Monday, June 30, 2008

MOVIE: HONEYDRIPPER


ABOUT: Honeydripper is a 2007 American musical drama film written and directed by John Sayles.
Tyrone (Danny Glover) is the proprietor of the Honeydripper juke joint. When business at the once-popular club begins to trail off and Tyrone hires unpredictable electric guitarist Sonny (Gary Clark, Jr.) against his better judgment, Tyrone's last-ditch bid to draw in crowds during harvest time has surprising results that neither desperate Tyrone nor the ambitious Sonny could have ever anticipated. Blues guitarist Keb' Mo' co-stars.




REVIEW: A John Sayles film is never about the plot but about the characters. Thats not a bad thing because the characters are interesting and there are a lot of them. Every Sayles film has a plot that connects a whole bunch of characters together who speak like they actually exist in a real world. It also helps that Sayles usually casts unknown actors, which adds to the realistic feel of his films.

Honeydripper is no different than his other films. The plot is simple and the ending is uneventful but the movie is still really good because the characters are so good. Every character is interesting and has something interesting to say. The actors who play them, a lot unknown, all do a great job. Especially Danny Glover who had a bit of a slip with Be Kind Rewind, but is now back on his feet. He gives a great performance.

The movie looks great and moves at a steady pace that is simple, yet never boring. Sayles could make a movie about anything and have the most uninteresting plot ever, but still would be able to pull it off with the way he writes his characters. There is nothing to compare it with.

The DVD includes commentary with Sayles, which is sweet. Behind the scenes stuff and interviews.


BOTTOM LINE: Honeydripper plays some good blues. 7 out of 10


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Saturday, June 28, 2008

MOVIE: 35 UP

ABOUT: The Up Series consists of a series of documentary films that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child's social class predetermines their future. Every seven years, the director, Michael Apted, films new material from as many of the fourteen as he can get to participate. The latest film, 49 Up, was released in September 2005; filming for the next instalment in the series, 56 Up, is expected in late 2011 or early 2012.

MY REVIEW: Marriages are starting to fall apart or already have. More babies have coming into the picture. In 35 Up everyone is either content with their life or they are miserable. No one is extremely happy with the way their life is. The ones who say they are happy seem like they are lying for the camera.

Some who were in all the other films have not shown up for this one. I think mostly because they are at a point in their life that they might not be proud of enough to show to the whole world. One of the rich snobs who wasn't in 28 Up is back this time but not because he really wants to but says he is only doing it to show the world abour the crisis in Bulgaria. I'm thinking he is not going to be back for 42 Up. Some who weren't in 28 Up are still not back and who knows if they ever will.

28 Up was so exciting to see because everyone who said they weren't going to get married or have kids, then got married and had more than one kid. Most of them were really happy and some not so much. It was awesome to see how, for most of them, that their life was in a place where they wanted it to be. With 35 Up they are now coming down from that high and seem to be unhappy. I hope that by 42 Up they find something in their life that makes them happy again because if Neil is still depressing and everyone is still in an unhappy marriage, then I don't think I can bare to watch depressed people living in depressing lives much longer.

MY RATING: A depressing 35 Up gets a depressing 6 out of 10.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

MUSIC: THREE 6 MAFIA "LAST 2 WALK"

ABOUT: Last 2 Walk is the 9th album by Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia. The album was released on June 24, 2008.

The album was pushed back several times, originally scheduled for release May 6, 2007, but has been pushed back several times until finally was set for June 24, 2008. One of the reasons why the album was pushed back several times is because of their reality TV show on MTV Adventures in Hollyhood. The album was named Last 2 Walk because DJ Paul and Juicy J are the last two members remaining in Three 6 Mafia. Three 6 Mafia originally started with six core members.

