Monthly Archives: December 2012

flixaddict – The Pianist

In this epic drama Adrian Brody plays a Polish ex-musician surviving during the German occupation of Poland. Brody’s character is one of the very few Jews who had yet to be collected and shipped off to the concentration camp. The movie follows Brody as he wanders around not knowing what to do, where to go, where to sleep, or what to eat.

As he is walking around and discovering what has become of his old town, bombshells exploding in the distance present themselves as a threat to his life. Brody has a scared but somber attitude almost suggesting that he would be okay if his life were to be taken. He has not much of a life at this point to salvage anyway.

His entire town is reduced to mere rubble and he doesn’t know where anyone is. He can only assume that the bodies he doesn’t find littering the streets are now somewhere in the concentration camp. It seems as if Germany is overlooking that town, having written it off as ‘controlled’. There are very few foot soldiers patrolling around which allows Brody to remain unbound as long as he stays out of sight.

The only immediate dangers aside from be seen and captured by German soldiers is the occasional, and sometimes not so distant, air raids as wells as the dilapidating shells of buildings around him. Throughout the whole movie what’s left of building are crashing around him and you wonder if that will be what kills him. There are a few close calls but he always makes it out.

My favorite scene is probably the most artistic one within the film in which Brody is hiding from unaware German soldiers in the next room. He ducks behind a door to not be seen and discovers an upright piano along on wall. He silently sits down on the piano bench and places his fingers over the ivory white keys without actually touching them. A beautiful and hauntingly dramatic piano score begins to play with Brody’s hands and finger synced to what is heard by the audience but silent within the story. This scene is overly long but not in a bad way. It is beautiful and the piano piece he acts as a literary device within the story line, allowing the viewer to see his longing for not only to physically be able to play the piano again but also his past life before the occupation. His thoughts highlight the chapters of his life as a successful player with a life and friends and loved ones before everything changed. The screen gives way to a montage of a well dressed Brody at an earlier time as he takes a mental hiatus from his current situation.

The Pianist is a wonderful movie that gives you insight to what suffering war and loss bring on. The film does this in a dramatic way because it is real and not because of any over the top Hollywood enhancement other than high quality recording and smart production choices.

As this viewer has recommended in this review, we at Flixaddict.com also recommend The Pianist as a touching, gripping movie that makes us think deeply about what we should be thankful for.

Movie and tv show reviews give us good insight before we make the decision to watch or not to watch, to buy or not to buy, and to rent or not to rent. At #Flixaddict.com, it is our hope that you’ll get some feedback about different movies, films, documentaries and shows so that you’ll be able to save some time when deciding. We also hope that you’ll send us your reviews and feedback so that we can share them with others.

Movie descriptions and trailers do a good job at telling about the movies but not compared to reviews by viewers. As always, everyone likes to hear what the actual audience has to say about what they’ve just seen. So be sure to check back often as we post more and be sure to spend a few minutes to share with us what you think about some of the things that you’ve seen lately. @flixaddict.com

@flixaddict – The Office

The Office is what could be referred to as white collar comedy. The Office is about the funny happenings of an everyday small town Pennsylvanian paper supply company. This show could possibly be considered the pioneer in the mockumentary genre of comedy with the way it capitalizes in the humor found in the behavior of normal people. The characters are very real and accessible to anyone that has spent time working for a corporate style company. The quirks and awkward moments is what the show really thrives on. Many other shows took a page out of the book that this show has written in attempts to follow the same recipe in order to get a laugh.

The Office manager Michael Scott is an insecure and yet sometimes narcissistic boss who commonly compensates for his lack of acceptance in other areas of his life through the instruction and authority or approval of his employees. He thinks of himself as a well liked father figure and best friend to the other employees of The Office. No one is quite sure how Michael became office manager other than he had been there for a long time and happened to be in the right place at the right time. Michael is usually incapable of making the most rational decisions for the business and all too often finds himself mixed up in a web of business and pleasure intertwined that he can only remedy through lying and making promises that no one believes he will keep. Occasionally he does surprise them by coming through and being a good boss and that restores faith in his employees for a little bit until his next ridiculous idea comes a long.

