Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My Totally Awesome Top 9 Movies of 2014

I'm ambivalent about movie lists. On one hand they are really fun, accessible indexes of information that reduce a plethora of movies down to the ones that really matter. And on the other hand they are reductive and seem a bit sensationalized for my taste. Oh well, I'll make a list anyway. All in the name of fun. In the protest of traditional lists however, my number will not be round. It won't even be even. This is me thumbing my nose at the system.

1. Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
I cannot say enough about this movie. Never has a movie been so intimate yet so epic, or so gentle and yet so powerful. If you have not seen this movie yet, I truly feel sorry for you. Boyhood is the best American movie since Forest Gump.

2. Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu)
This movie is an absolute thrill to watch. Here we see a director and his cast truly swinging for the fences. This is an art movie that has the adrenaline of a summer blockbuster. While watching this I said out loud "How the hell did they do that?" and "Was that all just one long take?" multiple times. My socks were rocked.

3. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski)
Beautifully poetic and picturesque film. The black and white photography is really breathtaking. I absolutely loved the languid pace. Ida is a movie you can just sit back and totally absorb the detail of every frame. This is art.

4. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller)
Oh, the drama. The mood is amazing and all-consuming. Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are all working at the top of their respective games and it's lovely to watch. "Chilling" is the word.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
Twee as fuck.

6. Force Majure (Ruben Östlund
A relationship drama that is amusing as hell. You could call it satire, dark-comedy, or a character study. Uncomfortable to watch but ultimately rewarding. Rides that fine line between funny and sad.

7. Gone Girl (David Fincher)
Wonderfully directed, scripted and acted. Has a lot to say on relationships and society. Unsettling satire at it's best. David Fincher directs the hell out of this thing.

8. Two Days, One Night (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
I absolutely love the Dardenne Brothers, and for good reason. They continue to make deeply moving and affecting movies that feature working-class lives. Their movies are essential. Lead actress Marion Cotillard gives a raw performance that strikes a nerve.  
9. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)
A sloppy and fun romp from PTA. I could watch his movies all day long (AND I DO!!!!) Some complain it's too incoherent, but that did not bother me.

*note: I have not seen every movie made this year.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"The Cove" and "My Summer of Love"

This blog needs a new name. Instead of "2 movies a week" it should be titled "2 movies whenever I fucking feel like it." - Well, I feel like it now. So, enjoy(?).

The Cove - (2009, USA/Japan)

This is a documentary, which is unauthorized, that is heartbreaking and enraging simultanionuly. I'm guessing most of you saw "Blackfish" -it is on netflix. Apparently that film had a lot of half-truths to it. This is the Blackfish that is more real, less sensational, and therefore more poingant.

Dolphins are being killed by the thousands in a small cove in Taiji, Japan. The mamals are horded into a small cove. There, the trainers from Sea World and the like come and choose the bottle-nose's they want for their park.

What happens next is horrific. The remaining dolphin's are slaughtered. Next, they are sold for their meat despite having very high levels of posionous mercury.

The documentary crew gets amazing footage of all this through hidden cameras. This documentary is not to be missed.

This seems to be a lasting barbaric tradition that contiunes on due to that same evil: tradion.

While this all seems like a terrible bummer, the film is not. It's very interesteing and will make you want to write a letter to your local Japanese congressman.

My Rating: 5/5

My Summer of Love - (2004, UK)

This movie is a love story. That's the simplest way to put it. Not just the joy and happiness of love, but the messiness and pain of it, too.

Our love birds with a summer of nothing but hanging around, drinking wine, smoking cigaretts, sharing life details, and generally laughing at the absurdity of their surrounding community in Yorkshire.

They, slowly but surely, get close. All either of them have is the other. They share their pain and as things progress, become lovers.

I don't want to give the impression that everything is peachy in "the valley." Nearly everyone who has a speaking part in the movie comes across ass desperate, slightly dark, and looking for meaning in their stagnent surroundings.

It's not a huge spoiler to say things dont exactly work out in the end. It's true to life in this way and just about every other way in the movie. I've watched this movie with someone who liked it but complained it was to dark and desperate. In my humble opinion, that is how life is for the majority of us.

Everyone just trying to survive and find a little connection and happiness while we're here.

The movie's ending is wonderful and I won't spoil it for you. I'd recomend this movie.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Barbara" "Boyhood" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"

Welp, it's been a full 3 weeks since my last entry. Am I getting lazy or just disinterested? Maybe both, maybe neither. The point is nobody knows or wants to know the answer to that question. The people want to read THREE reviews for the price of TWO. What a bargain. Soak up the savings, dance with the deals.

"Barbara" (2012, Germany, Written and Directed by Christian Petzold, 105 Minutes, in German with English subtitles)

I thought to review this particular movie this week because a good friend of mine just became the proud father of a daughter named Barbora. It's a Czech and Slovak name so you'd best Czech yourself before continuing on. Slovaking, while risky, is encouraged as well.  While Barbora isn't exactly Barbara, I'm sure the character and the actual new-born child will have near-identical life journeys.

This is a story of a woman named Barbara living in a rural area of East Berlin in 1980. You don't need to be a history buff to know things were "locked down," if you will, in this time and place. Barbara is a doctor and was sent to work there as punishment for applying for an exit visa to return to her home town of Berlin
Barbara patiently waits for her literal "man on the other side" so she can escape back to the West.
I'd rather not say too much but our gal Barb, as reclusive as she attempts to be, starts to fall for a college working with her in the East. To complicate the matter Barbara thinks, and for good reason, this particular colleague may be a spy. This unavoidably leads to difficult decisions and good old fashioned tension. Yum. 

The story is engrossing and intelligent, the plot is extremely well crafted.  This enjoyment of the plot is a rarity for me: what actually happens in the movie does not concern me as much as it does others. I tend to go for the characters. And that's precisely what this film is, a closely observed character study with a character who show's us her true self without ever being expository or making one false move. Every single action  action seems to have purpose.
My favorite aspect to this film is the acting. It's incredible naturalistic. Especially so from our lead character, played superbly by Nina Hoss.

Hoss, wearing her blond hair pulled back tight, and wearing an expression of impenetrable and inscrutable melancholy, gives a performance that doesn't feel like a performance at all. It feels like she is living the part.

She must have read Jason Alexander's (fictional) book "Acting without acting" (That's a reference to a great "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode for those not in the know.)

My rating: 4/5 Stars

"Boyhood" (2014, USA, Written and Directed by Richard Linklater)

Richard Linklater has made another masterpiece. The difference is this one is epic in scale and the truest movie he has ever made (which is saying a lot). It is of course epic because it was filmed over the course of 12 years using the same actors. You get to witness these people grow in front of your eyes. It is quite remarkable to say the least.

But even without this amazing conception, the movie still would be a joy to watch. It follows a family shortly after their divorce and the two children that have to deal with it. The mother and father are quite different people and this leads to many funny and drama-packed moments. Often in the same scene.

One of my favorite quotes is "Above all, give me truth." And this film is one of the most truthful representations of growing up in divorced America and coming of age stories I have ever seen.

While many movies would go for easy dramatic plot pivots and "shockers" this film stays true to life. Nothing mind-blowing happens in the plot, but it simply doesn't need to. The aging and growing of all these characters in a great ensemble cast are mind-blowing enough. There is no need for mindless tragedies in this movie; life can be tragic enough.

But the film isn't all doom and gloom. It's actually quite funny and light. A 2 hour 45 minute drama seems like it would drag at points. But, this on really doesn't.

Though the subject matter can be heavy, the film never is. I guess we just have to sit back and applaud Mr. Linklater... again.

Here is the trailer:

My Rating: 5/5 stars

"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (2006, USA,  Directed by Adam McKay,  written by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay)

Comedy movies (by their nature) are very hard to pull off sucessfuly. Most great comedy is found in either half-hour shows and 15 minute shows (Adult Swim). My point is comedy films are VERY hard for me to enjoy.  At least for the entire duration of the movie. 

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love comedy and it's one of my biggest passions. I just think comedy is very hard to sustain for long periods. Characters get tired, jokes become less funny. Well, that doesn't seem to happen in this movie. From start to finish the jokes are top notch. John C. Reily gives an amazing comedic performance and Will Ferrell's Ricky Bobby is a character for the ages. 

I loved watching this and I laughed through out. This movie is a quoteable dream. It's like the poor-man's "The Big Lebowski." Not as funny, but still with amazing characters and joke writing.

The scene where Ricky says grace at his family dinner table stuck with my and is a great representation of the kind of silly, absurd, and hilarious comedy presented in this quality movie. Here's the youtube link for those interested:

You probably saw this film as it was quite popular when it came out 8 years ago. But, If you are ever in need of a good laugh, watch this movie. It holds up and the jokes seem fresh and funny even in 2014.