TRACK LISTING:

1 "Intro"
2 "I Told 'Em"
3 "Trap Boom"
4 "Playstation"
5 "I Got"
6 "I'd Rather"
7 "That's Right"
8 "Corner Man"
9 "Weed, Blow, Pills"
10 "DSX Talk" 
11 "Hood Star"
12 "Get Ya Rob"
13 "On Sum Chrome"
14 "Rollin"
15 "Click Bang"
16 "My Own Way"
17 "Dirty Bitch"
18 "First 48"
19 "Outro"
20 "Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)" Intro
21 "Lolli Lolli (Pop that Body)"
22 "My Own Way (Remix)"
23 "A Buncha Dat" (ITunes bonus)
24 "Built Like That" (ITunes bonus) 
25 "Sell Dope" (Circuit City bonus)

Doe Boy Fresh was originally the first single off of hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia's new album, Last 2 Walk, but was ultimately cut from the album. The song was released on January 2, 2007 as a digital download single on iTunes.

Songs like Like Money, Suga Daddy, We Got Da Club, Champion, and many others were all supposed to be on the album, but in the end those songs did not make it onto the final version of the album because of the numerous album delays.

Guest features on the album include Project Pat, Lil Wyte, Akon, Good Charlotte, DJ Unk, Lyfe Jennings, UGK, Eightball & MJG, Al Kapone, DJ Spanish Fly, Young D, Superpower.

To promote the album Three 6 Mafia Released a mixtape Last 2 Walk:The Mixtape which contain all their hits from their first album leading to to Last 2 Walk. There is also a Screwed & Chopped version by Michael 5000 Watts Of The Swishahouse available.

MY FAVORITE TRACKS:

I TOLD EM

CLICK BANG

MY OWN WAY

MY OWN WAY (REMIX)

LOLLI LOLLI (POP THAT BODY) MUSIC VIDEO:

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

MOVIE: THE HAMMER



ABOUT: The Hammer is a comedy film starring Adam Carolla and Heather Juergensen.

Can a guy edging into middle age become a success fighting guys half his age? That's the big question behind this independent comedy. Jerry Ferro (Adam Carolla) is almost 40 years old, and he's spent most of his life going nowhere -- and taking his own sweet time getting there. While Jerry enjoyed some success as an amateur boxer when he was young, these days he's out of shape, drinks too much, and scrapes by working in construction.

Through his work as a handyman, Jerry has landed a part-time job teaching boxing at a gym in Pasadena, though none of his students are likely to ever move beyond sparring as a hobby. One day, one of Jerry's old friends, Eddie Bell (Tom Quinn), stops by the gym with a promising new fighter he's training. Since he's short on sparring partners, Eddie asks Jerry to step into the ring with the young boxer, and while it's clear that Jerry is in lousy shape and out of practice, he also manages to knock out the challenger with one well-placed punch. Eddie is convinced Jerry still has what it takes, and offers to help Jerry make a comeback, confident that despite his age he can land him a spot on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team.




Ferro’s life is based on Adam Carolla’s real experiences as a construction worker in L.A. The Hammer was conceived by Adam Carolla and writer Kevin Hench. It was directed by Charles Herman-Wurmfeld, and independently produced by Eden Wurmfeld, reuniting the team that created the 2001 independent hit, Kissing Jessica Stein.


MY REVIEW: The Hammer is one of the sweetest and funniest movies I've seen so far this year. It was the last thing I expected from Adam Carolla who came up with the idea for the movie and also stars in it. I never much cared for Carolla's brand of humor, although I remember him having his moments on shows like Loveline, The Man Show and Crank Yankers. He is a likable guy but there was always something about him that put me off.

With The Hammer, Carolla has made something that is completely different and not like any of those shows. It has some great one-liners. Good acting, including Oswaldo Castillo in pretty much his first acting gig playing Jerry's friend Oswaldo. You can tell that Castillo got the part because of Carolla and that they know each other in real life. That's part of the charm of the movie, how low key it seems to be while also packing the punch of a major movie. It looks cheap but it doesn't feel cheap.

Carolla shows a very sweet and romantic side of him that no one has seen before. From trying to get the girl that he likes to go out with him to the scene at the end where you think you know whats going to happen and it does, but its done in a very nice way. Carolla should stick to making movies like this from now on and leave TV behind.

