quinta-feira, dezembro 29, 2011

Win, Win (2011)



Without extending myself too much and getting into a more personal opinion, I would just like to bring to people's attention this indie feature called Win, Win (2011).

It is another sensational effort by Thomas McCarthy, who after directing The Station Agent (2003) and The Visitor (2007), is still capable of reaching out to the audience with amazingly genuine and beautiful films.

Paul Giamatti leads a cast of other amazing actors such as Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale (with whom McCarthy worked before in The Station Agent), Jeffrey Tambor, (the sort of "resurrected") Burt Young and the newcomer Alex Shaffer.

The trailer alone is enough to get you with a shiver down your spine. It's a big challenge not to like a movie such as this!

One of my picks for the upcoming top 10 list of 2011!



I would also like to take this opportunities to share with you a song by The National (called Think You Can Wait) which was included on the movie's soundtrack. The video assembles some "behind the scenes" footage of Win, Win which - in my opinion - was nicely done to fit the music's persona!

quarta-feira, dezembro 28, 2011

A pele que há em mim (Quando o dia entardeceu)


by: Márcia e JP Simoes


(Márcia)
Quando o dia entardeceu
E o teu corpo tocou
Num recanto do meu
Uma dança acordou
E o sol apareceu
De gigante ficou
Num instante apagou
O sereno do céu

E a calma a aguardar lugar em mim
O desejo a contar segundo o fim.
Foi num ar que te deu
E o teu canto mudou
E o teu corpo do meu
Uma trança arrancou
O sangue arrefeceu
E o meu pé aterrou
Minha voz sussurrou
O meu sonho morreu

Dá-me o mar, o meu rio, minha calçada.
Dá-me o quarto vazio da minha casa
Vou deixar-te no fio da tua fala.
Sobre a pele que há em mim
Tu não sabes nada.

(JP Simões)
Quando o amor se acabou
E o meu corpo esqueceu o caminho onde andou
Nos recantos do teu
E o luar se apagou
E a noite emudeceu
O frio fundo do céu
Foi descendo e ficou

Mas a mágoa não mora mais em mim
Já passou, desgastei, p’ra lá do fim
É preciso partir
É o preço do amor
P’ra voltar a viver
Já nem sinto o sabor
A suor e pavor
Do teu colo a ferver
Do teu sangue de flor
Já não quero saber…

(Márcia e JP Simões)
Dá-me o mar, o meu rio, a minha estrada,
O meu barco vazio na madrugada
Vou-te deixar-te no frio da tua fala
Na vertigem da voz quando enfim se cala.

segunda-feira, dezembro 26, 2011

Moneyball (2011)




I don't get it! I really don't!

Why has there been so much hype around Bennett Miller's Moneyball (2011)? Why have been people hailing it as one of 2011 films?

I've seen a few top 10 lists of some renowned critics and the baseball themed movie is featured in most of them as part of the highest five!

Really?

I mean... Don't get me wrong! I just saw Moneyball and though it was great! Had great fun watching it and got to learn a lot from it! More interesting stories, background on the sport and trivia information... But I was not even close to sharing the same admiration as most viewers, be it a regular person, a movie buff or a film critic! Maybe I'm out of touch with baseball, as I don't follow it that much... Maybe the hype was too much for me to bear, making it a bigger challenge to the "Oakland A's" (team in which the plot centers) to live up to the expectations that I created, most to the media's influence (and by that I include everything from TV, newspapers, billboards, blogs).

I'm sincerely afraid of tearing down the movie when it's not my intention! At all! I just believe it's not that good enough, considering the massive praise it has been given!

Brad Pitt is good, but Oscar material? Never! (But he's sure to be nominated, I guarantee)
Jonah Hill... the same! And this is actually quite a compliment, just because I wasn't expecting Hill to be qualified for this type of solid acting in a movie of this genre!
Philip Seymour Hoffman... is just completely redundant in this one! Something that comes as a sort of a shock to me since I'm not quite used seeing him in a position where his contribute is almost oblivious to rest of the outline. The guy usually leaves his mark... not the case here!

As for the rest of the cast... all important to Moneyball, but just plain average!

The script is good - another excellent effort by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin - being probably the best thing about the movie... alongside with Miller's direction that made Moneyball both entertaining and insightful like a documentary! That's how I felt most of the times... Like I was watching a documentary portraying how Billy Beane changed the course of the game with his fresh perspective and (risky) new methods!

All I can ask is for you to see it, enjoy it and draw your own conclusions! If you end up thinking like me... don't let it surprise you!

domingo, dezembro 25, 2011

sexta-feira, dezembro 23, 2011

Warrior (2011)



Warrior (2011) is a critically acclaimed action-drama directed by Gavin O'Connor starring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte.

