Laurence Anyways

13 10 2013

I believe I have watched the best film of the year so far.

Also, I am officially a fan of Xavier Dolan. Thank you for this wonderful, beautiful, poignant masterpiece of a film.

The Notebook

23 07 2013

Not as good as I thought, nor as bad. Meh.

I did laugh out loud at the giant swelling of strings when Allie predictably chose Noah though. That was fun.

Cloud Atlas Redux

29 04 2013

Watched it again tonight because I’ve been thinking about the film a lot recently. When it finished, I cried.

What a beautiful notion — not being able to be with someone you love in one era but perhaps in another life, you might. That strongly resonated with me. It made me think of the one I will always love and how we might not be able to be together in this life, but in another time, in another place…

I wish he would watch this movie. I wish I could make him see. I wish this so hard.

The Hobbit, or There and Probably Not Back Again

17 12 2012

was a bit of a disappointment.  I’ve read the book and absolutely loved it, and, of course, I try to judge adaptations as a film by itself.  Yes, there are many additions to the film that isn’t mentioned in the book (and many felt extraneous and really dragged the plot), but there were scenes that were just silly and lame (*SPOILER ALERT!* like when Radagast tries to distract the Orcs and Bilbo and the dwarves try to run but they keep bumping into the Orcs and so many times almost get seen.  It’s comes off as slapstick and just really silly, but it’s not even laughable).

Also, there was a piece of what seemed like steel wool in my popcorn (and in my mouth).  Also also, I had no idea Metropolis had become overloaded with utterly laughable ads — even putting a serious ad about not creating waste during the gift-giving season followed by ad where featuring a typical, white family ripping apart loads of wrapping paper and opening boxes, all likely going in the garbage can — and ridiculous game-things before the movie.  That really put me off to ever going to a Cineplex theatre ever again.  Ugh.

How to Survive a Plague

10 11 2012

This movie has been on my watchlist for some time now, and I was afraid I wouldn’t get to see it in theatres, since it’s 1. a documentary, which means it already has a limited release, and 2. that it’s not a huge, well-known doc right now, like The Queen of Versaiiles or Ai Weiwei.  I was pleasantly surprised to see on the Van City Theatre’s site a week ago that it was indeed coming to town, and quickly noted down the showtimes.

Well, I finally saw it tonight, and wow.  I’ve seen two documentaries on the AIDS Crisis this year alone, and this one is by far the best, and the most emotionally moving.  Needless to say, I cried at a few parts in the film, and had to restrain myself from downright sobbing in my seat when activists dumped their loved ones’ ashes on the lawns in front of the White House in protest.  Just watching the trailer makes me tear up.

I really hope this film gets nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary.  It’s so well put together and so devastating.  It’s just one of those films that you wish everyone would — no, must — watch to understand.

Cloud Atlas

21 10 2012

Saw Cloud Atlas today.  Thought it was really entertaining, even with its long runtime, but as a film, I was a bit dubious.  I`ve got just over a hundred pages left in the novel, I did feel like the novel was more philosophical and spiritual, whereas the film is much more action-oriented.  At first, I was a little disappointed that the film just didn`t feel as powerful as it could have been (I tried my best to distance it from the source material and to view it as a movie in its own right, which I believe is the appropriate thing to do when reviewing and enjoying an adapted film).

But the more I thought about the film, the more deeply it resonated with me.  It`s such a human film, and that`s all it is.  It`s an ode to humanity — to it`s greatness and it`s faults.  When I came home, I just felt like being close to someone, and I felt really emotional, but I couldn`t quite place it.

Sure, the film isn`t perfect, but it`s well worth a watch.  If it doesn`t make you feel something, then I guess you`re not human.

Cloud Atlas comes out in theatres this Friday, October 26th.

Shadows of Liberty

9 10 2012

Saw a documentary called Shadows of Liberty tonight and thought it was interesting.  Not the best doc in the world, but it does have some valid points about the control of news media and journalism by corporations and government.  There doesn’t seem to be a trailer around, but here’s the website where you can find out some more info:

Come and See

26 09 2012

Just finished watching this movie, and I feel like I need to go to therapy because many scenes were quite disturbing, more so because it’s based on real events.  This is what a real horror film should be — one that actually horrifies you, not simply scares you.