Sadly, there are no DVD features. I'm guessing mostly because it is super indie and it was almost close to just being a straight to DVD movie, which is a shame because its way better than that.


MY CHEESY RATING: The Hammer nails a 7 out of 10.


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MUSIC: SERJ TANKIAN "ELECT THE DEAD"



ABOUT: Elect the Dead is the debut solo album by System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian. He played most of the instruments himself but did get help from System of a Down drummer John Dolmayan and former Primus/current Guns N' Roses drummer Bryan "Brain" Mantia, along with Dan Monti on guitar and bass, opera singer Ani Maldjian and some string players, Antonio Pontarelli among them.


TRACK LISTING:
  1. "Empty Walls" – 3:49
  2. "The Unthinking Majority" – 3:46
  3. "Money" – 3:53
  4. "Feed Us" – 4:31
  5. "Saving Us" – 4:41
  6. "Sky is Over" – 2:57
  7. "Baby" – 3:31
  8. "Honking Antelope" – 3:50
  9. "Lie Lie Lie" – 3:33
  10. "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" – 4:23
  11. "Beethoven's C---" – 3:13
  12. "Elect the Dead" – 2:54
  13. "The Reverend King" – 2:49 (Japanese Bonus Track)
Tankian has stated that while some of the songs are new, a lot of them have been with him for a while. The first singles off the album were "The Unthinking Majority" and "Empty Walls".

"Beethoven's C---" (Beethoven's Cunt) was recently added as a downloadable track to the video game Rock Band.

The song "Blue", which appears on the special edition bonus CD, is a reworking of the System of a Down demo song "Blue".


MY FAVORITE TRACKS:
EMPTY WALLS (MP3)
LIE LIE LIE


LIE LIE LIE MUSIC VIDEO:




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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

MOVIE: IN BRUGES



ABOUT: In Bruges is a film directed and written by Martin McDonagh.

Having just carried out a particularly difficult hit in London, two hitmen seek shelter in Bruges, Belgium, only to find their views on life and death permanently altered by their interactions with the locals, the tourists, and a film crew. Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes star.




The film contains many references to Don't Look Now, including the claim by Chloë, one of the film's characters, that the film-within-a-film is a pastiche of Don't Look Now. The plot also has remarkable similarities to Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter.


MY REVIEW: A friend of mine recently spent a day in Bruges. It was apart of his solo backpacking through Europe trip to find himself and think about his life. After he got back I asked him if he had heard about this movie and he said yeah. I asked him if Bruges was a weird place like the trailer seems to hint at and he said no. He said that it is a really beautiful place with lots of neat sights and churches. He even described a church that was in the movie where, supposedly, you can see the blood of Christ.

The trailer for In Bruges seems to advertise the movie as a dramedy with Bruges as some weird town. The movie itself, however, is much more darker and less comedic than the trailer shows. Bruges itself doesn't seem weird, wacky or a small town. It looks like a rather big tourist type place that provides a backdrop for the movie but not a main central plot point of the movie. It's not like the town Bill Murray was stuck in in Groundhog Day, which was very important to the story.

It has moments of funny lines, nice music and really good acting. There are some scenes here and there that just don't work but the ones toward the end make up for them. The ending seemed kind of off to me but I think for some people it will work but for me it didn't. It's still a nice little film but I'd rather actually go to Bruges and see the blood of Christ.

The DVD contains deleted and extended scenes. A gag reel and some other features that I didn't bother looking at.


MY CHEESY RATING: In Bruges you will have a fun time. 6 out of 10


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MOVIE: PERSEPOLIS



ABOUT: Persepolis is a 2007 animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The film was written and directed by Satrapi with Vincent Paronnaud. The story follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution, and shows how her family's hopes for change were slowly dashed as the Islamic fundamentalists took power, drastically curtailing personal liberties, forcing head coverings on women and imprisoning thousands; the story ends with Marjane as a 21-year-old expatriate. The title is a reference to the historic city of Persepolis.


The film won the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and was released in France and Belgium on June 27. In her acceptance speech, Satrapi said "Although this film is universal, I wish to dedicate the prize to all Iranians." The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.


