November 30, 2010
November 28, 2010
November 27, 2010
"Writer/directors Friedberg and Seltzer are a scourge. They’re a plague on our cinematic landscape, a national shame, a danger to our culture, a typhoon-sized natural disaster disguised as a filmmaking team, a Hollywood monster wreaking havoc on the minds of America’s youth and setting civilization back thousands of years."
"Friedberg and Seltzer do not practice the same craft as P.T. Anderson, David Cronenberg, Michael Bay, Kevin Costner, the Zucker Brothers, the Wayans Brothers, Uwe Boll, any dad who takes shaky home movies on a camping trip, or a bear who turns on a video camera by accident while trying to eat it. They are not filmmakers. They are evildoers, charlatans, symbols of Western civilization's decline..."F-
November 26, 2010
November 24, 2010
Sam Worthington can't keep his accent in check. Ralph Fiennes plays Hades as a bearded, nosed Voldemort. Perseus is wearing a T-shirt and Nikes (painted to look like sandals), and has a buzz cut. There's a Norse sea monster and an Arabic djinn. Motivations for why Perseus hates being half-god and why the people resent the gods at all are nonexistent. I want my 90 minutes back. How is this deserving of a sequel? Damn box office. F
November 23, 2010
- Michael Jackson
- Marilyn Monroe
- Charlie Chaplin
- Shirley Temple
- Queen of England
- Abraham Lincoln
- Sammy Davis Jr.
- James Dean
- Buckwheat (from the Little Rascals)
- Three Stooges
November 19, 2010
Writer: Steven Kloves
Starring: Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans
Harry (Radcliffe), Ron (Grint), and Hermione (Watson) eschew their seventh year at Hogwarts to embark on their task to destroy the remainder of the objects that Voldemort (Fiennes) stored bits of his soul in, all the while being pursed by Death Eaters. Along the way, they learn of the titular Hallows, three objects that make the owner nigh invincible.
Cinematically, the film's problems are minimal. The middle portion where the trio is camping has a bit of a pacing problem, there's a chase scene with almost unwatchable cinematography, and a few concepts are thrown out that should have been explained in a past movie (but weren't). [An aside to Ebert, who called the film "completely unintelligible for anyone coming to the series for the first time": NO ONE jumps into a series 7/8 of the way through.] There's quite a few issues as an adaptation (things cut out, other things added, recasting of minor characters who appeared previously), but all that goes out the window when you realize that this is half the final story, and trying to compress twice the material in the same timeframe would have been atrocious. A-
November 15, 2010
November 9, 2010
November 6, 2010
November 5, 2010
Writer: Alex Garland
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley
Kathy (Mulligan), Tommy (Garfield), and Ruth (Knightley) are students at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic British boarding school in the 1960s. They have virtually no interaction with the outside world, not even a connection with their own families. There couldn't be any ulterior motive for their existence, could there?
I went into this movie knowing (what apparently is supposed to be) a major spoiler, so maybe that's why I didn't care for this movie. I nearly fell asleep three times in the theater. THIS NEVER HAPPENS TO ME. Don't get me wrong, the performances are solid, but when the story's as weak as this one, it just isn't enough. Maybe the book went into more detail, but half the questions raised by the film (most in the characters' dialogue, even) is barely addressed, much less answered. The cinematography's nice too, but I was ready to let this go before the credits rolled.
Writer: Tim Blake Nelson
Starring: Edward Norton, Keri Russell, Tim Blake Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon
"If everyone goes around making up their own rules, how can you find any truth?" English professor Bill Kincaid (Norton) is lured back to his Oklahoma roots with a false report of his twin brother Brady's (Norton) death by crossbow. Soon after his arrival, Bill realizes that he's there solely to provide an alibi for Brady, in case Brady's scheme against local drug lord Pug Rothbaum (Dreyfuss) goes wrong.
The best kind of film, to me, is one in which everyone involved is on the same page from day one, and this is one of them. Without Norton's involvement, there would have been no film. He was so integral that he took a 50% pay cut to play 100% more characters than usual, and it was well worth it. He excels in the dual role of professor and pot dealer (two brothers who have more in common than you might think). Dreyfuss's angry energy makes you yearn to see him on-screen more, but the romantic subplot with Russell's character seems as though it was added in last-minute, and the boys' relationship with their mother is also not addressed to the extent I thought it needed to be. There's also a sudden turn toward the violent at the hour mark, and the film ends up far from the madcap antics of identical twins that trailers made it out to be. However, it's far from the worst film out this year, so check it out if you run across it. B