Tag Archives: review

10 MOVIES WITH A PHOTOGRAPHY TO REMEMBER

1 Apr

Today Zerorojo wants to remember 10 films that by its impressive photography, art direction and production design are not only outstanding they also remain indelible in our memory by the amazing image management that without a doubt makes us want to see them again. It’s true that there are many pieces in the cinema world with these features but remember them all would require a book not a blog, so this is the basic count considered by Zerorojo who invites readers to comment on ¿what other film or films you consider that stand out in its photography?

Schindler’s List (1993)

Director: Steven Spielberg – winner of the Oscar and Golden Globe.

Photography: Janusz Kaminski- Oscar winner.

Cast: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley.

Duration: 195 minutes.

 Schindler's List Liam Neeson

With a black and white hard to forget Schindler’s List won numerous prizes, including the Oscar for Janusz Kaminski. The colors, the lighting and sequences of this tape contribute in an incredible way to the drama embodied in it.

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

Director: Taylor Hackford- also director of The Devil’s Advocate, and Ray.

Photography: Gabriel Beristain

Cast: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer.

Duration: 132 minutes.

 Dolores Claiborne Kathy Bates

The adaptation of the book by Stephen King is a wonderful mixture of colors that transport us from the past to the present with warm and cold shades, certainly this element makes an announcement of the constant flashbacks during the development of the plot.

Moulin Rouge (2001)

Director: Baz Luhrman

Photography: Donald McAlpine.- Candidate for BAFTA Awards.

Art Direction: Catherine Martin Brigitte Broch – winning the Oscar.

Cast: Nicole Kidman,  Ewan McGregor.

Duration: 127 minutes.

 Moulin Rouge Nicole Kidman

The famous love story is acclimatized in an impeccable way, there is no frame of this film in which there is no meticulous presence of the art direction and of course an excellent photography: the lighting in a unique way points out the moments of love and joy, of abandonment and death in a very specific way.

Kill Bill Vol.1 And Vol. 2 (2003 – 2004)

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Photography: Robert Richardson

Cast: Uma Thurman, David Carradine.

Duration: 111 and 136 minutes respectively.

 Kill Bill Uma Thurman

Although Robert Richardson did not win an Oscar for his participation in this film his long list of movies and nominations (Django Unchained, Hugo’s invention, JFK, The Aviator, among others) lead us to understand the quality of his work. Kill Bill makes use of multiple photographic elements to give life to the story: high contrasts, cold and warm filters, black and white and a mix of amazing drawings and sequences that make this film divided into two chapters a masterpiece worthy to repeat many times.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004)

Director: Brad Silberling

Photography: Emmanuel Lubezki

Art Direction: Cheryl Carasik -Oscar nominated.

Starring: Jim Carrey, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Meryl Streep.

Duration: 108 minutes.

 Lemony Snickets Jim Carrey

This film in addition to having an excellent art direction and photography,  you can note that was made with love, although it didn’t win all the awards that deserved, the world created for Lemony Snicket’s is the exquisite union of many works of art within each scene. The details of props, locations and costumes (worth mentioning) are meticulous, attractive, and, together with the macabre coloring photography that at times recalls to Tim Burton and the varied levels of framings achieves to result in one word: Magic.

House of Flying Daggers (2004)

Director: Zhang Yimou

Photography: Zhao Xiaoding

Cast: Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro.

Duration: 119 minutes.

 House Of Flying Daggers Takeshi Kaneshiro Zhang Ziyi

Zerorojo considers the photography in this film as the mother of the aesthetic: each frame of this story well may be the subject of a postcard, the art direction and production design are impeccable and tough to beat, has an excellent taste,  unique range of colors and a beautiful exaltation at the nature, in addition to the above each frame is a perfect and pleasant construction. The story has a little of cliché but the image of the film is definitive and amazing and this one great detail makes it worthy of being seen several times. The amount of awards that this film won for his photography speaks for itself, curiously was nominated but didn’t win the Oscar or the BAFTA, but won the Boston Film Critics, National Society of Film Critics and the Satellite Awards in this category.

Sin City (2005)

Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino.

