Monthly Archives: June 2012

Littlerock by Mike Ott (2010)

This print has travelled through many festivals across the US and Europe. The director got the Gotham award, the Independent Spirit Award, the Audience award at AFI fest.

It surely is a very particular kind of cinema – this special kind that festival audiences will appreciated with pleasure.

The most appealing experiment performed here is that the dialogue is played in Japanese and English, but also in Spanish at times and the subtitles are loosely dropped in whenever the dialogue is actually set between two characters speaking the same language. What may be quite risky turned out to bring the magic through and allowed focusing on the innocent and exploratory fresh view at either side.

Two Japanese siblings land in a Californian town of Littlerock with little (brother) or no (sister) English and meet new friends, hang out on their way to Manzanar – an old concentration camp for Japanese held there in 1940’s.

Beautiful light, atmosphere, great performances of writers-actors. The whole ensemble is to watch out for future projects as each of them is active on the American indie scene.

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Filed under film reviews, Raindance 2011, Warsaw Film Festival 2010

Numb by Harris Goldberg (2007)

Matthew Perry plays a depressed and detached from reality 30-something script writer and part of creative duo (the other half is quiet as never Kevin Pollak).

He is at a moment in life, when men his age go through their mid-life crisis. It seems Hudson never quite got over his adolescence until now. After having smoked one joint too many, he begins to suffer from a rare psychological condition, which practically disables him from normal functioning. He mainly sleeps and bores his shrink to deep REM.

A much welcome turning point appears when he meets Sara – the perfect idealised version of a woman-anchor, woman-saver, woman- iconic embodiment of forbearance and patience.

Perry is as far from his comic roles as possible and to a good change. His role is carefully led and credible. This film galloped through screens without much ado, go catch up if you can!

The melancholic drama carries an important message of the need for distancing oneself from everyday trouble to focus on the big picture and the general direction one needs to take going forward.

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Filed under Catching Up, film reviews

Mr. Sunshine (2011 ABC – cancelled)

Allison Janney and Matthew Perry leading an enseble cast within a single-camera format.

They were both seen together before on the set of The West Wing. The chemistry seems to be working quite well.

They both are incredibly talented and work well as an ensemble. It was a good idea but perhaps the setup of the story was a little too abstract and irrelevant to many. Funny lines can only work as long as you learn something new about he characters, their development or their back story. Once all is established, there is not much left.
Janney’s character is funny as long as she is an irrational rich lady. Once she gets more human, I’m no longer interested.

What’s old: episode length – 22 minutes and style of short and pointy yet witty dialogues leading to slightly deeper layers but not too deep.

What’s new: the setting – for all I know it could be set on the moon or at a plank factory. It doesn’t really matter and that is unfortunate.

Verdict: the show got cancelled after only one season without even airing the last few episodes. There was not much to follow. Shame. But hope they will get something new soon.

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Filed under TV Series

Detachment by Tony Kaye (2011)

Adrien Brody is a replacement teacher who only teaches English until the end of the semester before the proper teacher gets hired.

The film pictures the crisis of the institution of school, the burning out of teachers, the helpless children who get agressive and violent as that seems to be the only way for them to survive the cursed adolescence.

Brody plays a flesh and blood character who has the patience and smoothness of a lamb while at school, but has also a brutal and strict side of him outside the workplace.

Amazingly acted and fantastically told – great watch.

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Filed under 2011 cinema releases, film reviews

Prometheus by Ridley Scott (2012)

Michael Fassbender is an android – very convincing and emotionless just like in Steve McQueen’s Shame.

Noomi Rapace  – very convincing in the role of survivor and fighter – just like in the Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Charlize Theron – slim and shy, as if forced to command the quest to the far moon seeking answers to world old questions.

Remarkable and brilliant Guy Pearce – totally unrecognisable.

The opening scene – especially when watched on the IMAX is breathtaking. There is an ancient monk or perhaps a super-human or human engineer committing ritual suicide at the verge of huge waterfall. The 3D version of the scene allows for total immersion into the world.

The story is flat and shallow and although there is an attempt at the existential angle – introducing the up-to-date discussion between darwinism and creationism, the film is weak in terms of built characters and the plot is simplistic.

There is potential for sequel, but why not making the story in this film rather than promising a next one?

You can skip it.

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Filed under 2012 cinema releases, film reviews

Iron Sky by Timo Vuorensola (2012)

I think this film will become a cult classic. For a few reasons.

One: the idea of Nazis setting up a base on the Moon sounds quite entertaining for a start.

Two: the number of filmic references seems to be countless and delivers an extraordinary taste to the pat on the viewer’s shoulder.

The biggest pleasure of this film seems to lie within point two above.

It delivers pure enjoyment and it truly is an amazing project with farcical political twists.

A must watch this summer.

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Filed under 2012 cinema releases, Cult Classics, film reviews