Amazon Holiday

Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Darkness


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: During World War II, a Polish man (Robert Wieckiewicz) hides a group of Jews in the sewers he is paid to maintain. True story.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Furmann, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Schrader, Herbert Knaup, Marcin Bosak, Krzysztof Skonieczny, Milla Bankowicz, Oliwer Stanczak, Kinga Preis, Julia Kijowska, Michal Zurawski, Zofia Pieczynska

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! There's not much I don’t like about the Holocaust! I mean, besides the racism, and the genocide, and the Nazis, and the desolate living conditions, and the brain-washed stupidity of the minions who agreed that it was okay to kill and abuse their peers in the name of race and religion... I guess what I’m trying to say is that stuff makes for high stakes dramatic conflict every time. Hard to believe people really went through this.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: There’s not much that’s funny about this, except maybe the territorial battle that goes down in the sewers between the Jews and the rats, who believe they have just as much claim to this holy land as the Jews… Significantly, in this scenario, they all learn to get along and live together in the common space.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: It’s not a tear jerker, but if you’re not moved enough to utter an “ooh” or “ahh” by some of the tragedy involved, you’re probably a Jew-hating Nazi. (And by Nazi, I mean literally a German Nazi who worships Hitler, which is not to be confused with the more modern definition of the term, “Someone whose political opinions differ from mine.”)

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: This is Poland’s entry into the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars, and considering The Academy’s track-record with Holocaust-based films, I’d say it has a pretty good chance of making the cut.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Well the film is called In Darkness, so for the most part, it’s pretty hard to see. To be clear, what I’m saying is there’s a lot of darkness.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Due to all the darkness, it’s hard to figure out who the characters are at first, but thankfully, a few of them get killed off, narrowing down the amount of faces you have to keep track of, so it gets a lot easier. Camera-wise the film is always frantic and moving, so don’t worry about being stuck in a stagnant sewer for (over) two hours. And if you are worried about that, think about how much longer than you those Jews had to endure it.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: I didn’t think there was anything left to say about the Holocaust, but what I’ve learned is that much like procedural TV shows about lawyers, cops, and doctors, that’s irrelevant. It stays interesting no matter how many times you hear the story.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: This movie will not be released until January 27th, so mark your calendars.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: In Darkness Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, December 26, 2011

We Bought a Zoo


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: After the death of his wife, Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) feels the need to move himself and his kids out of town to escape all the memories of her, but the house he falls in love with happens to also be a zoo.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth, Jones, Angus Macfadyen, Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit, John Michael Higgins, Carla Gallo, J.B. Smoove, Stephanie Szostak, Kym Whitley

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! This is the "family film" version of The Descendants, and between you and me, it's a lot more pleasant to watch.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: More than The Descendants.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: More than The Descendants.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Less than The Descendants, but that wouldn't be the case if I were the boss of all things buzz.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Matt Damon is always good-- if we don't count that moment when he smiles a little too hard at Scarlett Johansson, who is usually bad, but bucks that trend in this one-- if we don't count that moment when she stares a little too hard at Matt Damon. But the true breakouts here are the kids, Colin Ford, who shows some real acting chops at the ripe young age of 14, and Maggie Elizabeth Jones who may actually be as cute as Drew Barrymore was as a kid.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: My only gripe about the directing is actually about the acting. Both John Michael Higgins and Angus Macfadyen seems to be in a much broader and over the top movie than the rest of the cast, who played it real. I would let it slide with a lesser director, but Cameron Crowe, you're better than that.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Nothing in the script is particularly brilliant, but you still let the occasional cheesy or improbable line of dialogue slide because the story is so damn sweet.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: We Bought a Zoo Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, December 23, 2011

Albert Nobbs


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: In the late 19th century, a woman (Glenn Close) dresses as a man to work as a waiter, as he saves for his dream.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Janet McTeer, Aaron Johnson, Brendan Gleeson, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Pauline Collins, Bronagh Gallagher, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, John Light

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. I kept waiting to find out why this person was dressing as a man, and when it finally arrived, I didn't buy it. So ultimately, I had a hard time relating to what the film was supposed to be about.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: If you watch the trailer you might... Funnily enough, the very same jokes in the actual film aren't nearly as funny.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: You will definitely feel for this gentlefemme, as he tries to court a bratty young golddigger-- really a bronzedigger, considering our hero's financial means-- but your confusion about what he/she actually hopes to accomplish emotionally from marrying another woman will prevent you from actually caring to see him/her succeed. I mean, he's not even a lesbian!

