Monday, December 27, 2010

The Two Sides of I'm Still Here: Probably the worst movie of 2010


In a shock heard around the entertainment world in October 2008, Joaquin Phoenix announced his retirement from the acting world, brother-in-law Casey Affleck was there filming it all as he attempted to transition into a career in hip-hop which ultimately turned into a documentary about a star and his nervous breakdown which lasted nearly a year. In September 2010 upon the film’s release we find out what we had all suspected that it was all bullshit.

One could make the argument that this was a masterstroke in filmmaking, working the 24 hour news cycle in the media and the very Hollywood system itself in believing this farce and turning into a cunning social comment on the very system that Phoenix and Affleck make a living on…or it was just a couple of assholes running around doing whatever the hell they wanted. 2 talented actors got bored, got high and wanted to make their own version of Borat, Bruno etc, and is usually the case it was only funny in small doses.

There incessant insider references about the Hollywood would befuddle someone who works in that industry (it did for me) and the whole project came off like a vanity jerk off session, spitting in the face of an industry that made them. A 5-10 minute skit of Phoenix’s meta-satire riffs could have been funny, hell that’s what “Funny or Die” is for, but it just got stretched way too far.
I hope…no I pray that what passes for a mockumentary these days gets a serious upgrade, because this type of movie runs the risk of committing the worst crime in art, it’ll get played out and boring.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Perhaps the most brilliant and disturbing movie I've ever seen...



Danish director Lars Von Trier, has done some pretty weird and emotionally evocative stuff over the years, The Kingdom mini-series, Breaking The Waves, Dancer In The Dark, Europa, Dogville et others, but his latest quite simply tops them all.

Antichrist debuted at Cannes in 2009, with critical acclaim but also with some shock and awe due to it's explicit sexuality and moments of graphic violence. I wont bore any of you with a plot summary that can easily be found elsewhere(or in the trailer link below), but I am compelled to tell you, the avid readers of this blog that I have never found a piece of film so compelling, yet so uncomfortable to watch all at the same time.

This is why films(dare I say art) is made to challenge, to provoke, to spark any and all kind of observations and discussion about what ever we please.

You might not like this film once you watch it, but I guarantee you will talk about it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw03QayJ2fU

Cheers,
DRV

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Retro Review: Jekyll


4.5 out of 5 stars

The North American television viewer suffers the disadvantage of not always having access to the finer small screen events from across the pond. The art of the television mini-series hasn’t been properly displayed since the 1980’s when we were treated to such sprawling epics like Shogun, The Thorn Birds & Roots. Thankfully our friends at the BBC still know how to get the job done.
Having first aired in 2007, Jekyll is the story of Dr. Tom Jackman a clinical psychiatrist with a dark secret. He is the only surviving member of a family whose bloodline can be traced all the way back to the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Tom Jackman is a mild mannered family man who will do whatever it takes to protect his family from his alter ego Mr. Hyde, who quite simply does what he wants, whenever he wants. Using every means at his disposal, Tom Jackman has made a deal with his very own devil, allowing his alter ego his decadent ways in order to buy himself time to find a way to keep Hyde under wraps for good. That deal begins to fall apart when a secret organizations century old plans for Jackman/Hyde begin to come together, with dangerous results for all.

This story works as either a retelling of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel or as an innovative sequel to that very book. Series creator Steven Moffat (previously of some notable Dr. Who episodes and the hit comedy Coupling) has crafted an immaculately balanced script that brings psychological thrills, dark comedy and some genuinely creepy moments. Not a single moment out of place for 6 straight hours, this is Moffat’s masterstroke.

