Posts Tagged ‘jason a hill’

Black Swan – Sinks In Its Own Shallow Lake

Posted 31 Dec 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Jason A. Hill

Black Swan, USA, 2010

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

black swan ballerina natalie portman movies i didnt getBlack Swan has to be one of the most talked-about films of 2010. You might enjoy this film, but it may be for different reasons than you expect. I give director Darren Aronofsky credit for creating such a provocative and alluring spectacle; it’s all his doing. I don’t think the ballet is any more popular than it was before; the subject matter doesn’t seem to be catching any sort of momentum in pop culture, so why does this film seem to find its way into the middle of so many film conversations?

Aronofsky is known for his psychologically damaged characters, from Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) in Pi (1998) to Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) in The Wrestler (2008), these characters equally recognize their faults and fight to regain their sense of importance as much as they fail and self-destruct. Aronofsky has become the leading director of character destructive descent, but with his latest doomed protagonist, he’s stepped away from the reasonable situations that lead people into their own destruction and settled for pure insanity. Read More

The Kids Are All Right – The Movie Is Okay

Posted 27 Dec 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Jason A. Hill

The Kids Are All Right, USA, 2010

Directed by Lisa Cholodenko

the kids are alright movies i didnt getThis surprise hit at Sundance got a wave of momentum going into Oscar season and promises to pick up several nominations. It has already won Best Picture at the Berlin International Film Festival and three nominations at the Golden Globes. The film was well received by most critics, scoring 94% at RottenTomatoes.com and a respectable showing at the box office.

There’s plenty to like about The Kids Are All Right, given the star power it wields in its most pivotal roles, played by two of my favorite actresses, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. It also shows courage in profiling a non-mainstream family and the issues they have to deal with. My only issue with this film was that it played a little too much on the progressive macro subject matter and not enough on the strength of the film, its characters. Read More

Sundance Film Fest Moving To A City Near You

Posted 09 Dec 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Industry News

By Jason A. Hill

Sundance Film Festival marquee movies i didnt getIn a press release today, the Sundance Institute announced that it will host its famed film festival in nine different cities in January.

PARK CITY, UTAH – Sundance Institute today announced the films from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival scheduled to screen in theaters in nine different cities, including the newly added Seattle, Washington Egyptian Theatre, on the evening of Thursday, January 27, 2011. The screenings are part of Sundance Film Festival USA, designed to introduce the Festival experience to film-loving audiences nationwide. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival opens January 20 and runs through January 30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Read More

The White Ribbon – Chaos In The Order

Posted 06 Dec 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Jason A. Hill

The White Ribbon, Germany / Austria / France / Italy, 2009

Written and Directed by Michael Haneke

The White Ribbon movie poster movies i didnt getOften in film, story becomes the magical thread that keeps us involved; story usually consists of questions and answers that create conflict. In Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, the questions we receive indeed create conflict, but the film also puts into view how far we will go to find the answers. Many have tagged this film as being a glimpse into the ideological beginnings of German fascism, or Nazism. I would agree with that notion, but what makes the film so interesting and gives it its true power is its transcendence across national, cultural, and even temporal divisions to examine that all-too-human need to understand its own basic horrors and needs for safety.

The film is set in rural Germany just before World War I. The story takes place in a village where life is as simple and common as an early 20th century village gets. The Baron (Ulrich Tukur) owns the land and provides employment for over half the people living in the area. The town is small enough that there is a single Pastor (Burghart Klaussner), Doctor (Rainer Bock), and School Teacher (Christian Friedel) to accommodate everyone. Everyone plays their assigned roles in clockwork-like rhythm and the slightest variance echoes like a bomb. From here it wasn’t clear to me if the patriarchal nature of this village was a detail of this time and place or if the authoritarian setting was acutely unique to this village, but this is just another layer in the film’s rich mise-en-scene.  Read More

The 23rd European Film Awards – The Winners Are In

Posted 05 Dec 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Industry News

By Jason A. Hill

the ghost writer ewan mcgreggor best actor movies i didnt getAwards season is in full effect, and just last night the European Film Awards gave its top honors. Most surprising was Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer, which took top honors for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Ewan McGregor). This is sure to give this film momentum as we head into the Oscars next month.

The European Film Academy’s full list of winners:

EUROPEAN FILM 2010
THE GHOST WRITER, France/Germany/UK
directed by Roman Polanski
written by Robert Harris & Roman Polanski
produced by Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde & Roman Polanski

EUROPEAN DIRECTOR 2010
Roman Polanski
for THE GHOST WRITER

Read More

Irvin Kershner Becomes One With The Force At Eighty-Seven

Posted 30 Nov 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Industry News, Hollywood Beat

By Jason A. Hill

irvin kershner directing empire strikes back movies i didnt getDirector Irvin Kershner, most famous for directing Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), has died at the age of 87.

Kershner, who also directed Sean Connery as James Bond in Never Say Never Again (1983) and Peter Weller in RoboCop 2 (1990), died at home in Los Angeles on Saturday after a long illness, according to the AFP.

George Lucas, who picked Kershner to direct the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, said in a statement that he had lost a friend.

“The world has lost a great director and one of the most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Irvin Kershner was a true gentleman in every sense of the word … When I think of Kersh, I think of his warmth, his thoughtfulness and his talent. I knew him from USC – I attended his lectures and he was actually on the festival panel that gave the prize to my ‘THX’ short [which eventually became the 1971 film THX 1138] … I considered him a mentor.”

— George Lucas

Read More

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – No Muggles Allowed

Posted 28 Nov 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Jason A. Hill

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, UK / USA, 2010

Directed by David Yates

Harry Potter is one of the most successful franchises in film history. I’ll admit right away that I have never picked up a Harry Potter novel. By the same token, I have seen every one of the Harry Potter movies. I guess that shows where my loyalties lie, or maybe I’m just too lazy to read anymore. Adaptations are pretty common these days in Hollywood, and with more and more epics being put on the big screen, there may be a problem with sacrificing a little too much for “literary integrity” at the expense of a complete film. Up until now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 has grossed over $400 million at the box office worldwide (the number six opening weekend of all time) and will certainly be among the top films in earnings history, but is this film really that good, or are we just falling victim to “completism”?

Going in, it was no secret that this film is just a prelude to the real final chapter of the Harry Potter story, but I resent the fact that one can’t seem to enjoy this film on its own. Instead, it has to be viewed as just an episode. Read More