A First Impressions Anecdote of: The Disappearance of Alice Creed.
The film starts with two men prepping an apartment, buying supplies, putting at least 4 locks in every door, covering the windows shut with wooden panels and making the bedroom sound-proof. Within the first 20 minutes of the film, in which there is no dialogue, these two men successfully kidnap Alice Creed and tie her down on the bed. These first 20 minutes of the film are important because it sets up everything, the tone of the film, the haunting score and the ever increasing tension.
The plot of this film is very simple and seen countless times. A girl is kidnap and the kidnapers are demanding money, or else she’ll die. But what makes The Disappearance of Alice Creed unlike other films with the similar plot, is the never ending twists and its unpredictability. Each new twist is presented smoothly and effortlessly, which gives them an even bigger shock value. This is mostly thanks to the film’s excellent cast of three. The kidnapers are played by the highly overlooked Eddie Marsan, who is the leader of the two, and Martin Compston. Eddie Marsan should get a lot of recognition for this, his performance as Vic is downright terrifying and surprisingly vulnerable. He is a villain that you actually feel sorry for. And Martin Compston who plays Danny is as unpredictable as the film. The title character, Alice Creed, is played by Gemma Arterton, who is by far the most famous person in the film. If anyone had any doubts about her acting skills, which includes me, can put those doubts aside because her performance here is flawless. She gives a great portrayal of a girl in desperation, a girl who even after is humiliated and beaten is still fighting to stay alive. Without giving too much away, you’ll notice that as the film progresses and truths are revealed from each character, that only one them is exactly as he seems. The rest will keep surprising you until the very end.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed is a first class thriller in which everything works. The tension, directing, acting, score, script and cinematography come together perfectly to make an overused concept original. It is pretty graphic at times, making everything feel that much more real and terrifying.
A First Impressions Anecdote of: The Kids Are All Right.
The Kids Are All Right centers on a lesbian couple and their kids, and what occurs when those kids contact their moms’ sperm donor. The donor is called Paul (Mark Ruffalo), the moms are Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), the son is Laser (Josh Hutcherson) and the daughter is Joni (Mia Wasikowska). As the film progresses, Paul becomes more and more involved in the family, which causes issues to start to sprung up and consequently jeopardize the family.
You’ll notice from the very beginning that many scenes are filled with hilarious awkwardness, specially when each of them meets Paul for the very first time. That was one of the biggest surprises for me about this film, it is very funny. Unlike other films about family relationships, The Kids Are All Right is extremely honest and the 1st class acting makes every character feel very much like a real person. Everyone here gives a standout performance, specially Annette Benning and Julianne Moore whose portrayal of a gay couple is extremely believable and holds the film together. At one point when things go wrong between the moms, Julianne Moore gives a speech that is very powerful and adequately sums up how hard it is to maintain a family. Her performance is vulnerable, sincere and heart-breaking. But the biggest surprise for me was Mark Ruffalo, he is truly one of the most overlooked actors around. He’s portrayal of Paul is both funny and heavy-hearted as he tries to influence his newly found kids with his ideals and views, and selfishly gets too close to Julianne Moore’s character. Yes, Paul is what damages the family and almost breaks them apart, but he’s involvement is key because it brought up a lot of issues within the family that would otherwise not been dealt with. I must make a note about the soundtrack, it is surprisingly amazing. The director made a great selection of songs that both magnify the emotional toll of the film and help ground the film.
The film has a lot of heart and when things start to go wrong between the moms, you genuinely feel concerned for them and root for them to work things out. I personally love a film that can both make me laugh and cry, and The Kids Are All Right is by far one of the best films I’ve seen this year. It’s a beautiful and very real portrayal of a modern family reaching a place where they need to work out their issues, in order to become a stronger and more together unit.
Every song makes you feel something, some more so than others. They give you energy, they make you cry, they give you peace, etc. Don’t Look Back belongs to the type that gives you peace. All you’ll feel while listening to this song is calmness and soothing feeling of peace. It’s very simple song with beautiful lyrics and production that achieves so much.
