Prince Albert was always a well respected leader and Duke in England and among the family but the rise of the wireless during his time forced him into the public eye in a way that never suited him; as a public speaker. Albert was the confidant and by the books second son of George V and Albert was more than content and resigned to his role as the next in line behind his brother Edward. But when Albert begins work with a new speech therapist, Lionel Louge, his previous unfounded progress with his impediment begins to appear. Both Louge and Albert’s wife, Elizabeth, begin to see a potential future on the thrown if Edward continues down his current path of un-royal actions, but that is something that Albert both fears and is reluctant to embrace.
The Hughes Brothers post-apocalyptic adventure doesn’t bring a whole lot new to the table but has a good lead cast that keeps the film entertaining to a point but will have you scratching your head at the logistics of the film and make you a bit restless with not a whole lot going on.
Following a lone wander, Eli, through the desolated American west he patiently survives day to day, spending his nights reading from a book and only encountering those that are unavoidable. Upon showing up into a little town we are introduced to the boss of the neighborhood, Carnegie, who has gangs pillaging wanders on the road looking for a specific book that we come to figure out is, The Bible. Well it just so happens the book Eli is in possession of is in fact a bible and after a failed bid by Carnegie to charm Eli into turning it over to him so he can use its words to will people to his bidding they end up in a chase on the road west.
Unfortunately for the Hughes Bros. their film is covering quite similar territory to last year’s post-apocalyptic entry, The Road, and it doesn’t come close to touching that films quality. While Eli is a cool and pretty bad ass hero the film settles to be nothing more than a light on the action, action film, with a bit of Christian mysticism thrown in that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Eli is on a mission from God, who has spoken to him according to Eli, and the mission is to protect the book and to head west. [Read more...]
Wes Anderson returns to the screen with a film that fits into his little world only this time with a bunch of talking animals from the wonderful fable by Roald Dahl.
Mr. Fox was always a daring individual, and stole live stock for a living before he met Mrs. Fox and was planning on having a child with her. He decided to settle down and became a writer for 12 fox years, but the itch of adventure and change in a mid-life crisis of sorts over took him and he put himself in a situation where he can become a thief again on the sly. Though this doesn’t go well and before he knows it his friends and family are at risk of the evil Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, his human neighbors whose product he has begun to steal.
This film continues the fantastic trend of animated and family entertainment this year that is suitable for all ages and able to be enjoyed, maybe more than the kids, by the parents. Anderson’s dialogue and character traits are all here, but I feel like this is his most accessible film to date to the general public. There are cute characters and action for the kids and witty humor and grown up issues for the adults, if it wasn’t for Up this would be the most broadly appealing film of the year. Anderson also does a nice job at creating actual tension and thrills through the adventure of the film and isn’t afraid to do some silly bits for humor’s sake as well.
Wes Anderson’s “action” movie sticks to the themes that you find in a lot of his films and the results are a fantastic blend of adventure, farce, humor, sadness, and drama that not only gives us Anderson’s spin on the action/adventure genre drama but serves as an excellent character study of a man on the verge of being irrelevant in almost every aspect in his life.
I have been a huge fan of Wes Anderson since I saw Rushmore back before the release of The Royal Tenenbaums back in the beginning of the decade and I guarantee you will see at least one more of his films in this feature before the year is out. The Life Aquatic is the biggest departure for Anderson in that it is by far his most grand and epic film to date taking us all across Europe and the Mediterranean sea of Wes Anderson’s world.
Steve Zissou is a Jacques Cousteau type that has had a successful run of nature films investigating the open seas all around the world, but has been losing both notoriety and funding over the last few years with the shadow of his nemesis Alistair Hennessey slowly casting him and more and more darkness. [Read more...]
David Yates returns at the helm of the sixth and second to last adaptation in the Harry Potter series and the result is a character driven story that sets up the final chapter that lacks a lot of action, as the source material dictates, that makes it a bit of the odd duck in the Harry Potter films.
Harry, having just lost his last living person he would call family in his godfather Sirius Black, Harry has spent the summer in a bit of a malaise away from the magic world. But when Lord Voldemort’s minion’s, the Death Eaters, actions begin to pour over into the muggle world he can’t help but notice the entire world becoming less safe a place to be. Potter is surprisingly visited by Dumbledore right before the start of the new school year only to be whisked away to help service Dumbledore’s attempt to recruit an ex-colleague back to Hogwarts. We then discover that Draco Malfoy has been tasked by the Dark Lord with a life risking endeavor that leads his mother to seek out Severus Snape to form an unbreakable vow to protect the Malfoy boy from harm. Potter quickly discovers that the professor Dumbledore recruited, Slughorn, has an important key to Dumbledore’s fight against Voldemort and understanding how to beat the Dark Lord. Harry is called upon to help Dumbledore gain this memory of Slughorn’s and he attempts to coax it from the professor in between the romantic ups and downs of himself and his best friends Ron and Hermione. [Read more...]
Robert DeNiro had a long gestating dream project about the origins of the C.I.A. Sitting on it for ten years he was finally able to bring it to fruition in 2006. Taking on a pacing and tone of its title character Edward Wilson, a collected, cold, calculated, subtle, and methodical man that helps give birth to secret the intelligence game as an agency in the United States, the Good Shepherd moves along deliberately but is full of intrigue and an epic story.
Edward Wilson isn’t the most socially outgoing individual, but smart as a whip and thorough in everything he does he was a logical recruit for the intelligence game, after graduating from Yale, in WWII. A Skull and Bones secret society member, he gets one of his society brother’s sister pregnant in a one night stand and ends up in a family he didn’t ask for while betraying the woman he loved right before heading off to Europe. After his work there, the General that recruited him pins him to an upper position at the newly formed CIA and in the fight against communism in the Cold War. Along his path, Edward becomes entwined with a Russian operative, Ulysses, and their paths cross through the years over important intelligence issues between the two rival countries. Intrigue also arises among British intelligence agents, apparent Nazi sympathizers, and among his own colleagues and the F.B.I. as the mantra, “don’t trust anyone,” never leaves any of our characters minds. [Read more...]
HP and OTP is the best film in the series and sets the tables for the thrilling conclusion of the last two films to come. The book and the film both serve as set-ups for the last two plot lines but that doesn’t hurt the material as it is both full of information and adventure.
David Yates is a first time film and Harry Potter director and he knocks it out of the park. Known for great character drama’s on British television he brings that alleged greatness to the series that has been getting stronger ever since Azkaban. Yates also does an excellent job with the action with some major props to his work with ILM. [Read more...]