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: This is one of those films that people will think they should see for the performances. Unless you're studying acting, you should never see films for the performances.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: The women dressed as men will undoubtedly get some acclaim as they take on the male physicality with precision and consistency, which especially comes through when they don dresses. Even so, Glenn Close does herself the disfavor of proving that she's much more attractive as a man, while Janet McTeer looks unmistakably like a woman (albeit a butch one) from the first time she appears on the screen to the moment when she reveals her gigantic breasts.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: I've enjoyed Rodrigo Garcia's work in the past, and his directing hasn't faltered. But the one difference between this and his previous projects is that he didn't write this one. So I guess he should take the fact that I enjoyed this film less than his others as a compliment.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: I know it's based on book, but it was hard enough to buy that one woman was dressed as a man, so when we find out there are two women dressing as men, it's super unbelievable-- unless this was a common occurrence of the times, in which case you, the writer, should make a point of explaining that. The way it is now, it seems highly coincidental and not very well justified.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Albert Nobbs Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Sitter


Q: What’s the movie about?

A: An aimless slacker (Jonah Hill) gets stuck babysitting three difficult kids (Max Records, Landry Bender, Kevin Rodriguez) on the night when the girl he's trying to sleep with (Ari Graynor) gives him his big chance.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jonah Hill, Max Records, Landry Bender, Kevin Hernandez, Ari Graynor, Sam Rockwell, J.B. Smoove, Kylie Bunbury, Erin Daniels, D.W. Moffett, Jessica Hecht, Bruce Altman, Samiri Wiley, Cliff "Method Man" Smith, Sean Patrick Doyle, Alex Wolff, Jack Krizmanich, Grace Aronds, Jane Aronds

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! Yes, it's R-rated and shows children swearing, stealing, blowing things up, and partying with dangerous grown-ups until the wee hours of the night, but isn't that what's great about it?!

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: The laughs aren't non-stop, but when they come they are subtle and clever, and generally make you happy you're there.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: It made me sad that there weren't more people in the theater. Mostly because there would have been a lot more laughs if there were.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Best Commercial Comedy that Nobody Decided to See.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Most of the laughs wouldn't be there if it weren't for the actors' awkward delivery. Jonah Hill is known for this style of acting, but Erin Daniels, in the small role of the mom, does a great job of laughing awkwardly at her own weird dialogue, too.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: David Gordon Greene has done bigger movies and smaller movies, and he seems absolutely comfortable at any level.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Okay, so it's not the most original or artistic thing you've ever seen, but it captures the fish-out-of water comedy caper genre at least as well as Date Night did. And frankly, after sitting through several weeks of mediocre to bad awards contenders, this kind of improbably fun ride is a welcome relief.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Sitter Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, December 16, 2011

War Horse

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  A boy and his horse are separated during World War I, and we follow the horse's journey through the war.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Niels Arestrup, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Bnedict Cumberbatch, Celine Buckens, Toby Kebbell, Patrick Kennedy, Leonard Carow, David Kross, Matt Milne, Robert Emms, Eddie Marsan

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketStop!  I can see the little old church ladies now, watching this movie on TV and then telling their grandchildren, "Oh, wasn't that a nice picture?"  They are the only ones who feel that way.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  I laughed several times at how ridiculously improbable every other beat in the movie was-- starting with the way the boy acquires the horse.  Any decent screenwriter knows that you can't have more than one coincidence in a script.  This movie is built around them.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  Horse lovers might, but I'd like to prevent that by reminding them that horses don't really think like humans do.  That's just a movie device.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  I think it's time to give Spielberg the Lifetime Achievement Award, because based on the movies I've seen in the last two nights, he has clearly passed his peak.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  People regularly have giant reactions to absolutely nothing; reactions that last longer than the final shot in a soap opera scene.  How do I know this style is outdated?  All of the soap operas just got cancelled.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  It's 2 1/2 hours of melodramatic acting with melodramatic music, shot in exteriors that are lit like they are on a sound stage from the 1950s.  Need I say more?

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  There is one good scene in the entire movie, and I'd seen that one done before too. 

