Tag Archives: movies

Another State of Mind: Social Distortion, Youth Brigade and Minor Threat

28 Dec

Another State of Mind is the 1982 documentary about the punk bands Social Distortion, Youth Brigade and Minor Threat’s tour. This movie shows how the ambitious desire to bring their music to the different punk communities throughout the country.

another state of mind

 Another State of Mind

Another State of Mind focuses in on these bands, and the communities they visit during the documentary. It some footage from the bands shows. But most importantly it shows how diverse the punk community was at the time. It shows how different individuals became involve in the punk scene. And it shows how the bands really did want to make their shows about more than money.

Unfortunately, the bands had a few lessons to learn on their trip. One being that money is a little more important than they realized.

I watched Another State of Mind several years ago. Umm, more than I would care to admit. And I liked it then, but as I watched the documentary again, I remembered the time when punk really was about an attitude you had, and not about style. It really was about marching to your own beat. And that is one of the things I liked so much about punk rock.

If you’ve never seen Another State of Mind, and you enjoy seeing what music was like back in the day, you should definitely check out this film.

Advertisements

My Blueberry Nights Review

22 Dec

My Blueberry Nights is a 2007 movie with a romantic storyline. The story revolves around Elizabeth who goes into a bakery after her affair comes to an end. The café owner Jeremy listens to Elizabeth’s story, and he provides her with comfort through blueberry pie. Each evening Elizabeth comes to see if your ex has come to pick the keys that were left at the diner. And each evening Jeremy informs her that he has not. Over the course of time the two develop a friendship. And then one day Elizabeth doesn’t show up.

my blueberry nights

 
My Blueberry Nights (The Miriam Collection)
 

Elizabeth has decided that she needs to see some different things in life. She leaves for Memphis, and she begins sending Jeremy postcards about her life in Memphis. Jeremy realizes that he misses Elizabeth, and he begins to contact all the places she could be working at in Memphis with no luck. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is learning a few life lessons about relationships.

Then Elizabeth decides to move on to another destination. She moves to Las Vegas. Yes, in Sin City Elizabeth makes a friend with a gambler, and she learns a few lessons on trust. And after her adventures in Las Vegas she decides to return to New York.

This movie is packed full of great actors. Jude Law, Kevin Spacey and Natlie Portman are a few members of the cast. So you know the story isn’t lightweight. And the film won several awards at the Cannes Film Festival that year.
So did the movie deserve all those awards? In my opinion My Blueberry Nights did deserve the praise it received. I loved how the film basically had three stories that connected. Elizabeth was the connecting point in each story, but the movie is actually three different individuals stories. I liked that each of the individuals was flawed. It made the individuals interesting. And it was really interesting to see how these flawed individuals lives affected Elizabeth.

I am a person who loves to see how people change, and I was sad when two of the characters in the movie didn’t change. But they do teach Elizabeth valuable life lessons so their inability or unwillingness to change is necessary.

I recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a romantic story with a few twists and turn. If you enjoy movies that take you to different locations this one is also for you. And if you want to see Natlie Portman play a quite different role than the one she played in the Star Wars prequels, you will definitely enjoy My Blueberry Nights.

Dear Margaret Mitchell

15 Dec

Dear Margaret Mitchell
Can you believe it’s been 84 years since the premiere of your work Gone With the Wind on the big screen in Atlanta? And I hear that there was some party that was thrown in Atlanta for that premiere. I was wondering if you had trouble finding a dress that you really liked for that premiere? I know that you were 4’ 11” tall, and sometimes finding clothes for a short person can be a little challenging. I am taller than you were, and sometimes it is such a pain to have to get dresses, pants, and skirts hemmed. I’ve just always been a little curious about that.

220px-Margaret_Mitchell_NYWTS

But what I really wanted to ask you was what did you think when Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for her performance as best supporting actress in Gone With the Wind? I mean she was a great character in the movie, and Hattie did a great job of portraying the character. Did you believe that she actually did a great job in the movie and deserved the award, or were you one of those people who said she only won the award because she wasn’t allowed to attend the premiere? It seemed a little unfair of the city of Atlanta not to allow one of the stars of the movie not to attend the movie because of her race. Those segregation laws you all had were kind of foolish in my opinion.
But somehow I think you might have thought segregation was alright. I mean Gone with the Wind really did
romanticize the south during the pre-civil war era. So it kind of leads me to think that you felt that excluding Hattie from the celebrations was okay. It seems like that was pretty disrespectful to me, and if you didn’t believe that it acceptable wasn’t there something you could have said or done to ensure that she was able to attend the premiere. I mean you were the reason that the premiere was going on after all.

