Friday, September 29, 2006
The Lake House: Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock team up for the first time since Speed…..the result = Who Cares? The premise for the movie is what made me give this a spin. Reeves’ plays Alex, an architect living in the year 2004. Bullock plays Kate, a doctor who is living in the year 2006. She just moved out of the lake house and left a letter for the next tenant (very common I’m sure), supernaturally the letter goes to Alex in the year 2004 who is currently living in the same lake house. Does he just throw the letter out and never think of it again like most guys would do…..of course not – he writes a very thoughtful letter back(very common I’m sure). Again supernaturally it goes to Kate in 2006. They become the best pen pals ever – falling in love in fact. Even though they are 2 years apart Kate can remember where she was on certain days in the year 2004 and so Alex actually comes into contact with the 2004 Kate, who is unaware of the 2006 Kate who is writing these letters (has not happened to her yet, but has for him). Whenever you have a time travel / supernatural premise you are opening a huge can of worms. I mean why wasn’t Kate in 2006 giving Alex in 2004 sports scores of games about to happen in 2004 - duh? Seriously – there are always flaws with the time travel premise and the Lake house has plenty of them. The other major flaw the movie has is Keanu Reeves; I mean who is the genius that says “Lets cast Keanu in a role where he is not wearing a black trench coat and does not say "whoa" – people will think he is a real actor”. Even though the movie was full of flaws I still give it credit on the creativity side – in the right hands this movie could have been outstanding.
If this movie had parents they would be: Frequency & Back to the Future 2
With a run time of 105 minutes
This film is rated PG
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Brick: Film noir meets high school movie in this HIGHLY creative motion picture. Written and directed by new comer Rian Johnson comes a movie that has really never been done before. The story revolves around Brendan, a high school student who is trying to solve the mystery of who killed his ex-girlfriend and why. The reality the characters are living in is what sets this movie apart from the norm. It is a corrupt reality filled with crime, fighting, drug dealers, and murders….yet the kids are preppy high school students who live at home with their parents. The mix of the 2 genres is done perfectly – it is not over the top humorous like a Wes Anderson film, but has subtle humor while keeping it a realistic mystery at the same time. The challenging aspect for most viewers will be the dialogue. The characters speak fast, in slang, and use words and names that they never point blank explain……you have to give it time and pay attention to follow along. Midway through you will find that you understand it all and you will be immersed in the story. The cinematography and music is outstanding – truly lets the audience believe in this strange reality. The acting by lead Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock form the Sun) is right on, balancing both aspects of the film flawlessly. I love seeing such imagination lit up on the screen, if you give this film a chance….you will enjoy!!!!
* * * and ½
If this movie had parents they would be: L.A. Confidential & Beverly Hills 90210
With a running time of 110 minutes
This film is rated R
Monday, September 18, 2006
Half Nelson: A very powerful and painful look at a junior-high school teacher’s addiction to drugs. Ryan Gosling(the Notebook) plays Mr. Dunne, a History teacher who works at an inner-city school in Brooklyn – this is the best performance of his career and the best acting by far that I have seen this year. One of the great aspects of the story is seeing how Mr. Dunne really does care about teaching his students about history – even though he hits the crack pipe at night. But the aspect that makes this movie stand out the most is the friendship he has with Drey -one of his female students in his class. She is also affected by the world of drugs – her brother is in jail for dealing and her family is friends with the neighborhood drug dealer. On paper you might think that true friendship between a teacher and a 12 year old girl is far fetched, but the actors bring it to life. What we see develop is both characters give in to the evil world around them until their worlds collide. The climax of the movie is one of the more stirring, haunting and beautiful moments I have seen in film in a long time. This is all done by the performance of the 2 actors, but mainly by Ryan Gosling. Like all great acting performances everything is said in expressions – no words are needed. As Mr. Dunne teaches in his History class = History is made when there is conflict from 2 opposing forces, we see that all happen on screen and it is truly brilliant!
* * * and ½
If this movie had parents they would be: Dead Poets Society & Boyz N the Hood
With a run time of 106 minutes
This film is rated R