Posted on May 17, 2013 by Darren
The Great Gatsby feels like candy floss for the soul. A little of it is tempting, even appetizing. It was a curious texture, a strange sense of lightness, but also curiously heavy. Appealing to look at, and fun to pick at, it’s not something to be digested in large portions. The opening fifteen minutes of The Great Gatsby pop and sizzle, as Luhrman blends stylish visuals with an inability to keep anything still. The cameras, the actors and even the scenery seem to be moving to a beat – one occasionally intruding on the sound track. Such energy and vibrance is hard to resist, but it’s also exhausting – as much for the film as the audience. Once the movie settles into its own style and routine, it winds up feeling a lot like its protagonist. You’re not quite sure it’s really there.
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: baz luhrmann, Carey Mulligan, Elizabeth Debicki, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Great Gatsby, Joel Edgerton, Leonardo diCaprio, Luhrman, New York City, Roaring Twenties, Shopping, tobey maguire | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 14, 2012 by Darren
“They’ll call you the quickest gun in the South,” bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz remarks to the freed slave Django Freeman. The cliché would suggest that he meant to say “West”, but Django Unchained has its mind firmly on the Southern United States. Producing the film, writer-director Quentin Tarantino argued that he wanted to produce a “Southern” rather than a “Western”, and he has done an admirable job. However, what’s really remarkable about Django Unchained is the way that it balances Tarantino’s trademark grindhouse aesthetic with considerable mature nuance. Django Unchained is the story about two bounty hunters tracking down wanted men dead or alive, but it that doesn’t mean that it is afraid to tackle more substantive and challenging aspects of American history.
If you’d asked me whether I thought that Tarantino could produce a powerful and insightful exploration of slavery in the Deep South before I saw Inglourious Basterds, I would have hesitated before answering. Django Unchained is smart, sophisticated and thoughtful, but never pretentious, never pandering, never dull. In a rather unlikely way, it is the most mature film Tarantino has ever produced.
An ice cold killer…
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: Candie, christoph waltz, Django, django unchained, film, German language, inglourious basterds, jamie foxx, Leonardo diCaprio, Movie, non-review review, quentin tarantino, review, samuel l. jackson, Schultz, Southern United States, Stephen, tarantino, United States | 10 Comments »
Posted on November 29, 2012 by Darren
Okay, I’m still sore that Django Unchained isn’t opening here until next year, but a new trailer does a little bit to alleviate that. And, well, at least I’ll be getting my most anticipated movie of 2013 a little early, I suppose.
There’s not too much here we haven’t already seen, but everybody looks to having such a good time that I can’t help but feel a little more excited about the film. In particular, Leonardo DiCaprio looks like he’s having a whale of a time.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: christoph waltz, django unchained, inglourious basterds, jamie foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonardo diCaprio, quentin tarantino, samuel l. jackson | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 11, 2012 by Darren
I’m still hurting a bit from the decision to push Django Unchained‘s Irish release date into 2013. Then again, I shouldn’t be too disappointed – hopefully it’s worth the wait. Anyway, they’re released a new trailer for the film, and I have to agree with The Guardian when they suggest that Leonardo Dicaprio might prove a dark horse in the Best Supporting Actor race. Of course, as with most of the Oscar season excitement, I’ll only be catching up after the fact.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: christoph waltz, django unchained, Guardian, jamie foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonardo diCaprio, quentin tarantino, samuel l. jackson | 4 Comments »
Posted on September 4, 2012 by Darren
It’s very strange to hear that an actor who really emerged during your life time has passed away. I was actually already an aspiring movie buff when Michael Clarke Duncan gave his breakout performance in The Green Mile. Duncan, of course, had been around for a while before that. He’d been working in the entertainment industry even before he decided to seriously pursue acting as a career – the early nineties saw the guy working as a bodyguard for Will Smith among others. He turned earnestly to acting in the mid- to late-nineties, and had a small but memorable role in Armageddon that led Bruce Willis to recommend him for The Green Mile. In many ways, I watched Duncan become a recognisable screen presence, and I was very shocked and saddened to hear of his passing.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Academy Award, armageddon, bruce willis, Duncan, green mile, Jack Coffey, Leonardo diCaprio, los angeles, michael clarke duncan, Myocardial infarction, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, rest in peace, Shawshank Redemption, Television, tom hanks, Universal Channel, will smith | 7 Comments »
Posted on May 11, 2012 by Darren
