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Posted on 6/03/12 11:06 AM
A heartwarming adventure about love, friendship, and the spirit of youth. Its comedy is unique and timed so precisely, yet its dramatic moments had me close to tears. A film I could watch numerous times and still feel uplifted. It's Wes Anderson at his finest. Storytelling doesn't get much better than Moonrise Kingdom. 10/10
Posted on 6/01/12 03:52 PM
One of the best sci-fi films ever made. What more needs to be said? 10/10
Posted on 12/10/11 12:29 PM
+ Solid, cohesive storytelling, never lets up until the very end
+ Gorgeous visuals, the best animation I've seen in a long time
+ Captivating performances from the entire cast, especially Jamie Bell as Tintin and Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock
+ Great pacing and tight, efficient editing
+ Soundtrack enhances the amazing visuals
+ The coolest action sequences in recent movie, both animation and not (There is a four minute one-take sequence that will blow you away. You have to see it to know what I mean.)
+ 3D enhances the immersion and depth, especially during action scenes
+ Ending leaves great setup for a sequel
+ Leaves a strong desire to start reading the Tintin books
- The movie ended
This is by far the coolest animated movie in a very long time. Everything about it is spectacular. Come December 21st in the US, there's no reason for second guessing. This is a must see movie. The Adventures of Tintin is a prime example of what makes visual storytelling captivating.
Posted on 12/10/11 12:28 PM
From the brilliant director of The Wrestler and Requiem for a Dream, Darren Aronofsky's next film, Black Swan, has large shoes to fill. Is Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, another masterpiece from Aronofsky?
The pacing in the beginning might come off as a little languid, but that doesn't mean the intensity starts to build from the very beginning. Even during the subtle, calmer moments, there was a sense of urgency that made the viewer wonder what the next scene would bring. The story starts to pick up speed and intensity around the midway point, and that's where this rollar-coaster starts to become disturbing, yet intriguing. If you are looking for a movie with excellent character development, this is a premiere example. The journey through which Nina (Portman) transforms from an innocent ballerina into her final metamorphosis at the end is breathtaking. It not only observes the outer struggles and competition Nina's facing, but, in a frightening sense, examines her inner psyche and slow devolution from her original self. In term of violence, there is an appropriate amount that enhances the intensity of Nina's situation. Black Swan also does an amazing job of keeping the audience wondering what is reality and what is Nina's thought process. This sole aspect kept me cringing and on the edge of my seat the entire film, especially during the last 30 minutes. As for Natalie Portman, she deserves the Oscar for Best Actress for her breathtaking role as Nina. End of discussion. Also, for anyone who's been questioning about the lesbian sex scene: It might be a turn-off for homophobics, but it does enhance the story and shows what Nina's mind is going through during her slow, excruciating mental breakdown.
As mentioned earlier, the pacing of the screenplay starts off a little slow, but that really isn't a detraction for this film. It rather enhances the story by establishing Nina's character and her relationships with her mother and members of the ballet company. The cinematography is top notch. From shots that followed Nina from behind, to ballet sequences, everything concerning how the film is presented is excellent and added to the suspense and intensity. Sound is a crucial part that enhanced the overall mood and really added to the shock moments (the bathtub scene being one example). Speaking of sound, the musical score is one of the most haunting and suspenseful I've heard. The twisted take on Tchaikovsky is genius, as it made your mind bend between graceful beauty and deranged madness. Overall, from a technical standpoint, this is a well executed film.
Other than the slow pacing during the beginning acts (which isn't even a bad thing), Black Swan is a brilliant piece of art, a true masterpiece from Aronofsky, and one that should not be overlooked. This is one of best films of the year, and is worthy of being in discussions for Oscars.
Second viewing short review: To get to the point, this movie is only great the first time you see it. After watching it for a second time, nothing about it stood out like the first time because I knew what was going to happen. The final half hour is still really cool, but it wasn't as jaw dropping. Basically, Black Swan is only amazing the first time. Don't expect to be blown away when you see it again.
Average between first and second viewing: 8.5/10
Posted on 9/17/11 04:13 PM
Drive: Filmmaking at its finest or a slow, bumbling art house flick?
Let me put it out there right now: Drive is the best film I have seen this year. It is in the Top 5 list of the past few years. Any words I use to describe Drive would not do it justice. Ryan Gosling, first off, is outstanding. I knew he was a great actor in movies such as The Notebook and, most recently, Crazy. Stupid. Love. But his performance in Drive is jaw-dropping. He is a total badass. The fact that he has minimal dialogue and does most of his acting through his eye language is what enriches his character as Driver. The rest of the supporting cast holds up and delivers emotional impact throughout. The pacing at first might seem a bit slow, but you become accustomed to it and it works wonderfully. There is no need for the pace to go any faster.
The cinematography is what makes Drive unique. You have to see to believe. The vintage 80's look fits the tone of the film very well, and there are moments when the camera work is used to its full potential to propel this film from great to brilliant. You'll know what I mean when you see such scenes as "the elevator scene" and the driving sequences, which while few in number, are executed superbly.
