Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Movie #64 - The Accused

"The first scream was for help. The second is for justice."

This movie was one of the critically acclaimed films of 1988, for which Jodie Foster won an Oscar as Best Actress. The film contrasted one of the up and coming actresses of the early to late 80's in Foster with one of the more accomplished veteran actresses in Kelly McGillis.

The storyline of this movie is quite disheartening - following a rape victim's trial to seek justice from the rapists and people who did nothing to help her. The movie is about the trial to charge the spectators who not only avoided helping Foster's character, but also cheered the rapists on to continue their heinous act.

Foster gives a powerful performance portraying the victim, but McGillis is a convincing female DA and shows her true acting prowess - especially absent a strong leading actor role in this film. Many of McGillis' films from this era had her opposite the protagonist male character - this movie allows her to excel on her own without the male lead.

Unfortunately, McGillis' career began to fizzle once the 90's hit, while Foster has been banking on her achievements alongside Anthony Hopkins in the Silence of the Lambs. McGillis has done a number of television show appearances in the last 20 years, but nothing compares to her run in the mid to late 80's - Top Gun, Witness, and The Accused. Guess it was just too much too fast, but thankfully, I married a pseudo Kelly McGillis clone - so no worries from my point of view.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Movie #63 - Welcome to Pornoland

I caught this film on TMN a few months back and it was quite entertaining - posed as a documentary of a married couple who ventures to Hollywood in hopes of stardom.

The film follows a director, who has experienced critical acclaim and exposure in Hollywood North, but wants to branch out and be successful in the Holy Grail - Hollywood. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints and competition - this director is forced to become a porno movie director with his friend who is already entrenched in the business.

What follows is a stark and honest portrayal of the movie industry - not as glamourous as the television documentaries that follow the business, but more on the negative sides that take place on a daily basis. It was quite entertaining to see some of the minor "stars" in the films and how disconnected they are from the sexual acts they were performing.

What made this documentary compelling was seeing the deterioration of the bright-eyed director caused by the temptations of this business and the promise of easy money. In the end - its a wonderful Canadian film that comes highly recommended - not for the gratuitous nudity and sex scenes, but for the story.

Movie #62 - Across the Universe

"All you need is love."

Well - that's not all you need to enjoy this movie. When my wife mentioned that we were going to watch this film, I was intrigued by a musical influenced by the music of the Beatles - one of my favourite bands of all-time.

However, the music is probably the only thing that is good from this film. Integrating the musical numbers into the plot were done well overall - but like any musical, the performances interfere with the progression of the movie in the end. In comparison to other musicals - e.g. Sound of Music or Phantom of the Opera, the music itself enhances the plot and storyline. In this case, the music becomes a nuisance as there is very little plot or explanation of what in fact is going on.

Depicted in the 60's, I guess the only way to enjoy this film is while on some sort of drug - however, as a non-drug user, I could not enjoy the weirdness of this film... despite the fact that I try to give any movie a chance. Thankfully, this movie did not fall under the "did not finish" category - mainly because I was still entertained by the musical performances and is impressed by the beauty of Evan Rachel Wood - a 21-year old actress constantly being cast to play a teenager in films and television.

Hopefully, Wood will choose more adult roles that will allow her to break the stereotypical teenage angst films. I am looking forward to her making the transition similar to those like Portman or Johanssen. Only time will tell.