11/27/11

Inception (2010)

Inception (2010)
The dream is real
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring      : Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy,
                   Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine
Genre        : Action, Sci-fi, Thriller
Runtime     : 148 minutes
WI's rating : 9.3




Dom Cob:  What’s the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.

An international heist caper, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), an "extractor" whose form of corporate espionage is to invade the dreams of the rich and powerful and pluck their most tightly guarded secrets from the depths of their subconscious. Cobb is also an international fugitive due to a dark deed from his past that prevents him from being able to return stateside to see his children. A shady corporate titan, Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe), offers Cobb a chance to wipe his past clean and go home. The job? Inception -- planting an idea into a mark's subconscious rather than stealing one. Saito wants Cobb and his longtime point man, Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), to invade the dreams of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the heir to an energy conglomerate who is also riddled with daddy issues. Saito wants to take out the competition so to speak.


Cobb: What do you want?
Saito: Inception. Is it possible?
Arthur: Of course not.
Saito: If you can steal an idea, why can't you plant one there instead?
Arthur: Okay, this is me, planting an idea in your mind. I say: don't think about elephants. What are you thinking about?
Saito: Elephants?
Arthur: Right, but it's not your idea. The dreamer can always remember the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake.
Cobb: No, it's not.

Cobb and Arthur assemble a team that includes the forger Eames (Tom Hardy), Yusuf the chemist ( Dileep Rao), and newcomer Ariadne (Ellen Page), an architect who will literally design and build the world of the mark's dreams. Shadowing Dom in the dream realm is the enigamtic Mal (Marion Cotillard), a woman from Dom's past who threatens the entire operation.But,The deeper Cobb and his team venture into Fischer's subconscious, the more dangerous the mission becomes and the more likely it is that they could all end up trapped there -- a seeming eternity in the time of the mind and a fate that could render them all vegetables in the real world. 
Cobb: You create the world of the dream, you bring the subject into that dream, and they fill it with their subconscious.
Ariadne: How could I ever acquire enough detail to make them think that its reality?
Cobb: Well dreams, they feel real while we're in them, right? It's only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what's going on.
Ariadne: I guess, yeah.
Cobb: So how did we end up here?
Ariadne: Well we just came from the a...
Cobb: Think about it Ariadne, how did you get here? Where are you right now?
Ariadne: We're dreaming?
Cobb: You're actually in the middle of the workshop right now, sleeping. This is your first lesson in shared dreaming. Stay calm.
That plot summary only covers the basics of this pretty complicated story, but to describe every plot detail would take away the magic of this film you must see yourself to believe. The final hour of the film, is possibly one of the most complicated action sequences put on film. You have to constantly be paying attention to remember all of the layers of what is happening. Without spoiling anything, all I have to say is that is what this film is about, that is what makes this film so great, layers.

The only thing one could have against the movie, is the headache one could have. Most of people who go to the movies for brainless action like Iron Man 2 and The A-Team, should have to see it at least twice, to understand it.The levels and the layers on which thing are happening are so many, that one surely'll miss something vital.This is a reason for not fitting to the mass audience because Nolan showed that the brainless action flicks aren't all of it. He hopes this movie could show the audience that the story is still important for the experience one could receive, not the endless, constant explosions.


To try and explain Inceptions many plot twists and incredibly intelligent arcs, would be a foolish task. As Nolan himself has been reluctant to. The best way to approach the film would be with an open mind, if you are prepared to be taken on a ride of a lifetime, then trust that you 100% will. If Avatar was a seminal film in technology (although coming out as a rather poor film, in my opinion), then Inception is seminal in it's storytelling. With a 148 minute running time, you would expect a lot to take place, but what you wouldn't expect is the pace of it all. I did not think at one time in the film about how long was left. I was simply blown away by the depth in every single part of the film. If my enthusiasm for the storytelling aspect of the film has left you worried about the spectacle, then don't worry. They are, as hinted in the trailer, incredible, looking real and unbelievable simultaneously. The most pleasing thing about the action set pieces, is that they are genuinely used to illustrate the story, rather than to blow stuff up a la Michael Bay.


DiCaprio is good in his role, but unlike many other films he has starred in, this is perhaps his only role where his character alone does not carry the weight of the movie on his shoulders or share it equally with one other co-star. Instead, this great ensemble cast teams together to make this movie work, just as their characters collaborate to pull off such a unique heist. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and Tom Hardy are especially good in their roles.


FYI 
-The first letter of each of the main character's first names - Dom, Robert, Eames, Arthur/Ariadne, Mal, Sato  spell the word DREAMS.
-In an interview, Christopher Nolan explained that he based roles of the Inception team similar to roles that are used in filmmaking - Cobb is the director, Arthur is the producer, Ariadne is the production designer, Eames is the actor, Saito is the studio, and Fischer is the audience.
-A series of numbers keeps appearing: the number that Fischer gives Cobb/Arthur is 528491, The two hotel rooms used are rooms 528 and 491, the number that Eames gives to Fischer is 528-491, the combination to the strongroom starts with 52, and the combination to the safe is 528-491. This is all to reinforce the importance of the number throughout the film.

