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Trailer Reaction: Safdie Brothers' Good Time

I was skeptical when it was first announced that the bestseller book 'Life of Pi' was going to be adapted to the big screen. I'm not surprised that it is being adapted considering Hollywood has officially ran out of ideas. But after it was revealed that Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger) would direct it, instead of thinking "how relevant is this movie?", I thought "I wonder how he will do it?" And the result in the trailer is a magnificently stunning and unimaginably magical story transferred to cinema. The skepticism has ebbed after witnessing the first few seconds of the trailer and now, could not be more ecstatic about the entirely of the film. I thoroughly hate wearing 3D glasses, let alone on top of my reading glasses. But considering it was directed in the third dimension, I would be more than accommodating to watch this in that medium. And with this kind of imagery, it surely won't hurt. Life of Pi is scheduled for release November 21st this year. I better start get reading then! 

Yann Martel's Life of Pi is about an Indian boy name Pi (Suraj Sharma) whose boat that holds his family and an entire zoo sinks. He survives 227 days after the shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger. 


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I just finished my Breaking Bad marathon in hopes of continuing on to the fifth season but sadly, didn't make it for the season premiere that aired on the 15th of July. But I'm just glad I completed all four seasons in a rough, rough two weeks. It's been a morally confusing and soul-sucking ride through the toxic climate of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Viewers and critics alike have been madly raving about Breaking Bad and it wasn't until last year that I gave this anxiety inducing drama show a try. Unlike most shows which chronicles the character's lives from day to day through their struggles and hardships and eventually concluding their path to their heart's contentment, Breaking Bad runs the other way. On Walt White's (Bryan Cranston) journey to perserve his family's livelihood after being diagnosed by lung cancer by turning into a meth dealer quickly turns into a dark tale of morality and greed. This fifth season is their last and final season and Vince Gilligan, the creator said it would be their baddest season yet. The sheer notion that show could descend anymore towards the fiery wrath of hell is one frightening thought. But I must strap myself with the most secure of morality floats and jump in to see what the rest of Gilligan's twisted yet genius brain has in stored for me. Gilligan will take us hostage in his last ride through the Albuquerque desert and it won't be until we get there anxiety-filled, blind-folded, and soaking wet with sweat that we discover if we will make it out alive. Hold on tight. 











BOOM.
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Last Night (2010) // Massy Tadjedin // 93 mins

Last Night (2010) was one of those films where the trailer looked superb but when it was released it seemed like nobody was interested. Maybe partly because the critics were 50/50 on it and that's completely understandable. Last Night is a film about relationships much like Closer (2004) is but while Closer had many and multifaceted dimensions than Last Night , the latter serves compelling performances and conflict that would usually be received as stale but in this case was the contrary. This is Massy Tadjedin's directorial debut and she lifts off her screenwriting platform beautifully. 

Joanna (Keira Knightley) and Michael Reed (Sam Worthington) are a happily married couple of two years. But when Joanna meets Laura (Eva Mendes), a beautiful work colleague of Michael, suspicions arises. While Michael is away on a business trip with Laura, Joanna runs into her ex-boyfriend, Alex (Guillaume Canet). Their honesty and loyalty is tested as the night progresses as they face aggravating temptation. 

Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy said "The actors try their best to transcend the flimsy script and unappealing direction, but ultimately the movie offers a mostly hollow experience that delivers a night that you will struggle to remember." I beg to differ. Although it seems as though Tadjedin is banking on telling a story with relatable moments of heartache, jealousy, and betrayal, it shifts sideways to tell a different side of the story. The perspective of the male and female betrayal can be seen very differently and Tadjedin focuses on these details that make the film so interesting. The notion of physical and emotional betrayal is presented to each of the characters and even though any form of betrayal debunks the relationship, the question of which betrayal is worse comes into play. And it is this mind tango dance that keeps us tapping our curled feet till the very end. 

Last Night is a 50/50 gamble. You'll love it or hate it. And I'm glad the writers at Entertainment Weekly  enjoyed it as much as I did to put it on their "The Best 50 Movies You've Never Seen List." And it is mutually agreed that Keira Knightley's final scene will leave you with piercing heartbreak. B+

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Entertainment Weekly recently came out with a list of the '50 Best Films You've Never Seen' and thought that this was an appropriate movie challenge to tackle amidst writing my new short film, creating film/feminist stickers, and lastly working on a music video. Considering that I don't have a "proper" job, I might as well do everything I want to do while I'm young. Right? Right.

Luckily, I have already seen some of the films on this list such as:

Enter the Void (2009), Fly Away Home (1996), 


I've Loved You So Long (2008), Layer Cake (2004), 


Memories of a Murder (2003), Moon (2009), and  The Orphanage (2007). 

