Posts Tagged ‘drama’

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Warning: Spoilers Abound

4 out of 5 stars

Yet another movie that I wouldn’t know existed if it weren’t for the amazing, VideoETA.com. You see VideoETA is a great resource for finding out both theatrical and home release dates of movies. Often while checking to find the date of a film I know about I discover hidden gems. These are often films that had a limited or direct to DVD release.

That was the case with Perfect Sense, also known as The Last Word. It is a perfect case of this, as the film was released in only 1 theater for 1 week. It was directed by David Mackenzie and written by Kim Fupz Aakeson. It was shot and set in Glasgow.

If you only saw the film’s cover you may just go in thinking that it’s a standard romantic drama but it’s so much more. This 2011 drama is actually the most disturbing movie that I’ve seen this year.

The movie is about a horrifying disease that individually steals humans’ senses. As the film progresses, we gradually see and feel the characters lose their senses of smell, taste, sound and finally sight. It’s implied that they will eventually lose touch as well.

Although the movie shows how this would affect large populations of people in various countries (most likely using stock footage of actual riots, etc, which is also incredibly disturbing) it mainly focuses on how this would affect us as individuals.

The movie focuses on Michael (Ewan McGregor), a chef with intimacy issues, and Susan (Eva Green), a scientist who is sick of men mistreating her.

Despite her annoyance at the interruption of a phone call, Susan first meets Michael when he bums a cigarette from her. Their meet cute takes place easily since he is a chef at a restaurant right across the alley from her apartment.

Despite her initial reticence at getting involved with a player Susan decides to dine one night after hours with Michael. This is during the beginning of their loss of senses. This causes a very close connection between them as they simultaneously lose their sense of smell.

As they lose more and more senses they rely on and fall for each other. This is incredibly romantic and seductive. They let down their defenses and tell each other things they’ve never told another soul because they can feel everything ending and need something honest.

“Want to go dancing?”
“Sure”
“Get drunk?”
“Sure”
“smoke cigarettes?”
“Always”

Despite the interspersed footage of riots and the horror of the situation, including the fact that as someone who has been studying this epidemic from the beginning, Susan admits that no one really knows what will happen next, for a while things are going better than normal for the characters. Why? LOVE, of course.

Unfortunately, prior to the loss of each sense, humans experience a heightened sense or emotion. So prior to the loss of hearing they become very angry and violent. This is when Michael scares and drives away Susan after yelling terrible things at her and then wrecking his own home.

This causes them to be apart during the horror of losing their hearing. However they both try their best to enjoy life as they can. Michael eventually goes back to work and Susan learns to love her sisters’ family (instead of just being jealous of them).

“…and if there had been anybody left to see them, then they would look like normal lovers, caressing each others’ faces, bodies close together, eyes closed, oblivious to the world around them…”

With the impending loss of sight, our lovers’ realize how important love and being with those you love is. So they reunite as the darkness closes in.

Yes, that is Trainspotting’s Ewen Bremner (Spud)!

In addition to love overcoming the worst we are also repeatedly presented with the idea that life goes on and humans learn to adapt. This is often shown to great effect at the restaurant that Michael works at. For instance, when people lose their sense of smell (which is tied to taste) the chefs decide that they must increase the spiciness of the dishes to really give the customers flavor. Later as taste goes dining out is more about texture and feeling special as you spend time with a loved one and are waited on.

Perfect Sense is most definitely not an easy film to watch. In fact, you may cry. However, it’s incredibly touching, interesting and innovative. It is a must watch!

This movie also available at Redbox kiosks.