9/21/11

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Catch Me If You Can (2002)
The true story of an ingenious deception
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring      : Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks
Genre        : Drama, Biography, Crime
Runtime     : 141 minutes
WI's rating : 8.1




Based on a book by Abagnale and Stan Redding, Catch Me If You Can is breezy entertainment served up with big bucks written all over it. Big name stars, popular director, sympathetic criminals. It asks to be taken at face value and does not aspire to any great heights or depths -- there are no intimate revelations of a man's soul. Told in extended flashbacks, the film describes Abignale's exploits as he pretended to be a schoolteacher, airline pilot, doctor, and lawyer, and, in the process, cashed more than $2.5 million in fraudulent checks. His feats were ostensibly in reaction to the impending divorce of his parents, but while the real Frank Abagnale has said that he did it mostly for money, power, and women, Spielberg's Frank is just an innocent child trying to put his family back together.

After the game show, the scene flashes to Frank being escorted to an American prison by FBI agent Carl Hanratty, played by Tom Hanks, who has to force a self-conscious Boston accent throughout the film. Flashing back again to 1963 in New Rochelle, N.Y., where Frank's father, Frank Abagnale, Sr., played by Christopher Walken in one of his better performances, finds himself in trouble with the IRS (we never find out the substance of this trouble). In reaction to his father's woes, Frank Jr. shows his mettle early on, impersonating a substitute teacher at his new school with rare authority (In one particular scene,Frank Abagnale, Jr. is at a public school dressed in his old private uniform outfit and fools a classroom in believing that he is a teacher and not just some puny student.). At first, dad shows a fatherly admiration and concern, but that changes later. When his parents go through a divorce, Junior runs away from home, taking with him only the checkbook his father gave him on an account containing $25. He learns pretty fast that a bounced personal check will not help much, but a fake company check from Pan Am Airlines will do wonders. Now all he needs is a new pilot's uniform and he's got money to spend and girls chasing him by the bucket full.

Frank moves on from one impersonation to another. He eventually turns minor check fraud into an entire lifestyle of false identities and counterfeit checks and ends up on the FBI's ten most wanted list. It's a lot of fun watching the FBI dufuses giving chase. They look right, but never seem to know what they're doing, and Hanratty falls for Abagnale's cons on more than one occasion. The well-meaning but bumbling Hanratty is always hot on his trail, closing in but never making the kill. Catch Me if You Can has a somewhat surreal look, with a feeling of heightened reality and brightened colors. Underneath the veneer, however, is a view of the 60s as unreal as is Far From Heaven's view of the 50s. The movie wants us to know that "in those days" a scam artist could get away with everything because we were so naïve and so trusting, and a smart scammer could take advantage of the way banks and businesses were willing to cash checks for anyone who looked respectable.
Carl Hanratty: [Frank is making one last attempt to run by impersonating a pilot once again. Carl catches up with him at Dulles Airport] How'd you do it, Frank? How'd you pass the bar in Louisiana?
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: [Frank continues to walk. Carl walks several paces behind] What are you doing here?
Carl Hanratty: Listen...
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I'm sorry I put you through all this.
Carl Hanratty: You go back to Europe, you're gonna die in Perpignan Prison. You try to run here in the States, we'll send you back to Atlanta for 50 years.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I know that.
Carl Hanratty: I spent four years trying to arrange your release. Had to convince my bosses at the FBI and the Attorney General of the United States you wouldn't run.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Why'd you do it?
Carl Hanratty: You're just a kid.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I'm not your kid. You said you were going to Chicago.
Carl Hanratty: My daughter can't see me this weekend. She's going skiing.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: You said she was four years old. You're lying.
Carl Hanratty: She was four when I left. Now she's 15. My wife's been remarried for 11 years. I see Grace every now and again.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: I don't understand.
Carl Hanratty: Sure you do. Sometimes, it's easier living the lie.
[Frank stops, Carl catches up]
Carl Hanratty: I'm going to let you fly tonight, Frank. I'm not even going to try to stop you. That's because I know you'll be back on Monday.
Frank Abagnale, Jr.: Yeah? How do you know I'll come back?
Carl Hanratty: Frank, look. Nobody's chasing you.

Of course we are way more grown up now. Now fraud and deception is only carried out at the highest levels, beyond the light-hearted cameras of Mr. Spielberg. Abagnale is the perfect American entrepreneur, inventing a whole new species of criminality for the rest of us to admire. He is the movie version of everyman, a con artist in a society uncertain of its values. We admire people like him because he stands outside the system and, like the Mafiosos we pay homage to in our popular culture, has turned criminality into an art form and added a little charm. There is little difference between him and the FBI agents who use illegal methods to spy on civilians, corporation executives that make millions on questionable stock options, political leaders who try to convince us of the necessity of war, or ballplayers who use steroids to bolster their mediocre abilities. The only difference between them and Frank Abagnale is that their stories have no sex appeal and would be of limited interest to Steven Spielberg.