Having met the director through the movie Pride & Glory (2008), I must admit I was a bit reluctant due to the fact that I was expecting great things from his 2008 project, with lead actors Edward Norton and Colin Farrel, only to be hugely disappointed. However, even without reading the reviews - thus avoiding getting a sense of what to expect - I knew the response towards Warrior was good!

After watching it two nights ago, it came as no surprise! It's absolutely brilliant and unless something comes up during the remaining days of 2011, Warrior will certainly make its way into this year's podium (my personal one, that is)!

First of all, let me start by advising people to watch this movie with an open mind and to put aside the fact that its around the martial art world.

Forget that!

The first thing I wrote on the social networks was that "more than a good fighting movie, this is a great movie. Period." It truly is an outstanding piece of work that uses, what you would say, an action plot to present the audience a more human and emotional storytelling around two estranged brothers and their father. Between these three, you divide one story into various sub-plots, focusing on the relationship between each others and their individual background outside their family history.

Obviously, you have plenty of (excellent) fighting sequences, but the way it gets you involved with the characters is absolutely remarkable. By witnessing their damaged relationships and how they make emends into reconstructing their family ties, while struggling with their past and (also) present, its just amazing! In fact, while I'm writing this, one of the first compliments that pops into mind is that the movie has a lot of heart! It really does!

Get past the fact it has a few cliches... To certain extant, I would think its fair to say it comes with the territory when you approach a movie of this genre. You might feel like you have seen this before... But think again! It makes you twist and turn, it makes you hold your breath and react to every single fight, gesture or dialog! Even considering you know almost every outcome, at least until the very end which is totally unpredictable... you still can't avoid being disturbed sometimes while experiencing the pain and suffering on-screen or in other times just getting a big kick out of it!

That's what happens when you feel the plot is somehow close to your heart in terms of the emotions that it can bring out from you... It also helps to have very nicely built characters for you to feel for, but, there is something it needs to be said (under my perspective) in terms of how you appreciate both leads.

Prestigious movie critic, Roger Ebert wrote:
"This is a rare fight movie in which we don't want to see either fighter lose".

Although I'm slightly inclined to agreeing with this because I'm very fond of both Tom and Joel's characters, the fact is, from the get go I stood alongside with Brandon (Edgerton), simply because he came out as a standout guy who demonstrates to be the more likable and emotionally balanced of both of them. Put into the mix the fact he's considered to be the underdog and you have my reasons for taking his side and rooting for him. But yes... I would probably say that, whatever the outcome might be, its bound to please the audience!

Between all three of the actors that deserve the most recognition... let me raise a few points or make a few predictions.

Tom Hardy is easily becoming one of Hollywood's brightest stars! Since he took over the role of Bronson, the legendary British prisoner, in Nicolas Winding Refn movie, he then started gaining more attention moving on into having roles in other films such as RockNRolla (2008), Inception (2010), Tinker Taylor Tiny Soldier (2011) or the upcoming Dark Knight Rises (to be released in 2012).
Fantastic method acting, with great presence and charisma, he's turning into a crowd favorite!

Joel Edgerton, I know very little about... Having seen only one of his movies it would be insufficient to make a clear and credible evaluation of his career and skills... But the movie that I saw was no ordinary one! Animal Kingdom (2009) came for me as one of the year's best and gain a spot among my elite collection of DVDs!
Joel Edgerton will increase his star power over the years...

Last, but not least... Nick Nolte!

He came to me as a big surprise since I wasn't expecting him to give such a powerful performance. His acting was absolutely superb, having most of the moving/intense scenes under his command!
Portraying an alcoholic trying hard to overcome his addictions while fighting ghosts living in his conscious, you can not help yourself into sympathizing with him and wishing that he obtains forgiveness from the ones he loves.
Having been let known by the director that he carries a dark past, you still sense he genuinely regrets the mistakes he made both as a Husband and a Father! 

Come to think about some of the scenes that gave him more prominence in this feature, the ones where he shares the screen with each of his sons are clearly the most remarkable. This lead me to think I have a soft spot for Father/Son moments, since some of the most mesmerizing moments in cinema - according to my taste/opinion - are family related. Robert Downey Jr. and Chazz Palminteri in A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints (2006) and Tom Cruise with Jason Robards in Magnolia (1999) are just two (epic) examples of what I'm talking about!

Regarding my predictions around Nolte, I believe he will gain an Oscar nomination for his incredible role! I know this might come as a risky statement since he wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe, but nevertheless, the Academy will surely recognize his work, fully deserving of the highest praise, specially considering some of us (me included) thought his career had no possible comeback! I have no shame admitting this proved me to be incredibly wrong...
I will become terribly disappointed if a spot among the nominees isn't granted to Nick Nolte, something that will eventually will lead me to think that Jury are simply ignorant and blunt!

