RSS

Christmas

Christmas time meas no posts from me. Ill be back with a lot in the new year.

See ya then.

-Ethan

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Welcome to Part two of the Guy Ritchie Double Feature!

If you missed the first part, my review of Snatch, just look at the previous post.

Now Onto:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows:

Image

I am going to make this review very brief so I’m going to just get to the point much quicker than the one for Snatch. First of all this film focuses on Holmes discovering the motives and later actions of his nemesis and intellectual equal Professor Moriarty. Rather than the first film which focused on sorcery this focuses on the politics of the villains decisions and it makes for a much more intriguing story line than the first in my opinion.

When you throw two of my favorite actors together in the same movie it’s most likely going to be a  good film with good performances all around. That is exactly what is done here. Robert Downey Jr. is back and better than ever as the brilliant detective Holmes, and Jude Law is back as his friend and side kick Dr. Watson. Both of them play the hell out of their parts and the result is great. You have the same hilarity as the first when it comes to their interactions, and that humor is well balanced with the actual story side of it. Accompanying them are a few new characters including Jared Harris as Professor Moriarty and Noomi Rapace as the gypsy Simza Heron. Along with them is the one and only Stephen Fry. I get that I said Downey and Law played the hell out of their parts but Fry took it to the next level and you can tell he enjoyed it. Great performances all around.

Back to Guy Ritchie. To anyone who has seen the first Sherlock Holmes film the scenes that you most likely think of are the analysis scenes of Holmes’ fights where he goes through, step by step, and explains what he will do. Those scenes are back and better than before in this new installment. In fact, along with being great simply by his explanations, the way Ritchie utilizes them in one of the final scenes is nothing short of brilliant. The master Storyteller is at it again.

The Verdict:

8/10

Solid Film. If you like Ritchie you’ll love the film and if you like the actors you’ll love the film.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Double Feature, Reviews

 
Aside

Hello everybody. Today I am going to be reviewing two Guy Ritchie films that I’ve seen in the past two days, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Snatch.

Lets start out with Snatch:

Image

Let me start off by saying that I love Guy Ritchie films, with my favorite of them being Snatch. Snatch has a large variety of very interesting and unique characters who are written and acted to perfection. Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benecio Del Toro and more start in this beautifully crafted crime thriller.

Where do you start when trying to explain Snatch? There are so many aspects of this film that deserve to be recognized, so lets start off with a summary of the very hard to follow plot. As I said above, all of these characters are perfect, both from the standpoints of writing and acting they are executed brilliantly. Late begin with the two that are closest to being the main characters: Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy. These two are business partners who work in illegal boxing which is how they are introduced to all of the other characters and how the plot progresses. Their part of the film begins with Tommy going to purchase a caravan from a group of Pikees. Pikees in this film are basically gypsies who live in campsites. When Tommy arrives at the site he is ripped off by Mickey O’neil (Played by the always brilliant Brad Pitt) and agrees to a bet. If Tommy’s boxer Gorgeous George can beat Mickey in a fight then they’ll get their money back. After getting in the ring George hits Mickey a few times until Mickey hits him once and hospitalizes him. With George out of the picture Turkish and Tommy need a new fighter unless they want to get into trouble with the clearly psychopathic Brick Top(Alan Ford). They get Mickey to replace their fighter but he doesn’t throw the fight like he was supposed to so he has to fight again. For their part of the story line that is where I am going to stop the summary.

I am going to make the other part of the story very brief considering the length of what I just wrote. Franky Four-Fingers (Benecio Del Toro) is a diamond thief who stole an 84 karat diamond that he is transporting from London to New York so he can sell it there. He is planning on selling it to Doug the Head and Cousin Avi but he is stopped by russians who are trying to get the diamonds for themselves. After realizing this Avi hires a hit-man to help him get Franky back.

That is all as the brief summary.

What makes this movie so excellent? Well, first of all, and I think this is the third time that I am saying it but the characters are so perfect in every way. The true standouts in the film are Brad Pitt as the vengeful, fast-talking pikee, and Vinnie Jones as the hit-man, Bullet-Tooth Tony: “Why do they call him Bullet-Tooth? He got shot six times, had the bullet melted down and put into teeth”. As for the rest of the ensemble they are all great as well. Not only are the performances great but the chemistry between characters makes it believable and hilarious.

Of course, behind all of the actors and the characters there is a master story-teller, and that man is Guy Ritchie. Guy Ritchie is a master of dialogue, subtle humor, and excellent, interesting ways to show scenes. A perfect example of this is the opening scene which has Benecio Del Toro and three other thieves dressed as old school jewish men. Their entire ascent from the time they walk into the building up until they enter the floor they rob is shown by having the camera go from screen to screen showing the vantage points of security cameras and it is so well done. Another thing that he does well is the ending. On my first viewing of it I did not see that coming at all and I loved it. The way all of the stories fit together at the end is perfect.

The Verdict:

So good. Oh so good. Watch it right now. What? You don’t have access to it right now? Watch it anyway. It’s that good.

10/10

Look for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows In the next post.

Snatch.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Double Feature, Reviews

 

Review: Hugo

As Scorsese’s first feature film release in five years Hugo is an excellent film telling the story of the loss and gain of family as seen through the eyes of two children. While that side of the story is interesting, the true story comes when it tells the backstory of George Melies, the french filmmaker who wildly successful until his ultimate failure which is where the story begins.

