Friday, August 21, 2009

Hey. . .

Hello all! Sorry it's taken so long for a new blog post. I have been busy preparing for my college move-in, which takes place tommorrow! I promise by early next week to have more film reviews up, and also my review of the divine Patti LuPone's show in Atlantic City! Hope all is well!

Friday, August 14, 2009

This weeks film viewings. . .

Hello again blogging world! K.P. here to talk about two films I screened this week; Departures and The Hurt Locker.

Departures is about Daigo Kobayashi (Masahiro Motoki) a cellist in a Tokyo Orchestra. When the orchestra dissolves, Daigo is left with a large decision, to continue the cello for a living, or to seek other work. He and his wife Mika (Ryoko Hirosue) decide it best to move into the house Daigo's mother left him in her will 2 years earlier when she passed on. They can live in her house free, and not have to pay their expensive Tokyo rent. It also works out as Daigo can look for work more easily in the much smaller town of Yamagata to which they will be moving. It is the town Daigo grew up in, a town which has upheld many of it's businesses and traditions through the years. The most apparent example of this is the local town bath which is run by Tsuyako Yamashita (Kazuko Yoshiyuki). The bath has been there since Daigo was a young man, and it served as a major comfort through the rough times in his life. Not long after moving back to Yamagata, Daigo finds a job preparing the dead for their funerals. He is employed under the watchful eye of Ikuei Sasaki (Tsutomu Yamazaki). Throughout the film, Daigo struggles with the people around him not taking his profession seriously. It even affects his marriage on a small level. Daigo refuses to give in, realizing it is his fate to be doing just what he is doing. Slowly, but surely, he convinces those around him of just the same thing. All in all I thought Departures was a beautiful film. Director Yôjirô Takita really understands how to set just the right mood for each scene. The film also includes a gorgeous classical score.

My Grade: A

The Hurt Locker is directed by Kathryn Bigelow. I say this first because it is truly a director's showcase. From the first scene of this film, I was hooked. A certain intensity was felt, in my experience, among the entire audience I viewed the film with. She captured the energy, suspense, and fear of fighting for your country. The film is about a team of men assigned to dispose of bombs in Iraq. The film follows one team of men, among many, which includes Sargeant William James (Jeremy Renner), Sargeant JT Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty). The film shows the three men going through the up-and-downs of what every solider in their position goes through. They each have very different personal views on life, and very different struggles in their lives as well. Sargeant James particularly irritates Sgt. Sanborn and Specialist Eldridge at first, as he is replacing the dead Sargeant Thompson (Guy Pearce) and has very different views on how his job should be done. As time goes by, however, the three men learn to respect each other, and they find a friendship amidst the struggles of war. A cameo appearance is also made by Ralph Fiennes playing The Contractor Team Leader. I adored this film. It is my current number one for the year so far, followed by Cheri and Sin Nombre at two and three, respectively. It's release is getting wider, I highly recommend seeing this if possible.

My Grade: A

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

On DVD this week. . .

Hello blogging community! K.P. here with some excellent (if I do say so myself) film recommendations! On dvd this week are two very diverse, but very wonderful, films. I Love You, Man and The Class.

I Love You, Man tells the story of Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) , a successful real estate agent who just recently became engaged to his long time girlfriend Zooey (Rashida Jones). Peter has always connected more with women, which becomes more clear when faced with the dilemma of having to pick groomsmen! His family and friends set him up on many "Man-Dates", to not much success (though the outcomes of each are hysterical). Peter, by kismet, meets Sidney (Jason Segel), a hippie who attends one of Peter's open-houses, looking not for a house, but a rich divorcee. The two exchange business cards and quickly become "best buds". Sidney helps Peter to open up more, and Peter helps Sidney become more practical. There are a few struggles in between, but all in all, their friendship is "tight". I really loved this film, it had more than a few huge laughs from me. It's strength is in it's two leads, Rudd and Segel, both of whom have emerged as truly great comedic actors. This film also includes a great supporting cast, among others it features J.K. Simmons, Jane Curtin, Jamie-Lee Presley, and Andy Samburg in a hilarious turn as Peter's gay brother. I related, more than I would like to admit, to Peter, and I think many of you will too.

My Grade: A-

The Class stars François Bégaudeau as a school-teacher in inner city Paris. The film is based off of a semi-autobiographical novel by Bégaudeau himself. It also features a large cast of young French actors playing the various students in Bégaudeau's class. The film tells a story of the day-to-day struggles of teaching in a "difficult" enviroment. The students are of an age where the begin to question more frequently, and where they simply do not respect authority figures. Many of the students come from troubled backgrounds, making Mr. Marin's ( Bégaudeau) job even harder than it has to be. He struggles to give them the right amount of discipline, while still giving them a solid education. As the year draws on, some of the students grow more mature, while others test Mr. Marin's patience more than he can handle. Marin gets himself into a few debacles throughout the school-year, making him question himself as a teacher, as well as a human-being. This film will make you question how you treat others under difficult circumstances, while still retaining your cool and your calm. I reccomend this film to anyone who ever went to a school, period.

My Grade: A

Hope to hear from more of you! Ciao! Happy Watching!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Well hello there. blogging world! :)

Hi, my name is Kevin Patrick, K.P., Durkin. I am a freshmen at DeSales University in Allentown, PA. I am majoring in Theater with a minor in communications. I have often toyed around with creating my own blogs in the past, but I am hoping now to seriously commit to a blog for once! I have had a passion for film ever since I was a young lad. I see between 1-3 new films per week, and will be sharing my reviews/grades, for these various films. I will also be writing articles on some of my favorite old films.

I hope that my blog strikes an interest with some of you out there. I may be young, but I am wise beyond my age (if I do say so myself!). I hope to connect with people of all ages, from all over the world. I am ready for this ride, the question is, are you? Toodles.