Posts Tagged ‘zach rintoul

24
Aug
12

The Sessions (dir. Ben Lewin)

Synopsis:  A 38 year old paralyzed man who wishes to lose his virginity contacts his therapist and priest in order to help him find a sex surrogate.

Starring: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H Macy

Release: October 26th

Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, The Sessions was one of Sundance’s biggest hits (along with Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was talked about in one of my previous posts).  In particular, the film has been praised for its acting performances and emotional grip that it maintains with the audience throughout the film. I’ll keep this post short, since I don’t know much about this film myself . Regardless, heres what i think.

Based on a true story, Mark O’Brien was a poet and paralyzed polio survivor who had been confined to his iron lung for twenty years. At the age of 38, he finally confronted his priet and therapist, in order to hire a sex surrogate for himself (..as he is  still a virgin due to his physical limitations). During O’Brien’s sessions, he wrote about his experiences in an article and he eventually wrote a book titled How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence.

In the film adaptation of O’Brien’s journey to lose his virginity, Ben Lewin serves as the director in this light-hearted comedy.  John Hawkes plays Mark O’Brien,  William H. Macy plays his priest/therapist  and Helen Hunt plays the sex surrogate.

Now, some people might be wondering, who the hell is John Hawkes? Some may know of him but for then most part, he’s gone unnoticed for many viewers and critics- Until the past two years. In 2010, he played a meth addict in Winter’s Bone and in 2011, he played an antagonizing cult leader in Martha Mary May Marlene. Both performances were regarded as pyschologically dark and gritty, resulting in an Oscar nomination for his work in Winter’s Bone.

This is one of these films where you really have to appreciate the actor’s performance. I’ve always given a higher level of respect for actors who play mentally or physically impaired characters. Hawkes plays someone who is paralyzed from the neck down, which means he is physically limited when it comes to conveying actions and emotions. 

That being said, from an emotional perspective,  Hawke’s portrayal will  draw the audience in, as we catch an inside glimpse of what it is like to be a man who is able to shine through life, despite his limitations.  The only missing link is his ultimate desire to know what it is like to be with a woman. On that note, It’ll explore the way in which sex is with a doubt, part of humanity and can ultimately help us explore who we are. That doesn’t mean it’ll just be about having sex- It’ll also explore the intimate connection that can occur between human beings, no matter how different they are.

Concluding thought– Just because I mentioned Hawke’s peformance doesn’t mean I won’t be considering Helen Hunt and William H. Macy’s performances. Both are fine actors and I’m hoping to see some great chemistry between all of them in this film.

If your interested, here’s a link to John Hawke’s IMDB page.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0370035/

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01
Aug
12

the bourne legacy (dir. tony gilroy)

Synopsis: A new super-spy agent named Aaron Cross  gets caught up in a deadly situation that has been triggered by the events of the first three  Bourne films.

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Albert Finney

Release Date: August 10th

Background Info: The Story

In this next edition to the Bourne series, the story will be  loosely based on Eric Van Lustbader’s novel titled The Bourne Legacy, which appears much later in the Bourne series. The events that occur will run parallel to the events that take place in The Bourne Ultimatum. Instead of having Jason Bourne as our super-spy protagonist, we are introduced to a  new agent who goes by the name of Aaron Cross.   Whereas Bourne was part of the CIA’s Treadstone project, Cross is one of the six agents who is involved with another project codenamed Outcome. Within this program,  the Department of Defence has trained agents to be suitable for high-risk  assignments. As a result of Jason Bourne’s identity being revealed to the public (..the link to Ultimatum)  the DOD and Col. Eric Byers (..played by Edward Norton) take  preliminary action by destroying the Outcome program and anyone involved in it. Cross and a medical researcher (..played by Rachel Weisz) abandon the program, leaving  Byers to go on a global manhunt for the rogue agent.

What Makes This Film Intriguing

The overarching theme behind the film will explore the idea of government conspiracies and not being fully informed of what is going on around us.  This would  ultimately lead to characters like Cross being pawns who are controlled by the government. At first, many might think this is repetitive material (…in terms of the previous Bourne entries). However, what I think will make this intriguing and worth seeing is the idea that there is an expansion to the Bourne universe outside of Jason Bourne’s story. Theres also the consequences that occur from Bourne’s actions and that’s what we’ll be seeing in this film. As the story unravels, it’ll expand on the Bourne series and the audience will be able to connect the events that have occured in The Bourne Ultimatum. Maybe it’ll even provide the oppurtunity for  Jason Bourne to reappear somewhere down the road.. (Not in this film, but in future entries…)

