PHIL/GEEK/PHIL


Enjoy your Flight
July 28, 2008, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Randomness, TV | Tags: , , ,


The best couscous movie ever !

Just saw one of the best films I’ve seen in years. It’s called La Graine et le Mulet . It’s simply a marvelous, human, humane, true, scarring, grabbing film. No wonder it won all major french awards and is on its way to win many many more.

The movie is two hours and a half long and I swear, It feels like 35 minutes and you leave the movie angry that you didn’t get 2 more hours to spend with these people.

The characters are so rich, interesting, layered and, most of all, so genuine. I was so moved by this simple story of an old construction worker who wants to “recycle” himself by opening a couscous restaurant on a boat. The movie is full of 10-minute-pointless-dialogues about nothing (think seinfeld without the jokes), 20 minute belly dance scenes, and moments of utter silence. Sounds boring ? How could THAT be a great film ? Well, there you have it : a film who manages to shatter the line between the auteur film and the mainstream thriller. Yes, the film is so suspensful, that you end up asking yourself how/why you were on the edge of your seat during pointless blabber at the dinner table. It has everything to do with the brilliance of the script, the genius of the directing and acting and the finesse of the camera work.

Don’t miss that film if you call yourself a film enthusiast. If you don’t call your self that, don’t take it as a reason not to go see it ! 🙂



Viva !
July 21, 2008, 10:09 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve listened to the new album many times now and can safely say that I like it.

I was never a big fan of Coldplay but, as I said it in a previous post, I’ve always respected their role in the music scene : bring the underground forward to the mainstream. They do it again here, by having an album full of rather progressive songs that are somwhat demanding from the audience, especially if you consider how easy to listen their previous albums where.

The gem of the album is a song called 42, which manages, in just about 4 minutes, to be a full-blown progressive song, with 5 major switches of feeling/melody/time. Another highlight would be Yes, that suddenly fades out and back in for a whirlwind of niceness. Other highlights include the groovy, RnB influenced Lost? and Violet Hill, the first single off the album.

I’m glad coldplay saved their carreer and I cannot end this post without clearly giving credit to Brian Eno, whose production work on the album is outstanding and who’s influence is felt in every note. He saved coldplay from the abyss they were in after the disastrous X&Y.

Enjoy 42 and Lost! these two songs from a live performance on the daily show…



The Batman is Alive and Well.

*** MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*****


Saw it last night. loved it.
It took me like 45 minutes to get sucked in properly, but after that, I was totally taken.

Highlights :

  • Every scene with the joker. I thought Heath Ledger’s performance could’ve been overhyped, but it wasn’t! he deserves every praise he’s getting. Most notable are the hospital scene, the prison scene and the now-infamous knife pencil disappearing act.
  • The good/evil themes explored very very intelligently. They didn’t feel old and overdone. They actually felt fresh. Batman’s dilemmas are actually interesting to follow.
  • The many plot twists : Two-Face becoming part of the plot, Rachel dying, Gordon’s “death” etc…
  • Everything that remotely has to do with makeup.
  • Maggie Gyllenhall replacing lamo Katie Holmes. Thank god !
  • Morgan Freeman’s hilarious facial expressions
  • Christian bale : best batman of the bunch.

Still can’t get over the batman voice, the numerous cityscape shots, the lame sonar thing and the mayor’s eyeliner, but I won’t use it against them 🙂

Overall, a very satisfying film that I would recommend for a good night out.

Note : Saw it in Imax. Unfortunatly, only a couple scenes are made for Imax. They’re nice, but not that impressive. So it’s not really worth it…



Robot pleasure
July 17, 2008, 10:00 am
Filed under: Movies | Tags: , , , , ,

I went into Wall-E with very high expectations. Every Pixar movie I saw uptil then had somehow managed to top the previous one and, after Ratatouille, I was very skeptical about Pixar’s ability to surpass themselves once again. So you can imagine how shocked I was to see them go in a totally unexpected direction : the art film.

Yes, I said it. Art film. Because that’s what Wall-E feels like : A modern Metropolis, a simpler 2001: A Space Oddysey, with a hint of E.T. , all well-mixed in a perfectly balanced pixar-sauce. Yes, these comparisons are huge, but frankly that’s what it felt like. This movie is what Spielberg’s A.I. failed to be : a modern masterpiece about the future of mankind, the dangers of current human behavior and the looming of the robot age. The film has barely any dialogue! You’ll be stunned by how well it bypasses that fact and you have to salute whoever greenlit this project at Disney. This was a risk, a huge one; but one worth taking.

There is no need to mention that the look of the film is top-notch. However, added to that is a particularly inspired cinematography that captures the essence of the story so precisely and proves that animation too can be sensible and personal.

The directing, by Andrew Stanton, is outstanding. It’s not everyday that you notice the director in animation films. These movies usually feel so author-less but not this one- this is a highly personal film, and the vision is far from generic. Speaking of vision, this is not your typical children movie. The subject is apocalyptic, strikingly approrpriate in today’s political and environmental landscapes, and most of all, it’s relevant.

I read that somewhere : Daring and traditional, groundbreaking and familiar, apocalyptic and sentimental, Wall-E gains strength from embracing contradictions that would destroy other films. I totally agree with that statement: Thanks to one of the best scripts in animation history, these contradiction work so well together and it’s hard not to be in awe.

I can go on talking and talking about that film. It would be easier if you just do yourself a favor, let go of your preconceived anti-hollywood notions, and go see that film. You won’t regret it.

Note : I will throw in an early Oscar prediction : Wall-E will get a nomination for Best Picture this year, making it one of the very few animation films to ever make that category (I think only Beauty and the Beast made the cut before). I also smell nominations in the Best Director and Best cinematography categories. We’ll see if I’m right next january 😉