Friday, July 29, 2011

Control (3.5)

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The true story of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, before he takes his life at the age of 23.

I wouldn't necessarily say I am a fan of Joy Division but I have always liked their music so I was interested in this story. It seemed so tragic and I always love learning about rock bands from the 60s and 70s.

While I was watching I was really into the movie. I enjoyed that it was filmed in black and white, I thought that added a nice extra touch of dismal vibes while also adding some cool cinematography via awesome use of shadows.

I know this is going to sound rude but I just need to say it, I honestly don't really understand why he killed himself. I know that his life was messed up and he suffered seizures but I'm not sure if he suffered more in real life and the film really didn't capture it well enough or if for Ian his life was the worst it could be. Not saying he couldn't justify it...I just, didn't feel as sad as I should have because his life didn't seem that bad. Sorry. Just what I thought.

Sam Riley who played Curtis was good, I think it was his voice too for some of the live stuff in the movie and I think he did a solid job. I never knew what Ian Curtis looked like on stage but he successfully showed his awkwardness. I swear, any man who can sing can be as awkward a dancer and ugly in the face and girls will still dig him. haha Funny.

Okay. The movie was great while I was watching it and if I had written this review right after watching it I would've given it an east 4/5...but the more I think about it the more forgettable of a movie it seems. Not sure why, I just am slowly become less and less impressed with it. Meh.

I also don't understand the last shot. And why it was there for so long. I just...there keeps being more and more that I don't understand. I did like the story though and the music.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Priest (3)

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A post apocalypse/future world was almost destroyed by a war between humans and the vampires but a band of priest, the ultimate warriors, win the battle and save mankind. Years later an attack on a family brings about the realization that the vampires are coming back...but why and how? Only one man has the courage and the faith to find the truth.

I love Paul Bettany(The Tourist, Legion, The Young Victoria). He is perfect for those types of roles. I know that by choosing them time and again though that people don't notice how amazing of an actor he is but I don't care, I think he is great and if he wanted to he could blow any character out of the water...but why would he when he can have fun instead. Can't blame the guy, I bet all his movies are fun as hell to make.

Cam Gigandet, mostly recognized as James from the first Twilight movie, was decent as a supporting actor. I wasn't overly impressed but it's hard to live up to Bettany in any scene so I'll give him credit for trying. His whole western, American-ness was a little out of place at times compared to the entire look and feel that I thought the movie was aiming for but hey, everyone likes guns in action movies so someone had to be the gun guy. I also saw him in The Experiment and Easy A but I don't really remember him standing out at all. MEh.

Karl Urban (Red) as a sexy vampire cowboy x-priest was interesting. I always like Karl, not only because anyone who had anything to do with the Lord of the Rings movies can do no wrong in my books, but because he is good at what he does. Rock on Karl.

I really enjoyed the whole comic book, post-Apocalypse, futuristic, sci-fi vibe to this movie. I thought they did a great job of merging all of the sub-genres into one entertaining and original story but the over-all delivery was weak. The movie hopped around more than the vampires do in the movies, some scenes sometimes felt like they were just chucked in there to clear up any confusion before rocketing the story forward as fast as they could and then filled the extra time with action. I love action and some of the fighting was really cool with some interesting weaponry but...over all, it was weak.

Paul Bettany, the fighting, Karl Urban as a vampire and a good looking sci-fi movie come close to awesome but doesn't quiet make the cut. Still a cool movie.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cars 2 (3.5)

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I know I keep giving all these movies 3.5/5 recently but it's because they keep missing that little extra bang to get them to 4 but are still very enjoyable and worth a watch: that is Cars 2 in a nut shell.

I liked how they added the whole spy thing to it and I had a lot of fun watching but I felt a lot more disconnected to this movie than I was in the first one. I know that it was because the old characters who we got to love weren't really in it all that much but it was also because the whole plot and concept behind this one wasn't very close to heart...and I'm still wondering if the message was positive for kids or not. Can't decide, couldn't tell which way they were going at the end there. Eye brow raising worthy but I let it go after a solid 1 minute of thought.

