Film Review : Amour (2012)

IMDB Score – 7.8
RT Score – 93 %

Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Award Nominee for Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture
Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or Winner

…and there I sat staring at my television.

This is the third time this has happened to me after viewing one of Michael Haneke’s films. The other two films being Cache and The Piano Teacher. This film however left a different lasting effect on me. The film tells the story of an elderly couple trying to get through life after after Anne, played stunningly by Emmanuelle Riva, suffers a stroke. Jean-Louis Trintignant gies a tour de force portrayal as Anne’s husband Georges who now has to care for her.

Like most of Haneke’s films, there really isn’t a lot to say about Amour. His films are the essence of emotion for me. He may just be the best director living today. I’m a self acclaimed Paul Thomas Anderson fanboy but I can’t possibly choose between the two. They are different and yet make films that leave such a lasting impression on the viewer. Amour is exactly about the films title, love. Riva and Trintignant put entire lifetimes worth of experiences and emotions into their characters and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see them together. I’ve always been able to forget that what I’m seeing on the screen is a film and tell myself not to be too upset or angry with the people I’m watching, but it was hard with this one. The realism just seeps through and as a person with a grandfather going through the exact same thing Anne was going through in the film, it was a tough but important watch.

This is an important film. It’s a complete portrayal of the bounds humans go through to care for the people they love. Haneke holds nothing back. It’s a personal film unlike any other really. I’m actually happy this film lost the Best Picture award to Argo last year because this film really wasn’t in the same league as the others. It’s a film that requires patience and a strong will to get through but rewards the viewer with such a real experience into what thousands of people go through every day. How can you compare that to films about a tiger in a boat or a murderous slave hellbent on revenge?

You just can’t.


Film Review : The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

IMDB Score – 7.1
RT Score – 73%

Superhero movies. Honestly, I can’t grasp my head around them. Part of my brain says they’re horrible and will continue to be horrible if directors continue to please the executives instead of the fans. Part of me says that in the right hands these films can produce great results. One Batman film and one Marvel film comprises the top tier. The Dark Knight and The Avengers were really fantastic films that just happened to have superheroes as their subjects. The second tier comprises the first and two Nolan Batman films, the two Tim Burton Batman films, and that’s all. The rest vary from absolute crap to enjoyable but ultimately forgettable movies. It sucks that I can’t get into these films like others do and while I don’t particularly HATE superhero films I just can’t fathom how so much money and time is spent each year on producing sequels and beginning films for countless upon countless superhero films when the end results are usually poor. They’ll keep trying though. Maybe it’s not a bad thing. Maybe I’m one of the very few people that actually want them to give the superhero film a rest for a while but I’m not going to blindly hate a film just because it features a mask hero or somebody with mutant powers.

I didn’t hate this film.

I grew up watching the 90s animated Spiderman on television. To me, this is the definitive Spiderman on a screen. I’ve never been a big comic book fan but Batman movies and the Spiderman TV show are nostalgic pleasures on mine. I found the Sam Raimi films to be pretty enjoyable except the third one which was a pile of shit when Venom wasn’t on teh screen which was criminally too infrequent. I’m not a big Toby McGuire fan though so maybe I was a bit biased. Andrew Garfield takes the reigns here and did an okay job. I actually thought he acted decently, well, maybe for this one scene where…well, I have no idea what he was doing in this. Like, seriously, what is this?

That got a great laugh out of me. Just look at his face. It’s just so funny.

The film focused more on the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy which I believe holds to the comic way more than the Raimi films did as Gwen Stacy wasn’t really even in those films. Emma Stone was a miscast though. I think she’s a great actress but she is not a seventeen year old. She doesn’t look like she’s seventeen. The fact that was was seventeen in the movie is a farce because no seventeen year old talks, acts, dresses like that or works as an intern at a scientific research facility. It just doesn’t happen that way. The rest of the cast was filled with great actors in forgettable roles which best describes the film as a whole, forgettable but it was fun while it lasted. There were some pretty good set pieces, particularly any scene featuring Spidey and The Lizard. I’d say it’s pretty much on par with the first two Raimi films as it’s kind of the same movie for the first two thirds. Peter gets bullied, gets bit, beats up bullies, avenges Uncle Ben sort of, figures out “hey this is fun”, shit goes down, saves the day, sort of gets the girl sort of.

All for the price of millions and millions of dollars. I hope Marc Webb directs his sequel a little bit more differently for all the money that has been poured in it. That’s the only way I’ll say that I was generally impressed with a super hero film. You have to do something different.


Film Review : Panic (200)

Netflix Instant Watch
IMDB Score – 6.7
RT Score – 92%

Do you have Netflix? Add this to your queue. I think I’ll be doing a feature article soon on some of the ACTUAL hidden gems on Netflix. Every single list I come across on google has the same movies. I’m sorry said lists, but The Untouchables is not a hidden gem even though it’s cool it’s on Netflix. This film however is one that I’m sure not a lot of people have seen and I’ve never seen it on any list generated in the Neflix lobby but it’s a film well worth your time. William H. Macy, who is amazing in everything, plays an assassin who no longer wants to live his life of murder and enters therapy to try to deal with his emotions about it. There he meets Neve Campbell and the two hit it off.

What has the makings of a typical dark romantic comedy actually turns out a very well crafted and subtle piece on what it means to be truly happy doing what you do for work and how what other people want for you may not always be the best thing. I was very surprised by the film balancing the dark subject matter with little splashes of humor and heart. It also features probably one of the most adorable five year old kids I’ve ever seen even though his dialogue would never be utter by a five year old no matter how smart or sarcastic they are. The late John Ritter and Donald Sutherland also star in this so check it out if you have the time. You have the time just do it.


Film Review : The ABCs of Death (2012)

Netflix Watch Instant
IMDB Score – 4.8
RT Score – 38%

You know, I’m really starting to wonder why I put myself through this. Why do I watch these shlocky horror films that I know I’m going to hate? I think it may be a morbid curiosity to find that one modern horror film that falls past all teh rest and becomes good. Maybe it’s my ignored but deeply fond love of bad movies. Whatever it is, it still leads me to watch crap. And this is crap. The film has a good idea in which 26 “directors” have a letter of the alphabet and are given complete artistic reign over what they do with it. The results are abysmal. They range from the absolutely bonkers to the very horribly produced, to the not scary or funny at all, to the not so bad. The not so bad happens to be about three shorts. I’ll let you know which ones they are now…

D is for Dogfight
T is for Toilet
X is for XXL

That’s all. D os for Dogfight was actually pretty damn impressive and worth a search on youtube or a fast forward through through the film. The rest of the film just flat out sucks. If you’re going to watch it at least get really drunk with your friends that way you’ll have a fun time laughing.


Film Review – Apollo 18 (2012)

IMDB Score – 5.2
RT Score – 24%
Netflix Instant Watch

This was fucking horrible. I like to keep my reviews PG-13 but every once in a while, like a movie now an then, I’ll slip a “fuck” in there. Hey, I just did it twice. I think I broke the PG-13 mold. I had to do it though. This movie was that bad. The scares were cheap, what few there were. The acting was atrocious. The aliens were horribly stupid. I don’t even consider that a spoiler. This movie was so unoriginal what else did you expect besides horrible aliens. It as 90 minutes that felt like three hours.

Never watch this movie. I don’t really have much else to say. I’d be wasting more of my time.