1. Winter’s Bone
2. Inception
3. Toy Story 3
4. Social Network / Tron: Legacy
5. Black Swan

1.  Winter’s Bone
2.  True Grit
3.  Tron: Legacy
4.  Toy Story 3
5.  A Prophet

1. Winter’s Bone
2. Tron: Legacy
3. Please Give
4. Social Network
5. The Kids Are Alright

1. Kick-Ass
2. The Social Network
3.  A Prophet
4. Greenberg
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop


(If you’re hoping to watch this in the future, my review might give a few things away…just a warning!)
I literally just finished this movie about 5 minutes ago, and when it was all done and over with all I could say to myself was “Jesus……..Christ.” It’s been so long since I’ve seen such a well-rounded drama like Match Point. It began with about an hour of risque’ romance, and then took a completely different approach from there on out.  I was skeptical in the beginning..Scarlett Johansson is typically hit-or-miss for me, and I’m not into the type of plot this one possessed. I couldn’t even begin to attempt forming an opinion about it until it was completely finished, and I absolutely love that. It’s also surprising to me that Woody Allen wrote it, yet the way it was filmed in his style became very familiar right away. There are so many things I could go into about this film that occurred to me while watching it, I’m afraid I won’t be able to list them all. The story was conventional in the beginning, took a couple twists, and eventually became something I’ve never seen before. The main character (Meyers) did a beautiful job portraying all the emotion that comes along with someone in his position. The further you get in the movie the better his acting becomes, I give him 5 stars. I was honestly glued to my seat the entire time…the sneaky phone calls, hour-long rendezvous’, and the close encounters kept me going. Watching him spiral downward and create a web of lies was riveting. It was an excellent portrayal of human instinct, lust, and the power of deceit, as well as what it can do to you over time. It goes to show that nobody gets away clean. If they do in technical terms, they almost never do consciously. He sought out in one woman what was lacking in the other, and by doing this he turned his lust into everything that bored him about his love. It came to a point where the two almost blended together, and what was supposed to be fun and games to him turned into a self-destructive mess of constantly being followed, scrutinized, and scared. Scared of the truth, and scared of his lies, the main character created a disaster for himself that seemed nearly impossible to get out of. He even became so desperate that he committed an act he could never live down.

My favorite scene of the movie was in the restaurant at the bar, where him and his wife are discussing his job options and what he should do about them. I admired the acting and poise that came along with being in such a long take…it was seriously minutes, with no mistakes! It was so natural and well-done, I felt like I was on the other side of the bar eavesdropping on a real couple’s conversation. Of course I have to mention something I would change, and that would be the wife’s unsuspecting attitude throughout the entire movie, and how she’s portrayed as this boorish character who doesn’t seem to be bothered by a thing. I expected maybe at least one scene where she finally broke down due to his incessant shadiness. I nearly shouted “FINALLY!” at the point where she asked him if he was having an affair. But, ignorance is bliss, which is a good example of the role she played, the (mostly) unsuspecting wife. I almost wish it would have spelled things out in the end, letting the viewer know the definite outcome, (movie-buffs say “what’s the fun in that?!”) Open-for-discussion endings are not something I’m against, but I was just so anxious to find out what Wilton’s destiny was going to be that I resented it just a tiny bit, (not near as much as my resentment for the detective who was determined to nail Chris Wilton with the crime….C’mon! Just let him get away with it!)
Overall I was completely blown away by this film, and loved just about every part of it. Five stars, bravo.

1. Cocoon (1985)

2. Grumpy Old Men (1993)

3. Nobody’s Fool (1994)

4. Assisted Living (2003)

5. Up (2009)

Upon my first viewing of “There Will Be Blood” I made the amateur mistake of watching it with a group of people. Once it became apparent that it wasn’t your typical Hollywood flick delivering blood, guts and boobs at rate of every 6 seconds, my fellow viewers slowly lost interest one by one and the room progressively filled with chatter. No offense to a majority of movie-viewers out there, but it seems as if our attention spans suffer a great deal when we’re forced to sit through a real-time film, portraying real events in a real setting, in a realistic manner. Oh, but good things come to those who wait.
This movie did a fantastic job of transforming a novel titled “Oil!” into a film that’s worthy of the title “There Will Be Blood”. Many doubted the ability to transform an educational novel about the history of oil into a film worthy of viewing, and after two years worth of effort in getting it financed it finally came to be. Good thing too, otherwise I would have one less movie to add to my Top Ten.
Not only is it beautiful to watch; the lighting, the machinery, the gritty glimpse into hard, dirty work, it’s wonderful to listen to. The soundtrack and audio is what had me gripping my chair. I was keyed up, unnerved, just as a worker on an oil rig would be. I felt as if at any second I would be hurt, and there was more than one instance I found myself literally holding my breath.
The touch of lifestyle differences in characters – self sacrifice to God – self sacrifice to oil – was a strong portrayal of the human relationships and business deals that occurred in this film. The way it portrayed humiliation and silent revenge was beautiful. Daniel Day-Lewis gets 5 stars from me; the voice, the stern face, the mustache. It’s a rare instance that I am unable to come up with a list (sometimes brief…sometimes not) of things I would change about a movie, but this completely threw my mental list-making habits out the window. There was nothing else I was focused on other than the great film in front of me.
TWBB taught me to be patient, to wait, and to watch. The music and audio encouraged me to anticipate. Nothing left me disappointed. Committing to the film and making an experience of it would be my advice to a first-time viewer.
It takes its time and makes you wait…but don’t give up! There certainly will be blood. In the words of Senator Albert Fall, “I drink your milkshake!”.

What is this?  A vampire movie that doesn’t get bogged down with the rules of being a vampire or goes for cheap scares and minimally uses special effects to enhance the story.  What?  A movie that actually has a compelling story.  I like special effects.  I would like to see that blue man 3D movie, just to say I saw it.  But if all it has to offer is a new, cool way to do special effects and doesn’t offer an interesting story then I am bored.  I should not have to go to Sweden to see a good movie.

I think I am going to carve “Oskar & Eli forever” into the tree in my backyard.

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.


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.


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”


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”