The racing is still exciting even though it's little animated, talking cars. The action was a little better but the characters and a bit of the humour was lost (in my opinion).

Still good. Still fun. Still a great kids movie...just not as good as the first.

I hope the message was the positive side and not a weird brain washing movie for kids...


Bonus: Michael Caine. He's even cool as a car. Awesome.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Horrible Bosses (3.5)

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Three friends hate their bosses and decide that the only way to get ride of them is to get ride of them for good.

I wasn't sure if I was going to go see this movie because it looked like either it was going to suck or it was going to be funny but the the first one would be more true. I don't usually put a lot of faith into summer comedies because it's summer and they know people want something silly and entertaining so they are usually just cash grabs.

This one was pretty good. I will admit to laughing pretty constantly for the majority of this film and I had a great time seeing it with my friend; I think she laughed even more than I did.

There were a lot of really amazing scenes that just never stopped being funny. Of course the story is flawed and they push the plot forward for no reasons sometimes but they have to move the movie along some how. The main idea is kind of funny and I thought Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell (The Way Back, In Bruges) and Jennifer Aniston (Just Go With It) did a great job being evil in their own ways. Actually, I couldn't even believe Colin Farrell...he is surprising me these days. Kevin Spacey was actually really scary in this movie and I am glad he is not my boss.

Jason Bateman was pretty funny although I think the trophy has to go to Charlie Day on this one. I don't know if it was his squeaky voice or his cuteness but I found him the most hilarious out of everyone. The least impressive was Jason Sudeikis...he just, wasn't as hilarious as I wanted him to be.

So, it's a summer comedy but there are some really good moments and a lot of ridiculous scenes and I had a great time watching it. From what I hear, it's way better than Bad Teacher although I haven't seen it yet I'm sure your better bet is with Horrible Bosses.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (5)

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Okay, okay, okay. I'm still freaking the fck out but COME ON this is over a decade of my life! Right there on the screen where the characters that I grew up with and the story that I knew for so long. I saw every single Harry Potter movie in the movies when they came out and I was there at midnight on Thursday when I had to work in the morning with bells on (well, more like peanut M&M's and playing monopoly on my friends i-pod as we waiting in line for over 2 hours to get good seats). *cough*

Anywho, perfection. Utterly and exhausting (emotionally) perfect. There is nothing I can say that made me upset. I love how they just toss you back into it and you are in for a wild ride. They just get right back in there and don't stop until, well, the end.

I wont say to much for those who haven't read the book(s) but I cried. I tried not to cry, I really really did but I failed more than once and I didn't give a care. I cried. It was like watching my friends fight for their lives and I just...failed. I actually almost cried right when the whole clouds start movie thing they did happened and the music started up...I held those back, but not for long. I'm not even a movie crier but this movie was rough. So good. AH!

Daniel, Rupert and Emma...magical. All three of you. Every single actor involved should be so proud of themselves for this landmark, historical moment in cinema history. The actors were the glue that held the franchise together and I am so happy for all of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And I know most people hated the 19 years later bit in the book but I'm really glad they added that to the movie because it just adds that extra finish to the whole story. Hey, you can't complain because they stuck to the book so shut it!

Action. Perfect. Drama. Perfect. Comedy. Perfect. Romance. Giggly Perfect. Ending. Perfect.


Thank you.


Hunger (4)

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2008 Irish drama directed by Steve McQueen and based on the true story of Irish Republican hunger striker Bobby Sands during the last six weeks of his life.

At first I wasn't sure what to think of this movie. The topic was very interesting to me. I always enjoy real life dramas, especially relating to politics around the world. This was something that I obviously heard about seeing how it was happening in the 1980's but I really had no idea how intense the situation really was.

Michael Fassbender. You are amazing. It was strange at first that the story was about you yet they didn't really focus on you until almost 1/3 way through the film but it was probably because they knew that as soon as people saw you that you would be the only thing they would care to see. This performance was insane and I can't believe that it was really him. That handsome, British man from Inglorius Basterds turns into this political prisoner who starves himself to death. Crazy. Loved him to pieces, he really made this movie.

