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September Film Favorites


Leonardo DiCaprio as the real-life Jordan Belfort is ELECTRIFYING, COMMANDING, & DOWN RIGHT INTOXICAT(ING) & (ED)! This is Scorsese's most stylistic film that pushes the boundaries of what's appropriate when it comes America's perception of success, sex, and drugs. Overdosed and super charged by adrenaline that'll leave you either feeling invincible or craving drugs. Either way, this is one power-trip worth taking even if the film is a whooping 3 hours! Be forewarned: You might wanna act real naughty after. 

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I thought I would spice things up by taking you out of my room and to the LA Art Book Fair! I went there to check out what it was all about as well as ask fellow art lovers what their favorite film of 2013 was! I got to meet incredible artists, actresses, and art lovers from across the globe. It's always an incredible communal experience when bathing in a creative environment and talking to like-minded people. As much as I love watching movies day in and day out in my little femme cave, there is nothing quite like the feeling of interacting and witnessing art in real space. So I hope you enjoy this video! (click the vid for credits).

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I just recently started writing for JapanCinema.net and wrote my first review on on Jake Clennel's The Great Happiness Space


On the other side of the world, in the bright and bustling streets of Osaka, Japan, there resides a cluster of "host bars”--a place where wealthy woman are willing to spend thousands of dollars on champagne service to “financially investing” for the affection of handsome twenty something year old escorts. The director Jake Clennell had no previous knowledge of this trend when he encountered hosts on the streets. He joins us on this journey to explore the surprisingly gender-reversed realm of host bars by showcasing interviews with a number of hosts, customers, and daily routine of the hottest club, named Rakkyo.  
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Holy crap. The trailer to Jonathan Glazer's (Sexy Beast, Birth) Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson is finally here! There is no denying the creepy, hypnotic, and sultry story that is embedded into every mysterious shot of this trailer. Johansson never ceases to amaze me and here with her red lipstick, sex bed hair, and brown fur coat, I can only dream I could look this good if I was an extra terrestrial being who was sent to Earth (reasons unknown?) and preying on men to stay alive. Come to think of it, sounds a lot like my kind of movie! (MUWHAHAHHA!)

I have not watched anything Glazer has done even though I've been meaning to watch Birth for quite a while now. And considering how Calum Marsh from LA Weekly has named this film one of the top 10 films to see in 2014 AND called Under the Skin, "A genuine revelation. We may finally have an heir to Kubrick." makes me think either this kid's a bit overreacting or HE IS COMPLETELY RIGHT (& I FEEL REAL STUPID TO EVEN THINK OTHERWISE). Either way, this is a helluva trailer that is hauntingly beautiful in every aspect from the story, cinematography, score, and performance. We get  to witness yet another side of Johansson that showcases her ever-expanding range even further and if you ask me, her English accent ain't so bad either. Under the Skin comes out April 4

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2013 was a MASSIVE year in film. We had powerhouse films like 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Wolf on Wall Street and even little indies like Her and Frances Ha that took the film scene to other lengths and heights of thoughtful and innovative filmmaking. That considered, it's going to be a strenuous task for 2014 to beat its predecessor. But like any younger sibling, it's not about trying to step out of their big sibling's shadow but highlighting the differences and uniqueness of the individual. 

While there might not be another 12 Years a Slave, those films have created more opportunities and heightened the standard of films that now Hollywood is FINALLY (they've been) realizing with great storytelling, direction, and performances, that a film can succeed artistically and commercially. Just a few weeks ago, the open letter Martin Scorsese wrote to his daughter regarding the future of filmmaking and it quite possibly the most optimistic, heartwarming, and reassuring message that he could tell not only his daughter but this generation of struggling filmmakers and cinephiles alike. Scorsese's words has and will resonant throughout years to come which also makes me incredibly excited for 2014. So, without further adieu, here are the most anticipated films of this year!

