Film Thoughts: Gravity

Gravity_Poster

This movie got a massive hype when it was in theaters and to think when the trailer came out no one in my social media communities, commercials, and even people surrounding in my daily life talked about it. (Unless you know, I hang around a few amount of people or that they really are not into movies, or I am just such a trailer eager kind of person.) Nonetheless, it made me think of how moviegoers are composed of. Just boggles my mind how some people watch a film because they are going with the flow and it is the trend.

AAAANNNYWAAAAY! That’s for another time. Maybe I’d discuss it in another blog entry. Just crossed my mind as I was about to talk about today’s FILM THOUGHTS. Drum roll please…GARAAAAAHHHVITYYYYY!!!

I was actually watching this movie while I was taking a break from working. I made a mental note to stop after 30 minutes because I needed to get back to work and finish what needs to be done. Yet I just could not stop myself. My eyes were completely glued on my monitor.

Nevertheless, I had a satisfactory look on my face after finishing the film. It was quite interesting how things turned out. My expectation were both unmeet and surpassed.

I guess, I got into the hype quite a bit. I actually watched the trailer before it got the huge hype. I found it quite interesting compelling though I didn’t know why. In some ways, watching the trailer,  not only are you in that kind of suspense thrill kind of ride, but it made me expect something and so I was captivated by it.

Yet after watching the film, I realized the trailer gave the story up. It was about how a lone astronaut survive with a few sources on space. PERIOD. Simple right?

What made this film extraordinary was it used all the magic beans the film industry had. Great acting , direction, cinematography, editing, sound editing and even the most recent magic bean- CGI. (It may not have the greatest plot twisting story but they used all the other magic technique to deliver this film)

Now, I am actually proud of this film because they didn’t usually overused one magic bean than the other. Like some action films nowadays overkilled the used of magic bean CGI than the others. They used all of them equally.

Many people were praising Sandra Bullock’s performance to the point even the Academy Awards recognized it and nominated her. I even saw some reviews and post that her acting saved the movie. Actually, in my point of view, the story or rather the suspense and thrill of being alone, scared and everything weren’t all Bullock’s weight.

gravity

She did a brilliant job in acting as what she is told to do. This is your character play that. BAAAM! She did! Which I am actually not taking it in a offensive side. She did a splendid job but I felt she wasn’t given a complex character. Compared to Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, she made the character so three dimensional, so real, so flawed and beautiful at the same time. I am not so sure if she interpreted it that way, or that Woody Allen wrote it tremendously. Nonetheless, I felt the realism and complexity of it all.

Bullock did not do it all on her own. If you watch it closely, the cuts, the sound and shots brought a great deal to it all. With her acting and all those magic beans in place they made a spectacular film, which to be honest you don’t see very often.

Usually, when you watch a suspense or thriller kind of movies, they would use one magic bean the most and the rest ummm…not so much.

Like 1 huge magic bean called acting then the rest tiny bits. Or, 1 huge magic bean called sound then the rest tiny bits.

This movie in particular not only did we hear Bullock’s pants and scream the sound (and even it’s editing) helped you to feel what she felt. Together with the cuts and shots the editing did, it made you even helpless and lost.

I actually adored one scene. Or better yet I noticed whenever a suspenseful scene is coming up they build it up in the most fascinating thing ever. So you see, Bullock’s expression together with some song. And when she realizes that she cannot work the ship so she can come home the song becomes faster. And together with some cuts and interesting shots, you as a viewer tense up. Then as the song, shots and cuts builds up BAAAAM! One silent long shot. And there in the center of it all, you see Bullock, throwing a tantrum. You see her shouting and kicking over her frustration but you don’t hear it because not only is it a long shot but the camera is right outside the ship…out there in space…where no one can hear you. That very shot tells all about the frustration, the anger, the emotions that Bullock projects and how a human feels in that dire hopelessness. And that realization, you are alone, no one will hear and save you. You are not only stranded in this dreadful silent place called-space but you are that close to getting home and everything just won’t work out.

Don’t you think that was an amazing scene? I thought it was brilliant! 🙂

I also liked the scene when Bullock’s character Dr. Ryan Strong was spinning and just floating around. You can hear her voice just at a lost and panting. Yes, you see her wiggling about trying to do something to the point you see her panicing but WHO WOULDN’T right? (so there is your acting) but the camera not only let’s you see her wiggling and panic-ing it even let’s you see in her point of view. From seeing her floating about in a blank scary space alone to gradually going inside the suit and seeing it in her point of view. Now, not only do you see it in her POV literally but you hear her oxygen decreasing. The camera did not only stay there for a quick look for you to see in her POV but it stayed long enough to you as audience to understand in her shoes what’s going on…what’s she is seeing, what she is experiencing. For you to feel the tension.