Frank Abagnale Sr.: Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.

The most intriguing and unique relationship in the film though has to go to Leo and his father Frank Abagnale Sr. played by the eternally mesmerising Christopher Walken. Walken's character is a man who is very proud and when he is in economic ruin he tries to fool everyone into thinking he's the successful man, however the only person he is fooling is himself. He convinces himself totally that lying makes everything better, and this is probably where Frank is inspired to run away from everything and lie his way around the world. It certainly is the case when Leo asks Walken to tell him to stop running, and instead encouraging him to stop, Walken says "You cant stop" and then carries on the web of lies his son has spun by asking " Where are you going tonight? Somewhere exotic?" referring to Leo's stunt as a pilot. Walken was deservedly Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance which is really quite fascinating.

The most memorable and poignant scene of the film is where Leo learns from Hanks that his father ( Walken) died by slipping on stairs. This is where Leo's talent is really shown, as the pain and anguish fill his eyes in a mixture of disbelief, anger, helplessness, plus feeling physically sick. He slams the chair in front of him, his eyes swollen in tears. But it's just his moans, eyes or facial expression that makes us feel his huge loss, it is his body. Leo's body moves in the strangest ways, almost like he is consumed with grief and reaching out in despair, all in all making it quite hard to watch.

Abagnale, confidently interpreted by DiCaprio, is, on the surface, the epitome of cool, yet underneath he is just as hollow as the society that elevates individuals without integrity into folk heroes. Just like our corporate executives, our advertising promoters, and some political leaders, Abagnale demonstrates the sharpness of a quick-change artist who snuggles his way into our confidence, exhibiting smooth-talking sincerity while camouflaging his lies and deceptions. Unwittingly, Catch Me If You Can has shown us the true culprit.

 FYI

Kid: More coffee, sir?
[notices paperwork]
Kid: Are you a collector?
Carl Hanratty: Of what?
Kid: Captives of the Cosmic Ray, The Big Freeze, Land of the Golden Giants. I've got em all.
Carl Hanratty: What are you talking about?
Kid: Barry Allen. The Flash.
[walks away]
Carl Hanratty: Wait, kid, kid, kid. You mean like the comic book?
Kid: Yeah, the comic book. When he's not The Flash. That's his name, Barry Allen.
Carl Hanratty: Thank you.
[Carl using a payphone]
Carl Hanratty: Now get this: he reads comic books. Comic books! Barry Allen is The Flash!
Tom Fox: Carl, slow down, slow down. I don't know what the hell you're talking about.
Carl Hanratty: He's a kid. Our unsub is a kid. That's why we couldn't match his prints. That's why he doesn't have a record. Now, I want you to contact the NYPD for every all-points juvenile runaways in New York City. And don't forget the airports. He's been kiting checks all over the country.
 -Two of the personas that Frank Abagnale Jr. takes are comic book characters. When pretending to be a federal agent he takes the name Barry Allen, the alter-ego of DC's The Flash. While a doctor, he uses Dr. Connors. This is the alter-ego of Marvel's Spider-Man's enemy The Lizard.

-During the scene where Frank Abagnale Jr. gets his suit tailored to resemble James Bond, he refers to himself as Mr. Fleming. This is in reference to Ian Fleming, the original author of the James Bond books.

8/20/11

WI's Movie Moment: "Expectation vs Reality"


 Expectation vs Reality

Tom, goes to a party hosted by Summer. This is a while after they had broken up, and she invites him when they run into each other at a co-worker's wedding. In the scene, we see Tom heading out to Summer's party, but the screen is divided in half. The left side has a heading on the bottom that says, "Expectations." On the right says, "Reality." After getting along very well with Summer at the wedding, Tom thinks that maybe he'll get back together with her after that night. This is indicated by the narration at the beginning of the scene: "Tom walked to her apartment, intoxicated by the promise of the evening. He believed that this time, his expectations would align with reality."

In his expectations, he's greeted very warmly by Summer when he arrives, and spends the whole night talking to her exclusively, the two of them in their own little world as Summer ignores the rest of her company. But in reality, she gives him a stiff hug when he arrives, and makes small talk with him and her other guests. Expectation and Reality meet when Expectation shows Tom and Summer kissing in her apartment, while Reality shows Tom noticing Summer showing someone a ring...on a specific finger...on a specific hand.

It is at this point that Reality takes over Expectation. The camera dollies around the couple, and disappears behind a doorjamb while the Reality frame closes in on Expectation until the couple is completely gone. It's when Reality is the only frame that we see Summer is indeed wearing an engagement ring. All the while, a Regina Spektor song is playing in the background. The lyrics are so appropriate when they say: "It's all right  I'm the hero of the story, I don't need to be saved."