I have a confession to make. I have never seen a Critters film before. They were always sitting there on the lower shelves of the horror section in the shop where I used to rent DVDs, but I just never picked one up. I can’t quite explain why – that sort of trashy horror-comedy would probably have seemed right up my street, but I guess I was probably more fascinated with the more iconic horror monsters and menaces. Anyway, my better half has always had a bit of affection for Leonardo DiCaprio, and when we discovered that his first big screen role was as a kid in Critters 3, I suggested that we could watch both watch it. And, I’m surprised to admit, it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Laugh it up, fuzzball…
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: art, arts, Comedy horror, Critters, critters 3, DiCaprio, DVD, entertainment, film, Frances Bay, george lucas, horror, jonah hill, Jordan Belfort, Leonardo diCaprio, martin scorsese, Movie, Movies, new york, nightmare on elm street, non-review review, review, Wolf of Wall Street | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 3, 2012 by Darren
It’s funny the things we pick up on after seeing a movie a few times. I had the pleasure of attending a preview of Titanic 3D last week, and Cameron’s film still holds up as an epic romance in a style that Hollywood simply doesn’t do anymore. It still has its problems, but it is one hell of a cinematic accomplishment. Still, as I was watching the film, my attention may have wandered a bit, and I found myself thinking about things that were unseen, as opposed to those moments Cameron had explicitly shown. Specifically, I thought about Rose Dawson’s life after the sinking of the ocean liner but before her trip to the salvage crew. In fact, I thought quite a bit about Calvert. Who is Calvert, you might ask? Calvert is her husband, the father to her children and the grandfather to her granddaughter, who is entirely absent from the film as we pay homage to the love story between Jack and Rose.
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: Atlantic Ocean, Billy Zane, Calvert, Cameron, hollywood, jack, james cameron, kate winslet, Leonardo diCaprio, London, Ocean liner, rose, Rose Dawson, Royal Albert Hall, Sherlock, titanic | 4 Comments »
Posted on March 30, 2012 by Darren
James Cameron’s Titanic is still a breath-taking production, even sixteen years after the fact. Sure, its huge budget and even bigger box office returns, coupled with its enormous pop culture impact, have all combined to make it a bit of a target for movie critics in the years following its initial release. To be honest, while I wouldn’t rank it as anywhere near Cameron’s finest accomplishment, I’ve always admired it for what it was: a romantic historical epic, perhaps the most recent film like that which Hollywood has produced. Even a decade and a half later, Titanic remains one hell of spectacle and a well-constructed piece of cinema, with Cameron displaying a mastery of form and an innate skill for story-telling. Couple with the best post-conversion 3D that I have ever seen, there’s no reason for anybody with a genuine interest in the film to stay away from the big re-release.
Her heart will... go on, finish it...
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: American Civil War, Brock, Cameron, film, george lucas, hollywood, jack, james cameron, kate winslet, Leonardo diCaprio, London, Movie, non-review review, Phantom Menace, review, rose, Royal Albert Hall, Sherlock, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, titanic, United States | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 18, 2012 by Darren
I’ll concede that I’m surprised how much I liked J. Edgar. Acknowledging that I’ve been a lot fonder of Clint Eastwood’s more recent output than most, and accepting that this film (like many of his recent films) has considerable flaws, I found it a fascinating examination of twentieth century America, explored through the lens of one character’s life. While it isn’t nearly objective enough (and is far too sensationalist) to be considered a truly effective account of the life of one John Edgar Hoover, it does offer a thoughtful meditation on the relationship between old and young, the corruption of moral responsibility and the lingering doubt that maybe our generation’s elders have somehow disappointed us. It’s in these reflective moments that Eastwood is at his strongest, hitting on themes the director knows especially well. Unfortunately, it is undermined by its handling of the famed FBI director’s personal and sexual life, if only because it completely lacks subtlety and nuance.
There's a lot on the line...
Filed under: Non-Review Reviews | Tagged: Clint Eastwood, Clyde Tolson, Dustin Lance Black, eastwood, Eleanor Roosevelt, film, Hoover, J Edgar, j edgar hoover, Leonardo diCaprio, Movie, non-review review, review | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 1, 2012 by Darren
Enough with the best of 2011! That was so last year. Let’s instead reflect on some of the films I am most anticipating in the year ahead. As noted elsewhere, this is all just my opinion, so it’s bound to be a bit crazy and off-the-wall, but hopefully it’s interesting enough.
Hopefully, 2012 isn't a cinematic disaster...
Filed under: Movies | Tagged: 2012, Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Batman in film, Christopher Nolan, james badge dale, james bond, jason reitman, Leonardo diCaprio, quentin tarantino | 6 Comments »