Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Paperboy

Another John Cusack film back-to-back for me and joining in on the film-fun was English David Oyelowo whom you may recall from 'Jack Reacher', porcelain and extra-fun character Charlotte Bless played by Aussie' Nicole Kidman, ever-southern yet outstanding performance by Mathew McConaughey and the handsome "High-school dancer" now "swimmer" and 'The Paper Boy' Zac Efron. And how can we forget our narrator and voice of reason - a natural in front of the camera, 'singer-turned actress' Macy Gray.

This 2012 American-thriller written by Pete Dexter who won an award for his 1991 novel turned movie 'Paris Trout' and known for other beloved works like 'Michael' starring John Travolta, had his story adapted into screenplay by Lee Daniels who also directed this film. Lee Daniels who is known for producing gritty and disturbing films like 'Monster's Ball' starring Halle Berry and 'Precious' starring Gabourney Sidibe pivoting both actress' into Academy Award nominations and hall of fame, intended to do just that for this steamy and equally alarming story.

My favourite part of this film were the camera-angles which were fluid and propped in the most natural and un-natural of positions, it made for it's viewers feeling even closer to the characters and what was going on in the story. I felt the acting was strong aside from the occasional smirks shown by Efron (but who could blame him because of the very many not-intended yet comical parts in this film). The story was far-fetched and utterly abominable but believable characters, and behaviour of people living in Florida during that time, and probably a little still today.

Rated R for some of the most nauseating sexual content, violence and language, it's not a film for family-fun. With a budget of $12 million USD and not making much back at the box-office and notwithstanding it's dismal and simple ambitions, it still has all the makings of Academy Award nominations. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Factory

This 2012 Crime-mystery-thriller caught my eye because of the talented chameleon of an actor Jennifer Carpenter starring in this role. She shines alongside acting veteran John Cusack whom you may remember from 'Being John Malkovich' and '1408' with Samuel L. Jackson. Written by Aussie Paul Leyden and Morgan O'Neill, and directed by Morgan O'Neill this film was a ride into a dangerous obsession that had no end. 

With a budget of a surprising $25 million USD it isn't sure that they made it all back at the box-office and I am pretty sure they did not win any awards or nominations. Filmed in Montreal and Quebec Canada, this film had not only snow, to set the mood of the cold and troubling subject matter based on true events but also interesting and dark camera angles.

Enough to grip you the fact that it was based on a true story, and riveting at the beginning but somehow it didn't pay off towards the end. It was slow to unfold but a rush at the end, which means it was probably a late-resolving plot agreement by the film-making team. Decent acting, but not a desirable culmination for it's audience.

John Cusack, Jennifer Carpenter, big budget but unfortunate blunder.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


** When its over. And the heart breaks. Walk Away. And the cracks begin to show...**~ Pretty decent acting in this video also - Enjoy ;))

Friday, May 24, 2013

After Earth Interview

** It's wonderful to see how mature and wise Will Smith is. Forget the Ego. Do what you Love. And you must give to receive! ~ Can't wait to see this movie!!! :))

House at the End of the Street

I have to say, not at all what I expected; I honestly had doubts on this one, but thought I'd at least give it a whirl seeing it starred talented angel-faced Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and all. I have three words to describe this film. Intense, intense, intense! I love a good horror film and this one delivers to my liking; one of the better horror films out there. Non-predictable, action-packed and riveting, the audience is teased into the mysterious and slow turn of events.

Written by David Loucka and Jonathon Mostow and directed by Mark Tonderai, and with a budget of $6 million USD this 101 minute 2012 thrilling film exposes dismay, eerie secrets and phycological commotion. Starring Elissa played by Jennifer Lawrence, Max Thieriot who plays Ryan and Sarah played by Elisabeth Shue this film had a decent performance at the panic that slowly expanded. Introducing new-comer Eva Link who gave a delightfully harrowing execution, I think the only thing that rang a bell from another story would be the name of the character she played, "Carrie-Anne".

The film was beautifully shot in Ottawa Canada with unique camera angels throughout but also shot in 2-pert Techniscope format which provided the look of older horror films and gave the appearance of grainy images. Although there was not much buzz about this film when it was released, it more than quadrupled it's initial budget in just 3 months that same year. Backed by Relativity Media, FilmNation Entertainment and a Bigger Boat Production just to name a few and by scores of others internationally this story was compelling enough to receive 1 win and 2 other nominations.

Certainly what the doctor would order for a terrifying night of fun! :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life Happens

This 2011 comedy written by friends Kat Coiro and Krysten Ritter and directed by Kat Coiro was a simple story about how situations change, friends change, and the future or what you think is never as you expect it. Interesting group of characters, all not completely necessary to move the story along but entertaining nonetheless. Very reminiscent of 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' aside from it being all about a bit younger generation.

Some familiar faces grace the screen like blue-eyed-brown-eyed goddess Kate Bosworth, funny-beauty Krysten Ritter, and California girl Rachel Bilson. Also some new faces and appearances by Fallon Goodson, Rhys Coiro (Kat Coiro's brother) and Lauren Conrad  in that order. Although great story line and some heart (but mostly due to the change in music), I felt that this film's character's were one-dimensional and lacked depth to allow the audience to truly identify or feel for our main characters.