Tom leaves, unable to take the sight anymore, and as he walks away, he is silhouetted in the moonlight. The Los Angeles skyline and all the scenery in front of him changes to a pencil sketch, which then erases itself and Tom's silhouette is just a dark gray figure on a blank, light gray canvas. even though Tom and Summer are not together anymore, Tom still expects something to happen with her because of the chemistry that he thinks is still between them. The close up shot of Summer's hand with the engagement ring on her finger helps to create the feeling of complete devastation and heartbreak that Tom feels. Also, the animation at the end when Tom turns to just a blank gray figure further emphasizes his feeling of hopelessness and despair.



video

 Partygoer  : So Tom, what is it that you do?
Tom             : I uh, I write greeting cards.
Summer     : Tom could be a really great architect if he wanted to be.
Partygoer  : That's unusual, I mean, what made you go from one to the other?
Tom            : I guess I just figured, why make something disposable like a building when you can make something that last forever, like a greeting card.






7/23/11

Super Size Me(2004)

Super Size Me(2004)
A film of epic portions.
Directed by: Morgan Spurlock
Starring      : Morgan Spurlock
Genre        : Documentary
Runtime     : 100 minutes
WI's rating :7.9





Morgan Spurlock: Who's that?
[shows picture of Ronald McDonald]
Child: McDonald, Ronald McDonald.
Child: McDonald!
Morgan Spurlock: What does he do?
Child: He helps people at the cash register.
Child: He works at McDonald's. I love the pancakes and sausage!
Child: He brings everyone of his friends to McDonald's for a Happy Meal.
Morgan Spurlock: Where have you seen him?
Child: On television, on the commercials.
Child: He's the character that made McDonald's, and he does a lot of funny stuff on TV.


In "Super Size Me", a documentary from talented debut filmmaker Morgan Spurlock that manages to be both entertaining and horrifying, he attempts to draw a parallel between the fast food culture we live in and the rampant (and ever-increasing) rate of obesity in America. To do this, he launched into a little science experiment. A 33 year-old New Yorker in excellent health, he would eat nothing but McDonald's for an entire month, to gauge the effects on his body. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonald's and whenever they asked him to supersize, he would have to accept. Before starting, he consulted three doctors, a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and a general practitioner, all of whom said this experiment obviously wouldn't be GOOD for him, but that the damages would be minimal.The problems he exhibits after 3 weeks on this diet are NOT unique, they are the ones that people around the country are exhibiting in spades: weight gain, fatty liver, depression, inactivity. The results were pretty shocking. Spurlock gained almost 30 pounds (over 10 in the first week), saw his cholesterol skyrocket, and experienced frequent nausea, chest pains, mood swings and loss of sex drive. During this month he also drove around the country, interviewing several different people on the topic (including a "Big Mac enthusiast" who has eaten over 19,000 Big Macs). His research on our fast food culture definitely yields some interesting information, especially when he interviews a group of 1st-graders, and more of them can identify Ronald McDonald than Jesus or George Washington.


His good humour makes the film but it is the documentary rather than the gimmick that kept me watching. The facts on obesity do speak for themselves and they are frightening and all the more so when you actually sit and think about what you eat – sweets, colas, ready meals, crisps, processed foods; whether it is salt, saturated fats or sugar, any of these foods spells trouble if they are not part of a balanced diet. My only fear of this film is that many viewers will look at McDonalds and say 'they are to blame, lets get them' and simply ignore that it is very easy to eat an unhealthy diet – go to any supermarket and you'll find 'easy' food served up quickly but without the things your body needs. I was challenged because I can easily veg out for several days and be too tired to cook decent food and this reminded me why I need to – hopefully many viewers will take that challenge and not just turn from one fatty diet (McDonalds) to another (ready meals).

McDonald's alone operates more than 30,000 joints in 100 countries on 6 continents and feeds more than 46 million people in the world every day. That's more than the entire population of spain. In United State alone, McDonald's accounts for  43%  of total fast food market. They're everywhere, wall mart's, airports, rest stops, gas stations, train stations, shopping malls, department stores, amusement parks, even hospitals.

American fast food chains are notorious for serving processed food with an incredible high fat high sugar content which probably won't do you any good health wise . But they also serve food in very large portions which is also very good value for money . Think about it for a moment - You go into a fast food chain with a couple of dollars and have a meal high in fat and sugar but the meal itself is relatively cheap . Would you rather spend 50 dollars getting a single meal in an expensive restaurant and leave the table still wanting ? I think most people visit a fast food chain to kill the hunger pangs and still have enough money to pay the bills . Watching Spurlock vomit because he's eaten too much is a kind of back handed compliment to a certain food chain for selling extra large portions.
Morgan Spurlock: Over the course of McDiet, I consumed over thirty pounds of sugar. That's an average of a pound of sugar a day. I also took in 12 pounds of fat.