New Characters in the Bourne Series

With a new expansion comes a new set of characters.  The actor’s they’ve rounded up seem like they’ll be enjoyable to watch in their respected roles. In recent years, Jeremy Renner has held down his own as an amazing actor who shows  great screen presence in terms of being a dramatic actor and an action-star.  People shouldn’t see him as a “Matt Damon replacement” but as more of a new edition to the series. His performances in The Hurt Locker and The Town were nothing short of spectacular so I’m almost certain he’ll be as enjoyable to watch as a super-spy. A plus factor is that Renner’s physically fit for the role, performing his own stunt work and going through extensive training in order to get into character.  The primary antagonist in the film is a characater named Eric Byer (..played by Edward Norton). He has been described as a CIA architect who’s plans  go beyond the usual intentions of an antagonist. As I stated in my blog for Moonrise Kingdom, Norton hasn’t been in too many films recently. He’s always showed a lot of versatility as an actor so molding him as the antagonist should be no problem. Not only that, but I’m looking forward to seeing Norton and Renner go toe-to-toe. Lastly, Rachel Weisz plays Stephanie Snyder, a doctor who helped create the Outcome agents. Like Cross, she is also wanted by the government. She’ll also serve as Cross’  love interest.

Overall, I think die-hard Bourne fans will like this a lot. I’m hoping this is the start of a semi-continuation of the Bourne series (…whatever you want to call it). I must say, it would be awesome to see Damon and Renner together in a Bourne film. Maybe there will be an open-ended ending which suggests so…

28
Jun
12

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 (..as 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?”

..haha

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.

20
Jun
12

Big Easy Express (dir. Emmett Malloy)

Synopsis: Indie folk heroes Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Tennessee’s Old Crow Medicine Show, and Britain’s acclaimed Mumford & Sons, climbed aboard a beautiful vintage train in California, setting out for New Orleans, Louisiana on a “tour of dreams”. The resulting film from this journey is nothing short of magical.

Director:  Emmett Malloy

I was going to write about a film called Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, but was skeptical on it because I don’t think it’ll be as good as intended. Instead I decided I would write a short, quick blog on this documentary.

This seems like it could be an interesting watch for people who are into the new age indie folk scene that is flourishing right now. Basically we have three indie folk bands taking it back to the railroad days by relying on a vintage train to help them tour from California to New Orleans and  make stops throughout six different cities along the way.

It’s a short watch, only 55 minutes and I think thats perfect for this type of documentary because if it were any longer, it could get repetitive and boring. Aside from that, here’s what I think based on the trailer. To start off, this documentary seems like its part musical and part road movie. The  live performances look intriguing (I.e, Mumford and Sons playing with a marching band). These bands look like they put so much energy into their live performances so the viewers will be able to get an up close view of the bands performing and the joyous crowds who have come to celebrate their music. We’ll also be able to see some intimate behind-the-scene interviews and footage of the bands, whether they’re talking about music or just having some laughs. I’m also sure we’ll  see some collaborative efforts done as well. On top of that, it looks like there will be some beautiful American cinematography that’ll capture an array of landscapes ranging from high canyons to beautiful blue skies.

To sum it up, what we’ll witness is the birth of a new musical era that is starting to finally gain more notice throughout the world. It’s clear to see that these guys eat, breath and sleep music. Overall, it seems like a good opportunity to catch an inside glimpse of how dedicated these guys are at their craft.

07
Jun
12

The Amazing Spiderman (dir. Marc Webb)

Title: The Amazing Spiderman

Director: Marc Webb

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field

Synopsis: Teenage outcast Peter Parker finds a clue that may help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. This clue ultimately shapes his destiny to become Spiderman and at the same time, puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.

First and foremost let’s reflect on the previous Spiderman franchise. The first two films in the trilogy were good and then there was the common mistake of fucking up on the third one. To remind you, thats the one where there’s too many overlapping subplots, poor casting choices (Topher Grace as Venom…wtf?!) and this shitty scene.

LMAO. My favourite part starts 42 seconds in. Okay so if there making a remake they better fix the last film portrayal that we saw of Spiderman where he ended up looking like a self-righteous 90s bachelor. Fortunately, after doing some research on it, I think it’ll pull through as a fresh remake.

The previous Spiderman trilogy was based off the comic books in the 70s. This adaptation takes an influence from the newer Spiderman comics, which is darker and grittier. As we’ve seen from previous comic book adaptions that are darker (Batman Beings, X-Men First Class), will help re-introduce a fresh perspective on Spiderman that’ll also explore the history behind Peter Parker and why he ended up living with his aunt and uncle. There will also be a stronger focus on Spiderman being a vigilante and not some glorified superhero is honoured with parades and marching band theme songs.

