Zanele Jiane's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The secret life of Walter Mitty.

"Beauty does not ask to be seen"
Sean O'Connel

Ben Stiller has directed several successful major motion pictures, one of his first was Zoolander which was meant to be out rightly funny, the cable guy which was mostly dark humour plus three others, and now Mitty.

Mitty is his most ambitious undertaking, I never expected to experience this much cinema in one movie.

Sol Stein a well renowned editor mentioned that the chief purpose of writing novels is "to give a ready an experience they are not likely to see in their everyday life" and the same can be said of movies and this movie transports us in very diverse experiences of this one person, some banal and some glorious, my favourite being the animated airport x ray scanner.

MItty has a challenge of finding one picture due to be published in two and a half week for the final release of a certain global magazine empire and he also needs to update his dating profile on a unique dating website and has episodes of going into a trance where he gets to live out an alternate version of his boring life, some of these are quiet energizing, if you've seen the latter seasons of Ally McBeal one would be able to follow these little escapades.

The depth of humour is not as dense as one would expect from a Stiller movie but this is more dramatic than all his movie, this is good for an actor to avoid being typecast. I heard Paul Rudd is going to be an action hero soon. The majority of the funny scences from this movie are when Ted Hendricks, a Managing Director of the Transition played by Adam Scott (a scene stealer) share a screen with Mitty, Ted has a cartoonish face from his beard and hairdo and the shallowest vocabulary one can expect from a corporate executive. Stiller once created such a fantastic character in Tropic Thunder called Les Grosman, it seems Stiller is excellent at creating adorable characters.

Character development is ripe the Mitty we meet in the beginning and the one closing credits are vastly different, initially he is desk bound in the basement of the publishing house, and accepts his life as it comes, in the end he is 22000 meters above sea level peering through a scope of a camera looking at a snow leopard nicknamed "Ghost Cat" because they don't like to be seen, costume design communicates this very fact, in the beginning he wears a short sleeved shirt and a tie and toward the end, hiking gear. The soundtrack is helping drive the story home, this is the first time I leave the theatre wondering where can I find the CD with the soundtrack. This story is quiet reminiscent of the book by Paulo Coelho "The Alchemist".

Due to the subject, this movie will not fare very well with the youngsters but with a slightly older audience.

47 Ronin
47 Ronin (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Xenophobia is eternal it seems, even in cultures drenched in the ideals and values of human dignity and honour. From the opening scenes to halfway through the movie, Kai (Keanu Reeves) is a faithful and loyal outcast, only accepted by his master and daughter. He is eager to defend the honour of his lord even unto death. In the first act, this is apparent, his faithfulness, and sense of martyr hood. This inspires the rest of the movie.

Oishi (Sanada) after being released from prison decides to defy the express orders of his deity and avenge his master by killing those who dealt treacherously with him and led him to fall on his own sword. The very first person he seeks is the outcast, now affectionately known as the "half breed" in the gladiator styled slave owned by the Dutch. Having learned from him loyalty and faithfulness and then goes to look for the rest of his men.
I have never seen a Japanese person who can't act, even Reeves looks and feels Japanese, the story is often spoilt by the giant creatures, slithering robes and demons that show up here and there in the movie. The special effects are so common place nowadays that we fail to even appreciate them because they are no longer special.

Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) is no longer a little girl but a sophisticated witch pulling a worm tongue on Lord Kira, she plays a very dangerous witch who proves the be the film's arch villain, slightly stunting the real historical account.

The movie feels a bit short but quiet busy - it follows a three act structure, the setup, the retaliation and the final mass suicide. Carl Rinsch according to is debuting with 47 Ronin's and has faithfully preserved a previously hidden piece of history, this movie would have been great had it been done in the native Japanese language but for obvious commercial reasons, it was done in English.

Cultural differences will stand dominantly in the way of the movie's commercial success, there was a lot of grumbling when Oishi was offered a samurai's death after valiantly and masterfully took out the witch and Lord Kira, and he showed deep gratitude by saying "Thank you", according to Oishi, he believed strongly in the afterlife and death, painful as it is to him and to us was mainly into the next and probably better life - he believed strongly in Justice and he lived out his code, had he not died - he would have questioned the justice of his deity, so for him the story ended balanced, maybe the introduction into the ronin culture should have covered this briefly to minimize the grumbling.

Escape Plan
Escape Plan (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Escape Plan

Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Caviesel, 50Cent, Faran Tahir, Sam Neill, Vincent D'Onofrio, Amy Ryan, Vinnie Jones

Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Screenplay: Miles Chapman, Jason Keller


The movie is packaged masterfully and therefore highly enjoyable, it was so good to see Jim Caviesel on a big screen again; although this time he is the arch villain, the only problem was that there was some overacting plaguing his character.

