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Filmsi - A not so serious look at films and film reviews

 
Anything film =D

Films and life

Sometimes life brings you things that you have not anticipated and you are coupled with joy and happiness but as soon as this joy is felt, it can be so easily taken away.

Writing about films have such a joy and I wish to continue however sometimes life can bring things that you never wish you experienced and it put some perspectives in your life. But when things don't work out you have to go back to the way you were living it, writing, reflecting and search. Because life moves on and as should you.

Accept the love that is given to you, for it is a blessing from God.

Peace and love,

Samira
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The Art of Getting By, 2011

The Art of Getting By stars the delightful Emma Roberts and very innocent looking Freddie Highmore. Two teenagers lost in a world of adult things. One who has no experience with it and another pretending to be part of it. The Art (as I will call it for convenience purposes) is unique in it's attempt to understand teenagers and as resultof this unique approach I certainly appreciated it. What is hiding as a drama piece is really a story of growing up and the typical story of coming of age. Although my personal view on the concept is highly incongruent with Hollywood's definition of developing character but that is simply not the discussion for this blog.


Highmore plays the timid and shy George, a loner one might call him or simply an extreme introvert roams through high school with little to no intention of putting effort to complete his high school diploma. Although it is not really explained in the movie how someone that lacks so much motivation has managed to complete most his high school education and ended up in his last year of high school. George is not without excuse, always providing some reason or another for why he has not completed some required assessment task. The ever forgiving teachers and principle give him multiple chances in hopes that he will finally get his shit together. Maybe they see the potential of what he could be. He is not delinquent, a little misunderstood or possibly a bleeding hear but definitely not a troublemaker and thus the teachers inevitable feeding to his indifference. Inevitably George meets a girl, sorry, a young lady, Sally (Roberts). Sally is seemingly much more worldly then young George and although it starts off innocently enough but low and behold George falls for Sally. Needless to say Sally doesn't quite feel the same.

The Art has it's promises mostly because I wasn't trying to guess where exactly this movie is going. In retrospect it is a very simple film with likable and simple characters. However the characters are not as well developed as they definitely could be. As result the film suffered. The slow movement of the film will bore and annoy many but added to refreshing approach to a oft told story.

Final Verdict: The Art of Getting By has it's promises but is ultimately a teen drama about coming of age (whatever you call it). And simplicity in it's character and plot is both is strength and weakness. 6/10

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I'm alive!!

I'm alive and well update soon.

Next movie I want to review is...

The Art of Getting By

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The Way, Way Back, 2013

Summer for me is filled with uncomfortable heat that only leads me to lie days on end sitting under the air conditioning and Box Day sales. My summer shockingly is nothing like the summer of that is shown in The Way, Way Back. 15 year old Duncan (Liam James) is holidaying with his mother Pam (Toni Collette) and her boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) and his daughter Steph (Zoe Levin). Duncan is awkward and shy and taunted continuously by the possible future stepfather Trent. In an unlikely turn of events Duncan finds the Water Wizz theme park and forms a friendship with manger Owen (Sam Rockwell) and the other staff members including Caitlin (Maya Rudolph). While his family is falling apart Duncan finds the inclusive family at the park and spends most of the summer at the park and even getting a summer job there. The Way, Way back is a well told story about the dysfunction of family and finding yourself. It encapsulates all the awkwardness and the innocence of the being a teenager.

The film is fun and thus ultimately light, of course there are some serious issues that need to be resolved but true resolution is never reached. Like summer, the movie does leave a short term impression but is forgettable as it is like many before it. And that is probably its biggest let down.

The film is written well and tightly packaged but it is really the cast that lefts the film that could easily be another coming of age story. In many ways is more about the adults rather than the youth. Thus it does take away from the central character of Duncan. Personally for me it's an issue as the adult characters are far more interesting than the children. In retrospect the film doesn't really develop the character of Duncan. He does achieve a boost of confidence but this is mostly due to the group of adults that surround him.

For me the standout is, as always, Sam Rockwell who plays the care free Owen. Owen is warm and despite the lack of any form of responsibility the water park seems to be still running. His crew of the staff are crude at times but are so inclusive and warm that Duncan immediately finds his place there when he is so easily excluded at home.

