Posts Tagged ‘Brokeback Mountain’

My Week With Marilyn

Posted 22 Apr 2012 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

My Week with Marilyn, UK / USA, 2011

Directed by Simon Curtis

My Week with Marilyn is a solid biopic buoyed by an excellent performance from Michelle Williams. Marilyn Monroe was my first real crush, even before I really knew what a crush was. I grew up on old movies, which is probably the reason I still find the image of a woman smoking with a cocktail in the other hand extremely sexy, and no woman on the silver screen from that golden era long before I was born held the mysterious, seductive allure of Marilyn. Three of her films in particular were my childhood obsessions: Otto Preminger’s River of No Return (1954), Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959) and John Huston’s The Misfits (1961), which turned out to be her final feature. Of course, there were other favorites, especially Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business (1952) and Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch (1955), but those three really captured her sweet vulnerability, her almost oblivious sensuality, and the soft sadness behind her alluring smile, an indication of the hard life she had lived and, as my young mind and these films dared to hope, had now left behind. In reality, of course, poor Marilyn’s life only got harder, until it was snuffed out all too soon. Read More

Source Code

Posted 15 Apr 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Scott Martin

Source Code, Canada / France / USA, 2011

Directed by Duncan Jones

Source Code is very reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys. This film has Terry Gilliam’s fingerprints all over it, especially those of the Gilliam who made Twelve Monkeys (1995). But, here, the closest we get to Brad Pitt’s rambling genius is Michelle Monaghan in an adorable outfit. Better, though, is the lead performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, who has grown to have an incredibly commanding screen presence. From back in the days of Donnie Darko (2001) up until now, he’s steadily been growing on me as an actor. Then, when Brokeback Mountain (2005) came around, it all just clicked and I became one of those “insta-fans,” never looking back. Donnie Darko still sucks, but at least the guy is watchable now.

Source Code is an interesting film, directed by Duncan Jones (recall Moon from 2009). A man wakes up on a train, not knowing who he is or why he’s there. Everyone aboard seems to know him, and he seems to have a thing going with the gorgeous girl sitting across from him. Eight minutes after all of this is established, they all die. The train explodes, and our man wakes up again in a capsule of sorts (or maybe a grave, existentially) with a voice coming to him from a television set telling him this – he’s a soldier, Captain Colter Stevens, and part of an intense new system referred to as “source coding,” in which he is to travel back into a tragic accident in order to discover both what went wrong and who to blame. Read More

Love And Other Drugs

Posted 15 Jan 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Scott Martin

Love and Other Drugs,USA, 2010

Directed by Edward Zwick

jake gyllenhaal anne hathaway in a new movie on movies i didnt getThe most comforting thing about director Edward Zwick’s new foray into the rom-com world is that we can be pretty sure he won’t be doing it again. Love and Other Drugs was far from a success, and it’s understandable why. Think back to Sweet November (2001), Autumn in New York (2000), Stepmom (1998), or even Love Story (1970). You remember how banal those films were? This really isn’t any better. That isn’t to say that the film is without merit, or not at all enjoyable. It has merit, and it’s a ridiculously easy watch. It’s medicine that goes down smooth, but never gets to the symptoms.

Of course, it’s based on a memoir, Jamie Reidy’s Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, so when I go back and think about the film, I have to constantly remind, or maybe convince, myself that these are real people. This happened, for what it’s worth, probably not in the way the film presents it, but so rarely is that ever the case. In any event, these things are true – there was a Viagra salesman who met a woman with Parkinson’s Disease and they fell in love. Also, and the film never lets us forget it, Jerry Maguire (1996) was released around this time; Jake Gyllenhaal’s constant costume of blazers, plain tee, and Raybans suggest that’s all Jamie had in his closet. Read More