Mini reviews of Samsara, Edge of Tomorrow and The Grand Budapest Hotel

I watched Samsara, Edge of Tomorrow and, finally, Louie, which I slowly need to ingest; season 1 has been a crawl.

Edge of Tomorrow, however, is a fast paced Groundhog Day ride that’s been skillfully crafted using the stuck-in-one-day formula to create this piece of science fiction that takes some minor progressive steps forward from current blockbuster Hollywood.  It’s an easy watch and should do well in the home video market.  Tom Cruise is in good form and Emily Blunt succeeds as more than just a foil for the protagonist.  She’s also a babe.

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Samsara is magnificent.  Visually arresting and stunning, it weaves a subtle story through sequences of shots taken around the world: China, Tibet, the Americas, South East Asia, Japan, the Middle East, France, Africa, and probably more!  As an aspiring screenwriter, it felt like a ‘must see’ because it told its story visually.  It’s no master class but some timeless ideas are present and quite useful to digest.

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On another note, I’ve been thinking about The Grand Budapest Hotel – the best film I’ve seen this year – and the way Wes Anderson crafted the script from various works of Stefan Zweig; at one time, before the Great War, the most translated author on the planet.  I must admit, I’m totally hooked on Zweig at the moment after seeing the movie, the film has done a great job of capturing his voice.

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Anderson created a fabulous homage to Zweig in The Grand Budapest Hotel that resonates with such clarity it could almost bring one to tears, especially after researching Zweig’s life.  Anderson’s script sounds like a novel but so distinctly feels like a film, unlike most adaptations (though this is not) that seem like a novel trying to fit into a film.  It shows Anderson’s skill as a storyteller and filmmaker.

From it I learned that no matter what, you need to keep in mind the essence of a film to create a foundation for your story, before layering it with lagom of concise, ornate rhetoric to engage in sensory delight.  OK, that’s a little ambitious, but you gotta reach big, yo!  How else can one become real?

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