Showing 1 - 7 of 7 Reviews
Posted on 12/06/09 04:29 AM
I frequently enjoy choosing a movie at random to watch, about which I know nothing. Once in a while I?m very happily surprised and the movie will stay in my head for days. Such was the case with this Dutch film, Ben X.
Ben is a young man in his late teens who has Asperger?s Syndrome, a mild form of autism that prevents him from feeling or processing emotions. He doesn?t understand emotions or non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions or the body language of others. He is highly intelligent, but doesn?t understand common colloquialisms, as he takes them literally.
It won?t surprise you then, when I tell you that Ben is the object of much bullying, harassment and humiliation from his peers at school, who have no understanding about who Ben really is. Even Ben?s own family can?t understand him, no matter how much they want to.
Ben?s only respite from the harsh real world is his time spent playing the online role-playing game, Archlord, at which he excels, and now plays with only one other person--someone whom he?s never met in real life. While he plays, he can be the man he wishes he could be. His online friend treats him as an equal, which no one in the real world does. Ben frequently finds himself trying to use his online strategy to cope in the real world.
Finally, Ben is bullied and cruelly humiliated to the breaking point. Now it?s time for him to come up with an end game strategy. How will he escape the pain that is his daily life? There is increased tension and suspense in this movie that had me riveted until the end.
This movie was extremely well cast. Greg Timmermans? portrayal of the young man with Asperger?s syndrome is sensitively played and is spot-on. I also thought that Marijke Pinoy as his mother was wonderful and at times, I forgot that she was acting. I could completely relate to her powerful love of her son, and at the same time her profound sadness, worries and her feelings of futility.
There are several motifs in this film that would seem at odds with one another on paper, but work amazingly well onscreen.
This is also a movie that gives excellent insight into the mind of a person with Asperger?s syndrome, which is very difficult for most people to comprehend.
I can?t really tell you how the movie left me feeling, because that would give too much away. I will say that I was deeply affected by this movie.
If you or someone you love has ever been ostracized for being different or has been bullied, this movie is for you. If you have been a bully, or have stood idly by as someone is bullying another, this movie is for you too. Actually, this movie is for everyone.
I hope that you will give this movie a look, and let me know how you like it. I don?t think you?ll be sorry.
Posted on 11/19/09 03:29 PM
Wordless, compelling, metaphysical, romantic and magical. Quite simply, I just love this movie.
Posted on 11/17/09 03:20 PM
This film was such a disappointment to me. Even as a Canadian, there was absolutely nothing in the movie which wasn't already known to me. I learned nothing about George W. that I didn't already know.
Josh Brolin did a good job, but just not convincing enough for me. Poor Thandie Newton behaved like an animamatronic character and completely took me out of the film. I really feel that Oliver Stone's direction is to blame for that.
On the bright side, I thought that James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn were wonderful as the first George Bush and Barbara.
All in all, this movie is the type of film that will change no one's mind about George W. Those who already dislike him will find fodder for jokes, and those who are for him will find him to be a sympathetic character.
My final consensus? If you've kept up with the news for the past 9 years, even minimally, there's no need to see this film at all.
Posted on 11/16/09 07:03 AM
This movie is one of the best Sci-Fi/Time Travel movies around. The plot is top-notch and Terry Gilliam manages to bring out some of the finest performances by Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and Madeleine Stowe to date.
12 Monkeys is a film that you won't forget in just a few days, like so many others. This one will stay with you.
Posted on 11/15/09 04:38 PM
This movie is just about perfect, in my opinion. Bette Davis plays the role of a lifetime in this film and proves that she is not only a great actress, but fearless as well. Unlike most actresses of her time, she is willing to look downright ugly. I truly felt for this woman who was so domineered by her mother that she was willing to be the maiden aunt that was teased by her entire family. I found myself caring so much about what was going to happen to this fragile woman and her eventual transformation to becoming an independent movie was very satisfying.
The casting for all of the other roles in this film was spot-on. Paul Henreid was pure charm in his role and Claude Rains, the epitome of human compassion. Gladys Cooper played the selfish and cruel mother to perfection.
I recommend this to anyone who loves classic film.
Posted on 11/14/09 04:04 PM
I tend to approach comedies with a lot of skepticism these days, so I was more than pleasantly surprised by I Love You, Man. This movie had me laughing out loud from the first scene to the last.
Paul Rudd is extremely likable and sympathetic as Peter Klaven, a newly engaged man, whose lovely fiancee realizes to some alarm that Peter has no real male friendships. She, on the other hand has a host of girl friends, whom she makes time for weekly. Peter overhears the girls' concern that his lack of males friends might make him a clingy husband. Now Peter is on a mission to find a male friend. After some very funny man-dates, he meets quite by chance meets Sidney Fife, a very honest, intriguing guy, who anyone would want to be friends with.
Jason Segal shines as Sidney, and his manly way of living and eccentricities are nicely offset by his warmth. Peter is awkward and tries too hard at times to be cool and funny, yet Sidney takes it all in stride, in a good-natured way, without making Peter feel silly.
While there are plenty of wacky situations in this film, there is an honesty in this film that is lacking in so many comedies. The process of watching these two men become friends is very realistic. Having objectively watched the process of male bonding over the years, there were many scenes that I could relate to. I have known these men in real life.
Rashida Jones is very good in her role, which I also found to be very honest. The rest of the supporting cast is excellent as well, particularly Peter's family, and Jon Favreau, who plays an admittedly one-note character, but who chimes in at just the right times.
The chemistry between Paul Rudd and Jason Segal is excellent and real; both actors are completely charming and charismatic, and while naturally some the situations are wacky, at its core, this movie rings very true.
I watched this a second time with my 18 year-old son, and we laughed until we hurt. There were several times we had to hit rewind to hear a funny line again (and again). There are several good quotables, that have become part of my son's and my every day vernacular.
I would recommend this movie to anyone of any age, bearing in mind the parental ratings. Definitely my favourite comedy of 2009.
Posted on 11/14/09 05:08 AM
Kelly MacDonald is a young woman running from an abusive life. Michael Keaton is a world-weary man with very dark secrets. The two meet under very unusual circumstances and soon their lives are connected in a compelling way.
Michael Keaton's lined, careworn (but still handsome) face and haunted eyes make a perfect counterpoint to Kelly MacDonald's youthful, angelic and still-optimistic beauty. Keaton's taciturnity against MacDonald's charming, lilting Scottish brogue is a very interesting juxtaposition.
The story builds at a gentle pace and I was left enchanted, by first-time director Michael Keaton's light touch.
This is a little movie, but a lovely one on many levels.