The first trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released earlier this week, and though it doesn’t actually show a lot of what the whole film will contain, it shows enough to tide us over until the next trailer comes along. [Read more...]
A child crawls out of the forest, looking for help that will never come. Instead he is skewered and beaten to death. Because he didn’t have the conch. Yep, that’s how Lord of the Flies worked. Ok, so maybe not, but this was still a rather gruesome thing to read even as a high schooler. The Hunger Games had a similar plight in word form as barbaric images depicting children/teens murdering others for survival/sport engrossed masses of readers. But how exactly does this translate to screen? [Read more...]
Stone stars as Olive, an apparent outcast and “un-cool” high school kid that ups her status accidentally by faking having sex with her gay friend so he doesn’t get beat up anymore. An innocent act of friendship quickly turns to an act of scandal when rumor spreads that she is the new school slut but instead of running from the act and defending herself she embraces it and begins to help other virgin boys up their status. But as her slut rating goes through the roof things begin to get more complicated as she tries to stay sane while she is vilified by everyone at her school over a lie.
The idea that high school is something teenagers have to survive is not new to the screen. Buffy the Vampire Slayer literally set the school on top of a gateway to Hell just to make sure the audience didn’t miss this idea. In its own way Easy A keeps this same idea in mind, just going the route of Mean Girls. Comparisons have already been made linking these two films in many ways, but there is no need to worry because Easy A is hardly a rip off of this fan favorite, and if everything goes as it should, it will most likely become one itself.
Easy A follows an invisible high school girl who gets a taste for the spotlight when she agrees to fake sexy time with a friend to prevent him from further getting beat up for being gay. Once they “do the deed” he is cheered for becoming a man while she is quickly cast in a darker spotlight for being a promiscuous harlot; yet in Olive’s mind any light is better than no light. To further her newfound fame due to the schools overworking rumor mill she agrees to do the same thing for other boys, but as these things do everything quickly gets out of hand. [Read more...]
Peter Jackson’s latest adaptation is visually stunning but feels like a cliff notes version of the novel and on its own right doesn’t go deep enough into these characters relationships and feelings to connect us as emotionally as possible with the rich material.
The story follows the path of Susie Salmon a 14 year old girl that is murdered and raped (though the film leaves that last part out for the most part) by her neighbor Mr. Harvey and we follow her in the afterlife as she watches her family cope and hopefully find a way to lead them towards her killer. A little background on my connection to the source material, when I read Alice Sebold’s novel I was blown away for the first two thirds of the book or so and was a bit disappointed with the time jump and felt like things lost a bit of steam in the end. With that said I loved the afterlife stuff and the progression of these family members as they dealt with this horrible incident. And as a person that was hoping for the film to capture those connections and be a great look into these characters lives was disappointed with the skimming the surface approach the film seems to take. We only really get to spend a good amount of time with Mr. Harvey and Susie over the course of the picture and even with them we don’t really dive too deep into their psyche. [Read more...]
Unfortunately for Amy Adams, the title, Julie & Julia, is a slight exaggeration on the importance of her character to the film. It would be a better representation if it was something along the lines of: Julia Child and Why She Deserves to Have Some Random Woman Dedicate A Year of Her Life to Her. But I guess that has too many words to fit nicely on the poster…
It is not that Amy Adams does not do a great job with the role she is given, but when competing with Meryl Streep’s Julia Child, it is no question that Adams is going to lose. Throughout the film Streep paints a portrait of the eccentric woman that Child was, using her mannerisms, voice, personality, insecurities and cooking prowess to do so, something which any lesser actor could have turned into a caricature.
Nora Ephron’s adaptation of two books connected to the life and teachings of the chef Julia Child is an often hilarious yet a bit overly long tale that overall is quite the success in the end and carries one of the finest performances of the year.
Julie Powell is a wannabe writer. Having written half a novel and never got around to finishing it, she is now living a life in a cubicle and at home in a nine hundred square foot studio apartment in Queens with her husband. While the couple is happy, Julie dreams of more and hopes to follow through on something once in her life. Enter Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking and a goal of preparing every recipe in the book over the course of the year while blogging about her experiences online. Julie’s story is intercut with Julia Child’s first adventures into cooking and her success along the way both professionally and personally as her relationship with her husband Paul takes center stage. We follow the two as they move through their lives and their paralleling of sorts works us towards Julie’s deadline to finish all the recipes in the book. [Read more...]
Barry Levinson’s latest is a look at Hollywood through the eyes of a big time producer who is dealing with crisis in all aspects of his life, and the result is a solid comedy that gives us a look into Hollywood behind the scenes.
Based off screenwriter Art Linson’s own book, the film is a reflection on his experiences as a producer through the eyes of the fictional Ben, who is warding off three crises over a two week period; one personal, two professional. First up for Ben is his personal struggle with trying to get back in with his most recent family which he has been estranged. As him and his ex work through separation counseling, Ben is trying to get back in and prove he is good for it. Making things hard on this front is the constant badgering he gets handling his professional crisis that keep getting in the way in his present as they did his past that was his downfall at home in the first place. The professional crisis in question is the re-editing of an egotistical director’s (Michael Wincott) film ending after a poor test screening that really went soar after a canine assassination in the end. Added to the mess is the production of his new film is in jeopardy due to the reluctance of Bruce Willis [Read more...]