The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was able to give me what I expected from it, even more at times. People should give it a thought that the Hobbit was not written like the Lord of the Rings series, the latter had greater incorporation of darkness, the entire concept of the darkness ruling the world. Therefore it shouldn't be compared to the Hobbit, which is written in a totally different way. Its premise doesn't revolve around the Ring, so that's why it doesn't have that dark soul or something like that. It's actually written in humorous way to keep the entire plot light and make it different from the LoTR series.
Anyway, I still think that if we judge the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in its entirety, we would love this film. I did it and I love it. Peter Jackson always surprises me with his outstanding direction and his brilliant vision, the way he has visualized the book in the film is phenomenal.
The best things about this film are of course its entire 3D experience and the cinematography, the beautiful sceneries and its characters, they are lovable, they make you believe in their mission, and especially the performance of Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. I enjoyed it, he makes a good Baggins, his expressions and his dialogues are more funnier than I thought.
Other things the majority of critics talked about were shooting the film in higher frame rates than the usual 24 FPS and the running time of the movie. Both of these arguments are invalid. Shooting a film in 48 fps is not a problem, the technology is advancing gradually and sooner or later, the filmmakers are gonna have to start doing it. Why blame Peter Jackson? He just utilized a latest technology to give us a new experience and we are doing everything but appreciating his efforts and the challenge he would have face while shooting the film. The second argument is a bit reasonable, the running time is long but why do you want a film like this to be shorter? I am really glad that it is that long so I was getting to experience every frame of the movie and loving it completely. I don't mind films with long running time as long as they don't get boring, and to me, the Hobbit never got boring at all.
Everyone has their own opinions, a lot of people found the ending of the film ridiculous and dumb, but that's exactly how the LoTR films were ended especially the Fellowship of the Ring. You can't complain about a film that still has two parts to complete it and maybe your opinion would change after watching the remaining installments.
Long story short, don't expect this film to be anything like LoTR trilogy, it may have some similarities (i.e. its characters, the locations, and a few sceneries) but it surely doesn't have that dark plot the LoTR films had. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the beginning of a funny, daring, terrifying and a beautiful adventure which might really turn into an epicness in the future when the remaining films come out. It is enjoyable, great to watch and finally gives you the satisfactory feeling of how the middle earth would have looked in 3D and better visual effects.
A three-hour investment to watch a film that has generated ridiculously bad reviews from most of the major critics is such a risky decision especially when the film has also failed at the box-office meaning that not even the audiences have liked the film. BUT! Cloud Atlas is much more than that. This is not a child's play to incorporate six different storylines in a single film especially when they all are so complex and their interrelation seems nearly impossible at times. Hats off to the Wachowski Brothers and Tom Tykwer for their tremendous effort by making a film whose novel is already complicated but the way they have executed the entire film is marvelous. I don't have words to describe how impressed I am with their work on this film, it is utterly excellent. Honestly, at first, the film seemed like a disappointment to me, I was trying so hard to figure out what does all of it mean which was preventing me from the main purpose i.e. enjoying the film. But gradually, throughout these three hours, I started understanding what is going on and it finally started making a LITTLE sense. Of course, everyone has their own interpretations about the film but the real and common one is that "everything is connected, your past may affect your present as well as your future." This can be thought of like that every individual's actions in a particular storyline affects the actions of other individuals in the different storylines. It can be seen like a phase in a human life, in which a person is bad at first, then he realizes that he is doing wrong and then in the end, he finally stands up for what is right. But this explanation doesn't fit all the individuals' stories like Hugo Weaving, he is evil in all of the storylines and maybe it's because his soul never realizes that it is doing wrong. Neither does it fit Tom Hanks' stories because he is a bad, greedy guy in the first storyline and then he becomes a good person and after that he becomes a bad person again and then finally, in the last stoyline, he becomes a good person, which doesn't make any sense. The more you try to figure out the plot of the film and interpret it in different ways, the more you start finding different explanations of how it could be possible. The film's brilliant (and far more more complex than I first thought) storyline is supported by phenomenal performances by the entire cast members. Every single one of them has played his/her roles wonderfully and that is also supported by the factor of beautiful make-up and styling to completely adapt them in their respective roles in different storylines. It completely blows you away, you can't even recognize that there are the same individuals in all of the storylines. Visual effects are great and so is the cinematography. Screenplay is really clever, because I have been reading that it varies from the novel and inverts the ending of all the storylines and it still has been incorporated properly and doesn't seem wrong. I might not read the novel because if I do, I'd be confused again and I don't want that. This is really not an all-audiences film, most of the people are not liking it because of the complications in the storylines and the confusing narrative but what it actually demands is your complete concentration because without it, you cannot understand what the real message and the purpose of this film really is, what exactly are the Wachowski Brothers trying to deliver to us, why did they choose to make this movie. All of the questions are answered if you watch the movie with complete attention and remember everything from the beginning until the end, it is really important. Cloud Atlas is easily one of the most complicated and daring films I have ever watched in my life. From the rough idea, you can guess that it would fail miserably but the Wachowski Brothers still made it for us because it is necessary to remind everyone what the real power of filmmaking is!