The excellent ensemble cast hinges on the fantastic performance of James Nesbitt in the title role. Nesbitt truly dives into the role, making Jackman a nervous yet still exciting, emotional wreck of a man, while bringing Hyde that perfect combination of sexy, sly and sinister. His smile alone could charm and scare the pants off of you all at the same time. His performance is reminiscent of Jack Nicholson & Heath Ledger’s iconic turns as the Joker in the various Batman films.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

30 for 30: The Best Kept Secret On Television



In 2009, for the 30th anniversary of the ESPN sports network, regular columnist for ESPN.com Bill Simmons pitched the idea of a documentary series, exploring 30 sports stories that had not been full explored on there initial reporting. He wanted to find talents from Hollywood who were personally interested in that particular story.

Beginning on October 6th, 2009, "Kings Ransom" directed by Peter Berg explored the 1988 trade of Wayne Gretzky from the then four time Stanley Cup Champions to the L.A. and the ramifications of that which shook an entire nation.

The best documentaries are always when the director has a legitimate passion for the story, and "Kings Ransom" is no exception.

The sports fan and the cinema/documentary fan don't always mix, but these films take the inheriant drama of sports and translate them to film so well that even the most jaded anti-sports fan would get roped in by this fantastic series.

To learn more about this entire series visit http://30for30.espn.com/

To purchase any of these on DVD(Kings Ransom, is already available with more coming) visit your local retailer.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Last Year's Recession takes the Multiplex International



In the year 2009, the world went through an economic upheaval that we are still feeling the effects of today and as a result of that many Hollywood film productions got either postponed or cancelled all together. But what of the many screens that need filling? Of course the success of such 3D films like Avatar, How To Train Your Dragon & Clash Of The Titans are filling that gap, and the balance of those openings seem to be going to foreign cinema.

Today I took in the excellent "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" with a star in the making Ms. Noomi Rapace(See Pic). Don't let the 152 min run time turn you off, this is a tight thriller that just flies by and is my early favorite for film of this year 2010.

Even if it is out of necessity for the multiplexes around North America to start taking in more foreign films, I as a movie goer applaud this move and hope audiences will follow suit and enjoy a wider palette of great cinema.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amanda Seyfried: Hot Young Starlet Burning Out Too Fast?


Went to see the film "Chloe" last night, and while it certainly had it's problems, I can appreciate that it was an interesting twist on the whole "Fatal Attraction" vibe and had some good moments, for a quick rating I would have to say 2.5 stars out of 5...It's a renter.

However, in perhaps her first "serious" role the title role of this film went to upcoming starlet Amanda Seyfried of "Mamma Mia" & "Big Love" fame.

I can see why she is becoming popular, a beautiful 25 year old that people want to put on there movie posters in order to sell whatever they need too, however we have one small problem.

SHE CANNOT ACT

Now granted this skill may be developed overtime, the perfect example of this would Scarlett Johannson, who by no means is the female second coming of Laurence Oliver, but has developed some skills. Ms. Seyfried playing a sociopathic high end prostitute was completely out of her realm...and it showed

I implore that producers, please put her in roles where she can show strenghts and develop into the kind of actress that can take some risks with a role like this.

You've got to walk before you can run Ms. Seyfried, time to slow down before your budding film career turns into a supporting role on a CBS primetime drama.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

American Idol 2010: The BiPolar Year:Top 10


This year of American Idol has certainly been an interesting one, replacing Paula Abdul with Ellen DeGeneres combined with the announcement that Simon is leaving at the end of this year has seriously changed the dynamic between the judges bordering on self-satire and I can't really blame them.

With a thinning talent base(it has been 9 YEARS!!!!), the judges have lost interest. It's too bad too, this years group does have some talent, but they are very rough and could use some guidance. Ellen was a nice addition, but Paula tripping on painkillers mid-show could never be replaced, Randy & Kara are milking the exposure for all they can(and rightly so) while Simon has dialed out, and a little nastier then usual, but not having Paula next to him has given him new energy for X-Factor in 2011. LOL! :)

Performances from the remaing ten have been all over the map...but we saw a little promise tonight, not surprising since historically this is the week, people get down to work. Let's run down tonight's performances.

