Posts Tagged ‘Jake Gyllenhaal’

Say Anything… – Minute Movie Review

Freitag, Oktober 8th, 2010


Lovable loser John Cusack decides to date high school valedictorian Ione Skye. Surprisingly, she actually agrees to this. What follows is a sweet story about first love, combined with some unnecessary dramatic elements and some clever dialogue. Young John Cusack is adorable and his character Lloyd Dobler might be the most sought-after guy in movie history. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, the film showcases his raw talent for emotionally touching stories, without ever achieving greatness, for it is too mired in mediocrities.

Random Observations:

Say Anything… at the IMDb

Well, will you look at that. This really has been “80s teen comedy week”.

John Cusack’s sister is played by Joan Cusack, his real life sister. Sort of like Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko. Only much earlier.

Crowe already displayed his interest in music here. An interest that earlier and later culminated in Almost Famous, the somewhat biographical film about his experiences of working for Rolling Stone as a teenager.

Adventskalender 11

Freitag, Dezember 11th, 2009

Klick auf den Link, um das elfte Türchen zu öffnen. Click the link to open the eleventh door.

(weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – Zodiac

Samstag, Mai 23rd, 2009


The case of the serial killer in California that called himself Zodiac is still notorious today because he kept a public profile with letters announcing his killings and because the case was never solved. The film is a detailed retelling of the events and of the men investigating them. In the last third, when it turns to the frantic investigation of cartoonist Robert Graysmith, upon whose book the film is based, it turns into a genuinely gripping thriller, despite the fact that the outcome is more or less known. Sadly, the film has already run for almost two hours at that point. It’s not a bad film, but apart from the running time it’s a pedestrian thriller that are a dime a dozen.

Random Observations:

Zodiac at

The film is directed by David Fincher, who is generally considered a great filmmaker, but who I consider vastly overrated. Neither Se7en nor Fight Club are particularly great (though at least both are not bad) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is just a prime example of pandering to stupid viewers.

For some strange reason, this is the third film starring Elias Koteas I’ve seen in a week. He is also in Crash and The Thin Red Line. This doubles the total number of films I’ve seen him in.

And speaking of things that have nothing to do with the film itself: This is the 300th post on this blog. I thought about writing a special celebratory post, but I’ll save that for the 500th.

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 …)

Minute Movie Review – Lovely & Amazing

Dienstag, März 17th, 2009


The film tells the stories of four women with self-image issues. The mother uses liposuction to look and feel better, the young adopted daughter eats without pause, the oldest sister is struggling with an unsuccessful artistic career and the actress sister is a nervous wrack. The movie ties these storylines together somehow and while it is an often cruel yet funny look at reality, it ultimately lacks a leitmotif.

Random Observations:

Lovely & Amazing at

Some really nice performances in the film, especially from Catherine Keener and Emily Mortimer, one of my favourite actresses around right now.

Jake Gyllenhaal has a small role – as the teenage lover of the older sister. It reminded me a lot of his Donnie Darko character.

Minute Movie Review – Brokeback Mountain

Montag, Februar 18th, 2008


When Ennis and Jack herd sheep together in the summer of 1963 on Brokeback Mountain, they become more than friends. But in a time and place where being homosexual was not a social possibility, they both move on, only to be drawn back to each other time and again. A study of true love (in as much as it is possible in the real world) and how it affects the lives of a number of people, Brokeback Mountain tells a story that is both sad and encouraging. The only thing that can really be said about this movie is: Watch it. And think about it. And wonder why it didn’t win Best Picture at the 2006 Oscar’s (nothing against Crash, but seriously…).

Random Observations:

Brokeback Mountain at

For all those people who still haven’t seen this movie and who are thrown off by the often told sentiment, that it is about “gay cowboys”: There is probably no better way to remember the late Heath Ledger and to see what he was truly capable of.

Seeing this movie on both the big and the small screen made me realize, once again, why cinemas exist. Movies like this aren’t meant to be seen on a television.

The way Ledger and Gyllenhaal talk, or rather mumble, in this movie is often quite hard to understand. The only movie where the pronunciation is worse is probably Scarface – which I honestly can’t understand without subtitles.

The short story this movie is based on, by Annie Proulx, is also quite remarkable.

Even though the story takes place in the US, the movie was filmed almost entirely in Canada. The beautiful scenery cinematography certainly didn’t suffer.

It’s a perfect 10!

