Friday, August 28, 2009

Alejandro Amenábar, director and writer of The Others and The Sea Inside, has a new film in store. This one is a ancient Roman epic starring Rachel Weisz. I must say two things; I love films that take place in ancient Rome and I love Rachel Weisz, and I cannot help but be overwhelmed with memories of The Fountain when I see her in this film. But one question comes to mind; why do all characters in all films that take place in ancient Rome have British accents?!? (You won't hear the characters speaking in this trailer, but other websites have a longer trailer and you'll hear all the British accents)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I saw this trailer before seeing Inglorious Basterds in the theaters and when it started it gave me chills. This is the new film written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight, Memento) and starring two of my favorite actors right now, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt! I would have never really imagined DiCaprio doing a film with Gordon-Levitt, but alas it's seems to be a match made in heaven, considering they are the two best actors in Hollywood right now. Not to mention Marion Cotillard is also in it, she did a superb job in La Vie En Rose. Plus even more awesome actors such as Michael Caine, who doesn't love that British accent, Lukas Haas, who did a very good job in Brick and looking forward to seeing more of him, and Cillian Murphy, who starred in my favorite Zombie movie of all-time, 28 Days Later. This film has an beyond awesome cast, and from the look of the trailer, it seems to be a sci-fi thriller a cross between Minority Report and The Matrix. I'm extremely excited for this film, can't wait to see it!

Fifty Dead Men Walking

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I noticed a common occurrence when you live in NYC is when you're looking through the list of films playing in the local movie theaters and you see one film you never heard of. This is the case with the film, Fifty Dead Men Walking, an Irish film starring Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley. Before I looked over what was playing in AMC Empire 25, the biggest movie theater in NYC, I never heard of the film, but then I was intrigued so I went to check it out on IMDB and noticed that Ben Kingsley was finally starring in a role that was not a crappy sci-fi or off-beat crime comedy like he has been doing for the past 10 years! Ben Kinsley was finally starring in a serious film and that captured my attention. Also Jim Sturgess stars, who did an impressive job in the film, 21. This film looks really good, I must catch in theaters soon.

Here's the premise of the film:

"Inspired by Martin McGartlands incredible autobiography, Fifty Dead Men Walking is the stunning new action thriller by Kari Skogland about a secret agent working undercover for British security services in Northern Ireland in the late eighties. Over the course of four years, until his betrayal and subsequent discovery, it was estimated that McGartland was responsible for saving the lives of up to fifty men."
And the trailer:

Any Fun

Friday, August 21, 2009

Coconut Records released a new music video for their song Any Fun!

I like the very old 1950's home-video style to it. Plus it's entirely shot in New York!

Life changing experience

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This documentary and book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, has changed my life in so many positive ways. Give this a watch:

Yes, this might at first sound a little over dramatic and preachy, but I assure you it's made to capture your attention. It's so true when they talk about the power of positive thinking. Our lives really are the culmination of our everyday thoughts. Most religions and philosophies of the world talk about mind over matter and this puts aside all the mystic and magical connotations about mind over matter and puts it into a way which is much more realistic and easier to relate to. Whatever we think about becomes reality, this has taught me that happiness can only come from the inside. So maintaining positive thoughts and thinking of only things you truly want and knowing that there is abundance in life for everything and anything you want, you then will truly be a happy person.

Now here's is two inspiration quotes to dwell upon:

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, either way you are right"
-Henry Ford

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him"

Tango Hip-Hop?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tango has always been a music of passion. A sensual rhythm that gets the heart pumping with fiery passion and just makes you want to dance. Yes the title is correct, I have found a band called Bajofondo that is straight from Argentina and Uruguay that makes an interesting mix of Tango and Hip-Hop. It's two genres I would have never imagined being combined and I have to say I'm presently surprised. I listened to Bajofondo's live album titled Supervielle. This album has a perfect combination of classic tango with modern hip-hop and some electronic. The music is so relaxing and soothing, it puts the mind in a beautiful trance. Maintaining a new and unique sound, Bajofondo manages to revitalize tango music. With the addition of a DJ (someone on turntables) on their band it adds new life to this dying genre. This band also does a interesting mix with vocals, using classic vocals from a couple of popular Tango singers, and they also incorporate rapping. Being a big fan of tango and groups like Gotan Project, I love this album. This music is so sensual, just like Tango which is one of the most sensual genres of music, this perfect fusion of classic Tango and modern hip-hop makes for a perfect blend of sensuality and modernity.

