Posted on 2/27/10 07:07 PM
"White, as you all know, is the color of innocence."
The White Ribbon. Critics are saying "Fascinating", "Stunning", "Eerily Perfect", "Extraordinary", "Masterwork", "Astonishing", etc. The film won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival and is currently nominated for 2 Academy Awards including Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. Now let's hear my opinion. I have been waiting very eagerly to see this film; I even considered leaving the state to see it. Just last week it opened in my area and I just saw it last night. I hate to say that I was kind of disappointed. I still thought the film was fantastic, I guess I just over hyped it to much. The film itself is made perfectly. The acting, writing, and direction are all fantastic but the film lacks entertainment value (which was kind of expected), and has a very dissatisfying ending that kind of leaves you hanging. Now I have been told that Michael Haneke ends all of his films like that but this is the only film of his I have seen. But despite that, it is a great film. I felt like I was watching a classic film. It all seemed very real. The film was a very strange film and can be kind of confusing at times. Nothing is ever really explained very well, but the quality of this film is perfect. The cinematography is absolutely stunning and everything else was just the icing on the cake. Being that the film was shot in black and white, gave the film a very eerie and dark feeling, you could even say creepy. The length really didn't bother me that much because the film kept getting me to want to know more. If you want to be entertained, skip this film. It is not entertaining in the slightest. It is very slow and can be boring but stays interesting throughout. The White Ribbon is a true achievement for Michael Haneke.
The acting was probably my favorite part about this film. This is probably the best acted film of 2009. I didn't think a single actor gave a remotely bad performance. The actors made the film seem real. Christian Friedel who played the school teacher gave a great breakout performance, he never overacted or under acted, he kind of stayed within the grounds that every actor should. All the women gave great performances as well. Most of them were suffering especially The Midwife who was played brilliantly by Susanne Lothar. I thought she gave one of the best performances in the film. Surprisingly enough, I really think that the kids did just as good if not better than the adults in the film. My god, the kids were amazing. How they can do all those things and bring out such emotion is beyond me and for most of those kids this is their first film. The acting was superb and I couldn't have asked for more.
The writing was fantastic as well. The story was very original and I hadn't seen anything like it. The White Ribbon is one of those films that include about 10 different stories that are all somehow connected. The dialog was great. It kept the audience guessing and asking questions throughout the whole film. The story is very and I mean very disturbing. It sends a chill down your spine. Although, it was written so that almost everything was done behind closed doors made that uneasy feeling increase. It's not for the faint of heart. Michael Haneke is a great writer as well as director.
Michael Haneke did a great job directing this film. He had a lot to work with in the set he used. He made the film look very authentic and realistic. Haneke is famous for directing films like Caché, The Piano Teacher, and Funny Games. Some have said The White Ribbon is his greatest achievement. He got a lot of great wide angle shots. His style is great and I haven't seen any other of his films but I really want to now. I really don't think there is much else to say about Haneke's direction other than its fantastic.
The White Ribbon was one of the better films I saw this year, but I would not recommend this film to anyone other than people I know would like it. I will say I wasn't prepared for how disturbing the film was and that is a major reason why I gave it a higher rating. After thinking about this film all day I feel like I really need to see it again. I wouldn't say this is one of my favorite films but it's a great movie and is made to perfection. Haneke does great with suspense and building tension and right at its highest moment of suspense, he cuts to another scene. Most of the films disturbing content come from the family of The Doctor but I can't say anything about it because it will spoil it for all of you. I think that The White Ribbon was a great movie but I feel I need to see it again because I was in a mood where I wanted to be entertained and was slightly tired, but even so, it was great. TEN STARS!
Posted on 1/26/10 04:57 PM
The Lovely Bones has been a very anticipated film. I mean it's Peter Jacksons return to directing since his 2005 remake of King Kong. So was it worth it? Let's find out.
I was looking forward to The Lovely Bones the moment I heard about it. I mean from the trailers and the fact that Peter Jackson was directing it I thought this was gonna be one of the Oscar winners for sure. But of course I was wrong. The Lovely Bones was a huge dissapointment in numerous ways. This film just goes to show you don't get your hopes to high about a movie. I felt really mad after I left the theater. I tried to find as many reasons as I could to think I loved this movie but, I knew deep down that it was just.... ok.