Having said this, I would like to conclude by reminding all of you to keep in mind the subjects that the film focuses on! Through action (more specifically Martial Arts) you get really deep into themes such as redemption, forgiveness and will power! I could not be more supportive with this truly magnificent feature, that has just set the bar for the action-drama genre!


quinta-feira, dezembro 22, 2011

quarta-feira, dezembro 21, 2011

Yann Tiersen Live @ Black Sessions




I wrote on this blog about the Black Sessions, a popular radio show that came to life in France by the hands of Bernard Lenoir, thus the name "Black" Sessions, as a clear reference to its creators name Lenoir (which is "The Black" in french)!

This musical segment is mostly dedicated to indie music and has gain a major cult following around the world. It has gathered in their studios artists in the likes of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Bloc Party, Au Revoir Simone, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Andrew Bird, Arctic Monkeys, Beirut, Belle & Sebastian, The Cure, Los Campesinos !, Editors, Feist, Franz Ferdinand, The Eels, The National, The Shins, Nick Cave, Smashing Pumpkins,Interpol, Jeff Buckley, Joseph Arthur, Patrick Watson, REM, Yo La Tengo, among many others... 

I want to leave you with Yann Tiersen's performance! Not just with a song, but the entire live act!
Fortunately someone posted the entire thing online... and I'm not just referring to the audio tracks. It actually is the video compilation shot at the scene!

Hope you can enjoy as much as I did when I first heard it on my iPod!













terça-feira, dezembro 20, 2011

segunda-feira, dezembro 19, 2011

Get Low (2009)



It took me ages to get my hands on the movie Get Low (2009), but finally I made it!

It's an independent production, one that went through a long time without major advertising... only spreading its name across mostly due to its involvement on Sundance Festival! I found out of its existence after reading an article on RottenTomatoes making a list of indie movies that were soon to get out. Get Low and Hesher were the two ones to draw more of my attention, mostly because of their cast to which I'm very fond of!

Focusing more on Get Low, it stars Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Lucas Black and Sissy Spacek. Out of those four names, three I consider to be major legends in the industry!

But it wasn't only the actors who justified watching this movie... The plot was also crucial in my decision!
Basically - and avoiding giving away many details - the story revolves around a man called Felix Bush (Robert Duvall), a man who people tell the most crazy stories about, stories that portray him almost like the devil himself. However, Felix has been very discrete has he's been living isolated in a cabin for over 40 years. He then decides to leave his cabin and show his face in public only so that he can arrange his own funeral!
 Yes... his own funeral! And this while he his still alive!

 "It's time for me to get low" he says.

And who better than Bill Murray to arrange that? It's interesting, as well as moving and with an incredibly brilliant performance from Mr. Duvall, that should have been recognized at least with an Oscar nomination! It's that good, trust me!

Be sure to catch this... It would be part of my 2009 list in case I had seen it in time!

sábado, dezembro 17, 2011

2011 in Movie Trailers


A fan video containing loads of different movie trailers. Don't know the criterion... If it's the editors favourites or not... Still... it's something nice to watch!

sexta-feira, dezembro 16, 2011

New York, New York (Medley)


The other day I was on the tube, listening to my iPod. At the time I was playing a live gig performed by the iconic crooner, Mel Torme alongside with Jazz pianist George Shearing. I've been a fan for some time now
of both these musical legends, mostly due to my father's influence who also loves Mel Torme... calling him the best scat performer of all time!
When almost reaching the end of his live performance, Mel Torme addressed the audience to introduce the upcoming tune... Can't remember if in fact I was highly concentrated listening to the album or if I was distracted doing some other stuff on my iPhone or what not, but the matter of fact is that something caught my attention... I was hanging on every word of Mr. Torme and without expecting... he provoked me to a huge outburst of laughter, making everyone around me to think that I was crazy! 

Trying to control myself, out of instinct I covered my mouth with my hand, knowing if I continued to laugh in that way, I would draw to much attention!
It was really one of those funny moments that I'll carry with me throughout time!

Listen the track below to get a sense of what I'm talking about! One of the great acts of Mel Torme that shows not only how much good of a singer he is, but also how increndibly entertaining he can be! A true artist and one of the best performers all around to set foot on stage!

sexta-feira, dezembro 09, 2011

terça-feira, dezembro 06, 2011

terça-feira, novembro 29, 2011

50/50 (2011)



Such a great movie!

Don't even know how or where to start, however, I will try to begin this post by approaching it's genre...

50/50 (2011), directed by Jonathan Levine and based on it's own script writer’s life experience (Will Reiser) is a movie that presents itself as having the best of two worlds, due to the ability of fitting well in a sub-genre known as "dramedy"- which, as you can probably tell by it's name, its a mix between both drama and comedy!

It approaches a very sensitive subject in a humorous way with plenty of funny dialogues or hilarious moments, something that easily covers the intense nature of the leading character's problem: His cancer illness!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays Adam Lerner, a 27 year old man who finds out that he has cancer. While receiving the news from his doctor, he becomes first shocked and then numb. His first reaction is with great surprise because, as he says, he "doesn't smoke, doesn't drink" and even "recycles".

