Day 323: The Gift (January, 26)

I wasn't in the mood for The Gift the day before, but I found a fit mood this time. I continued to see the thriller that is the directional debut of Joel Edgerton, an actor that has so much in his sleeve, who I couldn't place on a particular one though. He is performing here too, and his character is annoying at first, scary throughout the movie and more developed (in opposite directions, what is always an interesting feature on a character) toward the end.

It is a well constructed thriller, but nothing more than that to me. I was really scared at some moments, for sure  - I'm not ashamed to take ownership over a loud scream even. Out of my bad mood from the other day, I was able to not endure as also enjoy this movie. Rebecca Hall is other performer that is everywhere, but not placed somewhere specifically. I keep having to remember that she was in Vicky Christina Barcelona and The prestige. And Transcendence. Put the blame on me though, and my lousy memory. 

Jason Bateman is a good counterpart the two actors, and the three together take us in a cleverly woven plot. There's nothing brilliant here, but not only by genius good movies are made. The Gift is a good entertainment for a quiet night, alone at a dark house, upping the scare with a bit of adrenaline.

The Gift. Directed and written by Joel Edgerton. Cast: Jason Bateman,
Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton. Australia/USA, 2015, 108 min., Dolby
Digital/Datasa, Color (Netflix),


Day 322: The Boy and the World (January, 25)

So beautiful.

That was my first feeling toward The Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo), the Brazilian animated film that is a contender for the Oscar to the Best Animated Feature Film of 2015. The colors, the handmade drawings, that boy... My heart was on the story from the first scene.

Eyes glued to the screen, I realized how this would be a heartbreaking trip. With two young nephews, who were visiting Cine Brasilia for the first time, I was comfortably seated at the first row, with nothing between us and the incredible images created by Alê Abreu. The boys were equally mesmerized by what they're seeing. Despite their young age, I noticed how amazed they were. The popcorn was left aside, and they became, as me, a parti of the screen throughout the most of this amazing film.

The boy stole my heart from the very beginning. We must go with him without questioning the veracity of the story's events. Everything will make sense at the end, a heartbreaking sense. "i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)", Abreu let us not other option but to be one with the boy - and all the people and stories he carries in him. How the world was incomprehensible to him - the spoken language, the writing on the signs... It is speaks about so many things, as the good stories do. Here, only colors and music and people made sense to him. I was so staggeringly sad and amazed at the same time. The sole reason why I didn't burst in tears was my two little boys, equally heartbroken.

I said above that I felt the beauty. It is what this precious movie in its heartfelt animations does. We feel the colors, the movement, the songs, the reality of that boy. The great unfairness of this world's facades and the beautiful truth of being.

O Menino e o Mundo. Directed and written by Alê Abreu. With: Vinicius
Garcia, Felipe Zilse, Lu Horta, Marco Aurélio Campos. Brazil, 2013, 80 min.,
Dolby Digital, Color/Animation (Cinema).

Day 321: Numb (January, 24)

The reason why Numb didn't made even a slight emotional dent on me is beyond the movie itself. Well, I could argue that  part of our feelings about a film transcends what we see. If some productions don't allow us to get far from them (they are that good), our own life experience has an important role in our perceptions about things - and movies are not exempt from that  logic, of course. 

I love Matthew Perry, truly, since (guess?) Friends (1994). I try to follow his career, even if it is not always an easy task. There's some rewards as Studio 60 on the Sunset Street (that introduced me to Aaron Sorking), but a lot of let downs. Numb is not specifically one of the last, for sure. It is a nice attempt to discuss mental illness and the depression medication furor on the 2000's. I enjoy stories in which the character realises that some things are just for us to solve. Some help is needed, of course, and depression is never a simple struggle, no doubt about that. Beyond medication and therapy and friends and family, as in every chronic disease, some things are up only to us. Matthew Perry realises that after struggling with many inept doctors that he believes at first have all the answers to his lack of empathy with life. His counterpart, Lynn collins, is an endearing woman, confident of what she wants. She reminded me the girl in Friday I'm in Love Song - she is that cute.

That was all ok, all good, except for Perry himself. He looks alike a guy that tired the hell out of my patience and good intentions. I was not able to disconnect from that. The result: I was suffering from the same lack of sympathy that committed the main character. 

Numb. Directed and written by Harris Goldberg. With: Matthew Perry,
Lynn Collins, Kevin Pollak. Canada/USA, 2007, 93 min., Dolby Digital,
Color (DVD).

PS: Before reaching Numb, I first started to watch two other movies on Netflix: the first was The Gift (2015), a thriller with Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall, but the villain defied my patience - he is annoying. The second was Nightcrawler (2014), a movie that I think deserves more attention and care that I was able to give on this day. I can blame an allergic cold for that patience, though. It was not all just on my bad mood :)

Day 320: Unbreakable (January, 23)

Yep, it is true. I hadn't watched Unbreakable until this day. I know exactly why, although it doesn't guarantee a plausible explanation. I usually miss a fair amount of good movies on the theater for silly reasons. In this case, I wasn't too excited to see another M. Night Shyamalan film with Bruce Willis right after the big surprise that was The Sixth Sense (1999). The same happened after Oblivion (2013), with Tom Cruise, making me see a great Sci-fi flick as Edge of Tomorrow (2014) on the small screen of my tv. You've been warned. Me, myself and my nonsense criteria for choosing movies.