7/6/11

Slumdog Millionaire(2008)

Slumdog Millionaire(2008)
What does it take to find a lost love? A. Money B. Luck C. Smarts D. Destiny
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Starring      : Dev Patel, Freida Pinto
Genre        : Drama
Runtime     : 120 minutes
WI's rating : 8.6





Police Inspector: [whispering] Doctors... Lawyers... never get past 60 thousand rupees. He's won 10 million.
[pause]
Police Inspector: What the hell can a slumdog possibly know?
Jamal Malik: [quietly] The answers.
[spits out blood]
Jamal Malik: [quietly and gently] I knew the answers.
The film begins as Jamal (Skins' Dev Patel) is under interrogation by Mumbai police for cheating on India's version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, being only one question away from winning it all. As the inspector says, even doctors and lawyers cannot come close to the 20m rupee prize, and so Jamal, having grown up on the streets of Mumbai, cannot possibly know these things. As Jamal tries to avoid further torture, he begins to explain to the police how he knew each of the answers. Flashbacks present Jamal's boyhood and explain how he got to the show. At the centre of his journey is his brother, Salim, and a girl, Latika, who is left a homeless orphan after an attack that took Jamal's mother as well. After running from a man who exploits the trio for labour, Jamal replays the incident when Latika left his life when she was unable to catch a moving train. His uncertainty of her fate on the streets of Mumbai and his intense desire to see his first and only love again lead him to the interrogation room where the film began.
Police Inspector: Money and women. The reasons for make most mistakes in life. Looks like you've mixed up both.

"
Slumdog Millionaire" is very tasteful in almost every respect. The romance scenes are either beautifully understated (most of the scenes with them as children/young teenagers, and a couple after that) or fantasy melodrama like much of the stuff near the end of the film (although the actual final pre-credit shot itself is again, a tender and beautiful moment). I have no issues with the fantasy melodrama however, because most of the film is done in that tone. Even the very realistic and brutally true-to-life scenes involving the raids of Muslim sections of the slums by Hindus, and the luring of children to a life of begging on the streets (for gangsters and criminals) in exchange for accommodation and food are done in a manner that is both tastefully evocative of reality while fitting in tone with much of the rest of the film, which has a more hopeful tone. It sounds improbable, but that's what the screenwriter and director(s) achieve here. The film doesn't strive for 'gritty realism', but everything in the film (yes, everything) is perfectly evocative of reality. The trouble with 'gritty realism' is that it often is gritty and hopeless in a way life rarely is to most of us, and is actually laughable if done wrong. Jamal's flashbacks to the begging end in misery, but before that we get the happiness and relief of slum life that these children felt. The raid is unrelentingly horrifying, but it is a haunting memory rather than something the film dwells on without stopping. The film also gives us scenes of comedic escapism which are still within the realm of plausibility as well. "Slumdog Millionaire" is also a drama exposing the tragic effects of poverty in gigantic Indian cities like Mumbai that is also fused with a modern day Indian fairytale. Jamal Malik is a young man on India's "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" and is a question away from one million dollars when he's arrested on suspicion of cheating. Because Jamal is from the slums of India and has no educational background, it seems entirely improbable if not impossible that Jamal could make it this far, but each question is connected with distinct and sometimes painful memories for Jamal. It's as if he is destined to win, even though he only went on the show to impress a girl he has loved his whole life, Latika.



FYI
-
The actor whose autograph young Jamal gets is Amitabh Bachchan. Amitabh Bachchan is a very real, and very famous Indian actor, the original host of the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (1998) , and also the father-in-law of Aishwarya Rai
-The pile of excreta that the young Jamal jumps into was made from a combination of peanut butter and chocolate.


-A.R. Rahman took just 20 days to compose the entire soundtrack, including Jai Ho.
-"Slumdog Millionaire" dominated oscar in 2009 by winning 8 nominations, including Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Achievement in Editing; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song; Best Achievement in Sound; Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, ditching "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" with 3 nominations.

6/28/11

Memento(2000)

Memento(2000)
"Some memories are best forgotten "
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Starring      : Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss
Genre        : Crime, Mystery
Runtime     : 113 minutes
WI's rating : 9.4





Leonard Shelby: I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different.

The film loops backwards episodically to present a series of revelations about the main character, Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), about the motives of his antagonists 'Teddy' (Joe Pantolino) and 'Natalie' (Carrie Ann Moss), and about the nature of Lenny's memory-loss condition. His condition 'isn't amnesia' (or so Lenny tells everyone he meets) but rather such severe short term memory loss that he is unable to assimilate and retain experience - in other words, to make new memories. Consequently, Lenny's identity, or more precisely his self-knowledge, is arrested at the moment he received a blow to his head while trying to stop intruders from raping his wife.

Leonard Shelby: Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts.
Importantly, Memento's regressive plot structure is punctuated and counter-pointed by a series of noirish black and white flashbacks in which Lenny relates to an anonymous phone caller the story of Sammy Jankis, another sufferer of short term memory loss who, ironically, was Lenny's big case in his pre-trauma life as an insurance investigator. Unlike the main narrative, the Sammy sequences are told in chronological order, strategically intersecting and organizing the narrative as it wends its way backwards to the moment when Lenny decides to set in motion the data trail that will lead to the murder we see him commit in the film's opening sequence. In addition, Lenny's reconstruction of the Sammy sequences is itself dreamlike and unreliable since he attributes to Sammy characteristics that (if we can believe Teddy, an utterly corrupt cop) are Lenny's own.
Leonard Shelby: I meet Sammy through work. Insurance. I was an investigator. I'd investigate the claims to see which ones were phony. I had to see through people's bullshit. It was useful experience, 'cause now it's my life.

