Monthly Archives: July 2011

Horrible Bosses by Seth Gordon

This is my number two comedy of the last 12 months (right after Butterworth’s The Drummond Will).

I did not expect anything more than from Bridesmaids. How wrong was I! This film is amazingly paced, fantastically cast (which includes Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, unrecognisable Colin Farrel, Jamie Foxx and cute as ever Jason Sudeikis – previously known for his role in the terribly disappointing The Bounty Hunter and in the classic 30 Rock) and well written.

Time and money well spent for a big laugh and a big wink at the audiences, who in my opinion deserve such sophisticated and yet plain humour delivered lightly and served with pleasure.

The three main characters (including recently raising to fame Jason Bateman) are as physically different as real life buddies would be; thus making it easy to be distinguished and constituting the proper buddy movie genre.

The story is simple and on the verge of getting absurd, yet quite rational in the end. What seems least credible is the episode involving Jennifer Aniston who a) can’t act and b) should have rejected the role. Yes, we know she has great hair and figure and she was married to Brad Pitt… still waiting for her breaking with the image of Rachel Green. Will that ever happen?

Great buddy movie (maybe somebody might compare it to The Hangover, which is still pending on my list of films to watch!). Great entertainment.

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The Big Picture by Eric Lartigau

L’homme qui voulait vivre sa vie literally translates into ‘a man who wanted to live his life’.

I love Romain Duris and I love Catherine Deneuve unconditionally.

This film however I do not love. Where do I begin… It starts off as a typical overdialogued French cinema, which I adore. Until the first turning point the film flows greatly. Then soumething happens to both the plot and the pace of the film. What firstly was a credible and realistic middle class drama suddenly turns into an-on-the-verge-of-horror movie (sic!). What follows is more and more absurd and, what is probably the worst about the whole film, not in accordance with the rules of the created world. Certain rules get broken and the audience cannot identify with the hero any more. The film then goes on and on onto the second turning point which is followed by another sequence of disbodied events leading to an unexplained ending. It’s too long and not everything is obvious/said/shown in a clumsy way that is not an advantage adding value to the intellectual message. It seems the main idea was to convey something which did not get through from the pages of the script to the screen. A big disappointing failure of a film despite Romain Duris’s vast talent. Not even him could save this film.

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Beginners by Mike Mills

Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent. Oh, and COSMO (the dog).

With such cast, what can be expected!?

It is an intelligent, beautiful, magical, romantic story that with its bitterness and sweetness seems bizzarely real.

To an extent, it is similar to Ayoade’s Submarine, to Murakami’s Norwegian Wood. Being a simple story told in a beautiful manner playing with the tools and never boring.

The beautiful slow pace is an unexpected advantage of the film. It’s bitter-sweet with a bit of sour taste. Only at one point does it key an unlikely string, but in general the world created is coherent and craftily constructed. Despite achronological jumps in time, we are never lost as to what happens when.

A wise, calm cinema. Strong recommend.

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The Tree of Life by Terence Malick

It’s an organic cinematic experience where little can be explained by reason and a lot is felt rather than understood.

A large portion of the film is set in flashbacks of family life in 1950’s/1960’s South. Another lot though, is set in an unspecified time and space. Be it the internal life of stem (?) cells, the outer space, erupting volcanos, jungle, rocks, salt desert, mountains, ancient temples and the postmodern city jungle of skyscrapers.

The image of family life is intense and slowly unveiled onscreen.

This is not a film for everyone. Not much actually happens. A lot is anticipated. Little is told.

 

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Bridesmaids by Paul Feig

This film would be really hard to bear if not for (rare) brilliant dialogues/situations involving Jon Hamm (Mad Men‘s Don Draper), or Chris O’Dowd as a bored state trooper.

Although it is seemingly a ‘ladies’ film, only the male characters are able to defend themselves as ‘flesh and blood’ protagonists.

The female roles are shallow, unconvincing, ridiculous and too detached from reality to seem credible.

It was supposed to be a comedy. It is funny at points, but in most other moments it is embarrasingly below the average level of good taste.

The dialogues are uneven, as if they were written by somebody who wanted to have fun (creating witty lines at points), but then had to adjust the rest of them to fit the genre and thus adding other parts which awkardly do not fit to some sophisticated jokes.

Not recommended to anyone who does not like sitcoms involving jokes built around food poisoning and its inevitable consequences, tons of offensive language, socially unfit bitter spinsters and perfect housewives in a blender.

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A Separation by Asghar Farhadi

Brilliant. Important. Well filmed. Fantastically directed, with impeccable acting. Convincing, touching, real.

One of those films that show us how little we know about other countries, other cultures, how different and yet how similar their every day lives are.

The kind of cinema that grabs you by the throat and will not let go for a long time.

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Senna by Asif Kapadia

Sundance 2011 winner, documentary on the career of Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna.

Given I am not an F1 fan or connoisseur, part of the film reminded a video game to me.

Also, it is one of those documentaries where you are aware of the manipulation of building the tension. Obviously everybody knows what is the end of the story, and to that climax, we are led at the astronomical speed of Formula 1.

Definitely worth a watch if only to admire and appreciate the amount of footage that the film authors had to go through to cut a convincing story.

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