Spoon: Do You

This is my favorite track from Spoon's new album They Want My Soul. I love the night vibe they've polished in their new album. They Want My Soul is completely different from Transference. Transference was super chill. This one is more of an album I'd listen to it in the car. They've sort of given a different direction to Spoon. And frankly, I'm loving it. I was missing the Ga Ga Ga Ga Spoon! Thank you for the new album, Spoon! I hope to see them LIVE again. I went to their concert back in 2012 with my friend Kirsten and it was totally he best show of that year. Best part was a drunken classmate's boss who randomly appeared and gave me a kiss. Enjoy Do You by Spoon! 

Palo Alto: Bored Filmmaking

Palo Alto, a film based on Poet-Director-Actor-Writer- Photographer- Pretentious artist James Franco is nothing sort of out of ordinary. The film lacks complex characters. I've never been as disappointed in a film as I have been with Palo Alto.

What is wrong with Palo Alto? Everything. The film opens with Teddy, a student who has no hopes, and hangs out at an open parking lot with his trouble maker friend Freddy. Both characters are polarizing. When I researched about the film, it had received a lot of great reviews, but this film didn't deserve it.  For instance, Teddy drives home drunk one day after partying with his classmates. He hits a woman on his way and drives off. He’s later caught in his parking lot, when the cop asks him to step out of the car and take a breathalyzer test or repeat alphabet in descending order he makes a snooty remark.  

April, played by Emma Roberts executes a terrible performance in Palo Alto. She’s like any other depressed girl in high school trying to get attention of Teddy. She baby sits her coach’s (James Franco) son. After a few visits at his place, she starts to develop feelings for him and has an inappropriate sexual relationship with him. April is also drawn to Teddy, a reserved painter who visits a night art program. Palo Alto is a rehearsed film about high school kids in California. It’s nothing great. All high school students go through identity and virgin crisis. The film lacks an attention to their consequences and avoids what could happened if the parents had known about April’s relationship with her coach.  All the characters in the film are self-obsessed and unmotivated.  

Palo Alto’s creativity is nothing to rave about, but it does deserve to be punished because these sorts of films are played at “Indie” theaters for the sake of being “Independent.” Most independent films are now backed by parent of big studios or kick starters. For the past few years, original screenplays have vanished. Filmmakers and producers are turning books, comic books into movies rather than hiring a screenplay writer. Big studios and independent studios are again using film medium as a way to execute terrible films. There was a point in my life where screening a film was aesthetically pleasing to my eyes, but films have gone bad lately. I know filmmaking is a business process, but it doesn't mean it has to be terrible.

Palo Alto is a debut film by the new member of Coppola family to join the “nepotism” family business, Gia Coppola. Gia Coppola doesn’t have her own style of filmmaking. She mimics Sofia Coppola’s sort of bland dialogues, long shots as if it were a French film and bokeh of every shot in the film.  Palo Alto is nothing great as the reviews state. 

Whisper of the Heart: A Sweet, Delightful Film

A recent announcement from Hayao Miyazaki founder of Studio Ghibli left fans devastated. Studio Ghibili’s “big changes in its operations” left Japanese animators and fans of Studio Ghibili a dark hole in the animation world.  Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, said with a sadden smile, “The future is clear. It’s going to fall apart.” Studio Ghibli has lost its magical box office power. With failure of “When Marine Was There” most of Studio Ghibli films hit 100 million marks.  Studio Ghibli has churned out many films like: Graves of the Fireflies, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery, Castle in the Sky, and their first production Valley of the Wind in 1984.  However, there have many notable films that didn’t receive the same 100 million marks such as Only Yesterday, Whisper of the Heart, My neighbors the Yamadas and When Marine Was There.