This is, in my opinion, a key dialogue on making people aware that such situations don't only occur to others or at the very least, to people who enjoy a more alternative or unhealthy lifestyle. It doesn't pick age, race or creed... It's something that could happen to anyone, at any time!

As the movie's narrative progresses, we see Adam and the people around him make big adjustments in their lives, most of these with the purpose of making it easier to deal with Adam's illness, something that himself from the outside, seems to take lightly or with no seeming care, but from within, you can tell he's almost out-bursting with a lot of different emotions.

In some ways, even though it's hard for someone to imagine what it feels like, it's hard not to try and put yourself in Adam's shoes. You always get the sense that if it was you, you would experience that situation almost in the same way. First through a stage of denial, coming eventually to a phase in which you succumb to what's really happening, driving you to react abruptly... While the lead actor struggles to deal with his condition and at the same time with the consequences that derivate from that (his break-up and his Mom reaction), the audience tries to find comfort in the laughter provoking scenes!

It's hard to tell which genre comes out stronger... if comedy or drama...

Seth Rogen takes care of most of the funny bits with his rude, but honest portrayal of Adam's best friend, while most of the moving moments come by the hand of Gordon-Levitt, but also Anjelica Huston. She gives a very good performance as Adam's mother, who by nature is very protective and seemingly always worried. I think you get on her side from the beginning as you realize she also takes care of her husband who has alzheimer's disease. She looks out for him without any kind of help, something that she doesn't ask for, but instead prefers her son to give her some attention, as any mother would like to hear and be heard by her son!

Afraid that she would freak out and get "all Mom" with him, he only tells her about his condition a few days later and avoids keeping in touch with her. Much to his own selfishness, he makes it hard on the one person who didn't deserve that sort of treatment... realizing after, that in certain times, other people have been victims as well and obviously coming to the conclusion that cancer hasn't only brought grief and troubles to him, but also to those who love him!

For many this might not be the core relationship of the movie... Obviously Rogen and Gordon-Levitt partnership assume most of the movies expenses, but I have to say the Mother/Son scenes were definitely the ones who brought me closer to myself, as I related Anjelica Huston's character to my own Mother, for the love she feels towards me, for the times that I might have neglected her needs of attention and for her everyday struggles that inspire me on becoming a better man. In all fairness, it comes as obvious to me that its the same between Adam and his Mother.

Won't get more personal than this, but felt like I had to justify why those particular scenes standout in a feature made of many more excellent moments.

Also worth mentioning:
- Rachel, the girlfriend, soon to turn Ex (this isn't qualified as a spoiler since it's obvious by the trailer) played by Bryce Dallas Howard, a very talented actress, that I consider to be underrated!

- The young and inexperienced therapist Katie McKay, portrayed by Anna Kendrick. She takes part in some pure sweet moments and, sometimes, awkward - but funny - situations.

- Philip Baker Hall, a veteran actor with loads of great movies under his belt, who portrays Alan, an old man with cancer that Adam meets at the hospital during his chemotherapy sessions. Baker Hall adds up to the comedy formula, being almost an elderly version of Seth Rogen's Kyle.

- The soundtrack! Not a perfect one according to my personal taste, but I got to say... the tracks smoothly suited every scene to which they were demanded to step in and work it out! Loved especially the song for the opening and ending scene!
Overall, the movie is bound to be an Oscar candidate this year! An outstanding script, top notch performances and good directing say so... and so does the audience and critics worldwide!

Be sure to watch it on the cinema!




quinta-feira, novembro 24, 2011

Once (2006)



A few years ago (can't really remember when exactly), I was sitting in my living room watching The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. If I recall correctly, the show wasn't being that entertaining but something made me watch it until the very end.

When approaching it's final minutes, it came down to the "usual" guest musical act...

Already on stage, a duo that was unknown to me at the time, would instantly grow to be a major revelation!
After Leno introduced both  man and woman, who's names I did not memorize,  they started to play their music making use of a piano and acoustic guitar. Soon I realized that enduring that specific episode, without having a clear reason to do so, actually paid off!

As the first keys of the piano made their presence felt, the guitar gave it the right pace and rhythm, and we were off in a musical trip, floating through this enchanting and at the same time, suffering voice, of a middle-age Irish man!

The song is all about experiencing love in all of it's forms and dimensions, in my opinion, avoiding the clichés (even though it's highly commercial).


With the end of the show, I did my homework on finding out who they were and how could I get my hands on that Leno episode. Unfortunately there wasn't anything available on YouTube, due to NBC's copyright policy, however, I was able to get a copy of that show, under means that I will not disclose.
Meanwhile, while everything was looking great for me to advertise this particular musical piece, my hard disk managed to get damaged... and the way that I got the file in the first place, wasn't available any more. So, years went by and I never saw that specific performance again!