My Rating 4/5 Stars

Happy Sunday
Bye bye now.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

"Inside Llewyn Davis" and "The Darjeeling Limited"

Happy Saturday, you made it. Happy August, you made it.

I woke up feeling good today, which was nice, so I decided to use this time to spout out whatever came to mind about two movies I love. Thanks for reading. Have a nice weekend.

"Inside Llewyn Davis" (Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013, USA, 104 Minutes)

This was my favorite movie to come out last year. The Coen Brothers have done it again. And, by "it" I mean write and direct a fantastic film. 

Our subject matter is Llewyn Davis himself (think Bob Dylan but homeless and looked down upon by the people closest to him,) and the 60's folk scene in Greenwich Village, New York. The plot isn't too mind-blowing, it's simply a week in this man's difficult life. But, hey, nobody ever said being an artist is easy.

"Inside Llewyn Davis" gets everything softly, quietly right. T-Bone Burnett supervised the music, and it never sounds as if it's been lifted out of some dusty vault - it's alive. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel gives us a half-tarnished, half-burnished vision of early 1960's New York, just dreamy enough, rather than laden with false nostalgia. 

Besides being a great film, it's also a great pleasure to watch. The music numbers are absolutely wonderful and the acting is superb. Oscar Issac's performance as the lead is subtle, nuanced, and true. This was the first I've seen of him and I was extremely impressed. He is supported by the always great Carey Mulligan (Joan). The anger coming from her character practically oozes out of her pours. Our other support is Justin Timberlake (Jim), who we all know is extremely talented. I gotta say, the more I see out of the guy the more impressed I am. He makes a great SNL host, great (almost) 4th member of The Lonely Island, and a seriously talented actor. His role here in an earnest folk singer-songwriter who is eager to please.

A scene between Llewyn and Jim is especially hilarious (they are recording a song for a corporate label and Llewyn is rightly questioning the absurdly hilarious, but not meant to be, song).

Llewyn - "Jim, I don't want to insult anybody here but... who wrote this song? (laughs)"
Jim - (looking puzzled at the question) "Well, I did."
Llewyn - "Oh, OK, yeah I was just.. yeah, OK."

This movie is funny, heartbreaking, and true all at the same time. This is what I'm sometimes looking for in films. Something to make me feel my world views are not crazy. The Coens seem to see the world as I do: absolutely ridiculous and without obvious meaning.

This is a must-not-miss film. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

My Rating 5/5 Stars.

"The Darjeeling Limited" (Directed by Wes Anderson, 2007, USA-India, 

Well, I'm sure many of you have seen this film. It's Wes Anderson after all, how could you miss it?

"Darjeeling" is called by many Anderson's worst film. I strongly Disagree. It is actually my 2nd favorite Wes film. The movie casually meanders from scene to scene, and like the first film I talked about today, is also a pleasure to watch.

Our film stars the brothers, Jack, Peter, and Francis Whitman (Jason Schwartzman, Adrian Brody, Owen Wilson.) Why are they in India? Well, to reconnect as brothers. Their father died 1 years previous and they haven't spoken since. But I think that question is best answered by Wilson's character, Francis, when he says "Well, we originally came here on a spiritual journey, but that didn't really pan out." It's comic lines like this that are delivered dryer than a saltine cracker that make me love this movie. 

I said the movie meanders. It will therefore inspire people complaining that it doesn't fly straight as an arrow at its target. But it doesn't have a target, either. Why do we have to be the cops and enforce a narrow range of movie requirements? Anderson is, in a way, like Jerry Garcia, who I'm listening to right now. He knows every note of the original song, but the fun and genius come in the way he noodles and improvises around. And in his movie's cast, especially with Owen Wilson, Anderson takes advantage of champion noodlers.

Watch this one for the laughs, for the colors of India, and for the love of brothers and family in general.

My rating 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks for reading, now get out there and enjoy your weekend, "ya filthy animals!"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Winter's Bone" and "Spring Breakers"

"It's been a while" - Stained (band) a.k.a. the voice of my generation.

Sorry for the delay (as if anyone cares) but I've been quite busy and not feeling so hot all week so this weeks post comes at the very tail end. I don't consider that late. I consider it being lazy and uninspired.
But then, two nights ago, while lying in bed sleepless. I had two great movies come to mind that you guys might enjoy. Let's rock and roll.

Winter's Bone - Directed by Debra Granik (2010 / USA / 100m / Post-Noir (Modern Noir), Drama)

Sometimes in a great while a movie gets inside your head and heart, rubbing your emotions raw. The remarkable Winter's Bone is just such a movie.