I'm sorry to say it was overcooked. Maybe I could have liked this movie better 16 years ago. Or maybe not, suffice to say that it's impossible to say. It is not that I didn't enjoy it. I surely did. It is very different from what I expected at first. There's a quiet pace for an action movie, suspenseful, introvert even.

Bruce Wills and Samuel L. Jackson are an interesting duo, and we're not sure to where the story is heading until the very end. Just there, at the end, resides the problem for me: if this movies was a part of a series, it would make better sense. The explanatory info at the end, as happens in films based on true events, put me on a anti-climatic state. "Really?" was my main thought. My face during the final credits was showing all my incredulity. But that was on me, actually. It took me too long to reach Unbreakable, and it is not my place to blame Shyamalan for that :)

Unbreakable. Directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan. With: Bruce
Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright. USA, 2000, 106 min., Dolby
Digital Ex/SDDS/DTS-ES, Color (Netflix).

Day 319: The Big Short + The 5th Wave (January, 22)

Movies like The Big Short can be either an accurate look to the current state of world affairs or a grotesque scam. Luckily, in this case, it was the first one. Sharp dialogues, funny cameos, solid acting, a clever editing make this movie one of the best I've seen for a while. 

This movie is a roller coaster representation of 2008 economic collapse. The thing is, world economy is based on a self imploding system, and a mostly fraudulent one. The ones controlling the majority of world's wealth never takes responsibility for the havoc mess they create in order to remain so rich. More and more I'm sure how that we'll reach the ending presented by Snowpiercer. I'm not able to imagine any other outcome. 

At some point, Mark Baum, overwhelmed by what he is witnessing in banking in US, says that "for fifteen thousand years, fraud and short sighted thinking have never, ever worked. Not once. Eventually you get caught, things go south. When the hell did we forget all that? I thought we were better than this, I really did". I think the day we'll be better will never come. 

Until the day the world will implode (I have no doubt this will happen), the best we can do is pay overly attention at everything, especially ourselves. I don't think the bigger issue of human kind is that people are too self centered. Selfish yes, too focused on themselves never. If we were more acutely focused on our deep problems, what hurts us constantly,  originating such aggressive response to things, we could really change ourselves and, maybe, just maybe, the world, bit by bit. Attention is the key (as states the narrator at the beginning of this movie), as is empathy, strong will, courage and persistence to keep going in our self-discovering trials - they're not easy, but there's no other option. 

The Big Short. Directed by Adam McKay. With: Christian Bale, Steve Carell,
Ryan Gosling. Writers: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay from the book by
Michael Lewis. USA, 2015, 130 min., Dolby Digital/Datasat, Color (Cinema).

The first 2016 movie on Omad
Later on this day, on an unexpected extended trip to the shopping mall with my niece, I ended up once more time at a movie theater. Friday night, on a packed auditorium, the movie was The 5th Wave.

I started the book by Rick Yancey last week, but I didn't go further on the story. There's nothing special here, an usual dystopian plot that begins with an interesting idea that the author cannot sustain for long. It is a common feature of current popular dystopian trilogies. What is bad here is particularly silly and absurd, presenting a weak support in favor of the story.

After the movie, our comments were mostly directed to the hideous behaviour of our peers moviegoers on this day. The film was already on, and the tardy attendees would enter the place talking loudly, complaining that the film had already begun. Seriously? It was unbelievable.

The movie was not so good, but we had a nice time, even if it was laughing at it. It was sheer entertainment, not so usual to me when I go alone to a movie theater. Nevertheless, in the company of the beloved kids in my family, fun is an assured trait. Even in a cinema full of a terribly rude audience.

The 5th Wave. Directed by J Blakeson. With: Chloë Grace Moretz, Zackary
Arthur, Nick Robinson. Writers: Susannah Grant et al. from the novel by
Rick Yancey.  USA, 2016, 112 min., SDDS/Dolby Digital/Datasat, Color (Cinema).

Day 318: Joy (January, 21)

For once a theatrical trailer relates accurately to a movie: Joy's promotional trailer is so confusing as the film as a whole. I couldn't identify what I was seeing, and the movie only confirmed this first impression.

Don't get me wrong, I was interested in the story. I wasn't bored or anything like it. But I couldn't care enough about the main character. At the end, though, I left the theater and the movie remained there. It didn't leave with me, not even a tiny bit of it. Uncomfortable is a nice word to describe what I felt during the screening.

