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Posts Tagged ‘romantic’

REVIEW – Brokeback Mountain

July 29, 2017 Leave a comment
Directed by: Ang Lee
Produced by: Diana Ossana, James Schamus
Screenplay by: Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
Edited by: Geraldine Peroni, Dylan Tichenor
Cinematography by: Rodrigo Prieto
Music by: Gustavo Santaolalla
Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Linda Cardellini, Randy Quaid, Kate Mara
Based on the 1997 short story by Annie Proulx
Year: 2005

 

It’s been 12 years since the release of the film dubbed “The Gay Cowboy Movie” was released, and yet Brokeback Mountain still arguably remains the most recognized film about a same-sex romance in the public mind. Though several films have come out since representing LGBTQ people (the incredible Moonlight is probably the most recent to gain the national spotlight, even though it was largely thanks to its near exclusion from said spotlight at the Oscars), but none have yet to have the same kind of cultural impact as this 2005 release. I think it’s safe to say that the film was a milestone, regardless of whether you actually saw it or not. The film’s release created a minefield of various controversies on all sides of “the gay issue,” and the concept alone of usually rugged character types falling in love with one another led to the film becoming a cultural phenomenon. Predictably, detractors accused the film of “pushing the gay agenda down our throats,” and it was also outright banned from showing in certain countries. The term “brokeback” entered the public lexicon as a word synonymous with “on the down-low,” usually used humorously in moments of gay panic. Supporters of the film couldn’t escape the outrage machine, either, accusing the Academy Awards of homophobia when the film famously lost its Best Picture nomination to the allegedly inferior and heavy-handed morality play Crash. They even accused the marketing of similar shenanigans when any scenes of romance between the two cowboys was deemphasized or just outright excluded from ads – again, despite it widely being known as “The Gay Cowboy Movie.” The cultural impact of the film cannot be denied, but I think even supporters lose sight of what is arguably more important: that Brokeback Mountain is arguably one the best romantic films ever made. Read more…

REVIEW: Joe Versus the Volcano

November 23, 2014 Leave a comment
Joe Versus the VolcanoDirected by: John Patrick Shanley
Produced by: Teri Schwartz
Written by: John Patrick Shanley
Edited by: Richard Halsey, Kenneth Wannberg
Cinematography by: Stephen Goldblatt
Music by: Georges Delerue
Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Ossie Davis, Abe Vigoda, Dan Hedaya, Barry McGovern, Amanda Plummer, Nathan Lane, Carol Kane
Year: 1990

 

I’d always been curious about Joe Versus the Volcano, mostly because it was the first pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan – and you know from a past review that I actually quite like the pairing – but my mom basically shaped my understanding of the movie to the point of making me mostly be ambivalent about it by hammering it into my mind that the movie was stupid. That curiosity was obviously not enough to cause me to seek it out, as I had basically not seen it up until this past week, but, whenever I did remember it existed, there was a moment where I would think to myself, “Huh. I should see that someday,” before quickly forgetting about it. This time, though, I finally saw it, mostly because a friend/coworker/fellow cinephile recommended the movie as being his favorite bad movie. Me being who I am, I took it as a sign that, yes, I should finally see this movie, so it instantly went onto the top of my Netflix DVD queue.

So… yeah, I saw this movie. Finally. Was it worth it?… Read more…

REVIEW: (500) Days of Summer

August 22, 2014 Leave a comment
(500) Days of SummerDirected by: Marc Webb
Produced by: Mason Novick, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, Steven J. Wolfe, Scott G. Hyman
Written by: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Edited by: Alan Edward Bell
Cinematography by: Eric Steelberg
Music by: Mychael Danna, Rob Simonsen
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend, Chloe Moretz, Matthew Gray Gubler, Clark Gregg, Patricia Belcher, Rachel Boston, Minka Kelly, Maile Flanagan, Yvette Nicole Brown, Richard McGonagle
Year: 2009

 

“The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Except you Jenny Beckman. Bitch.”

The opening lines to the movie – unspoken, but probably the loudest statement this film makes – sets the tone for the remainder of this quasi-romantic comedy. Reportedly inspired by a real relationship experienced by screenwriter Scott Neustadter, (500) Days of Summer is clear right from the start (heck, even from its title) that this is not a story about everlasting love, but rather a season in passing. In fact, as if that point weren’t clear enough, yes, the girl at the center of the film is, in fact, named Summer. She’s a pretty girl who floats into the life of Tom, our film’s leading man, who is immediately smitten by Summer when she is introduced to everyone at work as the boss’ new assistant at the greeting card company Tom works for (another canny element playing with the theme of cheap, temporary sentiments). Summer is, as I said before, very pretty, seems quite nice, and she shares the same taste in music as Tom, even going so far as to make the first move when she notices this coincidence. Naturally, the two decide to hang out together. And, also naturally, there’s a big misunderstanding about what all this means. Where have you heard that before?

(Minor spoilers ahead.) Read more…

THEATRICAL REVIEW: The Fault in Our Stars

June 29, 2014 1 comment
The Fault in Our StarsDirected by: Josh Boone
Produced by: Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen
Written by: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Webter (screenplay)
Edited by: Robb Sullivan
Cinematography by: Ben Richardson
Music by: Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe, Lotte Verbeek, Mike Birbiglia
Based on the novel by John Green
Year: 2014

 

I hadn’t ever heard of the book this movie is based on before a couple months ago when I had a chance encounter with this film’s trailer in the theatre. Filled with lovely platitudes, cutesy dialogue, attractive teenagers going through extraordinary circumstances guaranteed to wrench away tears from your eyes – in this case, a girl who has been suffering the effects of her cancer diagnosis years prior and yet falling in love with the perfect guy who loves her just the way she is – The Fault in Our Stars looked exactly like the seemingly endless adaptations of Nicholas Sparks dreck Hollywood seems to like to churn out and that audiences eat up. I poked fun at it, made fun of the lead character’s name (Hazel Grace), the ridiculous predictability of the love story, the very punchable-looking romantic boyfriend character, the very casting of Shailene Woodley (who hasn’t ever been bad, but is a bankable big star among teenage girls)… It looked, quite frankly, like exploitative shit, and I wasn’t going to have any of it. And then the reviews came out. Read more…

REVIEW: Love Actually

December 7, 2013 4 comments
Love ActuallyDirected by: Richard Curtis
Produced by: Duncan Kenworthy, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin
Written by: Richard Curtis
Edited by: Nick Moore
Cinematography by: Michael Coulter
Music by: Craig Armstrong
Starring: Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Liam Neeson, Thomas Sangster, Colin Firth, Lúcia Moniz, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Heike Makatsch, Bill Nighy, Gregor Fisher, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kris Marshall, Abdul Salis, Martin Freeman, Joanna Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Olivia Olson, Claudia Schiffer, Rowan Atkinson
Year: 2003

 

It wasn’t too long ago that director Garry Marshall was trying to suffocate us with an onslaught of celebrity-packed rom-coms that crammed in as many storylines and cameos as possible. I managed to avoid these movies up until the lead up to New Year’s Eve 2012, when I promised my stepsister I would review Marshall’s film named after the holiday. It was as bad as I was expecting, but my expectations were even lower at that time because I had also realized that the movie was an unabashed knock off of Love Actually, a British film that pretty much follows the same concept as Marshall’s later films, including the concept of centering it around a major holiday (Christmas) – only, in this case, the movie actually does some justice to the fluffy, audience-ensnaring concept. Read more…

Review: “The Notebook”

May 7, 2013 6 comments
The NotebookDirected by: Nick Cassavetes
Produced by: Lynn Harris, Mark Johnson; Toby Emmerich, Avram Butch Kaplan (executive)
Written by: Jeremy Leven (screenplay); Jan Sardi (adaptation)
Edited by: Alan Heim
Cinematography by: Robert Fraisse
Music by: Aaron Zigman
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Joan Allen, James Marsden, Jamie Brown, Sam Shepard, David Thornton, Kevin Connolly
Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks
Year: 2001

 

Nicholas Sparks adaptations have become something like an annual event, it seems. Sure, it’s not actually true, but it feels true, what with all the films attempting to cash in on this film’s success as a tear-jerking romance novel adaptation. It all started with Message in a Bottle in 1999, and then there was the Mandy Moore film A Walk to Remember in 2002. The biggest film in this series of cloying romantic fantasies, though, seems to be The Notebook, a film that even romantic movie haters had at one point or another assured me is actually “a pretty decent movie.”

Now, I admit that I had basically pecked out portions of story from this film based on scenes I had caught glimpses of while on various trips back home, mostly when my oldest stepsister was still living at home. There were probably two or three good efforts thrown in there, too, of me actually trying to honestly follow the film with them before something else caught my attention and I wound up not following through with it. When I started Girly Movie Month this month, however, I knew that this would ultimately have to be reviewed, being basically the girly movie that comes to my mind when I think of the term “girly movie.”

Having finally seen the film all the way through in one sitting, I feel as though I can honestly sit down with anyone who may have told me in the past that this was actually a “decent” film and tell them to their faces: “You are so full of it.” Read more…

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