Friday, November 28, 2014

Snowpiercer



Written and Directed by South Korean Joon-ho Bong, this Action/Sci-fi/Thriller was a remarkable ride from start to finish. Scottish actress Tilda Swinton blew us away with her powerful acting as ‘Mason’, Chris Evans, Ed Harris, John Hurt, and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer (The Help) also displayed some solid acting chops. South Koreans Kang-ho Song and Ah-song Ko also had substantial supporting roles. 

Set in the future; this story shows how life has become unkind due to our own human destruction and those that are left behind still struggle with a built-up economic class system. The lower-class citizens battle their way to a surprising revolution that leaves the audience on the edge of their seats. Exquisite camera-work and cinematography, great comic splashes and thought-provoking story. Despite the star cast and excellent acting and story, although the film’s budget was $39 million USD, they only made $4 million USD at the box-office. On a more positive note though; this movie got 20 nominations and 5 wins that year!


Makes for a thrilling night of fun! Enjoy this captivating and not-so-strange world.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Wedding Video



Heaps of wedding announcements lately in my world. Engagements, weddings and all the things that come along with it. I quite enjoyed this 2012 English Comedy starring English Lucy Punch (You will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger - Woody Allen), as well as Robert Webb and Rufus Hound who all had exceptional comic timing and were naturals on camera. Written by Tim Firth and directed by Nigel Cole this tale was a hilarious rambunctious bit of fun! 

Contrary to other reviews I thought this film was quite clever and although a simple story, the competitive nature of the wedding ceremonies was captured quite nicely. Punch is a delight in every movie I’ve seen her in but this one really paints a character with more depth. I certainly enjoyed the acting of all characters and felt that every one helped further the story along. 


Not an Academy Award nominee film but I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions and found the humor quite refreshing and clever. Makes for a fun night of entertainment and the audience would love to watch it again and again! Enjoy! 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Sail Away


** It's okay to take time for yourself...sometimes you just need to go with the flow & sail away...

August: Osage County



What a terribly remarkable movie! In all it’s squalid splendor! Written by Tracy Letts and Directed by John Wells, this 2013 Drama starring great veterans like: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, Scottish Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Benedict, Margo Martindale and child star grown up Abigail Breslin.

This story may be like many stories of dysfunctional families, but as we know there are many secrets withheld, surprises found out, and misery ensued within most family structures. This film just amps up the chaos and demonstrates incredibly magnificent acting chops, scenarios and ghastly secrets. As ugly as the situations were, I found myself glued with attention to all the family tragedies and tensions which made for a momentous ride.


With a budget of $25 million USD, they managed to rake in $37 million USD at the box office  as well as 9 wins, 2 Oscar nominations and 44 other award nominations. Meryl’s performance was a force to be reckoned with and she reminded me very much of an Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe’. Enjoy it once or many times over. ‘Journey with Jair’ recommended! 


Friday, September 5, 2014

Keep the Laughs



**Remember you are exactly where you're supposed to be in this moment in time - take it easy, keep it cool and don't forget to LAUGH! :))

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fear Not



I’ve been greeted by a specific type of people lately; simply put - our youthful generation. And I’ve realized even though I’m hugely part of this generation I feel most times that I’m different or don’t fit in too well at all. It is evident that our people nowadays are living in great fear. I don’t speak of the Boo!-Halloween-Scary movies-type fear but instead fear of Success, fear of Traditions, fear of Not measuring up, fear of God, fear of Truth, fear of Faith, fear of Friendship, fear of Romance, fear about just about everything! And as to not deal with things they’re fearful about they try to forget it all and pretend it’s not there or it doesn’t exist. 

Sure we’re evolving as a human race, but sometimes I feel that fear takes grip of the majority of our race because we’re afraid of embracing our imperfections in order to make them better. Fear kills our minds and our hopes, and it makes it hard for us to see where we ought to be going. Our hearts are shut off - it can’t grow, because we are afraid of exposing it to life! 

Life isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t seem fair - but your journey is yours alone. Special and specific to you - embrace that. Rise above the odds and don’t give up.The storms won’t stop coming, so you can choose to be swept away and afraid, or fight the anger of the heavy winds even if you’re in your most tender moments - we must not be intimidated with tragedy or hell, instead we must trust that our story isn’t over yet! It’s not our turn yet, but it’ll soon come. What have we got to lose?

Our generation believes that because things didn’t work out for some people that it’s why they should run away from traditions and rebel. Tradition is a map, a guide that helps us along our journey; just because someone before you got lost doesn’t mean you will too! Our present is always a slight variation of the past so why not withhold some guidance and tools for when the times get rough. We are never alone, people before us experienced the same wants, hurts, highs and lows so why live in fear when you can adopt traditions that will give you strength when you need it most?

Of course we will be lost without it, afraid without it because we try to forget what preceded us - about the everlasting love, joy and guidance from our heavenly source. We mustn’t let the fire die, it’s the only way for us to light the way. Fear is a long road where we stumble in darkness; there are no secrets - there is nothing to fear - we all journey through this jungle in life. Times change, but our problems remain the same - it’s virtues and values that have always been repeated to wake us up from our nightmares.


We value virtue although we don’t speak about it. We think it’s too hard, it’s scary because we might fail, but would you rather speak about the cheats, the wicked, or the whores? The way of a soul without fear is one that aspires to tradition and virtue, this can bring you great happiness because you are working towards something you know worked for others; others who had the experience. Living in fear is living in constant misery. Day in and day out…”I got it under control…” But do you really? Sorry to break it to you darlings, but you really aren’t…as the saying goes - “Patience isn’t a virtue, it’s an achievement!”

The Mind


**It's good to unplug, turn-off and rest sometimes...:))

Monday, September 1, 2014

Saving Mr Banks



Also another favourite at the Oscars this year and also another tear-jerker - this 2013 biography-comedy-drama starring English Emma Thompson, American Tom Hanks, Irish Colin Farrell, American Paul Giamatti and American B.J. Novak to name a few was a movie that will change your view on Mary Poppins.  Writers Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith delved into the life of author P.L. Travers before her beloved book became a best-seller and also into the bizarre relationship she had with Walt Disney before her book became a bona-fide film. 

I’m not quite sure how much of this film is true but it gave viewers an inside look of P.L Traver’s idiosyncrasies’’ as well as why the story ‘Mary Poppins’ may have been her most passionate work. Emma Thompson wraps her heart and soul into this character splendidly. And gives us a hilarious look into the current and past perceptions of her mind. I was also taken aback by the phenomenal acting chops of usual bad-boy actor Colin Farrell on his remarkable transition into a loving but troubled father. Paul Giamatti also struck a chord with me - melding and committing to his role that was everything more than supporting but something much bigger.

Directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Snow White and the Huntsman) this film was remarkably shot, casted, executed with a run-time of 125 minutes, 11 wins 56 other nominations and with an estimated budget of $35 million USD grossed an immense $83 million USD at the box-office. Viewers are reminded that family is really the most important relationships of all. 


Nebraska



Nominated for 6 Oscars that year and another 34 wins and 105 nominations this 2013 adventure-drama written by Bob Nelson and directed by Alexander Payne made me laugh out loud at many moments but also easily become teary-eyed. This film starring Bruce Dern who plays ‘Woody’ and Will Forte who plays his son ‘David’ had wonderful chemistry and shared deep believability with the characters they married with. I wasn’t particularly drawn to this film but always studying film and it’s life characters - one would have to take time especially to focus and learn from those which win awards - which by most standards means that it touched viewer’s hearts.

With a run-time of 115 minutes, a quadruple worth of profit at the box-office and a heap of awards and nominations - it’s safe to say that this simple road-trip from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska wasn’t just an ordinary trip but instead an extraordinary one that changed the lives of all the characters involved. The acting is VERY good in this film and although slow and shot in black and white there is great comic timing and a magnificent visual style portrayed in the camera-work used.

I think the film speaks depths into the confusion that happens with the elderly as well as a lesson in strengthening, trusting and protecting your family even if they happen to be over 60 or 70 years old. It’s a film unique to a specific place in America however one the audience can relate to in families found everywhere. I absolutely loved it!


Lucy



So there’ve been 101 reviews and rumors about French Luc Besson’s new film ‘Lucy’ starring brilliant American bomb-shell Scarlett Johansson. Many of which seem harsh, and some of which is certainly true. Tis' true also that there have been similar concepts already expressed in film - like 'Limitless' and 'Inception' but what if a story delves a bit deeper. Here’s my two-cents on this 2014 fantasy-action-sci-fi film.

Written and directed by the infamous scuba-diver instructor turned writer/director Luc Besson (Fifth Element, Colombiana, The Big Blue) and one of my favourite French directors brings to us his newest piece of work ‘Lucy’ - with an estimated budget of $40 million USD in just one month he grossed a whopping $117 million USD and the film is still in theaters worldwide. With a run-time of 89 minutes this modern-day story takes place in a number of places including France and Taiwan. Expertly executed and backed by loads of research (it took Besson 10 years of it) the audience goes on a thrilling ride into the minds of the human-being and what indeed it is capable of. 

