Amazon Holiday

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Greenberg


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A man with every therapy-worthy clinical condition you can think of (Ben Stiller) comes to L.A. to do nothing in his brother's mansion, and begins an incredibly unhealthy affair with his brother's assistant (Greta Gerwig).

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Mark Duplass, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Chris Messina, Merritt Wever, Juno Temple, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Jake Paltrow, Susan Traylor, Max Hoffman, Zach Chassler, Mina Badie

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. When the veteran indie filmmakers start imitating the newest indie filmmaking trend, Mumblecore, but they do it with a combination of A-list celebrities and Mumblecore true-hearts, you should always beware of pretension.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: There's a moment when Greta Gerwig, who is considered the queen of Mumblecore, looks at an old picture of Ben Stiller, from when he was in a band and laughs, "Look at you. You're trying so hard to look casual!" What's funny about that is it's exactly what this film is trying to do.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: It's sad and upsetting that any woman would allow herself to be treated the way Greenberg treats the lead actress, but many do.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: I can't imagine the Spirit Awards overlooking an opportunity to get both Ben Stiller and Noah Baumbach in a room by nominating them.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Personally, I enjoy the hard core realistic look and feel of Mumblecore acting, but the sad reality that comes with it is that without makeup and with natural lighting, these actors aren't much to look at.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: If you weren't already getting nauseous at the idea of someone kissing Ben Stiller (in a non-joking manner and with bad lighting), Noah Baumbach invites you to throw up again, in the way he shoots Stiller having oral and later regular sex with the girl, who despite the fact that she claims to like him, also looks like she might lose her lunch at any moment.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Dark. Possibly comedic, although I'm not sold on that. The most laughs were gotten by the aforementioned sex scenes. But I think people were only laughing so as to hold back vomit. The dialogue is interestingly narcissistic. If you're an aspiring writer trying to get noticed, I recommend you imitate it. Not hard to do. Simply, every time one character says something, the next one replies with something completely unrelated that is about himself, and they go back and forth, until both people are talking out loud about their own issues without listening to, or responding to the conversation occurring next to them. People tend to think that stuff is brilliant, so go crazy.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/greenberg/37679/trailers

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Four guys (John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Clarke Duke) get transported back to 1986 in a hot tub that's a time machine, and as they try to retrace their steps, so as not to disrupt the present, they figure out where their lives went wrong.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Clarke Duke, Sebastian Stan, Lyndsy Fonseca, Crispin Glover, Chevy Chase, Collette Wolfe, Lizzy Caplan, Charlie McDermott, Aliu Oyofo, Jake Rose, Brook Bennett

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! Why the Hell not?!

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: At first I was worried, as the audience around me laughed and I didn't. But when I finally did get around to laughing, they were big belly laughs.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Some of those 80s fashions might make you cry. Especially when you realize that they're not that different from the stuff that's coming into style right now.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Not so much an award as whatever the opposite of that is called. You see, while the movie takes place in 1986, the notoriously funny 80s styles that the film features are actually from 1982. I imagine the film was written in hopes of exploiting 1982's New Wave style, but it probably took several years to sell, get packaged, and get made, so they had to move the date forward or the main characters would've been pushing 50, if you do the math (which I did). At the same time, there's no point in doing a time travel theme to the 80s, if you're not going to highlight the beautiful colors and shapes that make up the look of 1982, so they cheated. But I was there, and I know the truth.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Sebastian Stan plays a dead-on 80s bad guy, and gets you wondering how the acting back then got away with being so bad. And if Rob Corddry hasn't broken out for you yet, this movie should do it. He's got most of the funny lines.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Steve Pink does a great job of spoofing 80s movies, from the two-dimensional good looking preppy bad guy who always wants to pick a fight for no good reason to the abundant gratuitous bouncing bare breast shots that used to be in every movie about teenage boys. Remember those? And remember how our parents used to let us go see them? Yeah, times have changed. You just can't make movies about teenage boys who have the power to pop open women's shirts with their eyes, anymore. (P.S. if you're too young to remember Zapped, I suggest you rent it. If nothing else, so that you can better understand why Generation Xers turned out the way we did. We grew up on movies like that.)

Q: How is the story/script?