Photography: Robert Rodriguez.- Nominated to Satellite Awards.

Cast: Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro.

Duration: 126 minutes.

 Sin City Bruce Willis

In the challenge of taking a comic book to a film and that still seems a comic resides the beauty of this tape. The monochromatic dotted with details of color loaded with symbology make Sin City a film worthy of remembering. The grim lighting and the high contrasts fused with the art direction and photography are now opting for keeping alive the comic and reload it with the sadistic drama, sensuality and melancholy that Miller prints in the comic stripes of his books.

Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005)

Director : Rob Marshall

Photography: Dion Beebe. Winner of the Oscar, BAFTA and others…

Cast: Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh.

Duration: 145 minutes.

 Memoirs Of a Geisha Zhang Ziyi

Dion Beebe was creditor to an enviable list of awards for this film, and is understandable: Memoirs of a Geisha not only accounts with excellent lighting and dazzling framing it also features with a irrefutable forcefulness to take advantage of each element: the composition of the scenes and the layout of the elements surrounding the characters make the story something so lived that the viewer believes to be watching the past unfolds before its eyes.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Director: Guillermo del Toro.

Photography: Guillermo Navarro.- Oscar, Goya Awards and Ariel winner.

Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero, Pilar Revuelta – Winners of the Oscar.

Cast: Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Sergi Lopez.

Duration: 112 minutes.

 Laberinto del Fauno Pan's Labyrinth Ivana Baquero

Guillermo Navarro was Academy award, Goya Award and Ariel winner by this film. Pan’s Labyrinth is the perfect sample of the coordination between photography, art direction and production design. Many of the sequences of the story are a fairy tale in motion: the warm and accented colors united to the grim and surreal aesthetic printed in the story pure fantasy, however, the photography is responsible for making the reality something so special, so unique that comes to seem unreal.

Life of Pi (2012)

Director: Ang Lee – Oscar winner

Photography: Claudio Miranda – Oscar winner

Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan.

Duration: 127 minutes.

 Life Of Pi Richard Parker

In addition to all the visual effects that has Life Of Pi can be counted among its major attributes the photography which is excessively explicit: the colors and filters used mark strongly moments in the story: the real and the unreal, the past and present. This film has many attractive elements on a visual level, however here is noted that this one is considered definitive, not all the films contain this beauty in color: acidic and alive mixtures with some evocation of vintage filters.

This Is 40

6 Jan

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Nota: El siguiente post no contiene avances significativos de la trama ni del final de la película

 

Judd Apatow el director norteamericano conocido por producir y dirigir comedias como 40 Year Old Year Virgin y Funny People, presenta This is 40, protagonizada por Leslie Mann y Paul Rudd, la película narra un momento en la vida de Pete y Debbie y la serie de circunstancias que se les presentan una vez ingresan a los 40 años tales como sus temores, enfrentarse al cambio, la confianza en la pareja, la crianza de los hijos, las relaciones con los padres entre otras.

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El film es bastante circunstancial, el espectador llega a tener la sensación de que es un compendio de historias que el director intercambió con algunos amigos y las unió para darles vida, presenta situaciones demasiado comunes. La salva que no es desagradable y que por momentos los diálogos tienen cierto tipo de inteligencia.

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En cuanto las actuaciones, Paul Rudd hace de Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann hace de Leslie Mann y por supuesto Megan Fox hace de Megan Fox…no hay mucho que rescatar allí salvo que todos se ven relajados en sus papeles.

 

Zerorojo no la recomienda, hay otras cosas en que perder el tiempo a menos que usted tenga incertidumbre de cuáles serían los temores o situaciones que se le podrían presentar a sus 40 años de vida…ya queda a su juicio.

MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

17 Dec

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Note: The following post contains no significant advances of the plot or the end of the film.

 

Sean Durkin is a young director, writer and producer who gives life in this 2012 to Martha Marcy May Marlene, a drama starring Elizabeth Olsen and Sarah Paulson. The tape shows an episode in the life of Martha, a girl  who leads a erratic life since the death of her mother, in her comes and goes she ends up involved with a “community” that lives in a atypical manner, with them Martha will do and witness reprehensible acts, when she decides to flee to refuge with her older sister, the harm has already been done: Martha is uneasy and paranoid, attitudes that makes her difficult living with his family.

