Friday, August 7, 2015

The Gift Review

This is a mature, multifaceted thriller that is more complex than the trailer suggests. The marketing department did a sorry job making the film look like a been-there-done-that, cheap, predictable thriller. But this sort of thriller is anything but, and it keeps on giving until the very last scene. The Gift is diffidently an intelligent, stirring surprise to say the least. It's no wonder Rotten Tomatoes gave it a whopping 93%, which is well deserving.

Simon () and Robyn () are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter an acquaintance from Simon's high school sends their world into a disturbing downward spiral. Simon doesn't recognize Gordo () at first, but after a series of uninvited, not to mention really awkward encounters and mysterious gifts that prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years ago. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to us, and are past bygones ever really bygones? 

Edgerton does a fantastic job as the director and writer of the film. He eerily holds our attention, kind of like an old Hitchcock film would. The vibe of the entire film is creepy and unsettling. And the ending leaves you with delectable question, an uncertainty that will resonate long after the credits roll – no ribbon is tied this movie. The ambiguity is unnerving, no doubt, but that's the beauty of The Gift

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Color in Storytelling - A Video Essay

Source: YouTube

This is seriously one beautiful, visually stunning video essay. Lewis Bond edited this exceptional video essay titled Color in Storytelling. It dives deep into the various uses of color in cinema. It may run long for some people, but for all those film fanatics/movie buffs out there, this is right up your alley.  I really love how well-researched this intensive look at color in film is.  It examines its history and the first uses of color in cinema, spanning from the early 1900s to modern techniques with filmmakers like The Wachowski Brothers and Ang Lee and George Lucas. The amount of time this took is so involved and I love the explanation mixed in with the examples of real footage. Take a look and enjoy!
Thanks to FirstShowing for the nice tip on this.  Press CC on the video above to see a list of the movies shown. To find out more about Lewis Bond, check out his Twitter feed at @lewis_criswell on Twitter, or on his YouTube page. For another non-video examination on Color in Visual Storytelling check this out.

Pretty cool, huh.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation just so happens to be Tom's Cruisiest movie yet. It's exactly what a Summer Blockbuster should be - a high-octane, exhilarating rush at monster speed.  And this popcorn flick doesn't let up either.  Sure, there are a few "no-they-didn't" unrealistic moments (even by M.I. standards), but what a fun and crazy ride regardless. 

With the IMF disbanded, and Ethan () out in the cold, the team now faces off against a network of highly skilled special agents - the Syndicate. These highly trained operatives are hellbent on creating a new world order through an escalating series of terrorist attacks, headed by the despicable steel-fisted Solomon Lane (). Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with disavowed British agent Ilsa Faust (), who may or may not be a member of this rogue nation, as the group faces their most impossible mission yet (du-du-duuun). But c'mon, have any of Ethan's missions been impossible... 

Cruise and his motley crew of cohorts still have fantastic chemistry together. And although the movie is all about Ethan, I have to give mad props to Ferguson - a Swedish actress not well known in the US. She manages to steal much of the spotlight with her intriguing blend of ambiguity, vulnerability, confidence, danger, and unforced sexuality. She does some serious butt kicking the whole way through!

This movie does a beautiful job keeping you on the edge of your seat with bated breath, and it does a fantastic job keeping you guessing till the very end. It's one terrific thriller that holds some of the best action sequences around. It’s kind of like action poetry. These movies are right up there with Bond and Bourne. My only complaint is I felt it was a tad bit long and drawn out - not as clean and tight as Ghost Protocol or MI:3 - but still a strong and valiant effort. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my movie experience. 
Rating: B 

What did you love/hate about it? 

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