Now on to the good part. Literally. Oh, and there’s quite a few to discuss.
‘PICK OF THE WEEK’
Man of Steel (2013) – 7.5 (IMDb 7.8) – Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi (USA)
Under The Tuscan Sun (2002) – 7 (IMDb 6.6) – Comedy, Romance, Drama (USA)
This little ‘romcom’ starring Diane Lane looking for love in the lush Italian countryside is a charming little film. It has just about the right amount of everything: Comedy, romance and drama. It manages to pay homage to our greatest filmmaker Federico Fellini (or Fe’Fe’, as the only annoying character in this film calls him). Raoul Bova, our own movie star, shows up in the part of the clichéd heartthrob (I’d call him a douche bag, but hey). It’s a hopeful, sweet film. Above average for this kind of film, like way better than something like Letters to Juliet. The best part is definitely Diane Lane and the gorgeous scenery (is there a difference?). It is a bit expected and kind of predictable, but still a fun time: Especially the first two acts. I laughed, I cried. Recommended.
3-Iron (2004) – 9.5 (IMDb 8) – Crime, Drama, Romance (South Korea)
Unfaithful (2002) – 7 (IMDb 6.6) – Drama, Romance, Thriller (USA)
Another Diane Lane film, I was kind of on a kick after loving her in Man of Steel so much, that woman has aged better than any Hollywood actress. Anyway, Unfaithful is, you guessed it, about a woman betraying her husband. The interesting thing is how she doesn’t seem to have any apparent reason to do so. He seems to love her, they have a kid, everything is fine in little suburbia. However, humans always want something more. We’re never happy! Damn us. But seriously, this is a good drama, because it shows how cheating on your partner causes pain for everyone involved. Here they take it one step further, no spoilers, but it’s a good film, because most films would stop at showing us the sexy part of cheating (and there is a bit of that), but here they also wanted to show the regret and that’s an ugly feeling. Not many filmmakers have had the guts to go this deep, I applaud this film for trying something new although it is a bit preachy now that I think of it. Still a good film especially if you like Diane Lane and Richard Gere.
Play It Again, Sam (1972) – 7 (IMDb 7.6) – Comedy, Romance (USA)
Play It Again, Sam was only written by Woody Allen and directed by some other guy, but who are we kidding: This is very much a Woody Allen film. He co-stars in it with his muse Diane Keaton and it’s very much his sense of humor and a typical story exploring the same topics Woody has explored throughout his career: Love, art and death. Actually, there isn’t much talk of death in this film, but still. Short plot summary: After Sam (Woody Allen) is left by his wife his friends push him back into dating, but no woman seems good enough for him. Ironically, it turns out that the woman trying to set him up is the woman he wanted all along (Diane Keaton’s character), but of course she is married to his best friend (Tony Roberts). Throughout a series of gags and screwball/slapstick humor Woody Allen is trying to figure out how to be a man, with the help of his imaginary friend Humphrey Bogart.
That’s it for my weekly re-cap this week. If you have films you want to recommend, go ahead. If not, see you next week. Bye!
Tae-suk (Jae Hee) is a lonely biker breaking and entering other people’s houses. He is not a thief: He just lives in their homes and when it’s time to move on, he does. That usually means the owners are back or the place just got old. So whenever that happens he just looks for a new apartment. One day however he decides to crash at a place where one of the inhabitants is still there, only he doesn’t notice her. Sun-hwa (Lee Seung-yeon) is an equally lonely, but lovely, housewife living in a luxurious house with an abusive husband (Kwon Hyuk-ho). Sun-hwa is intrigued when she notices that Tae-suk isn’t there to rob her. She decides to join him in his adventurous lifestyle. What could possibly go wrong? I don’t know, but according to some guy’s law “Anything that can go wrong usually goes wrong”. Continue reading
One thing I like to do whenever there is a film coming out I’m excited for is to watch movies that might have similar themes. With The Bling Ring coming out in limited release tomorrow only few privileged people will have the pleasure to see it. The films I’m recommending here on the other hand should be relatively easy to find and hopefully they’ll get you pumped for Sofia Coppola’s new film.
1. I soliti ignoti (1958, Mario Monicelli)
Big Deal on Madonna Street is one of the most famous and celebrated heist/caper films. Part of the Criterion Collection and shot in magnificent black & white, this is a charming little Italian crime/comedy featuring some of our cinema’s greatest actors like Vittorio Gassman, Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni and legendary comedic actor Totò. I soliti ignoti relates to The Bling Ring in that it is precisely about invading and robbing other people’s houses, although it focuses more on the planning stages of the coup.
2. Purple Noon (1960, René Clément)
Another great film in the Criterion Collection is Plein soleil, a French version of The Talented Mr. Ripley based on the book by Patricia Highsmith. Alain Delon plays the title character scamming his “friends” to get their money and lifestyle. Although there’s no “robbing celebrities” in this one, it is clear that Tom Ripley envies his rich buddies’ life and thus decides to go the illegal route to enjoy their luxuries. Sound familiar?
3. The Doom Generation (1995, Gregg Araki)
As part of Gregg Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy and the director’s only ‘heterosexual’ film, The Doom Generation is about teenagers committing armed robberies to the tune of dopest shoegaze tracks. The film deals with typical themes of teen angst, loneliness and depression or in other words: What it’s like to be a teenager. Much like the for Burglar Bunch things escalate reaching new levels of ridiculous, although I’m sure there are no neo-nazis in The Bling Ring.
4. Party Monster (2003, Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato)
Macaulay Culkin plays a rampant scene queen/drug addict/himself? Just kidding. He plays a party monster. Although the guys from The Bling Ring don’t do hard drugs I wanted to mention this film, because Sofia Coppola fans might love it. Party Monster is all about exploring the idea of celebrity and our society’s fascination with stars. It also discusses themes of isolation and solitude, much like the previous film I mentioned, and it also helps that it has a good, cynical sense of humor.
5. 3-Iron (2004, Kim Ki-duk)
“What an odd pick” you might say “You’re probably just throwing that in here, because you’re out of ideas”. No, I’m not. Yes, Kim Ki-duk’s 3-Iron is a masterpiece and you should watch it regardless of any movie being released in theaters, but it is relevant here. The central premise is a character invading people’s homes; not to rob them mind you, but he still gets arrested. Also, there’s a romantic sub-plot you might get great enjoyment from, I certainly did. This is my favorite Kim Ki-duk film and it relates to Sofia Coppola’s work, because they’re both sentimental directors and again, they explore similar themes.
So, these are my recommendations. If you’d like to give some (better?) recommendations, feel free to give us these recommendations. I always like getting recommendations. Man, I sure used that word a lot. Recommendations!