Wish You Were Here

Sunday, August 16, 2009

After having my mind being blown by Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, I was looking to listen to more of Pink Floyd’s albums. After having a chat with a friend talking about The Dark Side of the Moon he suggested to me to listen to Wish You Were Here. He said it was completely non-commercial just like Dark Side; one of Pink Floyd’s other avant-garde albums. Wish You Were Here was album made after Syd Barrett departure of the band. Syd Barrett was suffering through a rough LSD drug addiction and a decline in his mental state so Syd Barrett and the rest of Pink Floyd broke off. The other members of Pink Floyd were incredibly saddened by the loss of a great band member, one who mainly composed all the song in their first 2 albums. So this album was created as a tribute to Syd Barrett.

I have to say from the start this is another great album made by Pink Floyd, as with Dark Side of the Moon the entire album is one piece of work and not just a bunch of tracks put together. The lyrics are very sincere, reminiscing about the good times they had with Syd Barrett and sadness of the loss of incredible potential Barrett had. The most impressive song of the album was Shine On You Crazy Diamond, which is a 20 minute song divided into two parts. The song starts very spaced out similar to the sound of Dark Side then moves to very jazzy with the use of a saxophone and then has a rapid climax with funky melodies. Then there is my other favorite song in the album Wish You Were Here, which ironically sounds like many indie bands I listen to nowadays, very similar to artists like Bon Iver, Coldplay and many others. The guitar is amazing in this song; I really dig the acoustic sound. The lyrics in this song are simply beautiful. They express the sadness of losing a great friend, their frustrations for that loss, and their desire to have him back. This is a great album, filled with many memorable moments, if you like Pink Floyd or like slow and spaced-out music you should definitely give this album a listen.

Beautiful lyrics from the song Wish You Were Here:

“How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls

Swimming in a fish bowl,

Year after year,

Running over the same old ground.

What have we found

The same old fears.

Wish you were here.”

(500) Days of Summer... again

Align Left
Warning this reflection of the film contains spoilers.

So I went to see (500) Days of Summer again because I recommended it to a friend who had a recent bad break-up, and he was dying to see it so I went with him to watch this amazing film again. I will tell you now, for a second viewing of the film I was amazed again! I still felt the magic of the film as I felt it the first time I watched it, and the film to a certain degree got even better. Watching it for a second time I was able to appreciate other things that I didn't noticed the first time around. In this second viewing I really felt sympathetic for Summer. In the first viewing I thought Summer was rather cold-hearted, but in the second time I realized Summer is human being too with feelings and emotions. Even though Summer was much more closed than Tom was, she was in a relationship too, and she also felt heartbreak. It wasn't easy for Summer to break it off with Tom, but, unlike Tom, she followed her intuition and was honest to herself about the way she felt about Tom. Summer at 300th or so day started to feel that she truly didn't love Tom, the feeling between her and Tom was dwindling. Tom's break-up was so hard because he was resting on a fantasy, but more so he was constantly thinking about lack. He thought about the lack of love Summer was showing, he thought about the lack of consistency in the relationship, he thought of the lack of women out there besides Summer that he could connect with. Tom constantly had negative thoughts running through his mind. As the narrator said, Tom's mode of thinking was similar to sad 80's British pop music, he lived in world where there was heartbreak, where love is a rare thing, and that one really has to fight for it to win it. This way of thinking really hurt Tom and really hurt his relationship with Summer. Summer during the relationship was having fun, taking it casual and slow, meanwhile Tom was panicking that he was going to lose Summer. Tom felt as though he had to be in an official relationship with her, in order to guarantee no heartbreak. At one point in the film Tom says "I just want consistency" and Summer replies "You know I can't give you that, only you can". Summer was completely correct, Tom was looking for the love of Summer in order to feel true happiness but that isn't the way. One has to be happy, and you have to love yourself in order to give love to others. Of course nonetheless, Summer and Tom weren't meant to be with each other, but they were meant to have a short-lived relationship. Both Tom and Summer learned so much from that relationship they had together. Summer found someone who she truly loved by first learning about Tom's philosophy on love. Tom ended up pursing architecture and also finding someone else all due to Summer.