That doesn't mean I stopped doing some research and listening to some of their work...





Turns out Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (those are their names) are known as The Swell Season, a musical project that gained more attention after the Irish and Czech collaborated in a movie called Once (2006).

With the movie "came" their most famous single, Falling Slowly (an Oscar winner for best song), Hansard's creation with another group called The Frames, that was reinstituted to The Swell Season under new and improved arrangements, going mostly over changes which gave prominence to Irglova's piano and backing vocals. It was only then when that track started to win a great deal of popularity...

Unfortunately there is not much more that I can say, due to little information available online, but let that no stop you of getting to learn more about them and especially on getting acquainted with the movie, which is a wonderful piece of indie musical art. Even thought the leads are not professional actors, they managed to convince audiences worldwide of their passion for music and their love for each other, bringing out the most sincere and warm-felt emotions.

You actually get involved with both characters, who struggle to achieve their goal on pursuing a career in music.

From it's opening scene, to the first time the leads share the same scene together, to its very end... everything looks like it was made with a lot of heart and depth!

I tell you...When the introduction generic showed up with the name of the feature and Glen Hansard was pouring out his soul with such passion - almost looking like rage and despair - it was a sign that I was in for something great!


With an award-winning soundtrack, Once will go beyond it's musical offers, and indulge in a story about friendship, sacrifice and going after your dreams.

quarta-feira, novembro 23, 2011

terça-feira, novembro 22, 2011

Rampart - trailer


Looks brilliant!!



Los Angeles, 1999. Officer Dave Brown (two-time Academy Award(R) nominee Woody Harrelson) is a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop, dedicated to doing "the people's dirty work" and asserting his own code of justice, often blurring the lines between right and wrong to maintain his action-hero state of mind. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a personal and emotional downward spiral as the consequences of his past sins and his refusal to change his ways in light of a department-wide corruption scandal seal his fate. Brown internalizes his fear, anguish and paranoia as his world, complete with two ex-wives who are sisters, two daughters, an ageing mentor dispensing bad advice, investigators galore, and a series of seemingly random women, starts making less and less sense. In the end, what is left is a human being stripped of all his pretence, machismo, chauvinism, arrogance, sexism, homophobia, racism, aggression, misanthropy; but is it enough to redeem him as a man?

segunda-feira, novembro 21, 2011

domingo, novembro 20, 2011

To Be Cool like...


... Steve McQueen





... James Dean





... Marlon Brando






... Paul Newman






quinta-feira, novembro 17, 2011

Latest that I saw in the Cinema...


... that I recommend!

Already left my comment on a previous post, but it doesn't harm to say it again: Visually Perfect!


Impressive performances from Tilda Swinton and - a surprising - Ezra Miller, a young kid with a bright future!
This movie stroke me as a horror flick without being graphic. On a physiological level, it is very dark and intense. Aesthetically it is rich and superbly well executed, like it was directly pulled out from the book of which it was based upon.


Ides of March (2011)


A great ensemble cast lead by one of Hollywood's hottest stars, Ryan Gosling, in another fantastic directorial effort by George Clooney. Don't miss it!

terça-feira, novembro 15, 2011

ENUI MAG - DeVotchKa



Para os que nao sabem, bem recentemente comecei a contribuir para um site de moda, projeto este levado a cabo por alguns amigos meus, entre os quais consta a Ana Rosado, minha antiga colega de curso na Universidade Católica e Colégio Amor de Deus. 

A Ana, vocacionada para este meio que é a Fashion Industry e o jornalismo, lidera um grupo de jovens autores, com formação nas mais diversas áreas de forma a acrescentar diversidade e alguma disparidade no conteúdo.

Com já alguns artigos em exibição (WWPJ, Yann Tiersen, entre outros) a partir de hoje farei essa mesma partilha dos meus trabalhos pela EnuiMag aqui no blog.

Cliquem aqui para terem acesso ao mais recente sobre o grupo DeVotchKa



Hold your grandmother's bible to your breast
Gonna put it to the test
You wanted to be blessed

And in your heart you know it to be true
You know what you gotta do
They all depend on you

And you already know
Yeah, you already know how this will end

There is no escape from the slave catcher's songs
For all of the loved ones gone
Forever's not so long

And in your soul they poked a million holes
But you never let em show
Come on, it's time to go

And you already know
Yeah, you already know how this will end

Now you've seen his face
And you know that there's a place in the sun
For all that you've done
For you and your children

No longer shall you need
You always wanted to believe
Just ask and you'll receive
Beyond your wildest dreams

And you already know
Yeah, you already know how this will end

domingo, novembro 13, 2011

Demora

This is again one of those times in which most of the post will be written in Portuguese. This time for two different reasons:

1º Since the short movie is spoken in Portuguese, I doubt that foreigners who read the blog will have any interest on this.

