TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A (1985)

May, 25, 2018 – Watched:

To Live and Die in L.A (1985)

If there’s anything to be said about William Friedkin’s style, then its he does ‘gritty’ like nobody else.

To Live and Die in L.A is no exception. From the dark alleyways, strip clubs, bars and warehouses, every scene is carefully portrayed as just pure dingy L.A filth. And with the addition of an insane chase sequence across bridges and through dirty rail yards (during a specifically integral part of the film; think French Connection) the film just leads us down more fiendish twists and brutal turns that make you think twice about who you’re really rooting for.

I loved it.

8/10

Soundtrack – 9/10

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090180/

 

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Dark City – Director’s Cut

Feb, 11, 2017 – Watched:

Dark City (1998) – Director’s Cut

Had this film sitting on the HDD since last April and finally was in the mood to watch it. So lets break it down.

Conceptually this film had something going for it. Visually, this film had much too enjoy despite being a little too obvious with the miniatures laced throughout the scenes. With that said the cinematography was lovely.

But can that save a film from bad acting? Unfortunately not. The lead in this movie scores an A+ for bad acting. Over the top stuff from certain characters as well (Keifer), and I hate to say it, it’s laughable at times. And when you put that all together, its hard to take it seriously.

To sum it up, aesthetically pleasing to the eyes but the acting is too much to get over. This film had something going for it from the concept stage (enough that the Matrix used the same sets) but the execution of this wasn’t fulfilled properly.

6.5/10

VFX – 7/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118929/

The Witch

June, 18, 2016 – Watched:

The Witch (2015)

Had this one for awhile, couldn’t find the right time or mood to watch it, until tonight. 1.5 hours exact. Goes by super fast. Why? Cause it’s just that damn enchanting from start to finish.

Beautifully shot (throw back to using in-camera zooms for certain shots at times) and a sinister score to match the unraveling chaos that ensues within the fringes of the woods. I’d say there is only one thing left to say to sum it all up…

 

Black Phillip, Black Phillip

A crown grows out his head,


Black Phillip, Black Phillip 


To nanny queen is wed.


Jump to the fence post,


Running in the stall.


Black Phillip, Black Phillip 


King of all.

 

Black Phillip, Black Phillip 


King of sky and land,


Black Phillip, Black Phillip


King of sea and sand.


We are ye servants,


We are ye men.


Black Phillip eats the lions


From the lions’ den.

8/10

VFX Breakdowns and reads – http://www.3dtotal.com/interview/766-magical-solutions-intelligent-creatures-the-witch-by-trevor-hogg-2015-vfx-a24-design

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4263482/

 

State of Grace (1990) cue – Ennio Morricone

May 1st is around the corner. Well, it’s actually here. 5 months into 2016 already. Damn. Time flies.

I came across “State of Grace” a few weeks ago. Decided to watch it last night. April, 30th, 2016. And drank a bunch of Tullamore D.E.W while at it.

It came out around Goodfellas and got lost in the fury of excitement that followed thanks to M.S being the king of gangster films. Either way, State of Grace is a very watchable and often underrated crime drama that’s got that 90’s charm to it. I duno what is it, but something about these 80’s and 90’s flicks that just gets to me. They have that lively feel to them, something you can get lost in, shot on film, warm, inviting, comforting. Digital film has it times and moments, but there is something really special in film.

The movie isn’t anything spectacular compared to Goodfellas (though, Gary Oldman’s and Penn’s performance deserve immense credit for holding the viewers attention), but the score from Ennio Morricone is something to marvel at. It’s heard throughout the movie, and its fucking memorizing, beautiful and poignant. I couldn’t help but think of Bowie’s, “I Can’t Give Everything Away” as my ears wandered throughout the sax bit meandering throughout the piece in the film.

Here’s a comparison.

Also, Jordan Cronenweth (e.g. DOP of Bladerunner) was the main DP on this. The shots in this film are gorgeous and the overall atmosphere that’s achieved throughout the film is sublime.

7/10 for State of Grace. But the music and cinematography is so moving that I’m willing to bring it up to 7.5/10.

Monster

April, 22, 2016 – Watched:

Monster (2003)

A truly great depressive film. What a performance from C.T.

With that said, to get a “full” picture of what really happened its necessary to do your own research either before hand or preferably after watching. Either way, very dark stuff.

8/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0340855/

Lone Survivor

April, 3, 2016 – Watched:

Lone Survivor (2013)

One hell of a movie. Emotionally tormenting to say the least. I’m glad they decided to make this film as close as possible to the actual story without “hollywoodizing” it to the nth degree. It’s not 100% accurate (what movie ever is?) and it doesn’t have every little detail from the actual event shown, but that’s fine, because the point is made very clear.

This film was an extremely visceral experience, deeply moving from start to finish for me. That’s hard to say about a lot of films these days. On the surface its a war movie. But deep down it makes you question your faith in humanity and the good of others regardless of where they come from.

8/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091191/

Pt. 2

Pt. 1

 

 

Moon

March, 25, 2016 – Watched:

Moon (2009)

This was different. And different is good in a world of repetitiveness.

I think I spent 2-3 hours hunting down a sci-fi movie to watch tonight that sounded interesting and promising. It was this versus a Ridley Scott picture, in the end, I picked this one. And thankfully it payed off. It’s a special little film.

This movie was different from your typical sci-fi stuff. What that something “else” was; I won’t really talk about (for reasons of spoilers and surprise).

Its got an interesting story for a backbone supported by Sam Rockwell’s compelling performance. The whole movie involves only him and him alone. From the first scenes to last, his time on screen is effortless it seems.

I found this movie minimal in nature, no prolonged or unneeded scenes, short in duration and to the point. The budget was low ($5 mil) and they made the best of it.

Visually it was inspiring. From the start I noticed a sense of realism that lacks in most Sci-Fi/Fantasty films (think Hobbit). Moon utilized Bill Pearson, (the supervising model maker on Alien) and the lunar rovers and harvesters were all models. This was such a breath of fresh air from the horrid CGI I see in films nowadays. That’s not to say there wasn’t any CGI in this film, but where it was implemented it showed, sadly (perhaps to the budget). As for the model work, it was pure perfection. 🙂

This one leaves you thinking…

8/10

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1182345/