26 March 2011
I originally came across this movie, via Netflix, probably around 2007 and I've loved it ever since. I watched it maybe 3 or 4 times. Since discovering it's return to Instant this week I've watched it another 3 times.
As far as Guy Ritchie movies go, this one gets pretty universally panned. On Metacritic it scores only .3 higher than that shitstorm he did with his then-wife, Madonna. I personally think he's one of the best gangster-shoot-em-up directors out there. I loved Snatch and I hold Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels in very high regard. But I don't think either can hold a candle to Revolver. It has everything that makes those movies great: A flawed protagonist, warring factions with varying characters all with their endearing qualities, and almost vaudvillian stumbling blocks placed in each other's way akin to 1963's It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World; but what makes this film greater, and what unfortunately leads to the distaste left in the mouths of most of it's viewers, is that it's very deep.
And I know Deep is a vacuous word that's lost all meaning but let me differentiate. His movies have always been smart. Very clever. Revolver, however, for the first 70% of the film plays out most superficially. It's not until midway into the 3rd act that you start to realize that something else is at play here. Atop that there are also moments of misdirection. For a while you think he's playing one of the more common plot twists which has become popularized by movies like Fight Club and The Sixth Sense (which he may be...). And even after the movie is finished you're not left with a solid answer wrapped in a bow which we've become accustomed to. Thusly we have our low ratings and bad reviews.
Ray Liotta shines brilliantly in this flick and more than makes up for Andre 3000's less than great, but well within his range, performance. Good thing they never had to face off on screen. I'm not a big Jason Statham fan but he also does a stand up job. You end up loving a number of the dozens of characters that you'll be introduced to through the course of the 2 hours. Even if you just want to skim along the top of this hearty study you'll still get a great deal of enjoyment from this movie.
21 March 2011
By 2016 I will be somewhere in Brasil lying about my age.
In preparation for this I've resolved to learn Portuguese. I got the alphabet under my belt tonight so I figured that qualified me to stream a bunch of Brazilian and Portuguese language movies on Netflix which I'll probably be doing for some time to come.
I started with the 2008 documentary 'Only When I Dance'.
It was enjoyable. I'm not too terribly interested in classical and ballet dance and I was a bit mad at myself upon starting it up and finding that it was a documentary (I have a tendency to not read things before I commit to them) when I wasn't really in a documentary mood, but it proved to be relatively painless.
I just wished it had focused less on Irlan who, with his unquestionable talent, is certain to go far and have a happy ending, but instead use the opportunity to shed a bit more light on nearly impossible standards that a dancer has to live up to which, in Isabela's case, proved to be the unraveling of her dream.
I do know, of course, that would have made the film a completely different beast and not as heartwarming. But I felt bad for feeling so heart-warmed by the successes of Irlan when only moments ago I saw Isabela's family devastated, both financially and emotionally. It didn't make it any better when after Google searching to check up on the young protagonists, on all the red carpets at all the events, Irlan was in every photo but poor Isabela was nowhere to be found.
That being a major gripe, like I said, I did enjoy the movie. Really beautiful moments accomponied by a really great soundtrack. Very Brazilian down to it's core. The filmmakers did a very good job of that. It's very visceral and at only about 80 minutes this film is a good one for when you want to be transported elsewhere.
18 March 2011
16 March 2011
Check back because Practices In Alchemy will have it's official webcast there in the near future. Check out my personal page (which is currently void of any information).
10 March 2011
I've always had a deep seated hatred for Michelle Rodriguez. Even before she became the worst Lost character ever. Perhaps it has something to do with her playing the same punky ass character in EVERY SINGLE ROLE.
She will never hold a candle to the original cheesy action movie latina staple of such films as Running Man and Predator 2: Maria Conchita Alonso.
06 March 2011
03 March 2011
For the first time in over a decade I'm really excited for a Mortal Kombat game.
The original MK was probably the game responsible for turning me from a casual gamer to an avid drooling fan boy. I remember walking home in junior high and hitting up my man D.Traylor who always had the Game Informers and Nintendo Power magazines and getting erections over any new info on the next MK installment.
needless to say, the jump to 3D really hurt the series and when compared to up-and-coming fighting titles like Tekken and Soul Caliber the MK formula just went stale. If the mechanics are as smooth as they look (can't be worse than the last 3 games) and it has all the gameplay options that it boasts then this may be the first game I put $60 bucks down for in quite a while.
01 March 2011
Personally I'm looking forward to getting back into the studio to record some really great music that Band #2 has been working on. That may be (but not likely) followed by a St Patty's day in NYC. My Spelling Bee at the Lemon Grove is finally taking place at the end of the month. But most exciting is the fact that I've been hitting the gym pretty hardcore and hope that the high of this new membership doesn't wear off any time soon. I've been going almost every other day since joining and I'm becoming quite the meat head. Been mostly working on cardio so that I can be in peak condition for the frisbee league this spring but also started doing strength training because my arms have always been as weak as delicate little seedlings.
I plan on taking my shirt off a lot this Summer.
I'm currently listening to Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX's 'We're New Here'. A collection of remixes to Mr. Heron's first album after a 13 year hiatus. I have to say I'm enjoying it.