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I give it 2 stars out of 10. One star for the minimum score that you
get for being a movie, and one star for Jamia Simone Nash singing. The
rest of it was terrible.
Maybe I am biased because of the man in the theatre who snored for the last half of it (nobody had the heart to wake him up, and he probably enjoyed his two hours more than the rest of us). To begin with, the plot is ridiculous. The story is taken directly from Oliver Twist, but the actual events, it isn't even believable in the fairytale context that it is told.
The central love story is based on a night of rooftop sex with strangers who have about 3 minutes of the corniest lines I could possibly come up with before going at it like guinea pigs in heat: Who are you Lyla?" She pauses, smiles then looks off in the distance, "I'm just.. me." And it just goes on and on like that.
The rest of the movie is filled with similar vomit inducing dialogue; I don't know how many times "You've got to believe in your music" was repeated.
Most of the characters are cardboard cutouts: There's rich cellist girl with overbearing father, brooding punk rocker, inner city black kid who talks just like you'd expect, and perpetually dazed and confused skinny white kid who gets picked on but always follows his dream.
The cinematography is mostly boring and standard, what you might see in a car commercial or something similarly mundane. The music isn't bad, but whenever it come on, it sidetracks the movie for another 5 minutes rather than contributes to it.
Lastly, I found the movie incredibly racist as well. If you are white, you fall in love, follow your dreams and go to Juilliard. You might fall on tough times and meet some black people, but you will be later raised up to the position that you deserve. If you are black, you can be a social worker or a panhandler, and sleep in a church or a condemned theatre.
I have only myself to blame for ending up in a cinema watching this. I
knew absolutely nothing about it before turning up and thought I'd give
it a go.
I can't believe that people are still making such utterly nauseating schmaltz. It's not even feelgood schmaltz, it's schmaltz of the lowest quality, which makes you want to grab the 2 hours of your life back spent watching it. The only reason we stayed until the end was out of purely scientific curiosity to see quite how bad the film could get.
The plot was laughable and all the performances were either unremarkable or really quite bad.
Honestly, give it a miss and spend your time staring into space instead - it would be much more worthwhile.
(My Synopsis) Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) is a brilliant cellist who
has just finish performing a concert in New York City. Lyla goes out on
the town with her girlfriend and end up at a party near New York's
Washington Square. She meets Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) an
Irish guitar player. They share the love of music and end up falling in
love and bonding together that night. It was the most wonderful night
in Lyla's life. Lyla must rush back to the hotel where her father
Thomas (William Sadler) is waiting for her. Lyla promised to meet Louis
in Washington Square, but her father forces her to go to her next
concert. They are like two ships that pass in the night, never to see
each other again, except for the fact that Lyla is now with child.
Sadly, Lyla is in a car accident and the unborn child is lost. Eleven
years pass and Lyla's father is on his death bed, and he must tell her
the truth that he secretly gave Lyla's baby boy up for adoption. August
Rush (Freddie Highmore) is her child, who was born with the gift to
hear music all around him. He believes that he will find his parents if
they only hear his music, because they are truly bonded by their music.
(My Comment) The movie is a human interest story about a young boy's unyielding faith and will power to never give up on his dream. However, the probability of all the events that happen in this movie to make all the connections is a little unrealistic. The scenes have a fantasy element, while at the same time, manages to integrate real life events. There are some exceptional musical performances, especially from a young girl gospel singer named Hope (Jamia Simone Nash). The majority of the story is told through the emotions of the actors by means of their music. The acting was excellent and so was the classical, rock, and gospel music. I enjoyed the movie, but the story has a problem of the lack of believability. So if you go, just remember, it's only a movie. You will like the music and you may even shed a tear. (Warner Bros. Pictures, Run time 1:53, Rated PG) (6/10)
There has never been and can never be a musical genius with even a
fraction of the main character's talent. Mozart would be an absolute
imbecile compared to this little kid August Rush, and for those
familiar with music, this aspect (the foundation, really) just kills
It is impossible to play like Michael Hedges in your first few minutes with a guitar. Ditto with a piano, and any other instrument. If it were a martial arts movie, the kid would beat his master to death two minutes into his very first lesson. Too impossible, even for a fairy tale.
But, if you don't know a saxophone from a sitar, or perhaps if you are _infinitely_ forgiving, maybe you can enjoy it.
I saw this one on an airline trip and I am glad I didn't waste $4
renting it. It had horrible acting, over-cliché'd roles (gotta have the
token ghetto black kids and a baptist church), an undeveloped plot
(little filler to explain the boy's childhood or how he got his gift),
and an overbearing, repetitive musical score. In addition, the one
night stand between Rush's parents seemed SO implausible. (especially
since both were sober.) This was a sugary sweet, chick flick done VERY
poorly. Even external characters were badly acted. Robin William's
character was unrealistic and not menacing enough. Heck, this one was
stolen right out of oliver twist. The child placement agency didn't
really seem to be too active in looking for the missing Rush....
overall it was very, very mildly entertaining, but don't waste your $ on a rental. Wait until it is released for TV.
August Rush is those sickly mawkish movies which almost choke you to
boredom. Let me admit that i don't have a palette for such kinda
movies. It might appeal to many people which is evident from the 7.5
rating it has on IMDb.
