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Thursday 9 January 2014

VIEWED: American Hustle

In case your scroll down doesn't work, here's what I said about the trailer for American Hustle:

Is there any role that Christian Bale cannot fully embrace and make brilliant?... It's been a while since I've reviewed a trailer but I can say with confidence that the trailer for American Hustle is one of the best I've seen in recent memory... Oh, and the wife says we'll be seeing it tonight.

We saw it.  Bale was brilliant.  Renner was brilliant. Adams was brilliant.  Lawrence was not quite as brilliant but still very good. Cooper was Cooper, which is good but not brilliant. Louis C.K. was Louis C.K. which is not as brilliant as the first three and not as good as Cooper's good, but still pretty good.  Di Nero was super brilliant. Though the brilliance was concentrated as he was only on screen for a short time, but that short time was on par brilliant with the first three. At 70, he is still an intimidating presence.

The story was very entertaining.  There were no real dull moments.  The pace was good and every scene seemed well placed and relevant. The character development was great, too. I really felt like I understood each character and each character's motivation.

American Hustle is a well crafted, well cast, well written, nicely executed film. I loved it.

I asked the wife what she thought of it.

She said, "it was okay."

Please note the views of the wife do not reflect the views of Beerbohmtastic.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

American Hustle

It's been a while since I've reviewed a trailer.  It's been a while since I've raved about a trailer.  Maybe I've forgotten just how frustrating trailers can be... This one was not frustrating at all.

Is there any role that Christian Bale cannot fully embrace and make brilliant? The Fighter? The Machinist? American Psycho? Batman? Reign of Fire? The killer in "Shaft"?  I can think of only one actor that can drastically change his physical appearance for a role:  Robert De Niro (who has a cameo in this film, by the way).  Need I say more? If Bale doesn't win an Oscar during his career than the Academy is flawed... wait a minute... has Depp won an Oscar, yet?

The trailer for American Hustle gives away enough without giving away anything.  There is a story that intertwines hustlers with politicians and the FBI. There is some kind of sting operation and we learn from the trailer that every character's motives are different.  There are great clips that provide insight into each character and they are all convincing.

It was thoroughly refreshing to watch this trailer.  I was sucked in by the look and feel, but more so by how Christian Bale looked and spoke. Amy Adams showed sexy intensity, Bradley Cooper continues to impress as he plays another asshole.  Jennifer Lawrence plays the Jersey bombshell wife perfectly.  It's a nice change from Katniss. Louis C.K. is hilariously deadpan, and Jeremy Renner gives a best supporting actor Oscar worthy performance. New respect for Renner.  He really is that good.

As I said, It's been a while since I've reviewed a trailer but I can say with confidence that the trailer for American Hustle is one of the best I've seen in recent memory...

Oh, and the wife says we'll be seeing it tonight.

Monday 6 January 2014

The 3rd Annual Beerbohm Awards

The Autumn months are usually the prep months for the annual Beerbohm Awards.  I spend some time viewing reviewing potential nominees for the various categories.

In the Autumn months of 2013, there were no reviews, though I was dragged by the wife to see a half dozen movies and, of course, Canadian, American and U.K. Netflix continue to provide non-reviewed entertainment.

What can I say... life sometimes gets in the way of more selfish pursuits. I guess that's the way it should be.

That said, the 2014 Beerbohm Awards will be slightly different from the previous two years.  While I do review trailers of films that are nominated for Oscars, this year's Beerbohm Awards will follow the Oscar format for only the following categories (sorry fans, both of you):

Best Picture Trailer

Best Actor in a Trailer

Best Actress in a Trailer

Best Supporting Actor in a Trailer

Best Supporting Actress in a Trailer

If I receive submissions (so please send links to your trailers either email or twitter @beerbohmtastic) I will try to include:

Best Independent Film Trailer 

Best Documentary Trailer.

Next year I hope to return to the previous year's format - unless this format is preferred...

More details below the impressive hardware...

As always, your nominations before January 31, 2013 are welcome.

Either comment on the blog, tweet @Beerbohmtastic or email your nominations to beerbohmtastic@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading and following and sending stuff and for loving movies (and trailers) as much as I do.

Here are last year's Oscar Best Picture trailer reviews: http://beerbohmtastic.blogspot.ca/2013/02/2013-oscar-best-picture-trailer-reviews.html

Here are last year's winners: http://beerbohmtastic.blogspot.ca/2013/03/here-are-your-winners-for-2nd-annual.html



After almost three months hiatus, Beerbohmtastic is back.  Less relevant - if ever really relevant at all, but back nonetheless. Oh, and Happy New Year!

It seems fitting that my last review, the American remake of Chan Wook Park's Oldboy, is followed by Chan Wook Park's first American film.

Here's what I said about the trailer:

"Watching the trailer was like catching brief glimpses of lives descending into darkness with the final scene of the trailer showing dirt shovelled into an open grave... The trailer provides images and clues of the darkness but no answers, which made the visuals of the trailer that much more disturbing.  This is exactly what a trailer is supposed to do, tease, and it did so very well... I was sucked in immediately; this is one of the best trailers I've seen in a while."

Chan Wook Park is an interesting director.  According to IMDB, he turned down the offer to remake The Evil Dead - which would have been his first American film.

As the opening credits appear and the first few scenes melt into each other, one thought occurred me: Is he going to try harder because this is an American film or will he be himself?  I believe he remained true to himself and Stoker is classic Park.

Park himself says, "I don't feel enjoyment watching films that evoke passivity. If you need that kind of comfort, I don't understand why you wouldn't go to a spa."

There is no passivity in Stoker.  It's a dark and disturbing complex story told simply and as each plot layer becomes clearer, the dark and disturbing become magnified.  His characters place blame on other because they refuse to take on the blame themselves (like driving in Western Quebec - but I digress).

It's well cast, Kidman, Goode and Mia W. are strong and believable.  The self absorbed nature of each character is chilling. And the Stoker family gene even more so, and to address the trailer review: these characters did not descend into darkness, they were already there.

Yes, this is classic Park.  And I really enjoyed it.