The Disappointment of Boyhood By Marcus Zizzou

By Marcus Zizzou  

High on my can’t wait to see list Richard Linklater BOYHOOD arrived in the cinemas with stunning reviews, and as I settled down to see it my expectations were very high and why not? The recently third instalment of the ‘Before series was such a success. So afterwards why did I leave feeling I had seen a decent picture but no masterpiece. With a fair number of shoddy moments and scenes that bothered me.

 1. Missed opportunity – Kenneth Turan’s(L.A TIMES,See link below for full article) quote ‘at best , ok, a film whose animating Idea is more interesting than its actual satisfactions’. I totally agree

2. The film felt very surface level, skirting over many of the

characters and age changes that felt bolted together

3. There are no iconic characters, no Jessie, Celine, Wiley Wiggins or even a Wooderson.

4. The children in places talked unnaturally and felt that the speeches were scripted and read out as so. My children certainly don’t talk in that way and that put me out of the room, it hasn’t got that Stand by me back and forth, or the Max Records in Where the Wild Things Are.

Boyhood Image

5. Patricia Arquette really struggled in the first half of the film in my opinion, maybe she didn’t have the right material?

6. A major problem for me was the first stepdad he was ridiculously over the top and caricatured, he had no character arc. Totally unbelievable.

7. I frequently have leaky tear ducts but nothing here, the cobbled together scenes left me emotionless to the ending.

8. I was hoping that Linklater was hoping to give us some memorable scenes of the passing of youth, but not much stood out and there were a couple of poor ones including a clumsy peer pressure sketch and an awful golf segment.

9. For a 165 minute movie the ending seemed very rushed, the graduation of Mason and the climax of the film felt premature.

It seems like I am hammering Boyhood but I enjoyed it, the time passed quickly but they could have spent more time with the family members. Maybe I was expecting too much, it was no Wonder Years, Mason did not have the charm of Kevin. Also was no Tree of Life as it has been compared. A water down Hollywood mainstream version maybe. But Malik’s deft touch with father and son set pieces is by far superior in my eyes. Boyhood was worth the watch for sure but the height was not met.

The 5 Reasons why I love George Clooney By Marcus Zizzou

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When asked who my favourite Hollywood star is, I always find that a difficult question to answer. I’m a big fan of Brad Pitt. He’s had some fantastic iconic roles in Hollywood, the ripped Tyler Durden in Fight Club, the brooding Jesse James in the undervalued Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford, the portrayal of Baseball GM Billy Bean in Moneyball….the list goes on and on. The ever young Leonardo DiCaprio maybe? He’s excellent In Revolutionary Road, Departed, Gatsby and even in the turgid slog Wolf of Wall Street his performance was top notch. But taking all things into account George is my man, the grey haired silver fox ticks all the boxes for me. He made his big break in E.R (1994-1999) and never looked back. Not many have successfully turned from a soap star into a Hollywood Legend, Demi Moore and Tommy Lee Jones notable exceptions.

1 STYLE The American

This slow burn Thriller is terribly underrated in my opinion. Clooney plays Jack/Edward, a specialist gun maker who works and lives alone. The film plays out in a sedate way, this is no James Bond or Bourne. It’s a sombre but weighty drama that keeps you gripped. Its absolute gorgeous to look at Martin Ruhe’s cinematography is impeccable here and Director Anton Corbijn continues his sterling work after Control, and I can’t wait for his upcoming film A Most Wanted Man. Clooney is controlled classy and understated.

2 VOICE Fantastic Mr Fox

I’m a massive fan of this film. Right up there for me in Wes Andersons locker. The set design is incredible. The book is one of my favourites and to see it transformed and enhanced is a delight, I wonder what Mr Dahl would of thought? Its Clooney’s silky drawl that carries this film along with some excellent support from Streep and Andersons usual pool of actors.(Murray Schwartzmann,Wilson,Dafoe) The score is wonderful from Desplat and it ties the room together perfectly.

