Thursday, January 31, 2013

Amour (5)


2012 drama/romance by director Michael Haneke.

When his wife Anne gets sick Georges does everything her can for her. For love.

Why is this movie so impressive? Because it doesn't even look or feel like a movie. By that I mean that the old couple seem truly in love and to have truly lived together all those years and experienced everything together.

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are this movie. Emmanuelle deserves a million awards and all the nominations she can get. I cannot even believe how amazing, truthful and impossibly perfect her performance was. Make my movie heart expanded 8x with happiness and hope. Truly amazing, both of them.

Since all of the performances were 100% the movie also deserves all the nominations, awards and positive reviews it receives. A drama/romance like no other. Love it! Watch it! Do it!


Sinister (2.5)


2012 horror by director Scott Derrickson. A washed out writer gets the story of his career, but at what cost?

This movie was obvious from the start. I could call all the major twists and turns within the first 10 mins. It also felt like they were heavily borrowing from a lot of other horror movies. It was less scary and more of a thriller. They got me once with a good scare but other than that I was laughing at the scary parts.

I did like the whole cult and deity aspect of the movie. The kids made it extra creepy. The home videos also added a good creep factor. The music was interesting and annoying a lot of the times. That seems to be the American horror way though - pumped up the audio to add tension and suspense. It covers any natural sounds so I didn't like it.

I was looking forward to seeing Ethan Hawke in a horror movie and he did a decent job but the movie in general was a meh.

You classic America horror movie. Good for a late night watch for some creepy kids but I wouldn't watch it again.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Les Misérables (3.5)


2012 musical based on the award winning play by director Tom Hooper.

Man. I really wanted to like this movie. I really enjoy the play even though I normally hate musicals so I was looking forward to it on the big screen with such an amazing cast...

Sadly, it just doesn't work on the big screen. This script is meant to be seen on stage and in person. The cast was amazing but there was nothing they could do - the screen created an emotional disconnect that just ruined all connection to the characters.

Pleasant surprises: all of the children in the movie, Eddie Redmayne and Russel Crowe. Who would'a though Russel could sing? He was good too. Even though his singing face was funny at times.

Obvious awesomeness: Anne Hathaway and her amazing vocals and my unmoving love for Hugh Jackman. Amazing.

Let downs: the movie was consistently boring. I tried so hard to keep interested and fought to pay attention and to feel emotional but it didn't happen. It was well done and the movie was beautiful but it didn't work for me on the big screen. Everything that was good was because of the amazing story and not because the movie was anything special.

The actors deserve the awards they win and the nominations they receive but the movie itself is a let down. I feel like if I hadn't have seen it on stage that I would've loved it more but that's not the case.

The ending still makes my chest go tight and my heart burst, so that's a plus.

Bonus: Sacha Baron Cohen.


Seven Psychopaths (3.5)


2012 comedy/crime film by director Martin McDonagh.

An alcoholic writer let's his friend help him with his new story. Little does he know that he may already the know the characters he creates.

I was looking forward to this movie for a very long time. It looked like an original and quirky comedy which is something films are sorely lacking these days.

I got what I wanted for 3/4 of the movie but the ending just goes wayyy off to left field and never comes back. I am sure there was a hidden metaphor or something, which I sort of got, but not enough to find the explosion of nonsense funny.

The cast is the main reason to watch. Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson and even Tom Waits has a short appearance. It was an all-star cast and I loved watching them in a comedy together.

Original script. Really funny from (mostly) start to finish. It's bizarre, weird and just plain strange but definitively worth a watch. Haven't seen a movie quite like it before and I'm sure I never will again.

Does it deserve the award nominations it has received: yes. Will it win: probably not. Sad fate of most comedies.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty (4)


2012 drama/history/thriller by award winning director Kathryn Bigelow about the 10 year hunt for Osama bin Laden.

I am going to be honest and say that when I first saw trailers for this movie that I gave a heavy sigh and rolled my eyes. I thought it was just going to be another pro-America, kill the bad guy, we will prevail action movie. While there was hints of the above that isn't what the movie is about. I was surprised by how intense, in-depth, emotional and interesting this film is.

Jessica Chastian (The Help, Take Shelter, The Tree of Life) has been amazing in every role I have seen her in. That being said, I have only seen a handful of her movies before so I cannot give too much insight into if she deserves an Oscar or not. What I can say with 100% accuracy is that she embodied this role with all her being. That she made ME sad and angry with so much conviction that I actually forgot that she was acting. Bravo!

All of the supporting cast were fantastic as well: Joel Edgerton (The Warrior), Jason Clarke (Lawless) and Chris Pratt (Moneyball) especially.