2º Because I want to write this post like I was sending it as a message to a very close friend of mine, who plays a part in this project. So basically, by writing in our language, makes it seem more personal.
  
Durante muitos anos tenho acompanhado a carreira do Luís Filipe D'Almeida, nome que assumiu como seu cartão de visita, mas que apesar de tudo, permanece eternamente conhecido entre os amigos (especialmente os mais chegados) por Eusébio.

Por entre todos os projectos em que esteve envolvido, fosse teatro ou televisão, procurei sempre ser o mais critico possível, fazendo referência ao positivo mas em algumas alturas dando maior ênfase ao negativo porque é isso que o Luís muitas vezes quer ouvir! Sendo a boa pessoa que é e exigente consigo mesmo, apesar de dar imenso valor aos elogios, sempre procurou ouvir e analisar os aspectos que as pessoas insistem que tem que trabalhar mais. 
Muitas foram as coisas boas que apanhei e em tantas outras ocasiões, as coisas más... embora diga muito sinceramente, que era frequente o ver envolvido em projectos de baixo calibre, mas onde ele era sempre o elemento de destaque a meu ver! Certo que a minha opinião pode ser suspeita, com muitos acusando-me de  não ser totalmente imparcial dada a minha proximidade com ele... mas quem me conhece sabe que sou por vezes implacavelmente duro, particularmente com aqueles que gosto... pois mais que ninguém merecem a verdade, ou no mínimo, a minha opinião sincera!

Seja como for... estando eu a falar dos seus inúmeros projectos (bons e maus), posso afirmar aqui que este foi sem dúvida aquele que mais me agradou em bastante tempo! Tendo em conta que esta curta-metragem foi feita em apenas 48 horas (para um festival/concurso que exigia - naturalmente - os filmes em dois dias) o resultado final é facilmente condecorado com mérito pela forma como foi filmado (esteticamente está fabuloso com destaque para os contrastes de luz e grande parte das cenas na estação de comboios) e com um argumento sólido, que por muito usado e gasto que seja, em poucas palavras procura contribuir com uma mensagem de alguma subsistência. 

No entanto, na minha humilde opinião, a prestação do nosso menino Luís Eusébio é claramente um elemento acima de tudo o resto. Obviamente, tenho plena consciência que grande parte do seu sucesso não seria possível sem intervenção das actrizes com quem partilha a tela e todos os  outros elementos cinematográficos (onde incluo igualmente a banda-sonora que acompanha a cena final, capaz de dar maior emotividade à poderosa frase proferida nos instantes finais), mas dou-lhe bastante mérito sabendo sem qualquer tipo de dúvidas, que mesmo no pouco tempo presencial à frente da câmara, foi capaz de dar um contributo de grande magnitude. A forma como eu reagi perto do fim é claro sinal do quão bom foi o nível de expressão... fosse no tom e colocação que emprega nos seus diálogos ou na linguagem gestual/facial, tão genuinamente sentida que torna fácil ao espectador de testemunhar todo o desenlace com interesse.

Ciente estou que que toda esta conversa provavelmente vos está a cansar e que eventualmente possa estar a colocar as expectativas bastante altas... aumentando assim o risco de desiludir os corajosos que se deram ao trabalho de ler este "testamento". Se me disserem que isto não é uma obra-prima, não vou certamente discutir isso (sabendo que "têm razão")... mas só pelo simples facto que mexeu tanto comigo (principalmente aquele momento que considero ser o clímax desta curta de quase quatro minutos), merece inquestionavelmente uma menção honrosa! Tal menção ainda tem maior razão de ser ao ter um amigo como o Luís envolvido e responsável pelo meu desequilibro emocional de 10 segundos, provocado com excelência e qualidade artística... porque sim: Está representado de forma eximia!
- "Que fiques com noção Luís... do quão bonito eu achei este momento que me proporcionaste meu amigo!"

quinta-feira, novembro 10, 2011

Ultraviolet (Light my Way)

(Original by U2)

In celebration of U2's album "Achtung Baby" 20th anniversary, a new edition was released followed by an album full of covers by artists in the likes of Jack White, Patti Smith, Snow Patrol or Fray (among others).

This is probably my favourite cover of them all...



quarta-feira, novembro 09, 2011

sábado, novembro 05, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)


The Adventures of Tintin (2011) has to be one of the best animation movies that I've seen in my life! Visually it's perfect, something that really surprised me due to the fact that its something unusual of Spielberg's part (the animation genre I mean).

Combining forces with Peter Jackson (who produced this feature), Mr. Spielberg brings us the adventures of Hergé's creation and masterpiece, the young and restless journalist, Tintin! 
Voiced by English actor Jamie Bell, it has some of Hergé's most well known supporting characters give their contribution through the voices of actors like Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost or Toby Jones.

