Posts tagged “Cake

True Adolescents / A Simple Recipe for a ‘Good Day’


True Adolescents  -  Front DVD Cover  -  US ReleaseAt 34, struggling Seattle musician Sam (Mark Duplass, “Humpday”, “The League”) finds himself broke, jobless and losing touch with the person he wants to become.  When his girlfriend kicks him out, he’s forced to crash with his Aunt Sharon (Academy Award winner Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”) and is reluctantly enlisted to take her teen son, Oliver, and his friend Jake camping.  Edgy, funny and honest, Craig Johnson’s film follows the trio into the rugged Pacific Northwest as unforeseen revelations and transformations force them to face adulthood.  Set to a mesmerizing soundtrack featuring both emerging and established artists including Band of Horses, The Black Keys and Devendra Banhart, “True Adolescents” remind us that sometimes people need to get lost to truly find themselves.

2009  –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  American Film
7.0 out of 10

I didn’t want to get up yesterday morning.  It was raining outside (again), grey and unpleasant.  On my journey to work, I was busy mentally congratulating myself on my meteorological forecasting skills and subsequent ability to make the journey during a break in the rain, just as it started to pour down for the last few minutes.  I got soaked.  It’s Fair Trade Fortnight and where I work was attempting to serve free tea, coffee and breakfasts to people outside; the rain pouring off the canopy in front of the building and onto the pavement was ‘intense’.  Strangely, I left work at about six feeling quite upbeat.  On my walk home I was wondering why, after such an unpromising start to the day, it had turned into quite a good one.  I didn’t really come up with anything, other than there were a number of nice, small things and a lack of bad things, which probably did the trick.  A CD/DVD I’d ordered on Sunday was delivered.  This was unexpectedly early.  I was due to have to go and do something all day, (basically sit and observe someone delivering a training course), but the date for this has now been changed, so I had an extra day in the office and got a lot of things done that I wasn’t expecting to get done.  I had a nice lunch with a colleague in the cafe, something I don’t often do.  Someone in the office got a grant of £2,500 to do some work; we were only expecting to get a few hundred, so this was a welcome surprise.  For the first time that I can remember, all eight volunteers and staff were in at the same time today; the place felt quite alive and buzzy.  Someone bought a big, homemade cake in.  I completed a grant claim that’s been hanging about for ages and I’ve had loads of hassle over.  I got a few other bits of outstanding work done that had been playing on my thoughts for a while.  I didn’t go into Tesco on the way home and buy crap for my dinner; I came home and cooked proper food instead.  So there you go, my recipe for an okay day.

A thirty-something guy takes his nephew and his nephew’s friend camping for a weekend.  They all grow up a bit.  The end.  This is a decent enough film that’s worth watching mainly for Mark Duplass’ man-boy character, who’s funny but in a believable way.  The main thing that bugged me was the fact that many of the various things that happen to them, especially the two most significant ones, don’t seem to get dealt will in any depth; they felt more like plot contrivances to take us towards the end, rather than big events that ought to have been considered in more detail.  Shame that.  It’s a decent enough watch though.   

This film makes much of its musical content and the main character is also a guitarist/singer in a not very good indie rock band.  Unfortunately most of the music is pretty mundane.  That’s a shame too.

Like a lot of things, the trailer is there or thereabouts.  It does a good job of not spoiling the film, but at the same time doesn’t tell you a great deal about it either.

Recommended for not-famous guitarists, rubbish indie rock bands, teenage boys and kindly aunts.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment? The two lads ask Sam if he’s going to wear his hiking boots.  Sam glances down at what looks like a rather battered pair of Converse baseball shoes on his feet and says, “These are my hiking boots”, (with the emphasis on “are”).  Yeh, that’s rock ‘n’ roll for you!  I then spent the rest of the film all tensed up, waiting for him to turn his ankle over.  Weirdly, this fate befalls one of the other characters.  As someone who sprained his ankle hiking a couple of years ago, I could relate to this, which makes it badass.  Converse boots really aren’t good for hiking.     

