I love movies about everyday things.Â The films that I enjoy most are not about heroic people and epic events, they are, rather, the ones that tell seemingly unimportant stories about regular people that inspire me, and subtlety change the way that I view the world.Â Director John Carney’s “Once” is undoubtedly one of these films.Â
“Once” is a modern-day Irish singer-songwriter musical.Â In the film, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova play two main characters, known only as “Guy” and “Girl” in the credits.Â Guy is a street musician by night, and a vacuum cleaner repairman by day, who falls in love with a piano-playing girl with a vacuum cleaner that needs repair.Â Guy and Girl begin to play music together, telling the story of their growing relationship through song.Â
This seemingly low-budget film with simple lighting and natural dialogue tells a beautiful love story in a creative way.Â The music in this film is charming, and works well within the context of the story.Â It never seems oddly interjected, as I feel happens in some musical films.Â The characters are deep, lovable, and relatable.Â They have a natural chemistry with one another, and the audience is able to feel that romantic connection.Â
“Once is the Irish “Lost in Translation” with a musical twist.Â It is a sweet little film that captures a wonderfully realistic love between an everyman and an everywoman.Â
/Film Rating: 9.5 out of 10
I’m not normally one for artsy films.Â They usually bore me, and are rarely able to catch my MTV generation attention span.Â I have to say, however, that I was extremely impressed by Guy Maddin’s experimental film “Brand Upon the Brain!”.
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Directed by Todd Robinson, grandson of the main character of this true-story film, Lonely Hearts is an interesting story that explores the psychology of two lovers and notorious killers, and the detectives that seek to catch them.Â Lonely Hearts takes place in the 1940s, where detective Elmer C. Robinson (John Travolta) is investigating a string of murders committed by lovers Martha Beck (Selma Hayek) and Raymond Fernandez (Jared Leto), known as the Lonely Hearts Killers.Â Raymond crosses the country with Martha, who poses as his sister, luring lonely rich women into his arms.Â The two then mercilessly kill the women and take their money.
This story has been made into film twice before.Â What makes this incarnation unique is the fact that Robinson chooses to focus on his grandfather Elmer Robinson as the main character, rather than the killers themselves.Â This allows for a deep and near-perfect psychological depiction of Detective Robinson, as he deals with not only his investigation of the cruel cold blooded murderers, but also his own family life, which is falling apart after the death of his wife.Â
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Posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2007 by Elaine Mak
Air Guitar Nation is yet another “Spellbound formula” doc, this time, centering around two determined contestants, following their journey to the World Air Guitar Championships in Finland (who knew that even existed?). I don’t know about anyone else, but even after seeing so many of these films, I still haven’t gotten tired of the format. Air Guitar Nation is a fun, hilarious, and interesting film that plays along to a musically diverse and rockin’ soundtrack with tracks from the likes of Motorhead, Cheap Trick, and David Bowie.
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Beyond the Gates, directed by Michael Caton-Jones, starring John Hurt and Hugh Dancy is a true story about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It exposes the UN’s lack of involvement in the crisis, and puts a face on an issue that seemed so far away for many Americans.
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