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28th
AUG

Bend It Like Beckham

Posted by Player under Drama

Bend It Like BeckhamEvery year there comes a movie that is suppose to be “ethnic” and we are suppose to view it as good film, Bend It Like Beckham, is such a film. Like other films that fall into this category, namely the film about the kid who practiced ballet against his father’s wishes, comes to mind, this is a film about a young kid who has to sneak around because of a disapproving parent.

Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra is a yound Indian girl who loves soccer, but who’s parents feel she should move past girlhood fantasies and become a woman, meaning taking on responsibility and acting more lady like. However when Jess is spotted by Juliette “Jules” Paxton, an English teenager with the same passion for soccer, she becomes encouraged to play for an all-girl soccer team. Eventually Jess and Jules becomes good friends and since they are girls, good rivals when it comes to the attention of their young Irish coach.

The supporting cast is made up of Jule’s parents in contrast to Jess’s very traditional family. There is a lot of light humor and the plot is pretty much the same as Billy Elliot.

The film features a strange mix of music, from 70’s funk to 80’s feel-good songs, all pretty upbeat.

Although the film lacks the depth of say Muriel’s Wedding, it still has good acting, some decent sub-plots to keep its audience.

Final Thoughts: I’d probably would label this film as a film for women, simply because it falls really close to My Big Greek Wedding, which is also a film aimed at a female audience.

3 out 5 stars

25th
AUG

Hidalgo

Posted by Player under Drama

HildalgoI kind of compared this movie to Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, cause the story lines are similar, but overall I liked Hidalgo better than Last Samurai.

Hidalgo is the name of the horse, a wild mustang, which Frank Hopkins races in the race of all races. As part Native American Indian, Hopkins is conflicted in the beginning of the story, as his actions help lead to the massacre of Indians at Wounded Knee, it is at this time that he and his horse are challenged to enter the 3000 mile race in the middle east.

Hopkins arrives as the only American to enter a race where only the fastest and best stallions ride and where most men do not even survive the race. Hopkins is befriended by the Skiek’s daughter as he tries to learn the rigid culture of Arabs as well as avoid the pitfalls of a 3000 mile race through the desert.

Viggo Mortensen of LordofTheRings fame plays Hopkins and the rest of the cast is very well casted, so the film is very well acted. But I must confess that I can hardly hear what Hopkins is saying half the time. Mortensen plays Hopkins as a quiet American, and as a man of few words.

Visuals throughout the movie look very authentic (with the excepton of CGI scenes, like the leopard scene), but I often wondered if they could have been better. The grandness of a 3000 mile trek through the desert, could lend itself to some very cool backgrounds, but somehow the film delivers only a few.

For the audio, the DVD includes a 5.1 DTS track that is as good as it gets for a drama/action film. Some surround effects though are pretty impressive, even in the first opening scene even.

In the end, I thought Hidalgo was a pretty good film, nicely made, and nicely performed. The story may be more fiction, than truth, but the sometimes it’s really all about the moral of the story, and as movies go these days, this film has a pretty good moral at the end.

3.5 out 5 stars

25th

Prey For Rock’n’Roll

Posted by Player under Drama

Prey for Rock & RollEver since I watched the movie Face/Off, I’ve been strangely fascinated with Gina Gershon. She is not your typical brunet actress. Gershon just looks and talks differently from other women, and it is this that makes her appealing, and when you add movies like Show Girls and Bound, the appeal easily crosses gender lines, to the point, that now Gershon is not only popular with men, she’s absolutely famous in the gay community with both men and women.

In Prey for Rock & Roll, Gershon is stunning as Jacki, an aging guitarist and lead singer of her own struggling all girl rock band. Once again Gershon’s character is the strong female who may have her doubts at times, but who is as tough as any man. The most striking comeback in the film is when her drummer’s brother asks her how old she is, her response is a quick, “How big is your dick?”, meaning you don’t ask a woman her age in this society, just as you don’t ask a man to tell you how long his sex organ is.

The storyline sees Jacki keeping her band together in spite of her drug addicted bass player and her tragedy stricken drummer. Her only solace is Lori Petty’s character, who is the ever positive lead guitarist. Oh and of course her drummer’s brother who just showed up out of prison and who is attracted to the older Jacki.

Overall the acting could have been better by the supporting cast in some scenes, and the music, well that is usually personal preference, but on average it could have been better as well. Gershon does all her own singing, which is pretty unusual in rock movies nowadays, which comes off as being more believable, but again, the music just did not work most of the time, except for the “Every Six Minutes” song that becomes a major statement about women’s vulnerability and their will to not be victims.

In the end, though Prey For Rock’n’Roll is worth watching not because of Gershon, but because major Hollywood films today lack not only believability, but legitimacy. A lower budget film like Prey For Rock’n’Roll, is not suppose to make you feel better about the world, it is suppose to show you how some women still manage to survive in this world. And for that it makes no apologies, and it asks nothing of you. As Jacki saids, “I use to watch all these movies, to pretend I was somewhere else than where I was at; But now I don’t watch movies anymore.”

3 out 5 stars

25th

He Got Game

Posted by Player under Drama

He Got GameIn He Got Game, director Spike Lee tells the story of a promising young athlete Jesus Shuttlesworth and his convict father, Jake, played by Denzel Washington. Jesus is at a crossroads where he must decide on entering the pro NBA league or going to college. He does not know which college either and is being prodded by everyone. To make matters worse his father, Jake, just happens to show up to help him with his decision, but just like everyone else in his life, he also wants something from him.

Jake is a failure of a man. He not only lost his family, but he drove him son further away from him and he must try to rekindle some sort of relationship with his son, not just for his sake, but also for his son to move on. At the same time, Jake also sees that while his son has become a man, he also failed him as a father.

At the center of everything is the game of basketball, the greatness and simplicity of the game, and all the superficialness and greed that happens if you are a superstar in it.

Visually, the film features some superstar appearances from Shaq, Jordan, Reggie Miller and other basketball celebrities. There’s also some nudity that makes the film not appropiate for younger viewers.

The DVD is pretty bare, only a trailer and the feature film are included. The audio for the feature film is Dolby Digital and the score for the film is mostly a combination of rap songs by Public Enemy, but in between, Lee throws in some other tracks to make the film sound more unique than just another rap scored film.

In conclusion, probably not Washington’s greatest performance, but definitely one of the better dramatic films you can see in regards to being a basketball movie, and overall a highly enjoyable drama.

5 out 5 stars