A: While you can predict a lot of what's going to happen, the writers create original dialogue by following convention and then taking it back as soon as they've done their due diligence to the convention. So that the joke becomes, "We know how this scene is supposed to go, and we're going to make you think we're going that way, but we're not really going to go that way. Instead, once you're comfortable with your little convention, we're going to go much further, in a potentially offensive direction, that you didn't have the guts to predict." After you've seen it, think about what I'm saying. Preferably while under the influence of magical mushrooms. It will make perfect sense.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/hot-tub-time-machine/37538/trailers

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweetgrass


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A documentary about the part of Brokeback Mountain that no one remembers: the sheep herding.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: The last cowboys in America. No, really, they were the last ones to ever do this particular sheep herding journey through Montana's Absaroka-Beartooth mountains. And by the way, they're not gay.

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketStop! You're probably wondering why I went to a movie about sheep being herded, and the reason is, I have no idea.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Some sheep sure do know how to deadpan! Which is just one example of how this film with almost no dialogue, and a lot of nothing going on, actually finds quite a bit of humor in even the most seemingly mundane aspects of the farm and the wilderness.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Sometimes you do feel really sorry for the sheep. Especially when they're just born, and are immediately dragged across the floor to be separated from their mommies. But also right after that, when they get other young lambs thrown on top of them, as they attempt to take their first breath of life.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: As much as you're probably not going to like it, I wouldn't be surprised if the Awards givers do. Especially those Indy Spirit nominators.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: There is a young, dumb cowboy, who seems to have a vocabulary made up of only about ten words, nine of which are expletives, and the tenth of which is "the", and in one scene this macho-man's man breaks into tears about how awful this job is, as the camera pans the majestic scenery that surrounds him. Clearly the filmmaker is pointing out the irony, so even though he's crying, it's okay for you to laugh.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: I hate to say this about a film that is so slow and long for what it has to say but, the directing is truly excellent. Picturesque shots that don't move or change for up to 10 minutes at a time manage to hold your attention like some kind of meditation that has just been forced upon you.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Aside from this depicting a piece of history that has recently (2003) become an obsolete practice, there is no story, and most of the dialogue sounds like, "Baaaaah"-- or some variation thereof. (I never realized before how often sheep Moo, like they're cows.)

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: Getting sheared looks really relaxing. I would like to try that someday. Or maybe I could just get a massage.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdC2OvtzdE8

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Runaways


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: The true story of how the Runaways came together to be the first all-girl rock n' roll band, eventually spawning Joan Jett.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Stella Maeve, Riley Keough, Scout Taylor-Compton, Alia Shawkat, Johnny Lewis, Tatum O'Neal, Brett Cullen, Hannah Marks

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. The movie's not that bad, what makes it hard to take is the music.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Angelenos, who have experienced the smooth tones of d.j. Rodney Bingenhiemer on KROQ 106.7, will get a good laugh at Keir O'Donnell's dead on impersonation of his half-witted manner of speaking. It's like he's always reaching for the next word in a sentence, not quite sure whether or not it will come to him.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: It's sad to see how easily kids on the road slip right into severe drug habits. If you, like I, know someone who is at the beginnings of a potentially very successful career in rock n' roll, this story is a scary reminder of how incredibly concerned you should be.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Yes. It's the Movie the Parents of Twilight Fans, Most Likely Don't Want their Little Girls to See. And the competition is stiff-- as you may have noticed, I saw Remember Me yesterday.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: In my review of The Yellow Handkerchief, I mentioned that Kristen Stewart is a one trick pony. Well, guess what? It turns out she has another trick. She is an incredibly convincing dyke! And Dakota Fanning, I've been a fan of hers since she was 3. Which doesn't make me feel any younger when I watch her in a film that takes place in the 70s, and it's exceedingly clear to me that she has no idea how to use a pay phone or put on a record... I can just imagine what it was like on the set, "Can someone please show Dakota how to play a 45?!" But she still gets it wrong...

Q: How is the Directing?

A: The directing is so good that I actually noticed it. Floria Sigismondi chooses really interesting angles and allows the actors to move around inside of her frames in ways that juxtapose them in one dynamic composition after another.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Floria Sigismondi's screenwriting skills aren't up to her direction, though. It's hard for anybody who's up against a biopic, and as usual, there's no big suspense pulling us through and keeping us involved, beside the fact that we go into it knowing that in real life they had some success.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/the-runaways/38105/trailers

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Remember Me


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: After getting into an altercation with a cop (Chris Cooper), a college student (Robert Pattinson) decides to date the cop's daughter (Emilie de Ravin), as a means to get back at him.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Ruby Jerins, Chris Cooper, Tate Ellington, Pierce Brosnan, Lena Olin, Gregory Jbara, Chris McKinney

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. The vampire from Twilight is only half as brooding in this version of the one character he plays. But without the white face makeup, he's twice as hot. So it's a toss up.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: The story opens on a woman getting murdered in front of her 11-year-old daughter, and then cuts to a different set of characters visiting the grave site of their 22-year-old brother. So you may want to laugh, but the people sitting around you may take death a little more seriously than you do, and that can get awkward.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: For all the death and drama going on, the only thing that might make you cry is the ending, which is totally exploitative of a true event that should never have been used in this way. It insults our intelligence, and makes the true situation feel like a cheap trick.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: I would've given it the award for hottest male nudity (Rob Pattinson), but there wasn't any... What were the filmmakers thinking?!