Boyhood

Director: Richard Linklater
Plot: It tells a story of a boy name Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as he grows from a six-year-old to a college freshmen. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette star as the boy's parents, while Linklater's daughter Lorelei plays Mason's sister.
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater,
Why I'm Excited: Boyhood is Richard Linklater's most ambitious twelve year project that started back in 2002. Linklater would shoot one sequence of the film every year for the remaining years and I'm sure the finished project would be a timeless yet majestic look at the dynamics of time and family. Definitely one film that will challenge the test of time through the medium of cinema. 
Release Date: TBA

Nymphomaniac: Volume I

Director: Lars von Trier
Plot: A self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her erotic experiences to the man who saved her after a beating.  
Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell
Why I'm Excited: Lars von Trier is one of the few filmmakers that can really puncture my soul (others, PTA & Denis Villeneuve) with his hard-hitting, raw, and brutal stories that take the extreme to another level. He has been slowly churning the hype factor little by little throughout the past months and finally, it is revealed that this epic film is going to be cut into two films! And who doesn't want to see Shia and Charlotte get down and little dirty? We all win here guys. 
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Other StuffzTrailer // Poster

The Raid 2

Director: Gareth Evans
Plot: Only a short time after the first raid, Rama goes undercover with the thugs of Jakarta and plans to bring down the syndicate and uncover the corruption within his police force.
Cast: Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle, Yayan Ruhian, Donny Alamsyah 
Why I'm Excited: Even before the Sundance raves made their uproar, I've been squealing at the thought of being once again bombarded and almost suffocated by the out of this world martial arts by Rama (Iko Uwais). And now that the Sundance reviews are in, I am literally choking on my saliva as we speak. It's petrifying enough to hear that Raid 2 is more action packed than its predecessor but now I hear that it is possibly the best action film ever made. Heart-attack much?
Release Date: March 28, 2014

Godzilla

Director: Gareth Edwards
Plot: A giant radioactive monster called Godzilla appears to wreak destruction on mankind.
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston
Why I'm Excited: If you saw the trailer you would agree with me. The opening scene of the trailer alone where the soldiers jump out of the helicopter and into the swirling vortex of doom that is Manhattan(?) is enough to make any skeptic into an instant fan. Edward has tackled monsters before with his previous indie film "Monsters." But it is quite incredibly to see him jump into this gigantic scale production that includes big up-comers like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and DUH, Bryan Cranston! Edwards has worked in the special effects realm before so it will be no surprise that the graphics are simply going to be knit-tightly realistic and mind-blowing.
Release Date: March 16, 2014
Other Stuffz: Trailer

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Director: Matt Reeves
Plot: Survivors of the simian plague trigger an all-out war between humanity and Caesar's growing forces.
Cast: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis
Why I'm Excited: The original 1968 Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston is one of my favorite films of all time (see review). Hence why, I was sad to hear that there would be a remake starring none other than James Franco called Rise of the Planet of the Apes. (How many title variations are they going to have?) To my surprise, it was very well done due to the excellent facial expression acting provided by Andy Serkis, the real mastermind behind the success to this film as well as The Lord of the Rings series. Serkis's performance alone created enough tension without any verbal communication that reminded me why cinema reigns supreme when the story is purely told through visuals. And seeing the trailer for Dawn of the Planet of Apes, I am ecstatic to see Caesar and his army in action! They're bigger, smarter, and badder than the first time around so let's do the Tim Burton remake some justice and make this a good one yeah?
Release Date: July 11, 2014
Other StuffzTrailer

Gone Girl

Director: David Fincher
Plot: A woman mysteriously disappears on the day of her wedding anniversary. Based on the novel, "Gone Girl."
Cast: Rosemund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris
Why I'm Excited: While Gillian Flynn's popularity was quickly inflating due to Gone Girl, I was still reading her second book, Dark Places which was my first encounter with her work. And then, after quickly learning that she was once a writer for my bible, Entertainment Weekly, I swiped Gone Girl at the local B&N and was hooked! Although my distain for Ben Affleck is unwavering, I will accept him to play the asshole that is Nick in this particularly dark tale of marriage. And who better to play the sinister yet angelic missing girl than Rosemund Pike, whose charming looks could equally serenade and deceive our souls. What I am even more excited by is not that Fincher will be directing this adaptation but Flynn is writing the screenplay and willing to slaughter (her own words) her original story ending to write a completely a different and mind-blowing ending.
Release Date: October 3, 2014
Other Stuffz: BUY THE BOOK

