Archive for November, 2010


I try to watch many films as possible during the week, however I do not find much time to review them.

I feel like I havn’t gone to a movie theater in months, as I have not seen any new releases. (aside from Outside the Law)

This past year, I have started the unthinkable….watching television shows.

As I hate television with a passion, I never watch anything on it except for a DVD or a movie on HBO, Encore, Starz, etc. This past summer I watched, in it’s entirety, all six seasons of the  The Sopranos. I , of course, loved every minute of it and plan to sit through the whole series again at another time.

Now, I am in the middle of watching several TV series: OZ (4th season), 30Rock (2nd season), Boardwalk Empire (1st season), United States of Tara (2nd season) and will hopefully start Breaking Bad and The Wire soon.

Reviews to come:

Outside the Law (2009)

Days of Glory (2006)

Angel-A (2005)

Trash Humpers (2010)

 

 

Short Documentary Update: This is taking longer than I thought…

Recommened Viewing: Rango

While this film will probably do justice as a good romantic film, if I see this film it will probably be due to it’s controversy surrounding its rating. (NC-17)

 

Interesting foreign animated film I would love to see.

I just recently saw the trailer for this film, and as I do like Ryan Gosling (Not for The Notebook) the film does look promising.

I will check it out.

Trailer:

Short Documentary: Update

I am currently very close to starting production of my first short documentary film. I have succeeded in getting the (two) necessary people involved for the time being and will hopefully start filming some footage this week.

The sub-topics that will be covered in my first short documentary include: Abortion Clinics and Truck Drivers.

Great combo, eh?

Comments and advice are openly accepted.

Outside the American Interest

Normally, when a movie is released in America with a relatively large budget and has big named actors, the marketing is key. An American movie, such as the newly released Due Date will have full page ads in newspapers, TV commercials and billboards all across the major cities. A foreign film, with the same basic elements of budget size and big-named-actors of an American film, should be marketed the same way. While a foreign film may be marketed correctly in its country of origin, it will most likely have to do more concentration on marketing to gain any attention in America. The foreign film Outside the Law is considered to be a follow-up to the highly acclaimed Oscar nominated film Days of Glory as they both share the same three actors and director. It would appear to the marketing department for the film, that this fact alone would draw enough attention to the film. While no official representative of the film confirms this hypothesis, it is determined solely on how Outside the Law has been marketed here in America.

The French film was released in one theater in New York City on November 3rd. Being that the film has such a limited release, it is assumed that the film has not and will not make a lot of money here. The one theater in New York City where this film is playing is the City Cinemas Paris Theater located on W. 58th St. right near the famous Plaza hotel. It is the location of this theater alone that hints at the film’s New York audience. When I attended a screening almost one week after it was released, the theater was a quarter full with predominantly older men, upper class, and French people. Due to this limited release, it is very hard to even find any information on any box office results of the film. However, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, while the film cost around thirty million dollars to produce, it has only earned around one-third or three million dollars worldwide.

On opening day, The New York Times presented a half-page review of the film tucked away in the “Arts” section as well as a small ad scattered among other film ads. The Village Voice, which comes out every Wednesday, featured a very small ad for the film and an even smaller review. Both reviews were mainly positive, however the only complaints were that the film was too lengthy and too political. Also, both reviews mentioned the lack of women characters, character development and commented on the tragic scene towards the beginning of the film, which graphically depicts the Sétif massacre of Algerian protestors at the hands of French soldiers. The popular film website RottenTomatoes gave the film a 67% rating, which to their standards is decent.

Both newspapers had the exact same ad, which immediately pointed out that it is an entry in the upcoming Academy Awards. I felt the ad was misleading as it portrays the three brothers the film focuses on, however the ad suggests that the man in the middle, is the leader or head of the trio. Upon viewing the film, I learned that the man in the middle is actually the eldest brother of the three, but it not the leader – in fact, the leader is the middle brother, who is the portrayed by the least known actor of the three. The ad in Friday’s edition of The New York Times presented an ad almost three times the size of its ad on opening day. The ad also consisted of around ten positive quotes about the film, compared to the three quotes opening day.

I cannot say I have any knowledge of a television or radio commercial for the film, but I know there that I have not seen one poster in or around any of the normal public areas, trains, buses, billboards, etc. The trailer, which appears to be semi-popular on YouTube, suggests the film to be a revolutionary epic, however the film itself is not as close. While both the New York Times and Village Voice agree, the film is not an epic due to it being too long and focusing too much on politics than its actual characters. The website for the film is very simple, as it only provides the bare minimum of information on the film – trailer, images, cast, etc.

