Wednesday, April 25, 2012

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell Apr 24, 2012

Pariah (2011)The Innkeepers (2011)Cinema Verite (2011)Titanic (2012)
Return (2011)

Pariah 2011 Sundance cinematography award winning drama Written & Directed by: Indie Spirit winner Dee Rees. Plot: A Brooklyn teenager (Adepero Oduye) juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak, and family in a desperate search for sexual expression. Trailer: Review: I'm interested in the movie because of its Indie Spirit win. Will update after I watch. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Innkeepers 2011 horror film Starring: Emmy nom Sara Paxton ("Darcy's Wild Life"), Kelly McGillis (At First Sight) & Nicholle Tom ("Criminal Minds"). Written & Directed by: Ti West (The House of the Devil). Plot: During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel's haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay. Trailer: Review: I really liked The House of the Devil so I immediately knew I wanted to see The Innkeepers, which is in keeping with his old school 70s horror style. Looking forward to watching it. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Cinema Verite (TV) 2011 Emmy winning HBO drama Starring: Oscar nom Diane Lane (Unfaithful), Oscar winner Tim Robbins (Mystic River), Thomas Dekker (A Nightmare on Elm Street), 3X Emmy winner James Gandolfini ("The Sopranos"), Patrick Fugit ("House M.D."), Oscar nom Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13) & Lolita Davidovich ("Criminal Minds"). Written by: David Seltzer (The Omen). Directed by: Oscar nom Shari Springer Berman (American Splendor) & Oscar nom Robert Pulcini. Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the first American family to be the subjects of a reality TV show. Trailer: Review: This seems like a really interesting movie. I didn't realize reality tv started that early. Be warned though that this movie is really depressing, or so I've heard. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Titanic (mini-series) 2012 drama Starring: Toby Jones (The Hunger Games). Written by: Oscar winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park). Directed by: Jon Jones. Plot: The world's largest ship, the Titanic, meets with disaster when it strikes an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Trailer: Review: It's amazing how many versions of this story there are, yet I constantly have to remind myself that this is a true story. Unbelievably tragic. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Return (2011) drama Starring: Linda Cardellini ("ER"), Oscar nom Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) & 4X Emmy nom John Slattery ("Mad Men"). Written & Directed by: Liza Johnson. Plot: A soldier (Cardellini) returns to her family, friends, and old job after a tour of duty, though she finds herself struggling to find her place in her everyday life. Trailer: Review: I've never heard of this movie, but the trailer blew me away. It looks like Cardellini is finally getting a chance to shine in a film. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell April 17th, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)Shame (2011)The Divide (2011)The Vintner's Luck (2009)

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011) Spy Action Film Starring: Ethan Hunt, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Michelle Monaghan, Ving Rhames & Tom Wilkinson. Written by: Josh Appelbaum("Life on Mars") & Andre Nemec ("Alias") based on the tv series by 2X Emmy winner Bruce Geller. Directed by: 2X Oscar winner Brad Bird (Ratatouille). Plot: The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his new team (Patton, Pegg & Renner) to go rogue to clear their organization's name. Trailer: Review: I went into this movie with low expectations given the 2nd and 3rd of the series. I was pleasantly surprised. This is what I had been waiting for, an actual spy movie with an actual team, not just Hunt doing everything by himself. What I liked particularly that was different from the other films was that this movie actually seemed to follow the laws of physics. The stunts weren't always perfect, and I liked that. Nice supporting cast as well. Too bad there wasn't more of Holloway. Rating: Noteworthy. Watch with: Mission Impossible

Shame 2011 Indie Spirit award nominated Drama Starring: Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) & Oscar nom Carey Mulligan (An Education). Written by: Cannes winner Steve McQueen (Hunger) & Abi Morgan. Directed by: McQueen. Plot: In New York City, Brandon's (Fassbender) carefully cultivated private life -- which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction -- is disrupted when his sister Sissy (Mulligan) arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay. Trailer: Review: I've heard amazing things about Fassbender's performance, and Mulligan sings. Those are reasons for watching. Hopefully this is prove to be a movie of substance and not just a peep show. Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

