Posted on 1/29/11 07:28 AM
One of the most well received film's of the year 2010 (and one of my personal favorites) is 127 Hours. This is a film that consists mostly of a person trapped in a certain area. Buried is a step beyond that, taking place, literally, in one area the entire film. Ryan Reynolds plays Paul Steven Conroy, a US truck driver who is kidnapped by Iranian criminals and is buried underground, with a cell phone and a few other items to help him contact the outside world, gain ransom money, and free himself.
Let me flat out say that the vast majority of this movie is great. Ryan Reynolds is superb, allowing the audience a likeable character to latch on, which is important, as he's the biggest character by a mile. Rodrigo CortÚs directed the film superbly, showing interesting and creative shot's from a very confined space. And for the most part, Chris Sparling's writing was excellent. He created gripping situation's that kept you on the edge of your seat, which is incredibly impressive considering how little he had to work on.
Now the problems. I can't really discuss what I didn't like about the film without spoilers, so if you're looking to avoid them, skipped the marked area.
***OMGZ SPOILARS LOOK OUTZ AAAAH!***
The problems with Buried are few in quantity, but huge in quality. First off, there are minor things. How does Paul's phone get such good reception? It's something I can over look, but it's still a problem, none the less.
My main problem is the how generally depressing the film is. Now, by no means do I believe Paul had to live for the ending to be good. I could have lived with Paul dying. But the way they went about it was just horrible. Paul goes through so much sh*t trying to survive. He not only has too deal with an enormous amount of problems for someone in such a confined situation (unrealism is another of the film's problems) but every one is just against him. The Iran criminals, his company, even the government. But I could live with that, if Paul had been able to overcome it all in the end and live. But he did not. And I could live with his death, but not after all he went through to try and survive.
Even if they wanted Paul to go through so much, and have him still die, they way they went about it was just cruel. Instead of at least giving Paul a death that at least would have left me with satisfaction, they chose to have the last 15 minutes of the film be on big hopeful rush. And it all leads up to and climatic sh*t on the audience.
"You came to out movie, you got invested in our story, and you want satisfaction?!?! WELL F*CK YOU!"
I just feel that some type of calmer, nicer ending for Paul would have been better.
Now, I'm certain I'll get people saying that the bad ending for Paul was more realistic. How so? Sure, not everyone gets a happy ending, but people do. I like to see the stories of the people who get those happy endings. Why does a film's ending need to be sad to be realistic? It simply doesn't.
***NO MORE SPOILARZ YAYZ***
So overall, I didn't hate Buried by any means. I loved a lot of it, and it could have been one of my favorites of the year. I guess I should actually thank the maker's, for evoking a strong enough reaction out of me to get off my lazy but a write a review. Unfortunately, that reaction was negative.
Overall Score: 7.25 out of 10
Posted on 12/10/10 05:54 PM
127 Hours is a film that shows how so much can be done with a simple idea. James Franco plays loner mountaineer Aron Ralston. One day, while mountaineering, a boulder falls and crushes his left arm, trapping him in a desolate canyon for 5 days. The film follows his struggle for those 5 days, the different ways he tries to escape, stay alive, and just stay sane.
James Franco is simply stunning in his role as Aron. As most of the film is him trapped in a single spot, he faced a huge challenge in basically carrying the whole movie on his shoulders. Well, he passed that challenge with flying colors. Since the main conflict in the film is Arons quest to stay alive, we have to care about him in order to care about the movie. This could have been difficult, given how Aron is a loner; he could have easily come off as un-relatable. Franco's quirky, fun acting in the early parts makes him instantly likable. As the film progresses, and Aron gets more and more desperate to escape, Franco shows a serious range of emotions. There's one scene near the end where, in order to keep his sanity, he has a talk show interview, with himself as the host, interviewee, and caller. The range he shows in that 8 minute segment is astounding, and if he does win the Oscar, that scene will be the one people say secured it.
I also have give major props to director Danny Boyle and cinematographer Anthony Mantle. Being locked in one place for the majority the film, there are a lot of restraints that plague a filmmaker. The different, unique ways that they show the various scenes, from the large, beautiful mountains that Aron climbs, to the tight, claustrophobic scenes trapped in the cliff, there is stunning shot after stunning shot in this film.