With a budget of $930,000 and backings by production companies like 'Stardust' and 'Dot Dot Dot Productions' this film although 'laugh-worthy' didn't make it big at the box-office or become buzz-worthy for awards or nominations. It flowed nicely and was well shot but lacked depth and inspiring message. Pretty much to be expected in most Hollywood Films - the movie's first line being - "Do you have a condom?"

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Machinist

Not at all what I had expected. This 2004 drama/thriller was dark and exposed a glorious soundtrack. Very reminiscent of 'Sin City', this screen gem took it's audience from the present to the past in 101 minutes. Time also played a significant role in the film as our main character Trevor Reznik played by Welsh Christian Bale see's the same time on the clock over and over again and at that moment in the film our mystery is also revealed. Holder of 10 wins and 10 nominations, it's a film that ought to be studied and upheld.

Filmed in Spain with an estimated budget of $5 million USD it was written by American Scott Kosar and Brad Anderson. Our stars are: Welsh power-house Christian Bale, talented American Jennifer Jason Leigh, Italian sweet-heart Aitana Sanchez-Gijon and hauntingly delightful American John Sharian.

A marvelous and clever story depicting an insomniac and obsessive personality that believes the world is out to get him. If the film-noir, blood, dark dialogue or sickeningly emaciated body doesn't get to you, then the music and acting certainly will. Beautifully shot and heavy on being thought-provoking, this film is one that will be easily remembered forever. :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

21 Grams

"How many lives do we live? How many times do we die? They say we all lose 21 grams at the exact moment of our death. Everyone. And how much fits into 21 grams? How much is lost? When do we lose 21 grams? How much goes with them? How much is gained? How much is gained? 21 grams. The weight of a stack of 5 nickels. The weight of a humming bird. A chocolate bar. How much does 21 grams weigh?"

Written by Mexican Guillermo Arriaga, and Directed by Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu this disturbing and touching crime/drama/thriller was nominated for 2 Oscars and 36 other nominations and another 28 wins in 2003. Showcasing acting powerhouses like English Naomi Watts, Puerto Rican Benicio Del Toro and American Sean Penn, this 2003 film shows how 3 people's lives cross in the most daunting of circumstances and how their love, bravery, desires and faith are tested to their highest capacities ever.

With a budget of $20 million USD and a run-time of 124 minutes the film switches back and forth through time to show the weight of the subject as well as the reason of how our 3 main actors' paths meet in the first place. Exquisite camera angles and lovely cinematography sunsets with the flight of birds, film-makers go beyond the usual routine and shoot something massively intriguing. I absolutely love the moment when all 3, Paul Rivers (played by Penn), Christina Peck (Watts) and Jack Jordan (Del Toro) combat each other and despite it's high energy, the sound is completely mute.

Serious subject matter, language, and nudity but fascinating from start to finish.

Viva la Mexico for marvelous film-making! :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Girl in Progress

Light little movie with a lot of heart. This 2012 drama-comedy is perfect for Mother and Daughter bonding; shedding light on the necessary ups and downs of life and how you should stick together. Written by Hiram Martinez and Directed by Patricia Riggen, this film got 6 wins and 3 nominations for it's positive message.

Running 93 minutes with a $5 million USD budget this story has been told time and time again but this unfolded with a different twist. Latina bomb-shell Eva Mendez stars genuinely alongside talented and confident new-comer Cierra Ramirez. Raini Rodriguez whom many may recognize from Disney and Canadian Comedian Russell Peters also adds passion and humanity.

This story reminds us of how clever the youth are and how they are only seeking for that dwindling attention that goes everywhere except where it needs to be. Presence will always be more sentimental and meaningful than presents. The responsibility of parenthood is one that shouldn't be taken lightly.

The Driver's Seat

One of the stranger movies I've seen, and still unsure about the end; but based on a novel by Scottish Muriel Spark and I must say adapted into screenplay faithfully and intricately so, by Italian Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, and Raffaele La Capria. This 1974 film stars mentally disturbed 'Lise' played by English Elizabeth Taylor, Scottish Ian Bannen (whom you recall from Braveheart and Gandhi) and the everly clever and glamourous Andy Warhol.

Filmed in Germany and Italy and with a run-time of 105 minutes this film is enormously singular and that's because the story itself doesn't make much relevance at all. Film-makers succeeded in confusing the audience because after all it isn't meant to make sense but indeed showcase the parts of the brain that no longer offer logic. It's interesting to see despite it's age how appropriate it's content is today with heightened airport security and even terrorists and the significance of sex-crazed and sick society. I wouldn't admit to splendid cinematography but however most curious and enthralling; for example the opening scene of naked mannequins as well as the bleary forest towards the end.

