Posts Tagged ‘screenwriting’

25th Hour – Lee’s Love Letter

Posted 25 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

25th Hour, USA, 2002

Directed by Spike Lee

25th Hour is a film I can watch over and over again, and always learn something new.I’ll be the first to say that I am not a Spike Lee fan. Outside of a few films, I think the man refuses to see past his skin color and the world in anything other than black versus white, but in 25th Hour, the story of a white drug dealer’s last day before seven years in federal prison, Lee pushes aside his normal agenda and shows us shades of gray that he’s ignored for the majority of his career. It harks back to his breakthrough film Do the Right Thing (1989), in that it asks its viewer a very important question: what do we do now? In what might be the first mainstream film to openly deal with a post-9/11 New York, complete with long shots of Ground Zero and open allusions to the late firemen who dealt with the evacuation and clean-up of the fallen Twin Towers, he reverses his stance and puts it, literally, in another color.

Edward Norton is a powerful actor, without ever doing too much; he lives in the simple parts of his characters and portrays very basic human emotions, but does so with such a natural swagger that you can completely forget you’re watching an actor. His Monty Brogan is the best example of this alternative approach. Here we see a drug dealer get touched and spend his last day of freedom with him. The city has changed, and so has Monty; the lifestyle is gone, and of all the filmmakers to propose a love letter to New York after her fall (we’re still waiting, Woody), in retrospect, Lee should have been the obvious choice. With his extremely candid points of view and the temper he gives all of his projects, it was the right move at the right time. I heard someone refer to the film as a bandage for the city’s wounds and I was insulted, as the point of a bandage is to cover up the wound. Lee’s film is a part of the healing process, for sure, but he never attempts to cover anything up, and literally tells it exactly like it is. Read More

Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Three’s Company

Posted 21 Jul 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Spain / USA, 2008

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

The interweaving relationships of this film are classic Woody Allen, and it's fair to say this is his strongest notation on human neurosis of the 2000's.My favorite thing about Woody Allen movies is hearing the actors speak the words; it’s always with a sense of adoration, and there are usually shades of performers who have spoken these words in the past. Allen’s scripts are performed, no matter the quality, with gratitude. Such is most definitely the case with this film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona. If you’re intrigued by the title, it’s simple enough, about as simple as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in that there’s a massacre committed with a chain saw in Texas; in this, Vicky and Cristina go to Barcelona. However, there is a bit of a deeper meaning. Read More