Review: Everyone’s An Addict In ‘Thanks For Sharing’ (2012), But It All Ends Well, Not Surprisingly
Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is a handsome, young nymphomaniac living in New York and trying to overcome his sex addiction with his sponsor and buddy Mike (Tim Robbins) a recovering alcoholic. He has been “sober” for five years, so Mike has decided for him that it’s okay to get back in the dating game. Adam is reluctant at first, but then meets this hot blonde Phoebe (Gwyneth Paltrow), who’s just to good to be true (or real). Meanwhile, Neil (Josh Gad) a slightly overweight compulsive sex maniac, is forced by court order to get in the twelve step program, where he meets Adam and Mike. Continue reading
Documentary Review: Helvetica (2007) and the Importance of Fonts
Fonts are part of our everyday life. Whether we pay attention to them or not, they influence the way we read and perceive texts. The Helvetica typeface is the single most widespread font family in the Western world. It’s everywhere. Street signs, logos, flyers, magazines, posters, the internet: This very blog is written in Helvetica. How did it became so popular? Where does it come from? Is it really the ultimate font? Can it be improved? Where is graphic design headed in the 21st century? And why do some people dislike it so much? Continue reading
Mini-Review: Electric Dreams (1984) is the Definition of Cheesy 80s Cinema
Miles Harding (Lenny von Dohlen) is an architect living in San Francisco. One day, after a conversation with one of his colleagues he decides that buying a portable electronic agenda is a great idea to better organize his work. At the store they’re all out of whatever you’d call the precursor of an iPad, so he gets a personal computer instead. After discovering a lot of cool features, he decides to download all the data from his bosses’ computer. One evening he accidentally spills a bottle of champagne on his PC. Ever since that incident the thing starts to develop some sort of sentient artificial intelligence. Oh and then there’s some stuff about Virginia Madsen and a cello, but I was mostly interested in the vintage technology part, so I didn’t really pay attention to that. Continue reading
Meh: Fiend Without A Face (1958)
Fiend Without a Face (1958) – 6.5 (IMDb 6.1) – Sci-Fi, Horror, Criterion (UK)
One of the few horror films in the Criterion Collection, so of course I had to check it out. While I liked the story and the cheesiness, I can’t say that I was a fan of the “creatures” and especially the creature design (it’s disgusting, but not in a good way) or how everything had to be explained to the viewer. Were they afraid we were too dumb to “get it”? Fiend Without a Face is set during the cold war, when all the atomic energy hysteria and “invisible” enemy stuff was hot and on everybody’s mind. The film follows a military officer who tires to stop an unidentified menace, save the girl and make America safe once more, for it is the biggest and best country in the world. Sorry, I was just rambling, like this film! I liked the photography, so many 50s sci-fi films felt they needed to go Technicolor, but I’m glad these guys chose to shoot in black & white. The sets looked a bit too much like sets. The acting is all right, I especially appreciated the writers writing a strong female part, well, for the 50s anyway. That’s all I have to say.
Bad: Among Friends (2012)
Among Friends (2012) – 4 (IMDb 4.4) – Horror, Comedy (USA)
I hate to do this because I think Danielle Harris is a very cool and cute horror actress, however her directing skills aren’t nearly as praise-worthy. Among Friends is an unoriginal, tired and clichéd horror films that isn’t scary or funny. Unfortunately almost everything about this movie is bad and not all of it is Harris’ fault of course, but man, what a train-wreck. The story follows a bunch of young adults that gather together for some sort of reunion only to find out that their host is a completely deranged maniac. The concept per se is fairly interesting (although not new or anything), but what the film does is standard genre fare. There’s not enough gore or scares in my opinion. You never really care about the characters, as you don’t know them very well and most of them seem to be horrible people. At the end of the day if you can’t sympathize with anyone in the film, what are the stakes? There are however some good things about the film as well. Not all the acting is bad, there are some cute little shots only that added a “girly” touch, I wish she had done more of that and it was good to see Danielle Harris in a cameo. Like I said I like her and I want her to succeed, I just hope she picks a more interesting project the next time. This was Harris’ directorial début and I’m sure it’s all uphill from here.
Review: Gravity (2013) or Alfonso Cuarón’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are on a mission in space to fix some fancy machinery. Suddenly, right before finishing their job and safely returning to earth with the rest of the crew space junk from another satellite hits their space shuttle. Stone finds herself catapulted into big black space seemingly drifting away forever. Fortunately, her charming colleague can keep his cool in a situation of chaos and mayhem. He is able to retrieve her, but her oxygen levels are low. Time is of the essence and now the two sole survivors of the expedition will have to find a way to reach the next space station and get back to earth. Unfortunately, their troubles have only begun. Will they make it to the Chinese station where the vodka is safely stashed in a place only Clooney knows? Don’t worry: No spoilers. Continue reading
‘Bad’ Movies You Watched Last Week?