What I also liked about this movie, was after that panic and wiggling scene we see Bullock and Clooney’s character reunited. Then have themselves go to the nearby ships to get some help. You are then experiencing a slowness. Some kind of rest. As viewers yes, it is good as a visual storyteller to let your audience rest for a while but on this movie the rest is not only the reason. They wanted you to see the space. How space see our planet earth. How odd and fascinating it is to be both scared and amazed when you are in Space. They showed the two sides of life.

Yes, space is definitely silent. It’s a place that is terrifying because no one will ever hear you yet it is most tranquil place. You’d just get used to its silence and be lost in your deep thoughts. How terrifying and beautiful is it not?

For a visual storyteller, he or she needs to not only make an amazing story but to deliver it across in bull’s eye. Some movies can stand to have a story simple on its own and rely on others less, some need all the CGI they can muster to at least have billions of people watch a mediocre kind of story others might have a simple story to tell yet use everything effectively. One great example is Gravity.

Photo sources:

Gravity Poster: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f6/Gravity_Poster.jpg

2nd gravity photo: http://www.ralphehanson.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/gravity.jpg

Film Thoughts: Blue Jasmine 2013

Title: Blue Jasmine

Directed by: Woody Allen

What can I say about this film? Just to let you know, I did not start of this question because I didn’t know what to say… but because I have so many things in my mind I want to say that I quite don’t know where to start of. That is how I ADORE this film!

I was introduced to this movie by scanning through trailers in youtube. (Well, it’s kind of my hobby to just surf through trailer after trailer in youtube. You know to check, what upcoming movies seem interesting for the months or years to come.) And there it was, Blue Jasmine.

I was instantly intrigued by it and couldn’t wait to watch it. This is my fourth in a half Woody Allen movie and was quite not so sure it was because most of the movies I’ve watched had this slight tang of comedy but you feel it throughout. However has this subtle drama that actually fits in the comedy.

Fourth in half, you may ask? Because I watched half of Curb your Enthusiasm and I am sorry… I did not finish it. I was just bored to death with it. Didn’t see what was funny or entertaining. I really slowly feel asleep and as I woke up in about 5 mins… I saw the credits roll. But maybe I’ll try a second time because the first time I’ve watched Annie Hall…oh boy…oh boy… I was just utterly disappointed. I didn’t get why it was one of the “must watch” 80’s movie and romantic comedy movies. Didn’t understand it! Did not get the humor…nothing was coming to me. Then a few years came tried it again…and BAAAAM! I loved it! Understood completely the lovely story and style of humor (Allen was going for. I think it’s his signature thing), and the message!

This trailer however reflected somewhat different from other Allen films. It dealt more on the genre of DRAMA. Yes, comedy is present but drama is prevalent and I think that’s the reason why I am intrigued by it. It is something different…and has that interesting take on the story of how would a woman who is used to a life of extravagant luxury do when she has nothing?

I think this plot has been utilized millions of times… through different characters. A man, an orphaned child and etc. but this is handled by Allen…so the question is how will  he execute it?

I like how it starts like an everyday thing.

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.02.42 AM Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.02.38 AM

Cate Blanchett’s character, Jasmine talks to an old woman on  the airplane and have an endless conversation.

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.03.10 AM Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.03.27 AM

from landing,

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.03.57 AM Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.04.03 AM

to descending on an escalator,

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.04.18 AM Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.04.35 AM

and even waiting for their luggages.

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.04.55 AM Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.04.56 AM

Then finally, she sees her family and runs at him.

And here comes Allen’s forte…  This scene was just hilarious.

"Who's that woman you were talking to?"

“Who’s that woman you were talking to?”

"I was sitting next to her on the plane."

“I was sitting next to her on the plane.”

"She was talking to herself..."

“She was talking to herself…”

"...and I thought she said something to me..."

“…and I thought she said something to me”

"And I said 'what?'"

“I said ‘what?'”

"She couldn't stop babbling about her LIFE."

“But she couldn’t stop babbling about her LIFE.”

The scenes you see above, seem quite harmless. As I said like a regular, everyday thing. A non stop talkative woman talks to a stranger of her problems or her life and then give a funny kick, an old lady you thought was listening attentive and actually was to “polite” to not want to talk to her. Funny right? And we see this most of the time. And that is why its funny cause we can realate to it. BUT… this scene is actually is a quick sign what is to come in the film…and amazingly…you as audiences would not feel that because Allen wanted you to firstly relate to the character, second, make you feel “at home” because it’s a regular thing…right? In some ways, made you relate to the environment or the “old lady” (because really, we have those times we do get annoyed with those kinds of people)

What I liked about this scene was not only how the use of shots made you feel (as an audience) this is taking forever from Blanchett’s character, Jasmine, going on and on about her life but you get to understand some few details about Jasmine’s condition. This is where Allen’s writing come up and it was just mixed perfectly. To top it all of, Blanchett’s performance just made it more so real…to the point, Jasmine seemed so relate-able.

