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Evan’s Top 10

1.  Midnight in Paris

2.  Young Adult

3.  Drive

4.  Red State

5.  Attack the Block

6.  The Descendants

7.  Hobo with a Shotgun

8.  Tree of Life

9.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

10.  Rango

 

Rik’s Top 10

1.  Tree of Life

2.  Drive

3.  Meek’s Cutoff

4.  Young Adult

5.  Hobo with a Shotgun

6.  Attack the Block

7.  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

8.  Win Win

9.  Ides of March

10.  The Muppets

 

Ryan’s Top 10

1. Drive

2. Win Win

3. The Descendants

4. Hanna

5. Ides of March

6. Attack the Block

7. The Redemption of General Butt Naked

8. Hugo

9. Midnight in Paris

10. The Trip


 

Old people, science fiction, aliens and cocoons; this sounds like a recipe for disaster. The perfect by-product of a bad movie concept straight out of the eighties. I’m a science fiction nerd and this didn’t even sound appealing to me, but we gave it a shot anyways. What other film could be more appropriate for “The Golden Years”?! This film reeks of old-age, and the only young character in the movie is a grandson who wishes he were old so he could be as clever and astute as his effortlessly funny grandpa. “No Italian food! Makes me fart!”
With each introductory scene I instantly fell in love with all the characters (excluding David’s shrieking mother). Each person was charming in their own little way, and the beginning of the movie did a great job of establishing each character’s personal situation. Steve Guttenberg isn’t an actor I could see myself ever applauding, but his witty one-liners and sense of humor won me over in this film, “Hey, what are you… Just… Get your ass of my boat, Man. Get your ass off my boat. Do you believe this? And, take your embarrassing beach towel with you! ”
It took place in a pleasant retirement home where the members were free to come and go as they pleased, still maintaining a quality of life so it wasn’t too in-your-face oppressive, (let’s admit, old age isn’t pretty). Cardigans, shuffleboard, card games and Ex-Lax, even someone who despises old people would find it hard to not melt a little at some point during the movie. I had read a lot of reviews complaining that the humor was too crude and dirty. Perhaps I’m a little vulgar myself, because I didn’t agree whatsoever. People act as if geriatrics are old broken down miserable beings who possess no sense of humor or will to power at all. This is not the case though, their minds are sharp while their bodies grow dull. The movie shows what each character were to do if they regained their youth, and it’s interesting to watch. Bowling, dancing, cannon-balls and abandoning the ol’ separate twin bed routine, they take full advantage of their new vigor. Cocoon gives a new perspective on a generation that suffers from stereotypes. My nerdiness showed itself more and more as the plot thickened and the science-fiction began. What a wacky concept, but it all just worked. Keep in mind it was made in 1985, so the not-so-special effects (minus Kitty’s glowing blue arm underwater…aweeesssommmmee) are bad, but forgivable. At some points it almost became too much, but I simply ignored it. It touches on more serious points as well… death and dying, (I particularly loved the scene where he explains to his grandson that he’s “going away forever” and he’ll never see him again. It was symbolic of dying, only he got to get in a proper goodbye before, an opportunity most grandparents don’t get) and the human race’s destructiveness. It also communicated our instinctive fear of the unknown, (Bernie’s refusal to take part in the alien’s “Fountain of Youth” due to his stubborn dedication to mortality), a questionable debate over the existence of a God, and the unforgiving toll that Mother Nature takes on us humans. I give it 4 stars, it kept me consistently chuckling and I wasn’t disappointed in the least bit.

“Well I’ll tell ya, with the way nature’s been cheating us, I don’t mind cheating her a little.”

1. Cocoon (1985)

2. Grumpy Old Men (1993)

3. Nobody’s Fool (1994)

4. Assisted Living (2003)

5. Up (2009)


full5First let me apologize to the two readers of Filmgrounds for taking way too long to review this movie.  I really hate myself because I put off watching a truly hilarious comedy.  Here’s my thing… not every comedy has to be bogged down with story or some moral blah blah.  I want a comedy that makes me laugh throughout, that’s the point right?  Wet Hot American Summer does that and doesn’t apologize for it.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Knocked Up, Role Models, Superbad are funny but they all rely on the story to get you through.  WHAS, as I will refer to it from here on, is about moving from gag to gag and by the end of the movie all the rules have been thrown out and it’s a comedy free for all.  Really the end is more of an homage to all the crazy crap that goes on in “real” movies.

Great comedies are defined by how quotable they are and WHAS has many quotable lines.  For example, “Before we start, I’d just like to say the campers you’re about to see suck dick! But nevertheless, please welcome them.”  “If you wanna smear mud on your ass, smear mud on your ass – just be honest about it. Look, Gene, I’ve never told anyone this before, but I can suck my own dick, and I do it a lot.”  And Finally… “Excuse me, ladies. You may remember me as the guy who came to dinner a few weeks ago with underwear on my head. My name is Keith Stat from Millburn, New Jersey. State bird, the mosquito. And as you may have heard, I am recently a crowned class B dungeon master. So if any of you would like to play D&D today, please speak now or forever hold your peace.”

It should be noted that the “smear mud on my ass” line was delivered by a can of vegetables.  Now that’s funny.

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”

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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