MY REVIEW: I remember when my girlfriend Kelly bought the Persepolis graphic novels and I skimmed through them. It looked interesting, but since I haven't much cared for comic books or graphic novels since middle school, I didn't bother reading it. Shortly after though, I heard that there was a French film version of the novels and that it was going to be released in America. It was written by the author of the novels and it was going to be animated just like them too. Kelly was excited about it and so was I, since that way I could now watch it instead of reading the graphic novel.

Since I didn't read the novels, I can't compare the two, but Kelly says that the film was basically just like them except moving. I thought it was an interesting story, especially the fact that its one about how the Iranian government controls its people, especially women. We don't get enough of these stories but I don't think Persepolis was that great of one. It has moments of neat humor and scenes where the animation tells us something that happened in a pretty cool way, but the story of the girl at the center of it all is just not that interesting. I wanted to know more about the daily life in Iran, but since we only get the point of view from the writer (who was a child at the time) it isn't much.

We mostly get funny stories about her family and her time in Europe, which is mostly half of the film. We see how she has issues with friends, lovers, depression and by the time she thinks about killing herself it seems like the story she cares about more is her horrible time living in Europe. Not about her life in Iran.

It is still a good movie though, mostly because of the animation. I think that if she wrote a regular book and not a graphic novel, then it probably wouldn't have turned into a movie. Neat way to tell a story, if only the story was a little better.

The DVD features commentary with Marjane Satrapi. A behind the scenes look at how they made the English language version, which pissed me off because I then realized that I watched the whole movie in French when I could have just watched the English version. A look at how they made the French version and a Q & A with the cast/crew from the Cannes film festival.


MY CHEESY RATING: Persepolis is an interesting city with a story to tell, too bad it wasn't told better. 6 out of 10


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MUSIC: CURSIVE "HAPPY HOLLOW"



ABOUT: Happy Hollow is the fifth album by the indie rock band Cursive. It was released on August 22, 2006 on Saddle Creek Records. The album is named after a rich neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska.

The album is the first since the departure of cellist Gretta Cohn whose instrumentation was a fixture of the band's 2003 release The Ugly Organ. The album features significant five-piece horn arrangements courtesy of Nate Walcott.

The lyrics of Happy Hollow form a concept album of sorts, revolving around a small town and its inhabitants, and dealing with concepts such as religious dogma and hypocrisy.

This album came with a download code to download the songs in mp3 format directly from Saddle Creek Records. Pre-orders of the album came with a miniature license plate that had a code to download a bonus track entitled "No News Is Bad News".


TRACK LISTING:

  1. "Opening the Hymnal / Babies" – 2:32
  2. "Dorothy at Forty" – 3:02
  3. "Big Bang" – 3:56
  4. "Bad Sects" – 3:39
  5. "Flag and Family" – 2:56
  6. "Dorothy Dreams of Tornadoes" – 2:54
  7. "Retreat!" – 3:57
  8. "The Sunks" – 2:53
  9. "At Conception" – 2:57
  10. "So-So Gigolo" – 3:43
  11. "Bad Science" – 2:40
  12. "Into the Fold" – 4:16
  13. "Rise Up! Rise Up!" – 3:22
  14. "Hymns for the Heathen" – 2:39
  15. "No News Is Bad News" (pre-order bonus track) – 2:08

MY FAVORITE TRACK:
BIG BANG


BIG BANG MUSIC VIDEO:




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Monday, June 23, 2008

MUSIC: ROBYN "ROBYN"



ABOUT: Robyn is the fourth album by Swedish pop singer Robyn. It was released by Konichiwa Records on April 27, 2005 in Sweden. The album represented a change in Robyn's musical style, and featured pop and electronic-dance music; inspirations were electronic duo The Knife and rock band Teddybears. It also marks Robyn's first album release on her own record label, Konichiwa Records, which she founded in 2005.


