Explore
 Lists  Reviews  Images  Update feed
Categories
MoviesTV ShowsMusicBooksGamesDVDs/Blu-RayPeopleArt & DesignPlacesWeb TV & PodcastsToys & CollectiblesComic Book SeriesBeautyAnimals   View more categories »
All reviews - Movies (60) - TV Shows (2) - Games (7)

The King's Speech review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 17 February 2011 01:43 (A review of The King's Speech)

This is a biopic about how King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, overcame his stuttering problem. Widely considered by all but his father unfit to be king, George is reluctantly thrust unto the throne and into the spotlight after his brother is forced to abdicate. Overshadowed on the global stage by powerful orators like Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, the King relies on the help of a little-known Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue to find his voice and courageously lead his people into the most devastating war humanity has ever faced.

This is a powerful, hilarious and deeply moving story, told against the backdrop of a critical juncture in modern history, of the emergence of a deep friendship out of a professional relationship between two men who would otherwise never have socially interacted. The screenplay, written by David Seidler (who also wrote Tucker: The Man and his Dream), is excellent. The dry British wit is hilarious. I was literally slapping my knee during some of the scenes. Tom Hooper (Elizabeth I) does a superb job directing this movie. The buildup to the climactic finale is skillfully executed and prompted the audience to erupt into spontaneous applause. (Apparently, this also happened at the Roy Thomson Hall premiere.) Geoffrey Rush (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) does a fantastic job as Lionel Logue and Colin Firth (A Single Man) is excellent as King George VI.

I saw the second public screening of this movie at the Ryerson Theater during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Tom Hooper was present to introduce the movie. He was joined by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush after the movie ended for a brief Q&A.

It turns out that David Seidler also had a stuttering problem as a child and drew inspiration from the king's struggle. Early in his career he wanted to write a screenplay about it. He dutifully asked the Queen Mother for permission. She agreed but told him "not in my lifetime". Little did he know she would live to be 101 and he would have to wait another 30 years.

Another interesting tidbit we learned was that near the end of the shoot, the crew finally located one of Lionel Logue's grandsons, who just so happened to live about 10 minutes away from the director. They got access to Lionel's diaries and correspondence and managed to incorporate some of it into the script.

This movie is an unqualified must see.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Reservoir Dogs review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 12 February 2011 07:20 (A review of Reservoir Dogs)

Reservoir Dogs is a testament to the idea that "less is more." This doesn't apply to the violence, the film is extremely violent from beginning to end, but the details of the botched diamond heist, which the entire film is based on, are conveyed only in the dialogue, except for one scene where Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) recalls his escape. The whole film takes place after the failed robbery is over, and the mystery that unfolds among the criminal participants is amazing to watch.

This is not a normal crime film. The thing that really sets Reservoir Dogs apart from all of the others is that it is PURE. When you look at the screen, you're looking at reality. There are no Hollywood actors, there's no make-up to make them look pretty, there's little to no comic relief, and most important of all, there's no goofy romantic subplot clumsily thrown in, a detrimental trademark of so many action films, as well as virtually all Jerry Bruckheimer films. Instead of all of that garbage, Tarantino decided to just present the film as simply and straightforwardly as possible, and by doing that he makes it seem that you're really looking at a bunch of criminals trying to figure out what to do after a suspiciously failed robbery.

Even though most of the actors were known at the time this film was made, the film was delivered in such a way that you don't see the actors at all, you only see the brutal characters that they portray. It is genuinely frightening to imagine being in the same room with any of them, and this is a quality that is rarely achieved in any kind of film.

Make no mistake, Reservoir Dogs is among the most violent films ever made, and some scenes are really painful to watch, but the way that reality is captured is something that justifies the violent excesses in this film. The violence is never glorified, nor is the criminal lifestyle. When films are overly violent, they usually get branded as such, but despite the extreme violence, Reservoir Dogs still manages to deliver an important overall message about the consequences of your actions. It remains high on the growing list of Tarantino's classic films, and it will not be soon forgotten.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Eat Pray Love review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 8 February 2011 02:29 (A review of Eat Pray Love)