The whole time a thought was nagging me: it is David O. Russel! Were are the witty dialogues, heartfelt story, endearing characters? Nothing makes sense here. He tries to tell us something and goes to the other direction. Even the attempt to show how success didn't extinguish Joy's familiar issues felt empty. Even her success were meaningless. The whole reason to make this film is moot, actually. Such a waste of a potentially good biography, talented actors and a brilliant filmmaker.

David O. Russell probably tried to replicate the resounding success of Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and the casting is an evidence of that intention. In her, he failed miserably. It hasn't been difficult to notice how Jennifer Lawrence has been protecting the director in interviews and awards. This failure is not easy for sure, but it doesn't define O. Russell for me. I still have hope in him.

The main focus on my comments here is to tell about my experience with a movie. Because of that I must add to my distress during this film the realization that more and more persons are choosing seats on "my" exclusive first row. That's a even bigger bummer for me, the agoraphobic movie goer that despise being around people on a movie theater.

Joy. Directed by David O. Russell. With: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro,
Bradley Cooper. Writers: David O. Russell, Annie Mumolo. USA, 2015,
124 min., Dolby Digital, Color (Cinema).

Day 317: Move On (january, 20)

A recent Mads Mikkelsen movie with a 5.7 ranking is something difficult to believe. However, after reading about the making of Move On, I could understand why this movie is so incredibly badly ranked.

It starts as an interesting and somber spy movie. Its development is infamous though. the reason? As pointed by many comments, this film is actually a long advertising piece. Cars, cell phones, tourism (the better part)... Consumerism in 80 minutes advertisement, originally presented in 8 parts online. Not for nothing there's any extensive info about it on imdb.com.

I enjoyed the supernatural bit in the end. it could have been an intriguing touch if some relation to the rest had been presented in some point of the story. As it is, it sounded like a cry for help, a last attempt to give sense to a meaningless story.

Notwithstanding, it is a Mads' movie, and solely because of that I didn't regret this longer commercial. He makes even the more absurd plots and dialogues perfectly endurable. And the scenery is stunning, another nice feature. The rest is a poor excuse for selling cars, cell phones and tickets to beautiful places. The dreadful part is the initial observation that this film was inspired by fans... A sorry excuse to present a clear product endorsement as a feature film. 

Move On. Directed by Asger Leth. With: Mads Mikkelsen, Gabriela Marcinková,
Kari Fischer. Writer: Matt Greenhalgh. Denmark/Germany, 2012, 80 min., Color.


Day 316: Like Crazy (January, 19)

Do you know when you want to really love a movie, still every take just take you to the opposite direction? That was Like Crazy to me. So sad.

Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin are good reasons to reach this movie. The first scenes are so beautiful, I was sure I'd absolutely love it. After a while, I realised that it wasn't so easy. I was pretty impatient with the characters. Slowly, I identified the issue here: their relationship simply didn't made sense. It wasn't crafted in a way that would convince me why they would experience such pain to be with each other, or even why they wanted to go through all that to stay together. Their other relations made much more sense to me to a point that I was screaming at the screen: stay apart, people! You're better away of each other. Ugh.

The thing is, a writer can tell us those two are desperately in love. This is not enough, though. This love must be crafted in a way that we feel it is a matter of life and death for them to be together despite all the miserably difficult problems they face. It was not done actually. This way I spent the whole movie being annoyed by the couple's antics. Get a grip of yourselves, I thought.

I love love, and I was disturbed to be annoyed by those two beloved actors. I'm holding a personal issue against Drake Doremus, in fact. It is not fair that he would mess up with story with such a good potential.

It is not enough to tell me that through words... sorry.

Like Crazy. Directed by Drake Doremus. With: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin.
Jennifer Lawrence. Writers: Drake Doremus, Ben York Jones. USA, 2011,
90 min., Dolby Digital/Datasat/SDDS, Color (Netflix).

PS: Anton Yelchin has been featuring many movies in here:  5 to 7 (2014), Rudderless (2014), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Fright Night (2011), Terminator Salvation (2009). He's slowly leaving the background of good stories to take a main spotlight. I've seen parts of Odd Thomas (2013), and I like it, but the sad ending prevent me to see it in full. It is worth to pay careful attention to his career and his unusual and diverse roles - he is also in the new Star Trek movies as Chekov.

Day 315: Steve Jobs (January, 18)

I'm an admirer of Aaron Sorkin's work. His views on people and the world are clear in Steve Jobs, as are his clever ways of talk about relevant matters (in this case, about Jobs' life) in an unusual manner. That his intense dialogues have the objective views of Danny Boyle is a fit counterpart and a true respectful tribute to Jobs' work and life. 

The focus here is clear. It is not a linear biography, but a way of talking about the man through some of his struggles and achievements. Three important product launches are the tread that link different moments of this genius (and humane and flawed and amazing) man. It didn't address many other facts of Jobs1s life, as his marriage and three older kids - by doing that, it allowed an expansive view of more essential aspects of this character, I think. Fassbender is solid as Jobs, with a equally solid partner in Kate Winslet. I was engrossed on this movie the whole time, forgetting about my surroundings in order to witness how a filmography can be well done by a clever narrative and cinematography.

