Sunday, April 21, 2013

Flight

Most enjoyable weekend catching up on a few movies that I had failed to see while in wide release at the cinemas.  I was quite happy with Flight.  Top notch story telling, which plodded along nicely in full character development fashion.  Being witness to people celebrate and then unravel is true to the 'people-watcher' fancy that most of us humans have come to enjoy.  This film offers us such voyeurism.
While watching Flight I came to a conclusion about Denzel Washington.  As a humble, flawed character he is much more interesting.  Never to shy away from difficult or controversial characters I feel he shines best when burdened with humility and human dilemnas (man vs. himself conflict).  I also very much enjoyed Kelly Reilly who was as beliveable of a addict as I have ever seen.  This is ever more impressive when you consider that the majority of her screen time was in recovery. 
The movie ran a lengthy 138 minutes, ample time to get Whip Whitaker's story told in fair unbiased representation.  A strong 7.5 out of 10.

Philosophy of Science Portal: Deceased--Storm Thorgerson

Philosophy of Science Portal: Deceased--Storm Thorgerson: Storm Thorgerson February 28th, 1944 to April 18th, 2013   Pink Floyd's Animals   Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the M...

House At The End Of The Street

Arriving hot off her run in The Hunger Games blockbuster and Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence took a slight detour in the suspense/thriller House At The End Of The Street.  Lets not get this mixed up with a horror or teen slasher movie, like some dissatisfied reviwers did.  Instead this story takes us through a relatively formula plot of mystery and suspense.  Some critics complained of the lack of jumps and the slow pace.  I rather appreciated the pace.  Too often in these type of stories viewers protest the inelixible actions of the characters (like, 'Why would she go out into the woods alone').  A slower methodical plot allows for the characters to develop organically and give the viewer insights into the motivations of their actions.  For example, this pace allowed us to understand why our heroine would be curious about her neighbor and seek out his attention.  Another reviewer proclaimed that Jennifer's gifted acting saved the movie only because she abandoned it.  Not quite sure what they were getting at, but I will give it a go.  I think that they were crediting her for having the professional insights not to over act the role in scenes that would have otherwise crumbled under less gifted actors. 

I think Jennifer did an adminarble job showcasing just enough instincts so as to not render the script too hokey and making the relationship with next door neighbor (played with great skill by Max Thieriot) believable.  Looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.  Reminded me of a young Ryan Gossling.  Their chemistry and innocent exploratory interactions is probably the highlight of the movie.  
Don't misinterpret my positive comments as I can only give a moderate recommendation as the story did have holes and timing out at 101 minutes it got out when the getting was good.  I could not have withstood another 20 minutes.  All in all, a diversion for Jennifer, who along with the serious drama Silver Linings Playbook demonstrates that she is a versatile actress tackling suspense, action and drama. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Roger

No, not Roger Water.  Roger Ebert.  Its taken me quite a while to think of something worthy to say about this cool geek that I have followed for so long. 

Quick aside: This is my favourite picture of him.

This guy is hard to forget.  Over the past weeks, I was constantly reminded of his passing every time I sought a reliable review for a new movie.  Sadly, I can no longer lean on his reliable take on movies.  This loss however got me thinking.  When compile all of the reading I have done in my lifetime from any author (including my favourite Kurt Vonnegut) the volume pales in comparison to the output from Roger that I consumed.  That really hit me.  I've read more Ebert than any other writer.  The accumulation of all of his reviews will likely never be surpassed, as no other writer (that interests me) has ever been more prolific.  For that I owe him, and for that I have to admit that he must have influenced my writing in some significant way. 

What made Roger so endearing to me was that his take on film came from what got him truly excited  He found redeeming qualities in otherwise bad movies.  He put as much credit into the pure entertainment of a movie as he did into the artistic value that it provided.  What else impresses me?  Well, he was an eternal child at heart and when disease stole so much from him he did not roll over and fade into cinematic history.  Instead the years of his fading health became the most prolific period of his output.  He embrassed technology (particularly Twitter) and always stayed dedicated to the responsibility (or prime directive) to share all things that he found passion in. 

I have to ask what set him apart from all the other critics.  In my opinion it was the fact that he sincerely respected all of its players.  Actors, directors, producers, cinematograhers et al.  These people sensed his respect and as a result worked to try and impress him with their artisitic output.  I am sure that his was the first review that most referenced when reaching out to see how they were doing.  He was the true barometer of film,  From many other critrics you sensed that they resented and sometimes loathed those in the industry that had success.  This came through in their reviews.  As a result entertainers lost respect or dismissed them while the viewers grew tired and resorted to the critics that gave them truthful unbiased opinions.  Perhaps Roger was not a critic, and instead he was celebrator or champion of the art of film. 



I could go on all day, instead, I have included a link of a collection of comments and written statements from fans and people from the movies.  Enjoy. link

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard - Jeremy Messersmith- The Reluctant Grave...

Another great, relatively new artist.  Don't know much about him.  Love 3 or 4 tunes from his only album in wider release called The Reluctant Graveyard. 
Here is another one.  This one mught be a bit deeper in meaning.  Whoever is producing his videos also knows what they are doing and are marketing him to a distinct audience.  No Bieber type marketing yet.  Hope I never see that as the potential is there, but I do not see teeny boppers listening to this type of music.

Jake Bugg - Lightning Bolt

Only twice in my life have I scored a jem by listening to an album in a music store listening station.  The first time I was blown away by Nirvana's Nevermind.  It had not really hit the airwaves yet but some genius clerk at CD Warehouse in Ottawa heard it and stuck it in the listening station for me and others to discover.  Most recently, I saw a CD cover of a young kid that looked like a junior Keith Richards already wearing what might be an ounce of his life experience on his face.  What I briefly heard was a very raw sound which seemed to come from a throw-back folky rocker from the 70's.  I heard tonnes of 60 and 70 influences in his music. This intrigued me enough to pick it up and boy am I lucky I did.  This kid is going to be huge if he sticks with it.  Every tune on his CD is listenable and carries some redeeming qualities and hints as to where he can take his skills next.  His lyrics are way beyond his years (and 95% of the artists already out there) and I can't wait to see where he is going to go from here.  Just listen to the insight of the lyrics in this catchy little Dylan sounding tune.

Saturday, April 13, 2013