This is a film you definitely need to pay attention to, leave for ten minutes and you may find yourself lost. This film is quite different to others in the way it is shown. Instead of following in a chronological order which is easy to follow, this goes in reverse. Each colour scene is before the one you just saw, there are also black and white scenes which are in chronological order though. This definitely made the film sometimes difficult to follow and confusing, but that adds to the overall enjoyment of the film. It doesn't just improve the film by making it more confusing, it makes it better for reasons I can't really say other than it helps in terms of the characters and makes for one hell of a climax.
So, if you watch this movie and it confuses you the first or even the second time, I can assure you that is how you are meant to feel, confused. If you hated watching ‘Memento' the way Christopher Nolan intended, then I can only recommend that you get a hold of the DVD and watch it in chronological order, as it will really help you. Memento also shows how bad ‘mental disease' patients can be abused by healthy people and what lengths sick patients will go to try and keep ‘sane'. Also, if a movie makes you think, then in some way it has been successful in doing something that many movies do not do – making you think. Those sorts of cinematic experiences are the ones that we need to cherish for life, as they are few and far between. Memento is one such experience.

 FYI
 -The camera Leonard Shelby uses is a Polaroid 690.

 -The medical condition experienced by Leonard in this film is a real condition called Anterograde Amnesia - the inability to form new memories after damage to the hippocampus. During the 1950s, doctors treated some forms of epilepsy by removing parts of the temporal lobe, resulting in the same memory problems.
 -In one scene, Leonard quickly passes in front of a comic book store. The Batman logo is displayed prominently on the store's window. Christopher Nolan later directed Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight

Spoiler Alert
read it for your own risk
 Leonard found his wife being raped and murdered, and the killers incapacitated him and gave him short term memory loss. Unfortunately, his wife didn't die from the assault, so she lived in guilt. At the end (beginning?) of the movie, 'Teddy' tells Leonard that Sammy Jankis never existed. At the end of the film "Teddy" actually mentions this when he says something like "you are Sammy Jankis". Everything that we see happening to Sammy Jankis happened to Leonard in real life. So technically, Leonard killed his wife by injecting her with too much Insulin, but it was an accident.But due to Leonard's short term memory loss, he still believes that his wife died at the hands of a rapist / serial killer. So Teddy keeps finding low-life people for Leonard to murder so that he can feel compensated for his wife's 'tragic death.' But, Leonard finds out about Teddy's scheme, and before he forgets, he sets up Teddy as the next person to kill, hence the reason that in the opening of the film, Leonard kills Teddy and takes a picture of it. You have to assume that even though Leonard will forget about killing all of his victims, he'll have the picture to remind him that his task was completed, and that he can move on.

6/10/11

Forrest Gump(1994)

Forrest Gump(1994)
"Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." 
Direct by      :  Robert Zemeckis
Starring        :  Tom Hanks
Genre          :   Drama, Comedy
Runtime       : 142 minutes
WI's rating   : 8.6




Forrest gump: My momma always said,"Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
Forrest Gump(Tom Hanks), not the sharpest tool in the box, his I.Q. is right below the average scores. But his mama(Sally Field) believes that her boy has the same opportunities as anyone else and lets Forrest know that there's nothing that could hold him back. As a boy he is put into braces for his legs since he has a crooked back and really doesn't have too many friends. When he gets on a school bus for his first day of school, NO ONE will let him sit next to them. This scene is so heart breaking until you hear a little angel's voice "You can sit here if you want". Jenny, Forrest's best friend and crush, she looks so incredibly innocent and you love her because her and Forrest are like pea's and carrots. But we find out that there is an extremely unfortunate side to her life, she has a father that's "always kissing and touching her and her sisters". Forrest just assumes that it's a father's love since he doesn't have a dad that could show him that it's wrong.
Forrest Gump: Will you marry me?
[Jenny turns and looks at him]
Forrest Gump: I'd make a good husband, Jenny.
Jenny Curran: You would, Forrest.
Forrest Gump: ...But you won't marry me.
Jenny Curran: [sadly] ... You don't wanna marry me.
Forrest Gump: Why don't you love me, Jenny?
[Jenny says nothing]
Forrest Gump: I'm not a smart man... but I know what love is.

Forrest and Jenny together walk every day from school and when these kids start throwing rocks at Forrest calling him stupid, Jenny just tells Forrest "Run, Forrest! Run!". He miraculously breaks the braces off his legs and run like the wind blows. Forrest meets many celebrities from his life that just happened to be there: Elvis Presley visited his house before hitting it big, President Kennedy honored him with a all American football award, President Johnson who honored him with a medal of honor for his actions in Vietnam, President Nixon(in which Forrest happens to discover a problem in the Water Gate Hotel because some people seem to be flashing lights around), and John Lennon through a talk show to talk about his medal of honor.