I believe that if The Hurt Locker had not existed that Kathryn Bigelow would be getting way more credit for this film than she is now. Yes, the story is different but the script to screen perfection and the way she brings everything together and focuses on the right it.

I wanted to dislike this movie but I really liked it. It was long, maybe too long, but I think the back stories and the politics were necessary to involve so that the viewer (me) could get a grasp on the bigger picture while focusing on the inner plot. Some scenes could've been shortened or taken away and the pace was shaky here and there but come the end you no longer care.


The Rise of the Guardians (4)


2012 adventure/family film by director Peter Ramsey.

The Man in the Moon chooses Jack Frost as the newest Guardian but he isn't sure he fits in until they have to come together to fight the evil spirit Pitch.

Kids movies are amazing. Most give you exactly what you want in a 2 hour time span: laughter, heart felt moments, thrills and a good moral tone.

This is another movie for every kid. I know this because the kid in me came out while watching this movie and also the 2 kids sitting behind me in the cinema could not stop talking about how amazing it was and how they loved it, loved it, loved it.

Jack Frost was great. I really enjoyed that character. He was believable. That goes for all of the characters actually, really well thought out and creative.

I thought that the cast was great! Chris Pine (This Means War), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes), Alec Baldwin (It's Complicated), Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman (Real Steel) and everyone's voice really matched their characters and vice versa.

I loved the story. I also loved the animation. At first, it seemed a bit corny. The whole Guardian thing...but once the movie gets going (and Jack Frost is brought in) everything fit together really well.

I liked it. I think it's perfect for kids and you should take yours if you can. So much magic!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

[REC]³ Génesis (3.5)


2012 Spanish horror film by director Paco Plaza.

This movie has pretty bad ratings and I have no idea why. All of the REC movies are amazing - if you like horror. If you don't like horror, don't bother because you can't watch these types of movies for their cinematic brilliance or amazing acting skills. You watch it for the gore.

I love their zombies. I love how the virus spreads. I also love how they always start the movies out a bit slow and suddenly BAM everyone is dying like crazy and a small group remains and tries to get out. The acting may be less than amazing but they try to keep things realistic but keep a sense of humour. I really like that. So entertaining to watch.

I loved the wedding idea. It was extra hilarious and with all the extra guests (and family members) there was a lot of zombies to go around.

I will say that this movie was really easy to predict. I was let down a couple times when I could call out what was going to happen minutes before it did. Still, it was pretty original most of the time.

Watch it if you like horror. I love horror and I love these movies. Less scary and more about the gore.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lincoln (4)


2012 award winning drama by Steven Spielberg looks into the life of Lincoln during the Civil War and his push for the vote on the 13th amendment to end slavery.

Daniel Day-Lewis is the main reason for seeing this film. Yes, the scenes are well done and the script looks at this part of his life in a new way but his performance was amazing. I honestly forgot that he was not Lincoln for most of the movie. So well done.

Supporting cast was stacked full and really fell into their roles. Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black 3The Sunset Limited), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Hesher, Premium Rush), Sally Field, etc...everyone is in this movie. All well casted.

I guess I was hoping for something a little more epic. I was expecting more war scenes and yelling matches and intensity. I need to watch it again now because I know I would like it more knowing it's more of a look into the man himself and the vote for the 13th amendment and less about a deeper look into the different battles.

My main issue is that they didn't show his assassination. I'm not sure why they decided to show the public response to this rather than showing the very last moments of Lincoln's life. I suppose it was a way of taking a new take on the whole thing.

Overall a good movie. It's a drama through and through. The supporting cast was amazing and Daniel Day Lewis was at the top of his game. Which means he was perfection. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

On the Road (2)


2012 drama by Walter Salles.

The intensity, passion and struggles from the book were not meant to be made into a movie. You cannot ever replace the written internal struggle of a character. It's not for lack of trying but, especially regarding this novel, it doesn't translate to screen.

It was long. It was kind of boring. The changes from hope to destruction and back was lost for the reason explained above.

Sam Riley (Control), Kristen Stewart (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Garrett Hedlund (TRON) were good in the roles but without a deeper look into what they were thinking they weren't convincing. Wasn't their fault though.

I know I'm being harsh but I wanted more from this movie. The book is a life changing read and I feel that the movie should've left me with the same feeling but all it really left me with was slight boredom and disappointment.


Pitch Perfect (3.8)


2012 comedy/musical by director Jason Moore brings the hilarious story of an all female acapella group who will do anything to win.

DO NOT think of this movie as Glee but for the big screen. The trailer is really misleading. I saw it back in the day and rolled my eyes and thought "what a load of garbage" but it's actually a really great movie. I was surprised by how much I liked it.

I really like Anna Kendrick (50/50, Twilight). I was surprised to see her in a movie like this until I realized that the movie wasn't what I thought it was. She was funny. She was great. I look forward to seeing her in more movies in the future.

The comedy is golden. I was bursting with laughter over and over again. Rebel Wilson was perfection, she cannot do anything without making me laugh.

I liked the singing and the choreography. For the genre, it's one of the best I have seen. I liked how they kept the scenes were realistic and the songs weren't there just to be there. I mean, it is a musical, but not in the classic sense. They were singing because they were in competitions and not because someone had broken up with them. I liked that. They also kept the fancy stuff to the competitions and didn't transition into big rig lighting setups and costumes unless it made sense.

Still. It was a bit cheesy at times. I wasn't convinced of the romance in the movie either. They didn't have a lot of chemistry together.

The best thing about this movie is that the next day I am still thinking about it and still grinning from the jokes. I also feel the need to dance or sing but I think that's pretty normal. I think...


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Anna Karenina (3.5)


2012 drama by director Joe Wright brings this classic novel to the big screen.

The style of this movie didn't make any sense to me until I read that Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay. Now it makes sense but I still don't know how much I liked it. They chose to lay a theatrical backdrop to everything - literally. The idea was that every scene was within the theatre. Mind you, the sets and set changes were great, I don't watch movies to see theatre. I suppose that's a snobby statement and it was pretty neat but I don't think that this story was the time nor the place to add extra theatrics. It was beautiful - I am torn on this.

That aside, the cast was amazing. Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) was overall good but for some reason she didn't fit the roll as well as I thought she would. Maybe it's just that I am tired of her being in period pieces. Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes) was great as this character. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Savages) was the best, in my opinion. It was good to see him in a serious role like this. He also does this thing with his face that screams sexual tension which was perfect for the character he was portraying. Matthew Macfadyen (The Three Musketeers)  is always a bonus for me.

Sets were beautiful. Costumes were beautiful. Music was fantastic. Cast was great. Still not entirely sure if I liked any other parts of the movie. It was very long and I know it had to be or too much story would've been sacrificed but still...loooong. They also seemed to be trying too hard to be stunning to the point of creating boredom - too much all the time.

I want to say 3/5 only because I still feel a bit bored after watching it but all in all, as a movie, it was well done and the performances were great so...


Monday, January 7, 2013

Django Unchained (4.5)


2012 action/drama/western by Quentin Tarantino (Inglorius Basterds).

A slave is freed and with the help of his new bounty hunter mentor and friend he finds his wife and tries to free her.

Wow. Jamie Foxx (Due Date). I will never say another bad thing about you ever. He was beyond fantastic in this role. He settled right in and filled every pore of this character. Fantastic!

I've always loved Christoph Waltz (Inglorius Basterds, Carnage). I have liked him in every single movie I have seen him in. He is a brilliant actor and deserves so much credit and respect. My favourite thing about him is the scenes where he is just sitting across from someone talking about every day things...but he does it in a way that gives me shivers. Very rare and very impressive, Sir. Keep it coming.

Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar, Shutter Island) was interesting in this role. I have also always liked him and I enjoy how he is still finding roles that test him and push his talents. He seemed to be very comfortable in this role and I enjoyed him in this movie.

I am a big Quentin Tarantino fan. I will admit that I do not absolutely cherish every film he has ever made. Every great director should try different genres and styles in order to expand and that is why I respect every movie he has ever made. I may not like them all, but you cannot deny that every one of his films adds an extra layer to cinema that very few are reaching. I guess the easiest way to explain what I mean by that is that within the first 15 minutes of a movie you know if it's a Tarantino film or not.

While this movie didn't completely rock my life like a few of his other films, it still blew me away. The action is flawless, as always. The only bad thing I can say about this movie is that I felt they could've edited a few of the longer scenes and landscape shots so that the pace wasn't so back and forth all the time...but that's sort of Tarantino's style so whatever.

I am sure when I see it again that I will give it a 5 but for now...

Bonus: Samuel L. Jackson (The Sunset Limited).

Extra bonus: Comedy that only Tarantino can write. I don't want to give spoilers but I'll leave it there. There are some hilarious parts in this movie.


Beast of the Southern Wild (3.5)


2012 drama/fantasy by director Benh Zeitlin brings us the story of Hushpuppy, a six year old girl living in a small bayou community with her hot tempered father.

Wow. Quvenzhane Wallis deserves an Oscar for this performance. She out acted everyone else in this film. Just...insane. I'd suggest watching this movie just for her alone.

I have never seen a movie like this before and that was refreshing. I really liked what the story was trying to tell me but to be honest, it didn't sink below the skin. Not saying that this movie lacks emotion - that is not the case. I just couldn't relate to the people I was trying to understand. I felt attached to the girl but other than that I feel like I missed something. In fact, I know I did.

The reason why I know I missed something is that when the...hmm, no that's a spoiler. Let's just say that near the end when some symbolism comes into play that I didn't quite feel the emotional impact that I know I should have. Am I completely to blame for this? Maybe. But it stopped me from really seeing this movie for how amazing it could be.

...maybe when I see it again this year I will be in the right frame of mind to be completely blown away.

Still. Quvenzhane Wallis. Just spectacular.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Man with the Iron Fists (1)


Terrible. Just terrible. You don't need a doesn't matter any ways because it's so bad.

I am so utterly disappointed in this movie.

The only good thing was Lucy Liu. And a hand full of moments during fights.

Everything else was boring, NOT original and bad. It wasn't for lack of budget either. I have no idea who slept with who in order to get so many big names on this piece of garbage but it makes me sad.

I want those 95 minutes back. It felt like 3 hours but I'll settle for the 95 minutes.


Silver Linings Playbook (4.5)


2012 drama/romance/comedy by writer/director David O. Russell.

In an attempt to win back his wife after he is released from a short stay in a mental institution, Pat befriends Tiffany and an unlikely friendship is born.

What was a surprise for me was that Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Winters Bone) completely matched Bradley Cooper (Limitless, The Hangover Part II). Both of their performances were beyond spectacular. I always loved Bradley Cooper and honestly think he deserve more credit than he gets. Jennifer Lawrence was stunning...blew me out of the water. I couldn't even believe it was the same people that I had seen before. They were in their element in this film and I think that really came through in their chemistry. Nailed it. Completely nailed it. I was blown away and I want some damn awards for these amazing performances.

Script was great. Supporting cast was beyond great: Robert De Niro (Limitless, Killer Elite), Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles and everyone involved.

My emotions were very intense and so confused during the entire movie. I was laughing to the point of tears and than literally 3 seconds later I would be crying in sadness. I do not think that I have ever seen such a smooth yet heat breaking transition from one feeling to another before. It wasn't a roller coaster, it was a well paced and perfectly delivered romantic, dark comedy. Just brilliant.

They lost me for a bit near the middle though. It felt a little rushed or maybe just a bit clumsy for some reason but by the time I was about to figure out why they had sucked me back in and I completely forgot why I started to feel like I was losing interest.

Awards. I want awards.

See it.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey (4)


2005 documentary by Sam Dunn showing the world of metal music.

This documentary is amazing because you do not have to be a metal head in order to enjoy it. In fact, it is aimed more at people who are either interested in the genre or have no idea at all why anyone would like metal. It's like getting a birds eye view of that world. 

I liked all the aspects of this movie. I liked how they showed different sides of the genre, from the music to the people and even the history of metal - the roots.

I thought it was cool that they combined interviews with live footage and personal backgrounds/opinions. They also showed the dark side of metal...which is a bit...strange.

Check it out if you enjoy music docs.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower (4.5)


I've been waiting to see this movie for months and finally got around to seeing it.

I am sad that I waited. This is one of the best movies of 2012. Easily. I haven't read the book so I have no comments about if the adaptation was good or not but I assume it was seeing how Stephen Chbosky (the author of the book) was also the screenwriter and director for the film. Can't complain there.

Logan Lerman (The Three Musketeers) was beyond amazing. I just...I cannot even believe it. I look forward to seeing LOTS of him in the future. Emma Watson (Harry Potter) was fantastic. She really blew me away in this role. Perfect fit. The surprise for me was Ezra Miller as I haven't seen much of him before. So well done. Everyone was great.

I loved the story. I wasn't prepared for the emotional turn of events and found myself broken hearted, crying, completely upset and wanted to reach into the movie and hug the characters. I didn't realize how sucked in I was and how much I had invested in the characters until the end. Then my world was rocked and put back together again.

Fantastic film. I don't understand why anyone would not like this movie. Unless, of course, you watch the trailer and think you yourself "wow, this doesn't look like a movie that I would like." If that is the case, don't watch it and save us all a rant about why you didn't like it.

Beautiful. Captivating. Emotional. Funny. Heart Felt. Everything I ever wanted and more. So much more.

Tiny thing: the beginning took a bit too long to get moving but once it did I completely forgot any bad thoughts for the rest of the movie.


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