I also want to give credit to the writing. Now, though the films based on a true story, and I don't know how much truth is in the film. Regardless, the film managed to keep me interested throughout. There are a lot of interesting things happening. From the different ways Arons attempting to stay alive, to the struggle he has to stay sane, I found myself very emotionally invested in the film. There were very few moments were I found myself bored.
I finally want to add that the score was great. A. R. Rahman, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionare, chose music that was perfect for every scene, and really added to the movie.
I want to say that it's amazing how much 2010 has turned around as a year for film. Since the half year point, there have been some amazing releases. And 127 Hours ranks right up there as one of the best films of the year.
Overall Score: 9.75
Posted on 11/11/10 03:24 PM
News programming has a huge influence on the world. And "Network" partly deals with this influence. But this movie is about more then just that. It's also an interesting character study, with several other great elements.
I feel the acting was certainly the best part of "Network". Faye Dunaway was my personal favorite out of all them, she certainly deserved her Oscar. Peter Finch was also great in his Oscar winning role, though I think William Holden was better. Finch's rants and raves were entertaining, particularly the "Mad as Hell" scene, but Holden showed a much wider range of emotion's, ranging from anger to joy to sadness. Others who impressed me were Beatrice Straight(who also won and Oscar), Ned Beatty(nominated), and Robert Duvall, who I'm surprised didn't get a nomination, as he was my favorite out of the supporting cast.
Getting past the acting, there were a lot of other great things in "Network". Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon) directed the film very well. From the incredible speeches delivered by Howard Beale, the best of which was the "Mad as Hell" scene, to the simple conversations between characters, each shot was set up beautifully. Lumet absolutely deserved his Oscar Nom.
The writing (won an Oscar) was also great. The writer, Paddy Chayefsky, balanced political satire with character development very well. As the characters each got more and more rapped up in the news casting world, they each went through a changed the seriously affected their lives. It was interesting to see all the different character's interact with each other, as each of their lives changed as the story progressed.
However, there were some problems I had with the film that really brought it down. As good as Chayefsky is with writing characters, he's got some problems when it comes to dialogue. It seemed like he was more focused on making snappy, memorable dialogue than natural, engrossing dialogue. As a result, I had trouble getting into some scenes, since the dialogue was so unrealistic.
I also didn't like the use of narration. Whenever Chayefsky didn't know how to move the story along, he had an unnamed narrator simply say what happened next.
So overall, even though it has some flaws that bring it down, there is still a lot that's great about Network. It's acting, direction, and character's all warrant a recommendation.
Overall Score: 9.25 out of 10
Posted on 10/10/10 07:37 AM
What this film achieves in is giving you a sense of desperation. That the world is on the brink of chaos and destruction, and the two were watching are earths last hope.
In a way, this is one of the greatest horror films of all time. You have the Terminator, cold, menacing, hunting down our two protagonist. There lives are in grave danger, and you're sitting on the edge of your seat right up until the end.
Posted on 10/03/10 07:08 PM
?This is a movie about Facebook?
I hate it when people say that. To say ?The Social Network? is a movie about Facebook is like saying ?Citizen Kane? is a movie about newspapers. This movie is a great character study, with fantastic performances and great direction.
Jesse Eisenberg was shockingly great as Mark Zuckerberg. The only other work of his I?ve seen is ?Zombieland?, and based off of that, I never would have thought he could pull this performance off. Zuckerburg is a character that could have easily come off as whiny and nonthreatening. But Eisenberg carries himself with a very commanding presence that adds something to his character. You can believe that he got himself into the position he?s in. Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake were also great. Andrew played probably the most normal of all the characters, and he reacted very well to everything going on around him. And Timberlake was just plain awesome, nuff said.
Aaron Sorkin screenplay was probably the best thing about this film. First, the dialogue was great, very realistic, very memorable. As I already said, the characters were great. Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most interesting character?s to have been written in years. I also think telling the story in a non-chronological way added to the experience.
