Author Archives: leerobertadams
Like many people of my age, I loved a good John Hughes movie growing up, but never considered that there might be any subtext to his films. After all, he was a director who made a career writing, producing and directing frothy, fun, mainstream flicks aimed primarily at younger audiences.
However, I only saw The Breakfast Club for the first time recently, and the touchy-feely story of teen angst was instantly my equivalent of Nada’s special shades in John Carpenter’s They Live! – suddenly I saw the innate conservatism behind Hughes’ work, which is fine, and the hidden message behind his superficially rebellious pictures – OBEY and CONFORM!
“It’s Oscar time again, and I really should know better. I’ve followed the Academy Awards for twenty years, and I realised about fifteen years ago that they aren’t a true reflection of the quality or scope of the year’s movies.
However, like a devoted WWE fan who knows deep down that the fighting isn’t really real, I still can’t stop myself going ape when the contenders start flinging themselves from the top rope come Awards season…” Read the full review here.
Death comes to us all, and when that last moment stretches out to eternity, all men face the same questions. Have I lived my life to the fullest? Have I done the best for my loved ones? Was I man enough when circumstances demanded it? Did I dare disturb the universe? Did I get enough blowjobs?
Andělé všedního dne, the latest film from Alice Nellis (Some Secrets), focusses on this last question. It’s a meaty topic, and she really gets her teeth into it.
Not really, I’m lying. I just wanted to use a few cheap gags as crass and tasteless as the movie itself. Andělé všedního dne is an ugly, depressing film. It tries to say things about mortality and kindness, but is basically about a man who thinks his life is rubbish because he’s never been sucked off before.
“There is a man in his underpants walking through Times Square. He’s fighting his way through the crowd, and embarrassingly, everyone seems to know him. That is because the man is Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), once a global superstar because of his role as Birdman in a string of blockbuster action movies. His career has been a little slow for the past few decades, and his star not just on the wane, but almost extinguished. But people have long memories and still want an autograph or their picture taken with Thomson, or shout out to him as if they’re old buddies, even though he’s just a middle-aged guy in his underpants struggling through a big embarrassing crowd to get to the theatre on time for his scene…” Click here for the full review (opens in a separate tab)
“Jiří Menzel’s Closely Watched Trains (Ostře sledované vlaky) is arguably one of the best known Czech films beyond the country’s borders, having won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1968.
Adapted from Bohumil Hrabal’s slender novel, it was the first Czech movie I saw, long before I emigrated to Brno, and on first viewing I couldn’t help but notice a basic similarity to an old British sitcom, On the Buses…” Click here for the full review (opens in a seperate tab.)
“Nightcrawler‘s Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a guy who never misses an opportunity. When he is caught stealing chain link fencing for scrap metal, he beats up the security guard and steals his watch.
Cruising the streets of Los Angeles one night, he comes across a car crash and sees an independent news crew filming the scene. These people are “Nightcrawlers”, chancers who scour the airwaves for 911 calls and race the emergency services to the scene of the crisis. Any gruesome footage they capture is sold to the TV news networks. Bloom decides that this is the career for him, and pursues it with single-minded zeal…” Click here for the full review (opens in a seperate tab)
“The Brno edition of the Iranian Film Festival opened Tuesday with two bracingly good movies, Reza Dormishan’s I’m not Angry! and Shahram Mokri’s Fish & Cat. The overall theme of the festival is “Rebels of Iranian Cinema” and the double bill was a fitting opening, showing the verve, innovation and fearlessness common in the best independent filmmaking, and showcasing two young directors of startling talent…” Click here for full article and reviews.
“After the enjoyable but lightweight Obecná škola, I’m pleased to report that the next film on my journey into Czech cinema is the real deal. Pelíšky (Cosy Dens) is an immensely satisfying tragicomedy set in the months preceding the fateful Prague Spring of 1968.
It is a robust family drama featuring some wonderfully poignant comic performances from a formidable cast of Czech and Slovak character actors.
My immediate recommendation comes with a “but” – while Obecná škola is broad enough to appeal to a general audience, your enjoyment of Pelíšky may depend on two things: How well you’re attuned to Czech gallows humour, and at least a basic knowledge of Czech history and culture.
So if you don’t know why someone would have a live fish in their bathtub, or think that Prague Spring sounds like an ideal time to visit the capital, grab a Czech friend before sitting down to watch Pelíšky…” Click here to read my full review for the Brno Expat Centre (Opens in a seperate tab).
Interstellar is so big that it has its own gravitational pull, and time grinds to a halt while watching it…
“Christopher Nolan returns with Interstellar, one of the most hotly anticipated films of the year. It is a handsome, ambitious, sombre space epic, which is also deeply flawed and exposes Nolan’s weaknesses as a director more than any of his earlier work.
I admire Nolan as a film maker, because he makes popular, intelligent films with things to say about the human condition. His images are massive, his visions meticulously crafted and he draws expert performances from his actors. And yet…his films lack stardust, a sense of wonder, a touch of showmanship, like a story told by an accountant, not a natural raconteur…” Click here to read my full review for Pop.junk (opens in separate window
Here’s my most recent articles for Popjunk.net –
04/09 – Wormholes, morons, and gruesome death – an Autumn/Winter movie preview…
“So summer’s done – it went really quickly, didn’t it? Still, now the dog days are over, at least we don’t need to feel guilty about sitting in a dark room watching pictures on the wall. Here’s my pick of the upcoming films taking us up to Christmas -“
Click here for the full list (opens in a new tab)
04/10 – Gone Girl (2014) – a match made in Hell…
“Gone Girl is a superior potboiler, a sick and slick thriller that manages to be both very dark and effortlessly entertaining, and marks a return to form for director David Fincher after the dreary, spiteful Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher seems to be enjoying himself here, and it is rare that you come out of a two and a half hour movie thinking, ‘Actually, that could have been a bit longer…'”
Click here for the full review.