Siobhan: She chose "Through The Fire" by Chaka Khan. It's sucks to go first, and she had her first official off week. Her nerves came through and really under sang it, showing off her weakness with her lower register plus the wail at the end is becoming boring, and she can't lean on that anymore. "Safe"?

Casey: "Hold On, I'm Comin'" by Sam & Dave. Great choice of song, and really did work it in his wheelhouse with the Johnny Lang/Kenny Wayne Shepard vibe. Vocally very solid, but the guitar is bit of a crutch and to win, he's gotta mix it up. "Safe"

Big Mike: "Ready For Love": India.arie. A real tender ballad, that he pulled off quite well, connecting with the audience. With some polishing he could be the next Maxwell. "Safe"

Didi: "What Becomes of The Brokenhearted: by Johnny Ruffin. You're great to look at, but you maybe brokenhearted tomorrow night. Rigid and sterile along with unneccessary pomp, when all you needed was emotion. "Bottom 3"

Tim: "Sweet Love" by Anita Baker. DEAR GOD WHY?, no chops, no emotion...but at least he's smilin'. He knows he has no business being there...but at least he is having fun. "Bottom 3"

Andrew: "Forever" by Chris Brown, can never recommend performing a song by a guy that beat up his girlfriend. Having said that...dude pulled it off, it wasn't "Straight Up", but it was good. "Safe"

Katie: "Chain Of Fools" by Aretha Franklin. Vocally she's getting better, but is EMOTING that hard? It was cold, and she needs to learn how to connect. "Unfortunately Safe"

Lee: "Treat Her Like A Lady" by The Cornelius Brothers. I've never heard the original, I just downloaded it, and I still like his version better. GREAT STUFF! "Safe"

Crystal: "Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight and the Pips. The big surprise...she played piano, her nerves showed a little, but who cares because the song choice was PERFECT. Yet another Idol "moment". "Safe"

Aaron: "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers. The vocal was OK, but he is too young to sell that song. "Bottom 3?"

That's what we got folks, I think we've finally got a competition, I just hope the judges show up and maybe EARN their paychecks.

Bottom 3: Didi, Tim and (Sibohan or Aaron)
Going home: Didi

Cheers,
Davey V

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Death Of Jack Bauer

This week we learned that the current season of the hit Fox show "24" will be it's last. Citing productions costs and the desire the end on their own terms Season 8 will be its last.

As we started this year with Jack in NYC recovering from his near fatal illness of last season, Jack was looking to have a normal life and being (believe it or not) a grandfather, but like on all previous seasons, somehow the shit hits the fan, and Jack is back in the saddle.

Without giving away any spoilers, many fans and pundits have deem that this season has officially jumped the shark tank and is more ridiculous then ever!

I say chill people, this is FICTION, its supposed to be ridiculous, that is what has kept us glued all these years...but what of the man, what will become of Jack Bauer.

Hollywood usually demands a happy ending, and with an impending film upcoming, this will more then likely happen, but with all the personal and physical torture that he has endured over the previous 7 days, one has to wonder if the happy ending should result in his death.

We love Jack, because he quite simply kicks ass, and asks questions later, and in this 21st century world of "No Fault", Jack finds who IS at fault and makes them pay.

He has done this at great personal expense, his family, his friends, his job and his very freedom, all for his love of country...it really is all he has left.

They could write him off into the sunset and turn him into a "Bondesque" character, but wouldn't the real happy ending be to let this warrior go out in a blaze of glory in defence of his country...I guess we'll find out in 12 more hours.

Mission Statement


Well, I figured it would be about time for me to stop pontificating and time for me to start typing.


For those unaware my name is Davey V., I'm a poet, a writer, music fan, a movie lover and all around professional appreciator.


With this blog, I will comment on all of the above(including anything else I can think of), and as you ask "How will I be different from every other blog?", I'll be quite honest and tell you right now...I don't have a clue, but I hope you join me along the way...


Cheers,

Davey V