It's not a love story, but it is a story about love. We all go through these moments in our lives that we rest all our happiness on one person, but that only leads to feeling empty and unsatisfied, no one can give you the happiness that you truly want, you have to be happy on your own in order to live happy. You have to love yourself in order to love others. Tom at the end start appreciating and loving himself because he pursued architecture and that's how he was able to meet Autumn. (500) Days of Summer is a therapeutic film teaching about love, the destructive power of negative thoughts, and a very important lesson that love is always out there and there is an abundance of love to be given and received, one just has to be patient and let it come to you naturally.

Photo Blog #1

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Channeling Clark Kent.

[See Photo Blog Project]

Enigmatic Lyrics

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Open up your
Open up your
Open up your throat
And let time
All of that time
All of that time
All of that time go

I know it sucks that Daddy's done

But try to think of what you want

You've got to open up

Open up your
Open up your throat

Support your brother
Brother Sport

You got to weigh what you say

To help you shape the way you play

You gotta get rid of the mourning

Sort out the habits of your mind

You're halfway 'til you're fully grown

You've got a real good shot

Won't help to hold inside

Give a real, give a real

Shout out

Until you're fully grown
You've got a real good shot
Won't help to hold inside
Give a real, give a real
Shout out

Animal Collective's lyrics are always a bit abstract and hard to understand but after many listens to the song Bothersport I finally fully grasp it's meaning. The song is written for a brother called Matt who apparently had many problems. The lyricist is trying to tell his brother that the problems have come and gone and that its time to open up and talk about his problems. Anybody can easily relate to these lyrics, we all go through problems in our lives that we feel fearful or ashamed to talk about, but sometimes it's so much better to shout them out, to talk about them rather than holding them bottled up inside. "You got to weigh what you say, To help you shape the way you play" Talking to friends or family is a great reliever, someone is always willing to listen and give advice, and through that proper exchange in communication we can shape our lives harmoniously. As the song says "Won't help to hold inside".

The Dark Side of the Moon

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For many years I’ve heard this album been talked about, people praising it for being one of the most influential albums ever made. Then one day I put on the album Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys for me and my dad to hear it, and he said the album was amazing and that it sounded it just like Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I absolutely love Pet Sounds, and before I heard that comment comparing Pet Sounds to Pink Floyd, I always thought Pink Floyd was way too commercial and mainstream for me. I only knew of the songs such as Another Brick in the Wall, Comfortably Numb, and Money all which are very mainstream songs, so I disregard Pink Floyd as a mainstream band like Rolling Stones or The Who for many years. Then with the discovery of The Beatle’s Srgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club and The Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, I’ve realized some of these massively popular bands that make up the mainstream as we know it today have also made these avant-garde albums that are nothing like their mainstream successes. Sometimes the media constantly shows only the commercial side of these bands that you never realize they have an amazing catalogue of powerful completely non-commercial and unique music. So I decided to give a listen to Pink Floyd avant-garde album. The Dark Side of the Moon I have to say from the start is mind-blowing. From the very beginning to very end it’s a trip into a vast musical landscape of mellow tones, powerful singing, spaced out melodies, and hypnotic rhythms. I was completely blown away from this album. It was so carefully constructed as if it was created for a story. The music flows from beginning to end as the album is more of an entire piece of work rather a track by track album. The song that impressed me the most was The Great Gig in the Sky which has a powerful female voice, a gospel singer, singing in the background. It was interesting the combination of rock with gospel vocals, something that is rarely done. The album also used various vocals and melodies various times throughout the entire album, maintaining a unique and similar sound to it throughout the entire album. This album is filled with unique instrumentation, a variety of amazing vocals, and amazing spacey feel to it. The Dark Side of the Moon is a work of art, an amazing piece of music that should live forever in our musical history. If you haven’t listened to The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety, go now!

