For me “It’s” quite clear

I can’t begin to explain the joy I get from Nancy Meyers’ films. She does middle class dinner scenes of people laughing and drinking wine better than anyone! Her films make you want to dive through the screen into this lush world of beautiful houses, delicious food and music that will cause your eardrums to orgasm.

I put off renting this film and – as I did with “Julie & Julia” – I have to say now; why’d I wait!?

Meyers’ screenplay is good, the film looks great (Including fantastic art/set design) and the cast is incredibly enjoyable! Who couldn’t enjoy sitting down to watch the talent of Meryl Streep, the likability of Steve Martin, the comedy of Alec Baldwin and the face of Hunter Parrish!?

Something that pleased me a lot with this film was that I couldn’t even pick the ending. It had me guessing, constantly changing my opinion about who I thought Streep would end up being with, if anyone at all.

If you enjoy these sorts of films, do yourself a favour and put this one at the top of the list. I can’t wait to add it to my DVD collection.

4.5/5

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“So it begins…”

Production has begun in Wellington, New Zealand today for Peter Jackson’s new film “The Hobbit”.

Due to us already experiencing what would normally be the only life-span of a film’s life (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) it makes it all the more special that we’re actually going to be able to re-enter this world.

I can’t tell you how much I wish I could have been there on set first thing this morning with the crisp cold air and quiet atmosphere as this mammoth project begins. I think it might feel history and I’d love to wander the set, help put up a wall, carry costumes from one destination to the other, stop for a chat with the DP. I’m getting a small amount of euphoria just thinking about it.

I don’t count Peter Jackson among my favourite directors, but I have no doubt in his ability to make a superb large-scale film and he’s my #1 choice for “The Hobbit”, so naturally this is a project that I’m highly anticipating. I just wish I could be there on set as they make it.

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“The Motorcycle Diaries” review

This film feels like it was made with love. It’s the story of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara (Played by the charismatic Gael García Bernal) as he travels South America on a motorcycle (and on foot).

Some films make you interested in their characters more than other films. This is certainly a film that made me very interested in the life of Ernesto and interested in him as a person.

The film drags sometimes, but carry on through those rare times and you’ve got quite a good film. Don’t think you’re just getting a road movie either because in the latter part of the film you get a solid amount of time spent in one spot which is really the best part of the film I’d say. Walter Salles has made a touching, absolutely beautifully shot film with incredible locations and all that is complimented by a superb soundtrack which includes another great score from Gustavo Santaolalla.

I think this is a film that a lot of people could enjoy, so I’m recommending it. Plus it might get you interested in this man like it’s got me interested.

Actually now I’m planning on renting part 1 or Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” starring Benicia Del Toro, so hopefully you’ll see a review of that this week.

“The Motorcycle Diaries” gets a Jyerating of 4/5

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5 mini-reviews from a critic catching up

A Curtain Raiser [Francois Ozon, 2006]

Probably the best of these five films I’m reviewing. Bruno (The charming Louis Garrel) and his friend Pierre (Mathieu Amalric) are waiting in Bruno’s apartment for his girlfriend to arrive. Bruno previously told her that if she arrives late again, their relationship will be over.

This is a delightful short film (coming in at 30mins) with lovely writing and great performances. Those who love French cinema (Like Me) should really enjoy this little tale about love.

4.5/5 Recommended!

 

Summer Storm [Marco Kreuzpainter, 2004]

A German coming-of-age film about a gay oarsman (Played by Robert Stadlober) on a mostly straight high-school row team on camp. Troubles arise as another row team (Comprised of only homosexuals) is also at the camp.

It was nice to see a film like this actually get made with the quality that it has. It’s certainly not a film that will knock you off your feet, but with nice visuals, a good setting etc. there’s really nothing much to complain about, especially if you’re looking for a film with this kind of subject. It’s a good watch.

4/5

 

Whole New Thing [Amnon Buchbinder, 2005]

Emerson Thorsen is a precocious teen who has to start attending a public school after years of home-schooling. This brings along some joy (In the form of a crush he forms on his teacher; Don Grant) but also some trouble from a school bully.

Nothing we haven’t seen before and there’s far too much focus on Emerson’s parents who are going through marriage issues. There are some aspects to enjoy, but ultimately you won’t be missing out if you never see this.

2.5/5

 

Baby [W.I.Z., 2001]

Ben Wishaw makes a visit to a public swimming pool and ogles people.

There’s not much to this one, what I stated above is really what the 12min short film is. But it’s certainly enjoyable to watch. I couldn’t make sense of the ending, so if you end up seeing it (Which you can do so for free here: http://www.factoryfilms.net/otherwork) let me know your thoughts about the endings meaning.