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Director: Wes Anderson
Plot: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who become his most trusted friend.
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan
Why I'm Excited: After the Royal Tenenbaums, I often thought Anderson's work followed his classic and indistinguishable filmic traits too often that his work became lackluster by maintaining and relying on the same quirkiness that initially helped him succeed. But I guess if it ain't broke don't fix it right? WRONG. Maybe. I don't know! Although, I hope he strives to continually challenge cinema in his own unique way, I just wanted something different than the usual. But with this new film that just opened Berlin International Film Festival, I'm sure it's stacked stacked stacked cast is sure enough to attract even the most non-Wes Anderson fans into those red seats. And of course, can't wait to see Tony Revolori in action and see Swinton play a granny with impeccable style.  
Release Date: March 7, 2014
Other Stuffz: Trailer // Cast Breakdown 

Inherent Vice 

Director: PTA!!!
Plot: In Los Angeles in 1970, drug-fueled detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.
Cast: Jena Malone, Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Reece Witherspoon
Why I'm Excited: This is Paul Thomas Anderson we're talkning about here. His work is as vast and distinct as Daniel Day-Lewis's performances. No matter how many years passes by, his work is significantly more defined and poignant than the one before. And it's no wonder why he is one of the most prominent voices in American cinema today. We can't talk about American cinema without talking about the Film School Graduate generation like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese,  and Steven Spielberg that paved the way for later kids like Paul Thomas Anderson to succeed. Doesn't matter what project he's working on, if it has PTA's name attached to it, I'm THERE. (Also hello, Joaquin and Jena is in this one!)
Release Date: TBA

The Double

Director: Richard Ayoade
Plot: A comedy centered on a man who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppleganger.
CastMia Wasikowska, Jesse Eisenberg, Sally Hawkins
Why I'm Excited: If you saw Ayoade's first film Submarine (see review) you would eternally understand my love for this man. He's a first time director but it is undeniably the clarity and promise he has in his voice as a filmmaker. Even though Submarine was about a 15-year old boy going through the perils of boyhood and family life, I couldn't help but resonant with his dilemmas. To see such a refined, innovative, and clear coming-of-age story come to life, I am fully an Ayoade fan girl now. Bring it on Eisenberg!                        
Release Date: May 9, 2014 
Other Stuffz: Trailer

Only Lovers Left Alive

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Plot: A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries.
CastTilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, 
Why I'm Excited: I can say that Jim Jarmusch is an auteur in all sense of the word. The first film I saw of his The Limits of Control (see review) was one of the most extreme cinema experiences as it tested my patience like it has never been tested before. He has a certain style that cannot be replicated because his films takes long pensive strides along our brain cells and forces us to reflect on our values as human beings. Not everyone can do that! And enough promo materials from the posters to clips to trailers have been slowly making waves on the interwebs that I am certified bloody hungry for this film to be released! We all just want to see Hiddleston naked right? Just me? *Runs to the corner. 
Release Date: April 11, 2014 
Other Stuffz: Trailer // Poster // Clips 

Other Films:

Christopher Nolan's Interstellar 

Denis Villeneuve's Enemy 

Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson,
Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider Man 2
Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig Public School Project
David Wain's They Came Together
I Origins
Carol (Lesbian love story, oOOooOOo!)
Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard
Justin Simien's Dear White People

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Wes Anderson's new film The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of most anticipated film of 2014 and it's no denying that the revered and stacked cast will help this film be one of the great films to come out this year! The cast entails some of the best actors of this generation that has done everything from gangster films to love stories to war dramas to slapstick comedies and here they are in one project to support the one man that could highlight and challenge their individual talents the only way he can (with a touch of quirkiness), Wes Anderson. My anticipation was solidified once I saw an oddly young and handsome William Dafoe shoot me a snaring look after punching the Lobby Boy (Tony Revolori) with his brass knuckles. Super hot. And if that's not a good enough reason for you have you seen Tilda Swinton in her luxurious granny get up? Simply entrancing! The Grand Budapest Hotel is open for business March 7, 2014!!! (But foreal, where the ladies at?!)









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