Cloud Atlas is a fantastic piece of audacious and exhilarating filmmaking that is unlike just about anything you have ever seen in a movie theater. [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...]
The Wachowski siblings have crafted a fantastic, fun, and exciting piece of cinema that can be enjoyed by anyone willing to let the kid inside of them come out to play. The film centers around the Racer family as they try and challenge the scheme of conglomerate racing mogul Royalton, who is only worried about dollars and cents and not the joy and excitement of racing that the Racer family holds true.
Speed Racer (Emile Hirsh) is the driver for the family and lives with the ambitions to live up to his older brother Rex, idolizing him as a child and forced to watch his downfall on the professional circuit, those memories drive Speed to follow the path he does, and strive to do good in the only way he knows how; race. Speed’s Family supports him in a number ways throughout the film and the feeling of family unity is strong and is a great message to the audience this film is targeted towards. [Read more...]
Paul Haggis’ new film is a crime procedural with an anti-war message laced through out and while it is very effective emotionally at times there is not real mystery to the proceedings and the movie doesn’t excel above being just good.
Based on a true story, Tommy Lee Jones stars in this now Oscar nominated performance (though he is far better in No Country) as Hank Deerfield an ex-military man on the search for his son who recently went AWOL after his return from Iraq. He enlists the help of a local police detective Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron) to help with the missing persons search and even though she shouldn’t help, as its military police’s jurisdiction, she is more than willing to get off the bottom of the barrel cases she gets because she is the only woman detective on staff.
Deerfield’s wife Joan is played spectacularly well by Susan Sarandon and they communicate through phone over the course of Hank’s investigation and seem to be dealing with some problems of their own.
The film is a mixture of so many things going on it really doesn’t let the viewer settle on what it wants to be. There is the police investigation, there is a harassment angle with Theron at the police station, there is the military cover up, the Deerfield troubles, and then the whole what is this war doing to us angle. Though, even though it’s all over the place, all of these stories are able to co-exist and work together, it’s just hard to find a firm direction sometimes.
The movie isn’t as sneaky as it thinks it is either with things playing out about as expected as the viewer will predict, but the movie tries to act like things are a lot bigger reveal and surprise then they really are and I think if they played things a bit more straight it would have worked better.
The cast all around is very good though, with Josh Brolin doing good work again this year as the police Chief over Theron’s character. Jason Patric is also good as a military lieutenant in the film and Susan Sarandon delivers one of the toughest scenes to watch in a film this year; in a good way.
Tommy Lee Jones is also solid as always, one upping with his own investigation and really showing the cops and military up on a number of occasions.
Theron is very good as well and makes you wish she could have a great performance or role in something more mainstream and less depressing so she could be a bigger star.
Speaking of depressing, the movie is very heavy with very little humor. It would have helped the film to have a bit more lightness to the proceedings, but again the mood and message is what really hurts this film. It is trying so hard to make a statement about things and trying to be some reflection on the state of the U.S. and it just doesn’t really work. The coda at the end of the film as well as so ridiculous and over the top, it can’t be taken seriously, and really puts a damper on a fairly good film other wise.
The movie is good though, it’s engaging and really gets you to care, and if you are at all interested I recommend it; even with all my nitpicking. Take away the grim seriousness and political message of this film and it might have worked a lot better, but as it stands, it feels like a good movie that unfortunately is constrained by the intentions or mark that Haggis was trying to make with his film.
The long delayed New York based musical by John Turturro finally gets to show its face, and sadly, outside of a few good laughs here and there this one is not a winner.
The film has no direction at all for 2/3 of the film. It feels like a random splattering of scenes most of the time and is just all over the place with no plot line really to follow. There are a couple of good laughs sprinkled throughout, i.e. if Christopher Walken or Steve Buscemi are on screen, but most of the time you are left wondering what the hell is going on. [Read more...]
First off, Amy Adams is magnificent, cute, brilliant, and adorable, any positive adjective for performing could be filled in here. She is just a sweet little Disney princess lost in the real world and plays it to perfection. She carries the comedy and makes the fantastical plot believable and all the more real. [Read more...]