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Archive for January, 2014|Monthly archive page

I Want To Be a “True Detective”!

In Television on January 13, 2014 at 10:43 pm

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If you were too busy watching the Golden Globes and you are lucky enough to have HBO, then watch “True Detective” because I believe that this show next year and the year after and the year after that will be present within the Golden Globes and will also be awarded a few Emmys as well.

“True Detective” tells the story of Rust Cohle, Matthew McConaughey, and Martin Hart, Woody Harrelson, as they encounter and retell the story of a woman who was murdered in 1995 in a ritualistic manner. As the story switches between past and present, the viewer uncovers more and more about the detectives, the murder, and the truth. “True Detective” was created by Nic Pizzolatto and will be a miniseries, in that, like “American Horror Story” every season will be a different story and they may or may not include the same actors. When this was revealed to me, I fell even harder for this show because every single season will be different allowing for an amazing show that will allow the actors involved to take on truly different roles.

The premiere of this show set the tone, the pace, and the story for “True Detective” showing a professional Hart and a distraught and strung out Cohle as they retell the investigation of Dora Lange. This episode also displayed what an amazing dynamic these two actors will have and how much they have actually become their character. McConaughey looks, sounds, and feels like an authentic run down worn out detective. He looks awful and you can feel it seep from his pours while Harrelson looks like he has it all together but you know something is brewing beneath the surface.

And the writing! The writing is fantastic. “Rust would pick a fight with the sky if he didn’t like its shade of blue”. If I talked like that, I would be working in advertising. That line was excellent and authentic. It felt completely real and delivered with and understanding as to who Rust is and what he is truly capable of.

I also like the idea that there is still so much more to these characters. I understand that they are not going to reveal everything in the first few episodes, however, I like the idea that we may not know everything about the characters until the very end.

“True Detective” is an excellent show that should be watched because it depicts just how far television has come. Featuring two powerhouse actors and one compelling story, I am telling you, do. not. miss. this. show.

The Grandmaster of Confusion

In Movies on January 8, 2014 at 10:28 pm

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I’m back! Yes, after a change in living situation, I am back and writing once again and what an event to write about. Yes, I said event because tonight thanks to my lovely girlfriend, I was able to see a screening of “The Grandmaster” that was followed by a question and answer session with the director Kar Wai Wong and none other then Martin Scorsese. That’s right! That is absolutely right. I saw Martin Casino Scorsese in the flesh! And it was amazing. I have a video and pictures to prove it.

But I digress, this is a movie review site after all and I should review the movie. “The Grandmaster” tells the story of Ip Man who trained Bruce Lee and helped make kung fu what it is today. Tony Leung plays Ip Man and Ziyi Zhang plays his love interest Gong Er. “The Grandmaster” begins in the 30s and ends in the 50s covering the wars and strife that occurred in between, all the while showing the struggles of Ip Man and his lady Gong Er to make kung fu the best that it can possibly be.

This movie begins as one film and ends as another. The first scene involves a series of fights with unknown assailants against, you guessed it, Ip Man. This scene appears to set the tone for how the film will continue, with various fight scenes and some amazing cinematography. But, alas it does not. Half way through the film, it changes from a kung fu action film to a slow paced historical romance, with scenes often dragging on. There are also a few documentary elements thrown in there when individuals on screen have their names written directly below them. It was a bit confusing. The climax fight of this film suffers from this confusion and just falls apart into a bland unexpected fight.

Now, I understand this film should be viewed as what it is, meaning that I wouldn’t compare “Scary Movie” to “The Last of the Mohicans” because both of these films were made for different reasons. This film was made to depict the life of Ip Man which I understand but what the director should have done is shown it either as a historical drama or a kung fu action film. In the beginning, we see Ip Man training and learning various fighting styles similar to that of a Rocky montage and this would have been great if it was solely a kung fu film, but sadly, it wasn’t. The director tried to cover too much in different ways.

I also wish to comment on the way these fight scenes were shot, in that, they were shot in a very unoriginal kung fu style, in that there were close ups of hands, feet, and faces. Now, I understand that these shots were a form of homage to old school kung fu films, however, I personally do not like these shots. I think they take away from the scene as a whole and often come across too quickly and because of this, I have some difficulty following how the fight scenes are occurring. My personal preference for a way to shoot fight scenes were how they were done in “The Raid: Redemption” and “Oldboy”. I love the long continuous shots that encompass everything within the scene. Those type of shots are my absolute favorite because you can see how a fight progresses and just how painful some of the blows actually are.

Conclusion: This movie is a possibly stream-worthy or not even watchable in my opinion. It’s two films pushed together and suffers from this.

But before I leave you, I just want to say that the director Kar Wai Wong was absolutely fantastic and equally hilarious. He put a lot of time and effort into this film and even informed the audience that it took him 3 years to shoot it and that many master of various kung fu schools were involved with the making of this film. Truly inspiring. I’ve included a video clip where Martin Scorsese and Kar Wai Wong discuss the use of music while filming. Enjoy!