Posts Tagged ‘first movie


Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin)

Director: Benh Zeitlin

Staring: Quvenzhane Wallis, Dwight Henry

Synopsis: Hushpuppy is  six year old  girl whos father is unable to proect her due to a mytserious illness that he contracts. Soon after, temperatures rise and the polar ice caps melt, releasing an army or prehistoric creatures known as the aurochs. With the rising water and invasion of the aurochs,  Hushpuppy goes on a journey to find her long lost mother.

Coming right from Sundance, Beasts of the Southern Wild has been an out-of-leftfield hit that critics have been very receptive about due to its visually stunning cinematography, bizarre folk-like story, musical score, set designs and acclaimed performance by non-actor Quvenzhane Wallis.

The film starts off within a small bayou community called “The Bathtub”, an area which has been cut off from the rest of society and has resulted in a high level of poverty and neglect.  What is interesting about this setting is the inspiration behind it. Benh Zeitlin (..the director) was strongly influenced by Louisiana, which in some parts has become flooded and ravished.  In recent years, communities within Louisana who reside close to the marshland have become stubborn and unwilling to go inland and this was something that intrigued Zeitlin.

Okay, cool…but why go see it?

I think this will be an interesting watch due to the film’s unique atomosphere and environment. Personally, I’m a fan of films that expose urban decay. I think it’s gritty and shows a side of realism which exposes the truth of modern society (I.e, people living within the margins of society). This film won’t exactly be defined by a sense of realism, but will be unique nonetheless. The swamp-like environment, junkyard inspired locations and lack of technological advancements will help bring a fresh perspective to my idea of what urban decay is.  All of which is beautifully defined through the attention-to-detail cinematography provided throughout the film.

Here’s some photos to help visualize my description.

In terms of the storyline,  the director claims he wanted to make a populist film that would be relative and transferable to all types of audiences. It is intended to be a film which answers the question: “What is at the end of the road?”. On that note, the film has been described as being a combination of apocalyptic and folk-like. After numerous pre-screenings, critics have commented by saying that the film doesn’t fall short of being unique and inspirational.

After learning about the main character, Hushpuppy, it seems like there will be a unique character study being provided here. We’re seeing a young girl who’s been described as the last of her kind. She’s young and therefore, unknowledgable about the plagued world around her. After being thrown into a civilization which is at the end of its existence, she is naive- believing that the very nature around her will end up consuming her. However as the film progresses, she explores nature and eventually comes to terms with everything. To top it off, apparently Quvenzhane Wallis’ performance is nothing short of spectactular and has been gaining recognition by numerous critics..

So if your looking to see a film which is out of the ordinary and will enlighten you, this may be the pick for you.  I know I’m a little late with his up-coming film as it appears it is already being screened through some public theatres. If your in Toronto and your interested in seeing this film, it’s being screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. I’ll probably be checking it out sometime this week.

On a sidenote..

  It comes to no surpise that this film has been described as having folk-like elements. The director’s parents were folklorists and his last two short films were also inspired by folk-like tales. On a sidenote, His 2005 short film titled Egg is an odd and disturbing retelling of Moby Dick. Here’s the link to it if your interested


Ted (dir. Seth MacFarlane)

Synopsis: John Bennett’s teddy bear, Ted, comes to life due to a childhood wish. As John and Ted grow older, their friendship is tested when Lori, John’s girlfriend of four years, plans to take their relationship to the next step.

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane

Release Date: June 29th

Here’s the uncensored trailer..much better.

Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy) makes his live-action directorial debut with his first full length feature. I’m almost 100% that if you like Family Guy,  you’ll like this. I’ve heard it’s got everything that Family Guy has, ranging  from over-the-top foul content, pop-culture references and odd flashback scenes. However, this may go above and beyond Family Guy because Seth MacFarlane has been able to outwit the limitations of television content by doing a movie instead (..and its Rated-R!). That means we’ll be seeing a lot of raunchy humour, foul language, racism and sexism. It also means that if your not a fan of that particular type of humour, this may not be the movie for you. Nonetheless, place a pot-smoking, womanizing teddy bear in the mix and we have a recipe for comedy.

Breaking down the story, Mark Wahlberg plays John Bennett, a man who once made a childhood wish to have his teddy bear, Ted  (…played by Seth MacFarlane), come to life. 27 years  later, John and Ted still live together and John also has a long term relationship with a girl named Lori (played by Mila Kunis). Lori feels that Ted is getting in the way of their relationship and that John needs to “grow up”. As a result, Ted is forced to go leave and embrace the world on his own. From that point onwards,  a series of crazy events  occur  including; drug abusing with celebrities , a kidnapping and a car chase. Hopefully hilarity will ensue.

In terms of the cast, Mark Wahlberg has proven he can do comedy ( seen in The Other Guys with Will Ferrell). Wahlberg plays a grown man who appears to be going through some type of adulthood crisis. I feel like the most humorous parts will come from the interaction between John and Ted, in which Ted seems like he is always capable of triggering John’s childhood intuitions. Mila Kunis is always a good supporting female and love interest to throw into the mix. She started off in comedy, so we’ll be seeing her do what she does best in this….

…And of course, there’s probably the most intriguing character, Ted. I’m already

hearing from people how Ted sounds exactly like Peter Griffin and “It’s like Peter Griffin in teddy bear form”. Honestly, I don’t really care, its entertainment. Get over it. Anyways, steering away from the potential controversy, Ted is described as a drug-addicted and perverted teddy bear.  Ted will most likely serve as the devil on John’s shoulder. Personally, I think the “Peter Griffin” voice suits Ted because it contrasts his cute teddy bear image by giving him a deep masculine, grown-man’s voice.

I’m interested to see what the cheimsitry will be like between Wahlberg and MacFarlane (two pairings which I thought would never work alongside eachother). Based on the trailers, I’ve definitely seen some good interactions between the two actors. Ted’s quick and nimble wit goes well with John’s child-like personality,  which appears to come out once the two start hanging out and reminiscing (…a nod to Wahlberg in terms of acting performance).

John: “I’m taking Lori to dinner. You don’t think she’s going to expecting something big, do you?”

Ted: “What?! Like anal?”


Something to think about when watching…

Maybe (just maybe) there’ll be a deeper message behind the movie. One that explores the idea of what happens when certain people finally give up that one childhood thing they always held on to. Maybe in the end, John will learn to balance his inner childhood cravings with his some-what desire to be more of an adult. After all, sometimes it’s fun to be immature. Mature people are just too serious and boring..yuck.