Adore (2013) – 4.5 (IMDb 6.1) – Drama (Australia)
Adore is a film about two mothers and their ridiculously sexy sons. What happens? Well, the two mothers start screwing around with the aforementioned sex gods. What happens next? Drama! Is it good drama? No. Is it bad drama? Yes. Why? Because it feels so inauthentic. It’s a poorly scripted film, lazy direction, forced plot devices and undecided tones. Sometimes the film seems to suggest certain things are “wrong” (morally speaking), next thing you know those things are completely okay, but other things that were previously considered “right” are absolutely despicable. Make up your mind folks. I mostly watched this because Naomi Watts is in it and I’m a big fan. I was also hoping for something sexy and to a certain extent it was, but then the film starts taking itself way too seriously and it’s difficult to buy into it, because the premise is the set up used in cheap porn films, except there’s almost no nudity in this film. What can you do? Don’t watch this film and check out the films in my good section!
‘Meh’ Movies You Watched Last Week?
Pickpocket (1959) – 6.5 (IMDb 7.8) – Crime, Drama, Criterion (France)
I’ve only seen a couple Robert Bresson films, but already at this point I can tell that I am not a big fan of this acclaimed director. His cold and methodical style of filmmaking achieves great things on a technical level, but doesn’t connect with me on a personal level. The fault is certainly not with Bresson, but with me (if we’re looking for faults) and as the high IMDb ratings and great reviews suggest most people love his films (especially Michael Haneke). Pickpocket is the story of a young man stealing other people’s wallets and watches, while trying to justify his vile actions with faux moralist ideals he himself can’t seem to buy into. The film takes an almost documentarian approach showing the man’s everyday life. There’s little drama, although there are some moments you’re genuinely hoping he doesn’t get caught. What I liked about the film was the black & white cinematography and easy on the eyes Marika Green, in a supporting role. Other than that the film felt kind of empty. Luckily it’s under 80 minutes long. Again: Not a bad film certainly, just one that was kind of meh.
‘Bad’ Movies You Watched Last Week?
I only watched one bad movie this past week. I’m not even sure if I have a right to call it bad, because I’m not entirely sure I “got” it, but here it goes.
Prince Avalanche (2013) – 5 (IMDb 6.6) – Comedy, Drama (USA)
In my experience director David Gordon Green has been full of surprises, both good ones and bad ones. When I first heard of Prince Avalanche it was in the context of the Berlin Film Festival and it was getting a lot of praise, so after the train-wreck that was Your Highness and the moderately enjoyable ‘Sitter’ I decided to give this movie a chance. I was actually kind of looking forward to it and enjoying it at the beginning, but then it sort of just ends up going nowhere. Well, maybe nowhere isn’t even the right way to describe it, because it just becomes weirder and weirder, but not in a good way. You know how some people say certain types of movies are a complete “mind-fuck”? They normally don’t mean it in the way that a movie like Prince Avalanche is weird. The film follows two highway road workers who, isolated and lonely in nature, discuss their romantic life. There’s also something about a house that burned down, but I’m not sure what it all means. Oh and weird scenes à la Dogville, but again I’m not sure why. Can’t say I completely hated it, but it’s not like I would re-watch it so, that’s why it ends up in the ‘bad’ category. Also, I like both actors (Emile Hirsch & Paul Rudd), but oddly enough their performances here didn’t impress me all that much or maybe it was just their unlikable characters, I’m not sure.
Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring (2013)
Marc (Israel Broussard) is a quiet teenager that arrives as a new student at Indian Hills High School in Calabasas, California. Most kids seem to ignore him or think he’s weird, but Rebecca (Katie Chang) is nice to him. She introduces him to her girlfriends and pretty soon they become best friends. They both have a passion for celebrities and their expensive lifestyle and living in Southern California’s wealthy neighborhoods access to their homes is easier than you’d think. Taking advantage of rich people’s scarce attention for security, they are able to break in to their home and get a taste of their stuff. What starts out as innocent home invasion out of boredom, slowly turns into a compulsive impulse to burglarize several celebrity homes in the Hollywood Hills area. Being just teenagers of course they love bragging about the robberies at parties and so it’s only a matter of time before they get caught. Continue reading