Cinema Reservoir
Breaking Cinematic Opinion and Observation

Jan
25

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Jan
21

2012-01-19T21_35_11-08_00

Feb
27

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Best picture:  most likely “The Social Network” though “kings speech” is a possible upset.underdog surprise: Black Swan

Director: david fincher or Daren aronofsky

Original screenplay: Black Swan almost positively. Outside chance of Inception.

Adapted Screenplay: Social Network, though I’m kind of split on whether True Grit should get it, okay probably not.

Actor: Definitely colin firth for Kings Speech, though it’ll really be for not giving it to him for A Single Man.

Actress: Natalie Portman without a doubt. Annette Benning doesn’t really have a chance, stop fooling yourself, weirdo (you know who i’m talking to)

Animated Film: Toy Story 3.

Score: The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Costumes: Kings Speech because really Alice In Wonderland us all cgi.

Editing: The Social Network probably. Inception is a close one on any technical Oscar:

Special Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup, Production Design, Art Direction: You see, the Academy has a rule to give Christopher Nolan a bunch of Oscars no matter what. So congratulations, Inception, you’ve just won like 5 or 6 Oscars.

Jan
13

I forget sometimes… But Follow me on TWITTER  @THUNDERJORM

Jan
02

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 17 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 31 posts. There were 30 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 27th with 46 views. The most popular post that day was The James Bond Theme Songs That Never Were….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, search.aol.com, tineye.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for james bond, harold and maude, the wicker man 1973, sunset blvd, and hellraiser.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The James Bond Theme Songs That Never Were… April 2010
6 comments

2

“Christ Almighty!” – Religion in Horror Films May 2009

3

The Overlooked Women of Woody Allen April 2009
1 comment

4

COMING SOON!! April 2010

5

A Brief History of “The Cougar” in Film June 2009

Nov
18

 

So, I saw Woody Allen’s latest film a few weeks ago and put off writing about it for no other reason than I’m a professional procrastinator.  I had been excited about this film for quite a while, as constant readers no doubt know that I am a huge Woody Allen fan.  What excited me the most about the film was the title, which I think is probably his best title to date (I’ll start off small and lead gradually into more adept criticism).  The title is, of course, a double entendre – the “Tall Dark Stranger” is, at once, a delightful prospect to a lonely, recently divorced character and secondly, a horrifying prospect for a man obsessed with staving off the inevitable “Dark Stranger” we are all destined to meet.

These two characters – Helena (Gemma Jones) and Alfie (Anthony Hopkins), have problems which are at the core of the film.  Recently brushed aside by Alfie, Helena has sought comfort, unsuccessfully, in the arms of psychiatry.  While Alfie, obsessed with keeping healthy and apparently going through a late-life crisis has taken up with a semi-retired prostitute, Charmaine (Lucy Punch – in a role vacated by Nicole Kidman).  Helena and Alfie’s daughter, Sally (Naomi Watts) is disturbed by her fathers behavior and doesn’t know exactly what to do about her mother, so she sends her to charlatan fortune teller, who she knows will at least give her a positive forecast as long as she’s paid.  Helena isn’t Sally’s only problem, however; her husband Roy (Josh Brolin) is a washed up writer, taking odd jobs here and there while he whines about how nobody will accept his new novel.

Their lives are already a mess, but introduce a few tall dark strangers into it and things become even worse.  Sally flirts with the idea of trading in Roy for her suave boss (Antonio Banderas) and Roy becomes enamored of Dia, the woman across the street (Frida Pinto) who he can see undress through her unguarded window.  Alfie realizes that the stability he traded in when he decided to go for a younger model comes at a humiliating price (drooling male personal trainers/loud night clubs).  It is only in Helena’s storyline that anyone finds any happiness, as she indeed meets the dark stranger foretold by her psychic.

There isn’t really any new territory covered here by Allen (not in itself a bad thing) and you could very much group this in with his last film, Whatever Works, as  a film about the inherent misery everybody seems doomed to live with.  In Whatever Works, however, the subject  matter was treated in a much more lighthearted way.   There’s a great scene in the film where (in one take) Helena visits Sally and Roy, presumably just to annoy and put down Sally’s husband, who her fortune teller prophesied would be a failure.  In this scene, Roy mocks the fortune teller, coming just shy of revealing to Helena that they all know her to be a fraud before Sally hushes him and tell him that “sometimes an illusion is better than the medicine.”  This is what I took to be the central theme of the film, although the narrator announces early on that oft quoted Shakespeare line about life being full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.  *The theme song of the film is When You Wish Upon A Star.  Illusions of some sort or another play a large role in Dark Stranger – Alfie’s illusion that he needs a young woman to be happy, Sally’s dream of opening up her own art gallery, Helena’s belief that the man she is seeing can commune with his dead wife via Ouija board.  Roy even sets up an elaborate illusion of his own to solve both his writers block and his flirtations with Dia.  With the exception of Helena, none of these self deceptions pan out, most likely because the other characters never fully buy into their own personal illusions.

This is a strange movie for several reasons.  The strangest being that, for a comedy, it has no jokes in it. Woody Allen seems to rely solely on the hope that the audience is intelligent enough to wade through all the dialog and discern for itself what is and isn’t funny.  It’s a very odd approach and at times the film feels more like a drama than anything else.  Woody Allen is notorious for not directing actors and in this film it really shows, especially with Anthony Hopkins character, who almost seems to be acting in a different film (though, this may be due to the fact that he doesn’t really appear in any scenes with the other major characters).  So the performances are kind of all over the place (again not necessarily a negative).  Still, the film consistently holds your attention and Gemma Jones really steals the show as a boozy old optimist who, in the end, does find happiness even though she comes off as being completely oblivious.  Like I said, you could pair this with Whatever Works, and have two films basically about the same subject the first film being the lighter take, while this one comes off as the slightly darker sister film.

{My two biggest complaints with the film are 1.  the narrator takes up too much of the script (it’s a good fifteen minutes into the film before the narrator stops talking about the characters and lets them speak for themselves.)  and 2. At the end of the film, it seemed like Woody Allen just stoped writing and ended everything, save Helena’s story.}

There… whew, now I think I’ll do exactly what I didn’t like about the film and just end abruptly.

Oct
27

Oct
18

Oct
12

Oct
12