Lesson number one

Girly movies are often referred to as silly and filled with meaningless feelings.

I enjoy silliness and feelings and, thusly, I partly agree with those sayings.

However, I find mushy movies are also the source of all kinds of knowledge.

I’m not saying they are science so don’t get right on the edge.

For example, my general knowledge about religious events got better thanks to it.

For priests and rabbis, I turned to Keeping the Faith and I learned a bit.

I knew more about christenings thanks to The Importance of being earnest.

Then I saw 4 weddings and a funeral and, well, from this I took out the best.

My big fat Greek Wedding and Fiddler on the roof widened my cultural perspectives.

I wish someone unwilling to watch a corny movie would think of that before (s)he leaves.

Ok, that’s a very low argument but, sometimes, the best ones turn out to work less.

Look at Apple, their only argument is design and everybody has one in the US.


 

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Sunday’s Review 21: Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise-kingdom-vintage-photo

Although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same. I guess we could say Wes Anderson’s movies answer to the exact opposite of Lavoisier’s maxim for physics. Although the mass of absurdity remains the same, matter changes its form and shape. As happy to get back to the director’s witty and offbeat spirit as I was to discover a brand new style of story, Moonrise Kingdom felt both fresh and familiar.  

Answering to the “feel-good movie” category, the director built an all display designed to please our (or at least my) minds: Characters full of character, bright colors and round shapes, details, unseemliness, incongruities… I guess, if you are a really organized mind that needs, wants or expects common sense, that you won’t enjoy this movie. That gives it the limit anybody can ascribe to the film. It’s not a universal pleaser, is not suited for any mind.

 If you enjoyed most Wes Anderson’s work so far, you shall not be disappointed but otherwise, I’m advise you to get a pick at the movie trailer, it sets the mood quite rightly. The movie was running in the official competition for Cannes Festival, which ended today giving the “Palme d’Or” to Haneke’s Amour. It didn’t get any price and I must say I’m kind of relieved. The only reason I feel that way is that, last year, I finally thought I got what this festival was aiming in terms of movie style, interpretation or realization. If Moonrise Kingdom had got a price this year it would have entirely broke my theory because it doesn’t fit for one bit.

So, surprisingly enough, I am glad a film, I really liked and have a high opinion on, didn’t get any recognition from a bunch of highly respected Figures of the7th Art.

 

Crouch, touch, pause, engage!

I’m not really into sports but as anybody feigning to want to get into it.

I first leant into team sports: Invictus for Rugby and for soccer Bend it like Beckham did it.

As it seemed so much better for guys, I looked into Basketball with Switched at birth.

But seeing the competition, I realized I’m not done for this team curse.

For a one (wo)man job sport, Bagger Vance interested me in Golf but let’s face it,

It’s a luxurious sport. I could be a luxurious person but my wallet disagrees a bit.

Watching Wimbledon I got into tennis but I Haven’t got Kirsten Dunst looks.

Really, sport might not be my thing at all; maybe I should get back to my books.

As a last resort, I watched Chariots of fire again hoping to fall for running

But unfortunately, my untrained lungs dread the beginning.

To put it in a nutshell, I’m left with a few extra pounds that ice-cream can access.

But how would I not eat ice-cream, everybody has some in the US.


 

 

Sunday’s Review 20: Margin Call

Margin-call

You may or may not have noticed but last week was a Review less Sunday. To make it up to you, I’m going to do, today, two reviews on the same movie. It’s not a pros and cons fight, just two pieces of my mind, thinking differently, but on the same subject.

 

1.     Tonight, I understood the crisis. Or not. Margin Call goes right into the heart of the economic crisis as it’s never been seen, at least by my humble eyes, before. Is that a good thing? (to see the heart of it, I mean) I don’t know. Because here seems to be the message: the crisis happened because, at this time, economy was entirely based on a pattern of speculations that didn’t make any sense and, thus, all our system shall be rethought. But this system is the way we live, it’s just not that simple to say “well, this is crap, let’s not do it”, we (I mean people with a normal sized brain) can’t figure out a new way to go. So, I guess that what I’m saying is, as long as I have to live this way, I don’t really want to know that it is a destructive fatal way to live. Well, all this spiel I just made is all this movie is about.

My first surprise in this movie was that I didn’t need more than 30 seconds to forget the goofy wannabe poet from Gossip Girl (Penn Bagdley), the mighty evil from Heroes (Zachary Quinto), the sexy mind-reader from The Mentalist (Simon Baker), the slaughterer angel from Legion (Paul Bettany) or the soon-to-be Ashton Kutcher’s ex-wife (Demi Moore). I immediately saw these ambitious workers caught up in the worst conceivable situation for their career. This movie is about survival and self-preservation instincts. It is also a question on what is going to destroy you or what isn’t.

They could easily have passed on the metaphoric death of Kevin Spacey’s dog. That was useless. Besides that, it’s a strong movie and I know most people will hate the ending but, actually, we all know how it ends.

