Searching for Sugar Man. Have you heard of it?

Searching for Sugar Man is a documentary film, Directed by Malik Bendjelloul, that follows two fans and their search to uncover the anonymity of a singer. The singer was as big as the beetles in South Africa, he offered hope and strength to the country, his words bearing truth and inspiration to an isolated country, but in his home of the USA he was little to unknown, he wasn’t recognised and he wasn’t heard.  The true story focuses on would-be rock legend Sixto Rodriguez, with his songs centred around desolate Detroit, he was discovered on a foggy night, hidden in a smoke filled bar, playing his guitar singing his words that were true and told of his troubles.

The documentary is beautiful and incredible, not a second was spent thinking of anything else whilst I was watching, not what I was doing after, or what should I eat for dinner? Because all my attention was spent on the film. The story perfectly unfolds, flashing by in a blink. Were we really in there for over an hour? It felt like half the time.

True stories occasionally lack the substance of fiction, the thrills and tension but, when a film can encapsulate that with no added exaggeration, when it is just re-telling the truth it adds something truly special, and In Searching for Sugar Man the suspense lasted through the whole film and further remains after it ended. I could expand a lot on details because I fell in love with the film, the people in the film, who made the film and Rodriguez himself but, I want you to see it for yourself.

I have a few films that I can think off the top of my head that have moved me in such a memorable way. I haven’t stopped thinking about this film for a couple of days now, it makes me smile to think of it. It reminded me of what life is about, giving, the modesty of people and the power of a community. I really want you, your parents, and your parents, parents, your teenage son, teenage daughter or cynical auntie to go and watch this; I can make a guarantee, a promise that they will be inspired, uplifted and thankful.
Let me know what you think.

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The film: Looper

Popcorn and Pespi, a pair I always look forward to on cinema nights. I actually find it a little offensive when people disregard popcorn as it tastes like cardboard or worse being called tasteless, I’m not ashamed to admit popcorn being in my top 5 favourite snacks and with a film like Looper, with its tension mounting scenes and questionable plot lines, this snack was well appreciated.

Looper is a Sci-Fi, action, thriller, futuristic, blockbusting film. Directed by Rian Johnson, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt , as the younger version of Bruce Willis, and Bruce Willis an older version of Joseph Gorden-Levitt, the two co-existing separately but brought together in the present through a whole charade of events. There is fighting, violence, futuristic portals, big guns and little romances all creating a fantastic combination to add to the pepsi and popcorn. The film, no spoilers, is about time-travel. The Loopers kill people from the future. In this fictional future people can’t kill others so they pop them in these portals, and the victims are welcomed to the present on their knees, heads covered to be shot with big blasters by the Loopers. That is the basic plot, but little hints throughout amount to the climatic and dramatic end to the film, as I said no spoilers.

I was first introduced to director Rian Johnson with his film Brick(2005), also starring our handsome lead Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Brick was fantastic, the scenes were so sharp, directed to perfect timing, slick and sophisticated, so I expected something impressive on my cinema night. As expected the same traits were evident in Looper, slick, stylish scenes, effortless and not afraid to pause a bit longer than accepted. The filming and the effects were interesting, it wasn’t shy on blood and gore, I’m squeamish but I was fine with the violence, go hard or go home so they went hard. The plot annoyed me because I was asking questions, making assumptions that weren’t justified, I got confused smack bang in the middle, there is a shift in the story and it all suddenly becomes a bit too much to handle. I was laughing at this point, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, was it a sketch, a spoof or something meant to be humours? It wasn’t, as nobody else was laughing, out loud.

So I can accept the weird plot line because I appreciated the filming, the performances, and the pauses, I love the pauses I am drawn to them, noticing them more than the couple rustling beside me. But there is still something I have tried hard to understand and forgive Johnson for, but I can’t not yet, it’s still fresh. I just don’t understand why they had to put so much make-up on Joseph G-L, yes he had to look like a younger Bruce Willis but his eyebrows were made-up for the stage and his lips, whilst still being kissable, looked a little clownish. I don’t get it, he doesn’t have to be dead ringer of young Bruce Willis, so to paint him up and highlight his face so much detracted and distracted me for most of the film.

Too much?

Too much?

Please go and see this weird and wonderful film, it’s odd, it’s hilarious, it’s in the future, the past and the present, its a Looper, fantastic directing and questionable plot directions but I haven’t seen a combination like it, popcorn and Pepsi included.

Well this Knight was Dark.

Already I’m falling behind. I had plans yesterday to write about my day, it was lovely, I had fun, I saw things, did this and did that. But what stopped me from blogging was the Batman himself, I went to the cinema to see the latest film from the franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, and the title doesn’t lie, it was very dark when I left the cinema, far too late on a work night. I got home at 11pm bursting with things to say but tiredness overwhelmed me. I think this blog will just become ‘And as for yesterday’ or ‘And as for last week’.

A miniature review of batman is in order. The film started at around 20:17 give or take, adverts these days take advantage of watchful eyes, I finished most of my popcorn as a result. The film was long, it didn’t feel long but then again a lot happened. The film fast forwards 7 years after the death of Harry Dent, Bruce Wayne is a recluse still in mourning for his lost love Rachel. The film begins in the usual way, the bad guy has his intro with scenes of heavy violence and hard knocks. Wayne shown in all his lonesome sorrow, new characters like Blake,  Joseph Gordan-Levitt, who we later find out is Robin, although I figured that out pretty early on and Cat Women played by Anne Hathaway. It took a while to warm to Cat Women and Hathaway, we are used to her gracing our screens literally, always the elegant, sweet hearted girl who lives an ordinary life. Quite the contrary with her Cat Women and her brutal meanness and kick ass attitude. I like superhero films because it makes me want to be a super hero, Cat Women doesn’t begin as a hero, I’ll forgive her for that but by the end I want to be Cat Women, she is a strong female protagonist of the film and stands boldly alongside Batman. The story line, well I couldn’t go into too much details because there was lots of details. It was strong and well justified, I think too much went on when certain parts could be cut. I will tell you now that it could be borderline and tipping into a comedy genre,  beware as some scenes are very dramatised, I found myself laughing at a lot of these, they are great!

That’s a small review, I don’t want to give the plot away because that would take too long, it is a very handsome film in many respects. It is Gothic and dark which is what makes me so hungry for more, there is always a cloud lingering over Gotham City with great anticipation waiting for the next bad ass, kick ass, I dare say a little too violent, and tough loving film.