The acting was ok, it was one of the better parts of the film though I will say that. Mark Wahlberg was not in his normal role. I'm used to him in his role like in The Departed. In this movie he played the loving father with not much of a badass side, but he still gave a good performance none the less. Stanley Tucci is the main buzz around this movie playing the psychopath neighbor down the street. He has already scored an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for 2009. I will say he gave a great performance and it was believeable but I have seen better psychopaths but he was the best part about the film hands down. Never trust a guy with a combover. Now Saoirse Ronan, who played our main character, was just plain annoying. I really did not like her performance, I thought being so young and has already been nominated for an Oscar, wow, this kid must have talent. Well if she does, she certainly didn't show it off in this film. She just annoyed me the entire time and thats all I have to say about her. So the acting was ok but I thought Stanley Tucci was the only part of the film worth a damn.
The writing was not that good. I mean based on what I've heard, the writing is what ruined the movie. Apparently it doesn't stay that true to the book and angered many lovers of the book. Personally I don't read much, I find movies read aloud for me to hear instead of think. The film was written by Peter Jackson himself, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh, each of them were involved in the writing of both the Lord of The Rings Trilogy and King Kong. This is their lowest achievment. At points in the film I was very interested but others I was bored and felt like sleeping. The writing made the film a very big dissapointment.
Peter Jackson is a great director, and he did a pretty good job directing this film. He is really good about bringing beauty to the film, even if it is in an extremly morbid way. He had so much to work with in the Heaven scenes with Susie and he even had a lot to work with in the real world. He did a great job at creating a suspense element whenever we saw Stanley Tucci on screen. He got some great shots, the wide shots, close ups, even slow motion which i've never been a huge fan of. The direction was another thing I liked about this film but thats about all I have to say about that.
The Lovely Bones was probably the biggest dissapointment of 2009. I really wanted to like it but I knew I didn't. I mean the only thing I thought made the film ok was Stanley Tucci's performance and I think that many people would agree with me. I wouldn't recomend this movie to anyone, only because it dissapointed me so much. The film touched on a very disturbing subject and tried to hard to be a horror movie. If someone were to ask me, I wouldn't even say rent it, I'd say skip it. FOUR STARS OUT OF TEN!
Posted on 12/25/09 07:17 PM
Up In The Air had a great story, characters, and comedic boost that took me on an amazing journey. The film touches on a subject that has been hitting this country pretty hard, unemployment. Up In The Air is about a man Ryan Bingham(played by George Clooney) who is a man who's job is to travel around the country firing people from their jobs. He basically has no home other than the hotel room he stays in that night, but things soon start to turn around for him. The film was a drama and had it's moments of comedy, like in Juno. As the film progressed from start to finish, I just loved this film more and more. I think this definitely has a chance at the Oscars and could even win Best Picture. With a great cast and great story, not much can go wrong. I had to sit in a packed theater and couldn't even get popcorn or a drink because the lines circled around the theater and that didn't stop me from enjoying one of the best films of 2009.
The acting was great. Normally, I never really liked George Clooney although I loved his role in Burn After Reading, but in this film Clooney gave an excellent performance worthy of some awards. His character Ryan was kind of a witty, charming, ladies man much like he is in real life, but he really inhabited that character and gave what seemed to be a performance from the heart. I had seen Vera Farmiga in Orphan earlier this year playing that powerful mother role and in this film she plays that sexy woman that every guy wants secretly. She played her character Alex quite well. I enjoyed her moments in the film and she really gave Clooney something to work off of. The role of Natalie is probably the best role that Anna Kendrick will ever get. She really did good as the goodie two shoes she played. She was one of the better parts of the film because she could be both dramatic and brought most of the comic relief to the film. I felt the acting in this film was superb.
The film was written brilliantly. A great original story that entertaining in every way. One of the most original scripts of the year. I hadn't seen really any movies like this. Reitman blended drama, comedy, and romance to create a very tasteful story with quirky characters and dialog. Reitmen has only written one other major motion picture which was Thank You For Smoking which I have not seen yet although seems like they could be similar. Each character was interesting and those actors better thank their lucky stars that they were sent this script. I loved the dialog between the characters as well. They seemed like they really had stuff they need to say rather than in some other films out this holiday season. Up In The Air was brilliantly written and could be the best screenplay of the year.
