Sunday, 30 November 2014

Nightcrawler (4/5,Good)

A dark tale of a character living in a system which exploits our Humanity to its limits. What are the choices that we have as individuals if everything out there is for sale? Questions like these embrace the new film from Dan Gilroy's (writer of Freejack, Real Steel)

 Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is an opportunist, unscrupulous man surviving in the wild city of Los Angeles. He stumbles into a new career as a cameraman and films the dark side of the city. Car accidents, murder, violence is what he tries to capture through the lens of his camera. As more and more darker the captured stories are, the more and more success he has. Running in the streets of Los Angeles, he loses himself in a world of darkness and voyeurism.

Jake Gyllenhaal is incredibly brilliant in the role of an anti-social man who breaks any boundary of ethics in order to get any scoop. The law of the strongest apply and Gylenhaal's character knows it. The boldest you go, you will succeed. However those scoops are mere car accidents and murders. These night-events are commodified and become a show per se. It brings the thought about Media today and how sensationalists they have become (especially in the United States). We don't look to understand our world: we aim mostly to be entertained.

German philosopher Nietzche once wrote "when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you". We see the evolution of the character ( one of the highlights of the script) and discover the complexity of a lonely man in a hard world. Is he a victim? Or is he a monster? You will have to think about it. Even if the final can be predictable for the genre, we still are satisfied with the journey.

Very good rhythm and great photography: dark colours are predominant in the shots and still, doesn't make it monotone. Aggressive music by James Newton Howard translating the ambivalence of the main character. We would like to assert that the best thing in the movie is, with no doubt, Jake Gylenhaal. Hopefully we will see him in the Oscars 2015!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Moon (2009) - Soundtrack by Clint Mansell

We share this powerful soundtrack by Clint Mansell.It is an excellent film that should be seen and enjoyed along with its score.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Interstellar (Good,4/5)

We saw this film days ago. However we felt the need of digesting this complex film so that we could share a review that would make sense.

These films have the potential to become an iconic cinema treasure. They certainly have a great level of imagination and complexity. They also like to "break the rules". In a Marvel-blockbuster era, it is amazing to see that a blockbuster was able to bring existential and philosophic questions about the existence of mankind and its evolution. Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight Trilogy) was the right man for that. Otherwise none of the Studios would have given him $165 million for shooting the film. 

It tells the story of former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) living with his family in a dying planet Earth. Humanity committed enough sins by plundering Earth resources and disrupting the climate system. Growing food is more and more difficult and so, Humanity needs to look up to the stars and take a big step: looking for life in another planet. Cooper along with other scientists (among them, Anne Hathaway) will go to explore in the black and infinite space the opportunity to live somewhere new. 

The apocalyptic scene has been used many times in Science-fiction movies. However we are very surprised to see that Nolan's script tries to entertain the viewers through the actors and not (only) through dramatic action sequences. The actors raise the fear of exploring the unknown (life in another planet, Death) and make it a constant topic.However this fear means opportunities to discover and learn about ourselves. What are we capable of? How far can we go? Isn't that a fear that paralyses any human being? Any society? 

We can't tell much of the story (we would blow it) but there are many elements that supports this idea of being a film that "break the rules". It reminded us to "2001: Space Odyssey". No one thought of filming Human's evolution. It was breath-taking, it was provocative. We attribute these same characteristics to "Interstellar". 

A shame that Nolan's script falls into many cliches. That is the main problem with the film. Instead of going further (as Kubrick did with 2001: Space odyssey or Tarkovsky with Solaris) it decided to go in harmony with the fear of the main characters: the one of exploring the unknown. So much potential to become a masterpiece wasted (e.g. Cooper's relationship with his daughter and their spiritual connection) to have a more square script. Why didn't Nolan take more risks? 

We value the great imagination, the dramatic intensity of the scenes, the score (by the gigantic Hans Zimmer) and the incredible special effects. One of the big hits of 2014. To be seen in IMAX.


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Song for Bob- Nick cave and Warren Ellis

Another day for sharing a beautiful music soundtrack. "The Assasination of Jesse James" has an amazing soundtrack signed by Nick Caves and Warren Ellis. Listen to the melody, swim with the softness of the sound and enjoy the wave.


Monday, 17 November 2014

The Imitation Game (3/5, Regular)

Those who studied computer science heard of Alan Turing, a mathematician genius who was able to crack a secret-code during World War II. The film tells us his story.

World War II was breaking and the British wanted to break a German secret-code called Enigma. For it, the British Government will hire mathematicians of the highest reputation. Amongst them, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch). However this working group of geniuses have a hard time dealing with the eccentric and arrogant Turing. He proposes to build a machine that would be able to break the code and therefore, save millions of lives. 