Beginning with a terrifying dramatization of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which is considered to be one of the worst disasters of the history, The Impossible is an uplifting and exceptional story of a family that survives the disasters but they lose each other for some time, they don't know where to find each other, obviously, because of large casualties and also because one cannot think properly after encountering the most shocking thing they would haven't even imagined. The story of Belon family is based on a true story of the survivors and I must say that this is an exceptional piece of story penned into the film. The cast members especially Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor give phenomenal performances, so powerful that it makes you cry at times. Their characters seem believable, you can get inspired by them, it doesn't feel like there is no development in their characters. Hats off to Juan Antonio Bayona for such an outstanding direction. From beginning to the end; everything from the occurrence of the disaster to the reunion of the family; everything from the screenplay and camera work to the editing; everything is flawless, perfect, emotional and motivating. The Impossible is clearly one of the finest and the best films of 2012. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE TEARJERKER. A MUST WATCH!
A topic of discussion everyone is familiar with, the already known outcome, the dramatization of true events and mixing them altogether in a single film, Zero Dark Thirty is a good film if I look at it from the perspective of filmmaking only. However, it doesn't offer that much, it has no characterization whatsoever. The main character of the film is Maya (played by Jessica Chastain), a young CIA officer who has done nothing but spent her entire short career on Osama bin Laden. Now, I'm totally okay with that but her life, her character should have been supported by a backstory. There should have been several flashbacks as to why she joined CIA in the first place. I'm still okay if there aren't any flashbacks or her story, but her character seems unbelievable and uninspiring at times. She doesn't have any theory to prove why she is right, she just says she is right. And obviously, she is. It doesn't have to do anything with Chastain's performance, she has done a brilliant job and all the critic wins and potenial nominations in major awards are totally deserving for her.The real problem is how her character has been written by Mark Boal and how the entire screenplay of the film has been dealt with.
The running time is 2 hours and 30 minutes and it really feels that long because the first half of the movie seems ridiculously boring and irritating. I expected the content of a different nature, the real and original content that has been kept away from the public for so many years, not the moulded one. The real truth about the September 11 attacks, all the suicide bombings and finally Osama bin Laden's killing. It felt like I was watching a documentary at times. Kathryn Bigelow still has been able to do her job pretty well, the direction of the film is somewhere in between good and excellent. And it cannot be ignored that when it comes to films like this, her vision and method of direction are way more than outstanding. Moving on to the screenplay, it is good but definitely not the best. The dialogues should have been more intense rather than simply showing the scenes incorporating torture that is a good way to escape when you know your writing isn't brilliant enough. Editing and the pacing of the film are kind of good but they don't feel balanced at times, there is not one way of pacing of the storyline, sometimes it gets fast and sometimes it gets so slow.
The best things about this film are its last 30 minutes of operation which led to Osama bin Laden's killing; its background score which is pretty intense and proves to be more supportive than screenplay at times, Bigelow's direction (a little bit supported by Mark Boal's writing) and Jessica Chastain's performance which is downright astonishing. I can call Zero Dark Thirty a great film but it is not better than Bigelow's previous direction 'The Hurt Locker', which was more intense, which had plenty of jaw-dropping scenes and which had more characterization.
Every major critic you see would be commenting that ZD30 would win the Best Picture Oscar. This fact is making it so overrated that it would fail to build upto a lot of people's expectations who haven't watched it yet. Same thing happened to me. I watched it with the expectation and the mindset that it is the best film of 2012 but it isn't, it is one of the best but not the ultimate best film.
A lot of people are associating this movie with the fact that if they are Americans then they should obviously like this movie because it depicts what took America to finally kill bin Laden. If we are going to talk about it from that perspective then I can say that this movie is nothing but a false reality, how America hides the truth and only shows what it wants its public to see. There are a lot of theories about September 11 attacks and some of which are logical and actually make sense but still, people don't want to believe that because they are afraid of losing the so called trust in their government. OBL's killing is also blurry, nobody knows what really happened that day. The US government just made an announcement that they have killed bin Laden. If they actually killed him then why did they not show his face on the television? Anyway, this is not the topic of discussion here. The film should be taken as piece of entertainment rather than taking it as a piece of reality and the same goes to US Senate, ZD30 has given rise to a huge political controversy as according to the Senators, they don't torture anyone. They should also understand that the incorporation of dramatization and fiction is necessary to build up the tension and give rise to intense moments to keep the film interesting.
The key conclusion is that this film could get all the major awards in Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards because of its genre, Bigelow's brilliant direction and Chastain's performance and which, to some extent, is reasonable but I don't think it should be winning the Best Picture awards but the chances are that it will. Who knows? I'd still be happier it wins the Best Picture awards, but happiest if it goes to any other deserving film.
Honestly, I'm not impressed with this movie that much. And it may be the weakest contender in the Golden Globe Best Foreign Language Film category because other nominees are too damn brilliant. Marion Cotillard's performance is good, she portrays a damaged person wonderfully, all that inferiority complex and those expressions when people are showing pity on you, seem downright flawless at times. The plot of the film has been dealt with in so many films in different ways that it has lost all its freshness and originality and everytime I watch a movie like Rust and Bone, I don't feel moved at all. It's very rare when it happens, like this year Amour did to me, now that's one hell of a film. Rust and Bone may not be a great drama but the performances are really great, I give them all the appreciation for performances.