Angels with Guns!

Yes you heard me right. This film has angels, as in heavenly biblical angles, kicking some demon ass with guns. Awesome premise right? Constantine, End of Days all are films with the premise of Heaven vs. Hell, but in those films they are mainly humans fighting with demons, but in the upcoming film Legion, starring Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid, it's angels doing most of the fighting. I know this all sounds juvenile and maybe blasphemous to some, but I find something quite exciting about this film. There is a certain quality to action/adventure films that use biblical mythology, they are pretty fun and intriguing to watch.

Call me an Idealist

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lately there has been a lot of drama amongst some of my friends. Falling in and out of relationships, problems with friendships, frustrations about life, everything people go through every day in their daily lives. Luckily I’m not involved in any of this nor have any stress because of this, but, like always, I kindly offer my advice to my friends. I say that there is no need to be frustrated or stress because life needs to be enjoyed, good things will come once you start feeling happier. For my friends who break-up with a significant other I always say the cliché “there is plenty of fish in the sea”, but I mean that with all my heart. Everybody has someone out there who would make them happy. We are not limited to a small selection of people to choose from, to care for. No, we have an abundance of people to love, to care for, to be friends with, the options are basically limitless. Now when I say this people look at me with skepticism. They believe life can’t be that easy, that in life we have to fight for what we truly want. But I always ask why fight? Why not just wait for what you want? Fighting is a struggle, its work, it makes one unhappy and frustrated, and that is not the way to achieve happiness. In our society we are programmed to believe that everything; love, friendship, wealth, work, happiness, all has to be fought for in order to get it. You see it with all types of music, movies, TV shows, advertisements, cultural customs and advice people give to others every day. I disagree with this widely spread belief. There is no need to fight, fighting just creates more resistance, it creates more anger, and more unhappiness. I don’t think we need to fight for what we truly want; we don’t need to fight for what truly makes us happy. I think for the things that you truly want in life, whether its wealth, love, friendship, or anything else, you should let it come naturally to you. The things that happen naturally with little or no resistance are things that will truly make you happy in life. Many people may think that this belief is naïve, unrealistic, and hopeless. But on the contrary, thinking about the best results will always result in getting the best. So, like I tell all my friends, just be patient because good things will come. That’s how I live my life, I only think of the things I really want, of the best that I can get, and nothing else and through that lifestyle I’m living a happy life. So you can call me an idealist, because I’m proud to be one.

I Love New York

The new trailer for New York, I Love You finally has come out! This film follows the same concept as Paris, Je t'aime, as it's a series of short stories about romance in a large city interwoven to make one film. Now this one doesn't have quite as many big name directors as Paris, Je t'aime. The only directors I recognize is Mira Nair, who directed The Namesake, and Brett Ratner, who directed the Rush Hour series. The rest of the directors and writers are indie and foreign filmmakers, which has me quite excited. It nice to see indie and foreign filmmakers incorporating their unique and new film style for a Hollywood produced film.

I think they picked a perfect place to make this type of film. New York is a lovely place filled with wonder, life, love, and excitement. New York is truly a wonderful and unique city. No other city comes in comparison with the diversity, the style, the grandeur that New York offers. A gigantic mesh of culture that creates an interesting flavor for this grand city. Everywhere you look you see something interesting, you see new and interesting faces, you see the fusion of culture in people's wardrobe, speech, and customs. New York is a truly spell-binding city, I absolutely can't wait to see this film because I, too, love New York. <3

(500) Days of Summer

Monday, August 10, 2009

Warning this review might contain some spoilers.