Speaking of execute, this film at times is very ultra-violent. The first time Driver killed someone brought chills to my entire body. It's extremely intense, but satisfying and never cheesy. When someone (will not say who) gets their head blown to a bloody red mess, you know shit just got real.
Another aspect that shines through is the soundtrack. It's very reminiscent of the one from The Social Network, with ambient tones and such. I don't know how to put it in any other way than mind-boggling brilliant.
I will get to the chase and reiterate what I said earlier: This is the best film so far this year, and one of the best in the past few years. Ryan Gosling has to get nominations for his intense performance, and everything about this film exudes greatness. Drive is 10/10, 5 stars, perfect.
Posted on 10/22/10 11:37 PM
One of the better action flicks I've seen in awhile. Very tense at moments, and you get attached to the characters, which is why they're so likable. Great pacing, very few dull moments. It's one fluid movie that doesn't take time to stop. Washington and Pine have excellent chemistry and compliment one another very well throughout. I didn't think trains were this intense! Overall, great action/drama that's worth a visit to the theater. Check it.
Posted on 10/03/10 01:43 PM
I had not heard of Waiting for Superman until a friend mentioned it was directed by Davis Guggenheim, who made An Inconvenient Truth and It Might Get Loud. Immediately I had high expectations for this, and boy were they met, and then some.
This movie, as a whole, is a riveting, insightful, and sometimes shocking look into the condition of American public schools. The raw facts presented during its play-through were enough to make a bold statement that raised questions for yourself about our schools. The way the movie followed the five children throughout the film made the viewer connect with them on an emotional level. You cared about the struggles they were going through. Your heart was crushed when you saw four of them not win the lottery for a charter school. The emotional impact you got from watching the development of these five children set this film above normal documentaries.
The professionals interviewed were very knowledgeable and engaging. Geoffrey Canada lit up the screen with his enthusiasm and pure dedication of his profession. Everyone brought their A-game to the table and delivered a convincing message for reform. Being a DC area native from the suburbs in Virginia, I had heard a lot about Michelle Rhee, chancellor of DC public schools, but I didn't know what her deal was. The reform she has brought to DC schools is staggering, and I hope in the long-term, it's for the better, but I digress. She was very professional, informative, and forward-thinking, unlike those many people strongly against her.
From a technical standpoint, it has high production values across the entire spectrum. Cinematography was excellent, editing kept you engaged, the sound, from interviews to ambient noise, immersed you into everyone's situations, and the narration brought the colossal issue at hand to a more personal level. This, along with Guggenheim's other works, should be the standard other filmmakers reference to for their documentaries.
Overall, Waiting for Superman is an excellent documentary that gets its point across clearly and presents the issue in a professional manner.
Highly recommend, everyone who is connected in some way to public schools (a.k.a. taxpayers, therefore just about everyone in America) needs to see Waiting for Superman.
Posted on 9/23/10 10:10 PM
I saw this movie last week (Snyder was there afterwards for a Q&A, but that's besides the point), and I have to say the visuals definitely propel the storytelling. If the visuals and action were of lesser quality, this would've been bland, dull, and just another generic animated movie. And see it in 3D; it's beautiful.
Basically, thank Snyder for his amazing art and action style in this film, and 3D is the way to go.
Posted on 9/17/10 09:23 AM
I just came back from an advance screening, and what can I say? The Social Network is a well-crafted, perfectly casted, wonderfully directed film. There was never a slow moment, thanks to the smart screenplay, and Jesse Eisenburg played a great portrayal of Mark Zuckerburg. The cinematography was beautifully shot, just like any other David Fincher film, and the sound was one of the many high points. Highly recommend. One of the best films of the year, if not the best film of the year.
Posted on 10/22/09 07:59 PM
Warning: Don't read if you haven't seen the movie. There's one big spoiler, so watch it!
I wasn't a big fan of zombie movies. Well, that was until I saw Zombieland. One word to sum it up: awesome! It's definitely got enough gore for it not to be cheesy, but not too over the top to make you throw up. There's a couple of really funny one-liners ("Time to nut up or shut up!", "I f***ing shot Bill Murray!"), not to mention that the entire is funny from start to finish. A complaint I had with it was that the middle was a little slow, and it was as if all the zombies had disappeared. The end more than made up for the over-the-top, badass zombie killing that was missing in the second act. All four of the main characters were perfect for their respective roles, with Woody Harrelson playing one of the most memorable characters in any movie this year as Tallahassee. Editing was spot on, the camera work made it even more engaging, and the director is a DC native (Represent!). Zombieland is an exceptional directional debut for him, and I can't wait to see what his future projects will be.
Overall, awesome movie! Oh, and you're crazy if you haven't seen it yet. And don't be eating any contaminated meat if you don't want to get your head blown off by Little Miss Sunshine.