The direction be Jason Reitman was so amazing. I thought that he did a great job with this film. He has only directed two other films which are Juno which was a success and Thank You For Smoking. Even the shots for the opening credits scene were so beautiful and amazing and the way they were all edited together was brilliant. I think that Reitman's deserves an Oscar nomination for his direction. Being sort of an up and comer, Reitman's has definitely proved himself worthy among other directors. The shots he got in the film were so beautiful. It made me feel like I was standing right where the actors were. Not many films can do that. Reitman's direction shot this film up in the air in my eyes and I would say if you want to see a quality film. Go see this one.
Up In The Air was a very enjoyable experience. There were moments where I was laughing to the point where I couldn't breath and others where I felt extreme depression. This film has already been critically acclaimed and it deserves every bit of recognition it gets. Up In The Air was definitely worth the ten bucks I paid to see it. I was entertained the entire 109 minutes I spent in the theater. I also really enjoyed Zach Galifianakis's little cameo in the film. I thought he was hilarious in The Hangover and for the two minutes he was on screen, he made me laugh just as hard. So run out and buy a ticket to Up In The Air. It's worth it. TEN STARS!
Posted on 12/21/09 06:54 PM
In the spirit of the holidays, I went and saw the newest take on the Christmas Carol story done by Robert Zemeckis. I went and saw this with a friend in IMAX 3D. After seeing Avatar the day before, the effects didn't seem as good. I was kind of sick of seeing A Christmas Carol. I must have seen it about 100 different times with different people and it is always the same story. Zemeckis kept very true to the original story and even used some of the same lines from the original. It is an interesting and entertaining take on this classic story. Zemeckis has made films from Forrest Gump to The Polar Express and I honestly didn't think this would be good. I was wrong. It wasn't good and it wasn't bad... It was somewhere in between. I would recommend it to any family with young children because they would get the most fun out of it.
The best part about this film was Jim Carrey. I have always liked Jim Carrey ever since I was a little kid after seeing him in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Mask, but Carrey brought a lot to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, the classic grumpy old man. As you would assume, Jim Carrey brings a lot of comedy to the role. It was fun to see him play almost every role in the movie. Gary Oldmen was also fun to see in animation. He played Bob Cratchit and I couldn't even tell that was him until the very end. He also played Marley and Tiny Tim, yes Tiny Tim. Really there is not much to say about the acting other than those to, but what the hell, lets throw Colin Firth in there too. You could clearly tell it was him and I haven't seen A Single Man yet so really I can't call him a "Good" actor.
The effects were pretty good but seeing Avatar the day before, it was hard not to say they sucked compared to them. The characters were very detailed right down to the nose hairs on Scrooge. I believe the actors wear these suits that make the animated character which Zemeckis has done in most if not all of his animated features. The scenery seemed to lack in detail. It could have been the quality of the 3D,but I doubt it. The film is more about character than scenery. So, if you haven't seen Avatar yet, you will probably appreciate the effects.
Other than those two things there is not much to say about this film.
Disney's A Christmas Carol is a fun film for the whole family. I would recommend to see it in 3D because the film would have been pointless otherwise. This is a pretty version of the classic story. I would say see the film for Jim Carrey alone because he is just perfect in his role. It isn't the best film, it's okay, but it is still pretty fun. So snath up the kiddies and go see this film in 3D. SIX STARS!
Posted on 12/20/09 07:49 PM
Avatar is James Cameron's first film directing since his record breaking Titanic. Has Cameron made yet another masterpiece? Well let's find out. This film has probably been the most hyped up film of the year, and after seeing the trailer for this movie, I honestly thought it looked terrible. I couldn't comprehend why people thought this looked so great, but of course Cameron has made another great film. I have seen most of Cameron's films and thought this is one of his best. This film MUST be seen in 3D. It helps make the experience of this film even more powerful. Avatar is about a paralyzed ex - marine who is put on planet Pandora to learn more about the native inhabitants and feels that it has become his new home. From the first trailer, it didn't seem like this film had a plot but it really does. I personally don't think it lived up to the hype but basically everything in the film is brilliant. It is entertaining all the way until it's edge of your seat climax. The effects are done to perfection. Each of the creatures on Pandora looked very lifelike although that can be expected from a Cameron film. All the scenery was absolutely beautiful. It really did blow my mind and kept my eyes locked to the screen. I didn't think I could sit through a movie that was almost three hours without getting up but I didn't. I didn't want to miss a single thing in this film and kept my butt in that seat for that period. Dazzling, Spectacular, Stunning, Captivating. Those are just a few words to describe this film.