Carell is also excellent as the stepfather for Duncan. Trent is heavy handed and mean spirited when he speaks to Duncan and Pam and is controlling and very condescending. It very easy to dislike Trent and you do so within the first 5 minutes of the film.

The best part of the film is that it has enough weird characters to keep me laughing for most of the film. Jim Rash (writes directs with Nat Faxon & plays the character Lewis) is weird but not the extravagant Dean that I'm use to watching in Community. But my personal favourite is Betty (Allison Janney), the pesty neighbour next door. Betty is most likely wasted for most of the movie but she has the best one liners in the film and Janney's comedic timing is brilliant and thus brings the character both craziness and warmth.

Verdict: A well told story the coming of age for a young boy dealing with an unbearable stepfather and awkwardness of the being a teenager. However Duncan does develops and opens when he meets and befriends Owen and the misfits at the Water Wizz park. Not only is Owen a friend he takes Duncan under his wing protecting from the unhappy family life Duncan experiences. The cast of the film is so talented that it carries a safe and neat film from Rash & Faxon. However The Way, Way Back is funny and makes you feel good and for that reason I'm giving it 7.9/10.

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Only God Forgives, 2013



Hi everyone, this is a film review on the new Ryan Gosling movie that premiered for the Sydney Film Festival last week. I have been busy and therefore I didn't get a chance to see many films but I got a chance for this one.

Only God Forgives tells the story of a clearly tormented young man, Julian (Ryan Gosling) in the harsh streets of Bangkok. Julian is loyal son and brother, however when his brother is brutally murdered by the father of the 16 year old girl whom his brother raped and murdered, Julian refuses take revenge. Despite the constant ridicule and insistence from his mother he seems completely numb about what is happening around him whilst continually having visions of a Thai police officer. The same police officer Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm) is on the hunt for the scum that rule the corrupt streets of Bangkok often taking the law into his own hands. With the arrival of Crystal, Julian's mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) a violent and bloody war breaks loss between Chang (and his police force) and Crystal's mob connections.

I don't quite understand why there has been universally disliked for this film. I find the criticism against the extreme violence are legitimate however the violence is not out of place. Yes, there was a lot of violence in this film and depicted so openly and I understand this makes people uncomfortable however this film is about drug dealers and revenge attacks against violent gangsters, did audiences and reviewers honestly believe that this was not going to be violent? The film is hardly more violent than shows like Game of Thrones.

The film however is not easily accessible to mass audiences, it is self-indulgent at times and it is the typical art house cinema. So expect long silences, extreme close-ups and long wide shots of nothing in particular. And yes, this is pretentious, it is full of obvious symbolism that high school students around the country will rejoice to use as a related text. Despite my aversion for pretentious films I find myself enjoying this film. I had no idea what or where the film was going and this kept me engaged.

It is difficult to watch this film and not compare it to Nicolas Winding Refn's previous effort, Drive. But personally I never truly enjoyed Drive (yes, I said it I don't like Drive). Unlike Only God Forgives I found it difficult for me to care and to be engaged. For me it was difficult to understand why a film similar in tone and similarly violence but more engaging like Only God Forgives is disliked however Drive is loved by many. It could possibly be the fact that Gosling spoke more than seven words in Drive than he did in Only God Forgives?

It is difficult for me to criticize such handsome being like Gosling, because it feels like some crime against humanity to say that Gosling was not he's best. I can't quite figure out whether it was the character or how Gosling played Julian. I felt that the lead character often seemed like a brooding teenager rather than a grieved and tormented character. I only understood his anguish and pain until the end. Nevertheless Julian often got lost in the more dynamic and menacing characters that surrounded him.

Kristin Scott Thomas was brilliant as Crystal. There is only one word to describe Crystal, Bitch.Crystal was a manipulative, evil and crude villain that I enjoyed hating. Despite the layers of make-up and heels, Crystal lack femininity and compassion. Toxic and ruthless, Crystal was obvious the villain of the film.

Less obvious was the moral standing of police officer Chang (Pansringarm). Chang is cold and violent however he is only hurting those that continue to feed the crimes of drug dealing and sex trafficking. However the ruthless and callous manner in which he seeks justice is unnerving to watch and it is difficult to support such a man.

