The International Writers Magazine
: What you might have missed

Tabytha Towe's Film Round Up 2005

'05 Movie Diary of the Vancouver Girl
Me, you and everyone I know - Dir Miranda July

Great pace, story, bizarre and awkward relationships between all characters that somehow all relate (6 degrees of seperation theory). Funny, sad, almost shameless, you feel like you should feel dirty for laughing at it, but the humour is rancid but somehow sweet . Back and Forth... Back and Forth....

Grizzly Man
One of the best documentarys I have ever come by, especailly because it shows these magnificant animals in the wild and that we should respect them, but the filmmaker, wow, Timothy Treadwell is AMAZING!  Crazy, pushes his boundaries far beyond any other filmmaker in history. This was made from a non-filmmakers point of view, of a man looking towards these bears in harsh and lonely conditions to find himself, and lives with them wholeheartedly and with soul. He is not a professional, nor a government activist or even an animal researcher or scientist, he is simply a man that hates human socitey. We don't blame him either, of course. The 100 hours of footage has been edited into what they (the producers) want you to see, but the perspectives are annoying, charming, humourous and you just want to watch more of what he or the bears will do next. Was it selfish or selfless of him to do what he did, protect the creatures in his eyes, or interfere with nature?
March of the Penguins
We might as well note the other fantastic animal documentary. Who would have thought these silly, fat bird-like mammals would be sooooo devastatingly beautiful? They are the most sincere and devout creatures of all. Thay march in single file, wobbling without legs in cruel weather, with stoic patience. Their mating ritual is riveting, so lovely, you really feel for them. I won't give away what they do afterwards to maintain the parental roles of caregiving and survival, you have to see for yourself and fall in love with them for being such stubbornly wonderful creatures.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang- Dir Shane Black

That one speaks for itself. Two of my favorite actors, Robert Downey Jnr and Val Kilmer (playing a gay private eye no less). Sharp dialogue by Shane Black, clever, highly entertaining and has no flaws that I can think of. Brilliant!Brilliant! Brilliant!
(Hackwriters favourite movie of the year too- Ed)
Brokeback mountain - Winner of Four Golden Globes Jan 2006
Ang Lee's cinematography is captivating. There need not be any dialogue in fact. The pace was perfect, and the intiamcy between the two pretty boys( whom also happen to be a couple favorite actors) is extremly intense. I think every man and woman would have wanted to be in the tent with them, homosexual or not. Heath Ledger's portrayal is the best of his work yet, and I left the theatre thinking, "was he like every man I went after? Or was he like my father?" He was incredible. Jake Glynenhal was good too, but I couldn't take him seriously with that mustache as an older man. He looked like a spoiled little gay man with a mustache. I still loved him in it though and still think about the film.

King Kong
A big surprise for me. I wasn't into remakes at the time, nor big box office projects at that, but I have to admit, Peter Jackson has great vision and I enjoyed all the Lords of the Rings, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and ended up hugging my knees to my chest with excitement. I even squealed!? The CGI is amazingly realistic, and it doesn't take away from the story or the actors (Adrian Brody another fav, and Naomi Watts is immaculate as the melancholic interest.) Kong himself was the most beautiful. Every girl cried I swear, you really fall in love with him. Someone please give Andy Serkis an award, it's all his own expressions and movements damnit!
You will choke on your tissues. About widows as young as 7 years old to 80 living the rest of their lives in ghetto neighborhoods in India from the 1920's. Moving, overwhelming, heartfelt and depressing. Without a husband, you are a nuisance, another mouth to feed, why not dispose of you to the streets and let you live your life miserably while making you feel guilty for it, as if you were responsible.
It's all gone Pete Tong
I am a huge fan of biography flicks. This one about a DJ who goes deaf. At first you despise the protagonist in a way, almost don't feel sorry for him when he loses his hearing. All he did was get fucked up anyway, not much of a life, I mean partying is fun, but for some odd decades straight, come on. He loses himself is his self wallowing pity, but then he decides it's a blessing in disguise when he actually tries to turn his life around and finds love for himself and of course a woman (who else would have changed his attitude) and in the end you feel like it was a happy fairy tale and you like him as some hero. * PS. The "Coke Badger" is the funniest. You will pee yourself!

Memoirs of a Geisha
Geisha means artist, which certainly these woman are a piece of. Such discipline and elegance, it's nice to finally be exposed to this part of culture and learn about it. If you read the book it is obviously better, although I was actually not blown away by it, it was still very strong. I doubted the movie would be true to the story, but it was in fact very close to the book. Visually stunning scenes, the cast especially, all beautiful Chinese woman (portraying no other than Japanese woman) and the kimonos alone are worth watching it for. Recommend as a good date flick or chick flick. Ziyi Zhang and Gong Li are gorgeous as always, but I find that like a fine wine Michelle Yeoh gets better with age and steals the accuracy of geisha.

Layer Cake
A criminal thriller drama, I suppose you could say. Wheelings and dealings of a somewhat nonchallant - when it comes to being so rightfully threatened - business man who comes out as stronger than you assume. Dog eat dog, who gets who first. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am glad that Daniel Craig will be the new Bond (though I still would have preferred the sinister charms of the Clive Owen characteristic.)

Kung Fu Hustle
Wowie! This is pure fun and entertainment. It takes the piss out of martial arts movies at the same time being artsy, sort of takes the pie too. Great action, I loved the gangster bit, you can't help but laugh and awe at it's silliness yet magnificence.

