Tag Archives: film

Now You Can Save Independent Film

26 Jan

I love indie movies, not just the ones that end up at our movie theaters, but also the ones at the film festivals begging to be picked up by a distributor.

Sometimes, the best films don’t get to reach a wide audience until years later if at all. My favorite films don’t always have famous celebrities in it…in fact, sometimes, they’re all unknowns and that’s what makes it so great. The film doesn’t rely on the names of the actors to sell the story, but it’s the actors themselves who become the story.

For example, this preview of a short film below is so stunningly beautiful, I could not forget about it for days! Please support them on their fundraising website or check out their studio website.

The website on which they are based, Indiegogo.com is quite a new experience to me. Who knew that with a couple of donations, you’d be giving these filmmakers an opportunity to share their unique vision to the world? As an additional perk, you’re connected to the film itself by being listed in its credits, have an opportunity to receive a copy of their video, or other swag.

I’m a film buff at heart and I hate to see the future of filmmaking relegated only to big-name directors and producers. Sometimes, we need to inject a fresh perspective from new talent.

I’m sick of sequels and prequels, aren’t you?

*Disclaimer: I may sound like a commercial, but I’m not. I really love the idea of crowd-funding a film and honestly, I’ve seen how difficult it is to sell a film and how even an amazing director can get passed up because not enough people know about him or the companies don’t want to take a risk on his film.

So, just to be safe, this is my unsponsored personal opinion and I have no affliation or association to the movie itself or Indiegogo.com.

Going Over the Wild Things

16 Oct

wildthings1

Today is the opening of the movie, Where the Wild Things Are and I’ve noticed that a huge marketing strategy is in effect. Everywhere you turn, you can’t miss it…

Where are the Wild Things? EVERYWHERE!!

At first, I saw a couple of items at Urban Outfitters…the standard items like printed tees and a few collaborations/inspirational pieces. The price points are still within U.O.’s typical range.

wildthingsshirt

Printed Tee $28

wildthingspillow

Screen Print Pillow $32

But then Opening Ceremony blew everything out of the water with their “inspired by the film” clothing and accessories collection. Some of the outfits are stunningly beautiful and others are out of this world. I must say that the men’s collection is far superior to the women’s in terms of wearability, but that’s not going to stop people from buying these items. The price points are ridiculously high…but that’s what you get at Opening Ceremony. Sigh…can they ever make beautiful and quality things under $200?

I’d love to have the Max Suit for Halloween, but for over $500? No thank you. I’ll DIY it instead…Maybe.

Here are more of their “wearable” items…

pop_10509_3-Max-Lined-Parka

Max Lined Parka $895

pop_1-0010487-61798

Ira Full Skirt $290

main_10508_1-Full

Max Suit $610

Ponyo On the Sea Cliff

1 Aug

I got to watch Ponyo on the Sea Cliff fairly recently. Even though it’s coming out to the US with English dubs, I prefer watching it in Japanese with English subtitles instead. There’s just something lost in translation when the movie has English speakers for the characters. I know, Americans don’t like to read their movies, they like to watch their movies, but for me…I like subtitles. I grew up watching subtitles for Asian and foreign films and when I watch American English movies, I wish they had subtitles too.

Anyways, as a Miyazaki movie, this one seems to return to My Neighbor Totoro, where the main characters seem barely old enough to walk. Ponyo meets a human boy and desires to become human. As she changes into human form, she upsets the balance in the world. Through a test, the world is reset and Ponyo can retain her human form if the boy passes the test. It’s a cute, innocent story with lots of light, laughter, and fun. However, there’s a theme of subtle maturity as the young boy takes on lighthouse duties and the tsunami/wave aspect of the film.

Overall, it’s energetic and lively, just like the two main characters…but I feel like there wasn’t as much depth into the story but because it’s aimed more for younger viewers, it makes sense. I still can’t get over how wonderful the animation is, the hand-drawn feel of it all…it’s much more comforting to watch than the crisp sterility of Pixar movies or other CGI animated movies. This one just encases everything in fantasy and whimsy…gotta love it!

I give this one 4 out of 5 stars…some plot holes, but beautiful animation and entertaining story that’s great for all viewers.

Up Review

4 Jul

upposter

I loved the first 10 minutes of the movie. The 3D parts of the movie weren’t that noticeable, but it was a welcome addition. Although an unusual cast of characters, I think this is one of Pixar’s more ambitious projects in terms of a more mature story that isn’t just for kids.

Up was enjoyable with some memorable parts, some annoying scenes, and some beautiful animation. Obviously it’s a kid’s movie, but the backstory was the best part about the movie itself. There was action, adventure, comedy, and entertainment all rolled into a single film, but it left me a bit empty.

I wish Pixar would grow up and mature its stories to have a meaningful message while still maintaining that emotional pull that gets you interested in the first place. Even though it’s an animation company and its main audience are children, I think they should still incorporate a really good story without compromising by adding formulaic characters and comedic scenes. It’s all been seen and done before and…it’s getting old.

The dogs, the bird, Muntz, and even Russell at times seem to be irrelevant to the overall story. I love the backstory of Carl and Ellie. Even Russell’s backstory is heartfelt and real. There are moments that truly shine and show just what Pixar can accomplish with a movie…and how to reach its full potential. I’m no expert, but I want Pixar to be the best of the best. I want a movie that blows you away, not just with the animation, but the storyline and the progression of the scenes.

Pixar definitely excels in its shorts. For Partly Cloudy: in such a restricted time frame, everything is condensed, has a meaning, and is effective in its execution. If only Pixar could bring such intensity to their full-length features, they would be mind-boggling awesome….seriously, AWE-some.

Personally, I give UP, the movie, 4 stars.  A movie on the verge of greatness.