There was talk of Angelina-Jolie to play the lead in this film, whom I admire and think would execute believably also - I do believe Scarlett did a great job at bringing this ‘Lucy’ character to life. In fact I enjoyed watching her transition from a dopey, simple party-girl into an alluring and mysterious entity. Morgan Freeman joined in on the action as well as international superstar of Asia Min-sik Choi who plays our film’s villain ‘Mr. Jang’. I felt that this idea was a wonderful one and viewers not only were able to enjoy the ride but had their brains tickled as well - asking that fine question - “Who are you and why are you here?”

Wonderful cinematography, CGI, pacing, and soundtrack with few disturbances in regards to better execution of this wonderful idea. That is, the one line, “I know who everybody is”, line, having co-stars unable to see what ‘Lucy’ sees as she’s more advanced than they are, as well as making Scarlett a more believable character if she would perhaps fluently speak some of different languages in the places she visited. 

All in all - a wonderfully wicked addition on Besson’s part! Enjoy the ride & Open your minds! 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yes, she Is



**She's lovely, she's wonderful, she's precious! Tell her - EVERYDAY! :)) - Enjoy from the great and talented STEVIE WONDER!

Use Me



**Have you asked yet? Do you know? Don't be afraid of what you are meant to be! :))

Irreplaceable



**We are all unique and irreplaceable - created for a significant purpose. Ask and listen to what you are here to be used for ...

Heaven is for Real



It seems there is a string of films with relation to spirituality coming to light lately; I’d heard about this story of the little boy named Todd Burpo years prior and then the best-selling book and finally now the movie. Such a pleasure finally seeing this film as I’d attended a film festival in Pasadena a month earlier and because I fell terribly ill had to miss it. Now a month later I am able to see this charming and true story.

There is a heap that we human-beings still cannot explain, but this film, this story gives a glimpse into that mysterious realm that we all quietly wonder about. With an estimated budget of $12 million USD this film produced by Tristar Pictures, Roth Films and many more, adapted into screen play and directed by Randall Wallace won back an estimated $91 million USD at the box-office. Emmy and Academy Award nominee’s starring in the film Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly both agreed to help tell this magnificent story which altered the lives of that family as well as many of those who have seen this film. 


Connor Corum who plays the 4 year old Todd Burpo is one of the most adorable little boys out there and took great direction throughout. I have nothing negative to say about this film - the cinematography was exceptional, the timing was adequate, the acting was first-rate and the story is one we should all take to heart.


The Adventures of Tintin



Created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi during (1907-1983) who at the time wrote under the name Herge became one of the most popular European comics in the 20th century. Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock, Bianca Castafiore, Professor Calculus, Thomson and Thompson all became unforgettable characters in a series of expressive drawings and admired by the young and old. 

I had the pleasure of watching the 2011 Steven Spielberg version adapted into screenplay by Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright, produced by Peter Jackson and starring voices Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig. That year the film was nominated for 1 Oscar and received another 23 wins and 42 other nominations. The film was action-packed and quite thrilling and comedic from beginning till end; however despite the wonderful entertainment with a budget of $130 million USD it only grossed $77 million USD back at the box-office. It was obvious that this story was adventurous and exceptionally executed with it’s CGI however only those who were familiar with the original comics could appreciate what was done.


A run-time of 107 minutes and perhaps where most of the ‘Indiana Jones’ movies were inspired - this tale with lovely Antonio Vivaldi strings was a combination of inquisition and whimsical cheer. The audience was delighted in Tintin’s journey and glued to their screens with each new challenge he faced. I would say it’s a superb movie for the entire family - imaginative and simply brilliant!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

This is OUR Time



**Lovely video by a lovely little boy. He suffers from a rare-bone disease - but you don't see him complaining. Let's keep on the path to making our dreams come true. This is OUR time! :))

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mind Games



** Some wisdom from a talented actor/director/producer Joseph Gordon-Levitt - manipulation of the mind is a serious thing - THINK for yourselves people - decipher what sounds right from what feels right...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Inspiration



Every now and then we are touched with wonderful inspiration. It comes in the form of many things, a smile, a song, an experience - and sometimes in the form of great articles. This story comes as great a time as any and speaks of a young teenaged boy from a rural town in Sierra-Leone who only receives electricity once a week and because of his pro-activeness, dedication and hope for a better life, a bigger dream - he taught himself to make positive changes. Be a part of this movement - pass it on - inspiration for a better world! :))


Monday, July 14, 2014

Blended



I must say that it was actor Terry Crews that drew me to watch this film. You may remember him from ‘White Chicks’ and ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ and his comic timing and execution is quite exemplary! Never been a fan of Adam Sandler and he so happened to be the star of this film. Cute-faced, Drew Barrymore, funny-man Kevin Nealon and coming up more often in films ex-pro-basketball player Shaquille O’Neal also joined in on the fun - I’m glad I gave in and had the chance to watch it, because it made for a wonderful night of laughs.

