Posted on 9/03/12 10:34 AM
A Guilt trip on a bus with stops, break downs, and passengers shouting HOW DARE YOU like it's going out of style. Margaret Isn't so much a film about a 17 year olds quest to over come the guilt in her life but more of a question of how a viewer could possibly live with him or herself for not being guilty all the time. Guilty about what? What do you got?
After witnessing a Bus accident she may or may not have helped cause. Lisa embarks on a quest to find that one special person to help share her guilt. The post 9/11 teen soon realizes that despair isn't a friendly community of open people, but a dreary neighborhood where everyone is invited to the block party yet no one is attending.
Anna Paquin plays the title character Lisa (not Margaret). A bipolar manic depressive emo time bomb of angst. Then again maybe she's just quirky. After all it is Fox Searchlight production. What ever she isn't, Alice is a fascinating character study of a character you wish would stay home and let the rest of us just enjoy our good time. Every side character initially seems interested in what she's up to until she open's her mouth. Casual conversation turning awkward faster than a Disney actress taking stripping classes for her next role as a hooker.
In the lake of the human soul, Margaret isn't just using cheater Bait. It's finishing with Dynamite. The accidents and trageides play out like a Monty Python sketches gone horribly wrong. From the sickening Bus accident to the shocking portrayal of a naive girls first time. Weather you can bear the long pandering meandering shots to uncomfortable outrageous outbursts the film forces our confused minds into a pit of self reflection. The only way out is to feel guilty and move on, and if your able to move on YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR SELF!
Margaret is depressing nightmare you awaken from to the buzz of an alarm clock at 4 in the morning. It's not a bad thing, or a good thing. It's simply life. Misery and despair are not to be taken lightly and in this respect the film is spot on. If you ever decide to carry the rock of shame and despair you can't force anyone to burden it with you. Not your friends, not a Lover, not even the prick who's actually responsible. if you find your self under this weight of misery you can always reach out to the ones who love you unconditionally. You'll be surprised to see who's been reaching out to you from the beginning.
Posted on 4/14/12 11:34 PM
Like the Final Episodes of "A Game of Thrones". Not even the stuff of my Deepest Darkest Nightmares could force me to spoil this movie.
So in Short, Cabin in the woods is a clever funny horrifying roller coaster ride of thrills chills and wit with characters the audience can actually care about. I know right? I'd believe in the idea of Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster before a horror film with characters that you actually care about.
Please see this movie unless you hate movies, if you hate movies why are you reading this? SEE THIS MOVIE!
Posted on 3/20/12 05:18 PM
A deep ambitious metaphor on depression, or post apocalyptic Calvin Klein ad?
Melancholia is the Anti-Taylor Swift mediation from the deepest darkest corners of the human psyche. With a stellar cast and hauntingly beautiful visuals, its a real treat for the art house film buff and a plodding drag for the rest of us.
Kristin Dunst plays Justine who is living every little girls dream. To grow up a beautiful woman with the amazing career marrying a total hunk and 18 hole golf course wealth. Sound to perfect? She also has a Horse! Ah but if David Lynch has all ready preached time and time again, all perfect things have an ugly maggot infested truth. Justine is totally depressed. From faking smiles to watering the Green the poor girl just can't see any joy in an ideal life. If only the world could understand her crippling mental anxiety. Enter Melancholia, a planet that may or may not collide with earth destroying all life. As slow as the film moves and as boring as the characters are the worlds colliding is the only pay off worth waiting for.
The Film separates it self into two parts. Justine and Clair. Justine who can't even manage to cope with calling a taxi yet finds erotic meaning in the destruction of all things. Bathing naked in the beautiful light of impending doom. Clair on the other hand who keeps the most broken family together with conviction and grace, is a broken pathetic typical wuss at the very thought of her world coming to an end. The film succeeds greatly on this bizarre character study but over all fails to convey any type of coherent theme or message. Is it empowering that Justine in all her madness accepts her fate with nipples erect? Is it depressing that Claire loves life to much to accept the inevitable? The film demands we ponder these things but also with such grim undertones of death the viewer feels time would be better spent pondering something else.
Depression is a serious issue and SCI FI elements aside Kirstin Dunst has done a tremendous job in bringing misery to an ideal life. Some people sing int he rain, some people weep in the sunshine. You can't solve a mental problem by ignoring it, throwing money at it, or buying it an apple orchard. It is something that needs to be taken one day at a time with friends family and yes even enemies. Depression or not all our days our numbered and how we react to our ultimate fate can make all the difference in the world, or make no difference at all.
