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Archive for March, 2014

“Always strive to elevate your craft” – on passion in Jiro Dreams of Sushi

jiro_dreams_of_sushi_xlgThis post is unique because here is an example of two of my passions colliding.  I have a food blog that I update much more regularly than this blog, and I plan to post about this film there as well.  However, as this is a film blog, I will focus more on the aspects unique to film, rather than my philosophy on food and restaurant experiences.  I thought the film was beautiful, with lots of slow motion and fast motion interspersed.  I thought the elegance of the food was captured visually, and the story behind the food only made it that much more lovely.  The film also utilized sound in a wonderful way – at times, the sounds resembled those heard on radio programs, full of auditory stimulation.  (Another great example of auditory stimulation is the short, Fresh Guacamole.)  I thought the interviews were interesting, but the camera always stayed a little too long on their subjects, as if waiting for more – perhaps all cameras do this in order to not miss anything, but are cut out in the final production.  In the case of this film, it lead to an uneasy feeling, a sense of nervousness.  Subjects occasionally glance up at the camera as well, unused to it.  Otherwise, the narratives with all the dealers – the tuna dealer, the shrimp dealer, even the rice dealer – as well as the details around the preparation of all the different types of sushi, really built up a beautiful story.  The difficult life of Jiro’s firstborn was especially tangible, communicated to the audience through small moments here and there.

5/5 – I highly recommend this film.

“The spaces between the words are almost infinite” – on slow conversations in “her”

  • FILM_HerI heard great things about “her,” that it made you think, that it was a great film, etc.  I thought I had better watch it.
  • I love stories that have just a touch of science fiction to them – I feel that this expansion of rules allows for unique ways to probe old problems.  In this case, I felt like it wasn’t used to its full potential.  I thought it was funny how everyone in this future wore their pants quite high.  I also thought the idea of a surrogate partner was genuine and interesting, and also totally awkward.  I wish there could have been more explorations into the world of human-OS relationships.
  • Scarlett Johansson’s voice is perfect.  Apparently, the film was originally shot with Samantha Morton standing in a box; I don’t know how she would have sounded, but I do think that Scarlett Johansson did a great job.
  • While many of the conversations are touching and sweet, sometimes it feels like Spike Jonze was trying too hard.  Some of the dialogue feels forced and fake; at times, Samantha is overly naive, at other times, unexpectedly worldly.
  • The first half of the movie is very slow; I got so bored at one point that I stopped watching and went to do something else.  I eventually came back and gave it a second chance, because I wanted to see what would happen in the end.
  • Overall, 3/5 – some interesting ideas, but too much talking, too slowly.

“Everything is awesome!” – on joy in “The Lego Movie”

  • MV5BMTg4MDk1ODExN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzIyNjg3MDE@._V1_SX214_I was initially doubtful of the idea of a Lego movie, despite the Lego games being excellent.  However, after hearing nothing but good things about it, I decided to give in and finally go see it.
  • It was hilarious, one of those rare laugh-out-loud movies.  The characters were adorable, the story had great moments.  I loved how the Master Builder powers were depicted, as well as the sound as new things were constructed.
  • The lapse into real-world film was a great, unexpected twist.  It brought its own message, another layer to the film.
  • 5/5