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Sometimes, when the little girls in the film have scenes with R-Patz, you can see them thinking, "OMG! I'm talking to Edward, right now!"

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Allen Coulter does a good job of keeping Pattinson in focus in the foreground, and Emilie de Ravin in the shadows... he knows which one is easier on the eyes. And frankly, aside from Pierce Brosnan, who holds his own, you almost start to feel sorry for the actors who have to share the screen with Pattinson. It's hard on all of us when we realize we're the ugliest person in a room.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: This is another case of a compelling logline for a romantic comedy, which goes off topic in the second act because it has run out of conflict to explore. Now I know this is a romantic drama, and not a romantic comedy, but it dawns on me that there would have been a lot more ground to cover in this premise had it been a comedy instead. Well, I guess I'll just hold my breath until the Will Ferrell version comes out.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: It's funny, in a screening like this, you get a lot of previews for other romances. And what's funnier, is watching all the men who were dragged there by their girlfriends quickly turn to them with a preemptive, "No! I'm not seeing that." But we all know that when the time comes, they're seeing that.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/remember-me/37888/trailers

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Bounty Hunter


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: An ex-cop (Gerard Butler) who is now a bounty hunter is assigned to pick up and turn in his ex-wife (Jennifer Aniston).

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Jason Sudeikis, Jeff Garlin, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Peter Greene, Joel Garland, Dorian Missick, Cathy Moriarty, Adam Rose, Christine Baranski, Carol Kane, Adam LeFevre, Ritchie Coster

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. With the right execution this could have been a decent concept, but the two leads hate each other so much that it's hard to care for either of them.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Not really. But you know what would've made this movie funny? Casting Brad Pitt as Jennifer Aniston's ex-husband. Now that would've been an interesting twist!

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: You know how Gerard Butler's character makes a big deal in the trailer about how he can tell the difference between when Jennifer Aniston's crying is real or fake? Well I couldn't. They both looked fake to me.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: I'll tell you what it won't be up for: Best Costume Design. I'm sorry, but if your characters are only going to wear one outfit for the entire movie, I'd think you'd have time to come up with something a little more original and character defining than a black tank top with a black skirt and pumps. I could come up with that outfit since I was 15, without any of your formal training or your five figure salary.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Has anyone besides me noticed that Gerard Butler talks out of the side of his mouth when he does romantic comedies? I can't tell if it's because that's how he does his American accent, or if that's just his signal that he's about to say something that's meant to be taken as a sarcasm joke. What do you think?

Q: How is the Directing?

A: As soon as Andy Tennant's credit came up on the screen, I couldn't stop thinking, "Oh no! He's the guy who gave up Fool's Gold." And as I continued to indulge his generic directing style, I started to realize that this is a remake of Fool's Gold, only set it in a new location, and with two lead actors who are slightly less attractive, charming, and likeable, than Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: This is for all you screenwriters out there: what's missing from this script is the "Save the Cat" moment. For the rest of you, that is an expression which comes from the title of my all time favorite screenwriting book, "Save the Cat" by Blake Snyder. Snyder explains, that to make a character likeable, there needs to be a moment, somewhere close to the beginning, where we see him or her do something selfless and kind, like save a cat from a tree, because once it's been established that this person is generally good on the inside, we, the audience, are much more forgiving of their flaws and mistakes. The characters in this film do a lot of mean things to each other, and without a "Save the Cat" moment for each of them, we quickly become as unforgiving of them as they are of each other.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: Ke$ha introduces her new single during the credits, so prepare to hear that song on the radio whenever Lady Gaga isn't playing.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/the-bounty-hunter/50263/trailers

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chloe


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: When a woman (Julianne Moore) finds out her husband (Liam Neeson) is cheating, she hires an escort (Amanda Seyfried) to hit on him and see how he responds.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Max Thieriot, Nina Dobrev, R.H. Thompson