I must say that Jobs gave me a good background to follow the story in here. The two films talk nicely with each other, I think. This one is clearly a superior production, but I don't despise the first attempt to tell Jobs' story on the movies. 

The attempt to reveal the contradictions in this iconic man is obvious. However, the impression in me was the opposite, I reckon. Despite the sense by which agreements and yieldings are fundamental in partnerships, we see how uncompromising a genius can be - and they should, because they can achieve their views just by doing that, fighting for their views, making enemies, compromising their personnel lives, ultimately being the crazy genius they are known for. We should not expect them to act differently, and admire them just for their persistence and innovative ways. Sorkin and Boyle do that with Steve Jobs, admiring the genius while trying to understand the man and his struggles, errors and brilliance - as, I reckon, saved the differences, is Sorkin himself.

Steve Jobs. Directed by Danny Boyle. With: Michael Fassbender, Kate
Winslet, Seth Rogen. Writer: Aaron Sorkin from the book by Walter
Isaacson. USA/UK, 2015, 122 min., Dolby Digital/SDDS/Datasat, Color (Cinema).

Day 314: Ex Machina (January, 17)

Oh, Sci-fi, how I love you when filmmakers take you seriously.

Ex Machina, I couldn't believe how good it is. Eyes glued to the screen, mind in turmoil by the story, I was surprised actually. And enchanted by how uncompromising this movie is. Please, please, please, go blind on this. I didn't know anything about it beyond its genre. That's enough to know if we want to see it or not. The rest is a crazy trip to human nature.

My first surprise in here was not because of the story, but at how I could recognize Oscar Isaac by his voice. He is different in this movie, but at his first line I could identify him. I'm terrible to identify faces, but I have a good ear (I had to, for my profession). Even so, I was a bit astonished by this recognition. Maybe I'm meeting Isaac a lot :) I'm hopeful to see more of him.

Another surprise: I didn't recognize Domhnall Gleeson in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I love him in About Time, it was nice seeing him here, in a more complex role. Alicia Vikander has been a good surprise also. I first saw her in A Royal Affair (2012), a relevant tale about Danish history. She had a lot of nomination for many awards for both The Danish Girl and Ex Machina, and for sure we'll see a lot of her in the future.

Three young good actors, a stunning directorial debut, a beautifully clean cinematography, a complex story... I couldn't ask for more. Just amazing.

Ex Machina. Directed and written by Alex Garland. With: Domhnall Gleeson,
Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac.  UK, 2015, 108 min., Dolby Digital/SDDS/Datasat,
Black and White/Color (DVD).

PS: Steins;Gate, episodes 10 to 14. Rodrigo told me that I should endure this anime at least till it tenth episode, when the story took his breath away. Episode 10 is nice, nothing special. Oh, it was episode 12, actually - he told me later. Ok, it was better, but my breath was still intact. Seriously, why this kind of aesthetic cannot reach me? I feel so insensible.

Day 313: Bridge of Spies (January, 16)

Hello, there! Long time no see. Yes, I know. There are times in which I'm not game for writing... but the drafts were piling up and I had to finally talk about the movie I've seen these last days before I forget about them.

Bridge of Spies was a nice surprise. A friend told me that he thought it was pretty boring - after seeing it with my mother in a rainy afternoon, I have to disagree. I wasn't in my "ideal" context for a movie: uncomfortably seated on the living room sofa at my mum's house, a lot of noise around us, my nieces walking in front of us during the film... Even like that, I was glued to the screen, too rooked by the story, based in true events.

It is a clever spy movie - a Brothers Coen script after all. Scenes carefully crafted, as are the characters. Subdued colors, quiet takes, strong features - that was my first impression, one that was confirmed along the whole story.  Silent in many moments, but still intense. There's some easy cliches about the split of Germany, I think. The story could dispense from that forced hand. But it didn't diminished what was to me to see the wall being built in a wrecked post war Germany.

The two main characters are especially interesting: Tom Hanks as James B. Donovan, a lawyer that respects his own craft, and Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, the Russian spy that has the right of a 'fair' trial in the US on the heighest point of the cold war. 

As I've said about Carol, some historical movies highlight current social features. Despite the specific events during a certain time, its present relevance is patent. The due process of law is a fundamental legal principle in US. Because of that, the Russian spy would have the right to a "fair" trial, with a legal representative for his defense. Well, it is not random to see human rights being just for show, and not by individual, but by legal and governmental institutions. it is what happened here: the right to an impartial arbiter was just a farce for those who had the decision on their hands.