 

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You can’t really see much effort of the filmmakers to give memorable colorations or filters to the scenes, however, the atmospherics and locations are convincing, that captures the attention completely. The film makes a good handling of times but sometimes it’s very obvious: the spectator can predict the precise moment in which the story will go to the past and will return to the present. A key point: the soundtrack, soft and moving.

martha_marcy_may_marleneThe best thing about the film are the performances, Olsen makes her debut as leader actress and the challenge is not large for her, from this and other rolls you can guess that is a very emotional and natural actress, she can easily found the way to communicate the feelings of her characters. In regard to John Hawkes and Sarah Paulson, well they draw in an antonima way two different worlds for Martha…the chaos and the order.

 

Zerorojo has a divided opinion in front of this film: on one hand has to favor the performances and the story, but on the other hand, it is slow, in this case, it can not be solved with action scenes of course, but the script could be somewhat more effusive, more intelligent, in that way the public would be a bit more attentive to the story. In summary, if the viewer is accustomed to independent cinema and its almost real handling of times, then there will be anything to complain about and Martha Marcy May Marlene becomes as an acceptable alternative.

 

The independent film always leaves in the mouth an excessive flavor of reality.

 

THE WORDS

12 Dec

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Note: The following post contains no significant advances of the plot or the end of the film.

 

Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal presents us the words, a movie with a fairly innovative narrative line, starring Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid and Jeremy Irons (very interesting). Tells the story…no, it’s difficult to say it has a single story but, in a basic line, could be said that tells the story of Rory an aspiring writer who is looking to publish his first novel but the success is elusive, finally when the triumph arrives…not necessarily will be due to his own words.

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The tape is quite pleasant, has a narrative like “story within the story” that makes it fun and interesting, the performances are good, but in general there is a flaw (Zerorojo still not identified) that does not allow the viewer to connect to the drama included in the plot… perhaps it may be due to there’s not enough time to examine the characters, as happens in movies such as The Red Violin. Viewers have the last word about this.

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The change of colors marks determinately the change of narration, going from neutrals to the blues passing by the sepia, this gives a lot of interest to the composition and photography, as well as the soundtrack, composed by Marcelo Zarvos: music emphatic but soft.

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It is difficult to recommend this film, not because its history is bad, nor its actors, it’s difficult because it could be more intense, the argument is for this purpose, and still it’s not. However, is more productive to watch The Words than any teen-movie, that’s for sure. So to not divagate,  Zerorojo recommends it, ¿why? Because you don’t get bored, amuses and also attempts to be fresh through his narrative.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

10 Dec

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Note: The following post contains no significant advances of the plot or the end of the film.

The Scottish director Lynne Ramsay makes the adaptation to film We Need To Talk About Kevin eponymous book written by the American Lionel Shriver. It’s natural not to connect with the people, not to rely on them, not believing them, however, when all this is felt by a child things change: Eve struggles to connect with his son Kevin, makes all the efforts of a mother by loving and educate him, but Kevin only gives her rejection and evil natural-born apparently, in these circumstances he grows and becomes a human being difficult to decipher, when Eve discovers the true scope of Kevin, may be too late.44692000001_1252993297001_we-need-to-talk-about-kevin-osc-t

The film has good photography, such, that only with images the story could be understood. The symbology of the color is present all the time, an aspect that gives more character to the scenes. There are various locations that are especially responsible to mark the times: past and present.

cannes-2011-3-clips-de-we-need-to-talk-about-kevinThe performances are very good Tilda Swinton expresses perfectly the commotion that causes her the relationship with her child, the impotence and frustration of not being in control of the situation. John C. Reilly gives us a role that has already learned: a good and conciliator man that wants to give reason to all, in the meantime Ezra Miller begins to shore up his nascent career with this dense and full of character role.

we-need-to-talk-about-kevin-movie-poster-600x300Zerorojo recommends this family and social horror drama, not only due to the complexity of the story, also because it shows realities that for many of us are not familiar. Perhaps in some way explains the emergence of certain macabre minds that by moments have paralyzed the world with their sinister acts. Has points of reflection: it does not go in vain, the situation that has arisen in the movie certainly can leave the viewers questioning themselves one or two issues…most of all the importance that parents agree on the education of their children.