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My Favorite Movies: Velvet Goldmine-starring Ewan McGregor
Movie Review: Dark Shadows-starring Eva Green
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Moulin Rouge-starring Ewan mcGregor
Movie Quotes: I Love You Phillip Morris-starring Ewan McGregor
Shirtless Beefcakes of the 90s-includes Ewan mcGregor
Top 1990s Movies about Twentysomethings on Netflix Streaming-includes A Life Less Ordinary starring Ewan McGregor
Life Imitates Art: Lessons-includes Trainspotting starring Ewan McGregor
my Ewan McGregor tag on tumblr
Ewan McGregor Is Amazing!-my completely outdated, totally simple Tripod site that I made about Ewan in Junior High, that actually was listed in the back of the below book,

Note: I think this is an amazing movie. I just reserve 5 stars for movies with rewatchability. That rarely includes dramas, especially ones this heavy. I can’t see me watching this over and over.

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3.5 out of 5 stars

“I’m afraid of being afraid”

“Is that a shoudvitation or an invitation?”

Take This Waltz has definitely been lauded as many things, most of these adjectives sound positive and sexy: sultry, hot, steamy. You rarely see adultery or cheating in the headline. It may be a sign of our times or just that most reviewers want to focus on the positive in the case of this film.

However it is a difficult film to watch. Particularly if you believe that cheating is the worst thing anyone can do (as do I) or you are a huge Seth Rogen fan (as am I). This is despite the fact that I am predisposed to be a fan of anything by Sarah Polley (who wrote and directed the film).

Unlike many independent films, after making the festival rounds and being picked up for distribution, Take This Waltz is currently available to watch by most anyone with an internet connection, thanks to the wonders of Video on Demand.

Take This Waltz centers on Margot (Michelle Williams). She is a sometimes writer and supposedly happy housewife to Lou (Seth Rogen). The film opens with Margot on a puff piece writing assignment, though we never get to see her work again during the film. While on assignment and during her return trip home she meets an intriguing man named Daniel (Luke Kirby). They make a connection with each other and then find out that they now live across the street from one another.


Margot mainly seems like a bored, horny housewife. Though the film makes takes great pains to show that Lou’s family has integrated her into theirs with welcoming arms, Lou himself is inattentive. During the film she has to mention how embarrassing it is to try to seduce your husband and he just doesn’t get it. This, to me, is probably the most intriguing part of the film. Margot obviously has some type of anxiety disorder. She isn’t just shy. You rarely see this projected on screen. So in the beginning this makes it very easy to become endeared to Margot, even though you know what’s coming.

During the course of the film Margot tries to get her hubby’s attention but he is constantly working on recipes for his cookbook because he takes his writing seriously. Despite the fact that they have silly couple rituals that they perform to stay in touch he never seems to understand Margot.

“but I found out how that worked and you weren’t all that interested in me being gentle”

This should make it easy for us to understand her gradual seduction by wannabe artist, but actual rickshaw driver Daniel but he sometimes insults her, which I do not find at all attractive. There is a very steamy scene in the film in which they discuss what they would do if they got together. He seduces her so totally with words that it’s like reading a romance novel aloud, it’s incredibly hot.

During the film you don’t really know for the longest time whether or not she will actually cheat on her husband which makes for an awkward, yet suspenseful watch. I do not believe in spoilers so I won’t tell you if they get together. You need to go watch it instead.

It should also be noted that Sarah Silverman gives a stand out performance as Rogen’s sister, Geraldine, a recovering alcoholic. However she so completely steals the scenes that she is in that you wonder if she should just have her own film until you later realize that they are using her alcoholism as a metaphor and plot point for Margot.

On the other hand you have Rogen’s performance. While he isn’t given that much to do during the bulk of the film there is a very dramatic part that feels improvised and lacking. I find it very difficult to critique him in that way but it doesn’t reach the depth that he’s shown in other dramas such as 50/50 and Funny People.

During the flick Margot changes, becoming more free, this is most likely why Williams herself likens it to a coming of age movie. I would recommend watching this movie once just because it’s so different from other films out there but I won’t be adding it to my collection.