Often films that are extremely slow paced annoys me however this was not the case for Only God Forgives. The tone fits perfectly to the rigidness of the society Winding Refn wishes to portray. Winding Refn is consistent with keeping with his trademark dark visuals as the film is practically filmed entirely at night.

Verdict: Only God Forgives has audiences and critics outraged by the "senseless" violence that is portrays. Although the violence is callous however it is not unnecessary nor is it out of place. The film can often feel a little self indulgent as the film is pretentious and thus audiences are left feeling that Winding Refn does not care much of the accessibility of the film. However despite these criticisms I did find the film engaging and did enjoy it, more so than critically acclaimed Drive. 6.5/10

P.S. Sorry this is poorly written, I had to write it quickly before bed. I hope you enjoy it
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A Good Day to Die Hard, 2013

I have to admit that I am not a die-hard Die Hard fan but I did enjoy the first movie, it had this battler charm that was carried to the other films. Well at least this charm was carried to first few. The charm of the exciting and cleverly constructed action film that we saw in Die Hard was definitely not present in 5th installment to the franchise. It's a dying and frail old man, and I wish someone would finally put it to rest. It needs not to be awaken again. But I'm sure my heartfelt plea will fall on deaf ears and before you know it Die Hard 6 would be screening in a theatre near you.

At this point I would usually summarise the plot of the film but it feel like such a waste of words to do so. Nevertheless it would be unfair to, you, the reader. It is difficult to try to explain the chaos that I saw into somewhat coherent summary but I will do my best. For those you have seen the trailer, you have pretty much seen most of the movie. Our hero once again finds himself in trouble but this time in Moscow, Russia. Oh, how exotic of Hollywood to venture to Eastern Europe. This time, Mr John McClane (Bruce Willis) is to save his son Jack (Jai Courtney) from a life of crime. Director, John Moore tapping into "feeling guilty for not being there for my delinquent child" story. But I'm not convinced and I didn't watch the film to witness the acting brilliance that is Bruce Willis. Nevertheless an attempt of being somewhat convincing would have been a nice change. In reality McClane Jr. is in fact US federal agent in Russia. What is an American agent doing in Russia meddling in Russian domestic politics? I don't know but I believe it might have been discussed in the film but it most likely gotten lost between car chases and jumping off buildings. The film has a very thin plot that is placed around the action, it does not complement it nor does it provide any relevance to the film. It is simply watching one and half hours of explosions and impossibilities


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A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, 2006

Young Dito
A guide to recognizing your saints is a little known independent piece from the writer and director Dito Montiel. A guide to recognizing your saints is the film adaption to the Montiel's autobiography of the same name. The film follows Dito as an adult played by Robert Downey Jr. however the film is mostly in a long flashback to Dito's younger days in New York. The film explores the harsh realities of a young Ditto (Shia LaBeouf) living in working class Queens.

A guide to recognizing your saints is not a perfect film however it was still amazing and incredibly real. Films about the ghettos of the 80's have been around before but this one does have heart. There might be a few questions about the stereotypes that were used by Montiel in the film and possibly in the book however it still felt real. I have to say credit has to go the amazing cast that was in this film. The young actors in the film held their own in a film that is difficult and emotionally driven. Although their performances are not perfect however it was impressive for young actors at the time. I was particularly impressed by Channing Tatum who plays the abused delinquent and best friend of Dito, young Antonio


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Oh hey!

Oh Hey

There you are.... long time no see. Don't worry I am coming back and it's going to be exciting because I am reviewing a really awesome movie next time I post


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I love you, man 2009

Itís telling of the times when romantic comedies are now based on purely platonic relationship between two men. Just like JD and Turk from the hit TV show Scrubs has repeatedly attempted to convince others, ďits guy love between two guys. And there is nothing gay about it.Ē The bromance; the shared bond between two guys may be the strongest bond two people can have is the central theme for I love you, man.

I personally love this idea of male bonding relished and celebrated. And although male bonding have been central to many movies but exploring a relationship between two guys that is deep and profound that goes beyond just hanging out, playing poker and drinking is often rare, if itís ever been attempted before that is


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New post

I promise there will be a new post soonish,

Love you all


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