You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2009.

in-bruges-posterBruges, the armpit or better yet the asshole of Europe as it is considered by Ray played by Colin Farrell.  Bruges might be his hell but this movie was my heaven.  I absolutely enjoyed this movie.  This is not you typical hit man movie.  No one curved bullets while doing a cartwheel. And if that is what you are looking for then find another movie and perhaps another blog.  Yes there is a action but it is not the focal point.  Two hit man, Farrell and Gleeson, are sent to Bruges to hide out after a hit and instructed to lay low and do a little sightseeing.  During their stay details of the hit are uncovered as they discuss life, death, and do some blow with a dwarf.  Be prepared for some deliberately offensive dialogue and 126 uses of the word fuck.  For me it was great and worked within the framework of the characters

I know Colin Farrel is a good actor but recent roles have not supported that thought but ‘In Bruges’ gives you a reason to like him again with this colorful role.  See this movie.

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Rik…

Best Actor: Jimmy Stewart – “The Man Who Knew Too Much”

Best Supporting Actor:    Gilles Lellouche – “Tell No One”

Best Actress: Doris Day – “The Man Who Knew Too Much”

Best Scene: Jimmy Stewart gets a phone call. “The Man Who Knew Too Much”

Best Film:  “Tell No One”

Evan…

Best Actor: François Cluzet – “Tell No One”

Best Supporting Actor: Gilles Lellouche – “Tell No One”

Best Actress – Emmanuelle Seigner – “Frantic”

Best Scene: Jimmy’s phone call “The Man Who Knew Too Much”

Best Film:  “Tell No One”

brick_ver7_xlgIf I had not just viewed “Tell No One” I would say that “Brick” is the best movie I have seen recently.  But I think I will call a tie for that honor.  Both movies are very similar in terms of a protagonist searching for a lost love in a ruthless world where nothing and no one is as it seems.  Once again you are placed in the main character’s shoes and go on a journey for truth.  Brick is extra special in that director Rian Johnson transposes the 1930’s gumshoe and the film noir genre onto a modern day high school.  These characters embody the attitudes and dialogue of that time period and genre of film and never wink at the camera.  The beauty is that it always feels natural, and is never over the top.

The story of Brendan tracing Emily’s, his missing girlfriend, movements through a high school drug ring is never clear as it unravels but does provide plush dialogue, actions and incidents.  This movie sucked me in.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is perfect in this role and I look forward to seeing him in “500 Days of Summer.”  Some might find the lingo to be a burden to a an already elaborate story but for me it was in line with the presentation and it served a purpose.  There was terminology that Brendan was not familiar with that he had to learn in order to put the pieces together.  If I think about it this is probably how parents hear the way their kids talk.  A bunch of fast paced slang that seems ridiculous on the surface but can be deep.

Rian Johnson made this movie with no budget and edited it on his desktop.  Which is really not that unusual anymore.  He demonstrates that smart direction and determination can go a long way.  “Brick” works and I recommend seeing it immediately.

I am posting the trailer but I recommend watching it after the movie.  It is a good trailer and it helped me fill in some blanks.

empty Normally we let the previous review sit for a while before posting the next, but I really want to get this over with and move on.  To go from “Tell No One” to this piece of shit is really a disappointing end to the Movies Holding Us Captive-thon.  Watch “Tell No One” again.  “Tell No One” is a smartly written story with a lot of characters and intricate pieces that add up in the end and doesn’t waste screen time.  “Taken” is a poorly written story with too many characters, intricacy, nothing adds up and is a complete waste of time.  We learn that Liam’s character is a divorced badass spy guy with spy friends in the first 15 minutes while learning his daughter wants to be a pop star.  Who gives a shit about his daughter’s career aspirations and his friends whose only purpose is to tell us he is a badass spy guy.  This movie is supposed to be about his teenage daughter going to Paris and being kidnapped.  This movie is more complicated, saying it’s complicated is being polite, than it needs to be.  The intelligent version of this film would have had the viewer discover Liam’s past and skills as he ruthlessly uncovered the whereabouts of his daughter.  The relationship with his daughter and ex are irrelevant.  A simplified, efficient approach to this movie is missing.  If you absolutely have to watch this movie, save some time and watch the trailer posted below.  Now I am grumpy.  Let’s move on.

taken_movie_poster5

full5Let me start off by saying if we had an image of an over-flowing coffee mug, I would have used it here.  I was beyond impressed by “Tell No One”, and after two viewings and a deep investigation into the plot I feel confident in pushing this as one of the best movies I have seen this year.  From the plot, the acting, the production, and all the twists and turns in between… “Tell No One” is not to be missed.

As soon as this movies ends,  it is already begging to be re-watched.  On second viewing, I was able to follow the story much more intently.  I picked up on subtleties that only added to the already fantastic movie. And what first seemed like plot holes, actually ended up being masterfully written twists.  Every scene in this movie holds a purpose and has its own arc…thus following one of the most important aspects of a great story.  In the words of the author Paul Auster, “Since everything seen or said, even the slightest, most trivial thing, can bear a connection to the outcome of the story, nothing must be over looked.”  This quote is especially true with “Tell No One”.  Every character, every scene, and every word weigh heavily on Alex and on the story.

François Cluzet’s performance of Alex was fantastic.  His character was subtle, natural, and believable.  I have a sneaking suspicion that if this movie was made in America, it would star Denzel Washington and towards the middle of the movie, Alex would suddenly become an action star.  This never happens with “Tell No One”, for all that happens to Alex, the only reason he succeeds relies on his determination to see his wife and on help from those who believe in him.

I could go on and on talking about this film, but the more I talk, the less time you have to watch “Tell No One”.

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