Up In the Air (2009) Review

Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert with a job traveling around the country firing people. Ryan, played by George Clooney, enjoys living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened when he meets the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams

WATCH THE REVIEW

Sam Kench reviews the 2009 Jason Reitman film Up In the Air starring George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga.

FUN FACT VIA IMDB

“A large amount of the people we see fired in the film are not actors but people who were recently laid off. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had. A way to discern who are the actors and who are the real people is that the real people do not have dialogue with George Clooney or Anna Kendrick, as they were shot separately. Jason Reitman did this intentionally, feeling that the real people would freak out Clooney and Kendrick.”

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Sword of Destiny (2016) Review

Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review the Netflix made sequel “Crouching Tiger, hidden Dragon: The Sword of destiny” starring Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen and directed by Yuen Woo-Ping.


Email: brickwallpictures@gmail.com
Twitter @brickwallfilms

 

It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012) Review

Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review the 2012 animated film It’s Such a Beautiful Day written, directed, and voiced by Don Hertzfeldt.

There was a professional audio set up for this review done by Brian Hubbard.

Click HERE to watch the review.

 

Room (2015) Review

Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review Room from 2015 written by Emma Donoghue (adapted from her own novel), directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Who directed the excellent Frank the year before) and starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.

Video Review

Brickwall Productions Christmas Special (Cool World review)

This is a Good/Bad/Grindhouse review on Cool World

Stuffed animals inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs’

The team of Re-Cyco Dogs has been fully assemble and ready to rock their first movie trailer parody.

As you all know, S is an aspiring film maker and his favorite director is Quentin Tarantino. I started making these little guys and popped a collar and tie on one and bang, an idea was born. I asked him to recreate one of the official “Reservoir Dogs” movie trailers using these cute guys.

But of course there are more than just Mr. Pink, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Orange, Mr. Brown, Mr. White and Mr. Blue in the trailer so other characters were needed.

Joe and Nice Guy Eddie put the team together in the movie, but Sam thought they should be Bulldogs rather than Scotty Dogs. I decided to use a left over log cabin quilt block of blues and purples to make Nice Dog Eddie to sort of match the windbreaker worn by Nice Guy Eddie played by Chris Penn in the movie.

Speaking of left overs. All the stuffed animals are hand sewn using recycled materials. That’s why I call them the Re-Cyco Dogs.

There is a scene with Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi, pulling a woman out of a car when he was running away from the cops. This scene was used in all the movie trailers. Below is a still shot from the movie. Below that is a photo of my version of Mr. Pink and a very surprised cat.

There is a scene with Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi, pulling a woman out of a car when he was running away from the cops. This scene was used in all the movie trailers. Below is a still shot from the movie. Below that is a photo of my version of Mr. Pink and a very surprised cat.
We also needed four police officers to complete the trailer. Three that chase Mr. Pink when he makes his getaway and the one officer, Marvin Nash, who is kidnapped by Michael Madsen‘s character, Mr. Blonde.
Given we were making a spoof on a Tarantino movie where the criminals have zero respect for the cops, we made the cops pigs.
 Here’s my little handmade version of Mr. Blonde and police officer Marvin Nash with a quote from that iconic scene where he cuts his ear off. I stitched long strands of red thread for the blood where that little pig’s ear should be. Now I’ve got “Stuck in the Middle with You” stuck in my head.

Thank you Quentin Tarantino for all you do.

Yes Son That is a Lion episode 2

The 2nd episode of the my original sketch comedy show Yes Son That is a Lion has just been released on youtube, please check it out and leave feedback if you’re up to it. PLEASE NOTE: Some sketches are not suitable for young audiences due to content and strong language.

 

 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a dark comedy with a strong noir edge mystery about a murderer being pursued by a gay private investigator, a thief mistaken as an actor and his childhood love interest.

Though this movie may be enjoyable to the casual movie going audience, it is especially appealing to those well versed in the medium of film. Film buffs will find great pleasure in this film as it takes the conventions you’ve come to expect and twists them around to great comedic effect. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” follows a somewhat generic murder mystery plot, but infuses it with genre defying dark comedy at crucial moments to steer the film into unexpected territory with the comedy forming to the point of perfection and hitting its mark every time.

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While the comedy and some of the direction/cinematography stop “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” from being a true hard boiled noir, all the style is still there. The film has a great grasp of the noir style, with a lot of darkly lit sets, many washed over with heavy color as many neo-noirs do.

The music is also excellently noir and it is impressive how the often serious music manages to avoid clashing with the comedic moments that occur simultaneously. The music is all great and genre fitting, until the end credits where they used a horribly unfitting song. I’m one to usually read through the credits of a film if I like it, and the music choice stopped me from doing so. This isn’t a bad mark on the film itself, just a poor decision from the soundtrack department which up until that point had been so great.

The two leads are great. Robert Downey Jr. as Harry Lockhart and Val Kilmer as Gay Perry are both terrific. Each character is well formed, and though the characters never take on the buddy cop formula, they do have good back and forth on screen chemistry which makes the comedy work that much better. The excellent comedic writing is pulled off flawlessly by these two leads. The female lead, Harmony Lane played by Michelle Monaghan, is a different story. The threeactress did a fine job, but the writing of the character does not work to the film’s benefit . The only aspect of the film that didn’t work to me was the romance between Harry Lockhart and Harmony Lane. I really can’t see why she is worth all the trouble or why Harry would even want to be with her, she’s honestly quite a whore.