Ong Bak - The Thai Warrior
Speaking of wowie! This one is non stop fighting throughout, no strings attached. An innocent man seeks to find his poor and religious village's Buddha head that has been stolen. Boy will he stop at nothing to get it back. Incredible choreography.

The Constant Gardener Golden Globe Winner for best supporting actress Rachel Weisz
It really gets to me still, because conspiracies such as this are existential everyday within our shitty politians, but the truth of suffering in Kenya (and other countries with problems we leave behind closed doors) is that we never really fathom what is happening, nonetheless do anything to help the situations or aid the sick properly. I highly wish everyone to see this film, it is deeply sensational and Ralph Fiennes shows yet again another performance of perfection as the meek widower trying to reveal his late wife’s work to the public. Based on John Le Carre novel.

My summer of Love
I might have had higher expectations of it. I was rather disappointed by this (and suddenly remembering Jarhead) with anticipation to feel... well, more compelled than I did. I hoped for more convincing intimacy between the girls, the supposed lovers who were never in love just using each other for either companionship because she was miserable and lonely or as someone to pass the time with because she was spoiled and bored. If it played more on that it would have been more interesting to watch. The story seemed to carry rather weightless. I wanted more depth. Overall it was not half bad, but not as half good. Same feelings as with Jarhead I'd have to admit.

Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe
I vaguely recall the childhood story, but watching this brought back some memories. I am happy to see it remade as a Disney production to keep it innocent. Tilda Swinton, love her, love her, is desolately astonishing as the nemesis Queen. Liam Nesson, appropriate voice for the proud Lion. The cute, British children are as one imagines them to be.

Exquisite cinematography. Asymmetrical shots with subtle, vivid lightingflirting with romantic vibrance, corresponding with a great musical score. The writer/director Wong Kai Wai did a fine job with this one, same guy who wrote In the Mood for Love surely sets the dark mood of this creative, drastic, romantic lingering love story. A writer, no less, a seductive man at that, always has woman yearning for him that he just cannot accept, perhaps a private man who cannot commit, but indeed a heart breaker. Based in the early 60’s he writes a story in the theme of loves kiss and misses, intertwined with both personal and fictional experiences. Set in the year 2046, a hotel room number of significance you’ll come to find, where people find erotic refuge in humanly immaculate android lovers.

Sin City
I absolutely adore the comic book syndrome in movies. Sad protagonist a secret hero that no one can appreciate the duties of, how intriguing. This is the best comic book turned movie ever made. The shots are astounding, black and white with hints of red are so amusing to the eye, such prevailing imagery. Mickey Rourke, I nearly forgot about him and now I look in the video store for his work. It was done so well and all the actors, both up and coming celebrities to been around the Hollywood block a long time celebrities, to old black listed re-inventing themselves, it’s wondrous how Roderigez and Tarantino can bring them all together and bring to life a colorful –not in a literal sense- sexy, humorous and violently engaging tale of dirty scum bags in a fascinating world of underworld champions.

Others to see:
Syriana - (powerful, strong cast ) also see Good night and Good Luck (another George Clooney movie)
Golden Globe Winner
Lords of War - (scary how business can be so mercenary)
Murder Ball - (an inspiring documentary of a dangerous sport for paraplegics)
Chicken Little - (endearing for the kiddies)
Proof – (Wasn’t as nerve wrecking as I thought it would be, but it was enjoyable to watch. Gyneth Paltrow gives good neurotic performance, and of course Sir Anthony Hopkins as the geniuos gone mad as her father.)
I walk the Line - (oh good old bio pics, it’s about time Johnny Cash got one about his life) Golden Globe Winner
Crash - (why are we still practicing racism instead of together-ism? a really thoughtful movie and Matt Dillion is great as the cop.)
Nouvelle France - (who doesn’t like French films? I’m not even very fond of the French but this is cool))
Batman Begins - (again a fan of comic book stories, this was my fav of the dark, winged hero series. Christen Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson all together, such a treat!)

Also checking out Squid and the Whale & Capote, this week. I have another list in my head so I will keep you updated, but I also have to pee now and these minutes cost me my coffee dosages for the day. Please do yourself a favor and watch these. Ciao, Tabytha

Others to avoid:
Dukes of Hazard - (I have no desire to see an anorexic, even ditzier Jessica Simpson with a southern accent)
Cheaper by the Dozen 2- (Ok I will never gave it a chance, even as a family orientated movie, does Steve Martin need money or what? I can’t watch anything with Hilary Duff in it either)
Breakfast on Pluto - (in the adverts it looked awesome and enchanting, but apparently I hear it goes no where and becomes a nuisance, unfortunately)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - (much to my dismay as Jonny Depp is a fine actor, usually, and the original is so good, I was almost hurt. I can see why Gene Wilder was upset, and I’m sorry they had to use that little Mexican man as all of the Oompa Loompas. The songs were irritating and so was looking at a million CGI duplicates of that eerie man!)
PS. Films to miss:
Broken Flowers - Bill Murray plays the same character from Lost in Translation and it just isn't the same, not bad, have to be in the right mood for it. Awkward scenes with the ladies, make you feel icky.

© Tabytha Towe Jan 2006
Taking the Hard Way
Tabytha Towe (April 2004)
The Return of Tabytha Towe (Oct 2005)
I did my whole ludicrous cleanse wrong actually...

All of Tabytha's Diary here


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