Director Debra Granik has adapted the 2006 novel by Daniel Woodrell into a brutally honest movie about secrets that fester among families in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. The setting in the film really helps sets the mood and tone in profound ways.

Jennifer Lawrence plays a 17 year old woman named Ree in her first film role. Long before
"Hunger games" and the wonderful "Silver Linings Playbook" Miss Lawrence hit her first home run. She is absolutely excellent and gives my favorite performance by her to date. I think thats saying a lot. The young woman has some serious acting chops.

Teardrop (the always excellent John Hawkes) plays Ree's Uncle. This may be the scariest character on screen to also look emaciated. In his first scene he says to his wife "I already told you to be quiet with my mouth." (implying of course the next time might not be so non-violent)

The driving force of the plot is that Ree must find her father so he shows up to court. He put up the house and property as collateral for his bail so if he doesnt show, Ree, her 2 younger siblings, and her incapacitated Mother will be homeless.

Ree goes on a search looking for everyone she knows asking about the man. Everyone essentially tells her to fuck off and if she doesn't, she'll end up in a world of hurt.
Half of me really want to tell you how everything turns out but in the interest of "NO SPOILERS BRO!!" I simply wont.

I will say however that it is gritty, gruesome, real, and unflinching.
The social detail of a 21st-century mountain community is completely persuasive, heightening the drama immeasurably.

Granik handles this volatile, borderline horrific material with unblinking ferocity and feeling. Winter's Bone is unforgettable. It means to shake you, and does.

trailer (it's a quite good trailer and shows you what you're in for)

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Spring Breakers - Directed by Harmony Korine (2013 / USA / 94m / Crime, Drama)

"Spring Breakers" is a movie about four "hot young co-eds" (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine) who are trying to gather the money necessary to make it down to St. Petersburg, Florida for the time of the lives. The do eventually the money. I won't say how because it's quite shocking and sets the tune for the rest of the film.

So our breakers make it down to Florida and are generally having (all be it illegal and questionable) fun until the inevitable run in with Johnny Law. At this point they are out of money and given the option to pay a fine (which they cant do) or serve 2 days in county jail.

Enter Alien (James Franco) to the rescue. He sees these 4 from the back of the court room and decides to bail them out. His motives seem pretty clear. Would he be doing this for four arrested frat bros? I think not.

What happens next is Franco introduces them into his life of crime. "I'm from right here in St Pete's and I'm a strait G Ya'll, I hustle!" I must say Franco is absolutely excellent in this part. 

3 of 4 of them are down to party with Alien and his shadiest of shady crews. ! takes the bus back home.

It's campy and comic at times, but Korine also gives the film a downbeat, melancholic edge, with voiceovers, pointed repetition of dialogue and images, and hallucinatory camera work, sound and editing.

The movie is highly stylized. It mixes gritty realism with slow-motion beach scenes of half nude college kids fuled by alcohol to a dub-step backing track. Sounds like that is a receipe for disaster but this one actually works, for me at least.

One scene I'd like to include is pretty great (even though the screen is dark at the edges, unlike in the real film, you'll get the idea. The song they sing is Britney Spears' "Everytime"

This movie confirmed many beliefs I already had: Spring Break was never for me and I was right to stay away (too much pale skin and anxiety.) Florida is a scary, scary place and I plan to avoid it the rest of my life. 

Is this a cautionary tail? I don't really think so but you can be the judge of that. I just believed it's a highly stylized film that can easily turn people off who don't have the openness of mind to just relax and enjoy without projecting their own standards of how life should be lived onto the on-screen characters. 

I must say that this film was not widely acclaimed. It sits at a mere 65% amongst critics and a lowly 39% from audiences. But keep and open mind and this movie is great. In my humble opinion, of course.

"Spring Break forever, bitches."

My rating 5/5 Stars
A New feature I'd like to add is movies I'm really looking forward to seeing. First would be "Boyhood" which is Richard Linklater's new movie which was filmed over the course of 12 years, using the same actors. This seems to give to meaning to the idea of a "coming of age" movie. It opens August 8th in my town of Albany and Ill be sure to review it the following week.

Another is "A Most Wanted Man." This was Philip Seymour Hoffman's final completed film before his untimely death this past winter.