From the gecko, we’ll be seeing a teenage Peter Parker (…played by Andrew Garfield, who was also in The Social Network) who is still in highschool and is dealing with all the same relatable problems that all teenagers have and that’s the beauty of it. He’s not some god of thunder or a billionaire, he’s just an average kid from Queens, New York which means this adaptation of a superhero film will take place in a more recognizable universe and not on a flying spaceship. It makes it as relatable as possible to in comparison to any other superhero film and deals with the question: “How does the confused, hopeless underdog cope with his reality?”. In the other Spiderman trilogy, Peter Parker appeared to be bi-polar. He was strong as Spiderman but when he was Peter Parker, he was a soft-spoken defenceless emo kid who wined and obsessed over Mary Jane. Spiderman’s sense of humour was also absent at times. This version of Spiderman appears to be more accurate. He is only wearing the costume to protect the one’s he loves. It seems like he’ll have the sense of humour and wit that Spiderman usually has, whether in costume or not. No bi-polar shit.

Much like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, we will be seeing a different story within the new Spiderman franchise. There’ll be a strong focus on his parents and the mystery behind their disappearance. Fresh material. Parker’s love interest is Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), one of his classmates who is an intern for a science company called Oscorp. She know’s that Peter Parker is Spiderman so through relationship, they also maintain the secrets about Peter Parker. Ironically, Gwen’s father is the police chief of New York and he is hunting Spiderman because he is labeled as a vigilante.

In the previous Spiderman films, Dr. Curt Connors (Peter’s science teacher) is

portrayed as a generous and kind man who is concerned for Peter’s journey through adolescence. In this film, Dr. Curt Connor (played by Rhys Ifans) is one of the head scientists for Oscorp. His portrayal is alot darker, weird and haywire. His role is more pivotal as he is the main antagonist and is also mysteriously involved with Peter’s parents disappearance, as him and Peter’s father were pioneers on a scientific movement. As seen in the trailer, we will be able to see Dr. Curt Connor’s accidental transformation into the lizard due to his experimentation with a serum that helps re-grow limbs and human tissue. According to the director, the Lizard is a “big bully” so we’re bound to see some awesome ground and airborne action scenes between Spiderman and the Lizard.

Lastly, Denis Leary wil be portraying George Stacy, Gwen’s father and a police chief. As I stated above, there will be a stronger focus on Spiderman being a vigilante who is wanted by police. Judging by this clip below, it seems like he get’s a thrill out of being a vigilante.. Maybe they will grow to accept him..maybe not..?

Overall, with the reintroduction of a new franchise comes new opportunities to see stuff that Spiderman fans haven’t seen before. Hopefully if this is successful, there’ll be  some sequels lined up.

28
May
12

Safety Not Guaranteed (dir. Colin Trevorrow)

Synopsis: A magazine employee and two interns head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel.

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson, Karon Soni

Release: June 8th

This next film is an independent, light-hearted comedy film that I think will stand out as one of the more interesting indie films to be released this summer.

 

I don’t have as much to say about this film as I did for other’s so I won’t bother categorizing.

Interestingly, Safety Not Guaranteed is inspired off a real life classified ad that was posted in 1997 in the magazine Backwoods Home so I’ll be intrigued to hear what the person who posted the original ad has to say about this film once is released.

I have a feeling this film is going to be good based on the reviews and accolades it has already received. The film premiered at the Sundance film festival and it received critical acclaim from viewers. It went on to win the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and was soon picked up by a distribution company.  So hopefully it’ll be worth watching!

I terms of storyline, Mark Duplass plays Kenneth, a man who puts the ad in the newspaper. Aubrey Plaza (From Parks and Recreations)  plays Darius, the magazine intern who ends up becoming close with Kenneth. Through the interactions between Kenneth and Darius, we’ll definitely see a dynamic relationship unfold. I also wonder if Kenneth will actually be capable of time traveling?  In real life, if someone had met an individual like Kenneth, they may think he was an odd person…but maybe he’s not odd at all, but actually someone who’s done something interesting with his life. Hmmmm….??

On the other hand, we’ll also see an interesting relationship develop between the magazine reporter, Jeff (Jake M. Johnson) and the other intern Arnau (Koran Soni). It seems like Arnau has been sheltering himself from all the opportunities in life. Jeff notices this and ends up taking Arnau on an adventure with the intent to broaden his experiences. Seems like it’ll serve as an interesting, comical subplot that’ll hopefully tie in with Kenneth and Darius attempt to time travel. It’s definitely not a recycled hollywood narrative so we can all look forward to seeing something fresh.

Here’s a clip from the film which show’s Jeff trying to motivate Arnau to be a real man and “do something stupid”

Aubrey Plaza’s character form Parks and Recreations seems to have some common traits with her character in this film so if you enjoy P and R you’ll probably like this as well. Plus, Mark Duplass is a talented and funny actor (…and successful writer/director).  He appears to be a hard-working man in Hollywood that has  slipped under the radar so everyone should check this film out to see Duplass’ talent (I’ll provide a link to his IMDB below so people can browse through and see some of the work he has done).