True Adolescents at IMDB (6/0 / 10)
True Adolescents at Wikipedia
True Adolescents at YouTube


Historias Mínimas / Hell is 16,000 Rectangles


Historias Minimas  -  Front DVD cover (UK)A charming and affecting tale charting the fortunes of three small town heroes pursuing their dreams, Carlos Sorin’s “Historias Mínimas” offers further evidence of the current riches to be found in Argentine cinema.  Awarded a special jury prize at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, it’s a deceptively simple, yet delightful road movie concerned with three disparate characters heading for the Argentine city of San Julian amid the beautiful landscapes of Patagonia.  Roberto (Javier Lombardo) is a travelling salesman hoping to impress a young widow by surprising her child with a birthday cake.  Don Justo (Antonio Benedictis) is an old man with poor vision who sits in front of his son’s grocery store and entertains passing children by wiggling his ears.  Maria (Javiera Bravo) is a shy young mother who has won an appearance on TV game show “Multicoloured Casino”.   Gently probing the hopes and aspirations of his characters, Sorin uses the interconnected, tripartite structure to offer astute observations both on a culture relatively unscathed by modernity and on contemporary Argentina itself.

2002  –  Certificate: 15  –  Argentina
7 out of 10

I work for a charity.  Ironically, considering we’re basically penniless (because we use all our dosh on doing ‘good stuff’) we spend a lot of time counting our money.  We count it up, we count it down, we count it sideways, we even lend it to one another (a loving and intimate experience we call an “internal transfer”) so we can count it some more.  Every year, to punish ourselves for not having enough money with which to save the planet, we like to spend ‘quality time’ counting what little we have.  It’s a quasi-religious experience for us all, where staff from far and wide go back to their offices and sit in front of a computer, before subjecting themselves to a living Hell.  In the ‘old days’ we called these bi-annual events “budgeting” or “forecasting”.  Then, discovering we actually had less money than we thought, we decided to count it four times a year instead and call it “financial planning”.  These are watched over by a group of pan-dimensional super-intelligent beings we call the Leadership Team, (although throughout the annuals of human history they’ve sometimes been given many other, less flattering titles).  Their names are known to everyone, but few claim to have met any, (which certainly helps to keep the God theme going).  Like visiting a priest, this is a time for people to confess their sins and fess up to all the non-existent income they’ve been claiming they’re going to raise.  The naughtier you’ve been, the longer you’re required to do this for.  This year I’ve been really bad, so I’ve just spent 6 days in Purgatory, filling in around 16,000 rectangles that needed a number put into them, mostly, as you might imagine, zeros. There were also about 100 pages of notes, to explain what all the noughts mean.  I guess I could have spent six days filling in forms to gain some money to put into all the boxes that have nothing in them, but what do I know?   I suppose if you add enough noughts together, they’ll end up equalling more than nothing; there must be some ‘weird’ maths somewhere that results in that happening, or maybe there’re just typos.  That reminds me, I must go and spend my HMV Vouchers on Saturday.  This is a film about some people without a great deal of money, who seem to get by okay.

This is a cute drama/comedy about three people undertaking different journeys in Argentina, from the same, small village to a (not so) nearby town.  Unlike the last film I watched, “Say Yes”, which was a road trip movie about a psycho hitchhiker in Korea, this one is slow, nothing much happens and it’s really quite boring.  Yet despite this it’s actually quite engrossing.  There’s something very ‘reality TV’ about watching ordinary people going about their business and seeing how important seemingly small things are to them.  Those little events that mean you have a good day or a crap day; in the big scheme of things they don’t make the slightest difference, but to us individually they’re immensely significant.   This movie also highlights the fact that most people are inherently quite decent, which isn’t something you see in a film very often. If there isn’t at least one person trying to fuck up someone else’s life, then it’s just weird.  If you remember “The Fast Show’s” Chanel 9, you’ll be able to relate to the Multicoloured Casino part.  There’s something quite funny about watching a film in Spanish featuring a really crappy game show, which uses the word “multiprocessor” too many times.  Some of scenery is pretty inspiring too, so it’s a shame the quality of the picture isn’t that great.  Nice film, go watch.

Recommended for people who can manage 88 minutes without any aliens, explosions or superheroes.  It’s tough I know, but someone has to do it.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  I’m going for the workman who helps Don Justo get his dog back.  True, it’s probably not actually his dog and the workman does have to buy it from some guy, but considering he didn’t really know Don Justo, that was a pretty badass thing to do.  And there I was, thinking that all that Argentinians are heartless bastards who just want to reinvade the Falklands.  I guess that’s what happens when you confuse politicians with human beings.

Historias Mínimas on IMDB (7.3/10)