Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

RED is coming to the masses!

I've seen some really nice things from RED, and it looks like their ahead of the curve on new technology, and work flow patterns.

I'm sure there is a lot of testing to be done yet, but it's exciting news. Technology that breaks the barrier of just who can make new media. Simplicity is the key, and it looks as though RED is doing just that.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Paranormal Activity (2009)

I finally sat down and saw the film that's been hyped for so long. I guess there are two camps to this movie. One is that you'll love it, or you'll hate it. There seems to be no middle ground here.

The story is about a couple who move into a suburban house that seems to be haunted. They do their own investigating by setting up a video camera to document the many odd events that are happening inside their house.

Now I have to say it is an interesting premise, and one that I think really works on some level. Yet it was not scary at all, and I found the movie quite dull. I did like the performances of Katie Featherston, and Micah Sloat as the haunted couple. Though I did think Micah's performance sometimes grated on me. I sometimes wanted to kick the screen when he was on. I don't know if that is a good thing here since I wanted to have some empathy towards the characters, and in the end I really didn't care what happened to them.

People compare this movie with the Blair Witch Project, yet I liked that film a bit better. Maybe because it was first, or maybe because it actually had some eerie parts in the movie that made it a really neat film to watch.

In Paranormal Activity I didn't get any sense of the outside world, yet the action was happening in suburbia. I realize that this is a low budget film, and may in fact be a micro-budget film that actually went on to make a lot of money.

Yet I think it was all hype. The studio did a good job at doing it, and convincing people to go, but to say that this film is a good horror film is a bit much to say.

I was interested in the film as a filmmaker, and was really hoping that it would have some decent scares or some decent plot points that would be interesting. Unfortunately it does not.

I give credit here to the actors who were very convincing. From what I've read the actors did not have an actual script to go by. The filmmaker drew up an outline, and that the actors would improvise their scenes together. That in itself is ballsy, and I really think the actors should get a bigger credit here then the filmmaker. The filmmaker surly knew talent when he saw it, but what I would really love to see is to have the actors get some more work from this. I really think their the ones whose talent shines in this film, and I look forward to seeing them in other work real soon.

If your interested in seeing what you can do wit a limited budget I suggest you watch this, and key into the performances. Remember as the filmmaker said in an article "knowing good talent and getting that talent is important". It makes or breaks a film, and this is one example where good actors shine.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Duplicity (2009)

Duplicity is a film by director Tony Gilroy, which stars Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, and Paul Giamatti. All four of these actors make this movie worth seeing. Be warned though that this movie has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

The synopsis of the film is this:

"DUPLICITY is a slick, comic caper in which it’s never exactly clear who is being conned. It’s easy to see that ex-CIA agent Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and former MI6 member Ray Koval (Clive Owen) have a heated history together when they embark on an elaborate mission of corporate espionage."

That's all I'm going to say about this. The way to enjoy this movie is just by watching it, and paying attention to the plot. Like I said the plot has many twists and turns in it, but the film is laced with some dark comic undertones that make this a funny romp. I have to say also that the cinematography by Robert Elswit is stunning, and I really like the feeling of this film. We don't know who to trust and the characters don't trust each other. It's a con within a con within a con. That's what makes it interesting. Tom Wilkinson's performance is stunning, but I dare you to name a bad performance by this actor. Wilkinson is a master here and I love how his character unfolds. But by naming one I do a disservice to all in this film. Julia Roberts plays it straight and serious, and it works. Clive Owens performance is flawless, and Paul Giamatti's performance is just a hoot. Giamatti is so fun to look at and watch I could watch him in almost anything.Watch Giamatti in American Splendor and you'll see I'm right.

Duplicity is a movie you could watch twice, and each time something else is newly revealed. the film and story is that intricate. The only thing I can say about this film is that it may be too complex. Maybe too many twists, but I kind of liked it, and I had no trouble following along. The dialogue is really snappy, and I think the direction works. For a film all about mistrust the director really trusted his actors to come through here. All their performances work for the film, and there is not one fault I can give in any of the performances.

In fact I am inspired to watch the directors commentary here, and learn just how he pulled those performances out. Surely that alone would be worth the price of the DVD. The film does jump around a bit. From present to past, and then back, yet it works here, and it kind of throws off the viewer which I think the filmmakers wanted.

All in all I recommend the film Duplicity. It's a very smart film with very good performances.