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Rating History

Never Let Me Go
7 years ago via Flixster

Tommy, Kathy and Ruth are students at Hailsham boarding school. Hailsham is an unusual school because the students there are going to have their lives tragically cut short. They are not like every other child, they do not get to grow and become doctors lawyers or whatever they want to be. Their destinies are predetermined, they are clones of people somewhere out in the world and when they reach the age of 25-30 they will begin to donate their organs. Tommy, Kathy and Ruth are forced to make the best of what the have and live and hope that there is a possibility that true love can be the one thing that saves them.

Never Let Me Go is a very emotional and engaging film. With the plotline already established and the ending seemingly inevitable, what we witness is these young people who are their own individuals live what little life they have. We see them struggle as kids, and then watch them grow into fine young men and women. What Never Let Me Go does so well in terms of plot is show their entire lives, from the time they are eight or nine until the time they complete their final donation.

Much like the youth of the real world, they are drawn to try new things and strive to be all they can be. The become curious about life, about sex,about travelling and seeing who their originals are. Never Let Me Go is a journey, it and is so well told because of its fine young cast. Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield have such great chemistry and Keira Knightley fits well with them. These three actors show their raw talents, and give off some of the finest performances in a long time. Garfield and Mulligan's Chemistry is severely underused for the first half of the film. The final act is one where these two really begin to show their acting abilities, as their worlds come crashing in around them.

This is a beautiful and enriching film. The cinematography and the beautiful landscapes help add to the inevitable heartbreaking ending that is waiting for these characters. With their travels and their struggles we see their ability to live as humans, and to be happy. The saddest thing about Never Let Me Go is that we know these wonderfully developed characters are never going to live full and happy lives. This story is an easy one to get attached too simply because it is simple story being told in such a unique and emotional way. We as the people watching this movie begin to hope that True Love is the one thing that can set them free, and very much like these characters we are forced to see that not even the notion of True Love is enough to get us through everything.

Never Let Me Go will forever be one of the films that has been hugely overlooked. It has powerful and real messages. These people were real and felt the same way we did, and it was shame that they had to be used as sacrificial lambs so to speak. This movie works so well with the times we live because we are on the verge of so many medical break through, but are they worth it? This film should be getting major attention; it is one of the better films in 2010 and proves that the art of character development is not dead. In fact it proves that creating real life like characters is still the best way to get a message across.

Kathy: It had never occurred to me that our lives, so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If I'd known, maybe I'd have kept tighter hold of them

Never Let Me Go is a brilliantly shot and a brilliantly executed film, one of the better from the past year. The acting is as good as it gets.

True Grit
True Grit (2010)
7 years ago via Flixster

14-year-old Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) enlists the help of U.S Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) to help her track down her father's killer. Mattie insists that she accompany Cogburn and Texas Ranger Labeouf(Damon) on the journey to capture the group of fugitives.

The Coen Brothers had a daunting task to live up to the 1969 original, but for the most part they do it justification. There remake is very similar in style and layout to the original. The Coen's manage to stick to the Grit and the odd blend of comedy and drama that the original displayed. They do a fantastic job and a much better job of capturing the landscapes then the original did. There was a much better atmosphere in this one then in the original.

Another thing that the Coen brothers were able to do was grab much more dynamic performances from their supporting cast. Damon added a new layer to the character of Labeouf, originally played by Glen Campbell. This time around Labeouf played a significant role, he didn't seem as expendable and annoying as the original. Damon throughout the beginning sequences of the film plays the character as mysterious but as the film goes on he makes the character human. In the original Labeouf seemed to be forgotten, but the Coen brothers seemed to beef (pun intended) up the role for such a talented actor like Matt Damon.

Even if you were completely impressed by the original, as I was when I watched barely a week before checking out the new one, you must admit one thing, and that is Hailee Steinfeld does a much better job in the role of Mattie Ross then Kim Darby did. Darby was close to twenty playing a 14 year old, Steinfeld however was the exact age of 14 when she made this film. Darby had nearly 6 years to gain the maturity and the practise to play a young character, Steinfeld however channelled her young emotions and gave the best performance of the film.

It would be easy to sit here and say John Wayne or Jeff Bridges did a better
job. The thing is I will not do that, they both played the same character and they both did a good job. Bridges has more of an accent then Wayne did in the original but that does not make him better. These films are too similar for one to stand above the other. In both films Cogburn was a drunk, very indecisive about allowing Mattie to accompany him, and both films captured that almost perfectly. I'm not here to say one of these actors is a better actor, both have proven themselves countless times and both Rooster Cogburn performances will go down in the books as stellar performances.

The Coen brothers have a knack for writing quality scripts and they do that once again, but they have one major flaw in this one that needs to be addressed. The ending was very different from the original and not in the way that helps make the film better. The original may have had a bit of a cheesy ending, but I was hoping the Coen brothers would have had something similar to that just maybe taking out the cheesy bits. To go where the Coen brothers went with this made no sense; it was a storyline all in itself that really did not need to become part of the films message. Steinfeld gave such a good performance that the Coen brothers should have given her the chance to conclude a film she shines so bright in.

