Posts Tagged ‘Bill Murray’

Tootsie – Minute Movie Review

Montag, Mai 31st, 2010

Review:

Unemployed and unemployable actor Dustin Hoffman decides to dress up as a woman in order to get work. Surprisingly, this works out as he is given a part in a daytime drama (those things commonly known as “daily soaps”). Through it, he discovers the sexism of men, the advantages of being a woman and the gentler side in himself. Too bad that he falls in love with one of his co-stars… The film, directed by the legendary Sidney Pollack, is both extremely funny and an engaging examination of gender roles. Hoffman is utterly brilliant as both a man and a woman and with a great supporting cast he makes this film truly memorable.

Random Observations:

Tootsie at the IMDb

This continues Dustin Hoffman Week. Two more instalments to come!

Bill Murray plays Hoffman’s room-mate – his name was omitted from the opening credits so that audience wouldn’t think this was one of his typical comedies. He is also extremely funny, playing the straight man to Hoffman’s antics.

“I was a better man with you as a woman than I ever was with a woman as a man. Know what I mean?”

This was the first film for Geena Davis, who went on to an illustrious career (and less appearances in her underwear).

Fantastic Mr. Fox – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, Mai 26th, 2010

Review:

Mr. Fox has gone straight since the birth of his son, but he still wants nothing more than one last big heist, taking on the hen houses and cider cellars of his three human neighbours. They, in turn, decide to retaliate, and so the war is on. Based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book, this stop-motion animation by director Wes Anderson is a fun extension of the story, a funny film that is fun to watch. Anderson’s signature style, a combination of a bright palette, a lot of whimsy and something to far removed from words, lends itself perfectly to the animated format. The film doesn’t have the depth that his best works – Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums – have, but it’s simple good family entertainment.

Random Observations:

Fantastic Mr. Fox at the IMDb

Saying “cuss” instead of “fuck” or “shit” might have done wonders for the rating, but is damn annoying. (This post has been rated “R” by the MPAA.)

Some great talent is voicing the characters, including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman.

Who does Eric Anderson, who voices Kristofferson, sound like? He reminded me of another actor, but for the life of me I can’t figure out who.

The film has only 12 frames per second (compared to the usual) 24 to ensure that everybody recognizes the stop motion technique.

Zombieland – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, Dezember 15th, 2009

In view of the fact that this film is currently in theatres in at least one major foreign market, we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this Minute Movie Review.

Review:

In the future, after a viral outbreak of mutated mad cow disease, the world is overrun by zombies. Only a few humans survive and this is their story. Nerdy, socially inept Jesse Eisenberg goes along with Woody Harrelson, who lives for killing zombies. Soon after, they meet sisters Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. Together, more or less, they travel the US, or as Eisenberg dubbed it, Zombieland, in the search for home, fun and a Twinkie. The film is a very funny take on the zombie genre, with many hilarious scenes, carried mostly by the great lead Eisenberg. Complete nonsense, the film is very entertaining nonetheless.

Random Observations:

Zombieland at the IMDb

I think I would have enjoyed the cameo by a famous “top of the A-List” actor more if I had not known about it beforehand. He is, however, delightful as usual.

For the relatively small budget the film undoubtedly had, the special effects are very good.

The opening titles are very creative, which is very nice to see in this day and age, when opening titles seem to be all but forgotten.

Groundhog Day – Minute Movie Review

Sonntag, November 8th, 2009

Review:

You haven’t seen Groundhog Day? That is a crass oversight. Go watch it right now. There isn’t a single person alive who doesn’t love this film. It might just be the best thing Bill Murray ever did. And he was in my two favourite films, Lost in Translation and The Royal Tenenbaums. I can’t recommend this film more. Watch it now. You will laugh.

Random Observations:

Groundhog Day at the IMDb

You have seen the film, right? It’s awesome, right?

This might be one of the best romantic comedies of all time, although I have some trouble calling it a romantic comedy because it’s so good. And so different.

Minute Movie Review – The Limits of Control

Mittwoch, Mai 27th, 2009

Review:

A man with a mission travels through Spain, along the way gathering information hidden in match boxes from various sources, before finally carrying out his mission. The plot of the new Jim Jarmusch movie is easy enough to follow and it is beautifully shot and acted, but in the end it is not enough to know what happened, you also want to know why it happened. And while it is easy to interpret the film in a million different ways, there really is no satisfactory resolution. If you are a fan of Jarmusch’s work, especially Dead Man, I highly recommend this film, if not, you should probably skip it.

Random Observations:

The Limits of Control at imdb.com

There is really only one character in the film, the “Lone Man” played by Issach De Bankolé (who has appeared in plenty of Jarmusch’s films, though never in the lead role). All other actors merely have cameos of single scenes, yet those infuse the film with some much needed distraction and life.

There is some great dialogue in the film – or rather monologues, since the lone man doesn’t really say anything.