4/5

 

Autopilot [J.B. Herndon, 2009]

Trouble caused by a son is brought to his unsuspecting father.

I don’t know how to review this film. It felt like I was watching a middle/late section of an indie film.

It’s so well shot and I found it entertaining.

Jyerating of 4/5

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2010: A year in film

So here they are folks; the winners of the ten categories. (If you want to familiarize yourself with the nominees, you can do so here)

It should be noted that in each category there was more than one nominee I would have been happy to make my top pick. But enough talk… on with the awards!

 

Best Motion Picture of the Year:

127 Hours (Dir. Danny Boyle)

 

Best Achievement in Directing:

Christopher Nolan (Inception)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

James Franco (127 Hours)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:

Amy Adams (The Fighter)

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)

 

Best Achievement in screenwriting:

TIE: Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) & Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)

 

Best Achievement in Cinematography:

TIE: Enrique Chediak & Anthony Dod Mantle (127 Hours) & Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)

 

Achievement in Music used as a Score:

Hans Zimmer (Inception)

 

Worst Motion Picture of the Year:

Edge of Darkness (Dir. Martin Campbell)

 

So there you have it folks, my top picks of the year 2010!

If you’d like any info as to why I chose who I chose, or you just want to voice your opinion on my choices, please by all means leave a comment.

It was a pretty good year, but I’m hoping 2011 will top it.

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A lacklustre holiday

I’d wanted to see this and since it was on TV I took the opportunity. I was hoping for some laughs and a pretty French location, I got pretty locations but hardly any laughs.

This film is let down by the fact that it’s just not funny! I’m going to blame the writers mainly for this. I hardly laughed at all. One of the highlights of the film though is a supporting role by William Dafoe who plays a pretentious film director. We get to see part of his film that is putting the audience to sleep and it basically takes stabs at art-films. His pretentious film probably gave me the biggest laughs of the entire movie. So thank you Mr. Dafoe.

Look, the film certainly isn’t boring. It’s enjoyable to watch Rowan Atkinson go about his “holiday” in his usual Bean way, but that’s not enough when you’re not laughing.

It’s competently directed and the cinematography is good, but all in all I’d recommend you avoid this one unless you’re a big Bean fan.

This holiday gets a Jyerating of 2.5/5

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2010 Jyerating Film Award Nominations

I’ve been agonizing over these nominations for a while now, but I’m finally done putting them together. Obviously there are still films from 2010 that I want to see, but I’m going ahead with the awards anyway.

You’ll notice some differences between my awards and that of the Academy’s… that’s because these are my awards and I have no problem doing with them what I will. I hope you’ll enjoy some of the changes.

Enough talk. TO THE NOMINATIONS! (Which are all listed in alphabetical order)

Achievement in Directing:

  • Christopher Nolan (Inception)
  • Danny Boyle (127 Hours)
  • Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
  • David Fincher (The Social Network)
  • Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
  • Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island)
  • Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
  • Rob Reiner (Flipped)
  • Spike Jonze (I’m Here)
  • Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)

Motion Picture of the Year:

  • 127 Hours
  • Black Swan
  • Flipped
  • I’m Here (Short)
  • Inception
  • Kick-Ass
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • Shutter Island
  • The Social Network

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
  • Hailee Stienfeld (True Grit)
  • Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right)
  • Madeline Carroll (Flipped)
  • Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass)
  • Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
  • James Franco (127 Hours)
  • Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
  • Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:

  • Amy Adams (The Fighter)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
  • Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)
  • Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right)
  • Mila Kunis (Black Swan)

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
  • Christian Bale (The Fighter)
  • Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
  • Matt Damon (True Grit)
  • Nicolas Cage (Kick-Ass)

Achievement in Screen-writing:

  • Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
  • Christopher Nolan (Inception)
  • Edgar Wright, Michael Bacall & Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
  • Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass)
  • Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman and Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped)

Achievement in Cinematography:

  • Danny Cohen (The King’s Speech)
  • Enrique Chediak & Anthony Dod Mantle (127 Hours)
  • Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
  • Robert Richardson (Shutter Island)
  • Roger Deakins (True Grit)

Achievement in Music used as a Score:

  • Alexandre Desplat (The Ghost Writer)
  • Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech)
  • Clint Mansell (Black Swan)
  • Hans Zimmer (Inception)
  • Ingram Marshall (Shutter Island)

Worst Motion Picture of the Year:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Edge of Darkness

Like my choices? Loath my choices? Let me know your thoughts.

The winners will be announced before the week’s end.

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