There is a very good chance that the Coen brothers will get a nomination for best adapted screenplay, and it is deserved, but True Grit is not the best film of 2010. It is a good remake, with a solid cast. The Cast deserves the accolades more than the whole film. As an entire film there have been better, but if the academy wants to recognize the wonderful performances from this film from Steinfeld and Damon then I will not argue with that.

A very enjoyable and engaging remake, but honestly not the best from the Coen brothers. True Grit was the most predictable film yet from the Coen brothers and did not stray in any way from the direction in which you saw it going. True Grit carries heavy set emotions which are very well portrayed, but a lot of the action and the scenes are too predictable. The action scenes seem to die right when they are getting going, or are over way too soon. This is a western and from Westerns I expect a lot of confrontation but there was very little action, and all of it was predictable.

Easy A
Easy A (2010)
7 years ago via Flixster

After Olive Pendergast (Emma Stone) tells her best friend Rhiannon (Alyson Michalka) that she cannot go camping with her family because she has a date rumours begins to spread. Olive becomes known as the school skank and is approached by guys to have sex with them. Olive comes up with a plan where she fake has sex with guys for payment. But soon the rumours become more and more vicious and Olive becomes hated by many in the school. She tries to find a way to figure everything out before she loses everything, including her education.

Easy A is one of the best comedies to be released in quite a long time. There is a unique feel to it. Emma Stone helps make this movie believable and fresh. Her down to earth charm plays a huge factor in the success of this film. Emma is one of the premiere leading ladies in Hollywood. She has the potential to star in comedy and dramas or do a brilliant mixture of both. Emma is accompanied by some surprisingly good performances in this film. Amanda Bynes is beyond hilarious playing an ultra religious girl who boycotts Olive after the rumours spread. Alyson Michalka plays Olives jealous best friend Rhiannon. Penn Badgely plays Todd, a guy who Olive has known forever, and sees past her little game. This cast does such a wonderful job of being exactly what they are, young and enthusiastic.

The elements of Easy A that make it an attractive film is the cast, the plot and the social commentary. A very good balance of saying what has already been stated many times in a new and refreshing way. Easy A finds the balance between cracking a joke about what is relevant in today's society and flat out telling us something it feels is wrong. It makes a comment about people judging others by making it seem a little over the top. The thing about Easy A is that is all a big joke until people start to get hurt by what is happening, and that is when this movie transcends the barrier from being just another teenage sex comedy to a full fledged mature adult film. Easy A takes the necessary steps to be liked by many, but it also takes the steps to be noticed by many who would just simply disregard it as just another raunchy comedy.

Easy A is one of the better films I decided not to pass up in recent months. I liked the happy-go-lucky beginning the wonderful flow and pacing it has through out the middle. Most of all it had such an interesting conclusion, where the jokes and the light heartedness of what really is a touchy subject took a backseat and the realization of how many people were now intertwined in this web of lies took the forefront. Easy A deals with many issues that young teens face and for the most part handles them well, but took it that extra step to make sure we fully understood the intentions.

Easy A really is one of the best teenage years set movies since the John Hughes era of films. It makes a reference to Hughes when Olive mentions her life is not a John Hughes. For this film the references to pop culture really serves a major purpose. There had to be a decent level of pop culture references because this film is a modern take on the Scarlett Letter. They tied that aspect in very nicely. The filmmakers took into account that many people may not know of the Scarlett Letter and so they made it so Olive's class was studying it in the movie. This idea helped the audience get a general understanding of what the Scarlett Letter was about, while still making the modern jokes about pop culture.

Easy A is an Easy film to buy into, there are a lot of really funny jokes, a lot of over the top antics involving teenagers and a few dramatic bits that help sum up how hard growing up can be. In the end Easy A is a film I really enjoyed because it went where it should have. Easy A is a film worth watching. Emma Stone and the rest of her cast mates deliver such wonderful performances that it helps make the film so much more engaging. Easy A has further made me a fan of Emma Stone, and has made me a fan of Amanda Bynes. Don't pass up Easy A, watch it and enjoy it.

The Social Network
7 years ago via Flixster

Mark Zuckerberg sits opposite his girlfriend Erica Albright, both very intelligent people. Mark seems to be rambling pointlessly about getting into a finals club and about intelligence. He fires on and on, speaking in what becomes almost a code like language, and deep within this language he directs an insult in the direction of Erica prompting her to break up with him. Mark heads home that night, angry a bit confused maybe even a little drunk and decides to blog about it. Mark then comes up with what he believes is a brilliant plan, a website where you rate two girls based on their hotness without knowing anything about them. The mass influx of visits to the site causes Harvard's servers to malfunction. Flash ahead a few years, Zuckerberg now a part of two lawsuits. One from his best friend Saverin and the other from twin brothers who claim Mark has stolen their idea for a social networking site. Through flashbacks we see Eduardo putting money into what is now known as Facebook, we see Mark putting in many long hours to develop this site and we see the Winklevoss twins debating whether or not suing Mark is a good idea.