I've always admired Julia Roberts, and was wondering how she would transition to a more mature actress. Not well. Why in the world would she have read this abomination of a script, and said, "Yes, I want to do that movie!"? And the other fine actors must have agreed because Roberts signed on. All the talent in this film can't correct the atrocious script. The film has four chapters, each of which introduces a new male character in a different part of the world, and charts her dysfunctional response to each. It's impossible, I suspect, to have developed each character and story all in a two hour movie. It was so hollow, not only did I feel nothing for the characters (except Bardem), but I felt ambivalence toward them. Lots of narcissistic angst over nothing. The movie had nothing to say.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Love & Other Drugs review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 6 February 2011 04:11 (A review of Love & Other Drugs)

The movie starts out as a generic and even pedestrian romantic comedy and appears to be headed in the typical cliché driven direction but, fortunately, evolves in to something more. Jake Gyllenhaal's character and his alleged "funny" fat side kick are established almost purposefully as illustrations of what's wrong with most romantic comedies. It's Anne Hathaway's character that is the catalyst for the transformation from two dimensional rom-com to something deeper and more enjoyable. As she is fleshed out (pun intended because the more Anne Hathaway nudity the better) her character forces both Gyllenhaal's character and the film itself to grow (almost Viagra like). What follows is a deep, sometimes moving and genuinely interesting film. Commentary about battling illness, life and enjoying the moment are all relevant and poignant. Even supporting characters are given moments to shine. Oliver Pratt's drug rep has a wonderful scene delivered over dinner and there's even a smart drunken ramble explaining what is wrong with being a doctor and a commentary on the state of the Hippocratic Oath. From an emotionless and even tedious start, this film surprised me and is worth the price of a ticket.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

GoodFellas review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 5 February 2011 03:32 (A review of GoodFellas)

Scorcese & Pileggi's masterpiece on the life of Henry Hill as a Brooklyn NY mob wise-guy.

As much as the true events of Henry's life have more than likely been dramatised and glamourised to a certain extent, the essence of this film IMO is that it is still a brilliantly damning portrayal of the characters and lifestyle of mobsters.

The sham of the mafiosi is exposed - preaching loyalty, respect & principles - but when it comes down to it they are just two-bit criminals that'll stab each other in the back for money or power over others. Each of them has an inflated sense of self-worth and stature that comes with being a "wiseguy", breeding with it paranoia that others are not giving them the respect they deserve.

An example is De Niro's portrayal of Jimmy Conway. His outward persona is that of a calm and reasonable nature. But really he is a paranoid killer who at the drop of a hat would kill even his closest associates for money. I use associates rather than friends, as their relationships are of tolerance rather than kinship. Distrust, hate and jealousy through the forced smiles.

Interesting that given this, certain people envy their life-style and would have loved to have been a wiseguy. I personally couldn't think of anything worse that being tied for life with having to keep the likes of Tommy company, but whatever rocks your boat. Some people have actually paid to see The Dukes of Hazzard film, so I shouldn't be surprised.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Requiem for a Dream review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 4 February 2011 07:32 (A review of Requiem for a Dream)

I wish everyone I care about would see Requiem for a Dream. Not because they will like it, or that it will teach them something they did not already know, but that it's a rare piece of work that will challenge and probably change them. It's a film that has never been made before, with nothing to compare to it - a rarity these days. I often find myself recommending films to people that I am unable to briefly describe. These are usually the most involving and affecting ones. I'd like my family to see this, but can't *recommend* it to them. I've recommended it to two friends, and they both had the same reaction: I am glad I watched it, but I doubt I'll be in the frame of mind to watch it again, knowing what you feel.

As I sat watching the credits roll, I began crying, but I'm still not sure why. Partly in reaction to the devastatingly tragic ending, partly the beauty (yes) of the film, partly my gratitude for good things in my life. I watched it again the same night with my girlfriend, not because I wanted to upset her, but I felt that I had to share it. After the credits rolled, we both were silent for a good ten minutes. I found that I had thoughts I wanted to express, but could find no words. This is one of the few films that are painful to experience, but I feel compelled to share with people I care about. Some others in that short list include The Thin Red Line, Happiness, River's Edge,and The Deer Hunter.

These films all share a quality that's difficult to name. No one likes feeling disturbed or shattered by a film, a work of art, a piece of music, but I feel experiencing these emotions and being asked to think, not just be entertained, is important now and then.

