Thriller

JAMBIT! “Super 8”

May 31, 2011
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JAMBIT! “Super 8”
I've started a new segment that I'm really excited about. It's called, online "Judge A Movie By It's Trailer"...or "JAMBIT", for short. The old adage, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" may very well be true. But it's been my experience that almost ALL movies CAN be judged by their trailers. So, with this conviction, I present to you the first ever, "JAMBIT"!!! Read More »

“Oldboy” just doesn’t get old…

Apr 5, 2011
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“Oldboy” just doesn’t get old…
Tracking along with the DeFranco Nation Movie Club, website like this I've finally been enthused with a movie pick that I'm behind 100%. Day 16 had us watching the Korean revenge thriller, approved Oldboy. This is Park Chan-Wook's most popular work. But let it be known he is a brilliant film-maker and ALL his films deserve high praise. Oldboy is the 2nd instalment of his "Vengeance Trilogy". What's fascinating about this trilogy is that the three films have only one common thread; the theme of vengeance. The characters are different, the stories are different and even the tone of each film is quite unique. They are hard to watch. Park pulls no punches when meditating on the theme of revenge. And while you feel completely sympathetic for the main characters (all of whom have had great loss), ultimately his point is that vengeance is an increasingly brutal and destructive pathway that leads only to further pain and chaos. Oldboy is a brilliant display of just that. Read More »

“Chloe”

Mar 30, 2011
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So, medications day 14 of the DeFranco Nation Movie Club had me watching Atom Egoyan's erotic thriller, search "Chloe". Starring Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and the stunning Amanda Seyfried, we find ourselves in the midst of a bizarre love triangle that twists and turns slowly through a maze of distrust and betrayal. Check out my video response to Philip DeFranco's review. I didn't like what he had to say http://bit.ly/eWgLra So, check out my thoughts and compare. Let me know what you think.

“The Prestige”

Mar 28, 2011
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Back in 2006 there there were two highly acclaimed films that centred around magicians in the 19th century. One was remarkable, discount the other remarkably disappointing. My friends and I retitled the latter as "The Boring-ist". It featured Ed Norton and Paul Giamatti (both great actors), but was so poorly executed. So, I won't bore you with a review on that one. Rather, allow me steer you in the direction of the far superior movie - The Prestige. This Christopher Nolan, period-piece is exceptional across the board. We journey back and forth through the timeline of a long and sour history between two feuding magicians played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. I don't want to give away too much because this is the kind of film you really need to experience firsthand. But let me just say, our tale begins with Borden (Bale) accidentally killing the wife of Angiers (Jackman). This, of course, creates a fairly immense wedge between the two men. Borden is a smart but cocky young magician who obsesses over creating the most deceiving illusions. This gains him some local celebrity and his career as an outstanding magician begins. This, however, is slowed down as Angiers, full of grief and revenge, sabotages one of Borden's tricks in front of a live audience. The result is that Borden loses a couple of fingers. Not a good thing for a man who's career is slight of hand. Borden takes Angiers' wife. Angiers takes Borden's fingers. Tit for tat, right? Well, not really. And Angiers knows it. Borden finds a lovely bride, they have  child together and Angiers' anger festers as he remains a widower and childless. At the same time Borden continues to build a successful magic show. The highlight of his show is a trick, The Transported Man, in which Borden steps into one box and reappears instantly in another box across the other end of the stage. It's breath-taking. The crowds love it! And Angiers becomes obsessed with finding out his trick. Without giving away the rest of the plot, the film builds on this foundation of anger, jealousy, obsession and pride. The interplay between Jackman and Bale is wonderful. Bale plays the cocky character perfectly, while Jackman develops this heart-broken shell of a man with slow intensity and emotion. And both are driven by their respective obsessions. Christopher Nolan is responsible for the brilliant pacing and use of flashbacks. The whole film has us jumping back and forth through a period of about 10 years, telling us this tale of mystery and passion in a way that keeps us eager to see what's around the next corner. He won't show you anything until he wants you to see it. Just like a great magician. It's actually quite profound. Here is a film about magicians and Nolan, as the director, approaches the making of the film as a magician himself. Brilliant. There is so much more to the story and other fantastic characters. Michael Caine plays the wise mentor, Scarlett Johansson plays the sultry assistant/mistress and David Bowie plays the one historically true character, Nikola Tesla (renowned pioneer of electricity). All of these actors are a delight, particularly Caine. I'd love to share more about the story but I really don't want to give too much away. In the film, they explain how there are three acts of a trick; the Pledge, the Turn and finally, the Prestige. The last act is the "WHA?!" part of the trick. It's the thing you can't believe, you never thought possible. Like the Prestige in a magic trick, this film has a fantastic final act. And that is why I really can't say anymore about the film's story. So, go get the DVD or download it from iTunes or Netflix or whatever. Just find a couple of hours this week and treat yourself to this finely crafted film. It's like a great magic show; mysterious, captivating and mind-blowing.