The acting was pretty good. This has been a good year for both Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana who really haven't been in much else. Worthington was also in the new Terminator and Saldana had been in Star Trek. Sam Worthington gave a really good performance. He went from being a paralyzed rule follower to a great leader who rose up against his own race. I thought he gave the most powerful performance in the movie. Zoe Saldana did a good job as well. She played kind of the main creature from Pandora. She gave a lot of emotion in her performance and it made you really feel bad for her. Sigourney Weaver is a great actress anyway and her role as Grace was kind of the role she always plays. The powerful and strong tough women. No, not like in Alien but she still was one of the best parts of the movie. Her character was kind of a for lack of a better word hippie. She was always protecting the inhabitants of Pandora and she was right to do it. The acting overall was good but wasn't what made the movie.
James Cameron has already established himself as an amazing director and this film is just representative of that. The direction in this film was friggen awesome! I love his variety of styles that he throws into one. He can go from getting beautiful scenery shots to extremely fast paced action sequences that keep your heart pounding. I always loved his style ever since I saw the first two Terminators and I wondered if his direction would have faded a little bit taking such a long break from filmmaking. Normally I am not a fan of science fiction but all of Cameron's films of that genre are spectacular. The shots he got were so good, beautiful, brilliant. It's hard to put into words how amazing the direction was so I let you figure it out for yourself.
Now lets get to the question that every one who hasn't seen this is asking... Are the effects in this film as good as everybody says? Yes they are. The effects are what made the film. I couldn't believe that this was basically all CGI because it all seemed so real. You could see they really worked hard to put every little detail into the scenery and characters. The effects are why this film needs to be seen in 3D. The effects in this film are so perfect .
Avatar was truly a captivating film. So why didn't I give it 100%? Well, it didn't live up to the hype. Everyone is saying this is like the best movie ever and I really had to disagree. I really did like this movie though. It is truly an experience. I would recommend to see this in theaters because you won't get the same experience on your T.V. rather than at a movie theater. If you don't like long movies, do not see this. It is extremely long and can drag on at times but time never really bothered me. I would say this is one of the most entertaining films of the year. To see things blow up all over the place, beautiful scenery, and a good story, you will be entertained. I'd say its worth the ten and even the extra to see it in IMAX 3D. So, it wasn't a disappointment, it wasn't the best film of the year, but James Cameron has made yet another really great movie. NINE STARS!
Posted on 12/14/09 07:59 PM
Army Of Darkness is the action film of the evil dead series. It has some comedy thrown in with a little horror. This is the final film in Sam Rami's Evil Dead series. Army of Darkness takes place where Evil Dead II left off. Ash is transported back to 1300 A.D. and he has battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home. This film is almost completely different from the other films other than it deals with the Book of the Dead. This movie is kind of the origins of the Book of the Dead. Now, this may not be the best film in the series but, it is still a great film which could be more entertaining than the others. It is also very wacky at times especially when a whole bunch of "Mini Ashes" start attacking the large Ash. Army of Darkness had a much higher budget than the other films made for $11,000,000 and barley made what the spent only making a 11.5 million dollars at the box office. The high budget may have been because Rami had solidified himself as a Hollywood director having made films like Darkman and felt he could spend more money. The film is a little more outrageous and more a less relies on slapstick rather than blood and gore because basically it is a clash between two different worlds. Now this film isn't as bloody as the first one, and it isn't as funny as the second one, but it is defiantly just as entertaining and should be watched to get the full experience of the series. A good closer to this trilogy.