“I go to sleep alone, and wake up alone. I take walks, I work until I’m tired. I watch the wind play with the trash that’s been under the snow all winter. Everything seems simple until you think about it. Why is love intensified by absence?”— Audrey Niffenegger (via obliteratedheart) (via nidgemmm)
“We live amid swarms of people, yet there is a vast distance between people, a distance that words cannot bridge. No longer do our lives depend upon the soil, the sun, the rain, or the wind; we live by the grace of jobs and the brutal logic of jobs. We do not know this world, or what makes it move.”— Richard Wright, 12 Million Black Voices (via augustine336) (via jadorelavie) (via nidgemmm)
A few days ago I bought the latest issue of GQ, in which there is an interview of Sylvester Stallone. I’m not a fan of his films, as a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any. I know of him the same way most people do, he is Rambo and Rocky, nothing more and nothing less. After reading this interview I felt bad of how wrong I was, of how ignorant I have been. Sylvester Stallone is a misunderstood artist in every sense of the word. He has written 8 scripts and created two of the most iconic action figures in films, he also writes poetry and paints. But above all else, you’ll notice as I noticed, that Mr. Stallone is a hopeless romantic. Not a menacing or angry person, but a truly warm person who has lost the respect of many and has become a joke. It’s a shame things like these happen to caring people, life is like that though.
I’ve never been moved by an article before, never have I connected so rapidly with an interviewee. It surprised me too believe me. Who knew an interview about Sylvester Stallone would have this effect on me? It did though and I’m happy for it, because it has made think about many things in my life. More specifically about being misunderstood, about being this person who is much more than what’s above the surface. But no matter what, most people will always perceive you differently, they’ll see what they think you are and not what you truly are.
One of the things they asked Mr. Stallone was whether he is a religious man. He answered that he is a spiritual man and that he doesn’t belong to any institution per-se. I can relate to that completely! I believe being spiritual goes above and beyond any form of religion and institution. It’s always nice to read about someone who shares your believes. I guess its human nature to feel a sense of belonging, to feel that ‘yeah that person understands things like you do.’
I really admire and respect Sylvester Stallone. He is a very interesting human being that I would love to hang out with. It may go without saying, but I think everyone should go and read this interview. If you don’t like him or find him interesting, the interview will change your view of him. And who knows? Perhaps you’ll be moved as I was.
“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary.”— Cecil Beaton (Submitted by: kate-kate-kate) (via quote-book) (via jadorelavie) (via nidgemmm)
Let me start off by saying that this is long post. I have a lot to say about the following songs and felt that it was appropriate to go in-dept with each one. Each one has different story attached it, but they all share something which is that I love them and will not get tired of them.
2010 has been, for me, an okay year for music. Even though a lot of artists have released new material, not all of them are making genuinely great music. But the few that are, are not only making great music but also very memorable and honest music, which I enjoy a lot.
So anyway, without further ado here’s my favorite songs of 2010 so far:
10. The High Road by Broken Bells —> I knew about Broken Bells months before they released this song. I read about them in RollingStone magazine and became extremely interested only because Danger Mouse was involved. To my surprise, the thing I love most about Broken Bells, and this song in particular, is James Mercer from The Shins. I’m not a fan of The Shins, I’ve never heard anything from them actually, but I think he has such a refreshing voice and fits really well with the whole production and vibe of this song. Specially the chorus, the chorus is brilliant and it’s what keeps me coming back to The High Road.
9. The Blackest Lily by Corinne Bailey Rae —> I’ll be honest, I hated Corinne Bailey Rae’s first album. It annoyed the hell out of me. But once I heard from a friend that her new album was surprisingly amazing I decided to check it out, to give her another chance. Also I learned about the story behind her last album, which is that her husband died of an accidental overdose. I’ve always said that sadness and tragedy brings up the best in artists, and Corinne Bailey Rae is a great example of that. Her album is really heart-breaking, and I could feel the hints of sadness in each song. Even this one that is somewhat up-beat, you can hear the strong emotional toll in her voice and I think that’s short of amazing.
8. Thieves by She & Him —> Even though Volume Two is nowhere near as good as Volume One, it does contain one of their best songs. In my opinion, Thieves is easily one of their top 5 songs. I remember that the first time I heard this song, I understood exactly what she was singing about and that’s probably why I love it so much. Most of the times you hear a song, you like it and then you start singing along. But you don’t really pay attention to exactly what is it that you’re singing about. It happens to me a lot, but with this song it was the complete opposite. I knew all the lyrics after the second listen and got it. Plus, Zooey Deschanel has one of the most beautiful voice in music, which adds more depth and emotionality to her songs.
