Wednesday, December 25, 2013

American Hustle


It's no secret that my all time favorite director, and hands down the greatest director of all time is Stanley Kubrick, but David O. Russell makes films the way that I want to make films. There is such a brilliant subtlety about his pictures, that really conveys emotion and flesh out characters, through his tight and near perfect direction. This is a man who knows what he wants from his actors, and how to get it. American Hustle is a grown up film with very mature themes. Now when I say mature, I don't mean that it is dark and serious (quite the contrary), I just mean that it knows its audience and keeps it at an adult level at all times. It never panders or pulls an punches. It is very much a movie about its characters and the actors who play them. Jennifer Lawrence's performance is most possibly the most over-hyped performance of the year, and she was just okay, but everyone else in the film is fantastic. Christian Bale deserves another Oscar, but somebody else will probably get it. i will be absolutely shocked if he doesn't get nominated. This is a film for people that want to see an interesting character piece, that is a fictionalized retelling of the ABSCAM scandal of the 70's. One of the most entertaining films of the year, possibly in my top ten, and I think anyone who likes thinking should see this film.
   -L.K
Follow me @TheLukasKrycek
Like me on facebook: Facebook.com/LukasKrycekComedy

Batman Returns


Its been just over a year, since I have been doing this, and I want to bring you a special Christmas themed film review. One of my favorite films, and my favorite Christmas film, Batman Returns. Batman Returns is classic Tim Burton, and what I classify as the final film in the "Tim Burton Trilogy". Not a narrative trilogy, but a spiritual trilogy. The first being Beetlejuice, then Edward Scissorhands. It is sort of an unconventional blockbuster unlike the first Batman film, because it is told through the eyes of an artist, rather than a Hollywood director. This of course was made before Tim Burton is the "joke" he today. I put joke in quotes because Tim Burton isn't what he once was, but he isn't beyond saving (Sweeney Todd, Frankenweenie). There are a lot of really neat things in Batman Returns: a dark and bleak city, great action sequences, and a really cool take on the villains. Yes, it is true that the film is really campy, but I always figured this was Tim Burton's interpretation of the comic book aspect of Batman. I equate it to the Temple of Doom. There are a lot of really stupid moments in Temple of Doom, but there are a lot of dark and violent aspects. It's how I think Burton and Denise Di Novi were able to get away with the dark aspects of the film, like a plot of kidnapping and murdering all the first born children. I prefer Burton's interpretation of Batman more than Nolan's, because Bruce Wayne is conveyed through imagery, and is given to us through the language of cinema, as opposed to Nolan's overt approach. Just the image of Bruce Wayne sitting in his study, alone in the dark, and rises when the bat signal shines on him, tells me all I need to know about Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne is alone in the dark, but Batman shines in the light. Not that I am actually comparing the two franchises. Comparing Nolan's Batman to Tim Burton's Batman, is like comparing the films the Wrestler and Ready To Rumble. One is from a visionary artist, and the other is a blockbuster meant for entertainment. Both Batman interpretations work on their own level, Burton's Batman just works better for me because of the subtlety. All of this is set in the enchanting and snow filled Christmas setting, which perfectly compliments the film's theme of loneliness. And I actually believe that is the theme of the film. The lovelorn secretary, the abandoned child, and of course The Dark Knight, himself.  It all fits together as a film that is half artistic vision, but still a mainstream blockbuster. This is exactly the kind of film I enjoy: anyone can sit down and watch it, but you still appreciate it as a piece of artistic cinema from it's shot composition, production design, costumes, and its very somber score (my favorite score from Danny Elfman). Next time you watch it, look closer at all the detail, and if you haven't seen it, watch it twice.
Merry Christmas
   -L.K
Follow me on twitter @TheLukasKrycek
Like me on facebook: Facebook.com/LukasKrycekComedy

Monday, December 23, 2013

Inside Llewyn Davis


Art imitating life, in its purest form. Inside Llewyn Davis is a very simple film about a man playing folk music in the Greenwich Village scene in the 1960's, and about how life isn't always what we want it to be. We go to movies because its how we wish life was, but sometimes we like a story that we all can relate to. He faces real problems, makes hard decisions, meets strange and unique people, laughs, cries and all the things that real people do in real situations. All the story telling aspects aside, it is one of the best looking movies of the year, if not the most beautiful. It's very somber, beautiful and filled with great music (if you like folk music) and it is the most refreshing film I have seen since Take Shelter. Easily in my top 5 films of the year. It's also nice to see the Coen Brothers doing something that isn't the norm for them. They basically have 2 films; Raising Arizona and Blood Simple, and have been doing different forms of those films (Hudsucker Proxy and Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Miller's Crossing, Burn After Reading and The Man Who Wasn't There). Not that I am calling the Coen's a "one trick pony", but they clearly know what kind of films they like making and never in a thousand years would I imagine them making something like this, and I am glad they did, because this is film making at it's best and I can't imagine this concept being this perfect from anyone else. Because the Coen's know that their is a balance to everything, they get everything right. I recommend it to lover's of film, music, and someone who just wants a more real story about a real person with real struggles.
   -L.K
Follow me on twitter @TheLukasKrycek
Like me on facebook: Facebook.com/LukasKrycekComedy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues


I don't have much to say about this. I hate Will Ferrell, and I never found his over acting entertaining. I always found it annoying, so every scene that Ferrell flew solo was agony for me. If you like Will Ferrell, you will enjoy this film. I laughed a few times (because it does have some genuinely funny moments), Paul Rudd and Steve Carell are great, but other than that, I was pretty bored. I will say the last action scene is amazing and one of my favorite scenes of the year, and I would watch that over and over. But all in all, it was just sub par to me.
Follow me on Twitter @TheLukasKrycek
Like me on facebook: Facebook.com/LukasKrycekComedy

Sunday, December 8, 2013

12 Years A Slave


12 Years a Slave is a film about a free black man who gets kidnapped and sold into slavery, for 12 years. Steve McQueen is England's answer to Paul T. Anderson, so every single aspect of this film is brilliant: A subtle score that perfectly enhances the sense of hopelessness in each scene. Incredible performances that heighten the tension, emotion and realism. Beautiful cinematography that craft tremendously powerful images. Memorable characters, that don't even get out shined among its incredibly talented cast, and basically Chiwetel Ejifor's solo act. I like that this film paints a picture of slavery that isn't as black and white. It showed that not all slavers were evil, and it was just life for some of them. Also, slaves were not treated as people, so there are some pretty horrendous scenes. This movie kind of feels like Schindler's List if it was from Ben Kingsley's perspective. Its an incredibly amazing story, and even at its 2 hour 15 minute run time, it never feels boring. The thing that really does it for me, as no surprise, is Michael Fassbender. His performance is so amazing, and it may be his best, or at least on par with shame. He is pure evil. Many characters in this film are bad people, but that is basically because they are raised "knowing" that slaves are worse than cattle, but Fassbender is a whole something else. It really is one of the best movies of the year and I am really pulling for some Oscars nods for McQueen, Fassbender and Ejifor.
And Benedict Cumberbatch is a hunk
    -L.K
Follow me on twitter @TheLukasKrycek
Like me on facebook Facebook.com/LukasKrycekComedy

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dallas Buyer's Club


Dallas Buyers Club is a film based on the true story of Ron Woodruff, a total piece of shit, who gets diagnosed with HIV, and decides to do something about it. He seeks out treatments for HIV and finds drugs that aren't approved by the FDA. The story is pretty awesome; just a guy making a profit off of people dying, but ends up making a difference in the world of AIDS/HIV research. What really gets this movie working, is Matthew McCaughnahey. Matthew McCaughnahey is a fucking badass. People don't really realize that he is a tremendous dramatic actor, but he just gets typecast in stupid movies, sometimes. His career isn't defined by Fool's Gold, Failure to Launch and Ghost of Girlfriend's Past. It isn't his fault he just has sick abs. Nay, the sickest abs. I do sense, at least, an Oscar nomination. He was as good as, if not better than Nick Bruhl in Rush. I do think Bruce Dern is going to get the Oscar this year, as a courtesy, but I really think McCaughnahey deserves it. He wasn't the only star, Jared Leto, playing his business partner, was so fucking phenominal, that at times, I wasn't sure who I liked more. Ultimately, McCaughnahey proved to be the more charismatic performance. At times, it isn't that easy to watch, it's gut wrenching, very emotional, funny at times and full of amazing performances, Dallas Buyers Club is in my top 5 of the year, so far
   -L.K
Follow me on twitter @TheLukasKrycek
Like me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/LukasKrycekComedy

Monday, December 2, 2013

Nebraska


Nebraska is basically a happy version of Eraserhead. It's a nice piece of Americana. Nebraska is the story of a grumpy, lonely old man named Woody, who thinks he won $1,000,000 in a sweepstakes, so he decides to head from Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska. His wife, and both of his sons know it isn't real, so they try to convince Woody to give it up. His son David, (played by Will Forte) decides to humor him and drives him to Lincoln. This is where the story begins. This film has a lot going on. Its about family, loneliness, coming to terms with age, and it is filmed beautifully in black and white. Not everything looks good in black and white, but this film wouldn't have the same impact in color. The overall film is shot in a very simple way that perfectly compliments its blue collar scenery, and I feel it is anything but pretentious. Bruce Dern is the star of the film, but Will Forte is the anchor. While I don't believe that Will Forte will win an Oscar, but his performance was very natural and charismatic. The thing that Alexander Payne really excels at is great characters, and this film had no shortage of that. The characters were all very memorable, and this portrayal of Blue Collar America was nowhere near as offensive as Beautiful creatures. The performances were good, it was touching, sweet, very funny, and it all wrapped up with a perfect ending, that was kind of atypical of Alexander Payne. It is one of the best movies of the year, but is still not as good as Rush
   -L.K
Follow me on Twitter @TheLukasKrycek
Like me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LukasKrycekComedy