Posts Tagged ‘No Country for Old Men’

Burn After Reading – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, April 27th, 2010

Review:

After he is fired from the CIA, analyst John Malkovich decides to write his memoirs. Meanwhile, his wife Tilda Swinton is having an affair with George Clooney and decides to divorce him, accidentally causing his computer files to be left in a gym bathroom, where Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt find them and decide to extort money for their return. However, them being idiots, makes the thing a little difficult, and before long, a clusterfuck (to quote J.K. Simmons’ CIA Supervisor) is underway, that is even more complicated than these few sentences can hope to indicate. The Coen Brothers made this film fresh off the success of No Country for Old Men and manage to make a very funny comedy with strong performances all around. Personally, I don’t see the subtext some people claim the film has, but that doesn’t really detract from the film being perfectly watchable.

Random Observations:

Burn After Reading at the IMDb

Brad Pitt is great at playing a moron. It’s good to see him move beyond his good looks once in a while and demonstrate that he can actually act.

Did you know that Frances McDormand is married to Joel Coen? I only recently discovered that and was quite surprised. However, my hopes that Ethan Coen was married to Steve Buscemi were quickly squashed.

My Thoughts on the 2009 Oscar Nominations

Freitag, Februar 5th, 2010

By now, it has been three days since the Nominations for the 2009 Academy Awards, more commonly known as Oscars, have been announced, and everybody has had plenty of time to comment on them, despair over the obvious oversights and dreadful inclusions, and ultimately come to accept them as the meaningless bullshit they are. So now I thought it would be a good idea to voice my opinions on (some of) the nominations, a complete list of which can be found here. My predictions as to who will win will be up in this very space in early March, in time for the, glorious, gloriously ridiculous and ridiculously overlong ceremony on March 7th.

(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 – No Country for Old Men

Donnerstag, Februar 21st, 2008

Review:

Like “There Will Be Blood“, “No Country for Old Men” has been a critical and award favourite – maybe even more so. Unlike “There Will Be Blood”, it actually lives up to the hype. The story of a man who finds two million dollar on a murder scene and subsequently is hunted by several people who don’t think it belongs to him is uncompromisingly realistic. Brilliantly shot, with great acting (especially by “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar nominee Javier Bardem) and a hauntingly sparse score (what a relief!), the movie deviates so far from the typical Hollywood conventions that more than once I felt myself wondering what would be next. In the end, this movie is a true masterpiece, with few discernible flaws and much to teach today’s filmmakers – especially Paul Thomas Anderson.

Random Observations:

No Country for Old Men at imdb.com

Lucky me got to see this movie in a sneak preview today. Which means that I got to see it before it’s actual German release. Which means that I got to see it before the Oscar ceremony on Sunday. Which means that I am no longer ruling for Atonement to win.

Did I mention that the movie is a true masterpiece?

I had last seen Josh Brolin in “Into the Blue”. Amazing that somebody who was in such a crappy movie actually managed to star in this one. Of course, he needed to convince Robert Rodriguez to shoot an audition tape for him which Quentin Tarantino directed to convince the Coen brothers that he could indeed do it.

The movie actually got a fair number of laughs when I saw it. While not conventionally funny, there are some scenes that are so bitterly realistic yet absurd, that one can do little but laugh.

My Top Movies of 2007

Mittwoch, Januar 9th, 2008

For a long time, I have been a reader of the website of the A.V. Club. As far as popular culture is concerned, there is no site on the great world wide interweb that I like more. And now for the third year running, they have asked readers to submit their Top Five Movies of the past year, which I of course dutifully did. I also wrote some short comments about those movies and since I feel disinclined to just let them get lost in the internetz and I also like reusing things to make it appear that I am creative or something like that, they are now also posted here. So here are my personal favourite movies of 2007:

1. Atonement

In a wonderful adaptation of a brilliant novel, Joe Wright almost manages to tell a better story than Ian McEwan. Beautifully shot and excellently acted (especially by Saoirse Ronan), the movie is a true gem. Combined with the great story and the surprisingly fitting soundtrack/score, this is easily the best film I’ve seen in 2007.

2. Gone Baby Gone

Ben Affleck should never have tried acting. He belongs behind the camera and he demonstrates it with his directorial debut. A good movie is made great by the twist at the end that makes a typical thriller into a morality tale, which makes you wonder what you would have done.

3. The Simpsons Movie

After 18 years, the Simpsons moved to the big screen and they did so in a fashion that surprised everybody. For 90 minutes, this movie is just pure brilliant entertainment. Maybe there were more meaningful movies in 2007, but there wasn’t a funnier one.

4. The Darjeeling Limited

Wes Anderson makes another movie that is so typically Wes Anderson that after 10 minutes you start to wonder whether he can only make one kind of movie. But you’ll soon stop, because the typically melodramatic comedy of Anderson, combined with beautiful imagery, great acting and music leaves you wanting more. It’s not The Royal Tenenbaums, but it’s still a brilliant movie.

5. Juno

I haven’t actually seen Juno, because it hasn’t yet been released in the backwater country where I live (it’s called Germany). But what I’ve heard is so great, that I’m sure I will love this movie. People might say that it was Ellen Page’s breakthrough performance, but everybody who has seen her in Hard Candy knows that she knows what she is doing.

I’d love to say something about how great a year 2007 was, but due to the fact that studios insist on releasing movies months later in Germany, I haven’t yet seen many hyped movies, such as There Will Be Blood or No Country for Old Men. But considering that I can’t remember the last time I was looking forward to movies that are released here in February, 2007 must have been a great year.

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.