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: War Horse Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  Based on a combination of stories from the Belgian comic books, a young journalist named Tintin buys a model ship from a flea market, and suddenly people are trying to kill him and steal the ship, which leads him on a journalistic adventure to find out what is so special about this little ship.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A:  Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Cary Elwes, Daniel Mays, Mackenzie Crook, Gad Elmaleh, Tony Curran, Kim Stengal, Enn Reitel, Joe Starr

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketProceed with Caution. I spent most of the movie wondering who the target audience was supposed to be.  If it's supposed to be for grown-ups, then making it live-action would've made the action-adventure parts more exciting.  And if it's supposed to be for little boys, then why is one of the main characters a drunk?

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  For once I can say, I preferred the book.  I remember reading these as a kid, and I remember them being funny-- especially those twin cops Thomson and Thompson. Even with one of my favorite comedy teams (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) in the roles, this is not.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  I felt like crying for poor little Tintin because the way they animated it, he looks about 14, so when he gets lost at sea and then lands in a foreign country without his mommy and daddy, I worry.  Turns out-- and I had to have this explained to me-- that he's in his low twenties.  I'm not a fan of the look they chose for him.  He doesn't look old enough to be a journalist, and more importantly, he doesn't look like Tintin.  It's animated!  You could've made him look exactly like he does in the books.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  The Award for 2011 goes to Belgium!  Between this and The Smurfs, Belgium is really positioning itself this year to look like more than just the European Canada.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  Once again, my favorite actor is the dog.  But in comparison to the live-action dog in The Artist, who I've heard has people campaigning for his eligibility in the Best Supporting Actor category, this dog is nothing more than a drawing.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  The choice to do this animated originally made sense to me, because the comic book lends itself to animation.  But the choice to do the animation using motion capture, so that the characters end up looking  semi-human, without  looking anything like their drawn counter-parts mind-boggles me.  Now that I've seen it, I think they should've gone with live-action  -- which was Spielberg's first instinct, once again proving the point that you should always listen to your gut.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  Tintin is such a goody-two-shoes, that his character is boring, and never gives you any sense that he might mess up, or not figure something out.  In other words, there's no suspense. 

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A:  Spielberg isn't the only master of his craft to deliver less than stellar results here, composer John Williams also creates a score that is beneath him.  The music itself is fun and light, and would probably make good listening if you were sitting around in your library smoking your pipe, but put up against this movie, it just feels wrong.  In the opening credits for example, twice as much action is in the music than in the images on the screen.  And in the rest, it would've served the movie to have music creating a greater sense of suspense in the parts when the story did not.  It's cheating, but it's exactly what makes renowned composers like John Williams so great at their jobs.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Adventures of Tintin Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  Based on the book of the same name, this remake of the movie of the same name that came out two years ago, retells the Swedish story of a defamed journalist and his assistant (Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara) who try to solve the mystery of a teenage millionaire's untimely death in the 1960s-- only this time, it's American-style!

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A:  Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson, Geraldine James, Goran Visnjic, Donald Sumpter, Ulf Friberg

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketGo!  I was lucky enough to have missed the first version of this movie as well as the book, so I got to enjoy this clever thriller as if for the first time, because it was my first time.  

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  Bizarrely, yes, about three times.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  It's pretty cold, but there is one part that will break your heart.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  Clearly David Fincher and Trent Reznor are trying for a two-peat, and I think they have a chance.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  It was a big deal when they cast Rooney Mara (best known as the girl who dumps Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network creating the impetus for him to start The Facebook) in the part of Lisbeth Salander.  Well, she lives up to the hype.  Then again, I never saw Noomi Rapace in the part, so for all I know she's just imitating the original performance.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  There's a reason David Fincher is considered the David Fincher of movie directing.  He brings movement and artistry to scenes that would be stagnant in a lesser director's hands.  With him, you can see where the script stops and the vision begins.  And yet he does it all without drawing attention to his own work-- which may be what I respect most about his style.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  A good story is a good story in any language.  The people who read the book thought so.  The people who saw the Swedish movie thought so.  And the people who see this version will think so, too.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A:  I'm assuming there will be two more parts, as with the Swedish version, but I'm still waiting to find out the significance of the Dragon Tattoo.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Dangerous Method

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) experiments with a lot of bad ideas as he (along with Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel)) develop what has become modern-day psychoanalysis.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A:  Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Sarah Gadon, Vincent Cassel

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketProceed with Caution.  The subject matter is interesting, although when you look at the questionable mental stability of the people who pioneered the modern psychology movement, you will also want to proceed with caution when it comes to getting professional help.  But the love story is disgusting and unromantic, partly due to its content, but even more-so due to a performance that makes you want to turn the movie off every time you are subjected to it.  Stay tuned to find out whose...

