I give this film an 8.2. This has to be one of the most original movies I’ve seen recently both narratively and stylistically, but the story suffers because it is not regulated at all. As a protagonist, I think Amélie was effective because she had the perfect combination of being quirky, funny, and meaningful all in one facial expression. The narration was great, and the introduction of character by their likes and dislikes was so creative. The movie also managed to be pretty funny, but that sort of dwindled down the as it went on. The entire concept of Princess Diana’s death causing Amélie to find the box in the wall which in turn, caused a man to be reminded of his innocent past. That was by far, the best part of the film because everyone had a small box of toys that they lost over the years and the tears that streamed down the character’s face were so relatable. And the fact that Amélie wanted to make people happy from there seemed promising, but the story just got out of control. There were a lot of characters, and their roles did not seem necessary because they took up large portions of the film, and the protagonist lost screen-time. The love interest was really not that interesting, and it became a constant game of note-exchanging which was nice at first, but after a while, it got annoying. If you’re going through all this trouble, just turn around and talk to him: that made me angry. The word that best describes this movie is unique because it is highly original and I respect that, but I would not watch it again. 

If I could live Upstate NY I’d be the happiest person ever.


McLennon || Paul and John ||

I am a big, bright, shining star.

(via capriamovies)

Smash His Camera

I give this film an 8.4. This documentary does an amazing job of distributing interest between the life of photographer Ron Galella and the lives of his subjects. Not knowing much about this documentary going in, I was immediately captivated by the methods in which Galella used to capture his methods. Sneaking in, back exits, and locking himself in a factory may be seen by some as obsessive and privacy invading, but I see it as creative and pioneering. Because all these years later, no one else has the photographs of Liz Taylor on her yacht and those pictures are the ones that have survived. That being said, I do not believe that Galella did anything wrong by taking pictures of these celebrities, no matter how elaborate and frequent his efforts were because he never truly hurt anyone. He made his living in a different way than most others but the truth is, when you open up a magazine, you probably want to the photo that captures a pissed off expression of a celebrity. For getting whatever they want, the price celebrities have to be is having their privacy invaded, that’s the cost: they know that going in and there is no reason why someone should have sued Ron Galella. The ending montage of “I’ll Be Seeing You” with all the photographs of the stars over the years was beautiful, magical, nostalgic and it also prompted me with a new ideology. I would always get angry when people in my generation did not know who important figures and classic stars were but really, does it matter? Does it matter if someone could tell the difference between Clark Gable and Cary Grant? Because the truth is I wouldn’t be able to name most of the current musical artists if they were in a lineup. Time goes on and names are lost (I mean, would you know what Andrew Jackson looked like if you weren’t constantly reminded of him on the $20 bill?) but there will always be people who remember. Even if the number is small, at least a few people know, and that is really all that matters. While Galella’s time of interest has long passed, he perfectly captured the interesting moments in gorgeous black and white photographs which will always be around for those who wish to learn. Also, I give him credit because I would have passed out if I saw all these celebrities (seriously, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock all in montage next to each other) and his method is still old-school, which still works the best.

Play Misty for Me

I give this film an 8. Considering this was Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, this movie is not as bad as some of the other horror films from this era, but it really was not that good. Clint Eastwood was pretty good (I felt that there was not much acting going on with his part) but Jessica Walter made the movie and I did not even know that was Lucille Bluth until about three seconds ago. Wow, I did not see that one coming at all. Her character was really creepy and while I may not have always believed her during the second half of the film, the first half was more subtle and therefore, scarier. The scene where Eastwood is kissing Donna Mills and Evelyn is just standing there in the background was definitely the best and most psychotic frame of the whole movie. With the title of the movie, I thought the song/music would have more to do with it, but that kind of fell through. The story did get boring after a while because Evelyn lost screen-time and almost all of the outside scenes were badly dubbed. The inconsistency in audio as well as the dramatic zooms and freeze frames started to get distracting after a while and made me lose interest in whatever was going on. This is just a regular, early 1970s horror movie and I have no reason to watch it again. The production value was all around low and even though the acting was good, it all seemed to fall short. Fun fact though: the producer of Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” is Joel Dorn and it was really nice seeing his name in the credits because he was a good family friend of mine and I do miss him. Alright for a directorial debut, but nothing special at all. 

The Town

I give this film an 8.1. With the recent disappointment that was Heat, I have to say that this was a much better heist movie. I am pretty indifferent to Ben Affleck: he is nothing special, but I do not necessarily mind watching him. There should have been a clear antagonist because both his ‘best friend’ played by Jeremy Renner and the FBI agent played by  Jon Hamm were strong characters and they should have had more screen time. For instance, I love the scene where Jim/Gem sits in on the lunch date and the conversation between the friends that follows because it allows both Renner and Affleck to deliver raw emotion. That chemistry should have been further elaborated upon with more dramatic scenes because that subplot could have been more interesting than the love story. The first heist of the film and the shot of Claire walking along the shore made this seem promising, but in many ways it began to slip. The final gunfight went on for a while and before long, it became simply unbelievable. Doug falling in love with Claire was captivating because it was not an unimportant, side-love story: this allowed the audience to see more sides of Affleck’s character. Also, it was nice to see everyone getting the revenge they deserve and I do like how it ended. However, the subplots should have been chosen more carefully and the performances were not amazing. This just escapes the mold of being “another heist movie.”