The movie is quite dense with story and difficult to follow. The main character Ryan Breslin (Stallone) plays a role suitable for a younger and smart looking person, yet he pulls this off and his partner in crime Emil Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) does notice this and mentions it in the story "You don't look as smart as you sound". He has been in the business for a long time and he only gets better,

Hobbes (Caviesel) based on gleanings from Stallone's book on escape proofing prisons builds a highly secure prison, the prison was so secure that when it was fully revealed, we knew Breslin was in deep shit. Breslin was tricked into the prison by two groups of people, one half with a motive to break out an inmate already in prison, and the other half with a motive to keep him locked for good. But in the end he has to find his way out and balance the scale of justice.

His initial game plan folds between his eyes, In order to break out Breslin has to best and outsmart himself; the challenge here is for him to think far beyond his existing frame of reference because he inadvertently architected this prison which is impossible to escape by writing a book on escape proofing prisons and he also has a major challenge of learning to work with others, something he has never done before.
In the final act when the break out finally takes place, it does not disappoint and lives up to the heavy build-up in the previous two acts, movies with novel plots like this tend to be sloppy in the blocking of the climax sequence and Schwarzenegger has his moment when he finally grabs a hold of the machine gun in the final stand-off, clever use of camera and a nod to the movies back in the eighties. But the final scenes after the escape are not as inspiring and more was expected but left me underwhelmed.

The film score is quite muted, it was very interesting to watch Sam Neill in a very quiet but pivotal role, he nails the part very well, Faran Tahir is always excellent and his character Javed goes into many tangents but does not compromise his character, some of his scenes are quiet funny due to the immense misdirection he pulls on us and the arch villain,

Stallone and Schwarzenegger are a bit old but in no ways compromise the calibre of their character but complements it, the body of work he has requires someone quite a bit old and the demands of the prison break are a crowning achievement of his long career.
Although this movie is entertaining somehow is not really re watchable, maybe months later when it appears on blu ray.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel (2013)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Man of Steel is a wonderful attempt to re-introduce the comic book hero with alien origins; it boasts a brilliant cast, and planet Krypton is sold to the viewers as a full blown civilization and deep culture under mutiny, a heavyweight introduction that ushers us to the world of our protagonist. Sterling.

The movie is done in a nonlinear manner, considering that we are dealing with an alien character and similar stories of alien beings visiting our planets are never told in one distinct wall to wall of answers narrative, this justifies the non-linear approach.

This is an origin story written by David S. Goyer, a long-time collaborator of Christopher Nolan, they both came up with the story and Nolan is acting as a producer.
The story begins with planet Krypton on the verge of utter destruction. Jor-EL (Russell Crowe) has a plan to save his son, while an insurrection led by General Zod (Michael Shannon) in full swing, the armies of Krypton are able to subdue the powerful Zod and his minions and confine him to 300 cycles of somatic conditioning, but when the planet destruct, they escape and go on a hunt for Kal-El who has a piece of technology that can help rebuild Krypton on top of planet Earth, a plan that would lead to the complete killing of every man woman and child on this planet.

Zack Snyder is a master-ful film maker, this movie has a dozen thousand moving pieces and each piece moves in perfect timing, the blocking of the scenes is enormously spellbinding. At some point I thought Roland Emmerich was at the helm. Also he was able to bring Superman's humanity to the fore, this superman is under a great deal of strain, pain, loneliness and he greatly suffers, even the villain is ten times his strength, to a degree, he's not much of a superman.

The cast is flawless with unforgettable performances from veteran actors such as Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, a scene involving a whirlwind where he sacrificed his life in order to keep the identity of his son a secret is one of the moving ones, with the mere motion of his hand, he says so much. Amy Adams as Lois Lane is more of a military officer than that of a journalist, this is war and all hands are on deck. She, being mentored briefly by Jor-EL's phantom, hatches a brilliant idea of ending the cataclysmic event that almost re configured the earth's atmosphere and sending all of humanity to death. Henry Cavill as the hero is quiet muted with his powers, he is discovering them throughout the movie and operates by a code of secrecy that his earthly father paid a dear price teaching him, before he becomes the Superman, the scenes where he uses his power to save lives look half-baked but in reflection it's because Kal-EL, now Clark Kent is struggling a lot with his identity and powers, he does not glory in them, but is tormented by them, hence they feel incomplete.

Amir Mokri as a cinematographer has a challenging job of creating a visual climate that spans space and time as he gives us images from Krypton, the Farm, The Alps without making us bilious in the process, the music was thunderous given the grand scale action as a backdrop, nothing less would have worked.

The action fight sequences with a drab, quiet reminiscent of the Matrix Revolutions between Neo and Agent Smith, very cartoonish, also the battle between him and Zod and his minions seems very long because Superman relies only on his strength and never mentally considers his nemesis, had he done this he would have dispensed of them more swiftly, the battle was mostly done In the flesh, he is not cerebral, but this is consistent with his character.

In conclusion this is a great movie that would appeal to fans and non-fans alike.