath Ledger a fost dintotdeauna retras si inchis in el. A evitat aparitiile pe covorul rosu si in public pe cat posibil, insa dupa succesul fenomenal pe care l-a avut cu Brokeback Mountain, Ledger a fost nevoit sa apara mai des la evenimente: "Ura toate evenimentele de genul asta, interviurile prostute si declaratiile. Considera ca meseria lui este cea de actor si ca nu e nevoie de tot circul mediatic. Nu se simtea confortabil, nici macar cand a primit prima nominalizare la Oscar" isi aduc aminte colegii sai de la The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Mai mult, se pare ca faptul ca nu a obtinut Oscarul in 2006 pentru Brokeback Mountain a fost o eliberare pentru el: "S-a simtit usurat cand a vazut ca nu a primit Oscarul. Simtea ca i s-a luat o greutate de pe umeri. Credea ca daca primea Oscarul, ar fi fost nevoit si mai mult sa faca anumite compromisuri in industrie si destesta sistemul mediatic si promovarea exagerata" a spus cinesastul Nicola Pecorini, apropiat al lui Ledger.
Terry Gilliam a dezvaluit si el ce impact a avut nominalizarea la Oscar pe care a primit-o Ledger: "A fost derutant pentru el. Nu stia in ce directie sa o ia, accepta oferte, apoi renunta. Era confuz si a fost un an dificil pentru el."
Dupa acest rol, australianul a vrut sa dea lovitura, cu un rol total opus celui din Brokeback Mountain. "Agentul sau a auzit ca deja incepeam castingul pentru The Dark Knight si ne-a spus ca Heath e dornit sa incerce un rol extrem. Am fost foarte incantati de idee, dar i-am explicat de la inceput ca acest film este un blockbuster, asa ca va fi nevoit sa accepte si toate detaliile ce tin de promovare si marketing. Nu a avut deloc pauza, imediat cum a semnat, s-a apucat de treaba. A vrut sa faca un blockbuster de vara, dar in termenii sai, sa creeze un personaj sarit de pe fix si sumbru, cu care nu te-ai incurca niciodata." a povestit pentru Entertainment Weekly unul din producatorii filmului The Dark Knight.
Trei ani mai tarziu, Heath Ledger avea sa devina celebru cu adevarat, dupa ce a preluat rolul Jokerului din The Dark Knight (2008), al doilea film din seria Batman regizat de Christopher Nolan.
Rolul s-a dovedit a fi cel mai dificil din cariera sa, epuizandu-l fizic si psihic. Ledger a fost fascinat de Joker, declarand pentru New York Times: "Nu am crezut ca o sa fie atat de interesant sa joc acest personaj, dar este mult peste ce m-am asteptat. Jokerul este un psihopat, criminal in serie, un clovn schizofrenic si fara nici un fel de umanitate, insa acesta este rolul meu preferat".
Australianul le-a povestit celor de la Empire cum s-a pregatit pentru rol: "Am stat intr-o camera de hotel din Londra cam o luna, m-am inchis in ea si am creat un jurnal. Am incercat mai multe voci, pentru ca era important sa gasesc o voce si un ras caracteristic. Am mers mai mult inspre trasaturile unui psihopat." Ledger a mai dezvaluit ca regizorul Christopher Nolan i-a oferit libertatea de a crea cum isi doreste el acest personaj.
"Ii placea sa se joace cu nervii mei, dar intr-un mod placut. Mi-a zis <<Am sa dispar dupa The Dark Knight>>". Stia ca acest rol va fi marea sa lovitura, cu care o sa ii lase masca pe toti si intentiona sa fuga dupa aceea de toata atentia presei." a mai povestit Alexander, agentul lui Heath Ledger.
"In clipa in care Heath a inceput sesiunea de machiaj si si-a pus costumul, am stiut ca va fi ceva cu totul special. De la prima replica si miscare, lumea deja incepea sa vorbeasca despre o intepretare care merita sa castige Oscarul" a spus Emma Thomas, producator la The Dark Knight.
Astazi, rolul Jokerului din The Dark Knight a devenit iconic pentru cinematografia moderna, iar Heath Ledger i-a cucerit definitiv pe fani: "Cand a venit prima oara la mine machiat ca Jokerul, i-am zis ca o sa fie concediat. Mi-a zis ca e posibil, dar asta e singurul mod in care vrea sa-l joace. De obicei, marile studiouri fug de actori indrazneti si curajosi, care vor sa schimbe regulile. Dar el asta a facut mereu, a impins limitele, era in natura lui sa depaseasca orice limita" a mai spus prietenul sau apropiat, Pecorini.
