Samuel Maoz directs this intense, energy sapping but superbly rewarding war drama which is shot almost entirely from inside a small tank that 4 very different men share as they battle to stay alive during the First Lebanon war in 1982. This is a strong anti-war film; Maoz experienced this war first hand, and was so affected by his experiences, he became incredibly against anything to do with war. His actors perform excellently and show off the real emotions these men must have faced. The tension is cranked up so high even a knife can't cut it. This isn't quite Hurt Locker style amazingness (although it's bloody close) because I was distracted by the fact at times it's difficult to tell who's who and the use of sound is often grating. But even that must reflect what war is truly like, which is the reason Maoz made this film.
This Spanish produced- English language epic is stunning beautiful- the cinematography is sumptuous to look at. The film is supposed to revolve around the findings of the philospohser Hypatia (played well by Rachel Weisz), however this storyline is not so prominent in the film- it's more to do with epic battles, love triangles, murder and faith. This is where Agora really fails. There's far too much going on for any one storyline to stand out and be taken notice of. Many characters remain as nothing more than ciphers, particularly Max Minghella's slave Davus, who's emotional anguish is lacklustrly played out. Still, there's a lot to enjoy; the battles are fantastic and well choreographed, the acting is fine, the storylines (despite too many of them) are engaging and of course, the scenery is beautiful. Worth seeing, but it's not the absolute classic it's spanish awards suggest it is.
I never expect Nancy Meyers' films to be any good, as she makes everything so perfect for her characters that you really don't care when they complain about something. That's the problem with It's Complicated. The three lead characters are rich, have nice homes, good cars, tons of money and families, and yet they still want more. Sure, love is the most important thing to all three of them, but why do we as an audience want to listen to their pathetic whining? Meyers again does her 'oh, look at this beautiful shot' style of direction for the fourth time, whilst her cast try hard to inject some humour. Meryl Streep and John Krasinski succeed, but Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin fall short of the bar. The film does have some nice moments, an observant script, and it isn't dull by any means, but it's not funny, and you don't care about the characters, which is so neccesery for this type of film. It's not complicated to see that this is not a great film.
I'm not the biggest horror fan, but I gave Daybreakers a shot as its trailer was brilliant. I wasn't disappointed by the film, as its script, acting, direction, storyline and (mostly) the pacing were great, and the scares were present too. However, the film is completely disgusting in places, and it just wasn't for me as personal entertainment. I don't like seeing people die in hideously gruesome ways all the time! For the horror fans who do though, this is the perfect movie. It's utterly engaging and makes you think. Ethan Hawke does a good job as a Vampire scientist who joins up with the remaining humans on Earth (nearly everyone is a Vampire) to find a cure, as the blood supply is nearly out. The villainous vampires only want a blood subsitute though, and that causes some mighty big problems.
Daybreakers is intriguing, and grabs you from the word go, and its one of the better horror films of late (mainly because it's original), but I just didn't enjoy in places.
I really was surprised to like this film so much. Although I had high expectations because Jason Reitman has created two awesome films before (Juno, Thank you for Smoking), I wasn't sure if it would be too arty and pretentious. But it wasn't- it was his best film to date. The film succeeds thanks to an observant script that resonates now more than ever due to this bad economic climate, and super performances from the three leads, who all deserve the aclaim they've been recieving. The storyline about a guy who fires people for a living, and basically lives out of his suitcase is so engaging right from the off, and holds you attention every step of the way. The direction is once again excellent from Reitman, and the film has a sense of humour, allowing it to be not just something to admire, but enjoy too.