Tag Archives: cinema

The Kids Are All Right Review

So is the alt text.Hats off to Ms. Cholodenko for managing to create a film that dealt with many LGBT issues without being a movie solely focused on LGBT themes.

The kids are all right have two mothers, and it is refreshing to see the family act completely like the rest of mainstream America. There are arguments at the dinner table. An overachieving first child, a troublemaking younger child. Tension in the bedroom. An embarrassing and hilarious scene involving gay porn.

Then the children reach out to the sperm donor their mothers used to conceive.
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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Review

I had heard buckets about Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives before it finally came to my part of town. Moving, ethereal, confusing, more art than film… I couldn’t miss it. Indeed, the film was all of those things.

Long title

French poster used because American promotional materials were, IMO, atrocious. Edit: Don’t hate me! My local theatre didn’t have the Chris Ware poster, but yes, that one is not at at all atrocious.

The film begins with a prolonged, and very dark*, sequence involving a water buffalo. Boonmee is dying, and he begins seeing his former lives. Is the water buffalo one of Boonmee’s past lives? What does it mean for his current life, if so?

The latter is the question that most interested me during and after watching this film. The movie is rife with what seem to be either flashbacks (to prior lives?) or dream sequences. Or perhaps, these vignettes are merely side stories attached to the main narrative for perspective or distraction. Just as we are wondering what impact Boonmee’s past lives have on his current, we must also wonder what impact these bits of dream have on the main narrative.

The mystical nature of the quasi-dream world leaks into the real world, as Boonmee’s wife’s ghost appears at the dining table. Their son also appears, having transformed himself into a “monkey demon.” The reaction at the dining table is probably the only laugh-out-loud scene in the movie, so it is a pity that almost every review spoils the admittedly funny line.

I spent at least a third of the movie with my mouth gaping in surprise.  Continue reading

Inception Review

“I never sleep on planes. I don’t want to be incepted.” – “Jack” on 30 Rock

These people are so pretty.

I remember the Inception ad campaign pre-release. First there was that bizarre 20 second promo that told you nothing other than that Chris Nolan was directing some new flashy action movie and it was probably going to Blow Your Mind. Then slightly longer promos where the audience discovered that everyone – literally, everyone – was going to be in this movie: Leo, JGL, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy (always a plus, in my book), Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, and even Michael Caine.

The promos started getting longer. Media hype grew to a frenzy. Everyone was going to see this movie.

Me? I was ready to watch it after the first previews. I love – love – movies like Inception. Action thrillers or slow, creeping dramas with twists and turns and surprise endings that still leave you guessing. I am also a fan of all the actors previously listed. Nolan, I can take or leave, but I haven’t watched Memento*.

I was excited. However, as the media frenzy escalated, I became less and less enthused by the prospect of watching this film. By the time I had time to watch the movie, everyone had already seen it, and I decided not to bother until it showed up on Netflix.

After months of diligently avoiding spoilers, let me present some to you here, in my Unified Theory of Inception. Continue reading

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise (Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie) Review

Bonjour tout le monde!

Parlez-vous française?

Ah, bon.

Alors…

The bowler-lips-legs creature is named Eddy.

As an unabashed Francophile, I have been going through classic and contemporary French cinema through three main sources: Netflix (J’aime le Netflix!), Laemmle and other indie theaters, and the annual COL-COA French Film Festival in Los Angeles. More on COLCOA in another post.

Aujourd’hui, I mean to discuss Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoise*. Let’s be clear; I am no expert on Buñuel. I enjoyed and was slightly mystified by Belle de Jour, but I haven’t seen any of his other work. However, based on these two films, I consider myself a newly-minted fan.

Le Charme is silly, irreverent, and, like much of French cinema, deeply political. The film follows a group of bourgie men and women, whose attempts at a fine meal are constantly impeded by ever more inventive interruptions. Continue reading

Exit Through the Gift Shop Review

I like his shades.Writing about this film seems appropriate for the first post on a blog titled Media Consommé. Essentially, the “documentary” examines the nature of media, and the public’s consumption of it. What is Art, with a capitalized A? What happens to street art when it becomes commodified and sold?

Here, there be spoilers. Continue reading