Requiem for a Dream (2000) Film Review

Requiem for a Dream

Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is an older woman who is obsessed by television, in particular the strange game show starring Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald). When she receives a letter advising she is going to be on television, she becomes obsessed with losing weight to fit into a dress, to extreme measures. Meanwhile, her son, Harry (Jared Leto), his mate Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and his girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly) are having a ball, experimenting with drugs and dabbling in selling. Things are ace; then things go bad.

This is very close to being a sadtacular film. Close, but watching it again, the impact was greatly lessened. It is still an extremely good film, well crafted, stunning, amazing soundtrack, marvellous performances. But it no longer holds the power to cause me to cry my eyes out. If you’ve been scared to watch it, don’t. It’s worth it, even if it is hard.

Requiem for a Dream was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a leading Role (Ellen Burstyn).

The Heat (2013) Film Review

The Heat

Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is an extremely good but arrogant and unpopular FBI agent. She plays by the rules, doesn’t swear and gets cases closed. She is sent away to work on a case and comes across Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) a cop who is pretty much the opposite; slobby, foul-mouthed and flouts the rules. Yet, she too gets the job done, and she too is unpopular in her workplace. They start with a hate-hate relationship that quickly turns into a working partnership.

It’s ridiculous and stupid, and there is very little base in reality for pretty much anything that happens in the film. But I still loved it. Thank goodness Sandra Bullock still has some comedy to play, because when she stops that, I’ll miss her a lot. (Hopefully she will continue with these roles alongside the Gravity-type serious stuff) Heat 2 is apparently in the making, and I expect I’ll enjoy it, but I really look forward to seeing Melissa McCarthy doing some less over-the-top crazy roles. She’s very good at them, but I’d like to see something different.

The Ladykillers (2004) Film Review

The Ladykillers

For me, I think this was one of the few Coen brothers films that I have never heard of (there are a few, but they have made just so many). It’s one of my less favourites.

There is an elderly black woman, Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall), highly religious, who lives in a large house with a ‘root cellar’ (a cellar with dirt walls). A very odd man, “Professor Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr, takes a room upstairs and uses the root cellar for rehearsals of his medieval music ensemble. Without the knowledge of Munson, they are not rehearsing but planning to rob a nearby casino, tunneling in from the root cellar. Things do not go well.

It’s an excellent cast, and some excellent, over-the-top character acting from Hanks and many of the others. The story is alright, although it really only kicks in for me in the last half an hour or so. I learned that this is actually a remake of a 1955 film featuring Peter Sellers – I want to check that one out.