Based on the book "The Secret of the Unicorn" this movie has all the necessary ingredients to entertain a crowd. Action and adventure in the likes of Indiana Jones, many twists and turns and plenty of humour make this first successful instalment of what it looks like to be a potential massive cinematic franchise. There's plenty of excellent source material and if cast and crew stick to the working formula of this first movie, then we can wait for a few more to come.
I would only say that the film was a bit too long, with sequences that could easily be left out (sequences that don't even are in the original book). There are a few things that aren't "right" (if we even can say that), according to the book. Like for example, in the movie Hadock and Tintin have their first encounter, but originally, by the time the books get to this adventure, they were already close friends. Maybe it's not that big of a deal, but you have to understand that I grew up reading these books and I was a major fan, so every little change that I was able to perceive, had some sort of influence. There were a few more, but don't want to point out every single detail as it doesn't make any sense me doing so and obviously I do not want to reveal different lairs of the plot by discriminating the differences. First and foremost, this is an adaptation, so obviously the material is subject to some changes!

Regardless of that, I absolutely recommend everyone to see this in the cinema while they can. It makes a huge difference to watch it on a big screen and even the 3D plays a big part... Doesn't make you feel like the action is taking place in the room, but adds up in terms of aesthetic quality! Like I said, in terms of animation (visually) is probably the best I've seen so far.

As for the rest, its well worth seeing it, but maybe a bit more depth should have been given to the characters... but oh well... I guess it's not what the mass audience requested in a movie such as this! Only the real Tintin fans will know what I'm talking about I suppose...

sexta-feira, novembro 04, 2011

Your Sweet Voice


Your sweet voice
Lets me know there is a choice
Plays me slow
Oh, Much more slowly than that

And when we danced
We danced warm cheek to cold cheek
A sideways glance
I knew you were looking at him

I can't call you a friend
Cause when you left me here
You left me here to die
Don't worry I wont call you again
Cause when I take a hint
I take it pretty hard
And when you broke my heart
you broke it into shards of glass

The telephone yells out
At me to wake
I won't be blamed
For someone else's mistakes
It's your sweet voice
Sounding cheery and warm
It breaks my heart
But I summon up all my charm

Can I call you my friend?
Cause it's been so long
Since we've talked
and I miss you
Don't worry I'm over you right now
So my feelings wont get in the way of it
Oh, I miss the way we talked
about the little things

quarta-feira, novembro 02, 2011

Fast Five (2011)



 
Ok... So... I saw this movie some weeks ago and I must admit I was very lazy to write about it back then, as I am lazy right now... But there's no way in hell I'm leaving this one behind!

Had such a great time watching this!
Really!

And I want to say "Who would have known?" like I was greatly surprised by the increasing quality of Fast Five (2011) compared to the other movies of the franchise. But I can't!
I was already aware that this last instalment was by far the best one of the Fast and Furious saga! The reviews were great, the box office results were the best from all five... all of which came with no surprise after seeing it for myself!

The direction was actually pretty good... Really nice shots from Rio de Janeiro, plenty of well executed action sequences and fast paced car chases, "F&F" style.

The cast reunion was an excellent idea to begin with... Getting to see the essential characters work out together was a good call indeed, plus adding Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, was like adding a secret/special ingredient. His performance was outstanding, easily outshining the rest of the gang. Was great to see him on solo scenes or alongside some of the main characters, especially when sharing the screen with Vin Diesel, having their fight scene come as a display of the most anticipated moment of the feature, hitting its climax in a very intense way!

Being an action fan and admirer of both Johnson and Diesel, it's hard to resist the combination of these two names, who with the help of a very nice script, made everything far more interesting!

But the success of this film goes beyond the efforts of the director and the influence of their cast... It's the plot and change of genre that strikes me as the most significant component of Fast 5. Going from being labelled  as a car movie, to a Heist movie is a big change, one that has probably contributed to the extension of this franchise by incrementing new elements and making it more diversified within it's universe.

Well worth seeing it!

quinta-feira, outubro 27, 2011

De.con.struc.tion



After a fantastic debut album, Reservoir (2008) - in which I highlighted in the past the song Ghosts - comes the single De.con.struc.tion, taken from the forthcoming album (which the name is still to be revealed).

Since I started listening to this track, it's been on a sistematic replay... I'm really addicted!

terça-feira, outubro 25, 2011

Bon Iver @ The HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London - 24.10.11

When it got to my attention that the American band Bon Iver was coming to London, I tried to gather a group of friends to buy a few tickets, but as always, dealing with a lot of people has it's issues, and so, in the mist of getting a few "yes's or no's", eventually the tickets got sold out and my hopes to see them live vanished like seats at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo.
Fortunately I was able to re-candle this fiery desire of going to the show when I found out that a friend of mine, with already a ticket in her hand, couldn't make it that day...

Yeah... she sold it to me... otherwise I wouldn't be telling this story! If not for this friend, I would probably miss out one of the top gigs in recent years...