I finally went to see (500) Days of Summer, the film I have been anticipating and hyping since February. It’s a long time to wait for a film and within that time the hype grew and grew. Then on a Saturday night I entered the theater finally after 6 months of anticipation with my expectations running so high. The film started with soft classical music slowly gaining momentum, reminiscent of fantasy films, then a narrator with a very deep and authoritative voice starts talking. His first line “This is a story of boy meets girl.” An introduction is given about the two main characters Tom, the boy who falls in love, and Summer, the girl who doesn’t. At that instance, two minutes into the film, I knew this wasn’t your ordinary cliché-ridden romantic comedy, I realized this film is going to unique and unlike any other. In a time where romantic comedies seem to be empty, superficial, and lacking any real heart comes (500) Days of Summer which comes like a refreshing breeze in the sea of dry romance films. This flim blew my mind, it was witty, funny, new, and engaging.

First let me start with the two stars of the film, Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, two actors I have complete love for. Zooey Deschanel a beautiful woman who always plays the strong female lead extremely well. She has a talent for playing the corky, weird, and slightly off-beat female. Then there is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is one of my favorite actors right now. Star of one my other favorite romantic comedies, 10 Things I Hate About You, and star of many other wonderful films such as Brick and The Lookout. Gordon-Levitt has the talent and is an amazing actor of the top most quality and I see him going great places in his art. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt blended very well in this film. In most romantic comedies you need to feel the chemistry between the two leads but in this film it was different. The film is about the full course of a relationship, the beginning, the middle, and the end. And throughout the film you see the development of the chemistry between the two leads but then you also see the slow deterioration of the chemistry between them. The film expertly explores the development of innocent and naïve love. Many people might find the fact that this romantic comedy is not quite the love story as all the others, many people might find it depressing because of that fact. But on the contrary this film shows the ups and downs of relationships and being in love while the other person is not is a hard thing to go through. This is where the film is at its strongest. Even though it shows a relationship that doesn’t quite work out, it’s still a beautiful thing. So many memorable experiences and joyful experiences are created that will pristinely forever live in happiness. We tend to look at relationships and only think about the outcome, when really it isn’t only about the outcome, what is most important is what one goes through that relationship. Even though a relationship doesn’t work out in the end, there are so many things that happened during the relationship that made you happy, those moments should be cherished. Marc Webb, the director the film, did an excellent job at capturing these small moments that live pristinely in happiness and joy for the rest of our lives. The lingering shots of Summer’s face, of Tom and Summer holding hands, of the smile on their faces, all are shots that make this film truly wonderful. In real life the small moments of seeing the one you love smile, laughing, and glancing at you are the images that keep playing over and over in our heads. Marc Webb of course knows this and he expertly incorporate those lingering images into his film.

I also have to praise the cleaver use of an omniscient narrator, who had no relation to any of the characters in the story. The narrator had a deep voice and was very well articulated, reminiscent of nature documentaries or other films like Little Children. To me the film sounded more like an anthropological study on the workings of love, a dive into the inner-workings of human nature. The narrator added an authoritative and serious tone to this romantic comedy. It made the film feel important to me, hearing the narrator made me feel like I had to listen to this film, take the opportunity to learn something new from this two-hour exposition of falling in love.

As for the soundtrack, it was completely amazing! An enchanting and such an engaging soundtrack filled with many memorable songs ranging from indie artist such as Regina Spektor, Feist, She & Him, Doves, Wolfmother, and the Temper Trap, and it also had a couple of classics from the 80’s such as The Smiths, Hall & Oates and Simon & Garfunkel. A big influence of this film I think comes from songs of The Smiths, anyone who holds The Smiths close to their hearts knows that their lyrics are about the pursuit and search for love. Tom is desperate for love and as they say in The Smiths song, There Is A Light The Never Goes Out, “And if a double-decker bus crashes into us, To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die” Tom is desperate to find love and he feels that he would only feel happy once he does, no matter how dire the circumstances. No wonder Tom falls head over heels with Summer, once he finds out she likes the Smiths. Also with the other songs such as Sweet Disposition by the Temper Traps and Us by Regina Spektor are perfect love songs, expressing the small moments of love we all experience in our lives.