Speaking of which Cate Blanchett’s performance! I AM JUST SOOOOO AMAZED BY HER! I actually saw her in other roles…and of course she is splendid. In Elizabeth, Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings, Curious Case of Benjamin Button as Daisy Fuller, Brad Pitt’s love interest…and it seems… I’ve seen her in this “beautiful”, graceful, powerful, in all together characters…but in here… she broke down…she showed flaws… she made the character so real. Even though it was a drama she knew not to over act. She was just in that middle…sheer perfection of acting for this flawed character. And even though there were more hint of drama… you can still feel she is hanging on the comedy side.

There are times, in life… some people see your drama as a ‘drama’ and some people despite seeing your ‘drama’ sees it as quite funny…not in a “HAHAHA! I am making fun of your life.” but…see different perception of things because really if you did overcome that certain ‘drama’ in your life…you’d laugh about it and cringe how stupid you must’ve look.

THIS, I think was what Allen was going for. Yes, the story is tragic and heartbreaking HOWEVER… it is funny in a different perspective. Maybe this is his comment or perceptive of things.

However, for some people they don’t see that… they don’t move on. And this is what Jasmine’s fate. While other people moved on, she is still lost…she is sick… she is in a whirlwind of emotions.

And Blanchett just did it spot on! Can I just add… ( I know how amazing she is but…still cannot handle it), she just handled her character well that from a composed woman to this nervous wreck. And it is quite nice to see that she didn’t go for a snotty rich woman portrayal or the ‘donya mode’. She made Jasmine complex. Someone who seems beautiful but has so many flaws. Just gorgeously done! 🙂 *clap* *clap* *clap*

The transitions were also handled well. From the past to the present had a link together. Usually when these things happen, it’s quite confusing, but Allen handled it pretty well. This transition also helps on building up the story and the shocking subtle ending.

Speaking of the ending, or climax rather… the big reveal of the twisted plot. If Allen did not place the fact that Jasmine talks to people about her life… he wouldn’t pull it off how to ease in the fact that Jasmine does talk to people but for the reason she is suffering from a nervous breakdown. Because of this, she speaks by herself with no one around her. At first it was harmless, then as Allen ease it through, it seems quite funny when she did it in a party, then as the climax comes in…we see that it’s quite sad and pathetic at the same time.

And when the big reveal is slowly presented, we see that it was all along her fault. Learning that her husband is having affairs she pulls the trigger and calls the FBI. This answers the question if she did know about the crimes of her husband or was she also a victim. In here, we that she did know about however, because of how Allen lay the cards or how he story tell this amazing film, we see Jasmine as a victim or specifically, person v.s. person kind of conflict really.

In some ways she became the victim not knowing anything of his husband’s infidelity or that she blinded with all the luxurious things that the husband gave her or the glitz and glamorous lifestyle she has. She felt stupid and ashamed why she did not see it coming and that feeling of abandonment and humiliation post-separation and for that reason she pulled the ultimate desperation button… call the FBI…the twist… she knew about it and the one thing she did not know about is the affairs of the husband.

What I also love about this film is, compared to Austenland in my other post, this character is a stagnant kind. However, Allen wrote it beautifully. Despite being stagnant, he made her like that with a purpose. That even though there are so many chances to change she just simple cannot. You know why?

She clings on the past. A past that can never happen again. A past she can never move on. A past she cannot quite understand why she can never come back to. And a future that she cannot accept.

This made Jasmine so flawed…so real… so human. And together with Cate Blanchett’s acting…made it so 3-dimensional. A character so real…a character who we love to despise at the same love all together. Because we can relate to her. And no, not only her but people surrounding her.

We’ve had those instances we encounter these people and we that trough Jasmine’s sister, the old lady passenger, the guy who Jasmine almost married, her step son. Everyone surrounding her.

So, yes, even though she is a stagnant character… I love her. I love you, Woody Allen for creating a wonderful character and a spectacular film! 😀

My verdict, hell ya! I recommend you guys to watch it! 🙂 Lovely film, superbly cast, amazingly written and direction by Woody Allen! 😀

So go on, click on the play button on  the trailer above and maybe watch the film! Because you won’t regret it! 🙂

Til the next film post,

easie peasie

Film Thoughts: Austenland

Title: Austenland

Directed by: Jerusha Hess

I actually found about this film through the whirlwind of video site (drum roll, please…) none other than: YOUTUBE. And because I have that “let’s-surf-some-trailer-videos-because-I-am-just-bored-or-curious-what-are-the-interesting-movies-this-coming-months” hobby… well there you have it! 😀 This is one of zeee results! 😀

I am not quite a huuuuge fan of this kind of movies however I do watch them because they are “lite”…as the book’s ,which is based upon this movie, genre is called: “CHIC LIT”. Well, in my little world I do call it, “Feel Good Movies”…because it does make you feel good in some ways especially those ‘funny movies’. 🙂 And it is a good film to watch after a heavy, over awesome plot, mind blasting kind of films 🙂

THOUGH… when I watched this trailer, the story seemed interesting to me and soon I was kind of hoping to one day watch it. 🙂

And now for the part when I able to watch it:

The story is quite “lite” as it is mentioned. Very simple story, “A fan girl who is obsessed on Jane Austen novels to the point her bedroom is already soaked on it finds a vacation fit for her. And finds herself and of course the usual ingredient… romance.”

Though, what I liked about this film was the main protagonist, ‘Jane’ (no surprise there. :P) was not a stagnant kind of character. She was this naive,  timid, small, full of her fantasy kind of woman at first and then she slowly turned into this “No, I’ve got to snap of it” woman. Trying to see pass through the fantasy and just go back to reality. Thankfully they did that to the character.

Here is the thing, there is nothing wrong with a fantasy because really it helps us distract ourselves on those horrible events we have to face on our life. However, we’ve got to go back to reality sometime and FACE IT STRAIGHT ON! 🙂

Though now that I mentioned it, the first few parts of the film didn’t emphasize that Jane was suffering from this “reality” thing and just want to go to her little bubbly world of Austenworld of hers. It was just illustrated that… “This Jane of a character is a huuuuge faaaan of Austen and she is in that point so immersed through it her best friend is actually concerned for her”.

There is no problem with that if that is how the story was coming along. I mean it is considered “lite”, right? However, as it progressed the movie was trying to go for the “deep, serious” kind, which again is no problem BUT the tricky thing is, in the end it didn’t have that ‘serious, deep’ kind of  impact the movie wanted to go. It just went…’okay’.

If they wanted to go in that direction then they should’ve started in that kind of direction rather than… let’s make it light..then a bit serious then let’s start with the SHEBAAAANG! of awesome deep conclusion at the end.

Probably a nice way to have handed that was at the first part… yes… she is a humongous fan of Austen novels but place something that her life wasn’t what she expected like the books. Or that her life was miserable. Show some camera angles or visual storytelling that she isn’t as happy with her reality as her bubble world of Austenland fantasy. And add to that (because it seems the ‘romance’ is a huge part of it), that her love life isn’t as helpful.

They did place like, two sequence she was dating 2 guys but it wasn’t as enough or a pull to get the audience think she was that miserable. Plus one of the scenes… seemed like… she wasn’t as interested in dating and would rather be watching BBC’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

In that shot, I thought she was that kind of character who didn’t mind having no relationship at all. That she was just as happy to be single. And I think that was interesting. A woman who isn’t that desperate to be in a relationship and just go on with her life. Loving her life even if it is including her Austenland fantasy. Because she didn’t seem awfully miserable with her reality at all.

And yes, there was that other scene she had a repugnant ex-boyfriend… and she looked disgusted by him…but for me it showed more of… “I am not into this crap of guys. I’ll just stay single.” Because really there is nothing wrong if you decided to be single. To be happy for yourself. To be finding who you are first…then maybe once you figure it out…or you’re in that zone…find a man who loves you including those flaw of yours…VOILA! You hit a binggo right?

Yet, this movie didn’t go there. It was quite all over the place. In someways I didn’t know where it was leading to really. In that kind of independence kind of direction but finds a real love on the side note or that its really just rom com.

There is nothing wrong with going for the rom com direction but this film decided to be a rom com then… in the middle part of it decided ‘HEY! Let’s change it to a different direction’. And became quite confusing.

But thankfully, the comedy part compensated it. 🙂 Actress, Jennifer Coolidge made it all funny and entertaining. Plus some, funny slapstick comedy scenes… it made it work…somehow! 🙂

Plus, J. J Fields looked quite like Tom Hiddleston…and Lee Pace. Don’t you think? :)) hahaha confused myself in there. But Tom Hiddleston is actually kind of great in this kind of characters really. 🙂 hehe Not to mention he’s also great on being a villain! 😀 Okay, going off topic really! :))

So, if you guys are up for the ‘feel good’ kind of movie… this is for you! 🙂 but if you’re not too sure, just click the play button on the trailer above and see for yourself if you’re up for it! 😀

Til next film thoughts,

easie peasie 😀