Archive | September, 2012

[Review] – The Master

30 Sep

Title: The Master
Year: 2012
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons
MPAA Rating: R, sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Runtime: 137 min
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Metacritic: 85

First of all: you’re going to have to bear with me here, this will probably be one of my long reviews. That’s because, of course, not only is The Master one of the most buzzed about films of the year, but it’s also a film by Paul Thomas Anderson, my favorite director. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may know I love lists, I love quantifying stuff from favorite movies to favorite long-takes, whatever. My list of favorite directors is a revolving door of greats, but for quite some time now I’ve known that, no matter which masters of cinema occupy the spots right below him, Paul Thomas Anderson is the solid number 1 for me.

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[Review] – Resident Evil: Retribution

29 Sep

Title: Resident Evil: Retribution
Year: 2012
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer: Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Kevin Durand, Sienna Guillory, Shawn Roberts, Aryana Engineer, Colin Salmon, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe, Li Bingbing
MPAA Rating: R, sequences of strong violence throughout
Runtime: 96 min
IMDb Rating: 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Metacritic: 39

This whole week I’ve been all about watching these small indie movies that all played at Sundance this year: The Words, Bachelorette, Hello I Must Be Going, Keep the Lights On and For Ellen. Well, after those small films I decided to go in the total opposite direction to open up the weekend and watch Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth installment in the popular zombie franchise. Like it or not it really does look like these films are here to stay.

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[Review] – For Ellen

28 Sep

Title: For Ellen
Year: 2012
Director: So Yong Kim
Writer: So Yong Kim
Starring: Paul Dano, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, Jon Heder, Dakota Johnson, Shaylena Mandigo
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Runtime: 94 min
IMDb Rating: 5.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 42%
Metacritic: 55

Paul Dano is a very talented actor, someone who I really feel should be a bigger name by now and someone I feel will most certainly be regarded as one of the best actors of his generation once it’s all said and done. It actually took me a while to get used to that idea, mostly because I still associated him with Klitz, the character he played in the teen comedy The Girl Next Door, but the performances he’s delivered in the year since, in films like Little Miss Sunshine, There Will Be Blood, Meek’s Cutoff and this year’s great Ruby Sparks have all been something special. Not to mention that they’ve come in great films from talented filmmakers, so he knows who to pair up with and great people want to pair up with him.

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[Review] – Keep The Lights On

27 Sep

Title: Keep the Lights On
Year: 2012
Director: Ira Sachs
Writers: Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias
Starring: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Runtime: 101 min
IMDb Rating: 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Metacritic: 80

Since I was on quite the streak of watching films that premiered at Sundance this year I decided to extend that streak to four by watching Ira SachsKeep the Lights On, which screened at the festival this year. The film, for those who don’t know, is about a homosexual relationship between two men, having even won the 2012 Teddy Award earlier this year. Last year I remember watching Weekend, Andrew Haigh‘s stunning film about the weekend two male lovers spend together. That film was seriously something, I had it as my 32nd favorite of all last year and it just got a release from The Criterion Collection so you know it’s good; Keep the Lights On, while not as a great a film, is definitely somewhere around that level.

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[Trailer] – Stoker

26 Sep

Park Chan-wook is of course the acclaimed Korean filmmaker responsible for his impeccable Vengeance Trilogy, which includes the brilliant Oldboy. Next year he’s releasing Stoker, his English-language debut, and you can watch the first trailer for it below.

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[Review] – Hello I Must Be Going

26 Sep

Title: Hello I Must Be Going
Year: 2012
Director: Todd Louiso
Writer: Sarah Koskoff
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Christopher Abbott, Blythe Danner
MPAA Rating: R, language and sexual content
Runtime: 95 min
IMDb Rating: 4.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Metacritic: 60

Todd Louiso is a guy probably known to most people for his supporting roles in films that are more than a decade old. In Jerry Maguire he was Chad, the nanny who listened to some sweet jazz, and four years after that he was Dick one of the three employees at Championship Vinyl in Stephen FrearsHigh Fidelity. Melanie Lynskey is an actress probably known to most people for her supporting role as Charlie Harper’s stalker neighbor, Rose, in CBS‘ crappy Two and a Half Men. Well, Mr. Louiso is also a director and Ms. Lynskey is a far better actress than what that show allows her. Enter Hello I Must Be Going, the new film from him and starring her that should do all the convincing to back up my statement.

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[Review] – Bachelorette

25 Sep

Title: Bachelorette
Year: 2012
Director: Leslye Headland
Writer: Leslye Headland
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, James Marsden, Kyle Bornheimer, Rebel Wilson, Adam Scott
MPAA Rating: R, sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use
Runtime: 87 min
IMDb Rating: 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Metacritic: 52

After watching Sleepwalk with Me last Monday, For a Good Time, Call… on Saturday and then The Words yesterday, I thought I would continue my streak of watching exports from this year’s Sundance Film Festival and take a look at Leslye Headland‘s Bachelorette. And Ms. Headland may be a first time director, and her only previous experience writing for the screen may have been for the small screen, on the staff of the gone-way-too-soon Terriers, but her film debut sure as hell is a winning film.

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