Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shame

Shame (2011)

Directed by Steve McQueen

Written by Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Nicole Beharie and James Badge Dale

Well, let's get this out on the table. Everybody knows that this movie has been criticized for having lead actor Michael Fassbender swing the wind. People think that the movie is about the sexual nature of the film. It's not. It is the destructive consequences of sex. That is intriguing. Now, that is out of the way, let's get into the review. Shall we?

The re-teaming of director Steve McQueen and Fassbender has made another thought provoking film will stay with you after the credits. This film chronicles the life of ad agent, Brandon Sullivan (Fassbender) living and loving in New York City. On the surface, you think that this man is a stud with a healthy sex life, but when you chip away at his suave demeanor lies a man with a sexual compulsion. He is having anonymous sex with multiple women, constantly watching porn on his computer either at work or at home, hiring hookers or masturbating in the toilet. He thinks that his life is perfect when his littler sister, Sissy (Mulligan) comes and stays with him. This throws Brandon's life into a tailspin that he has to comfort the past.

Everybody was talking about Fassbender's raw, emotional performance not getting nominated for an Oscar. It is a shame. No, pun intended. He conveyed a broken man trying to keep his feelings away from the physical act of sex. Mulligan was haunting in this movie. There were some revelations that were a little clich├ęd, but I don't the actors elevated the movie. If different actors were in the roles, it would be a movie trying to be artsy.

My Rating


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors (2006)

Directed and Written by Ryan Murphy

Based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs

Stars: Joseph Cross, Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Evan Rachel Wood, Jill Clayburgh, Gabrielle Union and Patrick Wilson

It has been awhile since I have seen a movie or else being able to review it. Since my job can be mind-numbing amounts of boredom, I have been reading a lot of book lately. I have read the book "Running With Scissors" for almost a decade now. Recently re-reading it, I would to watch the movie based on it. I have seen the movie once before and hating it, but I decided to give it another chance. My opinion has changed, but not as much.

A teen-aged Burroughs (Cross) chronicled his unorthodox childhood when his mentally unstable mother, Deidre (Bening) gave him away to his kooky shrink that looks like Santa Claus, Dr. Finch (Cox). Augusten is quickly introduced to the rebellious daughter, Natalie (Wood), the stuck up daughter, Hope (Paltrow), the haggard mother, Agnes (Clayburgh) and the 30-something adoption son that he has a relationship with Bookman (Finnes). Augusten is trying to find his way in the world that has no rules. How can he cope?

The last time I saw this movie when in 2007 and I hated the ending of the movie. Looking at the movie now, I still think it was a shitty ending, because it was a cop out. Let me say that I love the book. It is hilarious, horrifying with its graphic details that may or may not happen.

The movie stayed true to the dialogue of the book, but I felt like the movie was soulless. I didn't care about the characters. Scenes were added that didn't need to be. I understood that they couldn't show the sexual romps of Augusten and Bookman or the Dr. Finches bowel moments being displayed on a picnic table in the backyard. The ending seemed to be straight out of an after school special. Urgh!

My rating: