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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

News From My Comrades...

Saw this on Obenson's blog yesterday. It is the supposed top 10 films of 2008 as per Time magazine. Do you agree?

2. Synecdoche, New York
3. My Winnipeg
4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
5. Milk
6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7. Slumdog Millionaire
8. Iron Man
9. Speed Racer
10. Encounters at the End of the World

Considering I haven't seen half of these films yet, I won't comment too much. But isn't looking good as I have absolutely no idea why The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and Speed Racer (?!) are on there.

For those of you that have or haven't seen Cadillac records, feel free to check out my beloved Sergio's review of it HERE. Following is his review of "Seven Pounds" with Will Smith:


I've seen Seven Pounds and I'm sure you and everyone would like to know how it is.

First of all you know that I CAN'T STAND Will Smith. The guy just grates on my nerves. His enormous popularity just puzzles me. I guess because he's so inoffensive, so aggressively eager to please, so relentlessly happy and friendly that everyone just likes him. The safest black man on the planet. Even safer than Tyler Perry in a dress. I sorely miss the old days of a mean, ultra masculine Jim Brown killing white guys and banging every chick regardless of color who came across his path.

But having said that and getting off my chest. I have to admit that I really liked Seven Pounds. SAY WHAT??? First Beyonce in Cadillac Records, now this? This surely most be the sign of the apocalypse! But the film is really quite different from anything Smith has done before. A serious, thoughtful tear jerker with some real depth with something actually to say unlike Benjamin Button which snoozes its way for nearly three hours with nothing interesting or important to say except that make up effects have advanced pretty nicely over the last ten years, but CGI effects still suck.

The structure of the film is quite interesting and I think the best thing about it. It's mostly told in a non-linear fractured structure going backwards and forwards in time making it a challenge to figure out what's going on, though believe me, everything is eventually made clear. I don't want to give away too much of the plot which is the reason why Sony Pictures has been rather quiet about it. Basically it tells the story of a guy (Smith) who because of some personal tragedy decides to help a group of strangers of people in need. There are two big plot twists, one which takes place halfway which explains up confusing aspect regarding Smith's character and the final one towards the end which explains everything that you've seen before including the title of the movie makes quite a powerful impact.

Personally I think Smith gives the best performance I've seen him gave in a film, way better than his overrated turn in the equally overrated The Pursuit of Happyness and the the disappointing Ali. Granted Smith is not a naturally gifted dramatic actor like, say, Jeffrey Wright or Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In serious dramatic moments, like in Pounds, you can see him "working" to get the right effect, but overall it's a solid compelling performance. No doubt he's getting an Oscar nomination for this film. I'm also surprised by Rosario Dawson's performance in the film. I've never been crazy about her either mainly because of her previous comments denying that she's black. You know that she's Irish-Chinese-Asian-Hispanic-everything-else-under-the-sun-except-black-God-forbid-anything-but-that! but she really gives an outstanding touching performance in this film as well.

Hey look, every time I see a film I always go in hoping to like (or love) it despite at times who directed it or who's in it is someone I don't like (with the exception of a certain cross dressing no-talent) and sometimes even if I not wild about someone involved in the film I get really surprised and this is the case here. I really recommend Seven Pounds. Will wonders ever cease?


From IW: Sergio likes a Will Smith movie? And he thought Bey was OK in Cadillac Records? I think it might be time for all of us to invest in bomb shelters, as surely this is the end of days....I guess we're even about me liking "Soul Men" huh, Serg? haha

Since this seems to be big up Sergio day, he sent this over to me is the movie poster for "Notorious":


Villager said...

I have seen exactly none of the Top 10 flicks you mention at the top of the post. Quite frankly, I haven't even heard of 5 or 6 of them. I don't even think they are in my NetFlix queue.

It tells you something about me to learn that I'm currently watching the 'Foyle's War' series via my one-at-a-time Netflix account (smile)...

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

Have you actually seen Speed Racer? A lot of the negative buzz I've seen for it comes from people who didn't even bother to watch. It's certainly cartoony and strange, and I wouldn't expect it to appeal to everyone, but it absolutely has my vote for most innovative movie of the year.

SolShine7 said...

Speed Racer? No way! Slumdog Millionaire should definitely be on there though. And I can't wait to see Seven Pounds.

Anonymous said...

i am happy to read a review of seven pounds early. i watched a few new clips from ben button and it looks like a good nap.

you had a post that mentioned gab. union as an actress. i agree with you she is not doing anything special. in cadillac records she just didn't really have to be there. i mean then on top of that columbus short considering her like a mom was just too much when they had her looking about 20 in the movie. oh yea what made me think of this was that taraji p. henson is getting a lot of work. i mean that baby boy role was meant for her. in everything else she hasn't yet broke from that loud mouth thing she has going. i mean she is cool don't get me wrong but she has yet to be remarkable. these two ladies are getting the most work. they are just playing black women though. can someone give them a challenging role as a black woman.

The Obenson Report said...

RE: Time Magazine's top 10 - I recommend seeing "Synecdoche New York," "My Winnipeg" and "Milk." All 3 are quite unique in their individual ways, and challenging, but very worthwhile, and will leave you mostly inspired.

To franzeska - I did see "Speed Racer," and didn't at all care for it for several reasons. Innovative? Sure. But an innovative movie doesn't necessarily make for a good one. Call it a failed experiment, but I applaud the risk taken. And it's presumptuous of you to assume that those commenting on the movie haven't seen it, simply because their thoughts on it don't gel with yours.

I'll be seeing "Seven Pounds" next week, albeit it grudgingly, and will share my thoughts after. But like I said previously, I think someone has hijacked Sergio's account and is posting comments deviously in his name. Soon, he'll be praising Tyler Perry movies!

Tafari said...

I saw 2 of the 10 movies listed & none of them are notable in my opinion!

I am so/so on Will Smith & I am checking this flick out. was a little disappointed with Hancock but oh well.

Not seeing Cadillac Records because the subject is not appealing & it has Beyonce. That alone is a deal breaker!

Not seeing Notorious either. I loves me some Biggie but I am not into the gangster/drug dealer turned rapped bullshit.

Perhaps I will see it in anther lifetime.

On a white cinema note, I'm looking forward to Tom Cruise movie this weekend though.


sdg1844 said...

I haven't seen any of the films on the top 10 list and probably won't. LOL.

I haven't paid to see Will in a film since the first Bad Boys with Martin and the streak will continue.

I'm looking forward to seeing if Sasha Fierce's performance is as decent as Serio says. :-)

madame z said...

Ironman definitely deserves to be on that list. Speed Racer? Errr, ummm, not so much. WALL-E and Ironman are the onlyiest ones on the list I've seen; felt both were excellent :)

I want to see Howlin' Wolf. He was a character...different. I'm remembering the stills and film of him on Ken Burn's Jazz...or was that Scorcese's Blues? Either way, definitely and interesting looking fellow with an interesting 'voice' and stature. Love Wright. Love Mos. I'm recalling from the trailer Beyonce saying, "What are you gonna do about it...white boy." *cringes* But other bits I've seen she seemed legit. *saves movie to netflix list*

Seven Pounds...I have no intial interest in seeing. Especially coming off having viewed Hancock this past weekend. One has nothing to do with the other, but still... *adds to queue*

Notorious - no way. no interest whatsoever in this piece. :(

Invisible Woman said...

@villager: now i'm gonna have to invetigate "foyle's war"...

@franzeska: did see speed racer with my son, and believe me, it was a chore. i agree with obenson--innovative does not always = good. but as i said in my post today, perspective means a lot. in other words, different strokes for different folks.

@solshine: i am going to see slumdog millionaire this weekend; let me know what you think when you see it.

@mlmovies: i agree about taraji. sergio says she is good in that movie coming out in Jan. with Morris Chestnut, so we'll see if she can actually bring the goods, as like you said, Baby Boy was meant for her.

Invisible Woman said...

@obenson: i'll be seeing those films on your recommendation as i trust your taste in film (for the most part, haha!)

"I'll be seeing "Seven Pounds" next week, albeit it grudgingly"
Me too, for reals.

@tafari: if you can see that tom cruise flick, you can see cadillac records! bey is not even in it as much as you would think (thank god)

@sdg1844: sasha is decent--see my review today to see why.

No lovee Will Smith? boo :-( you've missed out on some really enjoyable films!

I've heard some good things about some of those top 10--try to at least check out a few of them--at least Iron Man!

@madame z: hold on to your memories of howlin' wolf in those other pics---Cadillac Records won't add much to it at all.