30th Oct2017

Call Me By Your Name (Film)

by timbaros


There is a gay-themed film that has just been released that is getting rave and five star reviews. And while it is very good, it’s also a bit creepy.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ tells the story about an adult who has an affair with a younger man. The adult in question is the actor Armie Hammer (who in real life happens to be 31, but looks older, and in this film he is playing a 24-year old – not very believable) is Oliver. The young man in question is Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet (who happens to 21 in real life but plays a 17-year old in the film but looks a lot younger, like 14). The story, based on the 2007 book of the same name by André Aciman, is about a very sexual relationship between Oliver and Elio. Oliver, you see, has been hired by Elio’s parents, wealthy couple the Perlmans (Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casar), to help Mr. Perlman with his archeological work, but what happens is that the closed Elio (who is wooed by the local girls who vie for his attention), becomes enamoured with, and by, Oliver. Oliver, who is a man’s man, with a chest full of hair, very confident who can practically have anyone he wants, enters into a relationship with Elio. It’s really hard to believe that a man like Oliver could be sexually attracted to Elio. While Elio is a goodlooking boy (I use the word boy here because Elio looks like a boy), his body has no visible body hair, he’s very trim and smooth, and he’s pasty while, and obviously not fully developed as a man. So to me it’s a bit inappropriate for a man like Oliver to be sexually attracted, and to sexually satisfy Elio, in various locations, including having interludes in the Perlman family home where they conveniently have adjoining rooms which allow for lots of loving glances, and sometimes leaning towards Kevin Spacey-like pervert behaviour. But it becomes all very icky when Elio’s parents turn a blind eye to the relationship. This makes ‘Call Me By Your Name’ more than a bit icky in it’s theme of man-boy love (remember the organisation called NAMBLA – The North American Man/Boy Love Association? Well, ‘Call Me By Your Name’ could be a two hour advertisement for this illegal, and disgusting, organization).

But ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is a beautiful and lush film, directed with care by Italian director Luca Guadagnino. It lovingly highlights the Italian countryside and the small cityscapes of Lombardy; the film has beautiful camerawork and acting by all involved is top notch. Chalamet is a real find – his Elio commands the screen. Chalamet looks very very comfortable in front of the camera, clothes on or off (there is absolutely no full frontal nudity in this film – which is a good thing, though some of the sex scenes look all too inappropriately real). Hammer is also very good in this role – a role that is not a typical role for him to play. But from the outset it’s just an inappropriate relationship, whether make believe or not. And there is scene, which you must have heard about by now, about a peach. Yes, a peach, involving Elio and to a larger degree Oliver, that was a bit, for me, uncomfortable to watch. But it’s the scene where the credits roll up at the end of the film where you can’t leave your seat or avert your eyes – it’s these few minutes where Chamalet as Elio will mesmerize, and seduce you. So it’s at this point that you think that perhaps you can’t blame Oliver for falling for him because you will do the same as well.

15th Jul2017

Cars 3 (Film)

by timbaros

NEXT-GEN TAKES THE LEAD — Jackson Storm (voice of Armie Hammer), a frontrunner in the next generation of racers, posts speeds that even Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) hasn’t seen. “Cars 3” is in theaters June 16, 2017. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
Lighting McQueen is back in the latest instalment of Disney’s Cars movie franchise.

If you remember him from “Cars” and “Cars 2,” Lightning McQueen is a racing car whose red exterior and very likeable and loveable interior melts children and adults hearts alike. But in “Cars 3,” the world is changing and Lightning McQueen (voiced by Luke Wilson) can’t keep up with the new mangled fangled super fast highly technologically-advanced new cars now racing, and this includes the shiny and cocky Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). So what should Lighting McQueen do, retire? No way! After a nasty car accident in a race, McQueen is sent to Radiator Springs to recover from the crash, and from there he joins a new racing facility so that he can up his game to compete with the new cars. There he meets Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a feisty female personal trainer who whips cars back into racing shape. Ramirez also had hopes of being a championship race car but she gave these dreams up years ago. But McQueen has to follow her instructions and at the same time he has to convince his owner Sterling (Nathan Fillion) that he can and will win his next race, for if he doesn’t, then he will give up racing altogether and just stick to endorsements. With McQueen getting into tip top shape, and Cruz’s confidence picking up and raising hopes of her going back to racing, it all boils down to the big race where McQueen has to show what he’s now made of, all thanks to Cruz.

As in “Cars” and “Cars 2,” “Cars 3” is an entertaining movie that provides us with excellent animation and a story where we route not just for Lightning McQueen but for Cruz as well – a minority female character with an inspiring storyline – a rarity in animation films. Expect Disney to have another big hit on their hands with this film as it appeals to both children and adults alike, and perhaps expect “Cars 4” to come our way in a few years time.

06th Nov2016

Nocturnal Animals (Film)

by timbaros
50805_AA_4609_v2F Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release.
Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Tom Ford’s highly anticipated second film, Nocturnal Animals, is both brilliant and confusing, no thanks to it’s three stories in one arc.

Amy Adams is art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who lives high above the Hollywood Hills in a seemingly loveless marriage to her philandering husband Hutton (Armie Hammer). One day she receives a book called Nocturnal Animals written by her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal, in one of his best performances in years). It’s been 19 years since they broke up, well actually Susan broke it off with him, and she hadn’t heard or seen of him since then. So it’s bit unusual for her to receive a book from him, knowing that he’s been a struggling writer all his life. While her husband is away on one of his many business trips, she settles down to read the book. It’s then that Nocturnal Animals the book becomes a whole second movie, a second movie so brilliantly written, acted, and told that it should’ve been the movie that is Nocturnal Animals.

The book is a tale of revenge, rape and murder, brutal and in your face and it’s directed wholly at Susan. While it’s obvious it’s a work of fiction, it’s brutal and horrific. The book as we see play out tells the story of fictional character Tony (Gyllenhaal) with his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) along with what could be (or not) their daughter – this plot point is not very clear, driving in Texas when they’re menaced by a gang of rednecks led by Ray Marcus (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a performance you will never forget). The menacing turns much much worse, but only towards the women, and it’s too much to give away here to explain what happens to them. Suffice it to say you will be on the edge of your seat while this story is unravelling.

Nocturnal Animals also replays the beginning of the relationship between Susan and Edward – how they met on a New York City sidewalk, then had a loving relationship, only for Susan to drop him (it’s not clear why she leaves him).

All of this is played out in just under two hours. Nocturnal Animals is a haunting romantic thriller with tension throughout, but it’s also a bit of a letdown after the brilliant A Single Man. Adams doesn’t have much to do except read the book in which the most exciting scenes of the film play out. A couple plot points are head scratching – a phone call Susan makes to her daughter – a real daughter or it she a hallucination due to Susan’s lack of sleep – (nocturnal), and Edward’s grudge for 19 long years – really? Nocturnal Animals is a movie that is so cruel and cynical, a story so much about disloyalty and especially about revenge, and it becomes very very violent, and very very dark, and Ford dedicates it to his husband Richard and their son Zach. A bit narcissistic if you ask me.