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  It's funny how men can find any ridiculous, convoluted reason to justify adultery... especially Austrian men played by French men, making no effort to hide their French accents.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Every time Kiera Knightley uttered a word in her terrible Russian accent I wanted to cry myself all the way out of the theater.  Stay tuned for a more in depth analysis of why and how she's awful...

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  Michael Fassbender won an acting award from the National Board of Review, but I didn't think this role involved all that much.  Meanwhile Viggo Mortensen got 3rd Place Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics Circle, but I think anyone who gives Viggo Mortensen 3rd place in anything acting-related can't really be taken seriously.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  If you've ever hated Keira Knightley because she's beautiful, now you can hate her because she's ugly, too.  Her performance as a mental patient is cringe-inducing.  It reminds me of an aspiring actress desperate to prove she can make it by taking on an character that's way out of her league, and then trying too hard to give it interesting quirks and mannerisms until you feel sorry for her, because you know her dreams of stardom will never see the light of day.  I have never personally had anything against Keira Knightley, but after watching the film, I happened upon a sexy perfume commercial she stars in, and I couldn't even watch that because I still felt so embarrassed for her.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  David Cronenberg cast Kiera Knightley in this role, so that's a fail.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  In a lot of ways it's hard to tell if the script was any good, as you watch Kiera Knightley butcher it.  The scenes she's not in are passable, and sometimes even intellectually stimulating.  But most of those are talking head conversations that make it all too clear that this movie was derived from a play.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: A Dangerous Method Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  A young boy (Thomas Horn) struggles to get over the senseless death of his father in 9/11.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A:  Thomas Horn, Max von Sydow, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Viola Davis, John Goodman, Zoe Caldwell

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketProceed with Caution.  Every step of this movie is totally contrived.  Does some of it work?  Sure.  But the set-ups and pay-offs are so in your face that you may be too annoyed to enjoy any of it.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: They say that comedy equals tragedy plus time, so is 9/11 funny yet?

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  It will try to make you cry by any means possible, throwing crap at the wall until something sticks.  It's as if the writer were sitting on your shoulder like a little devil saying, "Oh, death didn't get you?  Try alienation...  Oh, that didn't work either?  But remember 9/11, that was awful, right?...  Still nothing?  But he's a little boy, and he's hurting, and he misses his daddy!...  What are you some cold heartless monster?"  To which I reply, "I wasn't until I met you, so I guess you bring that out in me... we should probably break up now."

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Boy am I getting sick of all these wanna-be Oscar movies that are trying so hard to be important that they neglect the basics, like being entertaining and seeming effortless.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  Don't be fooled, neither Tom Hanks nor Sandra Bullock is in the movie for more than 10 minutes, so I hope you like kid actors who aren't particularly cute or charming!

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  The imagery is consistently well thought out, and many of the shots demonstrate a strong voice.  Also, the art is impressive, but I don't believe for one second that a 10 year old could have made any of it.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  The friend I saw it with really liked the strong sense of community that the movie suggests exists-- even though we both agree that it's a lie, because the people in your neighborhood don't really hang out with Mr. Rogers, which is why they're not all that friendly or generous with their time.  But the fundamental issue with the script is that when you try this hard to matter and be about  heart-string issues that I'm supposed to naturally be moved by, I feel manipulated.  And when I feel manipulated, I start to discredit you, even in the areas where you succeeded.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  Based on a book by John Le Carre, this story chronicles the uncovering of whether or not there is a double agent at the highest levels of British Intelligence who is working for the Russians.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Dencik, Stephen Graham, Kathy Burke, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Peter Kalloy Molnar, Konstantin Kahabenskiy