(500) Days of Summer follows a non-liner story sequence, a definitely interesting choice for this type of film. But I think the fact that it was structured this way allows the audience to feel more empathetic for Tom. As the audience we are put into Tom’s shoes. We experience his overwhelming sense of love then his despair of that love not being reciprocated back to him. Tom represents the every-day person. Every person goes through an up and down through their relationships. We sometimes love someone who doesn’t love us back. Tom’s experience is a growing experience, a story of growth and learning about love. The way he learns might seem harsh, but in reality it’s a beautiful thing, because he learns about love and he learns that love is always out there. There is someone out there for everyone. The fact that Summer ended up finding someone else but in the most seemingly random circumstances in the same exact way Tom has always expressed he wanted to find true love, shows that Tom’s view of love is correct even though his relationship with Summer didn’t work, as the narrator stated “This is not a love story. It’s a story of love.” Tom learned about love and was able to later find love. At the end when Tom seemingly coincidently met with someone else that seem to have created a love spark, shows that his view of love was always correct he just had to find the right one. The film shows another very important thing, it’s always good to give someone a chance. True love might be found in the most unexpected of places or even in the most obvious of places. We simply don’t know where true love lies, we have to go out there and find it. We have to love someone in order to find someone to love us. Tom’s relationship with Summer wasn’t a lost cause. It was a wonderful chance to learn something new and spend some precious time with an amazing person. Sure it didn’t work out, but Tom loved and could always love again. There is no limit to how much we can love, so we all have to take advantage of those moments of sweet disposition we experience when we fall in love. (500) Days of Summer was a wonderful film that I have fell in love in with. There are rare times in movies where I have a glowing smile from beginning to end. The actors were amazing, the cinematography was simply memorable, the story was enchanting, and the ending was awe-inspiring. I love (500) Days of Summer.

“a moment, a love
a dream, a laugh

a kiss, a cry

our rights, our wrongs (won't stop til it's over)”

These lyrics are simply BEAUTIFUL.

We all have a wild thing in us

I'm absolutely in love with this trailer. Where The Wild Things Are is shaping to look like a wonderful film. The effects look great, the costumes look amazing, the creatures look so accurate to the illustrations in the book. The art direction is simply wonderful, everything has the look of Maurice Sendak's original book. I'm so glad they kept Arcade Fire's Wake Up in the trailer because that song is simply awesome and conveys the film's true themes. Spike Jonez, writer and director, seems to be creating a truly powerful and thematically heavy film. Even though the original book was very short, it had many heavy themes about childhood dreams, pursing your ambitions, the clash of escapism versus realism, and our need to unleash our primal desires. Spike Jonez seems like he is really going to elaborate on these heavy themes that were lightly touched upon in the original book. After all we all have a wild thing in us...

Indie Music in Movie Trailers

Recently I viewed the trailer of a film called Only and it had one of my most favorite indie songs, Wet and Rusting by Menomena, and I realized that Indie songs really make any movie trailer a whole lot better. There's a enchanting quality in hearing an Indie song that is up-beat, happy, smooth, but yet full of life in a movie trailer. There is such wealth of music out there in the world that we can find any song that is already written to convey a feeling, an emotion, a thought. Especially in Indie/Alternative music where the songs have such a wealth of meaningful lyrics. Lyrics that tell epic stories, convey a specific feeling, and lyrics that tell us about the world around us. For a filmmaker, Indie songs make a perfect match to convey the subject and the theme of the film. To tell the audience what film they are going to watch. As in the 500 Days of Summer trailer with the song Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap. And with Where the Wild Things Are trailer with the song Wake Up by Arcade Fire. Each song is meant to be attached with these great films. Many of us might not realize it, but we develop strong relationships with songs. We create powerful associations of important life experiences and strong emotions with every single song we listen to. The more we listen to a song the stronger that association gets. Same thing with the marketing of a film. If you take a song that brings positive thoughts or strong feelings and put in a movie trailer, you make a personal connection with the film that is being advertised.

Now is one my all-time favorite indie songs that was in Only trailer.
Wet and Rusting by Menomena.