RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Mark Ruffalo

Zodiac

Posted on
Zodiac

Image credit: Zodiac, 2007.

I’ve already discussed my love of true crime on Cinema Sips, but in case you missed it, I have a thing for serial killers.  Especially serial killers of the 1960s-70s.  While I’m still awaiting that big-budget Richard Speck biopic (somebody PLEEEEAAAASE make this movie), I have to tide myself over with David Fincher’s Zodiac (Disc/Download).

After watching Fincher’s recent television project Mindhunter, it’s very clear that Zodiac should have been a mini-series. I personally split it up into two nights of viewing, because let’s face it, two hours and thirty-seven straight minutes of police procedurals can be a bit fatiguing.  But even with this lengthy run-time, it still felt like crucial details were missing. With crimes taking place over several years, the film often skips ahead, which is great for the case, but not so great for character development.  Jake Gyllenhaal is married after one bad date?  Robert Downey Jr.  went from ace reporter to alcoholic houseboat dweller?  When did all this happen?  But where the film truly shines is in the actual murder depictions, and in the questioning of potential suspects.  Fincher amps up the tension like a pro, making you wonder what sort of sick turn he’ll take next.  Will the couple make it out of this picnic alive?  Will Ione Skye and her baby escape from the car?  Is Jake Gyllenhaal about to be murdered in the basement of a San Francisco cinephile?  Is the weapon of choice an old Buster Keaton reel??  I CAN’T LOOK AWAY.

I’m a sucker for good production design, and it’s clear that this film was painstakingly researched. When Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. settle into a leather booth in a dim San Francisco joint, you can almost smell the cigarettes and aftershave.  Gyllenhaal’s character orders an Aqua Velva cocktail, so let’s stay movie-appropriate and follow his lead.

Aqua Velva

1 oz Vodka

1 oz Gin

½ oz Blue Curacao

Sprite

Lemon Slice, Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Combine vodka, gin, and blue curacao in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a rocks-filled glass.  Top with Sprite, and garnish with a lemon slice, maraschino cherry, and drink umbrella.

Aqua Velva

While this film certainly has its flaws, it’s still a thrilling step back in time to a frightening period of American history.  The term serial killer hadn’t even been invented yet, but nevertheless, they were out there.  Taunting us. Watching us. Waiting for their lives to be immortalized on celluloid…

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Posted on
Image Credit Focus Features, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004

Image Credit Focus Features, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004

“Valentine’s Day is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to sell more cards.” And so begins my absolute favorite movie about February 14th, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (DVD/Download). The opening line says it all.  This is not a ‘sunshine and roses’ romantic comedy. However, it is funny, it is romantic, and it is truly daring and original filmmaking by director Michel Gondry.

Eternal Sunshine asks the question- what if a bad break-up could be erased from our minds? What are the consequences? If you erase the memory, do the same patterns just repeat themselves? The two lead characters are Joel (played by Jim Carrey), and Clementine (played by Kate Winslet). Unusual casting for sure, but these two actors are surprisingly perfect together. The film’s story, written by Charlie Kaufman, is told in non-linear sequence. We think we’re seeing two people meeting on a train for the first time, until gradually it becomes clear that they’ve already dated, fell in love, broken up, then paid a doctor to erase their memories of one another. With no memory of the bad relationship, they are just two people finding each other by chance, and falling in love the same way they did before. Because this is a Michel Gondry film, there are analog special effects during the scenes where memories are being erased, and the results are visually spectacular. A terrific supporting cast includes Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst, David Cross, and Tom Wilkinson as the helpful memory-erasing doctor with secrets of his own.

My cocktail this week is an easy one to make, giving you more time to spend paying close attention to the plot of the film (trust me, you need to pay attention). I love the name Clementine, and it’s such a refreshing flavor in the middle of winter, so this week I’m making a Darlin’ Clementine.

Darlin’ Clementine

2 oz vodka

2 oz fresh clementine juice

1 oz simple syrup

Mix all ingredients in a shaker over ice, then strain into a chilled glass. Rub clementine peel around the rim of the glass, then discard.

Darlin-Clementine

This movie will always be special to me because I bought it right before my husband and I started dating. I was obsessed with everything Kate Winslet (and still am) so upon saying goodbye on February 13th, 2005, I told him to call me the next day to wish me a happy Valentine’s Day (just as Clementine says to Joel). He still chides me about it, claiming that was his plan all along. He did call, and that memory is one I don’t ever want to be erased. Cheers!