Posted on 9/30/11 03:02 PM
The Fighter is one mans quest to rise above all odds in the face of adversity while conquering the very demons he once worshiped. Also his brother is a boxer played by Mark Wahlberg.
Posted on 7/26/11 08:05 AM
Harry Potter and the Conflicted Criticisms, or The Deathly Hallows Part 2. A film that dedicates the visual styling's of J.K. Rowlings imagination faithfully to the screen yet lacks the emotional spell that brought so many tears to so many muggle's for so many years. The acting and cast range from Good to Ground Breaking. The action sequences are nothing short of Epic. If you are a fan of Rowling's writings the dramatic character driven sequences will come up short however if you've only ever been a fan of the films, Harry's Finest hour (or 3) will offer you everything you've been promised.
Viewers are Apparated into hopeless up hill confrontation. Not since seen since Orcs Stormed Helms Deep has a war zone been so chaotic. Like a stray firework clashing into a propane tank at the 4th of July Bar-B-Que the war action is exciting, suspenseful, and contains more than a few dead children. The fates of the characters we've come to know and love are rushed over to full fill a chase scene quota however the tone and mood of the book translates perfect to the screen.
Daniel, Rupert, and Emma reprising the roles as Harry, Ron, and Hermione hit all the marks. Everything expected and nothing more. The Supporting cast we've come to love from Neville Longbottom to Luna Lovegood get there fair share of little moments impacting the story in big ways. Stand out secondary includes Maggie Smith as Professor Minerva McGonagall. Maggie brings all the grace and heart ache of a survivor with the confidence and bad assery of Chuck Norris. The Villians played by Ralph Finnes (Lord Voldemort) and Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) should be sporting sorting hats that would proudly proclaim "OSCAR!". Finally a cameo appearance by Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange is quirky hilarious which gives the audience a well deserved break from hopeless despair.
It's a shame this material is based on such a beloved story. Had this film been the conclusion to a series of films and not an imitation of the best selling book series in the past 50 years the movie would be flawless. For example the final battle isn't so much a call to love and honor as it is the stages of a final boss fight in a video game. To no fault of it's own it comes across as a street magician trying to imitate the tricks of a legendary illusionist. Of course the young whipper snapper can't live up to its mentor. The film shouldn't be entirely blamed for that. I applause the effort and cheers to the next imitator in 15 years (nothing makes billions of dollars with out being remade). To Harry Potter the outstanding cast and magnificent Ride, Thank you and good Luck!
Posted on 7/18/11 05:02 PM
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is an Incomplete entertaining confusingly clever Potter Fan-stravaganza. Fanatics embrace, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows cast a killing curse on muggles who wouldn't know the difference between a death eater and a Dementor. The anticipation for part 2 this movie creates is well worth admission however if not a fan of the wizarding world avoid this one entirely.
Harry Potter and love lorn friends Hermonie and Ron are on a quest for Horocruxs and Deathly Hallows. Both key elements to defeating the Evil Lord Voldemort. The Potter pals most over come paranoia, suspicion, and brooding emo bickering if they are going to band together to do what's right. In case the last 6 films didn't beat the dead horse enough, no evil can stand up to the power of love and friendship.
The cast is superb. Ralph Fiennes plays Voldemort with all the charm of a starving snake and a cornered Al Capone. His one scene (seriously, this man only gets one scene?) He stalks about his own group of follows casting fear into the lot of them as if they were his enemies. A disdain for all that lives is at the very presence of the thespians performance, expect Ralph to bring his oscar winning A game in Part 2.
Daniel Radcliffe has come a long way from tiny tot playing pretend. Now a Grown Man pulsing with all the complexities that make Potter this generations favorite flawed Hero. Rupert Grint the voice of comedy is well timed and also dramatic when he has to be and Emma Watson is the definition of brilliant as Hermione.
It's the beginning of the end for the boy who lived and I can't help but feel a little sad. Though this franchise and it's billions will no doubt spawn 3-4 remakes in the next 30-40 years I can't help but feel another chapter of the Hollywood summer film is ending. With Audiences demanding quality acting from there boy, super, and romantic hero's. Hollywood is closing another chapter in film making. The American Block Buster is dead. The Dark Knight, The Next Spider Man, Professor Xavier, Magneto, and Edward Cullen from Twilight are all European. Something tells me that the American Comedian Chris Evans as Captain America isn't going to cause a flux in roles for Americans now that fans demand real talent play there super hero's.
Sorry for going off on a tangent but the Harry Potter Franchise along with the help from Lord of the Rings has case out the idiotic american pretty boy and replaced it with top knotch Thespians. I welcome the change but can't help but feel a bit Nostalgic when ever change occurs.
Pardon the Filler but an incomplete movie is hard enough as it is to rate. I look forward to they day when Part 1 and Part 2 are sold as One Blu Ray titled The Deathly Hallows!
Posted on 7/07/11 04:31 PM
A Green Lantern displays his power through creativity and imagination. This film has neither. The Special effects have no purpose other then to promote the films budget. The Actors have no other purpose than to promote there own Popularity (Ryan Reynolds Peoples Sexiest Man, Blake Lively CW actress appeals to teens) and the script reads as if the writer was a big fan of Iron Man and Star wars though missed the point of both.
Hal Jordan is a reckless irresponsible hot shot pilot who runs away from every challenge. We know this because his gorgeous co-worker tells him every chance she gets. The only reason any Man would stay friends with such a downer would be the fact that she's stunning and always wears a Dress. Hal is chosen by dying space cop to take his place and destroy the ultimate evil Parralax. Giant Yellow Space Fog that want's people to fear it. All Villian's want to be feared but Parralax separates it self from other villians by having 3 back story's and a lamest that transcends time and space.
It's torture to see Lively and Reynolds stuck in this script. They might have chemestry but the mood killing dialoge prevents us from finding out. They are both find actors but this script calls for Zach Effron and Venassa Hugens. Not the Indie Star of Adventure Land and Buried nor the Break out Star of The Town.
The film had hope early on as a daring Hal Jordan falls into a Flat spin. His childhood flashing before his eyes. Reynolds painting the portrait of a man conflicted with the through's of death. His struggle to save the plane and his own life isn't the focus but the decisions of why he should go on living at all. Brilliant scene in desperate need of a better movie.
If your in love with Adam West's Batman it's Epic. If you've seen The Dark Knight avoid at all costs.
Posted on 6/12/11 03:24 PM
Super 8 is an average 7 about 6 friends making a 5 minute movie for an international film festival. 3 Catastrophes destroy the innocence of 2 characters that can only be redeemed through the art and direction of Steven Spielberg's Number 1 Fan.
Awkward Adolescent Joe Lamb loves making Models. His foul mouth flabby friend Charlie loves making movies. When Charlie casts other side of the tracks Alice as the female lead in his movie Joe jumps at the chance to supply make up and modeling to Charlies vision. Of course we can't forget Tall skinny whip, Buck tooth Awkward kid and the occasional antsy boy vomit spewing homage to lard ass from Stand by me. After capturing the chaos of a train derailment strange happenings start occurring in late 70s suburbia. Missing dogs, Missing cars, Missing people, and Missing Focus. The foundation is set with mystery that screams out for a pay off of epic proportions that cast, and director fail to deliver.
It's not a bad film, in fact J.J. proves once again that he is the master of Holy Heck moments in film today. The train crash in the first act of the film is worth admission alone. Twisted Metal fights against the very environment that tears it to shreds and everything is given a sense of true physics and weight. Scale and power working together to forge a construct of awe only matched by his previous work in Star Trek.
The Cast ranges from Decent to future academy award winners. Elle Fanning working double stealing both this film and the movie Charlie is putting together. She paints the picture of a broken girl who doesn't have the luxury of being a child yet far to immature to take on the responsibility's of an Adult. She's done her sister Dakota proud in carrying the film she's in. The sister's Fanning parents owe it to the world to have a son go into acting so we can witness the Second coming of Daniel Day Lewis.
Aint it cool mysteries never surpass the aint it cool. The strange on goings are no more then a gimmick. The film it self not being content with one theme makes mediocre of several themes. To it's credit how ever you can't help but wonder by curtain call how different this film may be for people who have not seen all the films its borrowing it's ques from.
Being from the time these movies come from perhaps I'm a bit jaded and a second youthful opinion is in order. In the words of my 4 year old son. "Really Cool and Really Happy. What movie are we gonna see next?"
Posted on 6/10/11 05:15 PM
Deep philosophical political cut throat ideals wrapped up in a light hearted buddy cop spy movie. It's as if Edmond Dantes and James Bond had genetically mutated test tube twins named Charles and Erik. Together the two clash heads about whats best for Mutant's, Man, and the future of the X-men Marvel Movie Franchise.
Civil rights is the 60s and the perfect time setting for mutant world domination or integration. Thanks to the clever direction of Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake) the point that mutants are different is relevant with out being preachy. Charles Xavier is a Mutant psychic working for the government to find other mutants in order to prevent Sebastian Shaw (bad guy played by Kevin Bacon) from causing an all out Nuclear War. Along the way he hooks Erik Lehnsherr, a Man with a similar destination as Charles but hopes to achieve through different Actions. Together they assemble a first class team of mutants to take down Sebastian Shaw from destroying the world.
Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is an open palm. Everyone he meets as if they were an old friend from the past. Even towards despicable people his eyes glow with sympathy and understanding, never any Judgement. He's charming much like the Sean Connery James Bond. Perfectly Casted. Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) is a closed fist. Carrys himself with a swagger and presence that demands your attention. If something must be done it will be done, there is no time for doubt or hesitation. He's a straight forward in your face no BS arrogant Jerk much like the Daniel Craig James Bond. Perfectly Casted.
Many of the other mutants are used specifically for action sequences that doesn't defrom the Prof. X and Magneto show and surprisngly leaves the audience wanting to know more about them. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) in particular playing the perfect metaphor for a teenager suffering identity crisis wondering which Rock Band to follow. It's a Great Action popcorn flick full of exciting fight scenes, melodrama, and a refreshing new look at a once dead Franchise.
The movie will leave people discussing important issues. What is oppression, is segregation or integration the answer, how would you handle similar situations in your day to day life. Most importantly, Who is your favorite Bond?
Posted on 6/05/11 02:31 PM
Water for elephants and a whole lot of cheese for the audience. Director Francis Lawrence (I am Legend) captures the gimmick of the circus alas leaves the magic and beauty of it to our own imaginations.
Jacob's got troubles. Not a victim of the depression but plenty enough reasons to be depressed. A Vagabond king with a styrophome degree runs off to join the Benzene brother's circus. There he vets for all the beautiful animals. Soon after employed by Augustus whose mood swings more than the flying trapeze. When Jacob falls for Augustus wife and prized possession Marlena, train tracks cross when a 3 ring circus turns into a love triangle collision course of mediocrity.
Pattinsons Jacob has an instant report to all the critters of the circus. His genuine concern and care establish Jacob as a man committed to his life's work. Reese Witherspoons Marlena is some what of a mystery. There is nothing interesting about her. This character is no more than a 3rd point on a cliché love tricycle and no circus bear in site! The mystery is why such a role is filled by an Oscar winning actress and not a flavor of the month bombshell. Christopher Waltz's Augusta's walks the tight rope between cartoony villain and misunderstood head case. The story calls for a cookie cutter bad guy but Waltz over delivers with a sympathetic sociopathic villain that brilliantly mourns his decisions. Unlike Jacob, Augusta's intimacy with the Elephant is far from gentle. Border lining on the disturbing. The brutality of the gentle giant isn't visually traumatic so much as it is emotionally. It literally hurts that Rosie the Elephant and Waltz sell it so well.
The characters reflect the audience in looking much more interested in the Animals then in each other. The Chemistry between Rosie and Jacob is a heartwarming artful display of friendship and beauty. The intimacy between Pattinson and Witherspoon? Not so much. This wouldn't be a kink in the tack if the films heart was in the right place. Circuses are all but dead in today's go go media but this film about a circus could care less. Marlena the head mistress of the big top gives us a brief history of how she went from orphan train hopper to the Number one Crowed Stunner. Though again their in lies the mystery. She never does anything amazing. All the so called dangerous stunts she does with the elephant could have easily been shot in one take. I can hear the director now. Okay Reese, Sit on it! Did we get the shot? We got the Shot! Next scene! With the lack of tension and danger during the acts the burden falls on Robert to look marveled at Marlena's performances. Waltz also pitches in making sure we are often reminded of the death defying feats of the performances we never see. It's as if stunt men and women were thrown from the train.
With all its flaws there is a decent movie here and certainly separate it's self from all the other forlorn romances flooding the silver screen. The cast is great with the animals in spite of being dry with each other. It's never boring but never jaw dropping either. Not terrible but not great. Pattinson and Witherspoon are no Gosling and Mccaddams but Rosie the Elephant is just as outstanding as Dumbo.