Showing posts from 2009

New 'Inception' Trailer!

How excited are you for this? Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page!

Indie Gems: Mysterious Skin

Mysterious skin was a hard film to make, a hard book to adapt, and a hard role for any actor to take on. When director Gregg Araki started on this film he knew he was going to have to film this very carefully, as the subject matter could be easily exploited. He cast the perfect leading man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who was fearless in this role. The way the film was shot was so careful, yet so clever. The film ended up with a harsh (and questionable) NC17 rating for subject matter, rather than the content itself. The film follows two different boys, growing up in the same small town in Kansas. Though they only met once as boys on their little league team, it's their past that binds them. It's a total character study of how two people can react differently to such a drastic situation. Neil (Joseph Gordon Levitt) grows up to be a hustler, cocky and independent and without a care in the world. Brian (Brady Corbet) grows up a shy, fidgety young man who believes he was abducted by a

Review: Avatar

When you think of director James Cameron, the words "epic" "expensive" and "effects" (special, that is) come to mind. This is the man that brought us 'Titanic'. The highest grossing movie of all time. He obviously knows he has a wide audience, so naturally his latest film, 'Avatar' plays to a number of different people. This 3D spectacle is visually stunning, however it's length (3 hours) and it's minimal story hurt it more than help it. 'Avatar' is about Jake Sully (Sam Worthington. Terminator: Salvation, Sommersault) he's a paraplegic marine that takes a mission to the far away planet of Pandora. Earth is suffering an energy crisis, and they want whats underneath the people of Pandora, the Na'vi's home to solve it. Jake wasn't originally supposed to go, his twin brother was. In the wake of his death, Jake is sent because his DNA matches that of his brother, so be will be able to operate his "avatar

My 10 favorite films of the decade.

I always do my 10 favorite films of the year, but seeing as we're enter a new decade of I'm sure memorable movies. I figured I would try to see if I can narrow down my long list of flick that I love in a top ten list. This also made me realize that 1999 was a good year for movies, When I would think of a movie I wanted to include, it would dawn on me that it came out in 1999. 10) Little Miss Sunshine This lovely little roadtrip film about a dysfunctional family taking their precious daughter to compete in a beauty pageant pulled on everyone's heart strings, and became the quirky indie that could. It was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. 9) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Another film that was a whole lot of quirky. This film was about a couple that undergo a treatment to erase their memories of each other, only to find out exactly what they had. It's got an all star cast (Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood) and they are

Screen Actors Guild Nominees

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominees:An Education (2009) The Hurt Locker (2008) Inglourious Basterds (2009) Nine (2009) Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009) Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Nominees:Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009) George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I) Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009) Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009) Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker (2008) Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Nominees:Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009) Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009) Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009) Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009) Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009) Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominees:Matt Damon for Invictus (2009) Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I) Christopher Plummer for The Last Station (2009) Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bo

Critic's Choice Awards

Best Picture Nominees:Avatar (2009) An Education (2009) The Hurt Locker (2008) Inglourious Basterds (2009) Invictus (2009) Nine (2009) Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009) A Serious Man (2009) Up (2009) Up in the Air (2009/I) Best Actor Nominees:Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009) George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I) Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009) Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009) Viggo Mortensen for The Road (2009) Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker (2008) Best Actress Nominees:Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria (2009) Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009) Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009) Saoirse Ronan for The Lovely Bones (2009) Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009) Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009) Best Supporting Actor Nominees:Matt Damon for Invictus (2009) Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I) Christian McKay for Me and Orson Welles (2008) Alfred Molina for An Education (2009) Stanl

En Route to Oscars (Gold Globe Thoughts)

The "FTW" edition. I'm going to go over each category with my opinions and who I think will win each category, and who deserves to win (sometimes they are not the same person. Best Motion Picture - Drama Nominees:Avatar, Precious, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Up in the air The only one that surprised me was "Avatar" I really thought 'The Lovely Bones' would be in there. I'm happy to see Inglrious Basterds as that movie was awesome, and I'm excited to see 'Precious'. I'm going with 'Precious' FTW. Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Nominees:(500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, Nine, Julie and Julia, It's Complicated (500) Days of Summer has been one of the best movies I've seen all year, I'm glad it's getting love outside the indie circut, and how awesome is 'The Hangover' being nominated? You have to admit that when you first saw the previews for that, you thought it would be "just ano

Golden Globe Nominations!

