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Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Forgiveness of Blood

the forgiveness of bloodAn Albanian family is torn apart by a murder, resulting in a blood feud that finds Nik becoming the prime target and his sister, Rudina, forced to leave school in order to take over the family business (IMDb)

I remember reading a little bit ago about blood feuds still being a thing in Albania, so I was really interested in this. And for the most part, it didn’t disappoint. It is a really fascinating story of a part of the world that is modern, but is still rooted in tradition. It’s also about what happens when tradition and the modern world butt heads. Something else I really picked up on was the younger generation paying for the older generation’s mistakes. Nik and Rudina are two high schoolers that are forced to drop everything in their lives because of something their father and uncle did. It was frustrating just to watch, so I can’t imagine being involved in that situation. Tristan Halilaj and Sindi Lacej make very strong debuts in this as Nik and Rudina. You see the both of them struggling to help their family, but also wanting to live their own lives. The only complaints I really have are about pace. There were times where the action was very slow. I get that it was supposed to show the passing of time, but it went on a little too long for me. Also, as an outside viewer, you have to play a game of catch up. They don’t explain any of the technical terms when it comes to the feuds, and you kind of just have to figure it out contextually. Other than that though, I thought this was a fascinating story that was told very well.

7.5/10

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Cafe de Flore

cafe de floreA love story between a man and woman. And between a mother and her son. A mystical and fantastical odyssey on love. (IMDb)

So. I don’t quite know yet if I liked this. For about an hour and a half, it’s a lot of scattered time jumping with two unrelated stories. One of a woman in 1969 Paris taking care of her Down Syndrome son. The other a man in present day who cheats on his loving wife and basically everyone hates him except his new lover. Then, within the last twenty minutes, you get why they are connected, and essentially what this movie is trying to say. Which, I will say was interesting, but I think it came just a little too late. By the time the big reveal happened, I didn’t care about the modern day storyline, and it all just seemed like a big metaphysical excuse to cheat on your wife. Now, all that being said, I really enjoyed the acting. I thought it was well done across the board. The cinematography was also really interesting. In the end, this is interesting, and will spark a few discussions, but I just wish it wasn’t so scattered.

5/10

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Secret World of Arrietty

the secret world of arriettyThe Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered. (IMDb)

So, this is essentially Studio Ghibli’s take on The Borrowers. And I thought it was cute. The animation is always beautiful, so there was no fault there. The thing is, I didn’t know that there were two English-language dubs, one with English actors, and one with American. I got halfway through the English one and switched to the American. No offense to the British actors, I just really wanted to hear Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, and Carol Burnett. And they were a lot of fun. Something I missed a little was the slightly darker edge found in such movies as Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Nevertheless, this is a fun children’s movie.

5.5/10

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

the hunger games catching fireKatniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. (IMDb)

I am a big fan of the series, as well as the first movie. And to put this in two words, this movie is on. point. I actually think it was better than the first. The switching of directors was actually a blessing in disguise. There was no shaky cam! The cinematography is beautiful. I can’t get over it. But for me, the cast really elevates it. Jennifer Lawrence proves once again why she is an Academy Award winning actress. She was brilliant. The returning cast is also on it. Especially Elizabeth Banks. She shows a complete transformation from the last movie. The addition of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, and Sam Claflin is perfect. I’m in love. Something I also enjoyed was the switch of focus to a more politically fueled Games. They could have fallen into the trap of doing the Games back to back and them being the same. But this succeeded, as the book did, in making the Games just as interesting. Yes, it’s long, but honestly, I barely noticed. This is a brilliant sequel and it makes me super excited for Mockingjay.

9.5/10

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Titus

titusThis film is an adaptation of the Shakespeare play “Titus Andronicus.” Titus returns victorious from war, only to plant the seeds of future turmoil for himself and his family. Who says revenge is sweet? (IMDb)

So…I don’t know how I feel about this. I wanted to like this so badly. I really did. Great cast, Julie Taymor, Shakespeare, this should have been a home run. Yeah…I thought it was pretentious. Which sucks, because normally I love Julie Taymor. Where I normally love her crazy visuals, I thought they were too much. I think there was a concept beneath all of the craziness that was happening. Why was the little boy there? Is he from the time period? Why does he suddenly become the grandson? Was he always the grandson? Why was the last two minutes just him walking? Just…meh. The acting was fine in my opinion. Except Jessica Lange. She was more than fine. She killed it. But honestly, there’s better Shakespeare adaptations out there…I think I’ll just go watch She’s the Man now.

4/10

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s a Disaster

it's a disasterFour couples meet for Sunday brunch only to discover they are stuck in a house together as the world may be about to end. (IMDb)

This is how you do a black comedy. I was laughing my ass off pretty much the entire time. The writing is dry, witty, and wickedly funny. Also, the different couple dynamics are also a lot of fun and well written. The ensemble cast that includes Julia Stiles, America Ferrera and David Cross, just to name a few, work extremely well together. I especially loved Ferrera’s complete freak out that goes from being in shock to making homemade ecstasy in the kitchen. Another thing I liked was the movement from one room to another, but never really leaving that house. Yes, there were some parts that could have been a tad quicker and the ending caused an actual debate in my house, but I wouldn’t mind visiting this couples brunch from hell again.

8/10

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Return

returnA soldier returns to her family, friends, and old job after a tour of duty, though she finds herself struggling to find her place in her everyday life. (IMDb)

This was the longest hour and a half of my life. Mostly because I tried to watch it last night, got half way through, fell asleep, watched another chunk of it while drinking coffee this morning, and then finished the movie after I got back from classes. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat during this one. Which sucks, because the story is interesting enough, Linda Cardellini and Michael Shannon are quite good, and there is a lot of potential here. The big thing that is missing from this is conflict. There is none. There is one scene of real conflict that doesn’t happen until there is about 45 minutes left in the movie. And there is so much POTENTIAL for conflict. Him sleeping with the girl from the car dealership (which is never really answered) Her getting a DUI (which I didn’t even get until she said she got one, I just thought she was falling asleep driving), Her trying to get pregnant so she doesn’t have to go back (Shit there’s an entire movie in that alone.) And it goes on. See what I mean? So much could have been done, but instead we had an hour and half of a woman wandering through her life. Which, yes I get that was kind of the point. But in the end, I wanted more.

4/10

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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