The Divide 2011 Scifi thriller Starring: Milo Ventimiglia ("Heroes"), Indie Spirit nom Courtney B. Vance (Blind Faith), Ashton Holmes ("Lie to Me"), Indie Spirit award nom Rosanna Arquette (After Hours) & Jennifer Blanc ("Dark Angel"). Written by: Karl Mueller & Eron Sheean. Directed by: Xavier Gens. Plot: Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic. Trailer: Review: I'm divided about this film. This movie seemed really interesting. I really like survival movies, but it became disturbing. It wasn't a horror film, but it ventured into exploitation territory quickly. There's only so much of that genre I can take. This movie crossed that line for me. Unfortunately, the actions that take place in this film represent the realistic way people can lose their humanity when their life is on the line. The technical aspects of this film were amazing, however. The money was put in the right places when it came to effects. The acting was outstanding with much of the dialogue improvised. If the movie had a soundtrack I would buy it. The score as well as the song during the credits were hauntingly beautiful. The cinematography was brilliant as was the ending. It was the graphic scenes in the film that bothered me on a human level as well as some unanswered questions.  If movies like Blindness or any of those exploitation films from the 1970's to now bother you, than steer clear of this movie. Rating: Noteworthy, but still made me want to stab a pen in my eye out of sheer disgust. Watch instead: The Killer Inside Me (2010) & Outbreak.

The Vintner's Luck 2009 Fantasy Drama Starring: Oscar nom Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal Rising) & Oscar nom Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air). Written by: Indie Spirit nom Niki Caro (Whale Rider) & Joan Scheckel based on the novel A Heavenly Vintage by Elizabeth Knox. Directed by: Caro (North Country). Plot: In 19th century France, a peasant winemaker (Jérémie Renier) endeavors to create the perfect vintage. Trailer: Review: I'm interested in this film because I like spiritual films, and I like wine. What a dichotomy! Rating: TBD. Watch with: TBD.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

[DVD] Tuesdays with Mell Apr.10, 2012 The Iron Lady, Sleeping Beauty, The Darkest Hour & more

The Iron Lady (2011)Sleeping Beauty (2011)The Darkest Hour (2011)Donald Glover: Weirdo - Live From New York (2012)
The Terror Experiment (2010)

The Iron Lady 2011 2X Oscar winning (best actress & makeup) biopic Starring: 3X Oscar winner Meryl Streep (Sophie's Choice), Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (Iris) & Anthony Head ("Merlin"). Written by: Abi Morgan. Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd. Plot: An elderly Margaret Thatcher (Streep) talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband (Broadbent) as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene. Trailer: Review: I haven't seen this one, but I'm curious because of the fact Streep won her third Oscar for this, and I love Anthony Head. We'll see.

Sleeping Beauty 2011 Cannes Palme d'Or nominated drama Starring: Emily Browning. Written & Directed by: Julia Leigh. Plot: A haunting portrait of Lucy (Brown), a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires. Trailer: Review: I was curious about this film because it's inspired by a Japanese novel called House of the Sleeping Beauties, but a little worried about the handling of the subject matter. I was right to be concerned. This movie was pretentious soft core porn. The plot was non-existent. The cinematography was pretty but so what? Oh, and beware of old balls. Full on frontal nudity of old guys. The only saving grace to this film was that it wasn't full prostitution like I thought it was going to be. I won't spoil it for anyone really curious though I'm warning you now. This movie is a huge waste of time. Poor Brown, going full frontal nude for this drivel. Review: I'd rather stab a pen in my eye than ever watch this again. Watch instead: Shrek the Third

The Darkest Hour 2011 scifi action film Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor & Joel Kinnaman. Written by: Jon Spaihts. Directed by: Chris Gorak. Plot: In Moscow, five young people lead the charge against an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply. Trailer: Revuew: I'm interested in seeing this movie because you rarely see alien invasion films where the characters actually fight back, not merely survive. This film was wide released then seemed to disappear into obscurity. Hopefully that's not a bad sign.

Donald Glover: Weirdo - Live From New York (TV) 2012 stand up special Starring: Donald Glover ("Community"). Clip: Review: I've first became a fan of the Derrick Comedy site, "Community" is the best comedy on TV as far as I'm concerned, and I loved Mystery Team. I have high hopes.

The Terror Experiment 2010 action thriller Starring: C. Thomas Howell ("Criminal Minds"), Judd Nelson ("Two and a Half Men"), Jason London ("Saving Grace"), Robert Carradine ("Lizzie McGuire") & Lochlyn Munro ("Smallville"). Written by: D. Todd Deeken. Directed by: George Mendeluk. Plot: This is the story of a building that is part of a "terror experiment" where an explosion happens and then certain people get infected and become feral. Trailer: Review: This movie looks terrible, but I'm a huge C. Thomas Howell fan so I have to watch lol. We'll see.