Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (4)



(Trailer)

A boy loses his father in 9/11 and goes on a hunt all over NYC to try and find the meaning behind a key his father left him.

This is one of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors, Jonathan Safran Foer. I wasn't sure if they would stay true to the book or not but they actually did a really good job of keeping the story and characters just as powerful as in the novel. Mind you, some of the scenes that were the most powerful in the book didn't translate to the movie but there was definitely NOT a lack of tears because of it.

This is a really intense drama with some well written laughs. It is not a light movie but it is heart felt.

Tom Hanks was great as the dad. Although he wasn't in the movie very much I thought he was great.

Sandra Bullock was okay, but once again, there isn't a very big role there either.

Thomas Horn who played Oskar was incredible. He nailed this performance. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. Such an amazing portrayal of the character and I thought he completely mastered the emotional level required for this character to be as powerful as he was. Well done.

I have no idea why this movie wasn't playing in every movie theatre. I have no idea why IMDb rates it so low.

Performances were great. Script did the book justice. I cried twice and was fighting back tears another 3 times. I also laughed here and there. I love the book and thought the movie was great.

Bonus: Max von Sydow who played The Renter, and was also nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this film.

4/5

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Take Shelter (4)



(Trailer)

2011 thriller/drama by Jeff Nichols about a man who has nightmares about the end of the world and starts to lose sight of what's real and what's a dream.

Anticipation. This movie did anticipation with perfection. Even though the movie was two hours long, and at times I felt like nothing was really happening, I was still glued to the screen just watching and waiting for the 'thing' to happen. The build was slow but intense. The characters were deep and real. The story seemed close to home yet almost from another world...

Amazing. The more I think about this movie the more I like it. It's one of those things that I didn't think was powerful until I realized how much it affected me after it was over. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Analysing certain scenes. Telling people about it. And, it completely ruined my evening because I felt emotional devastated once the credits rolled. I sort of just...sat there. Not moving. Just starring at the wall.

Michael Shannon's performance was amazing. I have nothing but good things to say. Powerful and a perfect fit to the character. I'm not sure why, but some of the scenes when they just show him looking up at the sky were more intense than any fight scene. Awesome.

The script was great. I loved the ending. I loved everything about it but can't tell you why because it would ruin everything.

I know that there was a lot more meaning to this movie and to certain things that I still can't comprehend.

I dare you to watch it and not think about it afterwards.

4/5

Paul (3)



(Trailer)

Two geeks from England rent an R/V and go on an alien tour of the United States when they stumble upon an actual alien and attempt to save his life.

A bunch of people told me to watch this movie when it came out last year but it looked pretty lame to me. Yet, it did have Simon Pegg in it, who I find hilarious, especially when teamed up with Nick Frost. Also, I like sci-fi flicks so I gave it a go.

Bleh.

I did not find the majority of this movie funny at all. I might have liked it more if I had watched it with a bunch of people or was drunk or was drunk with a bunch of people...or did drugs. Regardless, I do not get all the hype around this film.

It was entertaining. I thought some of the alient 'powers' to be quite cool. Some of the movie was funny but it was more like a groan "did they really just go there" laugh.

I liked that Seth Rogen was the voice for Paul but at times I foudn the voice wayy too distracting because when Paul would speak I felt like he should have facial hair and a cigar in his mouth. Maybe a brown paper bag. Maybe it's just me.

disappinted but I'm glad I finally got around to watching it. Cool parts and some funny bits but I ultimately wanted more.

Bonus: Jason Bateman. Awesome.

3/5

Kill List (2)



(Trailer)

A hitman goes back into business when money issues arise but what seems like a simple job turns into hell.

This movie is whack.

I saw this on a horror list for best horror/thrillers from 2011. I can see why it was there but it was just way too all over the place for me to get much enjoyment out of it.

The first part of the movie is about a trouble marriage and fighting. Then there seems to be some heart to hearts with friends who take the job together. Then they kill people. One goes crazy. One dies. It turns into some crazy woods business and weird things happen and then total chaos.

