MEXICO VIAJE

MEXICO VIAJE
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Bienvenido, Welcome, Bienvenue

Hope you enjoy my travel blog, comments are not necessary but much appreciated.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A few thoughts on Interstellar

Verdict on Interstellar: A gorgeous at times trippy ride through our known universe and beyond but filled with too many WTH moments and plot holes bigger than the Grand Canyon. Laudable that Christopher Nolan and his co-writing brother wanted to tackle the big question of LOVE as a thread bigger and stronger than anything else the world has to offer in particular the love between a parent and a child yet wrapping that in a lot of mumbo jumbo quasi scientific jargon or perhaps even barely scientific to the uninitiated, which is most of us, feels like a bit of a cheat. If we don't understand too well we'll simply assume that they know what they are talking about and won't question too vigorously. That sort of thinking bugs me because it points to a desire to remain deliberately opaque in order to float above the viewer's understanding. It didn't really work for me, I couldn't leave my critical brain behind let's face it a lot of the film simply did not make sense, black holes, gravity, time warps, "possessed" library, tesseract etc...What did make sense was the bond across the distance although even that left me strangely detached. I should have been responding in a more emotional way, either the film was too manipulative on that score or I've become progressively desensitized, still not sure.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Travels And A Little Bit of This And That: Get ON UP - very short take on James Brown biopic

My Travels And A Little Bit of This And That: Get ON UP - very short take on James Brown biopic: For a film about the hardest working man in show business, the godfather of soul and x other number of monikers this film was surprisingly l...

Get ON UP - very short take on James Brown biopic

For a film about the hardest working man in show business, the godfather of soul and x other number of monikers this film was surprisingly lackluster and I'm not sure why.  The acting was top notch throughout by both main and supporting actors.  There was something a little schizophrenic about this film, at times it felt right on the money and at other times it completely let me down.  Can be summarized thus:  it's both dazzling and boring in equal measures, at least it was for me.

Ultimately it was a meh for me never really liked James Brown only like a few of his songs, not surprisingly one of the standout sequences, for me, was the performance of "This Is A Man's World" which given the volatile nature of his relationship with women turns out to be quite ironic indeed..  Story is told in episodic fashion, not chronological which would have been OK if there had been more emphasis on Brown's creative processes which were totally given short shrift in this film. There was little in terms of the civil rights background and struggles  which were going on at the time except for one totally gratuitous scene staged more for effect than for enlightenment. His relationship with women was also poorly done, still don't know how many wives, kids he had etc....he was an abuser but that was barely touched upon. It's significant that the one time Brown hits one of his wives the director chooses to only show the after effect of the hitting so as not to somehow taint Brown's image.
 Chadwick Boseman was phenomenal as Brown although he was difficult to understand, he could have kept the cadences of Brown's speech, which were quite particular, and placed a lot more emphasis on refining the  elocution. It's frustrating when one has to fight to understand the main actor throughout most of the film. Also a stand out was Nelson Ellis as the long suffering band mate Bobby Byrd who only gave up on Brown towards the middle of Brown's career when the singer was at the height of his success and received rapturously in France.  Felt that Dan Akryod did an OK job as Ben Bart, Brown's manager, a mere sleepwalking role for him with a paycheck at the end or maybe I'm being cynical. James Brown's legacy as a musical prodigy still holds.  He was an uncompromising genius when it came to his music, would have loved to feel the beat more in my heart rather than be told about feeling it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

My Travels And A Little Bit of This And That: Lucy film review The Beginning of the End

My Travels And A Little Bit of This And That: Lucy film review The Beginning of the End: Lucy the latest opus by director Luc Besson telegraphs its lofty ambitions pretty early on,Lucy our oldest female ancestor is the underlying...

Lucy film review The Beginning of the End

Lucy the latest opus by director Luc Besson telegraphs its lofty ambitions pretty early on,Lucy our oldest female ancestor is the underlying heroine of  the film which begins and ends with her....sort of since at that point she and the other flesh and blood current Lucy have morphed into one all encompassing consciousness.  I did say lofty in my opening sentence.  Besson is the French equivalent of Michael Bay with a Gallic twist, he's a little more "intellectual"  in his pursuits which doesn't necessarily mean he's successful in his various filmic endeavors some are pure pulp fiction and some are Lucy.
Through a series of unfortunate circumstances and choice of lousy friend/boyfriend Lucy who just wants to have a good time in Taipei while pretending to study (mid to low IQ- lol) ends up an unwilling mule with her stomach sewed shot filled with a new designer drug of an electric blue hue destined for the voracious appetites of the European market.  Three other male mules are in a similar predicament and will all be landing in different European cities to unleash their illicit "treasure".  It's never made entirely clear why Lucy ends up in a cell somewhere possibly for the enjoyment of low-level jailers before being sent out, that much is hinted at with the lecherous looks and groping.  In the process of resisting her freshly opened stomach is kicked and the drugs released in her system.  These drugs have the power to increase brain capacity from zero to hero ok maybe not zero I'm exaggerating for effect here and maybe not quite hero either although Lucy does take her revenge on those who have wronged her which includes the main bad guy played by Choi Min-sik with scenery chewing relish.
With the experimental drug coursing through her system Lucy's brain cannibalizes itself and everything around her,neurons firing exponentially till she's absorbed all that is knowable in the world and returned to a state of pure awareness.
The film opens with a central question:  All these years of evolution and what have we done to the world, this followed by a quick montage of positive and less desirable outcomes. Here Besson won't get much argument from me, the bad far outweigh the good  look at the state of the world right now and be afraid be very afraid.  At this precise moment in history things are going to shit pretty fast and the end is nowhere in sight, it's downhill all the way.  Does Lucy answers this fundamental question, i.e. does increased brain power to 100 make a difference well it turns out it's pretty awesome and fun what will at the telekinesis,telepathy,supernatural stuff and general mind fuck control but that's about it, the basic question is left unanswered and it's back to square one with the original Lucy for what we can suppose will only be a repeat.  It turns out all Besson wanted was a kick ass woman in a gorgeous body with some pretty trippy pictures thrown in, your brain on fake cinematic acid no more wiser or smarter.
Quite a few things broke the spell for me along the way.  Lucy's phone call to her maman while being operated on to get the drugs out of her system, drugs which she will  later have renowned scientists pumping back intravenously so she can get the full payload and achieve the desired 100.  Morgan Freeman lends his voice and not much else to supply the desired gravitas and make it sound like it's real science with lofty goals and not a matinĂ©e popcorn movie.  Another shot really got to me.  Lucy on her way to the airport changes her hair color and style  with a flick of her wrist from blond to black, why stop there and not change her whole appearance, the point is it's a gratuitous shot in a film filled with them add that to a shot of her feet shod in Leboutins with the signature red signaling that there's always time to shop for the best and most chic regardless of brain power.
I wasn't bored, the running time is short Besson likes to hit you fast and hard.  Had to admit it was fun seeing a woman hitting back for a change too bad it takes superhuman brain power in order for that to happen, we're royally screwed if that's what it takes.  Always did have a fondness for Besson's earlier female incarnations in Nikita and The Fifth Element, for that reason and Scarlett Johanssson he deserves a pass, recommended with some reservations, it's perhaps the dumbest film about increased brain power around.