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! It's in the same genre as Fatal Attraction, but with a twist... and some hot girl on girl action.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: I'm not sure if that was on the top of its list of things to do.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Not cry, but definitely squirm.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Men like to say that women are crazy, but I find that when women act crazy in relationships, a lot of the time it is their men's behavior that is driving them to it. This movie has my vote for the Best Depiction of How Men Make Women Lose their Minds Award.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Amanda Seyfried has the most incredible eyes. All she has to do is tilt her head down and look up, and you will believe anything she says.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Most of the time you don't notice it, and then there's the part where Atom Egoyan slowly pans Julianne Moore's naked body while she's in the shower, and then, in case you missed it on the first pass, comes back to a shot of her breasts and her long pointy nipples, and just rests his camera there for a good 10 seconds for absolutely no reason... like a baby grabbing for his mother's teat when he's no longer in the mood for milk.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Erotically thrilling.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/chloe/1430056/trailers

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

She's Out of My League


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: After a broken heart for both of them, a "5" (Jay Baruchel) gets to date a "10" (Alice Eve).

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, Lindsay Sloane, Kyle Bornheimer, Jessica St. Clair, Krysten Ritter, Debra Jo Rupp, Adam LeFevre, Geoff Stults, Hayes MacArthur

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. If you enjoyed The 40 Year Old Virgin, this movie wants to be that one. Only that movie is a "10" and this one is only a "6"... so you'll probably enjoy it if you're drunk.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Every comedy writer is looking for a new way to do the hair gel scene from There's Something About Mary or the waxing scene from The 40 Year Old Virgin, and these guys thought of new ways of doing both.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you're a hot girl trying to find that one decent, good looking man, this story could be a sad reminder of how much you're expected to lower your standards for his looks, if you ever want to be treated right.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Best repeated usage of The Finger. For a movie with so many The Fingers, I was surprised at how often I found its placement and direction both surprising and original. Possibly the most original thing about the movie.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: As sweet as Jay Baruchel is, I think I prefer him as supporting cast. Lindsay Sloane deserves a shout out for being one of the most underused and underrated comedic talents in Hollywood. And Alice Eve, while possibly a "10" to some, can't walk in heels! You see, I learned from this movie that everyone feels more comfortable knowing that she has a flaw.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: It's a "7".

Q: How is the story/script?

A: With his looks, job, and car the main character is really no more than a "2", maybe a "3" if his sense of humor is really as good as the other characters claim it is (although that's up for debate). There is no world in which a hard "10"-- no less a "7" or "8"-- would go for this guy, so it's clear to me without even looking at them, that the writers of this script are ugly. I'm glad they had a chance to work through their deep rooted male fantasy, and I hope they will realize that by doing this, they are now no better than those of us women who go to female oriented rom-coms, and come out really believing that there exists a man who is gorgeous, charming, and has the personality of one of your girlfriends.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/shes-out-of-my-league/38533/trailers

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Alice in Wonderland


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Now almost 20 years old, Alice returns to her reoccurring "dream" of Wonderland, but this time, it may not be a dream.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Leo Bill, Mairi Ella Challen, and the voices of Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Alan Rickman, Barbara Windsor, Paul Whitehouse, Timothy Spall,

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. I can't figure out if I have fond memories of this story because the first time I was introduced to it I was a young child, or because it was the 1970s, a time when we expected all forms of media to make about as much sense as an acid trip.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Tweedledee and Tweedledum are still cute... and still only humorous to people with underdeveloped brains, like the Red Queen and small children.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you're one of those rigid parents who believes that any movie with smoking in it should be rated R, you will be gravely disappointed to find out that the caterpillar still smokes a hookah pipe, and you may have to fake tears when your kids reveal to your husband that you took them to a movie with a drug smoking insect in it.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It definitely deserves awards for Art Decoration, Costume Design, and Makeup Design. I want to do my eyes like Johnny Depp's!

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Anne Hathaway has been getting a bad rap for this performance, but I quite enjoyed her ethereal choices. Helena Bonham Carter, who I generally love, goes to far too much trouble to make her Red Queen different than those that came before her, but I just wanted to hear "Off with her Head!" said in the same old, comfort-food way. And Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter isn't nearly as annoying as the preview makes it look... He's actually kind of sweet and logical for a guy who's totally mad.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: For once Tim Burton's style is more beautiful in its fantastical nature than scary. He creates a world that you might actually want to visit. But I'm over 3D. It's rarely worth the extra charge, and I recently read an article that if you watch too much of it, it will ruin your depth perception-- which is why I'm deathly afraid of the 3D TVs that are being released on the market in the next few weeks. I mean a movie here and there, your eyes might survive, but I guarantee that if people start watching all their TV in 3D, we're gonna have a lot more car accidents.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: It's been done before. Literally. Over 20 times.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeWsZ2b_pK4

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Art of the Steal


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: This PBS-style documentary recounts the story of how The Barnes Collection, the most valuable collection of art in America, and possibly the world, was metaphorically stolen in broad daylight by politicians and non-profit organizations.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Some Van Goghs, some Cezannes, some Monets, some Matisses, some Picassos, some Manets, some Renoirs, and countless other famous artists' works, which you probably haven't heard of.

