Bläeckfisk is the Swedish translation for the word octopus. I am not Swedish, but I do own a lot of furniture from Sweden and I like octopuses while admiring their multi-tasking ability. I would like to travel to Sweden at some point, plus I think it is a pretty cool looking word. Anyhow, speaking of words, I guess you could say that is why we are here. Words are the foundation for way we try to wrap our thoughts around everything in the galaxy. The tendrils that lead to emotions and curiosity. I am not here to solve the mysteries of the universe, just to discuss words in general. Specifically words written by other people and have been printed off and slapped between two slices of thin card stock. Many of these sandwiches go on to bigger and better things, some bigger and better than others. So, I guess we will be talking about those as well. If you share an interest in words or enjoi seeing what they can look like in action....välkommen! (Swedish for welcome.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

F14: Man on a Ledge-Directed by Asger Leth

"So, what's on your mind?"

Consider passing on this ho-hum thriller set in New York City. With very little substance and some silly plot twists, I was mildly entertained by this film starring Sam Worthington. Although the thrill factor is about as riveting as the title of the movie, the premise did keep my attention span in check and my seat in the seat. I am a sucker for caper/heist movies and if you want a nice, fun little outing to the movie house, this may be the movie for you.

We follow the recent escape of convict Nick Cassidy (Sam W.) and his mission to prove his innocence. For some strange reason the opulent Mr. Englander (Ed Harris) has tabbed Cassidy as the fall guy for a little insurance scam centered around the theft of his revered Monarch Diamond. Cassidy claims to have been set up and sets in motion a rather far fetched scheme that has him perched atop a ledge of the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC. Proclaiming his innocence to a frenzied crowd below, Nick threatens to jump. As the police and media focus their attention on Nick, his brother and soon to be sister-in-law are busy penetrating the impregnable defenses of Englander's office building. Which just happens to be across the street from Nick and his ledge. Outfitted with thermal sensors. And infa-red cameras. And a gargantuan top of the line vault. I have no doubt that you will be able to connect the rest of the dots, but while the plot is a little lackluster, to some degree this movie was fun. I wouldn't recommend running down to the movie theater to see it, but if you need an afternoon filler, it is matinee worthy or a solid flick to pop into your Netflix que. Boom.


Monday, January 23, 2012

F13: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close-Directed by Stephen Daldry

"He loved the smell of gasoline and hated tomatoes."

You do not want to miss this movie. Films so masterfully crafted around emotionally devastating events are few and far between and this wonderful movie will get to you. There is a lot I could say about the deconstruction of each individual layer of this picture, but I will say that I loved everything about it and leave it at that. In my humble opinion, movies that transcend memorable and move into the magnificent are why we tromp down to the movie house on weekends and shell out 12 clams in the first place. We slink in, sit down and stare. Sometimes we stir, but most often we don't. This movie is an emotional enterprise that somehow finds its way into your soul. It connects to so many people and so many experiences that I would strongly suggest people of any age to watch it. Tragedy, adventure, reconciliation and the efficacy of the human imagination are the threads that are stitched into this picture.

Oscar himself is not your average tween-ager nor is his alluring relationship with his father Thomas. The two share a passion for the unknown as well as a bond that is endearing to say the least. On "The Worst Day Ever"  (September 11, 2001) Thomas is snatched out of Oscar's life forever. What ensues is a journey of self discovery that takes Oscar zigg-zagging through the boroughs of New York as he tries to make sense of the unexpected new void in his life. Armed with a tambourine, an Israeli gas mask and a mysterious key, Oscar begins his personal odyssey.

Although he is young, Thomas Horn (Oscar) should be considered for some sort of major award this year. After getting noticed for his success on Jeopardy for Kids, he absolutely nails this role. His performance was remarkable and I might even goes as far as to say that it is the best piece of acting I have seen all year long. His role is believable, quirky and heart wrenching, the type of performance that is not easily forgotten. I will be looking forward to following his career and hope he enjoys all of his new found fame. Well deserved young man. Go see this movie, Kleenex optional.


Monday, January 9, 2012

F12: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy-Directed by Tomas Alfredson

"Got a rabbit to pull out of your hat, Percy?"

Do not waste your time with this film. Or the book that it is based on, by John le Carré. There I said it. And man does it feel good. I wanted to blast my disappointment during the film yesterday, but then remember how my pet peeve is people who are rude in movie houses. Seriously though kids, skip this one. This movie about all things espionage and is the complete opposite of why we love spy thrillers. There are no martinis. No kooky gadgets that explode or release smoke.  Fem Fatales that seduce the our secret agent man, only to hit him with a poison dart after a steamy shower scene? Nada. No high stakes poker games, no bowties and no ultra fast car chase scenes. This movie was not sexy, nor was it exciting. It was drab and dull and filled to the brim with confusion. You keep waiting for everything to click into place, and or for things to pick up, but they never do. Even the score was a struggle to digest. I was expecting a vintage spy film cast in the mold of Munich or The Debt, but instead got slapped with an old hybrid of High Street Blues and Matlock.

The premise is this: there is a mole. And that mole that has penetrated British Intelligence and is siphoning off intel to the Russians. Former agent, Mr. Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought back into the fold to try to uncover the perp. Simple enough plot line. Armed with a star studded cast (Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Mark Strong) this movie should work. Sadly enough, it just doesn't. I should have known better, as I put down the book after 75 pages due to many of the same reasons listed above. The only noteworthy aspect of this project is the brain trust that put together the trailer for this film, hoodwinking my wife and I into believing that this movie would be worth our time and 20 bucks. In short, it was not.