Inception (2010) – a new frontier in filmmaking

Here’s a great infographic for Inception that actually manages to explain the movie’s multiple layers. It does so visually, and with a geometrically impossible object – which is the in-joke, of course. The film spends so much time establishing the rules of its universe, as it begins to observe some characters break those rules, the point of following them seems kinda … moot. And yet, with all the underused elements in it, and the obligatory shoot-out in act 3 – I still strongly recommend you watch it. Why?

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Greatest 9,331 movies of all times

For the past 9 years (yes, it’s nine, not a typo), Brad Bourland, 58, of Austin, Texas has been rating/reviewing movies. He’s got 9,331 so far, and wants his site readers/visitors to help him complete it to a nice, round 10k. Obsession, hobby, or just another slick marketing ploy? Visit his site, read up on the … hobby

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Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Tim Burton has done it again – a visual marvel of a film, a pretty close adaptation of a timeless classic book, great performances (although a little too heavy on screen time for Depp and Bonham Carter), and a lovely, rebellious Alice. What more do you need to know in order to run into theaters? It’s in 3D, which actually works.
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Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

First of all, kudos to the marketing campaign. This film heavily relies on word of mouth, we got a free screening (packed room, hardly any press, just people who got invites from eventful.com website). The screening was fun, we howled, took home t-shirts, and promised to tell others about it.  The movie is so much more than its title suggests. In fact, one of the many buddy-comedy cliches it breaks (and yes, it is a buddy comedy, elevated to a new level), is its silly title. When one of the characters exclaims (in an attempt to awkwardly explain the title/concept and give 5-second exposition): “this must be some kind of … hot … tub … time … machine”, he does so looking straight at the camera, breaking the fourth wall, and addressing the audience. “Get it? Get it? We’re all in on the joke here”.

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Transformers (2007)

Transformers came out on DVD a few weeks ago, and I was reminded that this past summer, this movie fell through the cracks, and the review was never posted. Here’s the movie review, a little brief, but better late than never. Given all the marketing and ego-power that went into this project (Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg) this could easily have been a really big disappointed. Instead, Transformers turned out to be a better movie than our depressed expectations, and a good blockbuster to fill a summer weekend. Of course, now that we’re nearing the holiday season, and the film is out of theaters, perhaps it will make a good gift.
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The Fountain (2006)

Somehow Darren Aronofsky has become the next big hit in Hollywood. Along with JJ Abrams (his status I just have to question, after MI3) and Christopher Nolan (ok, this guy knows what he’s doing) Darren is hailed as this decade’s Tarantino. Now I understand that a formulaic, stagnant world of Hollywood needs a regular shake, a revolution. So when a new kid on the block directs something unusual, he’s naturally going to be labeled as the next big thing. But I just didn’t get why Darren is such an outstanding director. I could see his unique way of writing (his earlier hits, Pi and Requiem for a Dream were also written by him), but as a filmmaker, a genius behind the camera – I didn’t get it. Until The Fountain, of course. While Pi was a bit unusual throughout, Requiem for a Dream had a weird plot and soundtrack, but not direction. It was good, but not excellent. Compelling but not exceptional. With The Fountain, I think Darren has reached a new level of storytelling – a unique plot, amazing score and focused, concise visual mastery of the story. This is a simple, straightforward movie told in a fantastic and memorable way.
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