"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"
Directed by David Fincher
I'm not obsessed with Brad Pitt, honest. Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the film details the life and times of a man who ages backwards, starting life as a wizened 90-year old and steadily growing younger as he passes through time. David Fincher, (the guy behind Fight Club and Se7en), is a director who at the very least makes visually arresting kinetic cinema. The special makeup effects look great and the casting is truly excellent. Plus the notion of falling in love with someone evn though your body is destined to infantalise whilst your partner rots away is a pretty potent one.
Trailer (HD only): http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/thecuriouscaseofbenjaminbutton/
"Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist"
Directed by Peter Sollet
I can't really explain it but I have a huge love for Sollet previous effort, "Raising Victor Vargas", the characters were engaging, the storyline uncomplicated and it was just, I don't know, fun. I've got a man-crush on Michael Cera, (though the awkward guy routine is wearing a bit thin) and this looks like a breezy, light-hearted time at the movies with what looks to be a decadently good soundtrack. It probably won't reinvent the wheel, but the compressed chronology of the film (over a single night), will hopefully keep this a tight and entertaining movie.
Directed by Ed Harris
Thank God someone like Ed Harris finally realised that Viggo Moretenson's face was made to be put in a western. Recent stabs at this maligned genre, such as "3:10 to Yuma", have all seemingly taken their cue from the genius tv show Deadwood, with an emphasis on grit and smart dialogue. The plot in this kind of movie is somewhat arbitrary compared to the actors all nailing their characters. Jeremy Irons is such a brilliant performer and his villains are legendary, plus Lance Henrikson and Timothy Spall are in this! What a cast.
"The Brothers Bloom"
Directed by Rian Johnson
I love Rian Johnson's first movie "Brick"; for all it's clever dialogue and brilliant cinematography, it's an intensely well-plotted piece of cinema. The early reviews on this one have been stellar and I'm a sucker for a good con movie. The concept of Racheal Weitz's character being an obsessive shut in, playing these conmen for suckers is a nice touch. It's also great to see Rinko Kikuchi getting more international work, she was the best thing about Inniratu's uneven "Babel".
"Vicky Christina Bareclona"
Directed by Woody Allen
This movie is essentially tailor-made for me. Javier Bardem as a moody, sexy artist, engaging in hot sex with Penelope Cruz, Patricia Clackson and Scarlett Johansson in the amazingly beautiful city of Barcelona. As long as Woody Allen supplies the witty lines I'm sure to have a great time with this one. Although I have to ask what's up with that terrible tinting in the trailer?
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
Directed by David Yates
I really liked Yates' previous work on "The Order of the Phoenix" and this should be another solid effort. That young Tom Riddle is seriously creepy and things are coming to the pointy end of the grand narrative arc now, plus the cinematography is just sexy. I've resigned myself to the fact that Cuaron's "Prisoner of Azkhaban" will be the best and am very curious as to how Jim Broadbent will do as the odious Slughorn.
"Ashes of Time Redux"
Directed by Wong Kar Wai
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this movie. Finally I'll get to see this cinematic genius' work in the martial arts genre. As expected it looks completely amazing and what a stunning cast. Maybe it won't have a completely depressing ending like all his recent work as well!
"Full Battle Rattle"
Directed by Tony Gerber, Jesse Moss
Out of all the seemingly endless examinations of the Iraq occupation now pouring out of US cinema, this one seems to actually do something unique. A documentary about the bizzare urban warfare testing zone constructed by the military in the Californian desert so their soldiers can "simulate the experiences of combat" before being shipped out. It's all elaborate and ridiculous theatre; with hundreds of actors being employed as civilians and terrorists, thousands of blank rounds, buckets of fake blood and some depressing truths about the inanity of the US military experience. It looks hilarious.
"New York I Love You"
Directed by tons of people
I really liked "Paris J'taime" and found the collection of shorts to be generally excellent. There's some interesting choices for directors in this second mediation on a metropolis including Scarlett Johnansson and Natalie Portman.
"Nightmare Detective 2"
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto
Yes, the first one was not very good narrative-wise but Tsukamoto (he did "Testuo: The Iron Man") is an undeniable genius at visual insanity. I've loved all of his films and this one just ups the creepy factor. Truly disturbing and a bizzare concept in the first place. A detective who goes into people's dreams and conquers their nightmares. Seriously.
Directed by Agnes Merlet
Possession movies are rarely made these days and are even more rarely done well. There's been a groundwell of critical and audience positivity towards Merlet's foray into English-language horror. That child is chillingly disturbed and I love the line "Some seriously evil shit is going on". Classic.
"Genius Party Beyond"
Directed by lots of people
If you see one movie in my recommendations for this month, please make it this one. Studio 4c is legendary for their absolutely incredible animation and fascinating inventive scenarios and... and... just look at that trailer! There were more original ideas in those 60 seconds than anything Hollywood has made in ten years! If you get a hold of it, please give me a copy because it'll be a cold day in hell when this sees Australian release.
"Tokyo Gore Police"
Directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura
I don't really know what to say about this final one, except that the trailer is probably one of the greatest things I've ever seen. Please be advised that the title for this movie is very apt and if you're not much interested in a movie where Eihi Shiina, (the insane woman from Takeshi Miike's "Audition") disembowls various mutants who grow weapons from their newly formed wounds and spends the first fifteen seconds of the trailer walking in slow motion towards the camera while... uh... well anyway, it's a very violent piece of work. Watch yourself...
A place where I jot down my musings on art, life, politics, philosophy and culture.