The Painter and the Thief
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Both in fighting and dialogue swashbuckling, only Robert Downey Jr.'s performance did the most heavy lifting. That one idea did not suit me well as this is supposed to be a team (save for some snippets of solo highlights). Sure, this film features the whole cast but the screenplay forgot the purpose why did they assemble: the humans themselves. The script focused so much on character dynamics and interaction but not with the ones they were meant to protect. It became a power struggle on who's the toughest (Iron Man won that without a doubt). But hey, this film made my mother unconsciously clap her hands inside the cinema so the film won with that.
Asghar Fahardi's A Separation fully deserves its success and acclaim from the community. The moral contradictions complemented with suspenseful sequencing of events that most contemporary drama fail to portray have been deftly captured with ruthless honesty that will make society wince to the truthfulness of the idea of society and other issues today, regardless of the Iranian backdrop.
The Hunger Games. A movie that literally made me sick because of the irritating cinematography. You can only stomach so much camera jerking. The disjointed narrative also didnot help. The move was almost saved by the terrific build up of tension. That being said, Gary Ross failed to establish the climax and anti-climax of each scope in the rich source. But hey, there are still two sequels for Ross to redeem his awful directing.
An arthouse film with shameless but aplomb violence, Refn's Drive gripped audiences with shock and adrenaline of the paced sequences and Gosling's portrayal of a cool driver. He may not be similar to the legends McQueen and De Niro but Gosling delivered high caliber style to a dwindling genre of car chase and machismo.
Garnered by a spirited adaptation of the Charlotte BrontÃ« novel by Cary Joji Fukunaga and a riveting performance by the young Mia Wasikowska, this Jane Erye delivered were other adaptations failed to do, the picturesque persona of the protagonist. Stripped all of the romance and naivety commonly attached to these kinds of adaptations, Wasikowska performed solely on rawness and vulnerability of BrontÃ«'s character.
An ode to art and literature lovers as well as to the backdrop. Woody Allen's charm brought this loose adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast with so much beauty about the love to our "Golden Age" past. This is the perfect movie to reintroduce ourselves to the rich-filled world of art and literature revolving around this romantic city.
You got to give it to Brad Bird, more famously known for helming The Incredibles. For an Action & Adventure genre, the humor fit snugly in this film. With gorgeous set pieces, nifty gadgets and great casting (especially, the scene-stealing Simon Pegg), Mission Impossible is set again to be a serious contender in the category of best action franchise in movie history.
Believe it or not, but this terrific horror/comedy really took up some cliches and put on depth to the characters most of the time associated to the psychology of antagonists. Kudos to the writing, Labine and Tudyk's comic abilities and Moss's awkward yet spot on acting.
When Paul Giamatti is in the cast, you know it's a drama or comedy worth watching. However, the performances of the supporting cast especially Amy Ryan and Alex Shaffer as well as the light farce pivoted the heart-warming story of the small delights and common mishaps to the level of tenderness that doesn't land on the over-sentimental. McCarthy delivered another great humanistic drama that is worth the attention.
The comedy will delight you all throughout the film but the beauty of it all is the chemistry between Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, of two man with mid-life crises tackled with sweetness and solemnity that you won't get to call it a dramatic feature but more of an insightful one.
Joe Wright is the director of this wonderfully crafted thriller which is very unique and have beautifully shot frames that even if the great ensemble of cast (Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana) was not the same, Hanna will still stand out from many revenge thrillers trying to be in league with. It also doesn't hurt with the eerie yet appropriate sound production of The Chemical Brothers.
This is the one movie the cliches of a romcom can be completely forgiven as the adaptation of David Nicholls' own novel still imparts its conventional wit and characterization that completely worked out with the script and its genre. It's a bit shy on its dramatic aspect but there's its romantic moments and comic scenes that stood out and that distinguishes itself from other romcom flicks.
When in comparison to the whole debacle caused by the last two films (especially Origins) of the franchise, Matthew Vaughn's reboot of X-Men is precisely what it needed. It had a strong script and top-notch leads (McAvoy, Fassbender and also Bacon) that covered up all of the loopholes in the film, as well as in the franchise. That being said, it was disappointing that with that strong and promising script, it was insufficient to tackle the main antagonist of the mutants: the society itself. It also tried (and failed) to play out some subplots planted within the film as it was unnecessary to the real meat of the film. It was a very good try and a pleasing effort on behalf of the Marvel team. They may disappoint a lot of fanboys expecting the fundamental engine (Magneto-Professor X-Society web) of the film be more explored but we are not all fanboys.
Heartless is the B-Movie Arthouse film that takes on a unique interpretation to one's sense of reality with bizarre details both in production design and the protagonist's outlook. This imaginative script has the potential to go more deeply in to it's essence of darker urban horror and psychological feats. But nonetheless, it's a good watch of a thriller that nowadays are lacking.
Losing Gore Verbinski may have hurt most aspects that made the original trilogy famous and entertaining. The establishment that this is a stand-alone project is done well but not as a good thing. The action sequences felt duller when compared to the dynamism of both Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. With a depthless script and performances that are not pushed to excellence (once you get used to Jack Sparrow's mannerism and predictability, the comic performances of the supporting characters are dragged down and of Depp's), this sequel may prove that maybe Sparrow should be put to rest from sailing.
Though familiar, Scott Frank's The Lookout is a smart crime film. The script is poignant with their characters' realistic mindsets and actors that portray them with enough believability. Frank artfully blended engaging suspense and sharp performances that never overpowers the protagonist's own tragedy.
This entertaining take on alien roadtrip is witty and funny as expected from Pegg and Frost screenwriting though the second half fell through some cliches. But ultimately, with some greatly surprising and spot-on casting and Seth Rogen's voice over on the very likable lead character, Paul is a memorable sci-fi comedy that is in for the books.
Amidst all of the suspenseful sequences, the human story never lost its place. Jake Gyllenhaal portrayed a believable character that establishes not basically the plot but the character's human attributes which complemented the movie on levels far from its likewise sci-fi films. Just says that you really do not need physics to create a memorable and brilliant science fiction.
It got lost in all of the cliches found in wars and alien invasion films. It got action and actions only. The potential human story in each of the characters were molded into one which is courage. Still not enough to overwhelm the dizzying camera panning and cliched start to end.
The ultimate film made for men for this past decade, I dare say. The barbaric madness and pure bloodbath and chaos is executed ironically with the beautiful elegance of choreography of action sequences and with actors with sheer bravura who all touch the subjects of values Japanese samurai warriors are so well known about. Takashi Miike brought this classical genre and directed it to transcend action and drama and land on pure poetry of violence and magnificence.