"Favorite" does not apply to this for me - this isn't about entertainment. One of the most devastating and beautiful experiences I've had watching a film


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Open Season review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 1 February 2011 09:11 (A review of Open Season)

Open Season is yet another in the long recent line of computer animated films dealing with animals on the loose. Like Madagascar and Over The Hedge before it, there is almost enough in the film to make it more for adults than kids. Unlike those two examples, however, this film never really rises above the pack and sets itself apart as a great film. There are some really funny parts including a piece devoted to going to the bathroom in the woods, but ultimately the film just bogs down in its been there done that storyline. Undoubtedly kids will get a real kick out of the animals and their highjinks but I can't see this film having the real lasting power of the classics of the genre.


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Piranha 3D review

Posted : 6 years, 4 months ago on 1 February 2011 01:56 (A review of Piranha 3D)

Splatter flicks of the 1970s and 80s tend to have a real fun factor to them, as opposed to darker gore films like the 'Saw' franchise. Once in a while a group of filmmakers will attempt to homage those films, some succeeding and others not. Peter Jackson blew us away with his 'Dead Alive,' which piles on the blood, guts, and goo to the point of being hysterical. There have been some pretty graphic Horror films since, but who knew that the remake of the 1978 Joe Dante cult classic would rival Jackson's over-the-top gorefest? We're not talking about great art here people, but pure and simple trashy Horror fun like we haven't seen on the big screen in some time.

Pros: The cast does it's best with the minimal material they have. Lots of gorgeous underwater and above water photography. Apart from one section of the film, the pace just zips along. Goods special and visual effects. Ample amounts of blood and gore. Also some great gore gags. Made with a real sense of fun. Occasionally pretty funny. The massacre sequence is actually pretty terrifying and stomach churning.

Cons: With a movie like this you don't expect brilliant writing, but it still could have been better. Plot is almost non-existent. There's a section of the film which includes divers going into an underwater cavern and the filming of a "Girls Gone Wild" style video above that really drags. Goes by so fast and is so short that there's no room for any real tension, which would have given the film some extra oomph.

Final thoughts: This film seems to have come at the right time. Not a bad way to end the summer. Sure it's all pretty mindless, maybe too much so, but who doesn't enjoy a good 90 minutes of pure bloody goofy fun now and again?


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Memento review

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 24 January 2011 05:13 (A review of Memento)

Memento is one of those pictures that will have you sitting in the theater after the lights come up so you can talk to everyone else about what they thought of the movie. This is a highly intelligent and original brain teaser that will have you guessing from beginning to end, and even afterwards. The story and the direction are the best I've seen so far this year, and it deserves all the kudos it gets.

Plainly put, the film tells the story of Leonard Shelby: a man who lost his short term memory in an assault where his wife was raped and murdered; now he's looking for the killer, despite his handicap. Simple as that. You don't need to know anymore.

The film is constructed and told in such a way that you are constantly put into the shoes of Leonard Shelby, beautifully played by Guy Pierce. Carrie-Ann Moss gives an equally mysterious and complex performance. This film is well-made all the way around--from the direction, to the editing, and especially the unique story that is rarely found in Hollywood these days


0 comments, Reply to this entry

Get Him to the Greek review

Posted : 6 years, 5 months ago on 18 January 2011 06:14 (A review of Get Him to the Greek)

Opening up with the shooting of Aldos Snow's latest music video and then showing his downward spiral that leads to present day was the hilarious, perfect beginning for this innovative comedic spin-off. If you saw 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' then this is exactly what you would expect a movie about Aldos Snow to be like. This movie has a heart that I did not expect to see, it's buried under lewd, vulgar and brilliant wit, but it's in there.

Russell Brand just opens his mouth and his words are comedic gold. Jonah Hill takes a step out of his comfort zone, a bit, and plays a "no confidence good guy". (Usually he's the overconfident prick, for all you naysayers). Diddy delivers a surprisingly strong performance that I'm sure shocked anyone who sees him. He's actually hilarious! His repartee with everyone he comes into contact with is spot-on. The entire cast has hilarious one-liners and the two main characters really make this movie a joy to watch.

The plot is actually a creative one, something we don't see a lot of nowadays. Albeit the humor treads into "familiar gross-out" jokes, there are clever jokes too. But it's all you have to expect when following "Rock and Roll personified". Another point I was surprised by was that a lot... a lot of the scenes from the trailers were not in the movie. I thought that was a good and bad thing. Good because it didn't show us stuff we've already seen and gave us the chance to see new stuff. But bad because a few of the scenes were real funny.


0 comments, Reply to this entry



Insert image

drop image here
(or click)
or enter URL:
 link image?  square?

Insert video

Format block