Donnerstag, November 8th, 2007

The always great IMDB (Internet Movie Database) offers registered users the chance to rate movies on a scale from 1 to 10. As somebody with a lot of time and even more interest in movies, I have done so (as of November 8th 2007) 342 times. Out of the 342 movies, I rated 12 as 10. Here is, in alphabetical order, the list with short explanations. Please note that I am aware that some of these movies are far from perfect. I nevertheless enjoyed them immensely. It would also be inadvisable to compare these movies to each other – my ratings are more based on what I felt about the film than on objective facts. That is why they are my ratings.

About Schmidt

I see this movie as Jack Nicholson’s best. And considering his life’s work, that is saying something (Chinatown anyone?). It is a nice story of a senior in the United States that is lost after losing his job. Don’t expect great action sequences or special effects from this movie – just a nice story with incredible acting and some extremely funny passages.

Die Brücke

The only German movie on this list and at the same time the oldest. Die Brücke (The Bridge) is an anti-war story of several boys who are charged with defending a bridge at the end of World War II. Never before and never again has a movie so brutally showcased the senselessness of war in general and of the Third Reich in particular.

Brokeback Mountain

To say that Brokeback Mountain is simply the story of two gay cowboys is not enough. The movie is a masterpiece in almost every aspect: A moving, extremely realistic story, superb acting from everyone involved and just beautifully shot. Despite the subject, the movie never gets sappy, preachy or homophobic.

A Clockwork Orange

I watched this movie after I read the book, which is a masterpiece in its own right, and was surprised at just how much better it is. I see this as Stanley Kubrick’s best movie, easily surpassing the usual favourite “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Caution: This is by far the “darkest” movie on this list.

Down by Law

And now we come to one of my favourite filmmakers, the great Jim Jarmusch. As much as I love all of his work, with the possible exception of “Stranger than Paradise”, Down by Law is his best movie. Who could ever forget “I scream, you scream, we all scream – for ice cream.” Possibly the funniest line in movie history.

Fucking Åmål

The second (and last) non-English movie on this list. This Swedish film is a touching love story as well as a nice coming-of-age story. The titular city, Åmål, is small and not exactly exciting for teenagers, so most just want to leave. The twist: the love story is of two girls.

Lost in Translation

My second favourite movie ever. A love story of sorts between a young American philosopher and an aging movie star who are stranded in Tokyo. Slow, character-driven and sometimes extremely (intentionally) awkward, but overall just great. Bill Murray has never acted better and Sofia Coppola proves with this movie, after her promising debut “The Virgin Suicides”, that she has inherited her father’s talent.

Love Actually

Probably the “lightest” movie here. Just a straightforward romantic comedy (British!), with not one but a dozen love stories. It’s funny and always good for Christmas, which is of course all around. The star-studded cast makes this movie even better.

The Matrix

Yes, I still think the Matrix is a great movie. You just have to ignore the two sequels. I think everybody has seen this one, so there really isn’t much to say. It’s a great science fiction story, well made and though-provoking. What else could you ask for?

Million Dollar Baby

Two-thirds in I wondered what the big deal was. Up to that point, Million Dollar Baby is just a usual feel-good sports story which has you cheering for the underdog. It’s nice, with brilliant acting and so on, but nothing special. But the ending changes everything and makes this movie truly unique. It’s the movie I’m most unsure about including in this “elite” company (and incidentally also the latest addition), but the ending deserves it.

The Royal Tenenbaums

This is my favourite movie. It’s a Wes Anderson movie and I like all of his work. But The Royal Tenenbaums is easily the best among them. The story is typical Anderson (and Owen Wilson, his usual co-writer), a unique blend of humour and melancholy. Royal, the father of three brilliant kids, wants to come back to his family after living in a hotel for decades. At first he justs wants to come back because he is broke, but slowly he begins to care for his family and the other members of the family begin to care for each other. If the fact that this is my favourite movie is no reason for you to watch it, just take a look at the cast list: Gene Hackmann, Bill Murray, Owen and Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Houston, …

V for Vendetta

Finally, an action movie on this list (apart from Matrix)! Well, true, but also so much more. This comic book adaption, incidentally from the Matrix creators (the movie, not the comic, that’s from Alan Moore), is even better than its source material. In a Britain where a new tyranny is reigning, a single “terrorist” sets out to make things right. The story is very well versed, with many great actors (Hugo Weaving, Stephen Fry, Natalie Portman among others), just the right amount of humour and action sequences to spice up the political story.