See the Sea

Wow, it’s been awhile since my last post. Well over a year. But it looks like my writing is back in full swing and with that my downtime, enough to continue to review a bunch of films. I like it this way. The film I will begin my new movie odyssey with is a 1997 French suspense called See the Sea. It is available on Netflix streaming and is only about an hour long. Filmmaker François Ozon, at this point known for his interests in sex and suspense, truly delivers on those fronts with this one.

The film begins with the portrait of a beautiful mother, played by Sasha Hails, and her newborn daughter at the beach. Hails is a British actress most recently known for her work in Casualty, a BBC sitcom. I don’t know much about it. In See the Sea however she plays a lonely young mother waiting for her husband to return from a business venture. She is approached by a strange, emotionless backpacker who asks if she could pitch a tent on their property for a few days. And she abides.

I kinda don’t want to ruin the shock value of this film for anyone. Like when the backpacker uses the shower in the mother’s house and what happens in there. The young mother is sexually frustrated and is portrayed in two unusual sexual acts at different points in the film, one masturbatory and one adulterous. The tension is alive! The conversation over dinner between the backpacker (Marina de Van) and the mother about childbirth is also creepy and tense.

I refuse to ruin the sick ending of this film just know that it all sort of makes sense. I noticed Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 100 percent rating, which isn’t usual so I know I’m not alone when I say this movie sort of rocks. I particularly like the scene where the backpacker is strolling through the raw meat isle at the local grocery store and the contrasts that conjures up. I’m back!

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Filed under Drama, Foreign (subtitled), French, Horror, Short Film, Suspense

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 6 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 29 posts. There were 15 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was February 24th with 109 views. The most popular post that day was Raging Bull.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, jaidenjames.blogspot.com, search.aol.com, tvrizor.com, and student-loan-consilidation.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for captain eo, danger mouse, valeria golino, michael jackson captain eo, and rain man dvd.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Raging Bull November 2009

2

This Is It November 2009

3

Reviews: Past Week or So January 2010

4

Quiet Chaos November 2009

5

About September 2009

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Vampires should not sparkle

While I know, deeply—to the core of my existence—that this movie was not made for me, I have now successfully seen all three. I saw the second and third ones in the theater, and the first one (actually, twice) on video. The second one I saw on opening night. I recall every theater at the Palace-Elmwood was playing it. It was packed to the gills with people, young and old, wearing T-Shirts bearing the actors faces [sigh]. I might have been the only man in the audience, which at least partially explains why I snicker aloud at all the parts I’m not supposed to.

This time I saw the movie one week after its local release. The theater was still pretty full for a Tuesday night at 10 o’clock. I did however imagine it would be. After all, I don’t live under a rock. I watched some of the MTV Movie Awards. I’ve been to Burger King recently. My girlfriend has the soundtrack, which bears some of my favorite artists (The Black Keys, The Dead Weather, Beck, Cee-lo, etc.). This I am actually not surprised about since Thom Yorke of Radiohead was on the “New Moon” soundtrack, and basically, whatever Thom Yorke does is gospel.

Back to the film, I think the Vampires often have the dumbest looks on their faces, like when they’re all lined up, ready for battle, and the camera zooms in on the whole gang. That’s one of those parts when I laugh out loud. The romance gets me, too. Not to mention the main character, Edward (Robert Pattinson), usually puts on the stupidest face of all. But sure, I’ll go ahead and show the other side—he’s young and trying hard to look affected. I don’t really think he’s a bad actor or anything like that. His face just looks stupid most of the time.

Then my girlfriend keeps telling me, “You’re so ‘Team Edward.’” No, I’m not. What’s the other ones name again? Oh yeah, Jacob.

“I’m definitely ‘Team Jacob,’” I reply. And here’s why: From a Wordsworthian point of view, the Werewolves are better. They live outdoors, among Nature. They’re a mysterious tribe, protecting their land, concealing hidden mysteries of life. They’re an indigenous, peaceful, spiritual race of beings. I think Wordsworth would agree with me. On the other hand: Vampires. Vampires are pretentious. They’re typically rich and often the epitome of aristocratic society. They cannot to be trusted because they’re barely alive. In my opinion, they are one step above Zombies.

