Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Movie Still

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Movie PosterWelcome to the latest installment of a movie blog series about the best movies you (probably) haven’t seen. Last time, I featured the first foreign film of the series, City of God, and the week before, I wrote about 12 Angry Men, a black and white “old-school” courtroom drama.

(The idea is that I’ll throw out a movie that I think is really great, but isn’t a huge mainstream hit, or it’s not fresh and likely hasn’t been seen in quite a while—if at all. If you have seen it, share what you think about it—and feel free to rip me if you think it’s not worth watching! Then, in the comments, y’all make one movie suggestion as well. It’s that simple, and it’ll be a lot of fun if you’re a cinephile like me.)

This nomination for the best movie you (probably) haven’t seen is probably the first film featured I can truly say is cinema art to it’s core. It’s so complete, has so much depth, and is so creative in plot, thought, cinematography, and emotion, I have really struggled to decide the best way to write about it in a brief blog post. After all, this film is easily in my “Top 10” AND I wrote an entire term paper in a cinema studies class in college on this film and still had a hard time capturing, describing, and analyzing the film.* A masterpiece written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is perhaps more poetic than the verse from which it gets its namesake.

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;

The film is based on the lyrics of Alexander Pope‘s Eloisa to Abelard, a poem about a tragic love that leaves the female protagonist, Eloisa, longing for forgetfulness over fondness—the foundation on which Kaufman built his masterpiece.

*I actually did a video term paper analyzing the film, so I didn’t technically turn in a written paper.

Amazon’s summary:

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Welcome to the latest installment of a weekly movie blog series about the best movies you (probably) haven’t seen. Last week, I featured the first black-and-white film of the series, 12 Angry Men, and the week before, I featured the modern version of Great Expectations, which is one of my favorite movies of all-time.

(The idea is that each week I’ll throw out a movie that I think is really great, but isn’t a huge mainstream hit, or it’s not fresh and likely hasn’t been seen in quite a while—if at all. If you have seen it, share what you think about it—and feel free to rip me if you think it’s not worth watching! Then, in the comments, y’all make one movie suggestion as well. It’s that simple, and it’ll be a lot of fun if you’re a cinephile like me.)

This week, my nomination for the best movie you (probably) haven’t seen takes us to the slums of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The first foreign film nominated for this series, City of God (foreign title is Cidade de Deus)is a gripping foreign film revealing the delicate politics and brutal tragedy of common life for kids growing up in one of Rio’s most crime-ridden favelas. The film’s Portugese trailer is located at the end of the blog post. It is a much truer representation of the style, creativity, and characters in the film. Amazon’s summary:

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Welcome to the latest installment of a weekly movie blog series about the best movies you (probably) haven’t seen. Last week, I featured the modern version of Great Expectations, and the week before I featured the futbol film Green Street Hooligans.

(The idea is that each week I’ll throw out a movie that I think is really great, but isn’t a huge mainstream hit, or it’s not fresh and likely hasn’t been seen in quite a while—if at all. If you have seen it, share what you think about it—and feel free to rip me if you think it’s not worth watching! Then, in the comments, y’all make one movie suggestion as well. It’s that simple, and it’ll be a lot of fun if you’re a cinephile like me.)

This week, my nomination for the best movie you (probably) haven’t seen is a the first truly “classic” film I’ve mentioned, and we go all the way back to the black-and-white period to get it. 12 Angry Men was recommended to me by a former roommate who swears by it (the movie is in his “Top 5”) and it makes #6 on IMDB’s Top 250 Films as voted on by it’s users. This classic courtroom drama starring Henry Fonda was made in 1957 and it’s a simple (almost the entire film is on one set), but very well-told story about a jury of 12 men deciding the fate of an 18-year-old accused murderer. As a bonus, you can view the entire film at the bottom of this post! Amazon’s summary:

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Welcome to the third installment of a weekly movie blog series about the best movies you (probably) haven’t seen. Last week, we featured Green Street Hooligans, and the first post featured Finding Forrester.

(The idea is that each week I’ll throw out a movie that I think is really great, but isn’t a huge mainstream hit, or it’s not fresh and likely hasn’t been seen in quite a while—if at all. If you have seen it, share what you think about it—and feel free to rip me if you think it’s not worth watching! Then, in the comments, you all make one movie suggestion as well. It’s that simple, and it’ll be a lot of fun if you’re a cinephile like me.)