3 COOL Ocean’s Eleven

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7lrZK21AX4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Ocean’s Eleven, the 2001 Crime Thriller remake is fun, stylish and top class Blockbuster fayre. Super cool Danny Ocean leads his crew (including Pitt, Damon, Gould,C Affleck and Bernie Mac). Soderbergh wields his magic here to make it superior to Lewis Milestone’s 1960 original. This Heist movie sees Danny and his crew to try to pull off a 150 Million Dollar robbery from Casinos run by ruthless Terry Benedict ( slimy Andy Garcia) during a boxing match. Clooney is on excellent form here having a blast with his friend Pitt, Its paint by numbers stuff but done in an impeccable way.

4 HUMOUR O Brother Where Art Thou?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kID9iXY5Nuk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

This 2000 humdinger of adventure comedy by the Coen’s is one of my favourites in this Genre. Loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey epic poem, Clooney plays Everett McGill, an escaped convict who leads a gang of 3 in search of a hidden treasure stash which will changed their miserable lives forever. This film is riddled with quotable lines and excellent performances. Clooney leads the way in an offbeat role, and once again he’s up to task with some brilliant ‘face acting’ and comic timing. The motley crew find themselves in difficult spots time and again and this leads us to some scenes that are right out of the top draw. The KKK, the baptism and the frog scenes spring to find as well as the Soggy bottom Boys. The Soundtrack is marvellous, Alison Krauss became a firm favourite of mine after seeing this.

5 AUTHORITIVE Syriana

Syriana is a captivating film about, oil and money and politics set in Iran. Clooney plays aging CIA agent Bob Barnes in this corruption thriller. The plot isn’t a easy one, interwoven stories, no solutions, double crossing it’s all here, but I found it totally enthralling to be in this hyper realistic film. Clooney put on 30lbs for the role apparently with bowls and bowls of pasta and also supports a huge beard. This dedication obviously paid off with a Oscar win for best supporting Actor. If you’re after a intelligent head scratcher then I suggest you look here.

Some other George Clooney films I hold in high regard are, MICHAEL CLAYTON, OUT OF SIGHT, UP IN THE AIR and THE DESCENDANTS

So Yes I love George, the truth will out.

Marcus Zizzou

 

Rosetta (1999) : Review

Review by Marcus Zizzou  

The Lowdown     Directed by J.P Dardenne/L.Dardenne

                               Lead Actress Emile Dequenne

                                Run Time 95 mins

 

rosetta-review The Brief    : Desperate Rosetta looks for work, hope and an escape from her Precariat upbringing.

 Rosetta first and foremost is a fabulous film. It was the Winner of the Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.The Film begins with Rosetta being fired from work and continues with her struggles to find employment and live a normal life, a different one than the Caravan Park that her and her alcoholic Mother live on. Alone and hardened with the stresses and strains of literally trying to keep her head above water. She is determined and almost feral like in her nature. It’s obvious her upbringing has been difficult. Emile Dequenne who portrays Rosetta was a complete unknown but walked away with the Best Actress Award at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. It’s such a natural performance that’s flawless. As the film unwinds her desperation leads to a surprising moral dilemma for the viewer whether to continue to root for the protagonist? The Dardennes ‘pull the rug’ under you to set you off kilter and this sets up the Third Act perfectly. It’s shot with Hand Held Cameras and gets you right up close to Rosetta which at first I found distracting but gives you the full facial emotions of her unknowingly pretty face. There is no score, just the sounds of Rosetta’s surroundings and her constant marching from location to location in search of a job,food and a happier existence. The ending is ambiguous and I must admit I saw it differently to some after researching the film. Rosetta isn’t a fast paced film, but its gripping, with a grim reality of life, and leaves you mulling over social issues and her plight.

The Verdict    A-

If you this film try Dardennes L’Enfant

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