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. If you've heard of any of the artists I didn't bother to mention from Barnes' collection, then you're just the kind of cultural art snob this talking heads documentary was made for.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Only if poopy jokes make you laugh... You weren't expecting me to say that, were you?

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you're one of those cultural art snobs I mentioned above, just seeing some of these paintings committed to celluloid could move you in ways so profound that you can hardly put your emotions into a category.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Most of the commentators in the film would likely give it The Philistine Award. Let me define "philistine" for those of you not culturally-art-snobby enough to go see this: (Merriam-Webster) "A person who is guided by materialism and is usually disdainful of intellectual or artistic values"... So basically, it's you.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: It's so interesting how no matter whose side of the story you're hearing, the person telling it to you always believes they are 100% right.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: The guy clearly knows he's making a film about art, so whenever he is tasked with shooting transitional shots of cityscapes and skylines, he makes a point of being as showy as possible. He also conspicuously places all of his interview subjects in front of large pieces of art, which are presumably from their own personal collections.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The musical score leads you to believe that they are hoping that you are watching a thriller. And again, if you are the cultural art snob mentioned above, maybe this is all it takes to thrill you.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: The movie does (very casually) open the debate about what is best for the art. Is it best to respect the will of the original owner, which may mean that no one makes any money off the collection and very few people in the world are ever invited to see it, but it is respected and preserved in the way it was intended to be? Or is it best to go against the dead owner's desires, so that people from around the world can enjoy these great works, even if it means that greedy rich aristocrats and selfish politicians are profiting from it? The fact that you're even pondering the answer to that, points directly to the evidence that you are in fact the cultural art snob in question, so I suggest you see the movie and discuss it with you co-snobs immediately.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/the-art-of-the-steal/10011565/trailers

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Prophet (un proph├Ęte)


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: A young Arab man (Tahar Rahim) goes to prison, where he is forced to kill or be killed. Before he knows it, he is rising through the ranks in a gang of Corsican natives who hate Arabs.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb, Jean-Philippe Ricci, Jean-Emmanuel Pagni, Leila Bekhti, Slimane Dazi, Rabah Loucif, Frederic Graziani

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! Navigating politics is never easy, but navigating prison politics is so hard, you'd have to be some kind of prophet to do it. This film plays out like a season of Survivor, where if you get caught lying and manipulating, you get your flame snuffed out-- but literally.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: More than you'd expect from a film filled with blood and murder. But for me the funniest bit was a conversation about conjugating the French subjonctif plus-que-parfait, which reminded me of the time I spent in French school asking the teachers why, if nobody used it anymore, I (along with every other French child in the world) was required to learn it? It would be like Americans having to learn old English... or new English, for that matter.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you didn't want to go to prison before seeing this, then after seeing this film, you really won't want to go there. You might even get scared right into passing your GED.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: All of them. Here's a condensed list of the ones it's already won: BAFTA, Cesar, National Board of Review USA, European Film Awards, Cannes... And this weekend we'll see if it adds Spirit Award and Oscar to the list. I think it will.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: There were actors in this film? I didn't recognize any of them.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: The movie is way too long, but there is a lot of information to get out, and certainly some moments when you notice how interestingly that information is gotten out.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Intricate, intense, original, and with an Arab protagonist, who is not a good guy, but only doing bad things because he has to. He is also smarter than anyone else in the room, and more honest, so you never stop feeling for him, despite the fact that he's not usually doing anything that commendable.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: As a native French speaker, I wondered if it would be confusing to mono-linguists watching subtitles where the Corsicans often speak their language, and the Arabs often speak their language, and there is no differentiation on screen for those who don't know that they're no longer speaking French-- which is relevant because it means certain people in the room can no longer understand what is being said. And what is being said could potentially at any time be, "Kill that guy."

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: http://www.moviefone.com/movie/a-prophet-un-prophete/38552/trailers

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