Saturday, September 29, 2012

Corporate Mastermind in Peril Double Feature: Arbritage (B+) and Cosmopolis (C)

With an almost endless supply of wealth and political power, it's easy to despise the selective, authoritative citizens who belong to the 0.0001%: The protectors of unadulterated capitalism, and almighty masters of the universe. Because of well known greedy figureheads such as Donald Trump and the Koch Brothers, the public perception of the billionaire has gradually morphed into one of general aversion; even wealthy philanthropists such as Bill Gates are often criticized by a domestic population now cynical of anyone with an annual income over 1 million. Now, getting off my political soapbox, it has always been difficult by screenwriters, directors, and most importantly actors, to portray the ultra-affluent in a sympathetic light because of the almost unanimous negative bias against their kind. Many filmmakers have tried, but few have actually succeeded.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Branded (C-)

Rather than begin this review like normal, by immediately introducing the name of the film and its director, I would like to open with a quote from Cameron Crowe's 2005 flop, Elizabethtown:

"As somebody once said; there's a difference between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is simply the non-presence of success: Any fool can accomplish failure. But a fiasco...A fiasco is a disaster of mythic proportions. A fiasco is a folktale told to others that makes other people feel more alive because it didn't happen to them."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Apologizes for my "Brilliant Mistakes" Review

It's come to my attention that many people were offended by my review of the film Brilliant Mistakes, and after re-reading it, I can completely understand where they were coming from. What I said about the film came out mean and needlessly cruel, and I am deeply sorry for what I wrote. I've permanently taken the review off the site, and will sincerely try to have this situation never happen again. Also, please don't think I'm an internet troll, slamming movies without a reason; though my writing may have a couple flaws, I'm never intentionally trying to hurt a film.

Thank you for calling me out on my mean spirited review,


Note: I am also deleting my review of
Funeral Kings for the same reason.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Good Doctor (C+)

A routine medical thriller with a superb closing act, Lance Daly's The Good Doctor stars the typically typecast swashbuckler Orlando Bloom as a pious and insecure doctor in his first year of residency, whose low self esteem inevitably causes him to develop an obsession with an appreciative teenaged female patient. It's a premise that could possibly work better under the format of an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, where compelling suspenseful ideas could be told in full in a limited period without needing to pad the runtime, but with the excellent supporting cast of Taraji P. Henson, Michael Pena, Riley Keough, and a surprisingly uncredited J.K Simmons, coupled with a tense screenplay from Party Down scribe John Enbom, I was relatively optimistic that the setup could work just as well as a feature film. Though my optimism was justified with the supporting cast, I was met with sincere disappointment in most other aspects of the film. Due to pedestrian direction, a generally dull script, and a mediocre lead, up until the final 20 minutes I frequently found myself bored and disengaged with the story.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer of Scares: Compliance (A) and "Summer of Scares" Awards Ceremony

After two downright atrocities (Piranha 3DD and The Last Screening), one nonsensical mess (Keyhole), an intensely deranged Australian exploitation flick (The Loved Ones), and a visually dazzling sci-fi nightmare (Beyond the Black Rainbow), Film Crazy's Summer of Scares is ending on a mesmerizingly terrifying note with Craig Zobel's straight-from-the-headlines psychological thriller Compliance; a feature that not only wins the scariest movie of summer by a mile, but is also, without a doubt, one of the best films of the year. 

Sleepwalk with Me (C+)

Comedian and professional storyteller Mike Birbiglia's semi-autobiographical directorial debut, Sleepwalk with Me, combines traditional staples of the mumblecore movement with occasional bursts of surrealist humor, to analyze the life of a naive, self proclaimed comic. Directed, written, and starring Birbiglia, the film is a passion project of sorts. Though based off his off-broadway show, and best selling book, I first heard Birbiglia's story in a segment around two years ago on the Ira Glass hosted radio show This American Life (Glass would later produce, and help write the script for the film. He also appears briefly as a wedding photographer in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo). In the segment, Birbiglia monologues about his personal life while beginning a career in comedy; stressing over an 8 year romantic relationship moving toward marriage, doubt from parents that this type of sporadic employment will provide steady income, and low self-esteem that his material is any good to begin with. At the same time, all of these internal and external pressures may be causing him to develop RSD, a sleeping disorder which causes him to subconsciously reenact his dreams in reality. It's an occasionally hilarious, melancholic story, but developing it into a movie may not of been the best choice.