Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
"Why couldn't you dream us up on a god-damned beach!?"
Just one of the snazzy lines from this dream within a dream of our subconscious thoughts and ideas from the film 'Inception'.
I still don't understand why Leonardo DiCaprio hasn't won an Oscar as yet; he's been nominated 3 times, and has been nominated and winner for several other prestigious awards, but still it's the Academies that give him a run for his money! This phenomenal American born, in none-other than Hollywood California; has had a full-time career in the film world, we may remember him first from 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' and scores of other ground-breaking films like, 'Titanic', 'Blood Diamond', 'Catch Me if You Can', 'Aviator', 'The Departed', and 'Django Un-Chained' to name a few. This 2010's Action-Adventure-Mystery written and directed by English Christopher Nolan also had the pleasure of his savvy acting abilities.
This film was thought-provoking to the max as well as highly entertaining and moving. Think Bond meets Indiana Jones, meets Matrix, with snippets of Jurrassic Park flair. I feel that the story was developed and made sense but I feel that some of the film's characters were under-developed. It was easy to feel for Cobb's character played by Leonardo DiCaprio because enough back-story, explanation and flashbacks were present, however other characters like Arthur and Ariadne played by the cute Joseph Gordon-Levitt (whom you may remember from 500 days of Summer) and (Juno's) Ellen Page respectively, were a bit dull even if when delivering comical lines because the audience didn't get a feel for the character's personality. Although some may know about the Greek mythological story behind the original Ariadne; if Writer/Director Nolan took time to introduce each character at the beginning like 'Ocean's 11' or 'Amelie'; it would have translated better unto screen and make for a much more solid movie.
With groundbreaking special effects, camera angles, decorated sets, exquisite cinematography and dizzying and trance-like close shots, the film's $160 million USD was put to good use. Besides the tiresome 'what's-going-on' attitude of Canadian Ellen Page, I feel that other actors English Tom Hardy, Japanese Ken Watanabe, Irish Cilian Murphy, and French power-house and beauty Marion Cotillard all delivered something special on set. The soundtrack didn't weigh heavily for this film but Edith Piaf's 'Non, je ne Regrette Rien' set the mood nicely throughout.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Congolese Film-maker Djo Munga wrote and directed the 'very' sexy 2010 drama-action-thriler entitled 'Viva Riva'; set in the Congo. I'd seen the snazzy posters last year at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival and missed out on seeing it, and although I found it quite gruesome and grisly, I applaud Munga for creating a gritty, and exemplary film.
Plenty of violence and sex, but once viewers get past that, they are able to enjoy a clever plot and touching story of a rat-race that always goes wrong. Lovely tight-framed and interesting shots, disturbing yet existing surroundings and heart-warming and thought-provoking dialogue, it was enough to get us all on the edge of our seats. Just think of an African-type Tarantino film laced in 'Scarface'-fueled splendour! Numerous amounts of new talent but they all delivered and kept the story moving forward; our main characters, Patsha Bay who plays the dapper and bad-boy everyone wants, Riva, and Manie Malone, born African raised in France, plays the spoiled and abused sex-bombshell, Nora. The story flowed because of the believability of the characters and the high intensity throughout.
With a humble budget of $10,000 USD, the film not only won awards and several nominations, but has been talked about as an African Action cult film and has doubled it's money in ticket-sales. If you like 'gangster', 'film noir', 'brutal charm' and 'seduction'; then you'll love 'Viva Riva'! :)
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
While in transit at the airport, en-route to a tropical paradise, my friends and I had a couple hours to burn and decided to take the air-train to the nearest cinema; and what a treat we were all in for! Already a huge fan of Guiermo del Toro whom you may remember as the writer and director of the masterpiece 'Pans Labyrinth', in my opinion struck gold again by presenting this fascinating 2013 horror-mystery entitled 'Mama'. Adapted screenplay and story by Neil Cross and Andres and Barbara Muschietti and directed by Andres Muschietti, the film unfolded quite beautifully and eloquently and despite its massive fear factor held strong tinges of sadness and un-dying love.