Hugo follows the story of a young orphan named Hugo (Asa Butterfield) who lives in a train station where he keeps the clocks running and on time. This train station is full of interesting characters who allow the story to be progressed forward, and these characters include the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), Isabella (Chloe Grace Moretz), George’s goddaughter, and George (Ben Kingsley) who runs the toy booth.

The beginning of the film tells the backstory of Hugo which is told through a series of flashbacks that show him with his father (Jude Law) while he was still alive. The backstory of his father is that he discovered a automaton that he thought had a secret message and when he died Hugo took on the role of completing it. He had it all fixed except one heart shaped key which is how we are introduced to the next big character Isabella. After going on a little adventure with Isabella, her and Hugo discover a lot of hidden information regarding George which is when they find out about his being a filmmaker. From there the film gets purely fascinating and I will not go into detail about it.

Backed by the directing talents of Martin Scorsese, Hugo is well-crafted with great characters and excellent sequences. One of the most surprisingly good elements of the film is the acting done by both the adult and child actors. If you are to mention acting in this film you must start out with Ben Kingsley and his great portrayal as the failed filmmaker. His facial expressions throughout the film had the perfect mixtures of both regret and frustration, and this is a perfect example of how fantastic an actor he is. As for the child actors they also did a good job for the roles they played, and those roles didn’t require much emotion but they did a good job none-the-less. Finally, Sacha Baron Cohen was good as the comic, yet sad, character within the film whose misguided hate had stopped him from getting what he had wanted.

The Verdict:

9/10

Solid film with a great performance by Ben Kingsley and a cinematic excellence that could only come from the mind of Martin Socrsese.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Road to Great Films #1: Taxi Driver

Hello everyone and welcome to the first edition of the road to great films series. Just as a quick overview to what this series is, is that I will be going through all of Roger Ebert’s 487 (I think) Great Movies and reviewing them. For this first edition I thought I would start with a favorite of mine, Taxi Driver.Image

Released in 1976, Taxi Driver tells the story of a lonely man trapped in his own personal hell as it appears in New York City. He drives around at nights witnessing the scum and trash and the city surfacing as he passes, sickening himself and his prejudices.

The main character in this film is ex-marine Travis Bickle (Played by the always brilliant Robert De Niro) who, scarred by the war and unable to sleep, gets a job as a taxi driver to keep him busy during nights. This job leads him to two recurring situations involving women. In both situations Travis desires to save these untouchable women from the scum that he sees inhabiting the city. Of course the situations of the two women are completely different, one a volunteer at a political campaign and one as a twelve year old prostitute played brilliantly by a young Jodie Foster.

Beginning with the first women Betsy (Played by Cybill Shepherd), a worker in a political campaign office. Travis spots Betsy from his cab and his voice-over description says everything that you need to know: “She appeared like an angel out of this open sewer, out of this filthy mass. She is alone, they cannot touch her”. He immediately places her on a pedestal of her own among the filth that he hates so dearly, the killers, the prostitutes, the pimps. Travis’ relationship with Betsy starts off well enough with him going into her office and looking directly into her life. Although after a first date he takes her to a porno theater. This untouchable women among all this scum involved in sex, and she is taken to a porno theater. This is a truly interesting scene of the film when you see how he fulfills his own prejudices without noticing giving you the idea that he is almost self loathing. This interaction ends their relationship leading Travis to his next women whom he desires to liberate. 

But first he is introduced to the candidate that Betsy had been working for. Their interaction is odd to say the least. With Candidate Palantine in the back of his cab Travis proceeds to talk him up until Travis is asked about what bothers him the most about the country. He answers with a rant about the scum and trash in the city showing the odd character that he truly is. Even after this positive meeting with Palantine Travis makes it his goal to assassinate him. After acquiring some weapons Travis transforms into a walking arsenal and goes to scope out where he would be killing Palantine. After raising suspicions and leaving he meets a new character, thirteen year old prostitute Iris. Seeing how she is “forced” into the world of prostitution Drives Travis to save her, first offering her money to leave while still planning to kill Palantine, and later taking more direct action.

 

Why is it a great movie:

What makes Taxi Driver is the directing done by of Martin Socrsese, the pure character of Travis Bickle, and the performance given by Robert De Niro. Taxi Driver is a study of a lonely man looking for hope in a world of eternal darkness, and he finds this hope for brief fleeting moments in people before he destroys situation after situation. You connect to Travis through this desire for hope and throughout this film to the point where you can no longer see him face rejection or failure, you can only see him succeed in the only way that he sees best. It is this connection that delivers the final blow on you as you witness a monster born within Travis from all of the things he hates yet desires.

 

Verdict:

10/10 Perfection in film.

Absolutely worth watching.

 

I will leave you with Travis, Gods lonely man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=t3c3ELuSF4s

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Intro to: Road to Great Films

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the two month hiatus of inactivity but now I’m back. Today I will be starting off the site with a brand new series that will last a long, long time. The Road to Great Films series is a series that I will be doing where I make it through all 487 (I think) of Roger Ebert’s Great Films. I will be doing two to three of these a week probably and I hope you enjoy them.

-Ethan

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: ,

Introduction to Ultimate Films

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Ethan and I love film. Every aspect of it: the acting, directing, writing, etc, can be extended to such an incredible level that it amazes me. Some of the posts that follow this will clarify my tastes in film and what exactly I love about it rather than just “Writing, Directing”. Another thing that I think needs to be made clear from the beginning is this: my posts are probably going to be filled with grammar and spelling errors. =0 I know, shocker. Although in order to avoid hate in the future I figured I would just put that out there now. Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy my posts.

-Ethan

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: