Joao's Reviews

→ in
Tools    





"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



The Saint of Fort Washington – 1993

+



One of my favorite movies of the kind: social insignificance, urban survival. The acting by Danny Glover as Jerry, a homeless Vietnam veteran and Matt Dillon as Matthew, a schizophrenic photographer, is very good, I’ve always liked Danny Glover, the same I can’t say about Matt Dillon, but this character fitted, I enjoyed it. The plot is interesting if you see the plot as a way of showing different human characters and how social hierarchies or the environment they're in, don't dictate the individual characteristics. Photography I have a mix opinion, if I think about the city of New York in the eighties and nighties, this is alright, but could be better with the material available in that time, but if I think about how the author photographed the New Yorker's humanity in that chaos and misery, is amazingly good, is poetic in some cases. The soundtrack is one of the worsts I've ever heard in a film, but there is an exception, the scene Matthew took the first photograph with actual film in the camera, that is touching, but all the rest is annoying, but maybe i was hoping for something more dramatic and the author didn’t wanted that, well, not exactly dramatic, something more in accordance with the time/place it was filmed.



The Sunset Limited – 2011





A play written by Cormac McCarthy, now converted by Tommy Lee Jones into a film. Stars Tommy Lee Jones as the white man, a teacher, also a suicidal atheist and Samuel L. Jackson as the black man, a blue-collar worker, once convicted of murder, later converted to Christianism. The author didn’t had an easy task, converting the play into this film, it all takes place in a single room in suburbs of New York City, something that doesn’t pre determines the failure of a film, some great movies were all made in a tiny room, I actually prefer it that way if we’re talking about discussions, arguments. The cast obviously is enormously relevant, the film depended on dialogue majorly emphasized by facial expressions and characters actions, both actors were superb, I especially liked Samuel L. Jackson, the accent, the look in his eyes while he told the “jail house story”, the sense of humor while he told stories about alcoholism.The soundtrack or the ambient noise completed every pause perfectly, the camera managed to film from almost every possible angle in the room. About the characters, while one is very well educated individual, narrowing the decision of committing suicide to the civilization current lack of interest in the intellect, culture, art, literature, the other narrows everything to a book, the bible. While one sees the world as a forced labor camp where everyone is compelled to keep going until the final day, the other sees it as a journey to something else. The author used comedy to make the audience keep watching the film with the mentality he wanted, he didn’t intended to make the movie dramatic, heavy. The dialogue diverted many times to various subjects, day life subjects to make it more enjoyable, not just the quid pro quo, like a tennis match we’re used to in this kind of films, where one wins and the other loses, one of the particularities of this film, is that one is not trying to make the other lose. There’s a scene, I especially enjoyed very much, where they’re both eating a magnificent soup, “soul food from the ghettos of New York city”, the delight on there face while they’re eating the soup, one trying to guess the ingredients, it made the audience wonder, what soup was that? I still wonder, I made a search and didn’t fond a god damn thing, if you watch the film and you know what soup that is, please let me know. Overall is a very good film about faith extremism, one in blackness, nothingness and the other in absolution, an higher entity.



I haven't seen either of those last two movies, but they both look interesting. I'll keep checking your thread and maybe you will review a film I've seen, so that then I can comment on the movie. So far looking good



Time Out of Mind - 2014

-



The similarities between this film and the first one I reviewed are obvious. They have both actors I admire and whose work I haven't quite saw yet. They are both about homelessness, and they are both in New York city. Despite that they are different films. Time Out of Mind have a particularity that I haven't seen in most films of this kind, the author didn't romanticize the character difficult situation. We have Richard Gere as George, a homeless man, lost is job, house, wife and daughter. He ghosts New York corners and park benches, sells is jacket to buy a six-pack, have a hard time falling asleep in the hard benches around the city, wakes up without shoes, kids took them for the fun of it, so he sleeps during the day riding the subway trains, is waken up so people can take his picture while he doesn't have any cloths on. This man doesn't have a place to go during the day, isn't an artist, a intelectual, neither a spiritual enlightened person, a very unattractive character the author created, not romanticized in any way, just the raw reality, I liked that. One of the major differences between The Saint of Forth Washington and this film, is that the first one tried to show us the humanity, solidarity shared by those in the worsts situations and the lack of it in those who aren't in bad situations, this film is the exact opposite, shows the bureaucracy of the system, yes, shows some people swimming in that bureaucracy, yes, but also show us samaritans that really wanna to help without asking anything in return. Also emphasizes the mental health condition of this homeless community, a community that is not as close as we might think they are, and that's the point of the film in a way, they are a ghost. The soundtrack was alright, very soft, not trying to dramatize anything. The cinematography is what really got me, they used stationary shots, filming behind something, a wall, a window, zooming until reaching the character, the character is not highlighted, in some scenes you see a crowd and you don't know where the character is, the camera is slowly zooming until you finally see him, in some scenes you only see the character in the background, while you are watching a stranger, someone without relevance for the plot having a conversation, this technique is crucial to elevate what I believe is the main subject of this film, insignificance. This is a character tormented by lost, by meaning nothing, he still believe is going to find his death wife, his been in the streets for ten years but he refuses to call himself a homeless, when he notices that people simply disappear in that city without anyone having any remembrance of who they were, he tries to conquer his daughter affection.



I seen Time Out of Mind. I liked it's low key, non sentimental look at a man who's homeless on the streets of New York and suffering from dementia. I thought the first half was better than the second part, but overall a very unique, indie style movie.

If you're watching films about homeless, I know of an excellent Spanish film: Entre nos (2009) Based on a true story of a young woman with children who comes to America from Columbia and ends up homeless. I think it's a special film, you might like it.




In every there is some story that every people can't understand, but all I can say the Joao's movie is average...