Tag Archives: movie

Alphabet Cinema: “H” is for “Hereafter”

Did you ever buy a really cheap rental copy of a movie from a dying Blockbuster before one of its branches went caput? Yep, I did that quite a lot; it was oddly satisfying. Problem is, I haven’t finished watching them all yet . . . so let’s begin with:

Hereafter (2010). From the DVD cover, looks like a paranormal action tale with Matt Damon. Uh, nope. Remove one of those adjectives. Despite Damon’s face, Hereafter boasts very little running and jumping (after the first twenty minutes or so). In fact, it isn’t all about Damon’s character either, even though his paranormal ability does play as a fulcrum to the plot. The story is split into three sections of a braid. Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “H” is for “Hereafter”

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Antonio Sánchez: “Birdman” Original Soundtrack

If it were up to me, Mexican drummer Antonio Sánchez’s work on Birdman would receive the Oscar for “Best Original Score” tonight, although both Hans Zimmer’s and Alexandre Desplat’s soundtracks for Interstellar and The Grand Budapest Hotel, respectively, are both very much deserving.

There won’t be a post about the Oscars on ASV (since the Internet is probably crowded with the stuff, anyway), but have a listen the Birdman soundtrack below, and enjoy the early Music Monday!

Alphabet Cinema: “D” is for “Don Jon”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a man of many talents, and he demonstrated them exceedingly well in Don Jon (2013) as director, writer, and actor. It’s a hat trick I was initially wary of regardless of my admiration for his work in both 50/50 (2011) and Inception (2010)–not from any doubts in what the man can do, but from this movie’s subject matter.

Don Jon is a 90-minute film that definitely earns its R rating from the get-go. Lots of cussing, lots of pornography. No, not X-rated, people, (whoa there slow down) but the viewer cannot doubt what’s going on if they’ve eyes and ears. The story focuses on a young man named Jon, who’s famed among his friends as “the Don,” for his ability to seduce the sexiest girls every night. And yet his activities cannot touch the feelings he receives from porn.

Well, enter Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a voluptuous New Jersey vixen (and damn, hearing that accent from both actors was so odd), who snares Jon’s senses and demands that he gives up his internet fixations. See? On the surface, the movie sounds none too special, and prone to cliches. Fortunately, Gordon-Levitt excels at pulling you in with witty charm, snap-fast story-telling, and genuine emotion. He explores addiction and that pesky human tendency to deny its existence to our own detriment.

Don’t worry, though. All this sounds like a basis for heavy drama, but Don Jon is told with so many quick cuts and satirical musical stereotypes that you can’t help but be entertained.

Continue reading Alphabet Cinema: “D” is for “Don Jon”

An Unexpected Journey: “Alphabet Cinema”

Today, I am embarking on a journey of indeterminable length. A journey of great good average importance to my overall television and movie consumption. I dub it “Alphabet Cinema.”

What is it? A dual attempt at expanding my TV/movie viewing pool and catching up on recommended shows, a.k.a. a semi-ambitious project for my days off a.k.a. becoming more eccentric than I already am a.k.a. I needed a hobby and a goal; this is it.

I will NOT fail you, ASV-ers.

Continue reading An Unexpected Journey: “Alphabet Cinema”

“Interstellar” Joint Review: A Conversation

I’ve none of Philip’s prowess with interviewing. Journalism was never my thang unfortunately, so if the following review deviates too much from my regular formatting, I apologize. This review for Interstellar (2014) is ridiculously late anyways, so I figure something more . . . unstructured may be interesting.

Jeremiah, my fellow ASV Staff Writer (and winner of ASV’s Worst Grammatical Writer for 2014) and I got together emailed each other our thoughts on this galactic journey for the survival of humanity. In the end, I was glad to share this post with him. As I might have mentioned last year, watching Interstellar became a very personal experience for me, and I didn’t know if I truly wanted to bare that part of my beliefs to the tremulous ether of internet-blogging.

Talking to Jeremiah focused my thoughts and helped me consider a different point of view. I thank you for the contribution, my practically-a-third-brother.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

PG-13, 169 min

Director: Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception)
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey (Mud, The Wolf on Wall Street, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Les Miserables, The Devil Wears Prada), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, American Beauty), Michael Caine, Mackenzie Foy (The Conjuring, Breaking Dawn)
Music: Hans Zimmer (Nearly every past soundtrack you’ve ever loved)

Christine: Let us begin. Continue reading “Interstellar” Joint Review: A Conversation

“What Maisie Knew” Review

Directors: Scott McGehee and David Siegel
Writers: Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright (screenplay); Henry James (novel)
Music: Nick Urata

Contrary to what my optimistic brain predicted, What Maisie Knew (2012) was not about a prodigious little girl whose intelligence manages to unite her parents during their divorce. No, this film followed Maisie (and only Maisie; she was in every scene) as she was shuffled back and forth in a spiteful custody battle. While she did show remarkable composure for a child that age, Maisie’s stand-out trait was her ability to still see goodness in her selfish mother and inattentive father.

As a result, the film wasn’t weighed down by the heavy themes inherent in a divorce story. Nor was it parodied by slapstick humor and clichéd plot points. Maisie was not abused. Her parents both loved her. They just didn’t know how to put her first when it really mattered. Thus, by the end, the movie rounds out a transitory slice of Maisie’s life. Continue reading “What Maisie Knew” Review