Movies based on true events usually have a strong grip on romanticizing. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised to know that the speech in front of the Supreme Court were the actual words used by Donovan in his arguments. A great and concise speech that denounced a farce of rightful legislation. I was terrified - for what happened then and for what happens everyday now. Historical facts are a relevant mirror to us now - not as a mere repetition, though. It is much more that that. It is the way humanity has been choosing to mask the unfairness of social, economic, cultural regulations.

Bridge of Spies. Directed Steven Spielberg. With: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance,
Alan Alda. Writers: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen. USA/Germany/
India, 2015, 142 min., Dolby Digital, Color/Black and White (DVD).

PS: Rudd, you're such a good friend. That's why I'm still here with Steins;Gate - episodes 7 to 9.


Day 312: Carol (January, 15)

The goddess and the fairy <3
A delicately woven love story, this is Carol. Not only a love tale, but one about people and how social rules and prejudices make this world a hard place to be most of the times. Love is universal, and by then we should have understood that already.

At some point in the story, Carol asks her boyfriend if the had ever been in love with a guy. He says no, and she inquires if he had have heard of that. "Of Course," He says. "I mean, have I heard of people like that? Sure." Her answer is simple and spot on: "I don't mean people like that. I mean two people who just... fall in love. With each other. Say, a boy and a boy. Out of the blue".

Just that. Falling in love.

It is situated in '50s New York, but we never feel like all the prejudices and disrespect are old. They very actual, and the different time only highlights that.

Another quote, a single sentence, had me in tears: "What a strange girl you are... flung out of space", said by Cate Blanchet, summarizing that moment when we identify in one another a kindred soul. An universe in a few words and an amazing performance.

Adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel, the story has a heartbreaking feeling of reality - it was actually loosely based on Highsmith romance with an older woman. Some events in this movie is dreadful to a point that it could only be based on facts.

Cate Blanchet and Rooney Mara together are a sight to behold. I'm a big fan of both artists - both can do whatever they want, be whoever they want to be, they're that good. And together they were just outstanding. It is evident how they worked well with each other. There is no other alternative than to be amazed. Through their performances we can marvel at every glance, all the tiny details, the outwordly cinematography, that captures how exquisite and scary falling in love is. A true gem, this movie is.

Carol. Directed by Todd Haynes. With: Cate Blanchet, Rooney Mara.
Writers: Phyllis Nagy, from the novel by Patricia Highsmith. UK/USA,
2015, 118 min., Dolby Digital, Color (Cinema).

PS: Carter Burwell is one of my favorite movie composers. This score is not his best work, I reckon, but it is still beautiful. The whole soundtrack is stunning, as the movie.


Day 311: The Peanuts Movie (January, 14)

Awn <3

What a happy time at the movies. I was a bit cautious about The Peanuts Movie, because, you know, Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Woodstock, Schroeder, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Lucy... They're all precious, and it would be the ultimate heartbreak see it messed up. And I was a bit sad that it was released in Brazil after Christmas.

It wasn't, for my ultimate happiness. I had such a great time, a fixed smile on my face when I was not laughing out loud. My niece was a role model of patience - her aunt became a kid for 88 minutes and there was nothing she could do about other than enjoy characters that she haven't seen in animation yet (I couldn't believe it, I was sure I had gave her a Peanuts DVD and some books).

I just love Peppermint Patty, she is one of my favorite characters on the world along with  Calvin and Hobbes and Charlie Brown, who is an accurate portrait of childhood. Her obliviouness is fantastic. She is just like one of my lifetime friends, that would score a test without even knowing what it was about (she would sleep through all classes while we were slaving ourselves to even get a B or even a C...). Her smile face test is priceless. Curious fact: in portuguese, Marcie calls Peppermint Patty Meu, my nickname :) Just saying.

It was a shame that the movie theater was not good  - we intended to see it in a better auditorium, but the screening was canceled. So there we were, in a crowded movie theater, people talking no-stopping - they think they are in their living room, I swear. For that reason, I'm going to watch it again, but of course my motives go way beyond that. It is a movie to see many and many times, enjoying those cherished characters as much as we can.

The Peanuts Movie. Directed by Steve Martino. With: Noah Schnapp, Bill
Melendez, Hadley Belle Miller. Writers: Brian Shulz, Craig Shculz, Cornelius
Uiliano, from the comic strip by Charles M. Shculz.  USA, 2015, 88 min.,
Datasat/Dolby Surround 7.1/SDDS/Dolby Atmos, Color/Animation (Cinema).

PS: Fragments: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, one of the few movies I favor over the book. One day, at my mother's, i was studying at the dinner table when I suddenly heard Asleep, by The Smiths, playing. I went looking for it, and found out my 9 years old niece and 5 years old nephew watching The Perks... "Whoa, guys," I said "This movie is not for you. Let's choose something else?". Now my niece is 12 and I thought it would be ok if she saw it, when she asked if she could while spending some time at my house. She liked it, but I'm not sure what she made out of it - we still have to discuss it. I'm curious, because it is a sad and heartfelt story told by a delicate view.