I know that it was a portraying this madness or dark side in man. I know it was all about how his wife was the only thing keeping him from completely losing himself to, well, himself. And then that was covered by long conversations about nothing, some gross scenes and ending in complete wtf.

Meh. I need a bit more than total chaos and a little blood to get me really engrossed in a horror/thriller. That or Nick Cage.

Also, I hate to admit it, but due to their heavy accents I couldn't understand any thing any one was saying. Frustrating.

2/5

J. Edgar (3.5)



(Trailer)

I really wasn't sure what I was going to get from this movie and I wish that I would've remembered that Clint Eastwood directed it so that I was in the right frame of mind before watching. I think I was expecting something less drama and documentary and more fast paced. I wasn't let down though, not at all, it's just that it took a little bit for my mind to accept what this film was all about.

Well done Clint. You are such an eye for direction that I am so glad that you made the natural move over from actor into the 'big chair'. You have a way of capturing a character and making them feel almost touchable. Almost like the neighbour you always knew.

Leonardo DiCaprio was fantastic. I have no idea why there was no Oscar mention or nomination at all for him for this role. I guess you can't win them all, but that wont stop Leo from being awesome in all his movies.

Now. I didn't know much about the life of J. Edgar Hoover. I know that some of the information in the movie shouldn't be believed for fact but I am glad that it was brought up so as to make you question. For example, it was never proven that he was gay but it was suspected. Yes, the fact that his 'friends' grave is only yards away from his own sounds weird but Edgar died first, so many it wasn't his choice. Also, the love of life long friends is somethings the strongest kind of love. Just food for thought...

I liked it. It was interesting and showed different traits that we know Hoover for. They didn't make him out to be a hero but rather just told his story at face value. Still, in the end, with Clint and Leo being awesome, the information wasn't anything I personally cared about. Sorry. Hoover wasn't anything that interested me before and while I enjoyed learning about him, it didn't move me or affect me in the way that it should have.

Still a good film though. Just a personal indifference.

3.5/5

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life in a Day (3.5)



(Trailer)

A documentary done by people all over the world on July 24, 2010.

Really interesting idea. Felt very natural and showed different people and cultures but still didn't show exactly what I wanted to see what was happening across the globe on one day.

While I saw things that I have never seen before and therefore really liked watching this film, I wanted to see more of everything. Of people, and their lives, instead of little snippets from youtube videos about people crying or sleeping or peeing. I get where they were doing with this, and I'm glad they showed the every day world of people, but I am more interested on things that some people do that I may or may not do every day.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while this movie was interesting that it didn't seem overly original or mind blowing, which it very well could have been. I suppose that was because of those who picked which imaged and stories to show. I'd love to see what was left out.

Still, a good documentary and definitely a good watch. Just don't expect anything life changing when it is over.

3.5/5

The Secret World of Arrietty (3.5)



(Trailer)

This beautifully animated film came out years ago but was released only very recently in North America (there is a US version but I watched the UK version). It's based on a novel by Mary Norton and was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

This movie was actually really creepy at times. Some of the animation was scary and one of the characters was really creepy...like a troll or something. Evil. I would think that this movie is for older children but I'll leave that up to you.

I quite enjoyed that Saoirse Ronan was the voice of Arriety and Mark Strong was the voice of her father (once again, I watched the UK version and really liked the voices used).

While the story was interesting and the animation was awesome there are definitely holes in this story. I know it's a family film so I'm sure they didn't want to burden kids with an overly in-depth story. I would like the read the novel because I enjoyed the characters and the world of these Borrowers or 'little people'. Still, while the film was enjoyable, it wasn't all I was hoping for.

3.5/5

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Iron Lady (2.5)



(Trailer)

2011 biography by Phyllida Lloyd about the life of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Meryl Streep is an incredible woman. I can't think of anyone more suited to this role than her. She was the only reason I wanted to see this movie and her performance was amazing.

I heart Jim Broadbent and always love watching him on screen. I thought he and Meryl were lovely together.

Besides the performances, there isn't much else I really liked. I found it rather boring and strangely edited. I thought that they tailored to their audience and left us in the, how to put this nicely, younger age group, to be at a loss as to what exactly was going on. Yes, I knew who Margaret was but I did not know anything about the politics in England at the time she was growing up or when she came into office. I have a bit of an idea but not really and I also have no idea what major factors came into play during her time as PM.

While they did show a few things, the information given wasn't enough to understand exactly what was happening and therefore not feel any emotion or give cause to any form of reaction to anything. Most information seemed to be given only to refresh your memory and bring you back to that time...except I wasn't alive and I also didn't grow up in England.

Over-all, performances were amazing but other than learning a little but about Margaret and England during that time this movie gave me little else to gain. Meh. Watch if you really like political dramas...

2.5/5

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Woman in Black (3.5)



(Trailer)

2012 horror/drama by James Watkins about a young lawyer who is still suffering from the loss of his wife find himself in a small village and goes to work settling the will of a deceased widow as strange things start to happen...

I should note here that my liking of this movie was probably hindered by the theatre filled with noisy teenagers who screamed and jumped at everything. Literally, everything. Killed most of the scares for me. Jerks.

I thought Daniel Radcliffe was excellent in this movie. I loved him in this role and it I am overly pleased that he can pull of different genres and darker rolls. Heart you, Daniel. Keep it up!

This movie wasn't as scary as I wanted it to be. It was filled with consistent suspense and tension that made the thrills exciting yet horrifying. Oh, the woman in black IS freaky has hell. I also loved the use of old scares, like mirrors and ugly toys and creepy children. I really liked the direction they took this story and I thought that they nailed the mystery/thriller portion of the horror genre. It was a wild ride.

Disturbing and with an intricate and interesting story, I thought this film was well done and filled with tension. Mind you, it takes quite a lot to scare me so maybe I should've taken a note from the annoying rows of teenagers and jumped more often.

The ending though...what was with that?! I mean, I get it, but what the hell?

3.5/5

Chronicle (4)



(Trailer)

2012 sci-fi/drama by Josh Trank about three high school boys who wake up with super powers after discovering something in a cave. They are about to find out who they really are as their powers become a part of their lives.

While the trailer for this movie was interesting, I was worried that this movie would be about a few teen boys running around being silly with some super powers. It's true that this is how the movie sort of starts off but then it gets really dark, really fast and ends up being amazing.

I wasn't sure what was going on for the first 15-20 minutes and was slightly annoyed with the hand-cam aspect of the movie. As the story progresses and you get to know the main character a little more, the shaky cam makes sense and so does the dark side of this movie that slowly peaks its head out and then destroys everything.

I was also surprised by how well they did with casting the three guys. Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan were great as Andrew, Matt and Steve. Also, Dane DeHaan scares me now but at the same time I feel like I can't be mad at how he reacts in the end.

This was easily one of the more enjoyable and surprisingly well done sci-fi films I have seen in awhile. It was entertaining, funny at times, fast paced and then an insane drama with crazy scenes. Really, I still can't get over where the film ends up compared to how it starts. So cool.

Okay, I'm basically saying the same thing over and over again. If the trailer intrigues you at all see this movie. If you like sci-fi/super powers/dark action films see this movie. Really, just, see it. It's good. And the ending doesn't suck.

4/5

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spam

Hello to all of my happy readers!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I got a spam comment last night (weird, I know) and wanted to warn everyone to think twice before clicking on any link within a comment. Sometimes people leave me links to imdb or other movie sites to tell me about new films, which is amazing, but make sure you only click on familiar links.

I will delete all smelling-of-spam comments but sometimes you can't smell them all.

Just a warning.

Thanks!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Underworld: Awakening (3.5)



(Trailer)

Selene is captured and wakes up 12 years later only to discover that the person who freed her isn't exactly who she though it was.

These movies are awesome. If you like werewolf/vampire movies and/or fantasy/action films these movies are the best.

I myself love all of the above. I recently went back and watched the second movie and forgot how much I liked the story. The story keeps getting more and more intense as the sequels come along. I like how they incorporate the legend of both monsters with new history to give the story more depth.

Selene is one badass woman in black. She is kind of my fantasy genre hero. So awesome. I love Kate Beckinsale as Selene and honestly believe that no one else could be her. Yup, gush gush gush.

This movie was interesting but I didn't find it as gripping as some of the previous movies. I'm not sure why, maybe because there was extra sentiment involved or maybe because I wasn't overly impressed with the undefeatable monster as in some of the previous films...shrug.

The action was still good and I definitely found myself really getting into this movie at some parts. Not my favourite but still a great fantasy/action flick so if you liked the other 3 you'll like this one. Also, Kate Beckinsale rocks.

3.5/5

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

13 Assassins (4)



(Trailer)

2010 Japanese film by Takashi Miike about 13 assassins who set out to kill an evil lord.

This. Movie. Kicks. Ass.

If you like Japanese action movies or any of the Warrior/Samurai type films you will love this.

Only big problem with this movie was that there were so many characters. SO many. Any from a distance they all have similar hair cuts and the same coloured robes and it was impossible for me to remember who was who.

I did like the different characters though and their use of different forms of weaponry. They even had explosives which was cool.

I also enjoyed how they tried to keep realistic with this movie. Only once did they have excessive blood and it was forgivable. I do like the Crouching Tiger type films but not when it comes to stories like this and they did a great job of keeping the fights honest.

The story was good, the characters were raw and the fight scenes will blow your mind. They used traps and fire and arrows and swords and rocks and...awesome. It was awesome. 13 against 200 always makes for a great action film.

Solid.

4/5

Drive Angry (3)



(Trailer)

2008 action film by Patrick Lussier about a man who would go through hell and back to avenge his daughters death and save his granddaughter.

This movie is exactly like you'd think it would be...

I loved it. It was awful and ridiculous yet ever so entertaining.

Nick Cage (Seeking Justice, The Sorcerer's Apprentice) was at his best in this movie. The whole time I was just thinking that if I got super famous I would do what he does and just stars in movies that are ridiculous but would be so so so much fun the film. I just wish I could read this script and laugh to myself joyously.

The biggest surprise of this film to me was that the chick in it, Amber Heard, was not annoying at all. She could handle the action and although they had her in shorts that are really underpants and what not, I still thought she kicked ass. Weird.

The action in this is not the best to be honest but it made for one hell of a laugh fest. This is hilarious. It's just fun and definitely should not be taken seriously in any way.

You know what it will be like but if you still like Nick Cage and action films I suggest watching this and having some well deserved laughs and merriment.

Bonus: William Fichtner.

3/5

Pontypool (4)



(Trailer)

2008 film by Bruce McDonald.

Strange things start to happen in a small rural Ontario town right as 4 people start their days doing the daily morning radio show.

This was strangely suspenseful. For most of the movie you don't even see the zombies but only hear phone calls, police reports and what not to the radio station. I found myself glued to the screen though as the story quickly escalates into madness and the zombies are at their door step.

I wasn't sure how I felt about Stephen McHattie who played Grant Mazzy but he quickly grew on me. I think he was a perfect choice for the character.

I thought that this film was pretty original for a zombie flick. Their take on the 'disease' was really interesting. I'm not sure if I was completely sold on it or not but I still thought it was interesting. That's the best thing about this movie, it was interesting. The characters were all very different and once the story starts it doesn't hold back. I really liked it.

It's not a shoot 'em up zombie film though, so don't expect lots of blood and juts. What you can expect is a psychological thriller filled with problem solving, fast paced scenes and interesting ideas that get your brain buzzing.

I have no idea why it took me so long to see this amazing movie.

4/5

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Grey (3.5)



(Trailer)

2012 action/drama by Joe Carnahan about a group of men who survive a plane crash in Alaska only to be hunted by a pack of wolves.

Liam Neeson (Unknown, The A-Team). The new found action God. This man was born to do action like he was born to breath and be awesome. It's natural to him. I really never have a complaint about this man. How could I? He keeps making all these amazing action films.

One thing and the biggest complaint, the wolves sucked in this movie. Who ever the animators were should watch some more nature programs or something. Some of the wolves looked more like weird werewolves. Others didn't even look like dogs at all. Some of the shots were re-used several times, I'm guessing to save money. Then, out of nowhere, they stick in some live footage of an actually wolf but then go back to the shitty computer wolves. Meh. Really disappointed about the damn wolves. After all, besides Liam Neeson, that's what I wanted to see.

I like survival movies a lot, I like to see how people will react in certain life or death situations. This movie did a decent job with that but the script was shaky at points and what they decided to show about each character wasn't necessarily what I cared to know about. They went from sentimental to action and back a little too much and far too quickly for my liking.

Still, some of the scenes were so filled with suspense that I thought my heart was going to burst. I wanted more though but it was still a good movie. I just wanted it to be mind blowing. Liam Neeson is the best thing about this movie, hands down.

Ending = rip off. You'll see what I mean.

3.5/5

Seeking Justice (4)



(Trailer)

A man's wife is raped and he is contacted by a secret group of people who will kill the man responsible...as long as you do as they say once the deed is done.

I really liked this movie. I surprised myself by how much I liked it. I am a Nicholas Cage (Season of the Witch, The Sorcerer's Apprentice) fan but it was more than that. Guy Pearce was amazing. The story was actually quite interesting and although you have a pretty good idea how it will end that doesn't stop little turns in the story to surprise you. There were a few things that I didn't see coming that made me even more interested. The action is also quite solid and I liked the added bit of detective work and tension. I guess I just allowed myself to get attached to the character and went along for the ride.

N. Cage. I'm sorry people, I don't care what people say, I like him. I even like his bad movies because there is just something about him that I like. I thought he was better in this movie performance wise than a lot of his previous films. I like the guy therefore I like his movies.

January Jones was decent as Cage's wife but I honestly feel like she is the same character in every movie. I know saying that after saying how much I like Cage is funny but at least there is some differences to Cage. He can do serious or comedy or what have you easily but I don't feel that with Jones. I just, don't. She even does the same hair sweep, grin face in every.single.movie. Seriously, watch for it.

Guy Pearce was legitimately scary in this movie. Well done Sir.

I like the story. I liked the character and I liked how they tried to add depth to the plot but didn't quite get there and seemed to get side tracked by action. The action was good though although this movie is not a shoot-em-up type film (well, not entirely).

Liked it. Solid action/thriller, and the ending isn't as corny as it could've been.

4/5

Born to Be Bad (3.5)



1950 film-noir drama by director Nicholas Ray.

I think this is one of my new favourites of the Film-Noir variety. Mainly because Joan Fontaine is stellar as the lead actress in this film. She is beautiful and awful but you can't hate her even if you want to. She was amazing in this role.

Mel Ferrer and Robert Ryan were quite good in this movie, I thought they all fit each other really well and made this movie more impossible to turn away from.

I loved this story. You have to see just how far she will go to get what she thinks she wants. I love black and white films, especially when there is a strong female character.

That's really all I have to say, if you like Film-Noir or black and white films you will like this.

3.5/5

Certified Copy (3)



(Trailer)

2010 drama by Abbas Kiarostami (original title Copie Conforme).

This movie is...confusing. Passionate and dramatic and a rollercoaster, but I couldn't completely grasp it. It was interesting and then it just slammed right into confusing and right when you think you grasped what has happened and it slams into another wall of confusion and then ends.

I want to say I liked it but I'm not sure. I am sure that the performances were amazing. Emotions are flying all over the place and sometimes you aren't sure how the characters are going to react. Especially when the flip happens...it's like, what the hell?! And yet the characters convince you. Hard to explain, you will see when you watch it.

I love the idea behind this film. While it was a film about love it is not a romantic movie. I found the characters attractive enough (not physically, well, Juliette is gorgeous). Juliette Binoche and William Shimell are like a wild fire together but then like the sunset. Beautiful and tragic. That about sums up this film I think. Their performances, once again, are amazing.

I just don't think I completely get it. I want to say more but it would completely ruin the twist in the plot. I get the bare bones but to really understand what the characters were going through didn't completely happen because I couldn't get past the first layer of the story or the characters.

I think I need to see it again. Ultimately, a good film. Thanks Netflix.
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