[Forrest Gump referring to Apple Computer]
Forrest Gump: Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don't have to worry about money no more. And I said, that's good! One less thing.
Forrest meets some interesting people along the way too that are even better than these celebrities combined; Bubba his Vietnam war friend who dreams of owning a shrimp boat one day and was born with big gums. He is just so wonderful and charming and won't stop talking about shrimp. lieutenant Dan, a leader of Forrest's army in Vietnam who gets saved by Forrest during a huge attack and looses his legs as a result. Lieutenant Dan was by far my favorite character, he has so much pride and wants to die in Vietnam due to his family history tradition of dying in every single American war. He and Forrest make quite a pair. And of course there's Jenny, a very tragic figure, she gets more mean as she grows up because she knows that Forrest loves her, in some ways you can't blame her really. She was obviously abused and I think she felt that Forrest was too good for her or that he couldn't really give her the love she wanted. Because Forrest Gump is one ridiculous, unbelievable joke followed by another, and when Forrest is teaching Elvis how to dance, giving Lennon the idea for
"Imagine", investing his money on Apple(which he thought was a fruit company), wiping his face on a clean shirt and making a smiley face with the dirt by accident.

don't worry be happy

Forrest Gump: In the land of China, people hardly got nothing at all.
John Lennon: No possessions?
Forrest Gump: And in China they never go to church.
John Lennon: No religion too?
Dick Cavett: Ah. Hard to imagine.
John Lennon: Well it's easy if you try, Dick.

What is the message of Forrest Gump? Stripped to its purest essence, this movie is about loyalty and devotion, particularly to the ones in our lives we love and care about. These are the human values being reinforced. Loyalty. Devotion. Forrest Gump embodies loyalty and devotion. To his mama. To his good best buddy Bubba. To the love of his life, Jenny. To his leader, Lt. Dan. And in the end to Forrest Jr. One by one and all together Forrest sticks by and takes care of his family, friends, and loved ones. This is the thread running through the entire story. This is what carries Forrest to all of the remarkable places he goes along the way.The use of a mentally challenged man as the leading man is a conceit, used to illustrate the point that loyalty and devotion are the most important things in life, trumping everything else. It drives home the point that nothing else really matters anywhere near as much. Indeed, it drives it home with blunt force. Maybe it drives it home too hard for such a simple little point.

6/6/11

(500) Days of Summer(2009)

(500) Days of Summer(2009)
This is not a love story. This is a story about love.
Directed by: Marc Webb
Starring      :  Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
genre          : Romance, Drama, Comedy
Runtime      : 95 Minutes
WI's rating  : 8.4








One of 2009's best films, (500) Days of Summer proved there is a way to bring something fresh and new to one of the most cliche and often frustrating genres – the romantic comedy.Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), whose job writing greeting cards gets a lot more exciting when he meets his new coworker, Summer Finn(Zooey Deschanel). She's adorable, she's cool, she's funny and she likes the same music as Tom – obviously, she's perfect but she didn't want to get a serious relationship with people.
Summer: [Tom is listening to headphones in an elevator with Summer. She notices the music] I love the Smiths.
Tom: Sorry?
Summer: I said I love the Smiths.
Summer: [they stare at each other for a moment] You... You have good taste in music.
Tom: [repeating after her] You... like the Smiths?
Summer: [singing] To die by your side, such a heavenly way to die.
[speaking]
Summer: I love em.
Tom: [elevator stops, Summer leaves while Tom remains dumbfounded] Holy shit.

 Tom: What happens if you fall in love?
Summer: Well, you don't believe that, do you?
Tom: It's love. It's not Santa Claus.

Soon, Tom was sure that Summer was the woman with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life. Although Summer did not believe in relationships or boyfriends – in her assertion, real life will always ultimately get in the way – Tom and Summer became more than just friends. Through the trials and tribulations of Tom and Summer's so-called relationship, Tom could always count on the advice of his two best friends, McKenzie (Geoffrey Arend) and Paul (Matthew Gray Gubler). However, it is Tom's adolescent sister, Rachel (Chloe Moretz), who is his voice of reason.
Rachel Hansen: Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate.