Thanks for reading, Back next week. Also, please let me know if you have ideas for films you'd like to see talked about. I am at your service.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Lost in Translation" & "Summer Hours"

Hi everyone. I'm doing 2 posts this week. You must be absolutely ecstatic over that news. The reason is I'm leaving for the great lake of Ontario with a stop in the finger lakes to see a band called Phish. This will be my 46th time seeing them. They're alright, I guess.

I'm not looking for a theme for these but one happened to pop up purely by coincidence: both of these films are 102 minutes long.

"Lost in Translation"(2003, USA-Japan, 102 minutes, Comedy Drama)

If I were making a "best of the decade" list like Mr. Ebert, this one would certainly be on it. "Lost in Translation" is the dreamy, melancholy masterpiece by director Sofia Coppola, who happens to be the daughter of Frances Ford Coppola.
It features a pitch-perfect performance from Bill Murray who was robbed of an Academy award for Best Actor here. Your guess why is as good as mine.
Scarlett Johansson (Charlotte), in one of her earlier roles, was 18 when it was shot, playing a 23 year old character.

This is a story about two lost souls in Tokyo, Japan. Both on a short stay: Murray's character (Bob Harris) is being paid millions of dollars to shoot a whiskey commercial in Japan while Johansson's is tagging along with her new husband of 2 years while he photographs a Japanese band. How hip.
The two have chance encounters as they are staying in the same hotel and develop a friendship. They spend nearly all their free time together due to Charlotte's husband traveling for his work around Japan. They obviously have great chemistry and they are obviously very lonely people.

The reasons couldn't be more different though: Bob has a difficult relationship with his wife and she seems very distant and passive aggressive during phone calls. Charlotte is worried she married the wrong man. She confides to her friend "I mean John is wearing all these hair products now and it's like, who did I marry?" Even though Charlotte is in tears confessing this, her friend on the other line in America is too busy to listen because she has her own life swirling around her in the background (mainly kids.)

So. the two go on wonderful adventures together and this is the part of the story where most movies would have them romantically kiss and likely have sex. This movie is far more adult than that. The intimacy the two spend talking on their hotel bed one of the last evenings together is a meeting and communicating of their minds that their body's couldn't come close to matching.

Every aspect of this film is near-perfect. The cinematography is amazing; I've never seen a film do with light what this one did. The sound designer nails mood perfectly. Bill Murray in particular gives a performance that I would put close to Joaquin Phoenix in "The Master"

I'd image you've already seen this one. But go get "Lost" again. This movie soothes the very core of one's being. Or, at least mine.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

"Summer Hours" (2008, France, 102 Minutes, Drama)

In a literal, almost banal sense, Olivier Assayas’s “Summer Hours” is a movie about an inheritance. 

Hélène Berthier (Edith Scob), a silver-haired matriarch enthroned among her children and grandchildren at the beginning of the film, leaves behind a charming country house and a cherished art collection, and her heirs, must figure out what to do with it all after her death. Hélène’s eldest son, Frédéric (Charles Berling), wants to keep everything as it is, so that the next generation can gather at the old place and appreciate Grandma’s stuff. 

But Frédéric’s sister, Adrienne (Juliette Binoche), and their younger brother, Jérémie (Jérémie Renier), who live abroad (she in the United States, he in China with his wife and three children), would rather sell the house and most of what is in it, donating the best of the paintings, pieces of furniture and sundry knickknacks to the Musée d’Orsay. 

That, in a nutshell, is the dramatic arc of this extraordinary film, which, in spite of its modest scale, tactful manner and potentially dowdy subject matter, is packed with rich meaning and deep implication.

To quote the rotten tommatoes consensus (I'm a lazy man.) This movie "handles lofty ideas about art and culture with elegance and lightness."

The acting is superb. Between the way the camera moves and the way the lines are delivered you often feel you may be watching a documentary. I would use the term Docu-drama here but that term is already used for another genre. This is in fact all scripted even when the acting seems so natural.

In a scene near the end of the film, the children throw a party at the old house one last time before it is sold. This 5 minute, 50 actor scene is lively and unbelievably organic.  

The film ends with a whimper and we are left in our seats pondering the loss of culture, places, memories, and people.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

In most good libraries, and, of course, on the internet.

-See everyone a week from Monday, thanks again for reading.

Monday, July 7, 2014

'Life Itself' & 'Synecdoche, New York'

I decided to pair these two in my original post because there is a (small) connection between the two.

The first, "Life Itself" (2014) is a brand-spanking-new documentary about the life of the most famous film reviewer who ever lived, Roger Ebert.