Not exactly my cup of tea, but one for the books.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Written by the infamous Tennessee Williams and directed by Josephy Losey, this 1968 Elizabeth Taylor classic shows how one can have everything except what they really need. Materialism only goes so far and without health and happiness one really becomes the poorest in the world. With a budget of $10 million USD, breathtaking landscapes of Sardinia, and exceptional costumes/wardrobe not to mention the undying chemistry between English Elizabeth and Welsh Richard Burton this film browsed carefully on many delicate questions on life and death.

Running for 113 minutes, the audience is mesmerized every step of the way not only by Taylor's exceptional acting but also by her enormous beauty and grace. Clever dialogue, great transitions and good pacing, Williams left no stone un-turned. 

An exciting exploration of memories, the future, true wealth, and poetic dialogue that will keep you posing questions on nothing and everything all at once! :)) Drama, thriller, romance & passionate acting!

One of my favourite quotes from this film was: "Passports expire and so do invitations!"

Thursday, May 9, 2013


** Another marvelous classic from another marvelous soul. This time - Frederic Chopin! :)) ENJOY!


I might not be the greatest of cooks, but I do fancy baking. I remember day-dreaming as a small girl, when my mother skillfully 'sifted' the flour for the delicious danishes she'd prepare for our family. I watched the cups of flour she poured in, slowly and gently; the flour grains separating to be collected carefully and lightly on the other side. This was how the flour could get air before becoming ready to bake. I feel as though our lives are also about sifting through all sorts of things before being ready to bake and rise to our full potential.

Life may be simple and charming for some, but for those who live truly and with challenge, life is a lot like developing film in a dark room. We work carefully and with meaning and the true beauty isn't born until our first rays of light. Bombarded with negativity and judged by our mistakes, we formulate immense doubt and foreboding. Why do the doors we choose keep being locked? Why do we keep hearing it slam? Over and over again? When what we give is our best and our life. Our vision is spit upon, laughed at, trodden on, and balled into a tight wad of impossibilities.

It is okay to make mistakes. It is okay to be a single voice of hope. Sure it nearly extinguishes our spirit, but our spirit is like a flame that is almost gone and then re-ignites with the kiss of a cool breeze. We must sift through the nonsense that is shot our way. What do they know anyway? They only try to bring you down because they have fear within themselves. We must be graceful, humble, and faith-full because it is the law of life that a brave spirit downtrodden and struggling, one day will be blessed with joyous laughs. We are stronger than we think darlings, channel your hurt and energy into creating the positive your heart sees. You are given desires for a reason and when you don't see clearly, you are being tested on just how great that desire is.

Hang in there.

Jair :))

Saturday, May 4, 2013


It's always exciting to put on a good 'cult' film. You're able to not only enjoy a decent story, be inspired or learn something, but also study what about it made it such a classic. 1996's 'Trainspotting' was just one of those; based on a novel by Scotsman Irvine Welsh and adapted into screenplay by Glasgow born John Hodge and directed by  English Danny Boyle whom you may know from '28 Days Later', '127 hours' and 'Slumdog Millionaire'; this film was a successful and moving 'coming-of-age/boy-into-man/finding-oneself' type of film. Nominated for 1 Oscar, and with 15 nominations and 19 wins, it's plain to see the immense caliber of greatness and influence this film had on it's viewers.

With an estimated $3 million and making well double back, this film was a breakout film for talented, narrative masterpiece of an actor Ewan McGregor. But all actors involved were 100% committed to their characters and what drove them. Scottish Ewen Bremmer whom you may recall from 'Black Hawk Down', 'Snatch' and 'Pearl Harbor', English Johnny Lee Miller, whom  you may remember from 'Aeon Flux' and 'Dark Shadows' Scottish engineer turned actor Kevin McKidd, voice from 'Brave and in 'Kingdom of Heaven, Glasgow bad-boy Robert Carlyle whom you may recognize from television's 'Once Upon A Time', 'The Full Monty' or '28 Weeks Later' and 'crazy Scottish beauty' Kelly Macdonald from 'No Country For Old Men', 'Brave' and 'Boardwalk Empire' all can credit this film to putting them on the map in the acting/film world.

Intense subject matter, honest acting, wonderful camera angles and decrepit as well as breathtaking sets and landscapes this film reminded me of 'Saturday Night Fever' in that it's 94 minutes of really 'how blessed you are' and about not being able to be grateful or aware of the beauty around you. Young adolescents/adults always look for something to move them, something to inspire them, something to assist in their rebellious spirit, when really, all you have to do or be is true to yourself.

Heavy-hearted in many instances, but chock-full of comedy and an inspirational message throughout, it is a film I'd recommend for every young person, looking to find themselves. It'd give them a positive perspective and save them a lot of heart-ache and distress. Life is only as hard as you make it - it's not easy, but if you have your best interest at heart, it's the first step to moving into a positive direction.

Set in Scotland with exceptional delivery and pacing; and a wonderful sound-track; certainly 'two-thumbs-up!' :))

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Have Heart

** You gotta' have heart...and you've gotta' stop being AFRAID - suffering brings you to greatness - Embrace it...it's only a matter of time ;)