My thanks go out to her ("life saver!!")! I owe you big time and this post is in great part dedicated to you, as I did my best to gather nice pictures and videos from that night...

Anyway... The big day had finally come! The much anticipated Bon Iver gig arrived in all it's splendour to London, for the second time in two days!

After getting off work, I rushed immediately to Hammersmith so I could settle in easily into the comfort of the chair that would later on accommodate me for one historical show. But... let's start from the beginning!



I got there way before time, so decided to eat something at the local MacDonalds. While there, stroke conversation with a gentleman who approached me asking if he could share the same table. I curiously asked him if, like me, he was attending the Bon Iver gig. He said that he was going to a play, but showed a lot of interest in the band for which I bought a ticket. This generated a conversation that ended with a comment on his part that helped to make my day. He said: "never would picture myself having a interesting conversation at a MacDonalds!" That certainly meant a lot to me due to the topic of discussion and the way it was raised.

You could tell he was a very well educated man that in those few minutes was able teach and be taught as well, under random circumstances... And as I left towards the venue, couldn't help thinking how that exchange of opinions, that came in such unpredictable conditions, was in fact very enlightening and only came to show how people can benefit from one another, just from the smaller things in life.

But moving forward...

I still had more than enough time... Doors only opened at 19:00h and I showed up a little bit after that. Since I didn't know who the opening act was I thought that I might just give it a try. Had the spare time, but unfortunately not the right frame of mind. As I got to my seat in the stalls and waited for the supporting band, I took a few minutes to gaze around the venue in genuine fascination, dreaming of what was to come!

Three people stepped in, being their leader a girl by the name of Kathleen Edwards. Funny enough... turns out she is Justin Vernon's girlfriend... but anyway...

Not that her music was bad, but I was immensely distracted on the phone, messaging friends and checking emails, while anxiously longing for Bon Iver to take the stage. That's why I said I wasn't in the right frame of mind for the opening act! Instead of just taking the chance of getting to know a new (upcoming) artist, I just wasted that opportunity away. The fact that most of the room wasn't tuned with Miss Edwards helped a bit... but that doesn't serve me as an excuse! Be it as it may, I must confess that "regret" didn't stagger in my mind much time, mostly due to the wonderful performance of the main act, that made everything else seem like irrelevant.


From the get go, Bon Iver "made a lot of promises" to the fully packed Apollo... Promises that were maybe a bit too ambitious for them to keep!

As they entered the stage, I counted 9 musicians! Big surprise... Wasn't aware of that I must say. Two drummers, three horns, guitars and bass... Here and there, some would switch into other percussion instruments or a synthesizer.


Those instruments came to play, giving the audience the first tune of the night... and what a magnificent tune: Perth.

Here was their first statement of the night: "Get ready for a unique and special ride".

To give away such a track right at the beginning, made me wonder what sort of line-up they had in store...

A few tracks later, followed Flume and Holocene. I couldn't believe it! It seemed like they were throwing away all their aces! It was very impressive to think how a band with such a recent repertoire made of only two albums, has so many good tracks capable of bringing the house down!

Both were brilliantly executed, but Flume has a special meaning as it is THE song that introduced me to the band, gripping me after only the first listen. Even thought Vernon's voice and the instruments that go along with him seem like they were taken off the album, their arrangements go beyond what people know, adding a much more eloquent and complex sonority to their musical themes.




Then followed Blood Bank and others more, until we came to three of their master pieces in a row:

Creature Fear, Re-Stacks and Calgary.

Creature Fear was played beautiful as ever, while Re-Stacks was performed in a very intimate one-on-one between Vernon and the crowd.


Calgary was introduced under the sign of being about "when you believe in something really hard, that it actually happens", said Justin Vernon.




Beth/Rest came as the middleman right before one of the highlights of the night...

Vernon approached the audience and asked if they could sing along with him... Well... not actually sing along, but more of a demonstration that showed "we were all together in this one", as he put it.

"What might have been lost" - those were the words that he wanted us to chant in a ever, unifying, growing voice... it was: The Wolves (Act I and II)




With the ending of this song, the packed and pumped up Apollo instantly got up while clapping and cheering enthusiastically in a clear sign of affection, respect, and most of all, in awe to their superb performance that evening! Everyone knew the "encore" was still to come, but that standing ovation was in such an outstanding fashion, like it was certain that it was the last song of the night!

It was after brief (but "chillin" minutes) that they came back for what it seemed like the two obvious songs left to play...


For Emma and their everlasting Skinny Love, in a very nice rendition with most of the band supporting Vernon without their instruments.

.

For those of you who haven't seemed them yet (and this goes out especially for my Portuguese friends who I'm assuming didn't had the chance), please make your best efforts to watch them live! It will leave you marks that you will carry throughout your own personal musical portfolio!

(note: I do not own any rights for the pictures and videos uploaded into this post)