The film is extremely repetitive, since all the encounters follow pretty much the same pattern. This is not necessarily bad, but it contributes to the dragging middle part of the film.

For the German readers: the film will be released here tomorrow!

My Favourite Contemporary Actors

Freitag, März 27th, 2009

As I said before, everybody loves Top Ten Lists. Especially me. So I thought I’d start a new, sort of regular, feature here, where I make Top Ten Lists of things I like. Now, the usual way to go about that would be to make lists like “The Ten Best Actors Working Today”, but even I don’t consider my opinion so important as to call it objective. So I will make lists like “My Favourite Ten Actors Working Today”, even if that title is a little longer. And so, without further ado, here are the ten actors whose body of work I enjoy so much, that just their participation in a film means that I want to see it, in reverse order. If you know all ten of them, congratulate yourself on having good taste. (weiterlesen …)

The Ten Best Movies of 2008

Mittwoch, Januar 7th, 2009

Everybody loves Top Ten Lists, right? You can never get enough of them, correct? If you read one to the end, you want nothing more than start looking at the next one, or am I wrong? In any case, I like Top Ten (or basically any other number) Lists. I know they are silly and arbitrary and highly subjective, but they are still fun – even if one just reads them to poke fun at the author(s). So to start my own habitual list-making off, I hereby offer you the TEN BEST MOVIES OF 2008!

(weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – Lost in Translation

Freitag, März 14th, 2008

Review:

Lost in Translation is the story of two Americans in Tokyo. Bob is an old, washed-out movie star who is shooting a Whiskey commercial and Charlotte a recent Yale graduate who is trying to figure out what to do with her life. Inexplicably drawn to each other – maybe due to the mutual insomnia – they become friends and together discover Tokyo. A slow film that relies on pictures and dialogue, it perfectly depicts the alienation every thinking person often feels. A love story of sorts (though not a typical Hollywood one), this film by Sofia Coppola is one you’ll either love or hate – depending on how much adrenaline you expect from a movie.

Random Observations:

Lost in Translation at imdb.com

This is one of my all-time favourite movies. Just great.

Bill Murray was so sad when he was nominated for an Oscar for this film and didn’t win. You could really see the disappointment in his face when he realized that he had just missed his one chance.

In the Karaoke scene, Bill Murray sings “More than this” from Roxy Music. Not only is it included as a hidden track on the soundtrack album, it also captures perfectly that song’s inherent melancholy.

Sofia Coppola’s second film after the good-but-not-great “The Virgin Suicides” (based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides, famous for Middlesex) and before the dreadful “Marie Antoinette“, though admittedly I haven’t seen that one.

Minute Movie Review – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Sonntag, Februar 17th, 2008

Review:

The Life Aquatic not only has a ridiculously long title, but is also probably my least favourite Wes Anderson film. It’s still great though: Steve Zissou is a marine researcher that has somehow lost his touch. People aren’t interested in his documentaries anymore and when his best friend is eaten by a shark, nobody takes his hunt for it seriously or is willing to finance it. Only Ned, who may or may not be his son, can help him restore the interest and so the crew set out for one last adventure. The movie balances once more between comedy and drama, but some of the ideas are just a bit too absurd. Nevertheless, the story of an aging man and his ragtag crew is often funny and in the end refreshingly different from most current cinema.

Random Observations:

The Life Aquatic… at imdb.com

Another ensemble cast with a collection of great actors (and many returning Anderson favourites): Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum and Michael Gambon. Plus a bunch of other good actors that aren’t nearly as well known as they deserve.

The soundtrack with Portuguese renditions of David Bowie songs (which are often played on screen by Seu Jorge, the musician responsible for them) is great.

I want one of those rainbow seahorses! While I thought the other sea creatures were a bit too strange, I absolutely love that one.

This is the conclusion of “Wes Anderson Sunday”. For more of his work, see my review of Bottle Rocket and my thoughts on The Darjeeling Limited. You can also look forward to soon reading a letter I sent to him…

Minute Movie Review – The Royal Tenenbaums

Sonntag, Februar 17th, 2008

Review:

When the estranged father of the Tenenbaum family is broke and after decades of neglecting his wife and three children (two sons, one adopted daughter) wants to return to them, all their lives are changed. When all live together under the same roof again, they all learn to forgive and forget – even if it isn’t always easy. A quirky and often absurd comedy (with many dramatic elements) that is at the same time absolutely outlandish and frighteningly realistic, the movie tells the story of what family really means, without ever being preachy.

Random Observations:

The Royal Tenenbaums at imdb.com

Together with “Lost in Translation”, this is probably the movie that means the most to me, personally.

The first ensemble cast movie of Wes Anderson. With a cast including Gene Hackmann, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Danny Glover, Owen and Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Stiller, every taste should be satisfied.

Probably the first movie to fully show Anderson’s perfectionism and attention to detail.

I can never decide whether this movie is a dramatic comedy or a funny drama. Possible the best genre mix in the history of cinema.