Rated PG-13 for some crude sexual content and language; this was a heart-warming and enjoyable family film. Written by Ivan Menchell, and Clare Sera and directed by Frank Coraci this 2014 Comedy had an estimated budget of $40 million USD and grossed $44 million back at the box-office. Viewers may be surprised to know that this story was actually filmed in Pilanesberg Game Reserve in South Africa and the location, animals and cinematography is all authentic. With a run-time of 117 minutes and the lovely message of forgiveness and giving things a 2nd chance this film left the audience sentimental and engrossed when they weren’t laughing at several antics the families had to deal with. 


I have to say - surprisingly I quite enjoyed this film and every scene with Terry Crews left me gasping for air. If you need a few laughs and want to see some of the beauty of Africa, you’ll want to see this film! 


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sous les drabs



** It's wonderful when you hear a story or see a story from a photograph, painting, or song...this one does exactly that!

Mr Nobody



I didn’t think much of this film at first - but what a beautiful surprise I was in for! I had found a magnificent film to add to ‘My Favourite Film List’. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me think - 3 ingredients I love to have. Written and Directed by French genius Jaco Van Dormael and starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, Juno Temple, Toby Regbo and Thomas Byrne.

This 2009 Drama-Fantasy-Romance was a story about the incalculable possibilities we’re faced with in life and about making decisions and about being at peace with the decisions we’ve made by the end of our life. It was interesting because what’s done is done - but it makes viewers take to heart the importance of being mindful when making decisions in life because once it’s done - there’s no turning back…only if life were but a dream. :)) Really it seemed much more dramatic and it’s difficult to describe the brilliance involved in the making of this film.

The cinematography, acting, dialogue, soundtrack and story all were spectacular and it made for a very clever movie. For the audience that craves originality and contemplation - then this is exactly the sort of film they would enjoy. 


A run-time of 141 minutes and an estimated budget of $47 million USD, the film didn’t bring much in at the box-office; however received 11 wins and 4 nominations that year. Go ahead - indulge in this cinematic beauty! It was one of the most magical films I've ever seen. :)))


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Precious Love



** Back when songs had good lyrics - enjoy this one by the soul-ful artist Otis Redding! :))

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blue is the Warmest Colour



I remember reading an article a while back about French actress Lea Seydoux a native of Paris, France and about her film recognition and debut in America with the French Film ‘A vie d’Adele’ in which she starred alongside Greek/French Adele Exarchopoulos; and in her interview she exposed that she never had an interest in film or to make films and it just came to be. I also read that this film was getting a lot of “talk” because of its graphic lesbian sexual content. It was said to be the longest and most intense love-making scene between two women. It also received 69 wins and another 48 nominations in 2013 when it was released including one from the Golden Globe.

I was outraged to hear yet again of an actress ‘downplaying her blessings’ because of her privileged background and having the opportunity of challenging and meaningful roles and saying things like, “Acting is stupid.” It turns out that despite her un-inspiring and un-grateful interview, this French actress has been around long before this provocative film. You may remember Lea Seydoux from ‘Inglorious Bastards’, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel, and ‘Ghost Protocol’ to name a few; she has been steadily working in France since 2006. 

Once heterosexual women are able to get past the graphic and very intense love-making scenes between these two actresses’ then one can focus on the brilliance and beauty of this film. Men will probably adore it; because of this ‘soft-pornographic’ and ‘invasive’ angles of cameras of women having orgasms but if we omit that (maybe an hour of the 3 full hours of the film); viewers can really admire the beautiful love story, exploration and transformation of young girl to woman in this tale. 

Initially planned to be shot in 2 months writer/director Tunisian Abdellatif Kechiche took nearly five and a half months to complete it. Spending a full 10 days on all the explicit sexual scenes and over 800 hours of footage shot. Both actresses’ said that making this film was challenging and exhausting as director Kechiche really kept pushing them with sometimes 100 takes for one scene and keeping the camera rolling when they were sleeping, eating and taking the bus. For curious minds - prosthetic vaginas were used in scenes for oral sex but everything else was complete commitment on the ‘straight’ actresses’ part. 


