Thursday, March 31, 2011

About to see an advanced screening of Win Win will update later!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Single Man

I did not get to go see The Adjustment Bureau, I had tried earlier this week because of the volume of people's voices being messed up in the theater it was playing in, so hopefully this weekend I'll be able to see it. So here is a review of a slightly older movie. A lot of this movie is about watching the events as they unfold, so I am going to do my best to spark an interest in you without giving away the movie. A Single Man was only released in 9 theaters in the country during its initial release in 2009. The movie is based on a book of the same name by English writer Christopher Isherwood and originally published in 1964. It grossed just 2 million dollars over it's estimated 7 million dollar budget. Colin Firth did win Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his role in it though. And this was a perfect movie for Colin Firth. The entire movie takes place in one day, November 20 1962. Everything about the movie that portrayed what year it was and was incredibly convincing. The movie would make any fan of Mad Men happy. All the clean cut suits, skinny ties, vintage cars, and beautiful homes had a nostalgic feel.Tom Ford Directed, Produced, and adapted the book to the screen. He is a well known fashion designer and also designed the costumes for all the members of the cast.

The acting was simply incredibly. Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, and Nicholas Hoult receive the most screen time and do a fantastic job with it. Many of the shots in the movie conveyed emotion through a silent exchange of facial expressions and looks. In the beginning of the movie a particular amount of effort is spent showing the eye of someone that George Falconer (Colin Firth) was conversing with. The cinematography was wonderful. Many wonderful shots in the suburbs of LA that George finds himself living in. The score of the movie was one of the most fitting I have ever heard. The notes and melody were always perfect for the situation.

This is definitely a sad movie. You get that from the start. George is in turmoil over the loss of his life's true love Jim (Matthew Goode). He had died in a car accident back in Colorado a time earlier while seeing his family. George doesn't describe himself as a gay man but that Jim was just the one for him, the fact that he was a man was inconsequential. You can clearly see that he is having trouble getting over his loss. The first of the movie gives an insight into the depressed life he leads. Charlie (Julianne Moore) is a friend that he has known since his time in England. She seems to live a typical early 60's suburban housewife life. A polished exterior but dig a little deeper and there are obvious wounds. The two get along well and George seems to find comfort in her.

He is an English professor at a university in LA. A highly regarded one at that. He has a student, Kenny (Nicholas Hoult), who he exchanges words with after class that day, and he ends up being an important character to the film. He seems to go about his day in a strange monotony. He looks rather pale and ill, and blames it on poor sleep from the night before. There is no real plot to this movie, just an observation of a man, in the early 60's. One who perceives life with dread for his past, an unfulfilled present, and death is his future (as are all our futures which he points out to Kenny).The hovering motif of fear is ever present in this movie. That of the Russians, the Cubans, "minorities", ourselves, and the decisions we make. The movie ends in a very fitting manner for such a movie, I was upset at first but in retrospect there was really no other way for it to have fittingly ended.

I would highly recommend this movie to those who enjoy a good storytelling. There isn't much of a story to tell, but the way that it is done is where this movie truly makes it's mark.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

127 Hours

So I was finally able to sit down and watch 127 Hours tonight. And I am very glad I did. James Franco's performance was incredible. I was reminded fondly of Will Smith in I Am Legend (despite the butchering of the ending, turning the thought provoking "legend" into a literal "legend." Just hate Hollywood sometimes). The single actor having all the screen time, really having to sell the film, just him. It was a great exhibit of Franco's acting abilities for sure. The short span of the stages of grief was expected but nicely done, not over the top. He can convey so much emotion with just a simple facial expression or a particular cue of body language. The film starts out happy enough, and gives a glimpse of the happy man he is. As the story unravels though he realizes his flaws and wrongdoings in his life. He calls himself selfish and expresses regret.

The fight with the the need for water was definitely a strong point of the film. I became thirsty just watching this movie. He has nothing but an Algene bottle at about 800ml in the beginning. After a few days he has depleted this reserve and has to move to his bodily fluids to try to stay hydrated. The lack of water and isolation help his plunge into insanity. The descent is highlighted with his family members, his ex-girlfriend and his future son.  These hallucinations trouble him and he has a moment being legitimately terrified over what could be in the darkness behind him (Scooby Doo I guess). The video taped memoirs he makes become increasingly moving. Starting out as descriptions of his current state, he then moves to confessions and apologies to his parents. The video camera ends up being a thread to the real world to gives him hope. He goes back through and watches the video made on that fateful Saturday with the two girls he met while hiking.

After (SPOILER ALERT) 127 hours he finally frees himself from the thin canyon where his arm had been caught by a rock between the canyon's wall. As he leaves his spot of isolation and glances at the wall where he carved his name, RIP, and the date of when he expected to die he mutters a line that creates the most moving part of the movie, "thank you." His entrapment caused him to reflect on his life, realize his wrongs and want to correct those flaws in himself. For it is only on the brink of the end we change (thank "The Day the Earth Stood Still" for that one). He makes it out of the canyon, a better man and does make it home.

Before the credits roll it shows us the real Aron Ralston and his wife that he met 3 years after the incident. Holding their almost 1 year old son at the time of shooting. Giving us a glimpse at the real man who lived through this tragedy. The end of the movie was incredibly powerful, you wanted to jump for joy at Franco's freedom. He suffered a great loss, but he is depicted as coming out of it a better person, spiritually at least. I loved this movie and am incredibly glad I finally sat down to watch it.