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketProceed with Caution.  Bring your intellect, your patience, and try to have read the book 5 or 6 times already if you plan on understanding anything that goes on in this spy thriller.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Yes, but mostly at your own thoughts about how confused you are.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  Yes, because the above noted thoughts of confusion will probably lead you directly to thoughts about how dumb you must be.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  This definitely gets the award for Fastest Movie to Put Me Out.  I was snoozing before the opening credits came on, and leading up to this point, I had not had a very hard day.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: All of these top notch actors have very little to do that's challenging.  Sure one or two of them cries here and there, but mostly they all just stand around looking like tough-guys who can keep a secret or two.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  It's a beautifully shot movie, but as it goes back and forth between the past (1950s) and the present (1970s), it's not always clear which one we're in.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  Mostly incomprehensible.  Assuming that the book makes enough sense to have become a best-seller, which in turn would have attracted a film company who wants to capitalize on that by making it into a movie, I would venture to say that the screenwriter didn't dumb it down enough.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A:  I just realized that reading the Wikipedia page is a great help in understanding this story.  They explain all the "inside lingo" that you're supposed to understand without ever having it explained to you.  Perhaps  read that before you go see this. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Wikipedia Page

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Artist

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: It's a silent film about a silent film star (Jean Dujardin) struggling with the concept that audiences want actors to talk in movies now.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, Joel Murray, Malcolm McDowell, Ken Davitian, and Uggie the dog.

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketGo!  I'm pretty sure this is what a masterpiece looks like.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  The biggest laughs are at sounds.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  This happy little silent film actually gets about as depressing as depressing can be, at one point.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  It's the sleeper hit of the season, so it's already surprised Americans with several come-from-behind wins, and I suspect it will continue to do so, as it's about the most original film I've seen in my lifetime.  But I also hope that Award-givers won't forget to recognize the score, since it is one of the main communicators in this dialogue-less film.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  The actors are as adorable as a kitten.  Especially the dog.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: All while paying homage to the black & white film era, director Michael Hazanavicius, keeps the camera moving in a modern way and finds places to exhibit his artistry as a film composition expert.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  It functions on so many levels at once that it's hard to imagine that there is one.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A:  How is it possible that in 2011, I've just seen back to back movies where a silent film star, depressed about talkies, burns all of his work?

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Artist Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hugo

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  An orphan boy, who lives in a Paris train station (Asa Butterfield), fixes clocks and forms relationships with the other train station dwellers in his effort to figure out how he fits into the machine.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A:  Asa Butterfielld, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Ray Winstone, Jude Law, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketGo!  This movie is an instant classic... Which isn't to say that it's not slow and boring at times.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  Sacha Baron Cohen has a small part, and he smiles funny.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  Once I was done dozing off, I did get around to crying a little.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  I would hope so, it's some of the most interesting directing and cinematography I've seen all year.  In fact, I might even give an award to the 2nd unit director.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  This Ben Kingsley guy is going places-- I mean, Asa Butterfield, right, he's the newcomer.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  You spend most of the time wondering how they gave it that look.  This is a beautiful film, and for once, I didn't even mind the 3D.  In fact, because the film is about the evolution of filmmaking in some ways, this was the first time it actually felt justified.  That said, the pacing is really slow for the first half, and that's not the script's fault.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  It gets around to making some interesting points by the end, but let's not give it any Awards.  Agreed?

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Hugo Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Melt With You

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  4 44-year-old guys (Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, & Christian McKay) reunite every year for one of their birthdays and take more drugs than seems humanly possible, as they work out their lives.  Let me tell you something about the number 4, in China, it's considered such bad luck, that the elevators don't have any floors with the number 4 in them.  Yes, this does mean that if you live on the 50th floor of a building, your direct downstairs neighbors live on the 39th floor.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A:  Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino, Tom Bower, Arielle Kebbel, Zander Eckhouse, Abhi Sinha, Sasha Grey, Joe Reegan, August Emerson, Rebecca Creskoff, Melora Hardin, Shane Roney

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketProceed wit Caution.  This movie is love it or hate it.  Personally, I did both.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  If you are paying very close attention.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: There is a butt-load of crying in it, but will you relate?  That depends on how much you hate yourself and why.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  Surprisingly it's not yet.  And oddly, this is one overly-arty and borderline boring indy film that I would've voted for in a few categories-- particularly directing.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  Christian McKay often seems to be in a much more melodramatic film than the others.  Jeremy Piven has moments where you begin to see his range, and others where you wonder if he'll ever be anyone besides Ari Gold again.  And Rob Lowe... Is it just me, or is he getting hotter with age.  I never went for him as a kid (I was a rebel), but now, his face is practically inhuman.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  Mark Pellington directs this film as an independent film should be directed.  He shows individuality and a style all his own, without  coming off deliberately pretentious.  His shots are unpredictable and often have you wondering why he chose to shoot from a certain angle, but strangely, this time the thought is never accompanied by a feeling of anger.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  I knew where this film was going to go about 30 minutes in, but it is such a strange place to go that I remained intrigued about how it would manage to go there.  Ultimately the characters' actions as a group are completely unjustifiable, despite the fact that their actions as indivuals make perfect sense.  I have you intrigued, don't I?

