Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Frankie and Alice

Just the sort of challenging film I’d like to roll-up my sleeves for! Now, why didn’t Halle Berry win the Oscar for her role in something like this? Sex-sells I guess, but meaningful, gritty and thought-provoking films will always win in my book! This 2010 Drama also based on a true story was adapted into screenplay by Cheryl Edwards and Marko King and directed by Geoffrey Sax. Starring non-other but bi-racial bomb-shell of an actress Halle Berry (Cloud Atlas, Catwoman, Bond, X-Men) and joined in by smooth and collected Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Nymphomaniac). 

Berry shone in this role and funnily enough her mother is a retired psychiatric nurse and she may have had some personal insight for her character ‘Frankie’. Haunting storyline and great avenue to shed light on the woes of mental illness’ and the struggles such individuals much overcome. Rated R for some sexual content, language and drug use. This film didn’t hit big at the box-office however I’m proud Halle took on such a solid role and gave an outstanding performance! The movie was also nominated for 1 Golden Globe, 4 other nominations as well as 5 wins.

This was a tragic story of what mental-illness can do to someone’s life as well as all the people they are connected to. It’s about overcoming the past that tears us sometimes apart as well as being able to heal and live again. I rather enjoyed this one. ‘JourneywithJair’ recommended!

Perfect Sisters

“Ever since I can remember, it was always my sister and me against the big bad world…”

“Little Miss Sunshine” is all grown up and still making waves in the film industry. I had the pleasure of having her on my flight one day; she was polite and had her head buried in a script. She continues to wow us with her exceptional level of taking direction and acting abilities in 2014’s Crime/Thriller ‘Perfect Sisters’.

Based on a true story which happened in January of 2003, writers Fab Filippo and Adam Till adapted the event into script and director Stanley M. Brooks coached the girls Georgie Henley and Abigail Breslin to play the ‘fed-up’ and ‘distraught’ teenaged sisters ‘Sandra and Beth Anderson’. Quite a chilling tale, and disturbing; however viewers were able to side/feel sorry for our main characters even though they were cold-blooded murderers. 

With a run-time of 100 minutes, despite rudimentary and strange camera effects/special effects (of the perfect mother), I quite enjoyed this film; partly because of the insane subject matter, and partly because of the phenomenal acting by both girls, Henley and Breslin. Makes for a dramatic night and shows that everyone has their breaking points and that even if you think something is wrong, sometimes the bond you have with one another trumps all.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Break the Mirror

It seems that everyone is up to their own agenda these days. Selfish, selfish, selfish. Few of us care too much about others and our feelings, emotions, and good-wishes not only fall by the way-side but come across strangely in this “insta-satisfaction’- world. We’re hooked, brainwashed and running around like hamsters in a wheel - that’s the ‘rat race’ darlings.  No time to stop and think about what you’re doing. Learn. Have self-discipline or will-power, just go go go, this feels good! Truly even if few of us want to help wake people up,  we realize that all these actions of wanting to have ‘fame’, wanting to be ‘loved’, wanting to be ‘seen’, wanting more and more are actually part of our ego. We see that these ugly reflections are also part of us too; It’s what it means to be human after all - perfectly flawed. We are mirrors of each other but does that make it right? To continue in this way seems idiotic - we stay this way because it’s so? It’s about time we break those mirrors and break free from this system! Break free from these excuses! Break free from these human restraints!

There’s nothing left to see.

You are not defined by what society tells you to do. All these industries strategically placed for you to consume. Make-up, Gadgets, Pornography, Drugs, etc etc etc. WE are one human spirit, WE need to stop thinking about me, me, me and start thinking more WE. Life is short, and before you know it; you’ll be old, and forget why you came here in the first place; granted we ever asked ourself the question before.

We were created as sons and daughters of the Most High and have fingerprints of God’s in our DNA. Therefore isn’t it time we put down your mirrors/mobiles/instagrams and look at our brother, look at our sister and give them some love, and some respect. Do we know what love is? Do we know what respect is? If we can answer that, we know that most of what we engage in….isn’t Love. Everything that feels good doesn’t make it good. Sometimes we need to dig deep within and ask ourself, why are we doing this?

Feel more. Your feelings are there for a reason. To guide you to where you’re destined to be. Listen to the sounds of the evening…all your answers are whispered. Stop wishing to be pretty, rich or famous, just start wishing to spread happiness and be happiness, the rest comes automatically!


Love Jair

Jupiter Ascending

I was more than thrilled to see the latest installment of ‘The Wachowki’s’ new film ‘Jupiter Ascending’; you may remember some of their other films like ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Cloud Atlas’ and the fine quality of their work. This 2015 Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi which runs for 127 minutes and written and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski was not the prediction I had hoped for (no pun intended). 

The plot/story-line was a bit weak to say the least and because of it, the audience lost interest rather quickly. Reminiscent of 'Star Wars' (George Lucas)‘Transformers’ (Michael Bay), ‘Fifth Element’ (Luc Besson), or even ‘Pans Labyrinth’ (Guiermo del Toro), this film had some great qualities, but sadly it’s all been done before. It was not an original or thought-provoking piece as their other films proved to be. Well-shot, impressive special effects and drawn-out action sequences; these were the positives of the movie. The acting was poor and direction seemed to lack tremendously. Perhaps there was too much going on in this film which didn’t help viewers really connect to any of our main characters. 

The cast was international with Ukranian-born Mila Kunis, American Channing Tatum and English Eddie Redmayne and Douglas Booth as well as Nigerian Nikki Asuka-Bird and South-Korean Doona Bae. With a solid cast, talented film-makers and an estimated budget of $176 million USD, it’s a shame to see that they’ve only grossed $45 million USD back so far and not very many fans. Apart from exquisite visuals, I have to say that  in ‘Jupiter Ascending’ something was missing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

“When Henry Altmann fell from the bridge, time had slowed and it occurred to Henry that he didn’t have to be a burden that life was short and unique and that each hour, each minute, each second could have something to offer, something beautiful and astounding. The fact that this only occured to him seconds before he had hit the water and died; made him very very angry…”

Just some of the very poignant narration throughout this 2014 Comedy/Drama. Based on the novel/film “The 92 minutes of Mr. Baum” written by Assi Dayan; and adapted into screenplay by Daniel Taplitz and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, this film’s message spoke volumes.

I feel as though it hit even closer to home because of the world losing a great and remarkable human being ‘Robin Williams’ whom played the lead role of Henry Altmann. Losing Williams was as heartbreaking as it was when the world lost Michael Jackson, John Lennon or Bob Marley. He wasn’t a singer, obviously, however the joy, entertainment and performance he brought to the world was second to none. In this film our lead wants to kill himself and it tugs at the audience’s heartstrings because Williams did that very same thing and succeeded at it.

“In the end all we have is family…” was the main message of the film; however filmmakers showed that today even families are too busy for one another and too caught up in ‘their’ own lives to recognize  the changes that are going on around them. The film was well-shot, excellently acted ( Mila Kunis who played Dr. Sharon Gill, Peter Dinklage, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones to name a few) and like Williams usually does, he expertly made viewers laugh and cry all in the same sentence!

A wonderful story-line and news we hope everyone gets, because we all have bad days, but each day we should use to be happy and make amends before it’s too late!