The acting in this film is better than the other two films. This could be because there were more people involved and this movie probably required a lot more time to do. In this particular film, Bruce Campbell has become become even more of a badass than in the other two films. I think it's because hes so used to whats going on and he had trained himself to fight off these spirits although this time there is an army of them. The only other person I could see in the role of Ash is Clint Eastwood only because hes also quite the badass, but Campbell is the only one that could have played that part that good. He blends humor, fear, and badassedness to make this great character that is now synonymous with movie heros and cult film culture. So, I'd say Bruce Campbell is a huge reason why you should watch this movie.
The writing was really good. This film was written both Sam and Ivan Rami. The original script for Army of Darkness was only 43 pages long and yet seemed more complex than the other two films. It could be the most original but it is kind of like Back to the Future but not really. The Rami's wrote the film during the production of Darkman and after shooting stopped on it, they made it more detailed. Rami writes some pretty original and entertaining films. Most of the lines are pretty funny could even be pointless but that's what makes this film brilliant. Apparently, Rami wanted to get Ash out of the cabin and he was right to think so. How much more could you have done at that cabin that hadn't been done in the first two films. They also probably had to look into the language and culture of the times which would have been harder to find at the time. This film could be the most original of the series.
The direction was pretty good. It was basically the same as the other two films but it was obvious Rami had more space to work in and more things to focus on. I liked some of the wide angle shots of the film and the close ups worked pretty good as well. I have always liked Rami's direction although his Spider Man films really didn't seem to be directed as well as these films. I think he would have been very stressed out that this film didn't do as well at the box office because it seems like he put more time and obviously more money on this film. So, I appreciated the direction but you could see just about the same thing in the first two films.
Army of Darkness is just a wacky, violent, action packed conclusion to this brilliant series. If you want to see this movie buy the Screwhead Edition to see the alternate ending that was cut because apparently was to depressing for the film. If you loved the other films you love this film just as much. It was worth my time and is a film I could watch over and over again. The great thing about these films is that each sequel is great and reminiscent of the original film. So, if you have seen the first two, please see this movie. It is very good and very entertaining. Bruce Campbell does his best in this film and he includes many memorable quotes that we all can repeat over and over. EIGHT 1/2 STARS!
Posted on 12/13/09 08:25 PM
Ok, I just saw this film for a second time and it got so much better.
After seeing the first film of the series, I didn't think this one could amount to the first one. I had been looking for this for a while and found it on Blu - Ray and decided to buy it (despite the high price). The film didn't seem to have anything to do with the first one other than the fact that Campbell played the same character and it had the same plot at the beginning. I had heard that this was a remake of the first one which is pretty dumb. Basically, I figured the first scene is meant to describe what happened in the first film and then the film completely changed. Evil Dead II is better than the original. I really had a good time watching this movie. It was worth every penny I spent and to see all that blood and action in Blu - Ray was absolutely amazing. A real experience. It seems that as the series progresses, Bruce Campbell becomes even more of a badass. Bruce Campbell may not be the best actor but he is a total badass and I think everyone will agree. It also seems like each film changes genre, the first was a horror and this was more of a dark comedy, although it had it's moments of horror. The film was made for $3,500,000 and grossed a $5,900,000 at the time. Everyone who has seen this movie likes it. A cult classic.
The acting got better in this film than the last. It could be corny but it's more of a comedy so it's expected. Bruce Campbell's character Ash just seems like the unluckiest man in the world. When something starts going good for him it ends up going bad but he starts gaining some serious zombie killing skills and becomes one of the best movie badass's ever. The effects in this movie actually seem a little better than in the first one. They were more extravagant and it seemed like there was more blood in this one then the last. This film also went without a rating but was never changed. Most of the effects in the film seemed to be comical and got some laughs out of me. The scene where he is fighting his own hand is hilarious and the reaction out of Campbell is the best. It's kind of a B - Movie moment. So, it seems as if the acting in the series is improving.
Sam Rami also wrote this film. It seemed like this story had a little more of a plot than the first one. It picks up where it left off and then gives the audience a new story that eventually leads up to Army of Darkness. This movie is more about Ash rather than in the other film where he really didn't become important until the last scenes of the film. He basically is the soul survivor of the flesh possessing spirits from the Book of the Dead. The Book of the Dead is the most important part of each film. A group of strangers arrive at the cabin and Ash now has to protect them from the continuous spirit attacks. The story is a lot more wacky and outrageous than the first. It seems like Sam Rami has a wide variety of ideas going through his head and is able to connect all of them together to make a multi - genre series. There are many more things added to the story that could make this one of the best sequels ever. Most sequels are really bad but leave it to Sam Rami to write a brilliant series for everyone to enjoy.
The direction got better. Rami only directed one film after the first Evil Dead which was Crimewave which was written by the Coen Brothers. It seemed like he added more style to his direction. Even his use of the shaky cam was tastefully done. During high tension scenes it seemed like Rami's direction was pulling you closer and closer to the screen and during moments of hilarity, the camera was moving all over the place. It was funny how Rami kept wanting an R rating and he attempted to do so by making the blood numerous different colors especially green and black with some red thrown in as well. So, I really can't think of much to say about the direction so I think I will conclude this paragraph.
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn has become one of my favorite cult movies. I thought this movie tied the first one because the was so entertaining if not more entertaining than the first one. Bruce Campbell established himself as the ultimate badass in this film and he is now up there with Clint Eastwood in my favorite badasses. There are many memorable scenes in the film that I always think about now and will never leave my memory. This is yet another group movie, I think having more people there to enjoy it with you will make this experience even better than it is. If you can buy it in Blu - Ray, it's totally worth it especially with all the blood, zombies, and Bruce Campbell. An outrageous riot of a time. TEN STARS!
Posted on 12/13/09 08:24 PM
"The Ultimate Experience In Grueling Terror!", or at at least what my DVD case says. But, is it really? Well let's find out. The Evil Dead is the first film by Sam Rami and he really made a name for himself with this one. One of the most entertaining, bloody, low budget indie films ever! The Evil Dead is about five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a wooded area and their vacation becomes gruesome when they find an audiotape that recites the "Book Of The Dead" releases evil spirits. The plot sounds great, which it is. The film went on to become a huge franchise and spawn two sequals (which I will review as well). Although its budget was just $375,000, the film was a moderate success at the box office, grossing a total of $2,400,000 in the U.S. upon its initial release. It has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the scariest movies ever made.
This review is going to be different. Since the acting in this film is so bad, I think I will dedicate this section to the effects in the film. The effects were shockingly brilliant for a film of this budget. Most of it was done with claymation and the zombie blood was creamed corn that was dyed green. The blood is a combination of Karo syrup, non-dairy creamer, and red food coloring. This film also includes one of the strangest and disturbing scenes in a film. At one point in the film, Ellen Sandweiss's character Cheryl runs out into the dark foggy woods when all of a sudden the trees begin to wrap their branchs around her so she can't move, while another branch slowy inches it's way up her dress. To sum that up, she gets raped by a tree... Huh? Yep you read right RAPED BY A TREE. Definetly a shocker and apparently was so shocking that the scene was banned in some countrys. This film is also one of the bloodiest movies ever. There is blood everywhere and that is just part of the reason it is so entertaining. When this film was first released it was Not Rated, but in 1994 the film was given an NC-17 rating. Now, I personally don't think it's that bad but others appear to differ and I assure you this was all due to the gory and somewhat disturbing effects in the film.
The Evil Dead had a very simple plot and really is all about entertainment. Sam Rami wrote the film as well as directed it. Really it is the ultimate cabin in the woods story. A bunch of kids go to a cabin in the middle of nowhere and strange and scary things begin to happen. It seems like a story that could be told around a campfire. The dialog is kind of funny because the actors really couldn't make it that serious but that's a horror film for ya. Honestly, there really isn't much to say about the writing of the film so lets just move on to the direction.
Sam Rami has become what you could call a semi - acclaimed director. He has since directed the two other films in the Evil Dead series along with the Spider Man trilogy and his latest work Drag Me To Hell. I would say he established a style in this film which I really haven't seen happen in any other films with new meat directing them. Rami basically went out with some of his high school buddies with a script and some magic tricks that he used as camera tricks that only cost about a buck eighty. I love his style because it fits so well with the type of films he makes. You never see the spirits in the film but like in the original Black Christmas, you see from the eyes of the evil and it makes the movie even more scary. The direction was one of the better parts of this film.
