Thursday, August 22, 2013

Usually when I'm going to see movies with true life events that leads into a tragic conclusion, I'm always go with a lot of stress and tension. Besides knowing the ending still want to know how the director will achieve the iconic images.

In the case of "Fruitvale Station" which tell the story of Oscar Grant a 22 year old Bay area resident who will face a tragic moment of 2008 New Years Eve.

Micheal B Jordan plays Oscar Grant, Octavia Spencer plays his mother. Ryan Cooler the director, use a hand held camera technique and very simplistic cinematic point of view in order to engage with Oscar and his life, as a son, boyfriend and a father, trying to leave a dark past behind.

The film is powerful with two different kind of pace, slow at the beginning showing his life and struggle and a fast pace the definitive moments of Oscar and his demise on the BART station. The story takes place on the last day of his life, with using traditional techniques of titles to represent the hours of the day or corny transitions.

Fruitvale Station represents a great attempt to show how life can be affected by a chain of events.

Lee Daniel's The Butler, represents a very in depth exploration of social consensus, racial vindication and a message of perseverance.

Forest Whitaker plays Cecil Gaines an African American butler for the president of the United States. His roots comes from the cotton fields where he witness the inevitable when he loose his parents and later saved by one of the owners turning it into a private servant of the family.

The film with an all star cast, that goes, from Oprah Winfrey, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Robin Williams, John Cusak, Live Scheriber just to name a few represents an impressive work made by Lee Daniels director of the award winning "Precious".

The Butler is a great piece of American history and also a great film about the racial struggle among African American.

Monday, August 19, 2013

JJ Abrahams repeat his traditional formula for a epic and groundbreaking VFX feast in Star Trek: into the Darkness.

In this new adventure the crew of the Enterprise discover an unstoppable force that terrorize the London and then San Francisco headquarters played by Benedict Cumberbatch. After a serious of tragic events, Kirk decide to lead a manhunt to capture this evil guy and bring it back to justice, just to discover a plot of epic proportions.

The film is breathtaking, impressive and perfect for a summer treat. Start Trek is fun, a of course a technical achievement.

Since early 2000 independent films are establishing an interesting pattern of freshen up the summer with interesting stories, less epic and VFXless. In 2006 Little Miss Sunshine change the course of the summer and most of filmmakers saw a trend. Why not bring great stories, fun and human allowing them to get into theaters appealing audiences tired of visual effects and plot with meaning. Most of this films already successful coming from Sundance circuit.

This year the team winner of the Academy of Awards for best screenplay fro The Descendants, create a little film called :The Way, Way Back.

The Way, Way Back tell the story of a 14 year old kid name Duncan on a summer vacation with his mom played by Toni Collete and her overbearing boyfriend Steve Carell. Duncan is trying to fit in this world and well meeting with kids of his ages and appeal to girls. In this search he find himself meeting the manager of Water Wizz park Owen played by Sam Rockwell. Thanks to this experience he will grow as a human being and connects with the world, specially his mom.

The film is a true gem, Sam Rockewell and Allison Janney are fantastic in this film. Hope to see some Spirit Awards and Oscars here.

A legend and a remarkable superhero reborn in the Man of Steel, by the director Zack Snyder (Watchmen and 300) The film tell the story of the arrival of Jor-El to earth and how slowly becomes Superman.

The story is been told in a none chronological order, which is used as anchors to connect some aspects of Jor El / Clark Kent personality and how he discover and manage his unexplainable powers. His earth link parents played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane raise the adoptive son well, but no parents are prepared to teach their son how to explain how supernaturals power can be used.

In a way Man of Steel is sort of similar to Jesus Christ days of pilgrim and and teachings, Everyone was afraid of this supernatural powers, the unexplainable and the new. How to manage something unknown? Heroes, sometimes are not loved by their savior, are afraid of this unusual character.

Overall the film is interesting and fun, but cannot surpass the first Richard Donner film. There is somethings about the 80's films that are too special and represents so much of a good film making collaboration.

Man of Steel represents and idea if create a dark Superman, a more human, with temptations, weakness and sociological traumas, which are a consequence of been raised on earth.

Don't get me wrong, the film is epic as can be. The all star cast bring a breed of fans to the comic book franchise. But the film can be forgettable after a few months.