Which reminds me, the film is sort of half original and half terribly unoriginal. I’ll start with the obvious unoriginal: Vampires and Werewolves. Romantic Londoner John William Polidori is credited with writing the first tale of the modern Vampire, called The Vampyre in 1819. Some say werewolves can be traced to ancient Greece.

Further, they are sympathetic, loving Vampires and Werewolves. The Twilight series is a perpetual “Interview With a Vampire,” toned down for your 13-year-old sister. In “Eclipse,” all the fast action possibly down to the red eyes of the Vampires has been ripped off from one of the coolest films of this decade, “28 Days Later.” Of course, in that film the villains are indiscriminant, violence-infected Zombies.

Adversely, I say it’s original just because it comes off as a novice film to me. Unless you want to hear that although original, I think it’s stupid that the Vampires do not have fangs, nor do they sleep during the day.

Certain scenes seem out-of-place across the Twilight Saga. Kind of like the “What doesn’t belong?” questions seen on standardized tests. Like in the first movie, I thought the very violent conflict at the end of the movie was out-of-place. It did not fit into the softy tone of the rest of the movie. In “Eclipse,” I thought it was out-of-place when the blonde Vampire Rosalie Hale, played by actress Nikki Reed, shares her gang-rape revenge story with Bella in the middle of the movie. Maybe I sound like Holden Caulfield trying to be ‘the catcher in the rye,’ wanting to save America’s tweens from coming-of-age?

I wouldn’t want to take anything away from the director of “Eclipse” David Slade (“Hard Candy,” “Stone Temple Pilots: Thank You,” “30 Days of Night”), though. He looks like a young Alfred Hitchcock. Except that there may have been too much time spent on the close-ups. At one point Jacob and Bella are having a moment in the middle of this gorgeous mountain valley and all we can do is count nose hairs. I let out a sigh of relief when the cut came to actually show the awesome landscape. Then I thought why? Why are we cutting out that landscape?

Now, maybe if I were just a tad more captivated by the beauty of actress Kristen Stewart or actor Taylor Lautner I wouldn’t have noticed. The problem is, to me they all look like young Hollywood big shots.

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Filed under Award Winners, Drama, Rant, Romantic Comedy

Inception, Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore is coming back on soon, and my dog is dreaming next to my toes. That reminds me, Inception; why was everyone’s subconscious so angry and violent?

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Treme

Just saw it. I liked it.
The way I feel is happy. Happy to see New Orleans represented properly. Shit, I talk like that.
Megan brought up a good point, perhaps it seems like only we’ll get it, but I don’t think. Plenty people have visited New Orleans. At least seen it. After the storm I was in school at LSU and I I didn’t return to New Orleans until about three months later.
I can remember riding shotgun in my mom’s mustang through Lakeview. All the destruction. Then around city park. I kept yawning, but it wasn’t really because I was tired. Feel me?
It was unreal. Just the year before I lived on Navarre Ave. My buddies had moved around the corner from that house after the lease expired, just down the street from Lakeview playground. Lost everything, big television, new red couches.
I think it’s right to see New Orleans on HBO. Seeing it done correctly, all the right things said. All the ways in which the nuances of the city have been captured make me feel a little sad and a little warm inside.
I was happy to see John Goodman, too. I didn’t really read up beforehand.
Just a couple months ago Megan and I saw Kermit Ruffin’s at the Blue Nile on Frenchman Street. Steve Zahn was there, just hangin’ out.
I didn’t really know what to expect from Treme, but I’m excited about Sunday nights after watching the first episode.
I thought about the Saints winning the Super Bowl at some point during the episode. Geaux Saints!

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Dictated en route to school one morning in March

I watched a good movie last night about the romance of John Keats with the seamstress. It was called Bright Star. The cinematography was beautiful. The poetry was also to the forefront and that was very nice and it carried the film along. I was exhausted and I stayed awake through the entire movie.