This film was definitely a nod for ‘gay-pride’ whatever your beliefs may be; and showed that love is real and intense no matter the people. It was in my opinion a little bit too long; but enticing, thought-provoking and exquisite cinematography enough to keep me glued to my screen. There was expert research done, and marvelous discussions on philosophy, art, and sexuality. This film really touched my heart and the acting (not speaking of the sex-scenes) was honestly some of the best I’ve seen. Both girls were naturals and took great direction. Although I believe sexual situations and especially as invasive as it was in this film should be left to the imagination and not displayed for the world to see.  It really showed the high level of vulnerability, strength and belief these girls had for their craft and in telling this story. It shows in the emotions portrayed though out. ‘JourneywithJair’ recommended!


Under the Skin



Written by Walter Campbell and directed by English Jonathon Glazer this 2013 Drama/Sci-fi/Thriller has gotten a mix in reviews. Nominated for 6 awards that year and winner of one, it may not have been well-recieved in some audiences but was well-discussed among film-lovers and film-circles everywhere. 

Set in Scotland and with heavy guerrilla-style shooting viewers followed a mysterious woman that seduced and preyed upon local men. Magnificent strategy behind some scenes of our star/lead Scarlett Johansson who lured men (whom were not even actors) into her vehicle and them not even noticing her was not only risky with hidden cameras placed inside the vehicle but also a bit un-nerving to think of how easy it was for her to complete this feat.

Very little dialogue throughout and really relying on the smarts of the audience to fill in the gaps of the story - this film is not for those who want to be told everything. The symbolism, some glimpses of Scottish beautiful country-side and message of the  story was marvelous but I found it difficult to remain focused when the lighting was so dim and dark (intentionally so). A film is about showing, not telling, but ultimately it’s about telling a story so well that it is entertaining, inspiring or able to evoke some type of emotion from the persons who watch. 


Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content, violence and language you’ll want to keep the children away for this one. I found it was an interesting story but in my opinion not the best of executions. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel



With 2 wins and 3 nominations so far this year; this 2014 comedy is one that will be celebrated for it’s beauty and uniqueness in time to come. The audience can see the pain-staking research and detail wrapped into every nook and cranny of each scene. Written and inspired by the writings of the late Austrian Stefan Zweig and adapted into screen play and directed by American Wes Anderson (whose been nominated for 3 Oscars) they bring to viewers the adventures and exaggerated stories of characters Mr. Gustave H and Zero Moustafa. 

Rated R for language, violence and some sexual content this film reminded me very much of ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ minus the foxes. Instead of voices; we had a number of talented actors that committed themselves to each role; Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, and Owen Wilson to name a few. 


Very canny humor and beautiful cinematography throughout; this is a film that you can marvel at without even following the story. But the story as put-together as it was was still quite engaging. Each character was entrancing and unique. It really makes for a light evening with good laughs. 

Non-Stop



I’d inundated myself with every interview of Kenyan beauty Lupita Nyong’o since she won and was nominated for all the film awards this year and was blessed with the role of a life-time and in each interview she’d say, “And don’t forget to catch me on my 2nd feature film ‘Non-Stop’ with Liam Neeson!” Well, I finally caught it - and though her role was very slim, the film itself was quite a  riveting and thrilling cinematic culmination!

If you haven’t seen it yet - you’re in for a treat. Starring the serious and soft-spoken Irish Liam Neeson and the lovely red-head Julianne Moore this film is not only action packed but one of the better thrilling mysteries I’ve seen lately. Written by John W. Richardson and directed by Barcelonian Jaume Collet-Serra this film was not only nail-bitingly entertaining but equally clever. 


With a run-time of 106 minutes, fantastic camera-work and techniques (on a small airplane set) and even comical moments, it won 2 nominations this year as well as a huge profit at the box-office - jumping from $50 million USD to $91 million USD only 2 months later. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea and there were moments somewhat incredulous as I have firsthand experience of what its really like on an airplane and the criteria and steps we take to do things - but all in all it was a wonderfully exciting ride! 

Everyday



**Every day is an opportunity to shine with all you've got - start with a smile! :)))

Friday, June 27, 2014

Escape



It hurts my heart to see how revolting we as a human race have become. We’ve really done ourselves a horrid job at bringing up our youth in a place of so little love, so little appreciation and so little education of how we ought really to live. Yes it could be a cruel world, hideous and scandalous at times but we should not become that which we loathe, instead we should show others that have become lost along the way, warmth, directions and friendship. 

We’ve had some wonderfully unique and beautiful people to have passed time here and teach us really how to live and love but lately it seems that all these magnificent gifts are becoming lost. Now big and small, young and old have limited their extension of kindness and respect and the few that are determined to express kindness are seen as a nut-job.

Be extraordinary!

Why not stand out from the crowd? What’s so wonderful at being a clone anyway? Don’t assimilate to this brainwashed and lost human race. We are only but a small planet in this vast Universe and spending only few moments of this ‘so-called’ life on earth. Live right and live good!

It is beyond me that our society can lift up and celebrate a great soul for their hard-work, commitment and dedication and then 6 months later rip them to pieces because they’re having a bad day! It’s been seen over and over again - and just as we have the right to privacy, the right to tears, the right to anger, the right to being you; they too have EVERY right to be them! Why must we play these mind-games and destroy a person’s psyche because they refuse to fit the mold. 

Its time we raise the spirits of those that are fallen. Everyone deserves love, and cheer and respect. Who are we to judge who is deserving of these boosts? We are all our creator’s children, we are all worthy of bliss and delight. Hold your brothers hands. Kiss your sisters hands. And let us reverse this decrepit spiral that will ultimately drown us all. 

Escape!

There’s still time to make it right. we must love one another regardless of religion and the colour of skin because love is the key to a better world. Let us set aside our differences and really celebrate and love one another - connect to your higher source - this brings you strength, fulfillment, bliss and courage to do the right thing. 

Bless-up darlings!


Love Jair

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Radica



**Don't stop believing...OR laughing! Laughter is the best medicine - Enjoy this 'heart-felt' song by Trinbagonian Kenneth Salick - Radica! :))

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bipolar



From time to time actors get lucky to see their classmates on television or in movies - it’s wonderful to see them transfer and more so succeed at what they love. I’m happy to have met Andrew J. West in my acting class maybe 3 years ago and what stood out for me is not that he was strikingly handsome, but also how exposed he was. He was attentive to what our acting coach had to say and 100% accessible to whatever emotion his character called for - in other words - a born natural. He stars in a 2014 Mystery/Thriller entitled ‘Bipolar’.

Written and directed by Jean Veber and costarring with blonde beauties Emma Bell and Beatrice Rosen, Harry Poole played by West is a disturbing story of a man who suffers from the mental disease bipolar disorder. During his journey black and white classic clips from the films ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ as well as ‘Nosferatu’ are played and the audience takes pity on our main character because he too transforms from Harry to Edward Grey. 


Exceptional acting portrayed by Andrew J. West as he smoothly displays a wide range of emotions and carries the film from beginning till end with a sharing of the deep turmoil spilling out of his mind. A interesting look into alter-egos and how dangerous they can become. Proud of Andy like he were my own brother! Makes for a brilliant night of dark thrilling fun!


La dispute



** No words needed...EnJoY! :))

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Blue Jasmine



Also the winner of 1 Oscar this year; was this sensational film 2013 film written and directed by Woody Allen entitled ‘Blue Jasmine’. Starring the exceptionally talented Aussie actress Cate Blanchett, American funny-man Alec Baldwin, and Sally Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay to name a few. All came together to help this at times funny, at times depressing and haunting Comedy-Drama to life. Rated PG-13 for some language and sexual content, Allen not only made a killing at the box-office from $18 million USD to $33 million USD but also 39 nominations and 29 other wins at film festivals world-wide. 

Jasmine is lovely, elegant and fragrant but she is quite troubled and on a down-ward spiral of ruin; hence the title ‘Blue Jasmine’ - picture perfect and self-explanatory. The audience is thoroughly captivated by the back-story of elegance, opulence and the present day humiliation, yearning and pain that our main character faces and although somewhat comical at times viewers realize that it’s a much more serious feat at hand and that everyone’s breaking point is different. One person can withstand a storm and another could unravel as fragile plants do in a storm. 


Cate Blanchett shines 100 times over and is magnificent to watch. A beautiful film; wordy as Woody Allen films usually are and quite tragic when understanding the fine line we humans walk with mental health and instability in a life that is ever so unpredictable.


Her



Now we’re present day again with our choice of movie viewing; I finally catch the Oscar nominated ‘Her’ written and directed by Spike Jonze; whom you may remember from ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and ‘Being John Malkovich’. Starring in this Romantic/Sci-Fi/Drama was none other than the talented and wonderfully sensitive actor Joaquin Phoenix as well as the vulnerable and gentle Amy Adams. Scarlett Johansson was most delightful and charming voice for an operating system that you could ever imagine. 