Jokerul l-a fascinat complet pe Ledger, care a devenit obsedat de propriul sau personaj. "Era incantat de rolul sau. Imi spunea ca nu a crezut niciodata ca exista aceste lucruri in el, pe care le descoperea pe masura ce-l juca. Era fascinat de duritatea sa, un personaj care nu poate fi distrus, era invincibil. <<Nimeni nu-mi poate face nimic si joc alaturi de actori incredibili>> imi spunea fascinat. Jokerul putea fi batut, amenintat, torturat si tot nu se speria pentru ca era nebun. A vrut sa faca un rol in care sa se lase purtat de val. Si s-a dus pe val" a povesti Terry Gilliam.
Charles Roven, producator la The Dark Knight. si-a adus aminte de ultima sa intalnire cu Ledger: "L-am chemat in Londra sa vada primele minute din The Dark Knight, pe un ecran IMAX. I-am zis ca nu s-a vazut niciodata in postura Jokerului. Dupa ce a vazut scena jafului, a fost uluit. Mi-a cerut sa ii mai pun inca o data, era fascinat. Asta a fost ultima data cand l-am vazut".
Filmul a fost lansat la 6 luni dupa moartea sa iar Heath Ledger a fost premiat post mortem pentru rolul sau cu un Oscar si un Glob de Aur. Rolul Jokerului si viata personala agitata l-au coplesit pe australian, care era innebunit dupa fiica sa, dar pe care nu o putea vedea destul de des, mai ales dupa ce s-a separat de mama acesteia, Michelle Williams.
"Heath a fost mereu macinat de despartirea de Michelle si de faptul ca nu poate sa fie mai aproape de fiica sa, Matilda. Cred ca probleme sale cu somnul nu aveau nici o treaba cu munca, ci cu Matilda si Michelle. Sunt convins ca a facut pneumonie la sfarsitul anului 2007. I-am spus sa se duca la medic. Acesta i-a confirmat si i-a spus sa ia antibiotice si sa doarma. Insa n-a facut-o " a spus Pecorini.
Pe 22 ianuarie 2008, la doar 28 de ani, actorul australian s-a stins, dupa ce a luat o supradoza de medicamente. Moartea sa i-a lasat muti pe toti fanii sai, insa el ramane in amintirea lor drept unul dintre cei mai talentati actori ai generatiei sale si care a scris istorie cu un rol care i-a epuizat pana la moarte.
Vestea mortii sale i-a cutremurat pe toti, mai ales pe cei care l-au cunoscut si au lucrat cu el. "Eram in Vancouver si am deschis site-ul celor de la BBC si cand am vazut stirea, am crezut ca este doar o strategie de marketing a celor de la Warner Bros pentru promovarea Jokerului. Am tot sperat sa fie adevarat ce credeam, dar n-a fost. El chiar murise" isi aduce aminte Terry Gilliam despre momentul tragic al disparitiei lui Legder.
"A fost un soc total. Renuntase la fumat, la marijuana, nu consuma alcool. Era cat se poate de curat. Nu mi-a venit sa cred cum un om se poate duce intr-un singur an. Cred ca a avut inima franta si asta l-a terminat. Stiu ca suna romantic, dar este tragic. Cred ca asta l-a omorat." a spus prietenul sau apropiat Nicola Pecorini.
A doua zi dupa ce a murit, Ledger trebuia sa se intalneasca cu Steven Spielberg pentru un nou proiect, Chicago 7. "Nu a fost niciodata genul de om care sa ia pauze intre proiecte, si-a dorit imediat sa faca ceva nou. E o scena in The Dark Knight in care Jokerul ii spune lui Batman <<Suntem sortiti sa facem asta pentru totdeauna>> Acum, mi se pare atat de trista. Am fost distrus cand am citit ca era prezentat ca un actor care nu a putut sa iasa din propriul sau personaj si era torturat de cat de sumbru era. Nu e deloc adevarat." a spus Alexander.
Nicola Pecorini, unul dintre cei mai apropiati prieteni ai sai, a marturisit presei ce ganduri avea Ledger despre nominalizarea la Oscar: "Inainte sa afle daca va fi sau nu pe lista nominalizatilor la Oscar, Ledger glumea si spunea ca o sa ii faca sa planga pe ziaristi pentru a obtine un interviu. << De aceasta data, eu am sa conduc pasii de dans>>".