Day 310: The Hateful Eight (January, 13)

There's something distinguishable about some filmmakers who create a language of their own. For some people, what they say makes terribly sense; for others, its just nonsense babbling. Quentin Tarantino, Woody Allen, Terence Malick are big examples of that, among others. The first is the most recognizable of them nowadays, I reckon.

I regard Tarantino's language one of the most amazing things out there on the movie world. It is not an absolute fancy, I must say. Some of his movies I love for life, others not so much (a few exceptions actually.Two, to be more precise). About The Hateful Eight, today's film, I'm sure to say it is already among my favorites.

You can say it is not a masterpiece as Kill Bill (2003/2004), Inglourious Basterds (2009) or even Pulp Fiction (1994). I understand this difference, but in the movie theater on this day I felt it had some brilliant features, the outstanding cinematography one of them. The actor's direction another. The performances, wow. The scenario, too good. The writing? Genius, careful, detailed. 
How I would like to see the Roadshow version...oh green envy.  

As Tarantino states before the opening sequence, it is Tarantino's eighth movie - and it carries a lot of the previous seven in it. For me, the immediate references were Reservoir Dogs (1982) and Basterds (that scene in Shosanna's house). But there's many many others of course.

The way I see, Tarantino surrounds himself of all his references - in this case, shooting in Panavision, Ennio Morricone, the western genre, for example. By doing that he turns his movies into a visceral experience. I've read that this one was a "metaphoric way of breaking down his feelings about The Thing (1982), i.e. the way he felt watching it for the first time in a movie theater". His feelings, those who built the filmmaker that he is. And he carries them as a credential. It is beautiful to see on a movie maker and on a person, and I love him for allowing us to take a look inside his own experiences.

For that matter, I, the usual movie loner, enjoy going to a Tarantino's film with someone that speaks this same language. Rodrigo was the current victim, and there we were, happy meals and all (we're o a special diet until completing the Peanuts toys collection), theater ebullient with expectations around us. For me, the film never disappoints. It is beautiful cinematography, the scenes built to a climatic end, the actor are a joy to the eyes. The writing is so well constructed, very clever, I was amazed by it. The scenario I loved, as I've said above, so many important details. And that broken door... a character by itself.

Rodrigo and I had a great time, despite the impolite people on the roll behind us (I hate people on movie theaters, and on this day I proved my point). We would look at each other in disbelief, laughing our heads off. During the final credits, we remained seated, sharing our views about it, happy to have our expectations met by this movie. With heart a bit lighter, we headed to McDonalds again to continue our diet of happy meals, still talking and marveling about Tarantino's way of telling a story.

The Hateful Eight. Directed and written by Quentin Tarantino. With:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Samuel L. Jackson
(sure), Kurt Russel.  USA, 2015,
167 min., Dolby Digital/Datasat/DTS 70 mm
(70 mm print), Color (Cinema).

PS: When we got back home, I discovered that Rodrigo hadn't seen Sherlock,. So the first episode of season 1 it was :)

PPS: Rodrigo stood with me through episodes 4, 5, and 6 of Steins;Gate.

Day 309: 18 Meals(January, 12)

Editing is an essential part of telling a story. It sounds obvious, but it is not unusual a filmmaker that fails to tell a tale just because of bad editing, as is the case in 18 Meals (18 Comidas).

The creative process here is so interesting, one that has been calling my attention on the last few months. All 67 scenes are improvised, as we can read by the final credits. The characters had biographies, and from that director and actors developed the scenes. Each one of them gravitates around one of the daily meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Only a few stories were endearing to me. The older couple silently around their kitchen table sharing their meals - nothing had to be said in order for them to communicate - is my favorite. The guy that sets the table since the morning till the night to wait his love is another. A birthday party at the end made me smile - that big table full of friends, food, drinks and music was actually beautiful. But the rest is developed with such a heavy hand that I couldn't stand most of them. By reason, the themes are very relevant. But the feeling was not there for me, and so I was looking constantly at the clock.

Santiago de Compostela was an almost destination in two different times of my life. I was so close but never there. I thought this movie could allow me to know the small town a bit, however that was not the case. This film is too impersonal to present such a possibility.

18 Comidas. Directed by Jorge Coira. With: Luis Tosar, Federico Perez Rey,
Víctor Frabegas. Writers: Jorge Coira et al. Spain/Argentina, 2010, 101 min.
Color (Cine Brasília).

PS: I don't usually defy my disinclination toward Japanese animations - manga and animes. I love Japanese cinema and literature, but there's something about those round eyes and historical characters that don't suit me at all. I tried, but it is ingrained in me. Nevertheless, Rodrigo told me about an anime with an amazing story. I decided to make a try, and on this day I've watched episodes 1 to 3 of Steins;Gate (I love the opening sequence). I'm still thinking if I'll forgive Rodrigo for introducing me to the annoying and hysterical mado scientiste Rintarou Okabe - he is so frustrating that there's no other option than laugh at him. 


