I just wanted to start by saying that I hope that everyone has had a wonder Mother’s Day especially all the moms out there. I didn’t choose any films that had anything to do with mothers, but rather I went for a classic in The Bonfire Of The Vanities. The film starred Tom Hanks (Bridge Of Spies) as Sherman McCoy, a hot shot wall street broker whose whole world is about to crumble. You see Sherman has been cheating on his socialite wife (Kim Cattrall) with a very seductive mistress named Maria (Melanie Griffith). One night, they get into an accident when they hit a young black man and send him into a coma. It puts Sherman in a lot of trouble and with the help of a reporter (Bruce Willis) he will try to prove his innocence before he gets put away for good. The film also stars Saul Rubinek (The Family Man) as Jed Kramer, Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) as Judge Leonard White, John Hancock (A Soldier’s Story) as Reverend Bacon, Kevin Dunn (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) as Tom Killian, Clifton James (The Man With The Golden Gun) as Albert Fox, Kirsten Dunst (Interview With The Vampire) as Campbell McCoy, and the film was directed by Brian De Palma (Carlito’s Way).
This was a very different film than I was used to watching, but how can you not want to watch a film that starred both Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis? Bruce at one time was known for doing films other than action flicks and Tom Hanks is just Tom Hanks (that means he’s awesome). I had absolutely no idea that Kirsten Dunst was in this film until I looked on IMDB after I watched the film. I thought that was kind of crazy to see, but not surprised as she let her real stamp with Interview With The Vampire. One of the biggest pluses for this film is the fact that the story is an amazing story. From the beginning all the way to the end, the story keeps you hooked because you want to know what happens to poor Tom Hanks. The film kind of touches on the ideas of racism in the New York area and the way they feel that they didn’t get the fair shake that over-privileged whites did all the time. Then the film shows you how distorted the truth can be when there is too much interest into a issue when there are too many sides that benefit. A mayor who looks at an opportunity to persecute a rich white man to try and gain the African-American vote while a reverend is looking to use the case to cash in. All of the acting in the film was superb and I really had no complaints against anyone in the film. This is a film that is definitely worth a watch even if it’s at least once. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
Ever since the Dogme 95 movement from Denmark (which only lasted ten years in total), there is no denying that Lars von Trier (Melancholia) was the true visionary and cinematic daredevil to come out of that. The Danish director returned in 2013 with a daring vision with his next film Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 (one of two released) which stars Stellan Skarsgård (Thor: Dark World) as Seligman, a regular man who while on his way home from the market finds a young woman named Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) lying on the ground beaten. Seligman brings the girl home and he listens to her as she recounts all of her erotic sexual encounters that have happened in her life that brought her to that point in time. The film also stars Christian Slater (Pump Up The Volume) as Joe’s Father, Connie Nielsen (The Devil’s Advocate) as Joe’s Mother, Stacy Martin (Tale Of Tales) as Young Joe, Shia LaBeouf (Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) as Jerome, Uma Thurman (Kill Bill: Vol. 1) as Mrs. H, Sophie Kennedy Clark (Dark Shadows) as B, Anders Hove (Mifune) as Odin, Clayton Nemrow (Speed Racer) as Married Man, Jens Albinus (The Idiots) as S., Hugo Speer (The Full Monty) as Mr. H., and Jesper Christensen (Quantum Of Solace) as Jerome’s Uncle.
First off, I am going to say that this is definitely a film that would have been rated NC-17 had they tried to enter this into theaters here in America. Sex is still a little taboo here in the states while it’s not in Europe. There is a lot of sex in this film and a lot of male body parts as well as the female, but the thing that got me was that in some scenes the sex looked authentic. One scene shows Joe having intercourse with a male on the train which blew my mind that it looked that real. The film is divided into five chapters with the first one being her sexual experiences being compared to fly fishing, one chapter comparing her father’s death to Edgar Allen Poe’s or how similar they were. One chapter deals with Joe being confronted with the wife of one her lovers in Mrs. H (Uma Thurman). What happens next was absolutely brilliant. Uma Thurman stood out like a champ in that chapter and was the highlight of the film in my opinion. You’re thinking the whole time that she is going to feel bad and she just carries on using sex as a way to cope with reality. The film and it’s other volume are the last films in the depression trilogy that also included Antichrist and Melancholia. I probably should have watched Antichrist first, but oh well. Lars von Trier is a true cinematic hero and visionary in my opinion and I look forward to the next volume. The film definitely ends on a cliffhanger which leaves me no choice, but to catch the next film and see Shia once again. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.