 

2.     I suspected that Margin Call wouldn’t be so successful and, most of all, wouldn’t be as appreciated in the US than elsewhere. Box-offices showed me right. As a matter of fact, nearly 65% of grosses came from exportation. When, as an example, Moneyball (with Brad Pitt) had only 31.4% of its grosses coming from foreign countries. Why is that? First, I think US pride had difficulties accepting the demonstration of an enormous irreparable mistake coming from them. Then, the idea of an enclosed storyline, living again, hour per hour, a huge crisis didn’t tempt them very much, and I can understand that.

Having said that, the strength of this movie is in the screenplay (and that’s the Oscar academy recognized nominating J.C Chancor for the original screenplay category). It shows how slow the fell can be, even if it’s just in a few hours. This contradiction relies on the all mood of this movie. The waiting, the oppressing, harrowing wait can feel way worse than actually failing. It’s like falling from a building: it’s worse to know that you’re very quickly aiming to your inevitable death while falling, than to actually die when you land. And, here, the wait is made worse knowing that you are not the only one you made fall. Therefore, I wouldn’t say watching Margin Call is a pleasant moment. But it’s only because it’s well written and that the story is unpleasant.

It’s well directed and played, for a story which is as much an interesting gazing-stock as a massive human failure. I can understand the attraction as well as the repulsion it can arouse. Anyway, we may salute an as-always brilliant Kevin Spacey.

 

For the elderly and beautiful

Today, I kind of feel like I’m 95 years old. I have a backache that forbids me to move fast.

I’m forced to have my hands constantly on my back and every time I stand up it’s a blast.

Feeling like this, my admiration for elderly rose again.

Benjamin Button’s curious case already gave me a beautiful sight and then,

It has been like being old was a thing, every movie had its old life story.

The Holiday has Arthur Abbot and New York, I love you has Abe and Mitzie.

I don’t know if it’s because great actors are getting old and are still under the spotlights,

Or if they are kept under the spotlights because it is trendy and in fashion rites.

Anyway, it gave birth to movies like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,

Which stars a brilliant elder English actors panel:

Maggie Smith, Bill Nighty or Judi Dench proved that experience beats freshness.

I might sound a little prejudiced but that’s ok, everybody has some in the US.


 

 

The less you’ve got it, the more you spread it

As series and cinema geek, I often get the “don’t you have anything better to do” speech

But what people do not realize is that movies and TV shows got a lot to teach.

I’m not even referring to clever movies like Tree of Life, Departures or La Chinoise.

I would never have heard about Mencken’s Chrestomathies without Gilmore Girls,

I googled Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to know more about them after I saw You’ve got mail,

And I wouldn’t know how to cook mushrooms properly without Julie&Julia important detail.

I read Henry James after Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ Notting Hill romance

And I want to read Truman Capote ever since they talked about it in Save the last dance.

I learned about a Picasso portrait with Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris

And thanks to Kate & Leopold, I know about the elevator brand: Otis.

I could go for hours but I think you got my point: watching a screen is never useless.

This way I built myself a little general knowledge batch, everybody has one in the US.


 

Sunday’s Review 19: Lucky number Slevin

Lucky_number_slevin

A film where a random guy gets caught in mafia debts troubles, we’ve seen a million times. A film where Bruce Willis is the mysterious brain of it all, we’ve seen at least as many. A film with an old grudge between two powerful gangs, one black, one jewish, we’ve seen one billion times. Lucky number Slevin seems to be no more than that, but keeps surprising the viewer as the movie goes on.

First, this nice casting (Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Josh Hartnett, Stanley Tucci, Ben Kingsley) isn’t a cover up for a pale script: eventually, there is something there.

Then, while some action scenes are as the ones we’re used to, the settings, the décor and the shot angles have a proper identity that gives the film a special touch. Special mention to the wallpapers which kept making me smile all along.

I’m not a big Josh Hartnett fan mainly because I must have seen three of his movies tops, and I really didn’t like Pearl Harbor, but it didn’t bug me at any time because there was too much to look around him.

Finally, I had a good time, I wasn’t bored, I didn’t get a headache looking at it. I wasn’t blown away but appreciated the twist. It was clever and simple, which is a fading quality in Hollywood.

To put it in a nutshell, it works and we like that.

 

Inspirational break through

Friends has 238 episodes, you can take it to 10 thousands for the Young and the Restless.

Woody Allen has written fifty-four movies, no less,

JJ Abrams has created more than five TV series amongst which are Lost and Fringe,

And Steven Spielberg has made so much Hit movies I think he tends to binge.

Sometimes, I really wonder where do they get inspiration.

Every time I have to write a post it’s the same affliction.

I could find something to say about spaghetti westerns, I never did, it’s a pity;

But would have to see them again cause they seem far far away in my memory.

I wanted to do something about music in movies because there is so much to say;

Now my problem is actually that there is too much to say.

I envy the eternal Hollywood creativity, its inspiration seems to be endless.

Maybe I just need an agent, everybody has one in the US.