Reviewing and Previewing the World of Film

Archive for September, 2011

“Nightmare & The Cat” Make Impressive Debut


Now this is primarily a movie blog, but this new band is incredible and they need the recognition. So here you go,
“Nightmare & the Cat”
When you have two famous musicians as parents, your genetics are bound to carry some sort of musical talent. The brother duo of Sam and Django Stewart (sons of Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics) happened to be born with loads of it.
“Nightmare and the Cat” just released their self-titled EP, and it’s gaining steam. With Django’s distinct and poignant voice, coupled with his brother’s intense guitar riffs, “Nightmare and the Cat” creates a different, yet familiar sound, compelling you to sing along.
The first EP featured five songs all unique with sounds of the Smiths, David Bowie, and even some modern Brit bands, like The Kooks. The first song, “Sarah Beth,” starts with haunting melody and a story of loss and love, the proverbial one who got away. Yet, like all the songs, it ends up completely different than it started, with the chorus changing its tune to a more upbeat melody. Django and Sam’s melodic wordplay weaves throughout the whole record with lines like, “My sympathy lies with the fool who dwells within my skull…”
The captivating lyrics and ability to change up the tune mid-song produces the best song on the record, “The Missing Year.” The song starts off slow with symbolic The song starts off slow with symbolic lyrics—impressive for such a young band—such as, “I am the ghost of your reverie, yet all you do is exorcise me.” The song then takes a left turn and ends with a heart pumping sing-along chorus.
Even more entertaining than their studio versions are their live performances. And five live videos on their website and YouTube page, all of which are not on the EP, give you plenty of chances to see their talent. Most importantly, they have great stage presence, and they love their music. Django jumps all around the stage, really getting into his music, displaying his love for his art for all to see.

“Drive” Finally Brings Realism To the Action Movie

“If I drive for you, you give me a time and a place. I give you a five-minute window, anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours no matter what. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down; I don’t carry a gun… I drive.” This is the longest sentence uttered by the unnamed character played by Ryan Gosling in Nicholas Winding Refn’s new film “Drive.” The movie is filled with suspense, silence, and brutal violence, all done well making it the best movie of the fall.

The story, based on the novel of the same name by James Sallis, centers around the nameless character of Driver who says very little yet has character depth that is rarely seen in movies. During the day, he drives as a stuntman in movies or works at a garage, but at night, he is a getaway driver for robberies. As the quote mentioned earlier, all he does is drive. He doesn’t get mixed up in the crimes, he has a code of conduct, and he always stays within it—until the woman he loves is threatened.

Irene (Carey Mulligan) is a single mom living in the same apartment as Driver, and they quickly fall in love, but not in the conventiona
l sense. Nothing happens physically or verbally, but there is a sense of serenity when the two are together. They both understand. But when Irene’s husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac), is released from prison and tries to set his life straight, the gangsters he used to work for won’t let that happen. Driver, being the silent hero, decides to help him pull of a heist to get rid of the gangsters. Unfortunately, all goes wrong, and for Driver to protect Irene, he must go on the offensive.
The action sequences are a little more graphic than anything you would see in an everyday Hollywood film. For example, Gosling literally stomps a man’s head in, with no visual details left to the imagination of the audience. This violence may turn some away, but it makes the film all the more real. Instead of glorifying violence and not showing the brutality, the film embraces it and shocks viewers with a blunt, true depiction of what happens when you get shot with a shotgun.
The true beauty of the film though lies within the complex character of Driver. He is silent, cool, and cunning, but also humble, gracious and caring. His relationship with Benicio, Irene’s son, is special and gentle. But on the flip-side, his defense mode shifts him into high gear as he pulls off incredible, yet perfectly real, driving moves while ruthlessly eliminating his hunters.
The film’s soundtrack and cinematography are well done, both creating the perfect mood for the film. The soundtrack is highly techno but matches the tone of the movie perfectly, creating an intense ambiance. The directing and cinematography are also spot-on with the perfect amount of swift camera changes during the car scenes and overall great shot choices throughout the movie.“Drive” is the perfect amalgamation of swift brutal action, deep characters, and a gripping story. The pace of the film may seem slow to some, and it is not filled with driving sequences, like the title would lead you to believe, but this film is truly one of a kind and cannot be missed.
Rating: (4.94/5)

Preview: 50/50

I laughed, I cried, I smiled in just the few minutes of the trailer for Seth Rogen’s new movie, 50/50. The film is loosely based on Rogen’s personal experiences dealing with a friend, Will Reiser who is also a screenwriter for the film, with cancer and their journey together. Rogen’s friend  is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his character is renamed Adam for the film. Adam is a healthy young man, but even his claims that he doesn’t drink or smoke (and that he recycles) do not stop  his sudden diagnosis of a tumor in his spine. Now a cancer story may seem bleak and morbid to some (or way too cliche), but the trailer promises a story with a message that “you can’t change your position, just how you deal with it.” And this message, if portrayed well, will permeate and really affect the viewer. I am really looking forward to this one, and I expect that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will put on a stellar performance as always. The film will be released September 30th.


Preview: Martha Marcy May Marlene

This is going to be an interesting one. I am partially excited, partially confused, and partially intrigued. The story centers around the character of Martha, who, until recently, belonged to an abusive cult. She escapes and finds refuge in her sisters home. The multiple names in the title show her confused and fragile state after she escapes the cult. Yet her fragile state does not allow for a smooth assimilation back into society. the most interesting part of this film is that it shifts between, present, past, and hallucination scenes. And to me, this is the interesting element of the film. The story is what it is, but the ability to show a fragile state, with frequent time transitions, by putting the viewer in one as well is almost unheard of. These films, since they are so unique, are the one that find the niches and cult status’.


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