TRACK LISTING:
  1. "Curriculum Vitae" featuring Swingfly
  2. "Konichiwa Bitches"
  3. "Cobrastyle"
  4. "Handle Me"
  5. "Bum Like You"
  6. "Be Mine!"
  7. "With Every Heartbeat" with Kleerup
  8. "Who's That Girl"
  9. "Bionic Woman"
  10. "Crash and Burn Girl"
  11. "Robotboy"
  12. "Eclipse"
  13. "Should Have Known"
  14. "Anytime You Like"
  15. "Jack U Off" (Prince)
  16. "Dream On" (Klas Åhlund)
  17. "Handle Me (RedOne Remix)"
  18. "Bum Like You"

MY FAVORITE TRACKS:
HANDLE ME (MP3)
COBRASTYLE (MP3)



HANDLE ME MUSIC VIDEO:



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MOVIE: 28 UP



ABOUT: The Up Series consists of a series of documentary films that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child's social class predetermines their future. Every seven years, the director, Michael Apted, films new material from as many of the fourteen as he can get to participate. The latest film, 49 Up, was released in September 2005; filming for the next instalment in the series, 56 Up, is expected in late 2011 or early 2012.




MY REVIEW: It's been a while since I have been able to watch another Up film because of my recent trip to Florida and the fact that only half of 28 Up worked on Netflix Online so I had to rent it to watch the rest of it, but it was worth the wait. 28 Up is the best one in the series so far.

Everyone is a lot older now, some looking worse than others, looking more like 50 than 28. It's interesting to see some of them who at 21 said they were never having kids and now to be happily married with 2 or more kids, which is most of them by now. Except for a few, like the guy who graduated from Oxford but now teaches at a poor school by choice because he likes it more and since he keeps to himself, doesn't care for a relationship or ever having kids, he might as well join the clergy.

The most interesting one is Neil who was basically almost homeless in 21 Up and is now living in a trailer in the countryside. He likes it out there because it is quiet but I guess not quiet enough because he mentions suicide a lot and how depressed he always is. His is a sad story and even though I haven't seen the other films yet, I read that it gets brighter.

By the end of the film I couldn't think of one interview that was boring, unlike 14 Up and 21 Up, which had it's moments of sleep induced talking. Everyone in 28 Up has something interesting to say. It's even interesting to see who didn't want to be in the film. I don't have any upcoming vacations besides 4th of July weekend, so hopefully I will be able to watch one or two more of the Up films before then. I can't wait to see what they are like in their 30s.


MY CHEESY RATING: 28 Up is higher on the scale with a 7 out of 10.



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MY REVIEWS OF SEVEN UP!, 7 PLUS SEVEN AND 21 UP

Friday, June 20, 2008

MOVIE: BE KIND REWIND



ABOUT: Be Kind Rewind is a 2008 American comedy film from New Line Cinema, directed by Michel Gondry and starring Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover and Mia Farrow.

The title is a reference to a phrase commonly displayed on VHS rental tapes during the
medium's heyday.

When a bumbling movie lover becomes magnetized while attempting to sabotage a local power plant and accidentally erases all of the videotapes in the small video store where his best friend works, the pair attempt to keep the store's loyal customer base by remaking as many of the top-renting movies as possible.

Mike (Mos Def) is an employee at Be Kind Rewind, a modest mom and pop video store that is owned by Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover). Mike's best friend Jerry (Jack Black) works in an auto garage/junkyard directly adjacent to a local power plant. Lately Jerry has become increasingly paranoid about the effects that the power plant is having on his health. Convinced that he has developed a brain tumor from working in such close proximity to the power plant, Jerry attempts to sabotage the plant. Unfortunately for Jerry, his brain is magnetized in the process. The next time Jerry goes to visit Mike at Be Kind Rewind, the powerful magnetization emanating from his brain erases every videotape in the store.

Now the only way for Mike and Jerry to be sure that Be Kind Rewind stays in business is to remake every film on the shelves before the customers notice. But when word gets out that Mike and Jerry have remade such Hollywood classics as Back to the Future, Robocop, The Lion King, and Rush Hour without permission, the store is threatened with copyright violations and forced to close its doors. In the aftermath of the closing, Mr. Fletcher and his employees discover just how loyal their customers really are when the entire neighborhood pools their resources to transform the junkyard into a legitimate movie studio and produce an entirely original film detailing the incredible adventures of a local jazz legend.