Erica Albright: You're going to be successful, and rich. But you're going to go through life thinking that girls don't like you because you're a geek. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It'll be because you're an asshole.

Perhaps the best opening scene in a film in a very long time. The back forth between Mark and Erica was brilliant, it captured Mark and set the tone for the entire film. He has this face paced way of talking, and at times you become lost in the overall idea of what he is even speaking about. Erica even points this out that it is impossible to know exactly what he is asking because he changes the subject numerous times and then poses a question. What impressed me the most about this shot was how simply it was filmed. Three shots, one a wide of the table and the two of them sitting there, one a close up of Erica and the other a close up of Mark. It was a simple shot, one that probably took a while to shoot, simply because of the complex lines being spoken by Jesse Eisenberg.

Sean Parker: One suggestion: Get rid of the "the". Just *Facebook*. Flows better

As the flashback scenes continue, and we see Eduardo and Mark opposing each other on certain ideas we get to where it becomes time to make Facebook a corporation and make money or just keep it a simple cool website. Mark doesn't want to water it down with ads and Eduardo wants to have corporations attach their name to this creative website. In comes Sean Parker an overconfident young individual who created a free music downloading site called Napster. Sean actually went broke through Napster yet somehow still managed to come out clean from all of it. Eduardo takes an instant disliking to Sean Parker, because their initial chat was all about him and his business transactions not about what Mark and Eduardo were there to talk to him about. Mark however immediately likes the tenacity of Parker and decides to bring him on. As it continues we see Parker take a larger role and thus begin the money making of Facebook and what we know Facebook as.

David Fincher sets up such a crafty film because you can end up taking from it what you want about Mark Zuckerberg. He at times makes some of the things Zuckerberg says and does are about his passion towards the creation of facebook. You can also take from this film that Mark was all about making it for himself, his way not really caring what other people thought. Perhaps you can take a little bit of both even, because obviously Mark was passionate about the work everyone contributed to facebook, yet at times he answers in such a condescending way that you cannot help but have a negative reaction to what he is saying. Fincher creates a film that accurately depicts the social aspect of this generation. The new age of people relies so heavily on access to facebook and now Twitter, that without it we feel bored and lost. Zuckerberg changed the generation, Facebook has many users in many different locations that span the globe, all because he had the will to spend the time in his dorm room figuring out codes and creatively figuring out what people want.

There are times through out this film where the insanity of today's world is captured perfectly. We live in a fast paced, take no prisoner's kind of world. We live in the type of world where people get left behind as Mark says to Eduardo. Fincher creates a film about university students, living the life working towards something, but he also captures the downright nastiness of people these days. Mark was even willing to stab his best friend in the back to make what is essentially his idea become a reality, even though Eduardo had been there with him the whole way. Fincher not only creates potentially a candidate for best picture at next years Academy Awards ceremony, but he creates a film that in 10 or 15 years time will be the film that defines this generation.

Take what you want from the Social Network, perhaps it will turn you off of social networking, but for me all it does it is reinforce how dependent we all are on having these means at our disposal. In the end the Zuckerberg that is displayed on screen will not change my views on Facebook, it shows me that there was a lot of hard work and dedication involved in making the website. We cannot hate it for becoming a means to make money and a corporation, because that is the intent of everything we use in our day to day lives. There is no point in boycotting facebook for doing what every other corporation does.

Everything about this picture is definitely flat-out awesome. Eisenberg is ferocious as Zuckerberg, he creates a character that is interesting and engaging. Garfield plays Saverin wonderfully as well. Eduardo seems to be the innocent victim in Marks grand scheme of making all the profits of facebook. These two have such an interesting dynamic on screen. You can instantly feel a connection through the flashback scenes, yet in the dramatic interrogation scenes you can see that there is something that tore them apart, and you are dreading watching it happen. This film breezes by, it is starting and finishing before you even know it. Enjoy the entire film. The Social Network is definitely a film going experience you do not want to pass up.

Gage: Mr. Zuckerberg, do I have your full attention?
Mark Zuckerberg: [stares out the window] No.
Gage: Do you think I deserve it?
Mark Zuckerberg: [looks at the lawyer] What?
Gage: Do you think I deserve your full attention?
Mark Zuckerberg: I had to swear an oath before we began this deposition, and I don't want to perjure myself, so I have a legal obligation to say no.
Gage: Okay - no. You don't think I deserve your attention.
Mark Zuckerberg: I think if your clients want to sit on my shoulders and call themselves tall, they have the right to give it a try - but there's no requirement that I enjoy sitting here listening to people lie. You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook, where my colleagues and I are doing things that no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing.
Mark Zuckerberg: Did I adequately answer your condescending question?