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A:  The soundtrack wants me to comment about it, but I'm not going to.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: I Melt With You

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Muppets

(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  When a greedy oil tycoon (Chris Cooper) threatens to take over the old Muppet Show Theater, Kermit the Frog teams up with two human fans (Jason Segal and Amy Adams) to reunite the old Muppet gang and put on a show to save the theater.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Alan Arkin, Jack Black, Jim Parsons, Sarah Silverman, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Gonzo, Beaker, Swedish Chef, Scooter, Miss Poogy
Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. It’s a Disney-fied version of the Muppets and if you enjoyed the old Muppet Show there are a few moments in this movie that will remind you of the off-beat wackiness of that show’s best moments. Short of that, this version of The Muppets skews more “kiddie” and simplistic than past Muppet versions. The Toy Story short that screens first will remind you of how well Pixar has created ‘kid films’ that appeal equally to adults. Unfortunately, it makes us acutely aware of how much The Muppets does not walk that line.
Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: It’s not bust-out-loud laugh inducing, but there are some good chuckles here and there. I do seem to recall Miss Piggy being funnier than she is in this movie though.
Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: I’m pretty sure it wanted to and it tries really hard. But the only thing that effort elicited in me was a discussion with my friend afterwards about past films that have made us cry. (My top #1: Rudy.)
Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: I can’t think of a single one unless some union gives them out for puppeteering: The Puppet Union?

Q: How is the Acting?

A: I can’t stand Jason Segal so it’s unfortunate he’s the main human driving this story. Amy Adams is normally great in most films she’s in, but sort of wasted here. Thankfully more screen time is given to the Muppets than any human and they all act as well as you remember any Muppet acting. Back to Jason Segal though: one of the best things about the Muppets was their interaction with human guest stars on their show. To that end, I wish they had a more interesting – or funnier – human at the center of this story. Jack Black would have been much better, because all his scenes with the Muppets are way funnier than Jason’s.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: I didn’t really notice it much in either a good way or bad, so I guess it disappeared enough and got out of the way enough to be considered… “meh.”

Q: How is the story/script?

A: The general idea of the story is spot on because it calls for the Muppets to reunite and put their show on again. And the Muppet Show was a truly great show. The problem is it takes a little too long to get there and everything leading up to it isn’t very funny. Or, well, not as funny as the actual show. There’s also a big deal made out of the basic plot points, which really dumbs down the movie in a needless way. Lastly, most of the original songs aren’t very good; although a barbershop quartet rendition of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit captures the irreverent brilliance of what the old Muppet Show was like on a weekly basis.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: The Muppets Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Young Adult

Q: What’s the movie about?

A:  A Young Adult novelist, who used to be popular in high school (Charlize Theron) and hasn't evolved since then at all, returns to her home town 20 years later to try to nab her high school boyfriend (Patrick Wilson) who just had a baby with his wife (Elizabeth Reaser).

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, Collette Wolfe, Hettienne Park, Brian McElhane, Jill Eikenberry

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A:  PhotobucketProceed with Caution.  While the dialogue reminds us why we fell in love with Diablo Cody, and the pacing reminds us why Jason Reitman's films so far have been 3 for 3, the story itself is fairly unimportant in every way possible.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A:  If you like dark and dry, this will have you laughing in that way that only dark and dry can-- silently, so that nobody can hear how f'd up you are.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A:  Possibly at the sex scene at the end.  It is consensual and at the same time extremely sad.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A:  In yet another one-man show character story, Charlize is aiming at Oscar number two.  I'd nominate her.

Q: How is the Acting?

A:  Patrick Wilson, in a role that looks like nothing, is the one I was most impressed with.  There is a deceptive simplicity to his role, so don't be deceived.

Q: How is the Directing?

A:  There's no question that Jason Reitman is one of the most significant rising directors of his generation.  That remains true in this, his least entertaining movie to date.

Q: How is the story/script?

A:  The point of the script is that nobody cares about pretty girls anymore.  The problem with the script is that nobody cares about pretty girls anymore.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?

A: Young Adult Trailer

Back To TopAddThis Social Bookmark Button