"The most ferociously original horror film of the year." as quoted by Stephen King. The great thing about Evil Dead is that it was basically just this little thing that they cast and crew probably just made not expecting it to go anywhere and it has gained this huge cult following. It has become infamous with movie horror. This film gives aspiring filmmakers like me hope that we could do something like this. I remember buying this in a store kind of having to hide it from my mom so she wouldn't buy it. I was so happy she didn't discover it. The first time I watched it I was sitting in a pitch black basement, by myself, at two o' clock in the morning, during a thunderstorm. The perfect way to get a good scare from this film .I have since seen this film over a dozen times and would call it one of the most entertaining let alone one of the best horror films I have ever seen. Another one that is fun to watch with a group, but make sure it's dark out. So turn off the lights, kick back with some popcorn and enjoy... THE EVIL DEAD! NINE STARS!
Posted on 12/13/09 05:08 PM
"Poison, Drowning, Claw, Or Knife. So Many Ways To Take A Life." This is the tagline for whats been called the best horror film of 2009. Well here's my opinion, Trick 'R Treat was not what not what I expected at all. I expected to see a movie like Halloween but I was very wrong. Trick 'R Treat doesn't really have a basic plot. It would be hard to explain. It is sort of told like a comic book series that have all the four stories intertwine with each other. The great thing about this film is that when you think one thing is going to happen, the story takes a hard left turn and something completely unexpected happens. This isn't your average horror film. It is very confusing and is the kind of film you have to pay attention to. The film can be scary at times, (especially the bus scene) but it was more suspenseful than scary in my opinion. It was very original and a thoughtful horror film. I had heard it was really good from critics and others and then a close friend told me it wasn't that good so I was hesitant to watch it. I had a different opinion completely. The biggest problem I had with the film was that it seemed kind of predictable at times, but there were other moments that I didn't see coming. I would recommend it to any horror movie fan. Finally, a modern horror film that isn't all teen sex, screaming big breasted hotties, and no plot. This and Paranormal Activity are my favorite horror films of the year.
The acting was okay, the two actors I thought did the best were Dylan Baker and Brian Cox. Dylan Baker played a school principle who is secretly a serial killer. Don't worry, that's not really a spoiler. I loved his character because he was so nonchalant when he killed people. He was kind of the comic relief of the film. His first scene in the movie is very disturbing a sick and yet I was laughing the entire scene (up until the end). That's what I liked about his performance. Brian Cox kind of plays a recluse who is a total jerk to everyone around him. He doesn't seem to be aware of anything. He lived in a rundown, scary looking and he had a dog. He is basically helpless. He is also kind of funny but toward the end of the film he shows some dramatic emotion which isn't overdone or underplayed, it was somewhere in the middle. Other than that, the other actors really didn't do that good of a job, they did okay. I really haven't seen a powerful performance in a horror film, they don't really require it.
The writing was the best part about the film. Totally original and totally entertaining. Not to many stories like this in the horror world. The scariest thing about this movie is that there are kids involved. Really most screenwriters would be scared to death to write something like this for two reasons... 1. The mainstream audience would be kind of shocked, sickened, and even disturbed. 2. Putting children in these horrific situations is a very heavy subject to touch on. It's not your basic murder mystery. I don't even remember there being a police officer in the film. Now, each situation is scary and and kind of disturbing. That's what I didn't expect. The film was written by Michael Dougherty who also directed the film and also wrote X - Men 2 which was good and Superman Returns which was really bad. This is the best of his other films. He seems to like working with Bryan Singer who produced this film and directed X2, Superman Returns, and The Usual Suspects (I had to mention it). So, I'd say watch this film for the writing alone.
The direction was pretty good which surprised me because Michael Dougherty has only directed one other thing which was a short film made over ten years ago. The thing I liked about the direction was that everything was done behind closed doors. They never really let the audience see any of the grisly things that were happening which is much scarier than just showing it to you like in Saw and Hostel. There was only one part that was kind of different in the sense that they show everything right in front of you but I won't tell you what it is because it's a huge spoiler. Dougherty didn't really have a style. It seemed like any other director could have done it the exact same. But this is his first film directing s he just has room to grow and get better.
