Dec 30, 2013

Movie Review: Rush [2013]

Sports are boring. Movies about sports can be even more boring especially if they are somehow related to F1. But there are exceptions, a very hard-to-make exceptional films and I say Rush is the best among them. Rush is a true story about two Formula 1 legends of 1970s - Great Britains's James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austria's Nikki Lauda (Daniel Bruh) - two greatest rivals whose fearless, uncompromising competition brought them worldwide glory and tragic accident during Japanese race.

James and Nikki are two opposite type of persons and sportsmen. Hunt is a party boy, women's favorite and a true macho. He enjoys every moment of his glory. Being successful and very handsome just fuels his bohemian lifestyle and no one ever says NO to him. As a racer James has this endless passion, thirst to risk, because the only thing he truly loves is speed and the fact that each race can be his last. But his enjoyment does not go further than racetrack. The moment he's done with tournament, he goes back to girls, night parties, alcohol and fun.
Nikki, on the contrary, is more antisocial person, he does not interact much with other people and especially of opposite sex. But he loves cars, not only racing, but cars. He understands them, he builds them and he feels them. That is why Lauda absolutely controls every car he drives on a track. Being a son to Austrian wealthy businessman, he sees profit and rationality in everything. For this reason he never takes "higher than accepted" risks, which means, for instance, no race in rainy day. Nikki spends his spear time with cars, making them even more perfect and comfortable, unlike Hunt, he'd never enjoyed loud and crowded parties.

But these two different people have things in common. Both disrespected their parents by going to F1 and both are trying to prove themselves and their families that this particular decision was correct. And they compete, because only one can prove that, because only one becomes the champion.
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Dec 27, 2013

Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug [2013]

I swear I'll watch everything with Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien names on it, especially when it comes to prequel of my most favorite trilogy of the LOTR. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a descent followup prequel to previous trilogy and definite improvement compared to first part of it. 

I always find hard to judge movies which are prequels or sequels of iconic films, that I adore and have watched dozens of times, especially when decade has passed after their premiere. And I know how hard it is for Peter to repeat the same success in both ways - love of critics and love of fans. But I guess, he has just done it with very entertaining story, fascinating visuals and brilliant cast - just what everyone wanted to see. The only problem you can find compared to the LOTR is that  Rings first two movies were preparation for epic battle in the third and here, the second part had a distracting story of Smaug - a dragon. I know this is a story of Hobbit but I wanted a bit more of Sauron here. But it was still epic in every sense Jackson's movies are. 
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Dec 25, 2013

Movie Review: Lee Daniels' The Butler [2013]

It's a good thing they changed name to Lee Daniels The Butler otherwise I'd confuse it with a short movie of the same name.

Academy Award nominee director of Precious, Lee Daniels takes us back to mid 19th century in the darkest part of American history - the time when racial discrimination was a rule and not an exception, when colored people were denied everything citizens have a right to. This was a war and those people were just living in it.

Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) was a young black boy, working on a farm when he witnessed the owner murdering his father for stepping in to protect his wife. This is when he decided to be "invisible" to white people - it was far more safe. Grown up as a servant, he moves for better life, doing his best to become a better butler and one day, he gets a call from White House and he's hired as The Butler - probably the most influential one in history. Cecil has served to 7 US presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan and influenced many of their decisions regarding civil rights movements.
"You hear nothing, you see nothing, you only serve"
Cecil had two sons, eldest Louis is a civil right activist fighting (literally) for his and friends rights. For this reason he's been imprisoned, beaten and attacked multiple times. Father and son practically were standing on opposite sides of politics, but served the same aim - equality. They both succeed, but it had its own price.

Movie mostly focuses on White House, Gaines's interaction with politics, civil rights movements and problems inside Gaines's family and these all spins around biggest growing power of colored people. It chronologically gives pretty impressive history lesson with lots of emotions showing pain, despair, injustice,  death and hatred.
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Dec 20, 2013

Showtime New Series "Penny Dreadful" Teaser

Showtime released a teaser trailer of its new horror series "Penny Dreadful", created by three times Oscar nominee John Logan. Logan, who picked respective writing nominations for Hugo, The Aviator and Gladiator, brought literature's most terrifying characters including Dr. Frankestein, Dorian Gray and characters from Dracula. 
TV-Series has some impressive cast members like Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and Rory Kinnear. Showtime does not specifically say story-line of Penny Dreadful but teaser still looks dreadful enough to be intrigued. Series is planned to air in 2014.

Check the teaser out here:

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Dec 16, 2013

Top 10 Trailers of 2013

Last year, I named To Ten trailers of 2012, choosing Les Miserable's epic trailer as a winner, with close runner up Cloud Atlas. Later it turned out that those two movies were two my top films of 2012 (being Cloud Atlas slightly more favorite than Miserables). As for now, I've seen only few of those films and I truly wonder whether movie and trailer choices still match. We'll see.

I believe that trailers are very important to promote and make people want to watch the movie. A good trailer shall deliver the spirit, importance, messages of film without spoiling anything. Making a good movie does not mean making a good trailer and vice versa. The trailers I choose have some important characteristics to me: a good shots and moments from plot, music and some emotional connections. So, here they are:

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Dec 12, 2013

The Road to Oscars: SAG Awards Nominees

Yesterday, Screen Actors Guild announced its nominees for the 20th annual awards, being the first awards ceremony to do so, this year. I caught up with some international film festivals, but SAG is a very interesting case to predict acting category nominations. Before moving to analyses, here are the nominees (in alphabetical order):

Best Ensemble:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
August: Osage County
Dallas Buyers Club
Lee Daniel's The Butler

Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor,12 Years A Slave
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniel's the Butler

Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sanda Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
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Dec 10, 2013

Movie Review: Blue is the Warmest Color [2013]

Blue is the Warmest Color is nearly three hours long, very bold, natural, extravagant and sexy adventure of Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) who accidentally falls in love with Emma - a woman with blue hair. Director Abdellatif Kechiche takes us on the journey through life of 15 year old girl exploring her sexuality, her life, her passions and interests with the assistance of people she meets on her way ahead.

Adele is a daughter of middle class parents, going to middle class school, is interested in french literature and philosophy and wants to be a teacher. Her life is just too normal and monotonous, but this is going to change when an older guy from school asks her out. Since Adele never thought she was guys' favorite and all these attention is quite new for her, she feels that something changes and kind of feels happy. But real happiness and passion comes when she accidentally meets Emma and here comes "questioning" whether she truly enjoys with boyfriends company or not. The answer NO leads to breakup.

New relationship develops dizzily and lasts several passionate years. With its ups and downs, each and every second of Emma's and Adele's lives is shown with great accuracy and realism. Movie makes you as involved as characters, binding you to the story as if it was your personal.
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