This film was quite poetic; not only with several examples of love letters recited throughout but also high on communication and emotional bonding between our main characters. A Love Story minus the usual physical elements that tend to sometimes overwhelm and complicate situations - because what everyone wants really is to be loved inside out and also have someone to love the same. This film encapsulates that with a futuristic twist!

With an estimated budget of $23 million USD and a slim climb at the box-office of $25 million USD. Production companies didn’t let that worry them too much because this feature with a run-time of 126 minutes was chosen by the Film Society of the Lincoln Center as a opening spot for the prestigious New York Film Festival in 2013!


62 nominations, 51 wins and winner of an Oscar at the last Academy Awards festival, ‘Her’ was a fine piece of work that I believe will be talked about in many years to come!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Blue Moon



**Blue Moon .. you heard me saying a prayer for ... someone I really care for...~ by 3 Lovely Ladies known as the Boswell Sisters - the Original singers of 'Blue Moon'! :D Enjoy!*

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Coffy



We’re taking it back to 1973, with a whole lot of gun-slinging and boob-flying action for your viewing entertainment! Written and Directed by Jack Hill, whom you may remember wrote and directed other successful classics like ‘Foxy Brown’, ‘The Big Bird Cage’ and ‘Spider Baby’ also brought us ‘Coffy’ starring the beautiful black goddess Pam Grier’. 

I love watching films with strong female leads and Pam Grier does a great job at keeping consistent with her character’s wants and needs. She is beautiful, fearless, and also vulnerable enough to make the audience stay with her for the entire story. Booker Bradshaw, Robert DoQui, William Elliott, Allan Arbus, Sid Haig, and John Perak are to name a few of the men that she had to out-smart to save the day. 

This Action/Crime/Thriller even though had a strong female lead still appealed to men’s palettes with its content and sex-appeal. The story was simple enough and well executed but it was highly driven on extreme violence (some of the ways people were killed) and very many sexual connotations. Pam Grier takes wonderful direction though from Jack Hill, who brought an exciting funk-vigilante-black-goddess to life! I’d watch it all over again! Enjoy! 




Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Third World Cop



What a thrilling ride! This 1999 Action/Drama/Thriller was well written and executed with a great message. Crime runs rampant in certain areas of this paradise island but that doesn’t mean its a sore that needs to be ignored. Our main character Capone played by the infamous and celebrated Jamaican actor Paul Campbell realizes just that and runs into the mid of battle to save the day. Written and Directed by Chris Browne who usually works in the camera department, hit gold when making this special film. 

Mark Danvers, Carl Bradshaw, Audrey Reid and others joined in to bring this story to life. With a run-time of 98 minutes, Rated R for strong sexuality, language and drug content and loads of violence you may want to keep the children out of the room for this one. 


Decent story, sincere acting abilities and great commitment as well as camera framing, but our main character Capone seems indestructible as he doesn’t even get hit by a bullet once. Besides the poor budget and the fact that it shows; I think it’s the story that’s most important here. I’d watch it again and enjoy it all over again! Good job Jamaica!

Rid of Me



Watched this one a while back, and even though it was quite morbid and melancholic I felt that it was thought-provoking and relatable for many. We’ve all felt that we had things under control and we’ve all given our hearts and souls to something we believed in. Sometimes though, what we believe in; isn’t exactly made for us. And in order to build ourselves up again we need to break down completely. It’s a process. Written and Directed by James Westby this dark 2011 comedy came across most times as depressing; but we live and we learn right!?

Officially selected at the Tribeca Film Festival, and starring Katie O’Grady, John Keyser, Storm Large, to name a few; this film wasn’t a box-office hit but I imagine a hit with any viewer that has lived with deep pain and learning to discover what is life all over again. 

Just as happiness is a part of life, so is Sadness. They go hand-in-hand and this film shows the clear epitome of that. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though - we must all remember that! Not my cup of tea but thought-provoking enough to stomach it through. 


Working Girl



Been a bit preoccupied lately - but that’s a good thing when you’re out there ‘working towards your dream’ - had the pleasure on my down-time to watch this lovely 1988 classic ‘Working Girl’ written by Kevin Wade and Directed by Mike Nichols. Recommended to me by a lovely lady, this Comedy-Drama-Romance was an ordinary story re-told in a wonderful way. Some of us know what it’s like to be taken advantage of; and some still know what it’s like to feel like your world’s been pulled out from underneath you. 

Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver and Alec Baldwin come together with exceptional comic-timing, passion and commitment to make the audience entranced all of the way. With an estimated budget of $28 million USD they made $64 million USD at the box-office, won an Oscar that year with another 10 wins and 14 nominations. Not bad at all for the usual ‘under-dog’ story told the right way.

