movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I like movies, music and everything esle... ; ) oh... and i can't spell, so, please, no comments

Monday, January 22, 2007

2006 HUMBY'S: adapted screenplay


Based on his own memoirs, Dito Montiel has recreated a time and place from his childhood in 1980’s New York. The filmmaking is unconventional and so is the screenplay. It is as if Dito had no idea how to “write a script” and was forced to make up his way as he went along and trust his instincts as a storyteller. The result is a story that feels real and feels right. The narrative is fragmented as is the structure, but it all comes together to form a compelling and heart wrenching story of a young man struggling with his life, his family and his friends and coming to terms with what really matters in life and who is really important.

4. THE PRESTIGE – Christopher & Jonathan Nolan
The writing team (and brothers) that brought us the fantastic MEMENTO, are back and this time they tackle the story of two rival magicians facing each other in a bitter feud. This movie works on two levels… The first is the first viewing as the plans and the plots of the two are unveiled, following the twists and turns until the end. The second level is once all of the “secrets” are revealed, there is a core emotion that can be not only discovered, but explored. The complexity of the structure and of the characters is a tribute to the two writers, who while they do not quite match their previous effort, deliver an extremely well crafted screenplay and an engaging film.

3. THE DEPARTED – William Monahan
In a film that came out last year, but was released in its uncut form in 2006 as one of the best of recent memories (KINGDOM OF HEAVEN) Monahan delivered on a brilliant epic about the crusades. This year he delivers a gritty and complex crime movie with some of the best dialogue in any movie this year. It has wit, style and balls. This is a movie that pulls no punches and gives director Martin Scorsese something to really dig his teeth into, and maybe that Oscar that has eluded his throughout his career. In addition, the characters of Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Damon) are some of the best of the year… conflicted and complex. In this world, the line between good and bad is not only fuzzy... it does not exist.

2. THE LAST KISS – Paul Haggis
This is an uncomfortably real look at men in their late twenties faced with the often frightening and unsettling look at their potential future. When released, it was marketed as a GARDEN STATE like film, but the reality is that it is so much more. What Michael (Zach Braff) and his friends go though strikes home with anyone of this age group. It is a real look at relationships and about “settling” or the fear of "settling". In many ways, this is the most personal movie of the year for me because of the thought and the feelings that it stirred up, but that aside, THE LAST KISS is a well crafted script with touches of heart and pain that are not easy to shake.

1. LITTLE CHILDREN – Todd Field & Tom Perotta
In terms of tone, I think this is the most challenging movie of 2006 and the only reason that it succeeds is because of the amazing script by Field and Perotta, based on Perotta’s book. It juggles multiple stories that intertwine both literally and thematically, to a thought provoking and emotional conclusion. The complexities of the tone were not enough though, as they also intertwined the use of a third person narrator throughout the film. This use is what makes the film stand above and beyond any other script this year.

By using this narrator, they put the audience at a distance so that we can observe what is going on, while keeping a perspective on the events that are occurring and their relationship to each other. Walking the tight rope between voyeur and participant, LITTLE CHILDREN is never dull and un-engaging. It also gives the film an element, making it feel like a rich and textured novel filled with lots to sink your teeth into. Many people I have talked to were thrown by the choice of the narrator, but I think if you get past the initial shock, it opens up a completely new and fascinating level to the film. It is a bold and unconventional choice that is rare to see in films today.


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