I hope that you haven’t found my questions to be too judgemental, I’m just trying to find out what your thoughts on the matter were. And if you could let me know where to get a great dress for the horizontally challenged I’d appreciate that too.
Sincerely,

Heidi

First Squad Moment of Truth

24 Nov

For those of you who are fans of anime style films, you might find this movie interesting. Instead of being based in Japan, the movie is set in 1942 Russia. So it’s a war movie. The German Army has managed to raise an army of long dead warriors, who have an old score to settle with the Russians. But the Russians have a secret weapon the First Squad.

first squad
First Squad

The First Squad is a group of youth with psychic abilities. The problem is that all but one of the members of the squad are killed. The only living member must travel to the world of dead warriors to ask the other members for assistance.

The movie is based on a comic book series from the Soviet era. So it definitely has a propaganda feel to it, but the story is interesting. It’s kind of captures what people might have been hoping for during that war. I’m sure that there were individuals who were hoping that some miracle would happen so that the war would be shortened.

The animation is also great! The scenes on the battlefield are almost lifelike in a cartoon way. They are bloody. So this isn’t for children. But if you are looking for an interesting story that has a much different look than traditional Hollywood films, you might enjoy this movie.

Red Hook Summer

20 Nov

I’ve always found Spike Lee’s movies to be both entertaining and thought provoking, so of course I like them. And Red Hook Summer is no exception. The movie is about a young man who goes to visit his grandfather for the first time. Flick, the young man, is a vegan, who loves using his ipad to make videos. His grandfather is a preacher at one of the local small churches in Brooklyn. The movie explores the differences between the two, and how much the young man has to learn in life. And one of the lessons he has to learn is how people sometimes make huge mistakes in their lives and how people deal with it when others learn about their mistakes.

redhook

I loved the way the movie looked with all the bright colors in an area you normally don’t associate with color. Movies shot in the city usually try to use darker tones. I also enjoyed the twist in the plot when the preacher’s secret is revealed to the community. This is a great movie for people who want to see what life in the inner city might be like. There is some violence, in the movie, so it probably isn’t a movie for children.

World Without End

15 Nov

I recently watched the mini-series World Without End, which is based on the book by Ken Follett. The story centers around the English town of Kingsbridge. It follows the citizens of the town through the changes in the world at the time of the Black Death. I read the book so I wasn’t sure if I would like the series or not, but I was pleasantly surprised by the series. The series remained faithful to the book, which is something I appreciated.

world without end

I really enjoyed this series because it didn’t romanticize life during that time. This is no trip to Medieval Times or a Renaissance Fair. It shows that life was really hard during that time. The decisions of those in power could cost you dearly. And you never knew exactly who was going to be in power. Things shifted constantly, and those shifts could make a hard life almost impossible to live. This series isn’t for those with weak stomachs or sensitive ears. There is a lot of violence. But then again they were violent times. And the language might offend some individuals with sensitive ears. But I don’t believe the author or creators of the series are using either just to gain attention. Both were part of everyday life in that time frame. Battles were bloody, and well how do you show life during the time of the Black Death without showing how ugly the disease was?

Both the story and the characters in the series are well developed, and intelligent. It shows that while life has become easier in oh so many ways, people haven’t changed that much. There are good people, and there are bad people, but most of the time people are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

If you haven’t seen the series I recommend it to all of you, but keep in mind the warnings about the language and violence if you are easily offended by these things. And if you’ve seen the series let me know what you thought of it.

Scott Pilgrim Vs the World

3 Nov

I know this movie is a couple of years old, but I love Scott Pilgrim Vs the World. Ordinarily if a movie is based on a comic book, I think to myself “Oh, no, they are going to screw this up so bad.” But this movie is fun to watch. Scott Pilgrim is an ordinary guy who plays in a band. He meets a girl, and then the story takes off. He finds out that he must defeat her seven x’s in order for them to be together. Scott who is doesn’t have any superpowers, but he battles the x’s. And as the story goes on he grows as an individual.

Now, why did I like this movie so much? Well, I’ll tell you. First it has a little bit of a girly feel to it. You know the self-growth love story thing. But it also has the comic book feel to it. The movie uses letters that jump out at you. I love the scene where Knives, one of Scott’s love interests, gets punched by one of the x’s. He hits her so hard that it knocks the highlights out of her hair. You can actually see the blue highlights splattered behind her. The characters are also kind of quirky. Scott has some weird fears. Like he hasn’t paid anyone to cut his hair for a year. Why? Because three hours before a girlfriend broke up with him he had his hair cut by a beautician. He believes it’s kind of connected. It’s little things like that that make the movie fun for me.

I also loved the music in the movie. It features a lot of alternative bands like Blue Red Shoes, Broken Social Scene, and Metric. The music fits the movie, and it’s great to hear different bands in a movie.

Since the movie is based out of Toronto, it didn’t have that Hollywood overdone feel to it. It had more of a DIY feel to it. It’s not an independent film, but it had that kind of feel.

So if you’re looking for a movie that is just a little bit out of the ordinary check this one out.Image