The acting is, by far, what is the more valuable in this movie. Cumberbatch is calling Hollywood for handing him an Oscar. Despite the arrogant character, he also embodies someone that carries secrets that cannot be revealed. One of them is his homosexuality. In a intolerant society regarding homosexuality, he hides in his genius to protect himself from a hard world. Cumberbatch understood that and takes the film on his shoulders. 

Regarding the script, mathematicians and computer scientists would shout out at the sky because it simplifies many complex theories and ideas. However this helps the film to gain rhythm and to explore other facettes of Turing's character. For once, Keira Knightley is quite convincing as Joan Clarke, Turing's closest friend and the chemistry between the two actors shines in the screen. The story is pretty simple, entertaining and has a glimpse of morality regarding tolerance of diversity. Such a kitsch topic but one that is necessary to repeat to ourselves. 

A film that won't leave a trace in the mind of people but will, however, leave something to the mind of the viewer during its 2 hours length. For us, it is like a good souvenir.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

What if great cinema directors make a music video?

Have you ever thought that music videos could be directed by important filmmakers? Sometimes we see great masterpieces and sometimes...well...
We invite you to taste nine visually stunning and good quality music videos.Which one is the best for you?

1)Dj Shadow-Six Days (Wong Kar Wai)

One of the greatest contemporary movie directors. He has big movies in his filmography (In the mood for love, 2046, My Blueberry nights) and showed a particular talent for mixing lively colors. Here's a taste of his talent.

2)Metallica-The Day that never comes (Thomas Vinterberg)

A reference in the Dogma film along with Lars Von Trier, his style is crude and aggressive (his first feature Festen is an evidence of it). To have it on your list.

3) Pearl Jam- Jeremy (Mark Pellington)

Mark Pellington lived golden years by the end of the 1990s. He directed successful films (Arlington Road) and music videos (NIN) but he has been long praised for this videoclip. A masterpiece.

4)The White Stripes- I Just don't know what to do with myself? (Sofia Coppola)


Sexy, simple and visually stunning. Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides,Lost In Translation) had the clever idea for this awesome song to film Kate Moss dancing to it. The images speak for themselves.

5)The Killers-Here with me (Tim Burton)

Well well, the crazy and ambitious Tim Burton decided to shoot a music video. A song too classic for our taste but with a video that is noticeable for its colors, style and story. Please, don't cry.

6) Aerosmith-Janie's got a Gun (David Fincher)

Murder, darkness, mystery. These themes, so relevant in a Fincher film, is taken into account in this very good music video. Received many awards.

7) Nirvana- Heart-Shaped Box (Anton Corbijn)

Dutch photographer and film director (Control, A most wanted man) he achieved one of his greatest work with this video. Nirvana has never been so powerful.

8) Placebo- Protege-moi 

French cover of their own song "Protect me (from what I want)", Placebo hired French-Argentine Gaspar Noé for directing this music video. The controversial director (Irreversible, Into the void) decided to create another controversy by orgy! This video is very representative of what he is: a crazy dude.

9) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Jubilee Street

The best for the end: a masterpiece. Directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, The Proposition), Nick Cave asked him to come up with a dark script that goes along with the song's spirit. Bravo. 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Classic movie of the month: 12 angry men

What a great movie! Definitely a classic. Made in 1957, this film was directed by Sydney Lumet (Network). He had a great care for Realism and worked on topics which people could relate to. Social Justice was mentioned in most of his films. 12 angry men touches that topic without dismissing its drama-thriller content. 

This film is set in a trial where a jury, made of 12 men, deliberate the guilt or innocence of a defendant. 11 of them believe he is guilty but one of them (Henry Fonda) thinks otherwise.With the pressure of having to reach unanimity, struggles amongst these 12 men arises.

One particularity of the film is that they used one set. The ''Deliberation'' room is the place where these characters look underneath the facts and discover a new reality. That is a topic relevant to movies: question what you see and what you believe. What lies beneath is meant to be hidden therefore be aware of what you are seeing. Those are powerful ideas and the cinema industry explored them. 

This film is highly recommendable and we put it into our classic movie of the week billboard. You won't regret it. 

Any thoughts for more Classic movies of the week? Share it, this cinema is yours!  

Mr Turner (2/5, Bad)

Many times great thinkers and film characters have told us: "stand on your feet, think by yourself." In this society it is sometimes hard to swim against the tide. We had our expectations with this movie backed by an universal critical acclaim. To be fair, we do not understand them. 

Director Mike Leigh (Palmes D'Or for Naked) assumed the responsibility to tell the story of the great painter Turner. This eccentric and controversial painter had definitely a worth-telling life into a feature. However, this is the greatest weakness of the film. There isn't a real story. Actually, little is being said. Sorry folks, we won't create a synopsis where there isn't. 

We felt certain arrogance in this film. Mike Leigh surely felt he has the filmography to tell Turner's life and we can definitely see it through the cinematography. The colours, the landscapes and also the acting ( impeccable Timothy Spall) make honour to Turner's outstanding visions and paintings. However it is felt that we are being showed a plethora of events completely disconnected between them and therefore, empty characters and no emotions. Leigh thought that the great shots would be enough.

Rarely we looked at our watches during a movie. This time we couldn't resist. The film goes really slowly and we do not see or feel what is happening. We haven't discovered something from Turner, neither learned from him. It had a huge potential for being a marvellous film. However it is simply a long film following a guy called ''Mr Turner.''


Friday, 7 November 2014

Horns (2014) (3/5,regular)

Alexandre Aja's latest film is a mix of drama, fantastic and horror genre. The fact of mixing these all together into one feature requires a clear vision. Sometimes Aja assures us that he knows where he is taking us, sometimes we feel he doesn't.

It tells the story of Iggy (Daniel Radcliffe) who is suspected by everyone in his town that he killed kis beautiful girlfriend (Juno Temple). Claiming himself innocent, he is ripped by sorrow and loneliness. However his anger against the people that make him feel all alone triggers something evil. He wakes up one morning with horns. These affect his surrounding: people start to tell him their darkest secrets. Iggy takes this curse as an opportunity to know the truth: who killed his girlfriend?

Alexandre Aja has experience in horror movies ( Haute tension, Piranhas 3D) and he knows how to manoeuvre the camera in order to create tension. However he decided to put other 'inputs' into the story: drama through the lead character (with good acting by Radcliffe), a big pack of black humour and a small taint of romance. The result? Sometimes it is cliché and that messes up the whole horror genre Aja knows how to build. It also puts forward weaknesses in the script: too much twists and

Two highlights therefore: the grotesque with people showing their true colours and the soundtrack. We were amazed how well picked the songs were. Every song has a meaning and a purpose for the scene. We can thus say that the film gives us some good moments of laugh and tension and others with the feeling of deja vu".



Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Did you say scary movie?

We know, Halloween was a while ago. However scary movies are still relevant in the cinema! We thought for a while which films we would recommend you and we made a special short list. Our criteria was its ability to create tension, a (relative) good script and its originality. Turn off the lights, here we go. 

1) The Nameless (" Los Sin Nombre") (1999)

First film of Spanish director Jaume Balagueró (REC, Darkness).What a debut! It tells the story of Claudia (Emma Vilarasau) whose vanished daughter is found completely mutilated by the police and how she struggles to move on. One day she has a phone call from a desperate young girl claiming that she's her daughter and that ''They'' are going to kill her. Desperate to know the truth, Claudia leads an investigation with Massera (Karra Elejalde) a retired policeman. Red Curtain Cinema still remembers that final scene...

2) Dead End (2003)

Really good small-budget film by French film directors Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa. It tells a simple story: on his way to a Christmas dinner, Frank (the great Ray Wise) drives in an unknown road with his family. Supposed to be a shortcut, they get lost in a dark forest. Little by little, events will affect each member of the family and start to disappear.

That's all you need to know to watch this ''bijou''. Very good script and good acting (hard to find in a horror film).

3) The Evil Dead by Sam Raimi (1981)

Considered by many as one of the greatest horror films of all time. Such label was seen by producers and made an honorable remake (Evil Dead,2013). Directed by Sam Raimi, it was made with no money, with harsh filming conditions and many incidents on set but the result is a masterpiece. A spooky horror-film (with some gore and black humour) that makes it an inevitable reference. It is the story of friends going to a small cabin in the middle of a forest to spend the weekend. In there, they discover a tape recording along with a book. Evil emerges in the woods and Ash (the amazing Bruce Campbell) will have to fight. A must-see!

4) The Blair Witch Project (1999) 

Of course, everyone heard about this film.Cuban director Eduardo Sanchez and American Daniel Myrick started the trend of ''found footage'' (today, a concept widely used in horror films). Three students went into the woods in 1994 to investigate about the myth of a witch in the middle of nowhere in the US. A year later, the footage is found. Made with almost no money and harsh filming conditions,a great film was made. Scary until the end!

5) Martyrs (2008)

Very disturbing and violent film. It is not recommendable for sensitive souls. However its originality derives from the logic behind its psychological and physical violence. Hard to tell the story but it has a strong story and great actors. The film was so violent that it made a scandal in the Cannes Festival. However it is a great horror movie.

6) Mama (2012)

South-American horror movie! The story behind this film is incredible. Director Guillermo Del Toro saw a short-film made by Argentine Andrés Muschietti called "Mama". Very short but scary. Del Toro decided to produce a film for Mushietti and the result is this film. Not a gore-movie, horror movie amateurs can watch it. Solid story, scenes with tension, great actrices. A good horror film for a dark and cold night.
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