AND OF COURSE…

There is also the important question: “Well, does he actually know how to time travel and will they eventually time travel by the end of the movie?”….. Hmmm, we’ll have to find out…

Mark Duplass’ IMDB Page – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0243233/

Aubrey Plaza’s IMDB Page – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2201555/

14
May
12

Prometheus (dir. Ridley Scott)

Synopsis: In the late 21st century, a crew of explorers discover a map which contains the origins of mankind on Earth. The crew of the spaceship Prometheus are sent on a scientific expedition to follow the map to the depths of space. They end up exploring an advanced civilization of an alien race and soon face a threat to humanity’s very existence.

Release Date: June 8th (3D & IMax)

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender

Well, I guess the only way to start this off would be to say: This is going to be an epic movie.

 A “Semi” Prequel to the Alien Series: Many have been wondering (..and nerds alike have been arguing) if this is a direct prequel to the Alien franchise (I.e, exploring the origins behind the Aliens in the franchise). Apparently, it’s a separate story which precedes the events in Alien, and is not directly connected to the Alien franchise. However, there are some brief connections that can be made that tie Prometheus to the Alien universe.

To elaborate, the only connections I see between Alien and Prometheus is that in the future, the world will be owned by the megacorporation, Weyland Industries (supplier of weapons, vehicles and androids)  and that there appears to be a similarity between the space pilots who explore the unknown depths of space (..or better known as the “space jockey”).

About the writer, Damon Lindelof: One of the writers for Prometheus is Damon Lindelof. If you don’t know him, he was one of the co-writers (…and eventually became the lead writer) for the television series Lost. Lost had a complex storyline that blended supernatural events with science fiction. It also left many people mindfucked. Lindelof’s writing skills are perfectly set for a movie that is based within the Alien universe. He’ll definitely spice up the storyline with some thought provoking ideas. I’ll elaborate on this briefly below in the next section..

Question for Consideration, Where did Humanity Come From?:Since this isn’t a direct prequel to the Alien franchise, a whole new set of ideas and mythologies open up. Based on what you see in the trailer, a team of explorers find archaeological imagery from several unconnected cultures, which includes the AztecMesopotamian and Magdalenian civilizations. The film will also be providing a bigger and more provocative question towards the existence of humanity. Questions that aren’t usually addressed in other science fiction films. This’ll be good though. It’ll add some , philosophical depth to the movie and leave us intrigued.  To sum up it up,  we’ll definitely be seeing a lot more than just a team of astronauts floating around space while aliens attack them.


About the director, Ridley Scott:
Why will this film will be epic? Ridley Scott has been lauded for his science fiction films. In fact, he’s done some of the best science fiction films of all time, Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). Since then, he’s done nothing, so this will be his first sci-fi in thirty years. There’s a lot of anticipation awaiting this release and I’m sure Ridley won’t disappoint.

In terms of his film style, Ridley’s always been a visual person who puts a lot of detail into his production design (I.e, settings). After watching a video of Ridley at ComicCon, Ridley claims that he wanted to stray away from the “gritty, grunge” look that Alien had and more towards a clean, futuristic look. If you put two and two together…What does this mean?… It means were bound to see some stunning, jaw-dropping camerawork that depicts a sleek, futuristic atmosphere (Such as the image provided above… ISNT IT BEAUTIFUL?).

In terms of soundtrack, Ridley likes to shoot with the score in mind so climatic scenes will be complimented with an intense soundtrack (Demonstrated finely in films such as Inception). If you watch the trailer, you’ll notice how the background music adds on to the intensity of the scene (especially near the end when the loud screeching/siren noises become more prominent). So we can all look forward to hearing an awesome soundtrack that’ll most likely make us jump out of our seats.

R-Rating =  Horrific, Shocking Scenes: This won’t be strictly science fiction. After all, Alien had some horrific moments. Ridley stated that he wanted to scare the audience with the same type of horrifying surprises that occured in Alien. I.e, When one of the crew members chokes, convulses and then has a baby alien burst out his chest.  Since we’re seeing a new type of alien species, we’ll probably see some fresh (..but disturbing) material that’ll hopefully leave us in a horrified state (…This is good…that is, if you enjoy that type of stuff). It’ll be a slow buildup, but the horror will come…oh, it’ll come .

Extra: Here’s two interesting promotional videos attached to the film that surfaced on the internet a while back. Check them out.

The second video is stubborn and doesn’t want to appear on my page, so here’s the link via YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-a7H4eNDH4