Nolan, regizorul filmului, a spus ca australianul a fost singura lui optiune pentru ca "era neinfricat." Acesta s-a intalnit cu Ledger dinainte sa existe un scenariu finalizat. Ledger este primul actor non-american care l-a jucat pe Joker si a facut-o intr-un stil impresionant. Multi dintre fani si o parte din presa de specialitate au numit interpretarea sa ca fiind cea mai buna reprezentare a Jokerului din filmele Batman.
50/50 (2011) – 8.5 / 10
'You could be having sex with hookers whilst skydiving, and your last wish is to drive a car?' - Kyle
50/50 este pe jumate morbid si pe jumatate plin de umor; este pe jumatate serios si pe jumatate linistitor; este pe jumatate “bromance” si jumatate comedie romantica. Intr-adevar, 50/50 este, dupa cum spune si titlul, un film din doua jumatati.
Comparatia dintre 50/50 si Funny People (2009) este inevitabila. Dar din fericire, in afara de personajul principal, care este diagnosticat cu o boala terminala, este un film complet diferit.
Iti dai seama ca este o comedie neagra atunci cand exista o gluma cu moartea lui Patrick Swayze in primele 20 de minute. Cu toate acestea, filmul este foarte amuzant, dar totusi reuseste sa mentina o balanta perfecta intre comedie si drama.
Momentele amuzante sunt foarte amuzante, dar cele dramatice reusesc sa le intreaca. Este genial mai ales atunci cand ai scene care le contin pe ambele – ca aceea in care Kyle o expune pe Rachael.
Joseph Gordon Levitt face o treaba fantastica exprimand sentimente de curaj, calm si izolare. Totul se poate vedea pe fata lui. Lucrurile marunte fac un film sa para autentic. Reuseste sa mentina un calm constant pentru cea mai mare parte a filmului, calm care se simte real.
Seth Rogen este absolut hilar. Acest film ii apartine in proportie de 50%. El este surprinzator de sensibil in rolul de cel mai bun prieten care-si poate arata afectiunea prin glume cu tenta sexuala si prin incercarea de a-l ajuta pe Adam sa faca sex. Personajul sau o uraste pe Rachael (prietena lui Adam) si cand afla ca nu au mai facut sex de cateva saptamani, are, probabil, cea mai buna replica din tot filmul – „if I was your girlfriend, I'd be sucking your cock right now!”
De asemenea, si supporting cast-ul este perfect ales. Anna Kendrick in rolul lui Katherine, terapeutul lui Adam, o studenta ce lucreaza pentru doctorat, al carui al treilea pacient din viata ei este chiar Adam. Anjelica Huston joaca rolul mamei lui Adam, al carui sot sufera de Alzheimer. Huston ofera o performanta fortat-amuzanta, desi discreta. Bryce Dallas Howard in rolul lui Rachael, pare a avea un talent in a juca personaje teribile. Intre acest rol si cel din The Help de la inceputul anului, nu as fi surprins daca in urmatorul sau rol, va lovi un catelus.
Este un film plin de prestatii incredibile, dar o mentiune speciala trebuie sa primeasca regizorul Jonathan Levine, care reuseste sa mentina orice inflorire tehnica la un nivel minim, permitandu-le actorilor sa joace scenariul in fata unei camere, in mare parte tinuta in mana. O decizie inteleapta, intrucat subiectul si stralucirea dialogului nu au nevoie de artificii tehnice. El are, totusi, o scena in miscare, amuzanta si ciudata, in care Adam, drogat de la prajiturile „speciale” ale unui alt pacient, rataceste pe un coridor de spital in slow-motion, chicotind la tot ceea ce vede, incluzand oameni in diverse stadii ale cancerului si chiar un cadavru.
Nu-mi este clar de ce acest film lipseste din listele nominalizarilor la Oscar. Poate fi din cauza subiectului greu de digerat, poate pentru ca nu i s-a facut destula reclama, poate ca nu a prins la public sau pur si simplu a fost ignorat. Dar este un film care merita vizionat iar scenariul merita apreciat (scris de Will Reiser si bazat pe propria poveste). Este un film care analizeaza efectul unui diagnostic de cancer la un pacient tanar si felul in care-I impacteaza prietenii, viata amoroasa si oamenii cu care intra in contact din cauza bolii. Iar din aceasta categorie facem parte si noi, publicul.