The other characters in the show all have well developed back stories and anyone familiar with the show is also familiar with the personalities of each character and it can be hard to see them in some other film or show without assuming them to be the person they play on The Office.

This remains true for pretty much every character except for Creed Bratton. Creed Bratton is actually playing himself in the show. He is a strange old man who used to play in a folk rock band in the 70’s and then disappeared, involving himself in an unknown amount of illicit activities until finally landing at The Office. He was originally supposed to be fired in one of the first seasons but ignored his lines while filming and responded with a convincing plea to not be fired. The writer’s found this hilarious and kept him on the show because of it. In most episodes Creed only has a few lines within the episodes but they are some of the most confusing yet funny statements that are part of the show. Most of them are drug related or other illegals that Creed has been involved with. Meredith, “I’ve been on pain medication since my surgery…” Creed, “What did they give you?? Vicodin? Oxy codone? What is it huh?? Come on woman speak!”

The Office as reviewed by a viewer gives insight and feedback that may help you in making decisions on what to watch. Our team at flixaddict hope you enjoy the reviews by actual viewers.

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Flixaddict Review: The music of Little Miss Sunshine

The soundtrack for Little Miss Sunshine, done by Illinois born and raised Sufjan Stevens, provides the perfect upbeat and whimsical aura to match the movie. The songs are driven by light percussion in odd time signatures with floating horns and harps above and simple guitar and piano melodies intertwining throughout the entire collection.
Stevens’ band consists of a large number of ever-changing players so it is hard to keep track of. His band often wears matching button up shirts that make them look like they are all part of some sort of throw back summer camp or scout troupe. At other times while his band continues the uniformed tradition, Sufjan wears all white with giant butterfly wings and matching face paint. When he isn’t in this kind of attire he wears simply jeans and a baseball cap that is sometimes a little too reassuring that he is a normal guy from Illinois.
Sufjan Stevens is bit of an elusive character and seems to stay away from the touring musician circuit for the most part. With only the occasional performances here and there, the only thing you have to draw from are his albums that are released whenever he writes new music. Stevens is arguably a musical genius who is more than capable of writing both his own music for his indie style albums as well as full out musical scores and he has proven this time and again in the past. He writes and arranges scores much like a traditional composer as well being very proficient at multiple instruments. On stage he primarily plays banjo or guitar and occasionally the piano.
The music featured in Little Miss Sunshine was not made specifically and solely for the movie even though it fits so perfectly that it seems as if it was. The film’s production company merely got the rights to use the music from one of Stevens’ more popular records entitled “Come On, Feel The Illinoise”
I imagine that is was easier to obtain the rights to an album from a lesser known indie artist as opposed to a very well known mainstream artist. Despite having a smaller following than other artists who monopolize the radio airwaves, Sufjan’s music is just as powerful and engages you in the moment and emotion of the movie.
Typically, many of the reoccurring musical themes within the film are just separate clips of the same song off of “Come On, Feel The Illinoise”. The song is entitled “Chicago” much like the character’s in Little Miss Sunshine, Steven’s “Chicago” is about literally driving to a different city but also a metaphor for moving on in your life to something new. Within the movie the majority of the times, “Chicago” is played and there are no lyrics. It’s simply the first blooming horn lines in the song’s intro which further proves the point of the marriage between Steven’s music and the moments in the film. The music is able to evoke the feeling and purpose of the song with lyrics yet to be sung. It is quite powerful stuff and I really don’t think they could have found a better suitor for this film’s soundtrack.
Without the music and soundtrack, where would a movie be, as this reviewer of “Little Miss Sunshine” has just proven. Music is such a big part of life and this is why the right music is so important. Songs have become enormously popular due to the movies they’re in and vice versa. Thank you, Dear Movie Viewer and Music Lover, for this wonderful movie and music review.
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