Recently, I’ve seen a bunch of movies.

I also saw Il Divo. That was about sort of a notorious leader in Italy with probable ties to the mafia. Movies are running together these days. Anyway, it was done fashionably hip and it was exciting, but its flashbacks and in-continuity in time were difficult to follow. Otherwise worth seeing, especially if you’re interested in Italian politics.

yeah

I want to pick a bone with Tim Burton produced animated film 9. What I can remember is that the whole movie was kind of a lack of plot. It was more just like one big action sequence with a bunch of weird-looking animation like that’s all it takes to make a movie. There was really no rising action. There was no getting to know any character–they were all stock characters, I mean even the main character was kind of a stock brand throughout the film. And it was a disappointment because I tend to enjoy most of Tim Burton’s movies, if not all of them. It reminded Megan, who introduced me to the film What Is It? by the guy from Back to the Future, Crispin Glover. That was probably the best thing about 9–the emergence of Crispin Glover.

Shutter Island was wonderful and I’ve been waiting for it since I saw the preview probably three months ago, and although it took a long time to finally come out it was worth the wait. It was kind of a film noir, but it was good stuff. I’m proud of Leonardo DiCaprio because unlike most child stars, Leonardo has managed to stay in good shape. I mean look at the Coreys from the 80’s, look at Edward Furlong from Terminator 2, all of them look like washed up fatty has beens that look suicidal in every picture that comes up on google, and it’s disappointing. But not Leo. Leo is still putting out good work and Shutter Island was pretty creepy. It had twists and ties and overall a well written script. Well performed, the cinematography in that film was also spectacular.

Videodrome was a David Cronenburg film that made into the Criterion Film Collection that just happened to be on (skin)emax late at night because it’s kind of sexy and gruesome. It’s kind of got a philosophical message about violence and virtually what you’re watching on television and how it effects you subconsciously. Aside from being a pretty cool psychological thriller with great special effects I think for its time (1980 or so), it also has spiritual implications and other things that projected David Cronenbug’s career (The Fly). That was kind of a treat to see on late night television. James Woods rocks.

Russian Ark is a very famous film, if for nothing else known for being the longest single shot in history. It’s a spectacular film about Russian politics and culture and art, and it’s captured gracefully and humorously in one long shot through a famous museum in Russia. We picked it up on DVD. I’d try watching it with a cup of coffee. Information overloaded since I’m practically Greek to anything Russian.

8 1/2, the Federico Fellini autobiographical film that basically deals with the idea of how a movie comes to life from the writer, the creator of the film, and it’s a classic that I’d suggest to anyone. Although it’s in black and white it’s very sexy and stylish, and timeless. Also a Criterion film.

Mammoth was kind of–actually it was a really neat film because I believe it was shot on location in the East. By that I mean Thailand (at least it’s set in Thailand) and it switches back and forth from Thailand to New York City. It’s about a video game Web site designer who has struck it rich and is traveling across seas for a few weeks to sell his Web site while his wife works as a surgeon in a high stress environment in New York. It’s really kind if about how life touches us. It’s very intense with how we cope with death, and there’s also child rape at the end of the film, there’s infidelity. In a sense, I thought maybe it had gone overboard at some point, or just that the universal truths of the film could have been portrayed without all the shock and awe, to be honest.

Oh, Couples Retreat sucked! Couples retreat was really, really shitty and if there was any indication on any preview that I saw (besides a bunch of women in bikinis) that Vince Vaughn was gonna have a pseudo-dramatic Guitar Hero playoff against the manager of the hotel that they are staying in I would’ve never rented it, wasted my money or time. There’s too many relationships that need tying up, and so there becomes a point where you realize, wait, I don’t know enough about any of these people to actually give two shits about their relationships anymore, or whether or not they tie it up with their significant other. I really don’t care anymore because there is no central character in the film.

I know, I like Vince Vaughn too.

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Filed under Comedy, Drama, Foreign (subtitled), Rant

Corey Haim Dies at 38

Too young.

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