May 29, 2010

#081: Oldboy (9/10)

When this film first started, I was worried that it would be extremely cheesy and campy.  That isn't always a bad thing, but it wasn't what I was hoping for with Oldboy.  After the brief intro the film turned into something much more gritty.  I was hooked. Oldboy is one of the best all-around films I have seen for a while.  It has a very stylized artistic feel, yet remains fun and entertaining from beginning to end.  The story can get pretty confusing, but it really paid off.  I am looking forward to watching Oldboy again.  A very solid 9 out of 10.

May 16, 2010

#080: "Movie" vs "Film"

Does the word "movie" carry a different meaning to you than the word "film"? I have thought about that and I can say that right now, no, those two words mean the same thing.  However, I did feel at one point that "film" carried along with it a certain air of prestige.  A film was a work of art; a movie, a mindless spewing of moving pictures.  The meaning lies in our interpretation, and the usage is determined by our intention.

When I first created my blog it was named "Movies With Deric".  Wow! Lame!  I quickly changed it to "Pretend Film Critic".  Much better.  I discovered over those first few months of writing about movies, that I stopped differentiating between "movie" and "film". When you write, you don't want to use the same word over and over again, so you try to mix it up a bit.  They became interchangeable.  When the name was adapted to include "film critic" I didn't intend to add any pomp or formality.

May 14, 2010

#079: This Is It (5/10)

I would be lying if I claimed to be a huge fan of Michael Jackson. I was too young to experience his domination of the 80's as it happened. At that time I was too naive to understand his impact, and too ignorant to appreciate his genius. Unfortunately, by the time I became aware of MJ, he had become infamous for his eccentricities and allegations of pedophilia. As I grew older I started to listen to his hits, and realize his talent. However, those years had passed him, and his newer stuff was of little interest to me. I felt like I was always waiting for him. I knew he would have a resurgence; that he would create his unique style of art that would once again captivate the world. I just wasn't sure when it was going to happen. I was still waiting when I heard of his death. I feel like he still had something to contribute, and now we would never get to see it. I will always feel that way; who knows if it would have ever come to be.

May 10, 2010

#078: Triangle (7/10)

At the heart of every film is a story.  That story might be simple, complex, happy or sad; but that narrative will untimely determine how well you like the film.  Triangle tells a very interesting story.  It didn't have the money or star power behind it, but this film still works on so many levels.  Whether you find this experience to be very derivative, bewildering, or genius; it will at least make you think.  The visual effects aren't the greatest. Sometimes you might feel like you are watching a b-level movie.  Still, the story is pretty great and I had a ton a fun with it.  7 out of 10.

May 3, 2010

#077: Sherlock Holmes (4/10)

The Sherlock Holmes played by Robert Downey Jr. in this 2009 film is not the Sherlock Holmes that Arthur Conan Doyle created.  For somebody who never read the books, this movie might be perfectly fine.  However, I could not get over the feeling that this character was a poor perversion of what the real Sherlock Holmes would have been like.What it lacked in character it could have made up with story, but that didn't work well for me either.  My mediocre expectations for this film were definitely not met.  Therefore, I can only give it a 4 out of 10.

May 2, 2010

#076: An Education 7/10

The coming of age story has been told in film time and time again.  An Education tells a similar tale to what we have seen before, but it does it really well.  This film combines great acting with a well-told story to succeed for most of the way.  It fell a little bit flat at the very end, but still manages a solid 7 out of 10.

An Education is set in a 1961 London suburb, and tells the story of a 16 year-old girl, Jenny (Carrie Mulligan),  who gets seduced by a an older man David (Peter Sarsgaard).  She doesn't so much get seduced by the man as much as the life she thinks he can offer.  As a teenager Jenny only knows of school, homework, and cello rehearsal.  It is easy to see how she falls for a life of jazz clubs, fancy restaurants and french films.  She is in love with the idea of a lifestyle, and it seems to be right within her grasp.