To add on to the stupidness of the movie are the two unimpressive performances, especially the mother who seemed too stupid to be a mother backed by a father who looked too cool to be a father. The characterization is a major issue for this movie. Both the leads give unremarkable performances,backed by their child.
What can i say about the child. A child who is even more talented than Mozart ?.I love Music, but please don't insult music this way. The main idea behind this movie is complete nonsensical.
oh and i forgot Robin Williams. He also gives a forgettable performance. I totally repent having watched this movie. I know its a musical, but i think listening to ARR songs is a better resort to watching this incredibly stupid sappy cheesy movie.
This is one of the most ridiculous movies I've watched in recent years.
Essentially its the story of an orphan who is trying to find his parents and does so through music.
It comes across like a fairytale, but even Alice In Wonderland was more realistic than this. Lots of movies have those moments where you go 'yeah right' but usually its only 1 or 2, or the movie is some no-brain action flick where it doesn't matter.
In this case you have those moments right through the entire movie, and they get worse as it gets closer to its predictable climax. Im not sure who would actually enjoy this movie, maybe if you're 70, or under 12 but for everyone else I'd save your time.
The acting itself wasn't bad, though the more interesting characters were played by Terrence Howard and Robin Williams, and they were both severely under-developed as you wanted to know more about them and less about this kid with the stupid smile all the time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
August Rush is one of those feel good films that will cause any critic
to be bum-rushed with accusations of pretentiousness and/or the
malicious desire to ruin the magic. I can assure you that while I may
accurately be accused of putting on the occasional air (well, not so
occasional perhaps) it is not any inherent malice that inspired this
criticism. Rather, it was revenge, completely futile and irrelevant
revenge. Not only on the people who took what might have been a truly
magical film and turned it instead into a Hallmark Channel meets MTV
event with a PTL innuendo thrown in just to tick me off a little more;
but also revenge on the people who gave it more than the 4 or 5 stars
it deserves, because I actually based my decision to go see it on your
ratings. YOU OWE ME!
OK. Some time has passed and I can admit the preceding was hyperbolic. When I wrote it I had just got back from the theater and the score was still ringing in my ears. It's not really that bad just bad enough, and nothing ticks me off more than an OK film that could have been great.
There are parts that I will admit are are very well done and a scattering of clever lines break through the fog of pallid dialog. But these sparkling moments fizzle out under the overbearing (and occasionally trite) incidental score, and the over-doctored script.
The feature songs, the central theme of the film, are actually cool for the most part. The guitar work is brilliant, and the rest is consuming and even inspiring when it is not sounding like corporate extract of alternative rock.
Robin Williams' character, though not given sufficient time to develop, was surprisingly complex, especially considering the three-chord repetition of the others. Like Jonathan Rhys Meyers for example, a "rocker" (or something) who spews portentous gibberish when he is not running around the film looking pensive and conflicted and emoting like a teenage girl. Or Keri Russell who is pretty and blond and apparently not much else except for a few good lines here and there.
Freddie Highmore might be a good actor, I don't really know because most of his parts are just K-Pax/Rain Man idiot-savant type staring into the distance before he learns how to play guitar or piano in a matter of minutes. But I really can't blame him for the failure of the script. I generally give kids the benefit of the doubt.
What is most frustrating is that there are occasional moments of well, I wouldn't say brilliance, but definitely good writing. But it gets stomped out of existence by the next hackneyed moment or drowned in the films manipulative attempts to shove it's message down our collective throats.
Note to filmmakers: You don't have to beat the audience over the head with your message. Let the play say the thing.
Normally I watch a movie to the end before deciding how to evaluate it.
But not for August Rush. It was too painful to go more than halfway.
Each minute which went by, I kept telling myself to hang in there, no
matter how boring and meaningless the movie is. Finally, I threw in the
towel at the half way mark.
I gave this movie a rating of 2 only because of Keri Russell, the only salvaging element in the first half. And there is a nice but short piece with Terrence Howard. Without these two, this movie is a 1, especially Freddie Highmore. His agent should be more careful in placing him into films or his career will be destroyed at practically its beginning.
The story hops around aimlessly and never develops any empathy for any of the characters. It left me with: who cares? over and over until I gave up. Writers take notice. It is your job to get the audience to care. You missed badly, wasting precious time with boring and meaningless filling of the screen time with nothing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To be sure, the idea for this picture is quite lovely. But the silly
script and ham-handed direction of "August Rush" simply made me angry.
All American films are certainly not bad, but this groaner seems to
include everything that's bad about American high-budget low-risk
And heaven forbid that the viewer might be called upon to use his or her imagination a bit. The script for "August Rush" lays it all out for you and then force-feeds it to you in fits and starts.
What a waste of truly wonderful actors, musicians, and high production values (this picture certainly cost a dollar or two). From the use of "Moondance" near the beginning (and then "sneaking" a bit of it into a symphony near the end - I am reminded here of "Leaving on a Jet Plane in the mightily-terrible "Armageddon"), to some truly awful dialog, to me this film is a badly-paced mess. I was ramping up the playback speed here and there to get from one scene to another, and to keep myself from falling asleep.
Yeah I wanted to see what happened at the end, and (surprise!), the predictable indeed occurs.
If you want to see my idea of cinematic-musical magic, see "Once".
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