CARNAGE

7 Dec

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Note: The following post contains no significant advances of the plot or the end of the film.

57728Roman Polanski made the adaptation of “Le Dieu Du Carnage” a play written by Yasmina Reza, under the title of Carnage. This film from 2011 shows an episode in the life of the Cowans’ and Longstreets’: two couples that meet to talk about the fight that their children had and try to reach an agreement of responsibilities, however, in the middle of the recriminations, clashes of points of view and the aid of a few drinks, the initial dialog becomes in a incisive and biting marking that makes trotted out the true point of view of the interlocutors.

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The film is completely natural, the viewer almost can feel that is in the middle of the discussion, which is so dynamic that even may wish to participate in it. It’s nearly to miraculous that a film that develops only in one location to be entertaining and not to bores at all, this feat is due to the dialogs each one loaded of a diplomatic violence hard to ignore.

However, the dialogs would be nothing without the dazzling performances: Jody Foster, John C Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz fill with accurate power each moment no matter if it’s high or low voltage, there is not much to say, is simply impressive to see how the further the argument goes, the actors take the figures that they are initially and blurred them with such a professionalism that achieves to show in just 80 minutes an endless range of human emotions and feelings …definitely, that is act.

carnage-movieZerorojo recommends it. Carnage account with 3 essential elements for a successful film: it has excellent dialogs, fabulous performances and it’s well directed. As it has been noted in previous entries is not a movie for someone who is looking for action or extreme emotions (there is no shots, or hit, or jumping from an airplane), is a story that presents an ideal reality and converts it into a stark reality, without masks.

“It takes a little education to substitute the rule of law for violence; the origin of law, as you of course know, is brute force…I believe in the God of carnage, the god whose rules haven’t been challenged since time inmemorial.”[1]


[1] Dialogue from Christoph Waltz to Jodie Foster.

RUBY SPARKS

6 Dec

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Note: The following post contains no significant advances of the plot or the end of the film.

imagesThe directors of Little Miss Sunshine, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris bring us an unusual romantic tragicomedy: Ruby Sparks, written by the protagonist Zoe Kazan, shows us the history of Calvin an acclaimed writer, that early gets admission to fame as a result of his first book, the pressure of his success and the abandonment of his girlfriend while he was in mourning for the death of his father leads him to a block that impedes him to write, for that reason his psychologist ask him to do as a task  to write about a person that would have no objection to accept him, so Calvin begins to write about a young woman with he dreams about …and then Ruby appears.

 

This is a colorful story, it develops in Los Angeles and all of its environments are bright and vivid. The locations are designed according to their characters, comparison that we can establish with the apartment of Calvin, the home of his mother or his manager, the people expressed in objects and design. The same thing happen with the costume design and arrangements, although this is more usual.

 

images-1The characters are the most common of the film: Calvin as geek, Ruby as a crazy bohemia, the mother of Calvin and her husband hippie stereotypes and the brother a hunter moored by a marriage, to mention a few, to be true those are characters that we have seen repeated over and over again in hundreds of films and you can even qualify the interpretations as very normal, not come to be stunning. We can see Paul Dano doing a role very recurrent in him, Kazan has a more emotional character but she does not seduce the spectator. It’s nice to see a diva as Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas in their role of hippies, refreshing point of the script.

 

So far nothing out of the ordinary, nothing unusual, which is valuable in this film is its argument: an original story that goes beyond normality and reality, a tragic love story by its impossibility and by the absolute position of each protagonist: Calvin dominates the life of Ruby and she in turn the life of Calvin…each one ends up becoming a necessary evil for another.

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Zerorojo believes that Ruby Sparks can be seen without hindrance: as aromantic comedy breaks several clichés, as a dramatic film is striking but not depressing and in spite of their stereotyped characters is never boring, being a film about love, it has the ability to please men and women and that is a lot to tell.

 

The rating for this film remains as open topic: is it good or bad? What do you think?