Movies are very, very important to me and I want to see each and every film I’m interested in. I recently started a movie marathon on Studio Ghibli and my first pick was Whisper of the Heart.  This tale is about a bookish, adventurous 14-year-old Shizuku Tsukismhima who is smitten on a classmate in a higher grade.  Shizuku who loves to read finds a book checked out by a mysterious Seji Amasawa at the library. The name appears on several books and she chases down a book he hasn’t read and to see if he’ll check it out one day.

Whisper of the Heart is a blissful and heartwarming anecdote of two young lovers and their goals.  Whisper of the Heart wasn’t as big of a success as other Studio Ghibli’s films. However, there was something content about this film that made me watch it twice. Shizuku and Seji are very relatable characters: insecure about their careers, bookworms and passionate about knowing every detail of the mysterious world. Story of the film is very simple: someone who falls in love and learns to believe in herself when she’s inspired by her crush Seji, who wants to master violin craftsmanship. 

            The film expands the progression of character’s dreams, and commitment and sacrifices to their goals. As an enthusiast filmmaker, a dream takes time and persistence devoted to filmmaking/goals. Goals don’t happen in a day, they take years.  Whisper of the Heart is about self-discovery, a sweet coming of age film.

Whisper of the Heart is written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Yoshifumi Kondo.

Digimon Original Series Returns Spring 2015

After Saint Seiya, Sailor Moon, it is time for original Digimon characters to return back to television.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Matt Reeves

My friend David and I made plans few weeks ago to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in a nearby cinema-mall by his apartment. I received a text message on Friday night asking me to accompany him at a cinema. I had seen him last weekend and he owed me money from a gig we did together, which was probably the biggest reason we were meeting up. The following day, our alarms were set for 10AM sharp at Cinemarks. However, being an early bird I was at the mall half an hour early.

At first, everything about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes thrilled me. Like many film enthusiasts, I skipped the trailer and avoided any topics associated with the film. I arrived at Cinemark and read about the production techniques of the film through my black LG phone. First news to pop-up related to the film was Andy Serkis who plays Ceaser recently announced that he will direct an adaptation of Richard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Samantha Shannon’s The Imaginarium: The Bone Season.

Dawn of the planet of the Apes is about genetically evolved apes led by alpha-ape Caesar living in a national forest outside of San Francisco (or Vancouver set location) is threatened by a crew of human survivors from a deadly virus that eliminated human race. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is directed by Matt Reeves. He gained his audience through Cloverfield and adaptation of Swedish film Let the Right One In. The story of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes reminded me of Avatar or just like most post-apocalyptic movies. It was like Mark Bomback and Rick Jaffa had recently woken up after seeing Avatar and decided to rewrite a similar storyline and substitute Na’vis with Apes. I was more interested in motion graphics and production side of this film rather than the uncreative writing. 

After the film ended, I had read on Reddit how there was an alternative scene at the end. David and I waited unwearyingly, but nothing came of it. While we walked out of the theatre, we both chatted about the technical aspects of the film. David rightfully made his opinion on actors who do motion graphics need to be acknowledged for their acting. There was a similar debate when Zoe Saldana was ignored for an Oscar nomination. Our discussion continued on Dawn of the Planet of the Ape’s 360-degree shot on top of a tank. It was the only scene that grabbed both of our attention. The scene follows an ape that takes control over a tank and the camera follows it through a 360-degree pan.  When the humans enter their protected guard, there was a similar scene that reminded me of I Am Legend and Godzilla. Both scenes looked very familiar: inner city deserted jungles. Joe Letteri, the visual effects supervisor who won an Oscar for AvatarLOTR and also Rise of the Planet of the Apes. CG characters in Dawn set a new high mark.

Although, my review is written few weeks later, Dawn has received critical acclaim and strong positive reviews and dominating rest of July at the box office. Matt Reeves has already planned a sequel to Apes franchise. Andy Serkis delivers a strong performance that makes you wonder if you’re really watching motion graphics capture work or not. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a perfectly good option on a Saturday afternoon. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

At last we have our trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and "Pippin" song returns on the big screen.