MY REVIEW: When I first heard about Be Kind Rewind before it was even made I was excited. Jack Black, Mos Def and Michel Gondry (the director of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) making a movie about making other movies, awesome! I imagined what it might look like in my head and for almost two years I waited. Finally, when it came out I was shocked to read one bad review after another. No way, I thought, can it be as bad as they were making it out to be. I had to see it anyway. I don't usually go to the theater but I tried to convince my girlfriend Kelly to go see it with me but even she said it looked stupid. So, I patiently waited for the DVD and now it has arrived. As the movie was ending Kelly was just getting home and I looked at her and said "You were right. You all were right". She had no idea what I was talking about and became a little worried.

I am shocked at how bad this movie really is. Even when everyone was saying it was bad, I didn't think it could be this bad. Not with a talented cast and director such as these. Usually
Gondry is visually brilliant. Here he directs like a guy who just graduated from NYU film school and doesn't know what he is doing. Black has a few moments of funny but then becomes over the top and kind of creepy. Def is the calm of the film but doesn't add anything special. Danny Glover acts like he got lost on his way back to the retirement home. The only person I did like in the movie was Melonie Diaz who plays Alma. Throughout the movie she adds something to it that makes the whole thing watchable in a way but still she can't save the whole thing by herself.

Even the scenes where they make the movies, the reason why I really wanted to see this film, are short and horrible. They get a few laughs here and there but go so quickly. They don't even try to make it funny. They just kind of shoot it the way anyone who had a video camera would try to shoot in a serious way. What a
disappointment.

The DVD contains a behind the scenes feature which is pretty basic. Also, a feature about the people and places of where they filmed the movie, Passaic, NJ.


MY CHEESY RATING: Be Kind Rewind but don't bother returning it. 3 out of 10



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Thursday, June 19, 2008

MUSIC: KATY PERRY "ONE OF THE BOYS"



ABOUT: One of the Boys is the second album from Capitol Music Group recording artist, Katy Perry. The album is Perry's first album since her Red Hill Records Christian rock debut, entitled Katy Hudson, which was recorded in 2001.

The album features the singles, "UR So Gay" and "I Kissed a Girl".

Perry collaborated with notable producers Dr. Luke, Greg Wells, Dave Stewart, Max Martin among others on the album.


TRACK LISTING:

  1. "One of the Boys"
  2. "I Kissed a Girl"
  3. "Waking Up in Vegas"
  4. "Thinking of You"
  5. "Mannequin"
  6. "UR So Gay"
  7. "Hot 'N Cold"
  8. "If You Can Afford Me"
  9. "Lost"
  10. "Self Inflicted"
  11. "I'm Still Breathing"
  12. "Fingerprints"

MY FAVORITE TRACKS:
I KISSED A GIRL (MP3)
HOT 'N COLD (MP3)



UR SO GAY MUSIC VIDEO:



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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MOVIE: 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS



ABOUT:
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romanian: 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile) is a 2007 Romanian film, written and directed by Cristian Mungiu. It won the Palme d'Or and the FIPRESCI Award at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days unfolds in Romania in the late '80s, during the last waning days of Communist rule. Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu play, respectively, Otilia and Gabita, two female friends and students who share a Bucharest flat. They soon find themselves saddled with an overwhelming problem: Gabita is expecting. With abortion illegal in Romania at that time, the women seek an illicit termination at the hands of one Mr. Bebe (Vlad Ivanov) in a seedy Romanian hotel -- but Bebe refuses to accept money in return for his services and demands a certain "alternate" commodity instead.





MY REVIEW: If Juno was a darker film with all the fun personalities drained from the characters and Juno had decided to go through with the abortion, it would be like 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Sometimes its good to have two films with the same idea and both be very different.

