Archive for June, 2009



15
Jun
09

Movie Review: The Brothers Bloom

brothers_bloomCharming and amusing.

Stars Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Rinko Kikuchi, and Robbie Coltrane. Directed by Rian Johnson

Story: Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Brody) are brothers who, whilst growing up, went from foster family to foster family; 38 of them to be exact. In their early teens Stephen concocts a 15-step plan that dupes other children into getting mud on their clothes which then leads to getting a kickback from the local dry cleaner. This assuredly sets Stephen and Bloom on the long road to becoming master con artists.

Which they do. Through dialog and flashback we get the history of Stephen and Bloom: they went from con to con and happened upon an older con artist named Diamond Dog (Maximilian Schell) who taught them everything they needed to know. After Stephen took Dog’s right eye out, they quickly took flight and became the legends they are. Along the way they picked up Bang Bang, a silent Asian woman that specializes in explosions, smokes anywhere (including hospitals), and who becomes Stephen’s girlfriend.

After one of the cons Bloom doesn’t want to be a con anymore; he wants a “normal” life. He retreats to Montenegro only to be found 3 months later by Stephen who propositions him for one last con. The “mark” is Penelope Stamp (Weisz), an introverted millionaire heiress. She drives, and repeatedly wrecks, yellow Lamborghinis (which are automatically replaced). She also happens to “collect hobbies,” such as breakdancing, playing the accordion, and juggling chainsaws. Bloom entices her to join in and the con is on.

The plans to make it to the Mediterranean and down to Mexico come with complications. First is the Curator (Coltrane), a Frenchman who knows the Brothers Bloom all too well and threatens to destroy the con. Add to that the return of Diamond Dog; Bloom hates him and Stephen assaults him again. As the con continues Bloom falls in love with Penelope against his hopes, which further threatens a divide between him and his only family: Stephen.

Overall it was a cute and charming movie, but I’m not so sure that I agreed with the ending. Ruffalo and Weisz are enjoyable, but Brody is a little too depressed. The cinematography was cool and Johnson did a great job with the scene titling (watch it to know what I’m talking about).

My grade: B

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04
Jun
09

In Passing… David Carradine (1936-2009)

David_Carradine

 

Actor, musician, producer, and director David Carradine was found dead in his Bangkok hotel room. His father was actor John Carradine and his half-brothers were Keith and Robert Carradine and Michael Bowen. David Carradine has been acting in television and film since 1963 when he was on “Armstrong Circle Theatre.” His first film role was as Cal Dodge in “Taggart” (1964). In 1972 he took the role of Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series “Kung Fu” (1972-1975) which is the role he’s most identified with. His other film work includes “Death Race 2000,” the “Kill Bill” movies and most recently “Crank 2.” He has worked with such directors as Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman, and Quentin Tarantino. Aside from acting he was a musician having recorded 60 tracks in multiple genres and sung in several films. He was 72 years of age.

It’s still early for details but as of this writing the story is that Carradine committed suicide by hanging himself in his hotel room.

Thought and prayers to his family and friends.

For more information, check out his IMDB page at:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001016/

Or visit webpage at:
http://david-carradine.com/