Everyone else in it, like I stated above, was not as interesting yet the supporting roles were all very strong. In fact, there wasn't an ounce of lazy acting in this entire film...I wish it would've been longer so I could see more interaction regarding the other characters but alas it was not so and probably would've took the story too far away from the main point.

Favourite scene and one of the strongest scenes I think I have ever watched in the history of watching movies was between Michael Fassbender (Bobby) and the priest when he comes to the prison. There, dead locked on them, never tilting or scanning or zooming, is a shot of them sitting at a table with nothing but prison walls and cigarettes. Suddenly the most powerful and natural conversation starts and doesn't stop for 15 minutes. I mean it, solid, one shot, nothing but the script and the characters and a table between them. I think I started to sweat. It was so natural and just flowed yet the topic was powerful and it just seems so real.


That scene and Fassbender is reason to watch this movie.

I was only confused by the fact that Fassbender wasn't even in the movie until later and then they just literally throw him in and then expect you to know what is happening. As someone who didn't know what had happened in Ireland at the time I found myself trying to play catch-up when there was nothing to follow. One minute I think I should be paying attention to one character and the next it's someone else...other than that, solid movie.

ps- This is a Criterion Film.


Kung Fu Panda 2 (3.5)

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The hilarious kids comedy returns with every one's favourite fighting panda.

I watched the first movie back in the day because I loved Jack Black and all that he did was hilarious. I had no idea that the movie would be as fun and hilarious as it was and the second one was just as enjoyable! I know, sequels are scary these days because they are made as money grabs but every now and again there is light at the end of the sequel tunnels and this one was good (in my opinion).

I liked the story just as much this time around and the fighting was even better seeing how the panda had training since the last movie took place. It's funny, even though it's a kids movie and hilarious the action is actually really well done. I was thoroughly enjoying the fight scenes. The laughs were not as intense as in the first movie but they made up for that by having some cool action scenes. A fighting panda...I mean, come on. Awesome.

In terms of kids movies this is really cool and for all you parental units out there I found that there were a lot of positive messages hidden amongst the fighting and jokes. The fact that I noticed that this time around is actually a good thing, means that they didn't just stick them there because they felt they should, a good story wraps around a clear message about accepting who you are. It's a win win win win scenario.

Jack Black, you may be making less than amazing movies lately but you still rock as a panda.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Australia (3.5)

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"Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand." (imdb)

Hugh Jackman, you make everything okay. You really do. No matter the movie or the character I am stuck to you from start to finish. I honestly cannot NOT look at him when he is on the's like my eyes are magnets and, well, you get the picture. That aside he really did impress me in this movie. There were a lot of emotional scenes and his character had the biggest transitions within the film and you could really feel them and notice the change within him. Really cool. Love that man, he was easily the best part of this movie.

Nicole Kidman (Just Go With It), I know I've never really liked you. I don't really know why except that I always feel like you're playing the exact same characters in every movie (or at least majority of them) and I have never felt emotional moved when watching you on screen. It's just...dead space for some reason and I want to be connected to her but it just has yet to happen. She is awesome at what she does but it's always missing the spark for me. *shrugs*

I had no idea that this even happened in Australia in WWII, I really didn't know. I am a little upset that I didn't but I am glad that I have some idea of the countries hardships during that time. While this movie showed me a little bit of what was happening I felt that they tried too hard to fit too many stories and important historic moments into one film. They tried to do the war thing but then focused too much on the romance side but then went back to look at the aboriginals and cattle but then would flip between them all way too frequently with what seemed like large time gaps. Anyways, it didn't flow right because of that and my ability to understand every side of the story was damaged by the way the story jumped around.

They tried to make the transitions easier with the narration bit but for some reason I found it distracting coming from the the story, the entire movie, was really about him in the end yet they didn't spend all that much time on him. It was a weird balance that obviously didn't work the way it could or should have but alas, you can't win 'em all.

The movie was beautiful and the general story was entertaining and informative but I felt they tried too hard to make this epic, war, romance film and just made the plot all messy because of it which caused me the viewer to feel disconnected to any character for long periods of time.

I did cry though. There are some heavy scenes and it was late and I just felt like crying so I did, but I can ultimately blame Hugh for that. Thanks Hugh, you sexy magnet you.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bridesmaids (2)

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A woman who's life is a wreck is asked by her life long best friend to be her maid of honor. Just when she thought she hit rock bottom she had no idea how much worse her life could get.

I really don't understand all the hype. Some of my really good friends swore that they never laughed so hard and that it is easily their favourite comedy EVER and that they cannot wait for it to come out so they can watch it over and over was hard enough for me to get through it once. I was bored. I felt zero sympathy or connection to anyone. I thought the jokes were either rude or just really lame...

Maybe I am not girly enough to appreciate the jokes. Or maybe I needed to have been a part of a wedding in order to understand some of the comedy, but I really felt like I was out of the loop the entire movie. I just never cared about what was going on at all.

Yes, I giggled. There were some funny parts but other than that I found this more a B-list romance with some laughs. So many people loved it and laughed hard so maybe you will too (I hope). It was like they were trying to be the female version of The Hangover but just failed. This movie seems even less amazing when you compare it to Love Actually or Bridget Jones, now those are some laughs.

I honestly don't have anything else to say about it. I am pretty let down right now and the movie actually made me more depressed than anything else. Also, bad ending.



Monday, July 4, 2011

Four Minutes (3.5)

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2006 German Drama

An old woman teaches piano to female prisoners, one day she meets a talented girl but her success will come at a price for both the teacher and the student.

This movie was intense and really messed up at some parts. There is a lot that is happening and the main character goes crazy at random and frequently.

Hannah Herzsprung played the prisoner and she was fantastic...she actually freaked me out a lot of the times. This chick could really play crazy, almost too well. Monica Bleibtreu was the teacher and while it's hard to compete against a crazy, loud and violent co-star she held her own and was a good match for Herzsprung.

Sometimes I felt like there was too much going on that some of the more important parts of this film were lost under the pile of extras, previous scenes and conversations that didn't seem to be of importance but you didn't realize this until a few scenes later. There was a lot of supporting characters that interacted with the main characters that it was hard to follow the main story, if there was one at first...

I wanted to like this movie more than I did. It is a really strong script and was interesting but they tried to force too much story into the movie and it made the core plot muddy and hard to follow at times. Main characters were great but the ending wasn't as emotional or powerful as I wanted it to be. There was so much build and then only a tiny bang...lame. Really cool piano playing though.

I caught a glimpse as to why it won some awards but I don't think I liked it as much as Netflix told me I would ('cause you know you can always depend on suggested ratings...ha).


Between the Folds (4)

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Most of us have done this ancient art form when we were children, or some may still do it for fun, but what about those people who do it full-time? Scientists, artists and enthusiasts world wide come together in this documentary about the modern life of origami artists.

Thank you Netflix for this delicious gem. It's short and sweet and a wonderful film to watch. I had no idea paper could fold, bent and move in such beautiful ways. I also never took into consideration how mathematical and scientific folding is and how it is found in every single thing we look at. Very cool. The art is just the beginning...

I liked the people they chose to interview. I enjoyed the layout of the film, almost as if allowing you (the audience member) the chance to discover all these sides of origami on your own. I thought it was strangely powerful even though it didn't necessarily make me want to become an origami artist or start folding everything I see, but for some reason it resonated with me.

Only annoyance was the unnecessary zoom on peoples faces during interviews. I wanted to see the entire person as they worked and spoke so I could make out their physical character and better attach my attention to their movements and therefore focus on their hands and arms as they worked. Didn't happen all the time but enough that I got distracted.

Solid documentary and very interesting. Lovely, simple, original and straight to the point. Well done Vanessa Gould.

Okay, maybe I do want to go fold things.

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