Definitely not for the squeamish (I’m looking at you, Kelsey).  And not a date movie.  But a damn good one.

Leave it on the Floor

18 08 2012

Had to run away from the credits of Mosquita y Mari to the Granville 7 in order to catch this movie.

Synopsis: after getting kicked out of his home for being gay, young Brad finds a community and family in an underground group of misfits and outcasts (and dancers).

Super awesome things: what a sassy, sassy movie.  Just from the trailer, I was expecting glam and lots and lots of dancing, but I wasn’t expecting there to be so much attitude and — if I may use this word in the gay context — fierceness.  Almost all the characters have varying degrees of sass and bitchiness, which is really fun to watch.  However, the standout element in this fun, musical flick, is actually the music.  With a cast that is made up of people of colour, what would one expect?  R&B and Rap.  That’s what I thought, anyway.  But the songs range from simple pop songs (“I’m Willing”, sung by the big-voiced Barbie-Q) to a tango (“Don’t Jump Baby”), to an inventive dark, gothic/gangster blend (“This is My Lament”).  In terms of its musicality, Leave it on the Floor has some of the best music I’ve heard amongst all other queer musicals, thanks in part to the surprisingly well-written and creative lyrics (written by the screenwriter Glenn Gaylord himself), and, again, surprising production work.  If there’s one reason to watch this film, it’s for the songs.

Other positive things about this movie are that this is a film with a cast of c0lour, and a pretty good film at that too.  Other films like Find Me are just downright terrible, so it’s good to see that not all films featuring a cast of colour are that bad.  One of the best things about this film is that it doesn’t take itself that seriously — one scene or another is interrupted with a sassy remark, and this keeps the film entertaining and fun.

Not so awesome things: Like with The Intouchables, when you leave the theatre, you’ll be smiling and feel like you watched something really entertaining and cool.  Which is true and not a bad thing.  But upon further thinking, you might realize the film doesn’t delve past anything substantial, and that’s a bit of a disappointment.  Unlike the previous film I saw, Mosquita y Mari, there’s a scene where the more traditional Black community argue with the flashy performers via song (“His Name is Shawn”) — all this during a funeral!  The song builds up and up, expecting a climax of some sort, and then — the dancers and entertainers leave.  That’s it.
The film even gives itself a second chance when Brad’s mother shows up in prison to taunt her son and tell him he’s not welcome (still) in her house.  There’s a look of regret and sadness as she tells him she doesn’t even want her son in her house anyway, but then she disappears too, and it just seems as if the more conservative Black community haven’t learn anything.  I almost wanted them to be witness to the runway shows just so they’d see just how happy and fun their sons, cousins, brothers really are.  But that never happens.

Similarly, what troubles this film from being more than just good is its pacing and its handle on more serious issues like the one mentioned above.  These scenes just don’t come off with authenticity because of the wild, crazy, fun tone set up in the beginning — its as if you watched Glee for a bit while high, and then started watching The Laramie Project.  These scenes don’t work well because we don’t take them seriously.  Hell, I didn’t even take Brad seriously.  The film must have realized this, though, because instead of resolving anything, say for example, the Black community vs. the queer community, or the conflict between Carter vs. Princess, it decides to forgo and sort of resolution and instead skip to the finale where the cast sings and performs the titular song (which, I thought, was a bit of a disappointment because the song itself was a tad empty).

The lesson learned?  You can’t always get along with people, so just sing and dance with your friends and chosen family, apparently.

Good for watching: before going out to a club.  It will make you itch to dance.  And I don’t even like dancing.

Overall: a fun film that unfortunately fails to tackle or comment on real issues.

Grade: B

PS.  Cameron Koa, who plays the underused Duke, is freaking adorable!  I just had to say that.

Writing day

7 08 2012

It turns out I can actually write without deadlines after all.  By intentionally not bringing a book to read to work today nor having any crossword puzzles to do, and with only a near-empty notebook with me in box office today, I surprised myself to learn that am indeed able to write on my own.  I managed to complete a novelization of the short film I shot a few weeks ago called June (of which was based on a script I wrote), a script that I started while I was on vacation in June, and wrote a little more than a page of a creative non-fiction work called What Would David Sedaris Do? which got a funny response from one customer (“Masturbate.”).

All this and a thunderstorm today!  If only every day were like this.