Day 308: Spotlight + Star Wars: The Force Awakens (for the third time - January, 11)

I don't have a distinct penchant for movies based on facts, the famous based on a true story thing. I don't dislike them, not at all, but I'm very suspicious of such an adaptation of true events. Usually, the story is better than the film itself, what I found out to be sad even. Some lives and people would deserve better movies, and not only an okay production about their amazing achievements. As a teacher told me once, revolutionary subjects demand equally stunning formats. We don't see it often (Bronson is a remarkable exception).

This feeling somewhat changed for me during Spotlight. The special feature on Tom McCarthy movies in comparison to others with a similar approach (as All the President's Man, for example, quoted by both McCarthy and Michael Keaton as an important influence) is how the investigative reporters are depicted: they look real, and are not just based on real people. They are truly shaken by what they are investigating, and we see them in their daily lives dealing with such a terrible discover - one that questions essential beliefs. We can relate to them, and not just admire their courage in doing a great job in denouncing an horrid child's abuse scheme on the grounds of catholic church. That made all the difference to me. 

I was in tears most of the movie.

The saddest and terrifying thing about the kind of work that Spotlight does is that, fundamental as it is, they don't change the world. It creates awareness about important matters, but the crimes don't stop. I'm saying that not to diminish the work of these amazing journalists, though. I'm just trying to explain my state of mind at the end of this movie: absolute terror and sadness.

Mark Ruffalo I love, and I'm happy that his performance here just got a nod from the Academy - he is indicating for best actor in a supporting role for Stpotlight, as Rachel McAdams. The funny thing for me is that I wasn't able to consider them as individuals here (sorry, guys, I know it is unfair with your hard work on this movie). They looked as an unit to me - the two of them plus Michael Keaton and Liev Shreiber, amazing as the quiet and persistent Marty Baron. Maybe it is a sign of how truly good they are here. Because of that, despite the story being the main protagonist for me, as usually happens on this kind of movies, I thought Spotlight is a remarkable movie too, with great performances and direction, what was indeed a pleasantly surprise (I wasn't expecting much).

PS: I loved the slainté cameo <3

Spotlight. Directed by Tom McCarthy. With: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton,
Rachel McAdams. Writers: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy. USA, 2015, 128 min.,
Dolby Digital, Color (Cinema).

Leaving the theater, I saw that the auditorium nearby was showing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The screening was about to begin, I had a 3D glasses in my purse (yep) and just the previous day I had thought how I needed to see it once more time. So it was, an unexpected double feature on this day. 

I love Oscar Isaac on this, and I'm expecting more of him on the next instalments of this last Star Wars' trilogy. I'm happy for his Golden Globe Show Me a Hero - I haven't see it yet, but I'm glad anyway. Probably we'll see a lot of him in the future, I hope. 

One thought that came to mind during this third time with The Force Awakens is how Harrison Ford fell right into Han Solo after so many more traditional roles on the last years - he got younger even, inside and outside the screen. It is beautiful to see what a role do to an actor. 

I was a bit bored at the beginning, thinking how it was a bad decision to re-watch it after such a strong story as Spotlight, but soon i saw myself once more immersed in the good action and characters. I love that this movie is so nostalgic (George Lucas, I'm sorry to say you're an idiot, with all respect of course) at the same time it opens the way for what is new. And all that reboot theories? Sorry folks, I usually try to understand and emphasize to different opinions, but is is such a silly stubborn criticism that there's no way to even give it a second thought. I'm pretty adamant about it actually. Please, try to focus on what is new and different here, and in what is a true respect to the original story. Maybe you'll have a better time with this story someday, out of you stubbornly ways :)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Directed by J.J. Abrams. With: Daisy Ridley,
John Boyega, Oscar Isaac. Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams , Michael
Arndt, from the characters created by George Lucas. USA, 2015, 135 min.,
12-Track Digital Sound/Solby Atmos/Dolby Surround 7.1/Dolby Digital, Color (Cinema).

The Hunger, 1983
Today I went to sleep at 5 am under the utter sadness of David Bowie's passing. At the age of 69, after a struggle with a cancer that was not reported publicly. It was a big shock, though, especially after Bowie's birthday on January, 8th and the release of his last album. Too much, too unexpected, too sad.

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, 1983
As we talking about movies here, I must say that I love some of his movies. The Hunger, of course, one of my favorites in life. I thought about watching it today, but I couldn't. As I've said, too much. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence is another outstanding film, and Bowie is amazing in here. As he is in Labyrinth, a movie that now way I'll let you tell me is not perfect.

And there's the movies that refer to Bowie. One that no one would think to see, I guess, but that is a nice and endearing is Bandslam - I was not expecting much when I took my niece to see it, but the homage to Bowie was a good surprise. Another movie I'm watching right now, at my home, with the said niece: The Perks of Being Invisible. I almost cried out loud at Heroes scene when I saw it for the first time at the movies. My tears carried a different tone this time. "The tunel song" is a perfect alias, by the way. Golden Years as a reference to the wrong idea of the Middle Age as the dark ages was great in A Knight's Tale. There's so many more, impossible to name them all.