The film has one of the absolute best narrations of all time from Robert Downey Jr. as his character tells the story while having quite a bit of difficulty. He goes back to parts he forgot, criticizes scenes and gets off topic. All to excellent comedic effect. The film is very self aware which works in its favor and gives a feeling of true originality to the film.

The clever, tightly written script is the main reason to watch the film. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is hilarious but also manages to be very cool and stylish with a nice noir tone and even managing to have a pretty damn cool final shootout.
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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is a fantastic film. I highly recommend it to all fans of cinema. Anyone looking for a neo-noir, a comedy or even a low octane action film will likely find a good time wrapped up within “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, it can even work as an alternative Christmas film like “Die Hard” or “In Bruges“.

 

Movie Recommendation of the Week #11

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See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

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This is a very funny movie about a blind man and a deaf man who witness a murder in tandem. Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder star and the two make an excellent comedic pairing.

It would be easy for a movie like this to come off as immature and offensive, but although their disabilities are used for comedy, the disabilities themselves do not ever become a laughing matter, just the situations that result from them. This is good and keeps the movie respectable.

The movie manages to have some well acted and competent dramatic scenes mixed in with the comedy. It also features a very early Kevin Spacey role and sees him playing one of the villains and putting on a British accent.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil is delightfully funny and everyone is sure to get at least one chuckle out of it so check it out.

NRHS Project Promise Head Not Qualified for Job

By Sam Kench

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When Beth Colby left the district this school year her job of running after school Project Promise and handling the school’s ELO program was split into two positions. Amy Yeakle took over the ELO side of her duties, and the Project Promise aspect was filled by Lori Lane. Before Christmas break Ms. Lane viewed the Newfound Filmmaking Club’s sketch comedy show “Yes Son That is a Lion” After viewing it and deeming it offensive she informed the superintendent of her opinion. Without watching the video, superintendent Stacy Buckley ordered that all copies of the DVD be confiscated. Vice Principal Paul Hoiriis confiscated the remaining DVDs so that they could no longer be sold, with the stipulation that they would be returned at the end of the day. The DVDs were not returned at that time.

Ms. Lane offered to go through the video and point out which parts she found offensive. After the offer was accepted she recanted and refused to discuss the matter further. Ms. Lane has not responded to emails regarding the matter.

While in possession of the DVDs, Mr. Hoiriis and Ms. Lane claimed that the school (Project Promise) had ownership over the DVDs. Ms. Lane claimed that the school had paid for the DVDs and cases making them school property. The DVDs and cases were not purchased by the school. The materials used in the production of the DVDs were purchased independently by film making club members, as proof of purchase receipts illustrated. Mr. Hoiriis and Ms. Lane continued to claim the school’s ownership over the DVDs. Their stance was that since the school owned the camera that was used to make the video, they therefore owned the video itself. In a meeting the point was brought up that: This would be akin to the school claiming ownership of a students painting, because the school owned the brushes and paint used to make it. Mr. Hoiriis and Ms. Lane changed that claim of ownership, from physical ownership, to intellectual property. “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works” (World Intellectual Property Association). Mr. Hoiriis and Ms. Lane stated that the school owned the intellectual and creative property of the film club. This would mean that the school owns the scripts written, the performances given by the actors, the actual footage, editing, effects, etc. This point was argued extensively.

During this time of deliberation Mr. Hoiriis stated that the video was not allowed to be sold within the school or elsewhere, he also said that the video could not be made available to the public through any means. It was not allowed to be shown anywhere, to be available for check out at the public library, to be shown on the public access channel, or to be available through any other avenue.

Eventually a document was signed saying that the school had no ownership over the DVDs and that they were a product of Brickwall Productions. The DVDs were then returned. After the DVDs were signed over, Ms. Lane stated that film making is not an art and that there is no education involved in it. She was not open to argument on this subject and insists that there is no artistic, creative, academic, or educational merits in the medium of film making.

Upon pressing Ms. Lane on this issue she revealed that she had officially disbanded the club. This decision was made of her own volition without consulting the administration, or anyone else. Mr. Hoiriis was not aware of this until it was brought to his attention after the meeting.

Ms. Lane disbanded the club on the basis that there was no educational or artistic aspect to filmmaking. She has no issue with the Geek Club, Anime Club, Cooking Club, Drama Club, Thespian Society, or Camera Club, so why the filmmaking club is being targeted is unknown.

Mike Place, a film professor at a local college, wrote in a letter explicitly stating how film making is educational. He detailed how filmmaking enriches academics and demonstrated the ways in which it teaches core subjects such as reading, writing and mathematics.

The New Hampshire representative of the 21st Century Community Learning Grant (The grant that Project Promise operates by), does not feel that Ms. Lane’s decision was justified. She also made aware that there are several film clubs supported by the grant around the country. Many students, staff, and community members have given their support to the former members of the filmmaking club and a petition on the matter has garnered over 50 signatures from people who find Ms. Lane’s actions unacceptable.