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Movie Quotes: Paul
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Movie Quotes: Observe and Report
Movie Quotes: 50/50
Movie Quotes: Funny People
Movie Review: The Shape of Things
Movie Review: All Things Fall Apart
Movie Review: The Ice Storm

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posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Note: spoilers abound

This post is for the current LAMB Movie of the Month: The Shape of Things. I’m not always crazy about the writer/director of this film, Neil Labute’s, work but I’m big fan of this flick. While the story is, of course integral to that, it’s actually the amazing acting by Rachel Weisz and Paul Rudd that initially drew me to (and continues to draw me back to) this disturbing film.

“You could be a sadist for all I know”  “Stop sweet talking me.”

Aside from Rudd and Weisz there are really only 2 other main characters, a yuppie couple played by Frederick Weller and Gretchen Moll. Weller looks like he’d fit right into a Whit Stillman movie, making the viewer (or at least this viewer) instantly hate him. Moll is interminably boring in this flick. Pre The Notorious Bettie Page I never saw a spark in her. Afterward she not only captured Bettie’s spirit but later tackled comedies, leading me to become a fan. However at this time, she was supposed to be the next big thing despite being as exciting as plain toast.

Neil LaBute originally wrote the The Shape of Things as a play. The cast who later went on to star in the flick originated the roles in the play two years prior to the filming of it. Probably my only real beef with the film is that the cast play college characters and only Moll was actually around college age during filming. However though the film is set at a college that isn’t really the point so it’s not that big of a deal.

“See I’m totally different, I think everyone should see themselves doing it and their friends should see it too.”

The film centers on Adam (Paul Rudd). He’s a shy student and museum guard. It’s always assumed that a shy character should be drawn out so initially someone would probably think that when an anarchist artist named Evelyn (Weisz) starts flirting with him that this would only lead to good things. I can’t even explain how much more attractive this type of woman is to the faux manic pixies of our current pop culture landscape.

In reality Evelyn is continuously altering Adam, mostly by using sex and flattery as tools of manipulation. Some of the things that she gets him to change about himself are his weight, fashion sense and haircut.

“What? Did she give you a haircut and a blowjob and now you’re her puppy?”-Phillip

His friends, in particular Phillip (Weller), call him out on this fairly quickly. However Phillip is a dick. Phillip is engaged to Jenny (Gretchen Moll). The fact is that Phillip is the type of guy who nabbed Jenny because he knew that Adam was interested in her. It’s basically impossible to see what Jenny sees in Phillip aside from his dominance (she often seems to disappear into the background in his presence).

While Jenny does compliment and end up hitting on Rudd (“You’re like this totally hot guy now”), in part due to his makeover and most likely also due to both of them being taken, she actually goes into the subject more thoroughly with Weisz. Weisz seems to want to change the subject when Jenny questions her. However what is truly scary about the film is that what Jenny says is true, people often are in actual relationships with other people and they think that person should just change for them. I’m the complete opposite type of person so I’ve never really understood that. To paraphrase Jenny, “Cosmo says if you change one thing you could have the perfect man. Well Phillip has about six of those one things”.

The cruelest part of Weisz’s makeover is cutting him off from his friends after both of them have indiscretions with the other couple.

“…from the scorned girl’s handbook.”

The big reveal is that Weisz has being using Rudd as her experiment or “human sculpture” for her thesis project. She is a huge fan of performance art and takes great pride in her unveiling.

"Tell me how cute this is then? Fuck you, you heartless cunt!"

It’s definitely Weisz that steals this movie. She is so strong and interesting to watch. When you rewatch the film it’s definitely easier to see her character a bit more. While she may smile, flirt and act interested in Adam, the only times that she truly seems emotional is when she is either espousing or arguing about art. Art is her life.

The Shape of Things is definitely a must watch, but it’s not an easy watch and not for everyone.

You can watch The Shape of Things on Netflix Streaming.