Romantic comedies are almost all aimed at women, and thus are mostly told from a woman's point of view. That being the case, it's surprisingly refreshing to have one told from the point of view of a young male. And many male viewers will empathize with Tom and the way it's so easy to be absolutely sure you've met "The Girl of Your Dreams," even when there are obvious signs that things can and will go sour.
Tom: It's official. I'm in love with Summer.
[while Montage of Summer plays]
Tom: I love her smile. I love her hair. I love her knees. I love how she licks her lips before she talks. I love her heart-shaped birthmark on her neck. I love it when she sleeps.
The success of the film derives from its honesty. In a time where Hollywood is spewing out fantastical ideas of the modern romance with films like Twilight and Dear John, (500) Days of Summer is a breath of fresh air. The writers, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, put together scenes that are so authentic that it makes you wonder why they aren't put on screen more often. The relationship starts awkwardly, with Tom expressing a curious shyness and fear of destruction that accompanies those first conversations with a new love. The degradation of the relationship never feels forced or sudden; rather Summer drifts from Tom organically making Tom's ultimate heartbreak all the more realistic.
Tom: People don't realize this, but loneliness is underrated

Another key component is the film's healthy sense of humor. There are certainly genuine, heartfelt moments, but the film never wallows in misery or over sentimentality. Or perhaps it's more correct to say that when there are moments that are overly sentimentalized, it's purposeful and shown in a clever manner – we're seeing how Tom is building up moments in his mind in a way that doesn't really connect to reality, in the way people do when they're so deeply and desperately in love.

6/4/11

Seven (1995)

Seven(1995)
Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Wrath , Pride, Lust
Directed by: David Fincher
Starring      : Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt
Runtime     : 127 minutes
WI's Rating: 9.1




William Somerset(Morgan Freeman) is  as senior police who was preparing to retire and leave the horrors of the city while David Mills (Brad Pitt) is a brash, hot-headed rookie cop who believes his big break lies in the murky, seedy unnamed metropolis. Amidst some cynicism, Somerset takes on Mills as a partner for his last days. When two murders occur within two days of each other the duo realize that a serial killer is murdering his victims in accordance with the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath. What follows is a terrifying and disturbing story of the dark side of human nature. As the title, situation in this movie occurs in 7 days and 7 deadly sins(Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Wrath , Pride, Lust). the victim was murdered in uncommon ways, like a model who proud of her beauty death died with her face cut.

The two detectives enjoy an uneasy relationship with no real friendship ever striking up between them. The older Somerset is educated, astute and gives the impression of being emotionally burnt out. Mills, who has no respect for Somersets methodical investigating gets excited at the thought of solving a murder and firmly believes that the good guys will win eventually. The further we get into the action, the might of the evil that they face pushes both men beyond their limits.
William Somerset: I just don't think I can continue to live in a place that embraces and nurtures apathy as if it was virtue.
David Mills: You're no different. You're no better.
William Somerset: I didn't say I was different or better. I'm not. Hell, I sympathize; I sympathize completely. Apathy is the solution. I mean, it's easier to lose yourself in drugs than it is to cope with life. It's easier to steal what you want than it is to earn it. It's easier to beat a child than it is to raise it. Hell, love costs: it takes effort and work
The Most disturbing message that Seven puts across, is that the fight against evil is destined to be a Pyrrhic victory. But regardless the only thing we can do is fight on whatever the cost. We have no other choice.

Spoiler alert
Read for your own risk
The killer (Kevin Spacey) who name himself as John Doe offers to take Mills and Somerset to the location of the sixth and seventh victims. When they arrive at the barren outdoor location, a delivery van drives up and drops off a box containing Mills' wife's head(Gwyneth Paltrow). John Doe kills her, fulfilling the sin of ENVY because he envied Detective Mills' "simple" life He hoped that in turn Mills would then kill him, fulfilling the final sin, WRATH (which also makes sure John is punished by death for his sin). Mills is technically not punished by death for his sin, but he is obviously left a broken man (which is probably the life he is 'allowed to live', to which John Doe was referring in the car).

6/3/11

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments
Directed by: David Fincher
Starring     : Bradd Pitt,Cate Blanchett,Tilda Swinton
Runtime     : 166 minutes
WI's rating : 8.5







Benjamin Button:Your life is defined by its opportunities... even the ones you miss.

What make this life feel essential and meaningful are the people we love have a limited time on this earth. Then will life still look the same if someone saw the reverse? In this case was born old and die young? Born in 1918 with oddity that is look old when young; Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) must live life in reverse, started a life as an elder and ended as a youth. He witnessed many things, even fall in love with Daisy(Cate Blanchett), a woman he knew for many years.
Daisy: You're so young.
                           Benjamin Button: Only on the outside.

Maybe if we see life in reverse and contradictory way,the handsomeness and wrinkle at his eye as indicator maturity to be crushed and humanity is released from physical restraint, can be an idea that can tell about the meaning of life. This film tried to show us the happiness and sincere desire to live without having tied the stream of life. Benjamin realized that the miracle that happened to him can be a blessing that allowed him to more clearly see the life.

 

Introduction

Hello world!!(or whatever it is). My is willy and i'm just a decent senior high school student who is trying to kill a leisure time by making a movie blog. most of this blog discussed about a movie(including TV series), my thought about a movie, and little bit of my humdrum life(as you know, i don't have an interesting life ). As you read this blog, you can feel writing about movie is kinda out of your expectation(for example: people love twilight, but i hate it because it just a movie with over-exposed-abs werewolf and pale-looking super vampire fall in love with phlegmatic girl (but no offense)).
Everyone has different perspective and different "taste"
appreciate it  


I hope this blog will be legendary (good one Barney Stinson)