Moneyball – 7.5 / 10
Voi incepe acest review prin a preciza faptul ca nu am fost niciodata si nici nu sunt un fan al sportului numit Baseball si ca nu dispun de notiunile necesare intelegerii acestui sport. Totusi, pentru acest film nu iti trebuie nici o notiune de genul.
Filmele ce au ca subiect sportul au fost intotdeauna preocupate de ceea ce se intampla pe teren. Ele spun povesti despre sportivi necunoscuti sfidand toate cotele, valorile si onoarea, curajul si determinarea in atingerea scopului propus. Moneyball renunta la acel evident prim strat, dar totusi reuseste sa atinga aceleasi scopuri. Baseball-ul, ca si sport, este esential povestii, dar aceasta nu depinde de baseball.
Filmul se bazeaza pe best seller-ul lui Michael Lewis din 2003 intitulat “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” si desi baseball-ul ramane “imaginea” de fundal, filmul ne arata cat de dificila este organizarea schimbarii unui “joc de culise” batran, aplatizarea ierarhiilor prin disponibilitatea informatiei precum si nevoia eficientei cerute de capitalism.
Cel mai puternic element al filmului este scenariu excelent, scris de Aaron Sorkin si Steve Zaillian (The Social Network), acesta este viu, intens si emotional.
Poate ca subiectul filmului pare fad, insa co-scenaristii mai sus mentionati, combina minunat aspectul intelectual cu emotiile sportului, in care un “loser” este gata sa se confrunte cu obstacole greu de imaginat, doar pentru a-si atinge scopul...sau macar de a incerca. Faptul ca povestea se desfasoara in sali de sedinte, vestiare si birouri, nu o face mai putin interesanta, desi regizorul Bennett Miller stie cum sa ne ofere si cateva momente tensionate in timpul meciurilor de baseball decisive.
Interpretarea lui Pitt m-a cucerit complet. Este una din cele mai bune interpretari ale sale si parca m-a luat pe nepregatite. Stiam ca poate sa joace si mi-l amintesc in roluri foarte complexe; Aldo Raine (Inglourious Basterds), cu barbia pronuntata, ochii stransi si accentul excelent, Benjamin Button (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), care intinerea pe masura ce crestea si multe altele. DA. A fost nominalizat pentru toate aceste roluri, dar tocmai aceste interpretari aveau ceva ce clocotea pe interior. Toate acele personaje aveau o poveste „interna”, dar acest personaj, Billy Beane, e atat de normal si calm la exterior si doar atunci cand este singur, putem vedea durere si frustrare.
Nu puteam sa nu mentionez si performanta fenomenala a lui Jonah Hill, care pana acum ne-a obisnuit doar cu comedii inteligente (Superbad, Funny People, Get him to the Greek) si cred ca acesta a fost pasul de care avea nevoie pentru a putea fi luat mai in serios. Portretizarea lui Peter Brand, un absolvent al facultatii de economie de la Yale „and full time computer nerd” este mai mult decat credibila, practic ai putea jura ca-l cunosti personal chiar si la cateva zile dupa vizionare.
Filmul ofera o perspectiva interioara a modului in care se fac afaceri in lumea aceasta, de la ranzactionarea intre echipe pentru jucatori pana la reducerile care trebuie implementate pentru ca o echipa sa aiba succes.
Directia data de Bennet Miller este constanta si usor de urmat. Mie personal mi-a placut felul in care au fost filmate scenele de flashback ale caracterului lui Pitt.
Moneyball nu este doar o drama despre baseball, este si un film inspirational. Curge bine de la inceput la sfarsit si in nici un moment nu devine plictisitor. Chiar si momentele in care Beane este singur in masina, avand flashbak-uri sau cu fata sa, sunt scene foarte bune deoarece Brad Pitt are capacitatea de a face aceste scene „watchable”.
Aceste nu este un film dramatic despre baseball, este o drama cu baseball. Credeam ca stiu de la inceput cum se va sfarsi si ma gandeam ca „It's not the what, but the why and the how”. Totusi, nu a fost cazul. Filmul nu s-a terminat cum credeam si adevarata poveste nu este atat de buna precum credeam initial. Adevarata poveste este mult mai putin inspirationala iar producatorii au incercat din greu sa para ca si cum Oakland Athletics chiar au schimbat baseball-ul.
Nu stiu daca au facut-o, dar faptele sunt mult mai convingatoare decat cuvintele.