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Movie Quotes: 50/50

Nov
2011
30

posted by on Movie Quotes, Movies/TV

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French poster


(source: marshall-beercules.tumblr.com)

Kyle: “What’s that smell…?”
Adam: “Oh, uh yeah, I ran out of shampoo and I had to use Rachel’s”
Kyle: “You smell like you fucked the cast of The View”




(source: christophernolans.tumblr.com)

Kyle: “Has she been sucking on your dick, been giving you blow jobs?
Adam: “No, she doesn’t like to”
Kyle: “She doesn’t, no fucking shit she doesn’t like to. Who likes putting dicks in their mouth? You do it, cuz that’s why they call it blow jobs, it’s a job”

Kyle: “50/50, if you were a casino game you’d have the best odds”


(source: theinnercinema.com)

Diane: “I’m moving in”
Adam: “No, no, mom no”
Diane: “I’m your mother Adam”
Adam: “No, exactly, that’s why…”

Adam: “If you don’t mind, how old are you?”
Katherine: “Um, 24”
Adam: “You’re 24, wow! What are you like Doogie Howser or something?”
Katherine: “Who’s Doogie Howser?
Adam: “The teenage doctor”
Katherine: “Does he work here?”
Adam: “No, no, I just meant you seem a little young to be a doctor”

Rachael: “Having a dog helps with the healing process”
Adam: “What does he have a medical license?”

Adam: “Are you gonna like keep touching me like that or?”
Katherine: “Like this?”
Adam: “Yeah”
Katherine: “Um, I’m, I’m tryin’ to make you feel more at ease”
Adam: “That’s going to make me feel more at ease? It’s like being slapped by a sea otter”
Katherine: “Touching promotes trust, it’s one of the key ways that hospital practitioners make their patients feel more secure in stressful situations”
Adam: ‘Yeah but, it is, just that’s not gonna help”
Katherine: “Really, a sea otter? Is that, I mean, is this, is that better?” (touching his arm again)
Adam: ‘This is getting creepy”

Kyle: “You have a girlfriend? Oh yeah, I forgot. Why would you go to Mardi Gras when you’re busy here not getting blow jobs and hand jobs?”

Kyle: “You deserve better, way better, if I was your girlfriend you know what I’d be doin? I’d be sucking your cock every 3 minutes, I’d be baking you fucking cookies all day and shit”
Adam: “What kind of cookies?”
Kyle: “Any kind”
Adam: “You’d make me snickerdoodle cookies?”
Kyle: “I’d make you snickerdoodle cookies”

Adam: “You really think a girl’s going to go for me cuz I have cancer?”
Kyle: “For the millionth time yes…”

(on a double date)
Adam: “I’m gonna have to crash out, sorry, I’m just exhausted, the um, chemo, uh, just takes it outta ya. But you know I have some really potent medical weed at my house if you want to come over”

Katherine: “Admittedly I do check his Facebook like every day to see if he’s dating somebody new, which is so pathetic”

Katherine: “Hey, um Adam, listen, I just, I just want you to have my cell number just if you need anything, you’d have it”
Adam: “Thanks, uh, did I just like score your digits?” (laughs)
Katherine: “No, no” (serious)
Adam: “That, that, that was a joke”

Rachael: “Um, you’re smoking weed?”
Adam: “Well it’s medicinal”
Rachael: “You got a prescription for medicinal marijuana?”
Kyle: “No, I got a prescription for medicinal marijuana, Adam was too afraid”
Rachael: “Well what’s wrong with you Kyle?”
Kyle: “I have night blindness…”

Katherine: “That makes you kind of a dick”
Adam: “Me? (laughs) Is that like a medical term?”

Kyle: “That’s your Make A Wish, to drive? We could be having sex with hookers while skydiving right now…”

(in the hospital)
Katherine: “How are you feeling?”
Adam: “Great, a lot of morphine”

Adam: “I look pretty good”
Kyle: “I’d fuck you”
Adam: “Thanks”

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