Trick 'R Treat is a very entertaining horror movie. Not an average one either. It touches on some serious subjects and is just another thing to talk about with all your friends. I will tell you the movie would be better to watch with a group as most horror films are. It was pretty much just entertaining. I had a good time watching and I am still trying to figure this movie out. There are many twists and turns in this movie that it is hard to put all the pieces in the puzzle correctly. A good modern horror film. EIGHT STARS!
Posted on 12/12/09 02:14 PM
A Serious Man is not your quintessential Coen Brothers film. It is so much different from all of their other films. This wouldn't be a movie I would recommend but it is so damn good! This is the best film of 2009. I went to see this at an independent film theater with no other American films other than this one. The theater was extremely dirty and gross and I questioned if it was worth sitting in there for two hours. Totally worth it. I walked in thinking nothing could top District 9, but the Coens have changed my mind. A Serious Man is a black comedy centered on Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel when his wife (Sari Lennick) prepares to leave him because his inept brother (Richard Kind) won't move out of the house. If you don't get Jewish humor, you probably won't get this movie, and if you are a die hard Coen fan, you may not like this film because it is so different from their other films. It is also pretty strange and is a great and original take on suburban life during the golden age of family life and culture. A blacker than black comedy.
The acting was great. One of the great things about the actors in the film have either not been in anything, are unknown, or have only been on some T.V. shows and been in a couple films. Each performance was really good. Michael Stuhlbarg played our main character Larry and he gave one of the best performances of the year. His character was really awkward and seemed kind of shy and was pretty much a spineless mess. Did what everyone told him to do and never really stood up for himself. I really couldn't think of another actor that could have played that role, other than a 45 year old Michael Cera (But, hes not a good actor, that's just the only character he plays). Part of the reason why his character was so funny was because of the reactions he would give to his kids actions or words and even. The kids in the film were another really good part about the film by the way. The acting was just one of the great parts of this film.
The writing was superb. Joel and Ethan write the most original and great stories in Hollywood right now. A Serious Man is the most original film of the year and that is expected from the Coens. The story seems simple but it is very complex. The beginning of this film is something I still can't quite figure out. Each character is quirky and even kind of wacky. Larry's brother (who is played by Richard Kind) is a law breaking poor man who is constantly sucking liquid out of a scist on the back of his neck. How many characters are like that in any movie? The comedy in the film is very subtle but hilarious at the same time. I really liked the way Jefferson Airplane was kind of incorporated into the story. One of my favorite parts is when the Rabi starts reciting the words of "Somebody To Love". I thought that was so cool. There are many laughable moments throughout the film but this film also has a dark side. The movie deals with divorce, death, lust, sin, religious faith, drugs, disease, blackmail, those are some pretty serious subjects. The ending of the film personifies these opinions. This is definitely not a mainstream film, that's why this movie is not for everybody. The writing basically tied with the direction.
If A Serious Man doesn't win for Best Pictures at the Academy Awards, then Joel and Ethan Coen better win for Best Director for this film. The direction was fantastic. Along with the great cinematography in the film, the direction made you feel as if this was really filmed in the sixties. Joel and Ethan are masters of their craft. I think this is is tied with No Country in their best directed films. The dream scenes, the scenes when people are high, and in the beginning we just see a little dot and as we come closer we realize that we are within an ear and then we hear basically the only song in the film "Somebody To Love". The Coens are definitely going to be contenders in the Oscar race.
A Serious Man was my favorite movie of the year and I was really suprised that was. I thought I would give it either an eight or nine stars from what people were telling me. They were wrong about my opinion. After seeing this film, I have even more respect for the Coens than ever. This is the third best Coen film (Behind No Country and Fargo) and was worth the two month wait to see it. Now, this isn't one of those movies that you can watch over and over. It can get kind of slow and had some moments of boredom but led up to some very important things that are going to happen. The great thing about the film is that you never really find out anything. You walk out of the theater and feel like you could ask a thousand questions per minute trying to figure this film out. I went with my mother who has not liked a single Coen film (Other than Burn After Reading) and thought this was a great film. A truly great original tale from the Coens. TEN STARS!