David Fincher?s direction was also great. This is a hard movie to direct, as it mostly consists of just people talking, and not much else. But he made it really interesting, through great cinematography, and unique and immersive shots. This is probably my favorite films of his, though I?ve only seen ?Fight Club? and ?Seven?.
Some complaints. For one thing, the score was really odd. It?s not that it was bad, but it seemed out of place, almost to exciting for the scene?s going on. Also, like most bio-pics, the ending seemed rather abrupt, leaving you a little bit unfulfilled.
There is a lot of talk about this being the front runner for the Best Picture Oscar. While I feel that ?Inception? is still the best film of the year, I wouldn?t mind seeing this take the Oscar. This is a fantastic film, I highly recommend it.
Final Score: 9.75 out of 10
Posted on 10/03/10 07:21 AM
Psycho manages to build suspense beautifully, with constant tension as to whats going to happen next. The plots twists and turns, stunning you in every other scene. Add in a brilliant performance by Anthony Perkins, and you have yourself a Hitchcock masterpiece.
Posted on 9/23/10 04:51 PM
In preparation for the upcoming ?Let Me In?, which I am really looking forward to, I decided I should view the original Swedish film, ?Let the Right One In?. The story is of a boy named Oskar, who has divorced parents and is often bullied by other boys in his school, which greatly affects him. One day, a strange girl moves next door, Eli, who we come to find out is actually a vampire.
The acting was very good. Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson were both played their characters well. They showed a deeper kindness under their distant behavior, and made it easier for us to latch on to their characters. They also had great chemistry, leading to some great moments between the two. I was also impressed by Per Ragnar, playing Hakan. He wasn't in the film for long, but he stood out in the scenes he was in.
Tomas Alfredson direction was also really good. His use of long takes and wide shots gave the film a very creepy mood. A distant, almost depressing mood, just as the characters feel. There were also some very impressive tracking shots, which really put you on the edge of your seat, wondering what was around the corner.
That leads into my problem with the film, it?s suspense. It?s not the film doesn?t have suspense, the suspense is the best thing about this movie. It?s that there isn?t much payoff for all the suspense. There were only a few moments, far between one another, where I actually felt surprised. It?s like getting on a roller coaster, riding up and up to the top of the first hill, getting to the top and it?s just a flat terrain. It?s kind of disappointing.
Still, the I can?t deny that the movie put got me on the edge of my seat, plus the plot is interesting, the acting and direction is very good, and the movie is overall an entertaining experience
Final Score:8.5 out of 10
Posted on 9/17/10 03:03 PM
A good film in the series, nothing very impressive, but still entertaining.
Posted on 9/16/10 11:37 AM
Telling the story of Benjamin Braddock, out of college and unsure of his future, who manages to not only begin an affair with the much older and married Mrs. Robinson, but ends up falling in love with her daughter Elaine, ?The Graduate? is an all around fantastic film.
There are some fantastic performances in here. Dustin Hoffman is great as Ben. He captures not only the confusion, but the frustration someone in his situation would have. That being said, Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson stole every scene she was in. She managed to add a whole dimension to her character, showing not only the controlling aspect of her character, but a second, depressed side as well. Apart from those, Katharine Ross was great as Elaine, and Murray Hamilton(of Jaws fame) only had two scene?s as Mr. Robinson, but was great in both of them.
Mike Nichols direction was the best part of this film. His use of long takes and music playing over scene?s put you into the perspective of Ben, feeling as if you?re in a daze, confused as all this madness happens around you. He really makes it easy to get into the film, almost as if you?re in trance. Best direction was the only Oscar this film won, and I can see why.
Other things I have to say. The writing is great, with its deep characters and very memorable dialogue(the Mrs. Robinson line is my new favorite line of all time). The music from Simon & Garfunkel is also fantastic, very memorable and adds to the experience.
Overall, ?The Graduate? has fantastic performances, great characters, memorable dialogue, Oscar deserving direction, and is overall an amazing experience.
Posted on 9/16/10 03:26 AM
The film is based around funny lines, and there are some great ones. The humor is crude, yes, but non-the-less hysterical.