Although I've only seen these seven films, I hope it suffices to say that this list was created with the most delicate and thoughtful of film minds. I was shocked to find Bong Joon Ho's Memories of a Murder in the same list as I've Loved You So Long and Enter the Void. I mean somebody has really been doing their homework. My face is filled with shame as I learn that some of these titles have never even entered my brain once. Hopefully that all changes starting from today. 

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This is a MUST WATCH film. This is the first trailer for  Craig Zobel's Compliance and prepare yourself before watching the trailer because the content is very unsettling. Compliance is about a teenage girl (Dreama Walker) working at a fast food restaurant who gets abused by her coworkers when a man claiming to be a cop on the phone is telling them what to do. It is based on true events that occurred around 2004 (more info here). A perfect example of how far society will bend over backwards to authority figures without questioning why. After ten minutes of watching the trailer, my stomach is still churning and now at a point of mild sickness. But without a doubt, this is an important film to watch. Compliance comes out in limited theaters on August 17th. 
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Magic Mike (2012) // Steven Soderbergh // 110 mins

Magic Mike not exactly the kind of story you think it's going to be. This semi biographical story based on pre-fame Channing Tatum is one wild ride you didn't expect you'd be taking. Directed the genre-hopping chameleon,  Steven Soderbergh, loads his bullets delicately and executes a sharp, witty, direct story about Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), a self proclaimed entrepreneur: part-time roof tiler, part-time stripper. But his real passion lies in custom furniture like quirky tables with bottles as legs, those kind of furniture. Mike meets Adam (Alex Pettyfer) while on the roof tiling job, who irrationally quits after his first day after being accused of stealing by the supervisor. He takes Adam under his wings to introduce him to the realm of male stripping at Xquisite Male Dance Revue where Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) manages the club. 

In the sea of delirously starving woman who were on a strict diet of Channing Tatum, roars and hollers were heard across the theatre and  caused a chain reaction for every other woman to do the same. I quietly sat in my seat expecting to see a Soderbergh film. And when I mean a Soderbergh film, I mean as of a lately (ie: Haywire), a deadpan look at real characters, emotionally unraveling throughout a single shot of time. Hence why, I got a kick out of riding the emotions of the crowd as they finally realized that they were not only going to have a feast of Tatum butt-cheeks, but a real movie. Kekekeke. The word "Chick Flick" will forever be changed with this film being deemed as one. Not anymore are woman succumbed to rom-coms with Katherine Heigl in it but can dominate, explore, and feed their GUILTIEST pleasure with Magic Mike without even opening a box of tissues. With Dallas opening up the film with a monologue of the rules of Xquisite on whether the women can touch the strippers or not, not only riles up famish women,  but tempts and teases them to yearn for more. And while on the subject of Dallas, it was possibly McConaughey's best work since Dazed and Confused. (seriously!)

Like CNN said, it's a good year to be Channing Tatum. Oh yes it is. First and foremost, Channing Tatum is an entertainer. An entertainer in all the sense of the word. He rises above most of the young thespians coming out today by incorporating his skills into his acting. Even from the beginning, he was had star quality scribbled bold on his forehead. Back in 2006, Tatum came out with 'She's the Man', 'Step Up', and 'A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.' I recognized him in 'Step Up' but shook him off as strictly a dancer. But when I saw 'She's the Man', his ability for genuine hilarity was proven with uncanny realism. I was hooked. And was officially ravaged by the Tatum bug after watching his overconfident and explosive character in 'A Guide of Recognizing Your Saints.' These three films set the groundwork for the range of genres he can cross over with ease that would eventually help him succeed in films like G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, The Vow, and 21 Jump Street. I mean come on, apparently he was killed in G.I. Joe: Retaliation within the first five minutes and caused an uproar from the test audience which cause Paramount to delay the film for rewrite till 2013. If that isn't star power and talent, I don't know what is.

Although I haven't explain much about the film, it suffices to say that the trailer (as usual) doesn't do justice to the plot of the film (I initially didn't want to see it.) Regardless of any review out from the prestigious critics of  The New York Times or Entertainment Weekly, WOMEN from all ages will go and watch Magic Mike. It is the charismatic spirit of Channing Tatum that attracts even the most cynical and chiseled body hating women to see his films (ie: me). So, even writing this "review" is futile because regardless, way back when you set your eyes on the trailer and  your eyes either glistened or rolled away. So for you ladies or brave men, enjoy and indulge this tear-free, guilty pleasure because honestly, we don't know when we will this much "fun" in a theatre ever again. B+

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