The second, "Synecdoche, New York" (2008) is, in this writers opinion, the most ambitionus fictional narrative ever made. It was written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar winner for 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' for best original screenplay in 2004. His other credits include writing 'Being John Malcovich'(1999) and 'Adaptation.'(2002) Kaufman was also nominated for best original screenplay again for the latter. Nicholas Cage stared in that film and gave performances worth two Nick Cages.

Well, let's get to it.

Life Itself. What a fucking title. And the title certainly fits the films subject, Roger Ebert. The film tells the amazing story of an amazing man's life. I was simply... amazed. His young life was filled with boozing and womanizing. One day, he simply decided to get sober. He says "If it weren't for hangovers, I would still be drinking, and unemployed... actually I would be dead."
He held week-long film classes where he'd show the film on a Monday and then spend Tuesday through Friday breaking down every scene and nuance in the film.
He was very outspoken with his opposition to the Motion Picture Association of America Film Rating System.
I really don't want to say much more because there is so much good stuff I'd rather not spoil. I will say that his work ethic and spirits are quite astounding for a man at the end of his life. You can tell he really loves his work and his family. This film is loving and poignant. Ebert has a great sense of humor as well. It's a very engaging doc and the 2 hours absolutely fly by.

It's not a spoiler that Ebert lost his battle with cancer. In june of 2006 he had surgery to remove tissue inflicted with cancer in his right jaw. A week later he had a life-threatening complication when his carotid artery burst near the surgery site. He lost his ability to eat, drink and speak. He died on April 4, 2013.

Critics and audiences alike love this movie. It sits at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.6/10
Don't Miss it. I believe it is on demand now but if you can't afford it you could watch it online here:
My Score: 4.5/5 Stars

OK, Synecdoche, New York.... ugh, this is going to be difficult. Let's start with the title again, why don't we? Well, you probably have never heard of the word Synecdoche. It is a literary term where a part of a whole is used to describe a whole. An example of this is someone eating a slice of pizza and saying "this is a good pie" This difficult title should warn you that this film is a BEAST and not for your average filmgoer. Think about a cheesy, feel-good rom-com. Yeah, this is exactly the opposite. This film takes the truth and rings it out till all the pain drips out of the dirty rag, staining your smelly hands with all the dirt that can fit under those nails. It might make you cringe (maybe once,) cry (probably a few times,) and might leave you terribly depressed. Just a warning.

With all that said, here is the great Roger Ebert connection. He apparently loves the movie almost as much as I do. He named it the best film of the 00's. THE BEST.
Of the 5,000+ movies plus that came out that decade, he name it the best.

So, what is this movie about, you ask? That's a toughie. It's far more abstract and the plot is less important than most films. that isn't to say nothing happens: it is chalked full of odd bodily functions, "dating, relationships, death..... all of that"

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Caden Cotard. (side note: Cotard's syndrome is a disease where you think you're already dead.) Health certainly rules Caden's life. Health and love. A lot more love than health actually.

His life is filled with pain, as all of our's are. He goes through tremendous heartbreak over his life. The driving force of the plot is he receives a MacArthur Genius Grant. With this virtually unlimited money, he start's work on a massive theatre project (the film takes place from when he's 40 to where he finally dies around age 90). The project gets bigger and bigger and actors are playing characters from Caden's real life and then there are actors playing those first actors. As you can see, this movie is difficult to describe.

But in the end, this movie is EXTREMELY rewarding. This is a movie you can watch 100 times and realize more about it each time. I have seen this one probably more than 100 times and it's only been out for 6 years. If that math holds up that means I'll see it around 1,000 times, But, don't listen to me listen to Roger Ebert:

The simple fact is Charlie Kaufman is a kind of mad genius who's brain needs to be studied after his passing. If you haven't seen his work, see ALL of it.

This film is at all major libraries and it's online. You should really buy the DVD so Kaufman can continue more. He's "About 70% complete" with a stop motion feature film he's wrote and is making with Dino Stamatopoulos (Creator of Morel Orel).  He's currently in pre-production on a 10 episode TV Show staring John Hawks, Sally Hawkins, and Michael Cera. is the go to source for Kaufman news.
My Score: 5/5 Stars

Well, I guess that's it for my first post. I never claim to be a writer, just a guy who loves movies. I don't really know how this site works: if there are comments or you can send me messages, but I would love to hear from people about what they think about these movies I will be hitting each week.
I will do my best to have a post every Monday, but no promises. I am going away this Saturday through Wednesday so it may be late unless I feel inspired.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it!!

Aren't movies the best?