All I can say is Yay for Joseph Gordon Levitt, and boo for ignoring Rescue Me, Breaking Bad, and The Big Bang Theory! I'll post a blog of my opinons on the noms later. Best Motion Picture - Drama Nominees:Avatar (2009) The Hurt Locker (2008) Inglourious Basterds (2009) Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009) Up in the Air (2009/I) Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Nominees:(500) Days of Summer (2009) The Hangover (2009) It's Complicated (2009) Julie & Julia (2009) Nine (2009) Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Nominees:Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009) George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I) Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009) Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009) Tobey Maguire for Brothers (2009/I) Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Nominees:Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria (2009) Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009) Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009) Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009) Gabour

Review: Invictus

A lot of sports movies borderline with being inspirational or campy and over the top. 'Invictus' is a breath of fresh air, the acting is to notch, it focuses on an interesting sport (rugby) and not something overdone like football. 'Invictus' (meaning invincible) is based on the true story of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), a man elected to be the president of South Africa while the country is on the verge of civil war. He takes a unique approach with his new power and tries to help the country's Springbok rugby team (led by Matt Damon as Francios Pienaar) to win the world cup. His hope is that uniting the mostly white rugby team with everyone else in the country, no matter the color will bring them all together. Morgan Freeman (Mandela) is a tremendous actor. He's so good that I actually find myself getting legitimately annoyed when people are mean to him on screen. He embodies Mandela and instantly makes you believe in him. Watching Freeman in that role m

Indie Gems: Thirteen

This movie made waves back in 2003 when it released. The low budget film saw it's stars Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed break out, and earned supporting actress Holly Hunter an Oscar nomination. "Thirteen" follows Tracey (Wood) a typical goody two shoes thirteen year old. On her first day of junior high she sees another girl her age, Evie (Reed) and she's everything Tracey wishes she could be. Gorgeous, has cool clothes, attitude, and most of all, every guy's attention. Tracey takes some series steps to get into Evie's circle and eventually becomes her best friend. We slowly watch Tracey as she falls through a downward spiral of drinking, drunks, sex, etc. "Normal adolescence behavior" so to speak. The script was written by both Reed and director Catherine Hardwicke. It was loosely based of events that had happened in Nikki's life. That's what made it all feel so real. I could see myself at thirteen doing some of the same things (though n

First Look - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Dh Preview One - A funny movie is a click away

Out of Competition Sundance Lineup

Thanks pronetworks! (http://www/ Abel / Mexico, USA (Director: Diego Luna; Screenwriters: Diego Luna and Agusto Mendoza)-A peculiar young boy, blurring reality and fantasy, assumes the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence. Cast: Jose Maria Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragon, Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, Gerardo Ruiz-Esparza. World Premiere Cane Toads: The Conquest / USA (Director and screenwriter: Mark Lewis)-In 3D, Mark Lewis explores one of Australia's greatest environmental catastrophes as he follows the unstoppable march of the cane toad across the Australian continent. World Premiere The Company Men / USA (Director and screenwriter: John Wells)-Three company men attempt to survive a round of corporate downsizing while trying to fend off its effects on their families and their identities. Cast: Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Rosemarie DeWitt. World Premiere The Extra Man / USA (Directors: Shari Spring

Sundance annouces it's 2010 lineup!

Sundance Film Festival organizers have announced their 2010 competition line up in the US and World Narrative and Documentary Features catagories. The movies offer quite a range of material, and it should make for a very interesting festival. State Of Independence will be covering Sundance, as well as Slamdance, in January here on the site, on the State of Independence podcast, and also on Subject:CINEMA's Fourth Annual Fethival Of Film Fethivals, and the PNR Blogs will do our best to keep up with all the news for you. In the meantime, here's the list of films announced today: U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION Blue Valentine (Director: Derek Cianfrance; screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis). A portrait of an American marriage over time. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman. Douchebag (Director: Drake Doremus; screenwriters: Lindsay Stidham, Drake Doremus, Jonathan Schwartz, Andrew Dickler). On the verge of getting married, Sam insists h

Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Today the Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced. Below is a full list of the nominees, plus a little column with my 2 cents. Best Feature "(500) Days of Summer" "Amreeka" "Precious" "Sin Nombre" "The Last Station" Best Director Ethan and Joel Coen, "A Serious Man" Lee Daniels, "Precious" Cary Fukunaga, "Sin Nombre" James Gray, "Two Lovers" Michael Hoffman, "The Last Station" Best First Feature "A Single Man" "Crazy Heart" "Easier With Practice" "The Messenger" "Paranormal Activity" Best Lead Female Maria Bello, "Downloading Nancy" Nisreen Faour, "Amreeka" Helen Mirren, "The Last Station" Gwyneth Paltrow, "Two Lovers" Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious" Best Lead Male Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart" Colin Firth, "A Single Man" Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "(500) Days of

DVD Review: Gigantic

"Gigantic" came out on DVD Aug 11th, but I just got a chance to watch it on Demand. I wanted to see this film because I'm a huge fan of both Paul Dano and Zooey Deschanel. They both deliver, but one thing to keep in mind before you see this film is you need to pay attention. I've read lots of other reviews/comments/etc of what people got out of this film and I understand where some of the confusion comes from. I had those moments as well. 'Gigantic' follows Brian (Dano) he's a mattress salesmen in the suburbs of New York City. He's 28 years old, single, and aspire to adopt a child from China. He has wanted to do this his whole life. One day he sells a mattress to a man named Al (John Goodman) who sends in his daughter Happy (Deschanel) to pick it up, she falls asleep on the mattress and from that moment she changes Brian's life. This is obviously a quirky film, and the director deliberately tries to do things to make you think. Brian obviously

Indie Gems: Brick

For those who don't know, "Indie Gems" is a column where I review an independent film that you may or may not have seen, but definitely should. They are as always, out on DVD. "Brick" was released in theaters in 2005 and came out on DVD in 2006. It stars the immensely talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt (did you see him on SNL last Sat?) Gordon-Levitt has been one of my favorite actors ever sense I saw him years ago in '10 Things I hate about You' he was the lovable geek, now the handsome leading man. He's what originally drew me to this film. The plot follows Brendan (JGL) he receives a frantic phone call from his ex girlfriend Emily (Emilie De Raven) she's in trouble, but doesn't fully say why. She only says certain words that connect her to her problem. Brendan, ever the sleuth sets out to find out what is troubling her. The next day he finds her dead, in a tunnel under a bridge. Instead of going to the police Brenden is set on figuring th

Indie Gems: Dreamland

-The Rundown, I review an Indie film that maybe you've seen, maybe you haven't. Either way, it's available on DVD for you to find.- Dreamland I'm sure you've heard the saying "less is more". That phrase really does apply to this film. It's small, it was filmed in a small trailer park in the desert. There's not a lot of color or wicked camera shots, but it's the actors in the film that make it so interesting. The premise, dialogue, music, though small all speak in a big way. The film follows Aubrey (Agnes Bruckner: Blood and Chocolate; Venom) she's just graduated from high school. She lives in a small trailer park in the middle of nowhere named "Dreamland". Aubrey dreams of being a writer, she doesn't have the ambition to go to college, although she's gotten accepted to many. One of her reasons is she has too many things in Dreamland to care for. We are introduced to Calista (Kelli Garner: Bully, The Aviator) she su

Review: Antichrist

It's obvious what director Lars von Trier's intentions were when he penned "Antichrist". He wanted to make a film that was artsy, shocking yet beautiful. A film that went were most others wouldn't, one that didn't hold back. Well he succeeded in the shock factor, but the ride to get there wasn't as easy. This is where my curiosity often gets the best of me. I read reviews of films that get booed out of the Cannes Film Festival, and I become intrigued. What could possibly offend such an elite group of people, like the ones attending Cannes? Sure they were shocked at 'Last Tango in Paris', that film turned out brilliant. 'Marie Antionette' was supposedly booed, that wasn't that bad. So when I read all the ruckus about von Trier's "Anti Christ", starting Willem DeFeo and Charolette Gainsbourg as "He and She" was a little intrigued. I heard about the gore, "Whatever" I thought. Can't be that bad, Eli