None of us expected the film to be what it was. Eeriely beautiful with exquisite cinematography, acting abilities that left your jaws open, wonderful soundtrack and powerfully somber moments, the audience was lost in a cinematic trance! With an estimated $15 million USD, within the first month released it has already made back a cool $64 million and filmmakers made a smart choice in having American actor tour-de-force Jessica Chastain as this film's main character whom yet again transformed fantastically into the tough exterior soft inside step-mother character. New comers, Isabelle Nelisse and Megan Charpentier shone like nobody's business with their first-fime and exceptional performances, and Danish Nikolaj Coster-Waldau also delivered heart-warming believabililty.
Tragedy sometimes holds on to the heart so tightly that one may find it hard to ever let go but letting go is finally being able to rest. This film shows the power and undying love of a mother, about protection that can become deadly and about the troubles associated with not being able to 'let go'. This film was delightfully scary, it made me scream, clench in my seat and also close to shedding tears - a real treat that the audience didn't want to end. One of the best horror films I've seen in a long time! Certainly 'Journey with Jair' recommended! :)
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
**Something about this girl...my life is gonna' change...without you, my life won't be the same...Oh girl, all in due time...Girl let me love you...and give you all of me~ RESPECT!
Funny and old video made in Trinidad, sung by the Trinidad & Tobago group - SURGE** Enjoy! :))
Times change - but Values shouldn't...
We may never understand the vast secrets of the Universe, and we may never understand why life unfolds the way it does either, but we can always depend on things moving forward whether we’d like it to or not.
Tragedy, discomfort, worry, anxiety, pain, suffering, confusion are sure to visit all of us throughout this life-time; sometimes we think that they visit much longer than you’d like them to stay. However, just as whatever goes up must come down, so is it true with the unfolding and the energy of the Universe. We cannot always be winners, all the time! We can however practice positive thinking, faith, prayer and meditation to keep us at a healthy balance when the times get rough.
Practicing in this way, we give ourselves hope, encouragement and motivation that it is okay to move on and to expect the greatest possible outcome.
Again, it takes practice. We do not awake gurus if we don’t exhibit strength, resilience, un-wavering faith, kindness, compassion, humility and forgiveness. What we give, we receive and what we imagine always take flight! If you are in a dark place, sit there for a while and feel what it is you are going through…when you are ready, you are free to exit and dream big! The Universe does not understand words, but only conviction, declaration and thoughts – be careful what you wish for – because eventually it comes true – but it only comes true if you don’t stop believing!
One of my favourite 13th century poets said: “How canst thou ever see red, green, and scarlet unless thou seest the light first of all?” and “Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” – Jal al din Rumi
The door is always open in our minds. A lot of time filth gets delivered in at a rapid rate. It is up to us to filter our thoughts and to divide the truth from the lies. We are spiritual beings of light here on a human journey; therefore we are endless and infinite powers of energy. We must be the master of our thoughts; the master of our destiny; the master of transformation!
Don’t get me wrong – it is okay to cry, that too can be liberating and healing to our core, but joy and love also live in the same house, our bodies also need to share in this. In fact we need to share in it every day for it’s always darkest before the dawn, and you can be sure that it will always rain again too…
It’s all about Timing – go with the flow – Let go darlings – and accept your lessons and blessings, you're evolving into angels! J
“Is home here now? Or was it where you were before?”
Excellent question posed in this 2013 film starring singer recently turned actress Toni Braxton and Canadian actor/producer/writer David Julian Hirsh. This film written by Janet Fattal, Joyce Gitlin and Stephen Tolkin exhibit the pros and positives in unifying spirituality and love to find healing in tragedy. Directed by English Paul A. Kaufman this film developed very carefully, slowly and predictably but in astounding gentleness and pastel colours.
Framed with precision and wonderful use of pinks and greens, viewers could feel safe with the content that was being offered to them. Although I would prefer more heart-rending grittiness and reality of events to be expressed in this film, it was made for television audiences and its message indeed was the most powerful to be articulated. The acting seemed a bit stifled and watered-down at times, but thanks to the lovely piano soundtrack and slow-moving flash-backs we were able to feel the true pain our main characters attempted to exhibit.
This is a story that takes one on a thought-provoking bridge that crosses the issues of race, religion and new love. It shouts that love is the only thing that matters and whispers that through tragedy and being lost, you can always be found again…
Braxton shines with her angelic singing and Hirsh’s piercing eyes conveys a man that is broken quite well. A decent film for the entire family to teach and inspire the true meaning of spirituality as opposed to the constraints found within religion and separation. J