7. Power by Kanye West —> I’m so happy Kanye West went back to his old self, the auto-tune album was good and all but we all needed his bad-ass egotistic self. One of the things that keeps surprising me about Kanye West is how much creativity and originality he has, it’s literally endless. I love the production and vibe of this song, and the lyrics are genius: “I don’t need your pussy, bitch, I’m on my own dick.” Makes me laugh every time, I mean who comes up with those kinds of things? The ending of the song is a bit odd and disturbing, singing about suicide and having a beautiful death. Odd but somehow he makes it all work in the most awesome of ways, and I cannot wait for the whole album
6. You Lost Me by Christina Aguilera —> Christina Aguilera is my favorite vocalist of all time, to me her voice is utterly perfect and goes beyond every other voice. Her voice’s brilliance at times gets lost on her up-beat songs, but when she sings ballads and low tempo songs you can feel every emotion. In this song her voice entangles you and you can’t help but feel her pain and heart-break. Since I heard it live in American Idol, You Lost Me became my favorite song of hers and months after it still holds that position.
5. XXXO by M.I.A. —> M.I.A. is one of those rare artists who have found a niche. She literally has no competition, because no one can do what she does and even if someone tries to imitate her sound they fail. She has her own style of music and what I really love about her is that she keeps evolving. Constantly trying new things and experimenting with new themes and sounds. By far one of the most unique artists around and her albums just keep getting better and better. XXXO is the catchiest song on this list, from your first listen you’ll want to play it again and again.
4. Soldier of Love by Sade —> You should’ve seen me when this song first came out, I was so obsessed with it. Soldier of Love was the only thing I listened to for weeks and weeks. Even though I had heard songs by Sade before, this song and this album were my formal introduction to her. I really like her whole low tempo vibe, it’s awesome soothing music done in a 1st class manner. Sade is also like M.I.A. in the sense that no one can do what she does better than she does. She is at her very best, which makes sense since she has been on the business for more than 30 years. This is a pro who knows exactly how to create beautiful music with meaningful lyrics.
3. I Am Not A Robot by Marina & The Diamonds —> Marina & The Diamonds is by far the biggest surprise for me this year. I found her album by accident, listened to the whole thing and thought it was pretty good. But then something happened, a few days passed after I first listened to it and for some reason I kept singing the chorus of I Am Not A Robot. It was a day and night thing, I could not get that chorus out of my head. It reached a point were I was actually extremely annoyed by it, but that was until I saw the music video for it. That music video, which is pretty simple, made that song an instant classic for me. I can’t listen to the song without seeing her face singing it. Now no matter how many times I listen to it I don’t get annoyed or tired. As a matter of fact when i do listen to it I find myself unable to stop. What can I say? I Am Not A Robot is a perfect example of pop music at it’s very best.
2. Baptism by Crystal Castles —> It took a while for Crystal Castles’ new album to grow on me, mostly because I believe that you have to be in a specific mood to listen to Crystal Castles. And also the album was very different from their debut album, the songs were more distorted and crazy. But I fell in love with this song from the first listen, it literally has a power over me unlike any other song. When I listen to it I feel energized and like jumping all around like a crazy person. Baptism is my favorite song by them and it is the reason why I love their new album. How can you not listen to it without going all apeshit? It’s impossible.
1. Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon) by Gorillaz —> It was a bit difficult to decide whether this song or Baptism would be the number one, but after giving this one a few more listens it all became clear. Empire Ants is not only my favorite song of 2010, but it is also my favorite song by Gorillaz. It just goes beyond everything they’ve ever done and it has become, at least to me, pure perfection. The production, vibe, vocals, guest appearance by Little Dragon all fit perfectly. I may not like Plastic Beach, their last album, but this song is what keeps telling me to come back to the album and keep giving it more chances. After probably 10 more chances I’ve grown to appreciate the album a bit more, but I still don’t like it that much. But I bet you that I’ll keep giving it more and more chances until someday I finally enjoy the whole thing. I’m going to see Gorillaz this october and I am anxiously awaiting to listen to this song live, that’s going to make my year.
If you read the whole thing I congratulate you and thank you. I know, it a was really long one. But I hope my description and feelings for these songs give you incentive to check them out, if you haven’t already.