Chock-full of hilarious and wise dialogue and a message that will make anyone’s heart soar; it’s a “feel-good” and inspirational movie that’s entertaining  to the max! I’ll leave you with a few quotes, but this is a good one to enjoy on a night you’re feeling a tad bit ‘down in the dumps’.

“Can I get you anything? Coffee? Tea? Me?”

“Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn’t make me Madonna. Never will.”

“You want another answer, ask another girl.”

“Dress shabbily, they notice the dress. Dress impeccably, they notice the woman - Coco Chanel!”

“The earth moved. The angels wept. The Polaroids are, are, uh…”

“You’re the first woman I’ve seen at one of these things that dresses like a woman, not like a woman thinks a man would dress if he was a woman.”


“Whaddya need speech class for, ya talk fine!”





All of Me



**Beautiful song by a beautiful man ~ Enjoy the lyrics and soul of John Legend as he sings to his wife :))

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Don Jon



“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
“You like movies?”

Yes, we do!!! Movies mimic life! 

Who didn’t have a crush on the adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt while they were growing up? Levitt wrote, directed and starred in this 2013 dramatic comedy/romance, and has been keeping quite busy overall, with film projects flowing from his veins as if he were made up of only good ideas! Don Jon was a successful idea and it not only brought in 3 wins and 7 nominations but also a hefty $24 million USD at the box-office after beginning with a small $6 million USD.

Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, and Glenne Headly joined in to make this one memorable and entertaining. Funnily enough I wasn’t thrilled to see this film when I saw the previews because of it’s subject matter - but with a smile like Joseph Gordon-Levitt - it just brought me in! I’m happy it did though because this film is a lot more than meets the eye. It sheds light on a very serious topic and gives the audience a profound message about how to take control of your life and find eternal happiness. 

It was quite funny with the heavy New Jersey accents, wonderfully magnetic with the subject matter, and enormously genuine and sincere with the heavy subject matter of addiction and unrealistic expectations which made viewers feel for our main character ‘Jon’ played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Rated R for strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, language and some drug-use, so this is not one for the children. But for adults who can handle it, it’ll make you laugh and teary-eyed at the same time. Enjoy & Bravo Levitt on a job well-done!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

LUV



“Follow your hero. Or become your own man.”

What an extraordinary crime-drama, phenomenal acting, exquisite story, and intense subject matter. Dare I say it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. Written and Directed by Sheldon Candis whose relatively new on the film scene (2002); he brings this 2012 film about a day in an 11 year old’s eyes as he spends time with his uncle whose just got out of jail. 

Chock-full of great actors like: Common, Charles S. Dutton, Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert (“are you in good hands” - State Farm advertisements), beauties Tracey Heggins and Megan Good and our little star Michael Rainey Jr. who stole the audience’s hearts with his laughter and tears.

Expertly shot, beautifully framed, wonderful dialogue and powerful message, this film got a lot of buzz at the American Sundance Film Festival and received one win and 4 other nominations. Rated R for violence, language, child endangerment and drug content it isn’t a film for 11 year olds. Surprisingly it didn’t make much at the box-office but it spoke to everyone who had the opportunity to watch it.  They may not have won Oscars but this film kept viewers on the edge of their seats and was an amazing ride into a dark world. Heavy but definitely a peek into how the youth of our planet is affected and hardened in society today. I absolutely loved this movie. Enjoy!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Keep Smiling



**A hilarious scene, in my opinion from the film 'I Give it a Year' starring Rose Byrne - life may be hilly and filled with stresses at time; but you got to keep stress at bay and keep a smile on your face ~ Enjoy! **

Tommy Boy



A beloved American comedy; quite different from the last film reviewed with dry and witty humor, this one was active humor or slap-stick comedy but very well done. Written by Bonnie Turner and Terry Turner and directed by Peter Segal, this 1995 ‘Tommy Boy’ had a remarkable mix of very funny situations as well as dewy-eyed scenes to keep our main character lovable enough for the audience.

With 2 nominations and 1 win, this film grossed a whopping $32 million USD that year and the ultra-talented and late Chris Farley (who died at the tender age of 33) and straight man David Spade made the perfect combination on their journey to success. The tag-line for this story was: “If at first you don’t succeed, lower your standards,” but I think it really should be, “Don’t believe what people tell you, believe in yourself.”

Enjoyable from beginning till end. Farley certainly carried the film with high energy and quirky comedic movements, but he also showed range in his acting by also appearing sentimental and tender at some moments too. Certainly a great film to garner girly giggles! Enjoy! I’ll leave you with one of the many great scenes throughout the film: