In this week of rentals I found myself disappointed with many of this years “better” comedies, where two other films ending up where I expected them to be. If you’re considering renting The Alphabet Killer, Horrible Bosses, Your Highness, or Win Win then read my thoughts before making your choice this coming weekend. [Read more...]
This week I have spent plenty of time at the theater and gaming (Rage FYI), but I managed to fit some movie rentals in this weekend so that I would have thoughts to share with you guys (yes I do realize how narcissistic that sounds). This week we’ve got two films with Natalie Portman, The Other Woman and The Professional, as well as Skateland. Enjoy! [Read more...]
Thor is arguably in the running for the best Marvel movies yet and is a pretty much non-stop blast of action, fun, and humor from start to finish; lead by star making turns by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.
Thor is a god, and the future king of Asgard, that wields a powerful hammer that only elevates his abilities to being the greatest warrior in the Realm. As Thor’s anointment ceremony is about to be carried out Asgard’s ancient enemies, the Frost Giants, attempt a sneak attack to recapture an ancient weapon that King Odin took from them a millennium ago. Thor, Loki (Thor’s brother), The Warriors Three (Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun) and Sif head off to the Frost Giants home of Jotunheim to confront their leader Laufey, hoping to set the Frost King straight. After the inevitable battle on Jotunheim, Odin has to step in with Thor being banished in the aftermath of the battle. On Earth, stripped of his powers and hammer, Thor finds himself wrapped up in the lives of a team of scientists who hesitantly help to find him to find his way again.
I worded that opening pitch to emphasize that I think you should view this film as a throwback fantasy film first and a comedy a close second. That is not to say that the film isn’t funny, it is very much so, but it is just as much a weird and creative fantasy world for our characters to play in. Following a pair of prince brothers, Fabious the brave hero and Thadeous the lazy underachiever, the two must set out on a quest to retrieve Fabious’ bride to be with the hopes of Thadeous finally being able to prove himself a worthy prince. Things don’t go smoothly and the two find themselves getting into a lot of trouble along the way.
No Strings Attached is a solid and against type rom-com for the first hour or so of the film before divulging into cliché and loses a lot of the good will they earned in the start.
Emma and Adam have been crossing paths for years now. From the first time he tried to finger her at camp to a fuck buddy relationship that this film revolves around. The twist on the formula is that Emma, not Adam, really doesn’t want anything other than sex out of the relationship. Closed off and a life long loner, Emma, never seems to let a relationship work and she really enjoys her physical only relationship with Adam. Adam’s feelings start to get the best of him though and their deal begins to crumble under the new expectations.
“I just don’t know!” That’s right, last time it was a confusedly baffled emoticon as a review with Black Swan, and now yet another Natalie Portman movie leaves me not knowing what to say. However, instead of the befuddled mindset I was left with then, now I am going with a more exasperated thought process due to my lack of ability to form a full sentence pertaining to an opinion, as in “I can’t decide how much I liked this movie,” and that confusion is definitely not something to aspire to.
The reason for this lies in the story. No Strings Attached ups the anti on the question as to whether or not men and women can be best friends and nothing more by throwing sex into the mix as a catalyst. Emma and Adam think they can do just that by agreeing to use each other for sexy time, and if at any time one of them starts developing feelings they will end the physical arrangement immediately. And if you know anything about romcoms, then you know where this one’s going. [Read more...]
In order to sum up my thoughts on Black Swan you would have to determine what you could based on a blank expression that looked a little like that, mouth slightly more agape. That’s right, I really did just resort to an emoticon to review a film. Unsophisticated response? Maybe a little, but even hours after watching this film and the loss of the visible appearance of that look, the dumbfounded expression is still present on my brain (if my brain could wear an expression of course), with a splash of a “WTF” overtone.
Rising on pointed toe far above the flashy dance films being pushed out in the past few years, Black Swan follows Nina Sayers at the start of her escalating dance career as a ballerina. Following the struggles to outshine the other girls in her dance company Nina is finally giving the starring role of the swan queen in Swan Lake, but it is in the happiest moment of her life that it begins to unravel around her. [Read more...]
Black Swan is another fantastic entry into Darren Aronofsky’s filmography that is driven by a wonderful lead performance by Natalie Portman and could very well be my favorite film of the year when it is all said and done.
The film follows Nina Sayers who has been a background ballet performer in an elite New York company that finally gets her shot at stardom when the company’s lead decides to “retire.” Nina gets her shot in the company’s next performance of Swan Lake and her life begins to parallel her character of The Swan Queen. Nina applies a lot of pressure on herself and beyond that she lives with her mother who is overbearing and is clearly living vicariously through her daughter. Added to the self and parental pressure is the extremely competitive nature of the world of ballet and these elements all thrown together provides for a volatile environment for Nina to try and rise to stardom. So when her director keeps getting disappointed in her work and a new talent from San Francisco shows up in the company, Nina finds herself in a stressful situation.
The film follows a loosely connected group of individuals as we watch their experiences with love through a series of short films and connecting vignettes. The stories involve a just dumped boy who gets a last minute prom date, a composer and an assistant who bond through their many phone calls, a couple of strangers outside a restaurant, a confident and tad overzealous smoker trying to pick up a not so forth coming women, a pick pocket and a girl that catches his eye, an jeweler and his client, an long lived and nagging couple, an assumed one night stand deciding to meet again, an aging star revisiting an old hotel, a painter and his longed for muse, a video artist capturing people around town, and the bond between father and daughter even if no one believes they are related. [Read more...]
Wong Kar Wai makes his American debut with this sweet and very good little picture about love, finding it, losing it, and fighting it.
Elizabeth (Norah Jones) is down on her luck, her lover is with someone else, and worse she finds this out third party from a diner owner, Jeremy (Jude Law), that over saw them at his restaurant. Elizabeth informs her lover that her keys to his place are at Jeremy’s diner and that he can pick them up whenever he wishes. Jeremy adds them to a jar of other unclaimed keys and when Elizabeth comes back to see if the keys have been picked up or not yet, the two begin to bond over the stories of the keys and unwanted blueberry pie. The two form a sweet friendship before Elizabeth decides to hit the road as she tries to find herself.
In Memphis, she is stuck working two jobs as she tries to save up to buy a car for her travels and she befriends a local cop/drunk, Arnie (David Strathairn), who spends his lunches at the diner she works and drinking the night away at the bar she closes down. Arnie is in love with his wife, Sue Lynne (Rachel Weisz), unfortunately she has moved on as he empties his sorrows in the bottle. [Read more...]
This adaptation of the hit novel fails to create any real emotion nor evokes us to really care about our leads or anyone involved in this historical period piece.
Scarlet Johansen and Natalie Portman star as Mary and Anne Boleyn, respectively, starting off as pawns in their families bid to gain favor and power with King Henry the VIII (Eric Bana), with the lies, deceit, and intrigue leading to a struggle for power and love from the King.
The plot and script as a whole comes across as the lite version of the proceedings, with the story skimming over small details with little to no motivation for what is going on, leaving us wondering why we should care so much about the proceedings in the first place.
Anne was originally elected by her family to steal the king’s favor and serve as his potential mistress but it is Mary who steals his affection as she tends to him after injuring himself on a hunt while staying at the Boleyn manor. Anne, Mary, and family are all whisked off to court and slowly become more and more favored by the king especially after the pregnancy of Anne become known. Henry’s need for a male aire drives the proceedings of the film forward and is the focal point in which the plot revolves from here on out. I will not divulge more into story other then to say that it really fails to pack any sort of punch throughout the course of pretty much the entire film.
The acting in the film is just blah from everyone as well and these are some fine actors working here as well. Though, I will say that the weak script and dialogue definitely probably had something to do with this and the actors seem to have their hands tied with anything to really work with. Jim Sturgess actually probably does the best work out of the cast playing the brother George Boleyn who also ends up forced into situations he can’t handle by the conniving elders of the Boleyn family. The uncle of the Boleyn’s, and the Duke of Norfolk, is also played to great effect by David Morrissey as we love to hate him as he manipulates the family to his bidding. Outside these characters though, there isn’t anything to really write home about and that’s saying something when Eric Bana is in the cast, who I regard as one of the best actors around.
When it’s all said and done, this movie isn’t nearly as effective as it thinks it is, and even comes off as a bit pretentious. The script cripples almost everything in this film and the direction leaves a lot to be desired. The acting is nobodies best and the film as a whole is pretty much forgettable. The movie is at best a historical soap opera that doesn’t even really succeed at that very well. I can’t really recommend this unless you really wanted to see it, in which you should seek it out and judge for yourself because you might find something you like, even though all I found was a whole lot of blah.
Milos Forman’s latest wow’s at the start but gets completely lost half way through, leaving one curious as to what happened to the picture by the end.
Brother Lorenzo (Javier Bardem) opens the film calling for the inquisition to return Spain to a god fearing state as they evaluate paintings of Goya that depict the world and church as a wretched and vial place. Lorenzo uses these portraits to convince his brethren to get rid of this image of the world and trains his brothers to seek out sinners based on ridiculous stipulations as reason to hold people captive within the church. [Read more...]
This is a great collection of short films that rarely let down at all while giving you a fun visual tour of both love and Paris. Since there are a number of people involved I will just go over my favorite entries, but just know that there are few that will let you down. The movie uses both French and English depending on the characters so you stupid subtitle haters, be warned. [Read more...]
I need to start off this review with a disclaimer, I love Wes Anderson’s films, love, love, love them, and I love this one too, but I will try to be unbiased and will write this review with average movie fan and not as a Wes Anderson fanatic.
So The Darjeeling Limited is a train, and the title of the film, obviously. And this train carries our 3 leads on a path to hopeful bonding and self/group discovery. Francis(Owen Wilson), the oldest, has organized the brothers, Peter(Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman) on an itinerary filled trip around India [Read more...]