This week, my nomination for the best movie you (probably) haven’t seen is a throwback to the 90s and a loose, modern adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel. Great Expectations is a film in my “Top-5” and stars Gwyneth Paltrow (now well-known for her role as Pepper Pots in the Iron Man films)  and Ethan Hawke, with supporting roles from Robert De Niro and Anne Bancroft. Made in 1998, its story is based around the pursuit of unrequited love. Amazon’s summary:

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Last week was the first of a weekly movie blog suggestion (read: conversation) about the best movies you (probably) haven’t seen. Featured was the film Finding Forrester. I decided it would be a Movie Monday, because it has a nice ring to it and it (almost) has alliteration (alliteration technically requires three consecutive words beginning with the same consonant).

The idea is that each week I’ll throw out a movie that I think is really great, but isn’t a huge mainstream hit, or it’s not fresh and likely hasn’t been seen in quite a while—if at all. If you have seen it, share what you think about it—and feel free to rip me if you think it’s not worth watching! Then, in the comments, you all make one movie suggestion as well. It’s that simple, and it’ll be a lot of fun if you’re a cinephile like me.

This week, my nomination for the best movie you (probably) haven’t seen is a bit newer, but also a bit more independent and definitely not in the American mainstream. Green Street Hooligans is a fantastic film starring Elijah Wood and Charlie Hunnam from 2005 about the “hooligans” that form “firms” to support “football” clubs in England. Amazon’s summary:

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It occurred to me last night that there are a great many fantastic films I haven’t seen, as well as a great many that I have. I’m sure it’s pretty likewise for you all as well, so I thought it would be fun to start a weekly movie blog suggestion (read: conversation) about the best movies you (probably) haven’t seen.

Monday Movies has a nice ring and (almost) alliteration (alliteration technically requires three consecutive words beginning with the same consonant), and this it has been named!

The idea is that each week I’ll throw out a movie that I think is really great, but isn’t a huge mainstream hit, or it’s not fresh and likely hasn’t been seen in quite a while—if at all. If you have seen it, share what you think about it—and feel free to rip me if you think it’s not worth watching! Then, in the comments, you all make one movie suggestion as well. It’s that simple, and it’ll be a lot of fun if you’re a cinephile like me.

The inaugural film I’m suggesting is a turn-of-the-millenium flick featuring Sean Connery and Anna Paquin called Finding Forrester, which peaked at #1 in the Box Office in 2001, but since then seems to have been forgotten. Amazon’s summary: Read more

I absolutely love to give gifts. (It’s nothing new, just ask my exes.)

In the spirit of Christmas and gift-giving (and a little down-time at work), I’ve put together some funny Hollywood movie trailer adaptations…”Take Twos,” if you will.

Some are mashups, some recuts, some cheesy and others scary. I’ve tried not to include too many of the same type.

There are many blog posts of people ranking the “Top 10” edited trailers, so I’m just posting ones that made me smirk or impressed me. Read more

'True Grit' Poster

'True Grit' PosterLet me preface this by stating that I have not viewed the original, John Wayne version of True Grit. Without a screening of it, this review is partially incomplete for many reasons, among which originality and plot are foremost.

My impression of True Grit is simply that it was not anything I did not expect. It did not disappoint, it did not amaze. But that was certainly enough for this film.

And that’s not to discount the film itself, which was quite an accomplishment.  Making a Western-style (not a formulaic Western) movie that appeals to the mass modern crowd, including teens is a tall task–of which I am confident the Coen brothers accomplished.

A good friend of mine said it well,

I loved True Grit. It was exactly what I was expecting and wanted it to be. You won’t be disappointed. #fillyourhandyousonofabitch

With a college minor in Cinema Studies, this–and all of my reviews–will have an academic-like structure, analyzing the main components that I noticed in the movie. Each will be given a rating out of five stars, with an overall rating at the end. Spoiler alert below the jump. Read more

'The Social Network': HISHE

'The Social Network': HISHE

Confused by the acronym? Yeah…it’s not exactly an obvious one.

HISHE is the short form for “How It Should Have Ended,” a website funded by Starz Media that parodies trailers for movies and offers an alternate ending. Read more