Ultimately, I believe the marketing campaign for this film was and still is unsuccessful. The only interest I had in this film was not based on any ad I saw here in America. I had actually heard of this film last summer as I was in France and saw many ads for this film. Being a fan of French cinema, I am also aware of the two main actors of the film, which also drew me to it. Based on the ads here in America, it is clear who the film is targeted to and what audience the marketing campaign is aiming at with the single theater and the minimal effort on advertising. Despite the reviews and my critique, I still enjoyed the film as it actually sparked some interest in me about the Algerian revolution. While I do agree with the need for more women characters and more character development, I wanted to see more of the eldest and the youngest brother, who both were least directly involved with politics. I believe the main problem of the film, is its focus on the middle brother and his eager-aggressive view on politics. If the marketing campaign had advertised more and let their film be easily accessible through different theaters, then the film would most likely earn all of the remaining twenty seven million dollars.

 

Film Reviews for Outside the Law and Days of Glory to come soon!

October 5th: A man bumped into me, as he wasn’t watching where he was walking. “Asshole!” I said, as I turned around. The streets were bombarded and overflowing with shoppers, movie-goers, theater-goers, hoodlums, tourists, bicyclists, roller-bladers, fat people, skinny people, black people, white people, Asian people, Spanish people, tall people, short people, assholes, sweethearts, clones, gentlemen, ladies, and then there was me. Dodging people left and right, as people persisted in Texting and walking or simply walking sloth-like, really showing they were not from New York. I hate this part of Manhattan. People think about New York and this is the place that comes to mind: Times Square. Tourists flock here like flies to shit; it’s disgusting. I finally approached the corner of the street, where all the cars, trucks, horses, motorcycles, buses and cabs flew by. I waited impatiently for the red hand to stop blinking and the stupid motion-less florescent man to light up. The man appeared and this woman, who was jogging in place next to me with her iPod, darted ahead of me to cross the street. With sirens increasing in volume, everyone else knew what was coming and stayed on the street corner. The jogging woman reached the middle of the street when a huge screech was heard. The sirens grew louder trying to signal to the woman to get the fuck out of the way. Everyone gasped, as the woman was seconds from getting flung fifty feet in the air by a speeding fire truck. Now I never block out all sound when I listen to my iPod.

October 1st: I had just gotten off the 4 express train at 125st and I walked across the platform to wait for the 6. The beats of a man banging on some construction buckets for cash droned out the voices of two young women standing next to me. Both women were pushing baby carriages back and forth as if trying to put the babies to sleep with the rocking. One woman wore a tank top with a short jacket and her stomach was bare, with an obnoxious navel piercing. She had on skinny blue jeans and heels, as did the other woman who wore a very revealing shirt and had piercings covering her face. Their nails were done, their hair was done and they had way too much make-up on. Their attire was somewhat surprising considering their age, which appeared to be early twenties, but they did already have children making them seem much older and more mature. I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation: “Yo, did I tell you that shit that happened to my kid the otha day? Yo, this shit was crazy! I was late for an appointment and I got stuck wit no one to watch em, so I had to bring his ass. So I’m rushing and shit so I throw Junior ova here in da strolla and I’m running wit the strolla to get to the meeting. Yo, when I got to buildin’ I realized I forgot to buckle the lil nigga in! His body was halfway out the mofuckin’ strolla!” She said this laughing hysterically all throughout. The other girl laughed just as loud and said: “Yo, that would have been hilarious if he done fell out!” The 6 finally came and I got on and took a seat. The two women with their “strollas” sat directly opposite me. The train was pretty crowded without a seat available. I hunched over and put my elbows on my knees, as I was tired due to a long day. I looked over to my left and saw what appeared to be a woman of Hispanic descent with her three children all sitting down quietly. All three children were bundled up as if it were dead winter already. The mother, however, did not dress as warmly. She had on a light sweater and a mean look on her face. Almost as soon as I saw him, one of the children jumped out of his seat and ran all the way to the other side of the train car. The mother quickly got up in a hurry and began cursing in Spanish at the boy. I saw the boy’s face and immediately felt sorry for him. His face had the expression of pure fear and hatred wrapped together. When his mother got to him, she grabbed him by the hood of his coat and lifted him up, near choking him. She yelled at the boy and cursed and then proceeded to drag him by his hood all the way across the train car floor. As he was being dragged, the poor boy hit every single pole his mother passed. When the mother finally got back to her seat, she lifted him once again by the hood and punched him swiftly in the head. She threw him on the seat and he began crying. The other son and the daughter sat motionless in fear that they would be next. The mother sat down and yelled at the boy one last time, and he struggled to stop crying. Meanwhile, the two young women sitting in front of me were eyeing this horrific event. As soon as the mother sat down, the two women started clapping and hollering: “Damn Right! You see? That’s how you gotta treat yo kids! They aint gonna listen less you treat em like shit! Gotta get that respect.” The other woman nodded her head in agreement and I shut my eyes waiting for my stop.