Labyrinth, 1986

I saw Bowie alive once, the first concert I saw out of my town - and it is much, because no artist except a few as Sting had been in my squared hometown at those times. I was ecstatic, so happy to see him alive. For weeks after, the only sound on my Walkman was Bowie. He is a constant on my life, and will always be. As Alejandro González Iñárritu said on his acceptance speech as best director on the Globes 2016, moments before the wold was aware of its great loss, "...we all in this room know very well that pain is temporary, but a film is forever, right?". He was talking about the extremely difficult production of The Revenant, but we can use this quote in here too. Because Bowie is forever, no matter the place he chose to shine right now. The brilliant Starman.


Day 307: Love the Hard Way (January, 10)

My first thought right now, while writing about Love the Hard Way, was: is there any other way? It sounds so bitter, and another thought that came to mind was that yes, of course there is. But sometimes we take the easiest road of self annulment, obsession, fear. 

And fear is the word here. Jack has not an unusual fear of life and love, and the way he behaves when in love for the first time is not a rare feature too. There's no redemptive features in him... No, that's not true, there are a few (and one in particular), but they don't prevent him to act as a heartless SOB. He freaks out, and by hiding away for fear, he succeeds in doing so much worse than the would do if the had just stared the monster in the eye. It sounds very moralistic, I know. But it is not, I promise. It is one of the things I have been realizing from a time now. It could sounds also obvious, but it is one of the most difficult features in life. 

One thing about love is that self destruction always finds a fit partner in crime. As a friend would say, the old slipper always finds a sick feet. This way, pain is so much easier. But it is not actually. And that's what this movie brings to us in a heartfelt and horrifying manner. It is not palatable, and I've read many comments that mirror this feeling. But it is admirable that a movie doesn't go for the easy path of love getting everything right. I truly believe it does, but in the humane fashion of choosing pain over happiness at most of the times, there will be a long way before love will be able to work its magic. For some, this never ever arrives.

Adrian Brody is incredible here (I truly love his nose, by the way, one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen at the movies), as is Charlotte Ayana as the beautiful, naive, obsessed Claire. The supportive cast is great too. They make this movie believable and bearable, even in the most difficult part - it is dreadful, I wasn't too thrilled to see it happens, as I was already expecting a big downfall. It this movie was a book, I would have gone to the last page in order to see if everything would be alright at the end. I usually do that, I cannot stand some kinds of heartbreak, I'm sad to admit. I thought about doing that during the movie, but I said no to myself. Hang in there, was my main thought. I did, and I ended up with mixed feelings, as was to be expected from such a film.

And I liked it after all? I don't know. Like and dislike are not fit for this film. But I'm think it maybe worth a try, if your heart is not over sensitive and if you allow movies to be a lot figurative about some aspects in life. I am, and I'm still digesting what I saw on this day.

An afterthought: I felt like this movie could be a french production, it surely has some of the French movie's features. And still a bit confused about my mixed feelings at the whole film, I did something unusual and looked for a specialized critic - of course I would recur to Roger Ebert for that. I'm not a fan of this kind of critic, not even once delivered by Ebert. I usually get exhausted by its unnecessary details, and this one is no different. But the french feeling is referred by him, and it helped me to deal with my confusion a little bit: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/love-the-hard-way-2003

Love the Hard Way. Directed by Peter Sehr. With: Adrien Brody, Charlotte
Ayanna, John Seda. Writers: Peter Sehr et al. Germany/USA, 2001, 104 min.,
Dolby Digital, Color (Netflix).  

PS: When I arrived at my mom's, she looked at me sheepishly and asked me if we could see the last Downton Abbey episode one more time. Of course we can, I said. And more tears met my way, like it was the first time I was dealing with it :)

PPS: Awards day is a festive occasion at my home. Some nice comfort food (more healthy this time), a good drink (beer!!!), my beloved sofa and some mindless fun for hours with the Golden Globes. I have to confess that I was a bit disconnected this time - I even missed Wagner Moura's moment at the Globes (He is incredible), and had to rewind the recording after the show. I don't know why my mind was elsewhere, maybe it was today's movie. Because the show had so many good moments (even if the dreadful ones were truly terrible - we can blame a retrograde Mercury for the awful speeches and presentations). But Gael García Bernal, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington, Brie Larson, Matt Damon, The Martian, Aaron Sorkin (Welcome home!), Maura Tierney being rewarded was great. Taraji P. Henson was rude as I've never seen a winner being before (and Katherine Heigl correcting how her named was pronounced was not an easy rudeness to surpass). Rick Gervais is unbearable, I think. But I'll be here next years, for sure, with the same expectations and happy to the beginning of the awards season, as always (my most silly trait, I admit).