This film plays like it could really have happened this way in 1980s Romania. This film is not flashy, doesn't have any music and each scene is shot in long takes that don't try to show off. It gives the movie that edge that makes the audience pay attention more. It reminded me of Vera Drake, another good illegal abortion movie, however the abortion doctor in 4 Months isn't as caring and warm as Vera. The abortion doctor supplies the most cringe worthy scenes in the movie and not in the way you might think.

After the abortion doctor exits the film it starts to slowly drift away. After the abortion scene we follow Otilia to meet up with her boyfriend at his parents' place for a get together. The scenes here last forever when they shouldn't. This part of the film is important yes but like the scene when everyone is at the dinner table and they just talk and talk, it goes on for almost 10 minutes with everyone just talking about stuff while Otilia looks down at the table. It could have been done in 2 minutes and we could still get the point but it keeps going until I started to think that we were going to be here until dessert. The films long shots work for it in crucial and tense scenes, but not when a character is just walking down a street for 5 minutes.

There is nothing special about the movie and nothing we haven't seen before besides the fact that it is Romanian and tells it like it is. That is what makes the film good but there are better movies out there about the same subject, like good ol' Vera.

There wasn't any features on the DVD that I watched, but there are always different DVD versions when it comes to foreign films and with this film in paticular there has to be one out there that has features on how this movie was made.



MY CHEESY RATING:
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is long enough for a 6 out of 10.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MOVIE: THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL



ABOUT: The Other Boleyn Girl is the 2008 film adaptation of the novel of the same title by British author Philippa Gregory and a remake of a BBC television film of the same name also based on Philippa Gregory's novel. Starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johanssen and Eric Bana, it is a romanticized account of the life of the 16th-century aristocrat, Mary Boleyn, who was the sister of Anne Boleyn and one-time mistress of King Henry VIII of England. The film was directed by Justin Chadwick from a script by Peter Morgan (who also wrote a two-part television drama on Henry VIII in 2003).

This atmospheric period drama follows the fierce competition between sisters Mary (Scarlett Johansson) and Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) to win the affections of Tudor king Henry VIII (Eric Bana). Anne and Mary Boleyn are under pressure from their father and uncle to help maintain the family's rich legacy and ensure their further prosperity by winning the affections of none other than the king of England (Eric Bana). But life in the royal court is far different than it was in the countryside where these two sisters were raised, and before long their bid to earn the love of the king has transformed two once-happy sisters into bitter rivals.

At first, it appears that Mary has triumphed in winning the king's favor by becoming his mistress and bearing him an illegitimate child. Despite her early success, however, Mary has underestimated just how clever and cunning her sibling can truly be. Not only does the relentless Anne manage to edge aside her sister in the eyes of King Henry, but she also succeeds in averting his gaze from his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, as well. Mary is driven by genuine affection for King Henry, while her sister Anne has only kept up the charade in a desperate bid to become the queen of England.

Now, the growing chasm between two sisters is mirrored on a larger scale as England becomes divided more than ever before. As the consequences of their actions threaten to alter the course of an entire nation, these two sisters will ultimately discover that the only place they will find true strength and loyalty is in family, and that no matter what the consequences they will forever be bound by blood.





MY REVIEW: The Other Boleyn Girl is like the Lifetime version of this story. It's the version for the Gossip Girls crowd. Where all the romance and dramatics are over the top while the real story takes a backseat. I can't say that I know a whole lot about this period in history, I leave that up to my girlfriend Kelly who has a history degree and kept pointing out everything that was wrong during the film, but I do know that this movie wasn't aiming for historical accuracy.

There is nothing wrong with that because sometimes movies can't always be true to life. But in a movie that has a really interesting story to tell, decides to just tell the romance novel parts, instead of what really happened which is a lot better then just dramatic after dramatic.

The whole cast seems like they are bored throughout the film. I like Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman but here they don't even look like they are trying. The film does have some things working for it though. It's nice to look at, with the production design and costumes all done really well. Despite its flaws the movie is still watchable, but if you want the real story on what went down, do some reading.



MY CHEESY RATING: The Other Boleyn Girl gives birth to a 5 out of 10.


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