Friday, December 28, 2012
I often wonder how some movies get green-lit in Hollywood nowadays. I can understand wanting to adapt a novel, a video game or a comic into a film because it comes with an inherent fan base that will want to see their favorite characters put onto the screen. Sometimes it works (The Dark Knight) and sometimes it doesn't (The Spirit), but it will make money no matter what. Then there's Battleship, based on the best-selling board game that has graced our kitchen tables for over 40 years. Who thought this would be a good idea? Board games don't really come jam-packed with stories or characters and have rarely ever seemed like a good idea for films. The 1980s classic Clue worked because it had something to go on, but Battleship is just two people trying to guess where the other person's boats are. But Hasbro, Universal and Peter Berg obviously saw something since here we are with a Battleship movie.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Back in 2006 Christophe Gans and Roger Avary took a risk by releasing a film adaptation of the original Silent Hill video game. It took a lot of liberties with the original source material, the biggest being the gender swap of the main hero, but it was nothing if not ambitious and it certainly had its fans. I was definitely not one of them. The Silent Hill franchise has always had a place in my heart and while it wasn't as terrible as most video game adaptations tend to be, it fell short of any expectations I had and I left feeling disappointed.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
Deep in the heart of Tokyo, in a place where you'd never expect it (in a subway station), sits one of the greatest restaurants in the entire world: Sukiyabashi Jiro. To the untrained eye it looks like a simple family-owned sushi shop but to everyone who has ever eaten there, they can tell you it is anything but ordinary. Run by Jiro Ono and his son (with another location also run by one of his sons), documentary filmmaker David Gelb takes a crew inside this 3 star Michelin restaurant so that we can get an idea of who the man behind the counter really is.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a brief film, clocking in around 80 minutes, but even if it was longer David Gelb's impeccable pacing is some of the best I've seen recently (documentary or otherwise). It never feels rushed, most scenes, with the exception of maybe one or two, run perfectly and you can tell that Gelb was making this film for a broad audience, not just those who are used to documentary films slow, more deliberate pacing. The cinematography is great as well but I will say, see this film on a full stomach because even if you hate sushi, Jiro and Gelb make everything look delicious. It's food porn, but brilliant food porn.
Love or hate sushi, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a brilliant documentary and one that should be enjoyed by everybody.
MY VERDICT: OWN IT (4.5 out of 5)