American Beauty (R)

July 21, 2014

AmericanLesterLookCloser

With broad strokes, Sam Mendes paints a picture of suburban family life in 1999’s “American Beauty.” The film swept the 2000 Oscars with a staggering 5 awards, but that’s not its greatest impact. That it still holds up 15 years later, across a decade that saw the advent of Facebook and smartphones, and America’s cultural shift after 9-11, is a testament to this achievement. The film leaves an impression in its wake, manages to avoid moralizing, and causes us to question its character’s sometimes-monstrous behaviors, ironically, by allowing us to understand them.  (more…)

License to Drive (PG-13)

July 20, 2014

license1

An innocent girl. A harmless drive. What could possibly go wrong? That classic phrase was uttered by teen heartthrob Corey Haim in the 1988 summer blockbuster “License to Drive.” (more…)

Summer Wars (PG)

summer_wars_artwork_02

Most anime can be divided into two sub-genres: slice of life and fantasy. Slice of life focuses on real life circumstances, and often has a comedic tone and focus more on the characters and their relationships. Fantasy is often a grand spectacle with animation and art being the focus of attention. That’s not set in stone by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a decent rule of thumb to follow. However, sometimes you get something that will fuse the two genres. This can be risky as it can make the plot contrived and hard to follow. Every once in a while, you get something that really is special. Well that little something happened in a beautiful little gem known as “Summer Wars.” (more…)

Third Person (R)

July 19, 2014

third-person-james-franco-636-380

Third Person” show us three different stories. At first we start to see some connections between them, but they seem to take different paths. After a few times we understand that all of them are about trust, but there’s more behind that.

The main problem of the film is its running time. After two hours the stories lose all of their dynamic and seemed like they were going nowhere. There’s a very important clue somewhere in the first half and hour of the film that made me understand immediately the connection between the stories and what they were trying to transmit. (more…)

A Few Good Men (R)

July 18, 2014

2

My first brush with inconceivably brilliant screenwriting happened in 2010 when I walked out cold and shaken from a screening of “The Social Network.” At that time I was just starting to realize that there exists a higher order of filmmaking and some very talented people have been on it for decades. A year later I watched “Moneyball” and felt that similar overwhelming helplessness; of seeing a writer succeed in clutching me onto his/her world of creation with such ferocity that I couldn’t let go. Research yielded an answer: both of those films were written by someone called Aaron Sorkin. (more…)