Hello everyone, and welcome to 111 Archer Avenue. What started as a film review blog has become my online judgment forum. I will review the occasional movie or DVD, post an interesting trailer, critique a newly-read book, talk about sports, and share my thoughts and opinions on random issues. You can also follow me on Twitter (@OlieCoen) or check out my work on DVDTalk.com. Thank you and enjoy!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Movie Trailer - Unbroken

Director: Angelina Jolie
Starring: Jack O'Connell, Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson
Release: December 25th, 2014

All they had to say was "written by the Coen Brothers" and I'd have been on board.  It looks pretty epic and powerful; not sure if Jolie can sculpt that into something that isn't cheesy, but I'm willing to give it a shot.  POW movies are instant hooks, so are biographies for that matter; I smell an Oscar nomination.

Movie Review - Perfect Sense

Director: David Mackenzie
Starring: Eva Green, Ewan McGregor
Year: 2011

I think I might have a mancrush on Ewan McGregor, and I think it's his smile.  Either that or his awesome accent.  Or the fact that he's a brilliant actor.  He does tend to churn out a few too many movies, not being overly selective with his role choices.  But it's hard to fault him for that; if they're offering you millions of dollars you should probably take the money and run, especially while you're still young, in, and handsome.  Anyway, I like McGregor.  I like Eva Green too, but begrudgingly.  She's a little off-putting and twisted, a perfect demeanor for most of her roles, but in Perfect Sense she was called upon to be the leading lady of a love story, albeit a weird one.  Well the couple both pulled off their characters, creating a film that's part romance, part sci-fi, and wholly intriguing.

Susan is a research doctor and Michale is a chef; why not meet and fall in love.  They both have rocky histories, which doesn't mean they can't be perfect for each other, and their affair begins with enviable passion.  But the world around them is going through a change that no human has ever coped with before.  For an unknown reason, an epidemic is sweeping the world that eliminates human senses.  First goes smell, paired with a short period of intense grief.  Then goes taste, with a burst of incredible paranoia.  As each sense leaves the body, mankind panics and then regroups, going on with life having lost something that will never be regained.  Susan & Michael are no different, riding the waves of loss with only each other to cling to, falling in love despite the chaos that surrounds them.

It's a fascinating plot, created by Danish screenwriter Kim Fupz Aaakeson.  It has the sci-fi elements that I love coupled with a romance that's extremely believable.  The way they describe and show the disease is really horrifying, especially well done considering it doesn't really hurt anyone.  It's just a loss of a sense, but watching the film you can understand the panic that the characters must feel as they are slowly abandoned by the body they have always trusted.  So the movie is very sensational, very pleasing to the sense it's about to take away, but it's also very emotionally real.  At its heart it's just a love story like any other, a tale of two people whose lives have become about each other, blocking out the rest of the world as they wrap themselves together.  Green & McGregor are both excellent, bring a sense of reality to their roles, and hold on to that even when the story begins to go wild.  I didn't love some of the narrating over the action; narration has never been a good idea in my book.  And a few of the moments were definitely heavy-handed when the actors could have silently spoken for themselves.  But as a whole, I found the film to be captivating, with a very unusual backdrop framing a very common theme.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Friday, July 25, 2014

Movie Trailer - Fifty Shades of Grey

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Release: February 13th, 2015

I've not read the book, though I have to say I'm intrigued.  I doubt the content would shock me, but it's incredible the amount of women who are all about this story.  They'd see the movie version were it the worst in the world.  Judging by the trailer, I don't think it's going to be horrible, but it doesn't look amazing either.  I feel compelled to watch it if just to see what all the fuss is about, but I don't have high hopes.