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14 reviews in total 
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45 out of 65 people found the following review useful:
A beautiful film, less depressing than the book I believe, 22 April 2011

Having read a few reviews of this depression era set novel by Sara Gruen, I was apprehensive to see the film. The readers and critics had said it was too depressing and didn't end well. I'm happy to say the film is not bad at all. It captures the mood of the 1930s, and we the audience really get a sense of what it must have been like to live in that time in history. (Yes we went through our own depression but it was quite different and much more difficult back then.) The film centers around Jacob (Robert Pattinson) a student of veterinary science at Cornell, who gives up his education and runs away after his parents die in a car accident. He stumbles upon a traveling circus, where he is taken in by riff raffs and other stowaways. They have all become a part of the circus ensemble in order to make ends meet. Jacob eventually meets their ringleader August, played by Christolph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) and his beautiful wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon). August takes Jacob under his wing initially, but later Jacob learns his true colors. I do not wish to give away too much of the storyline but something tells me people will like this movie as much as the book if not more. I think the film makers have managed to make a film about the depression era without it being depressing. The film has an epic feel to it. It's, emotional, inspiring, romantic, and overall it makes for a very good drama. Even the ending is uplifting. The cast is wonderful as well. Robert Pattinson holds his own against two Oscar winners. It's great to see Reese Witherspoon back in action and in top form. There aren't enough great things I can say about Christoph Waltz. He balances the line between being dangerous and comedic with razor sharp precision, and is very intimidating…his performance is brilliant. It's great to see a film with real sets, and gritty and flawed characters, rather than imaginative CG rendered places and creatures. Even the train, (where a large part of the film takes place) feels alive with all its moving parts…it has a personality of its own. It's a surprising film from director Francis Lawrence whose previous films include "Constantine" and "I am Legend." It's clear that the team he works with has a great sense of capturing a story's mood, time, and place. "Water for Elephants" is a beautiful, moving, and entertaining film. Go see it!

The Fighter (2010/I)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
I believe Christian Bale will finally win an Oscar, long overdue., 29 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Fighter" is based on a true story of a man and his quest to become a Boxing champion. It is the story of struggle, love and family but most importantly it is a story of two brothers, Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund. In 1978 Dicky fought an excellent match against Sugar Ray Leonard and lost after a unanimous decision. He ended up being called "The Pride of Lowell" thereafter. His younger brother Micky followed in his footsteps and attempted to do what Dicky couldn't do. Set in the working class town of Lowell, Massachusetts "The Fighter" chronicles their story and the story of the Ward family. The performances in this film were the highlight for me; all the actors are truly fantastic. Mark Walberg gives his best performance since "Boogie Nights". Amy Adams shines and gives a very confident and gritty performance. Melisa Leo plays the mother and manager of Micky and she is unapologetic and in your face, very intimidating to watch. However, the clear stand out for me was Christian Bale as Dicky. He always gives 110 percent but he doesn't break for a second in this film and his performance is mind blowing. He is well over due for an Oscar and I think he will finally win it this year. The actors are working with an excellent scrip by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson. The dialogue feels raw and real and the actors bring out every nuance in their delivery. Director David O Russell knows exactly how to steer them and the film. He presents us with a very different sports film then one might think. The Ward family dynamic is so good I cringed while watching them go at each other verbally and physically. I almost felt embarrassed for them, I would shake my head in disapproval of their actions. Some great situational comedy ensues from this. The Fighter is a dramatic character piece set against the Boxing world as its backdrop. It may star Mark Walberg with Christian Bale giving an Oscar worthy performance but the audience is the winner here. This film is dark, witty, touching and one of the best films of the year. Don't miss it! for more check out

True Grit (2010)
1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
surprisingly told straight forward by the Coen Brothers, 23 December 2010

Based on the novel by Charles Portis "True Grit" is a remake of the John Wayne's 1969 film by the same name. This time around The Coen brothers write and direct this Western tale of revenge. Mattie's father is shot and killed by the outlaw Chaney (Josh Brolin) and now Mattie wants payback. Her mother is too grief stricken and her brother is a baby that leaves her with the job of pursuing down the murderer, but she'll need some help. She is witty and head strong and eventually gets the help of a down and out lawman named Cogburn, who she believes has enough "True Grit" to help her track down Chaney. Along the way she meets a Texas Ranger only known as LeBoeuf played by Matt Damon, and the three go off on an adventure and discover a few surprises along the way. This film has a simple premise but is filled with some great writing and characterization. Its gets a bit dialogue heavy at times, but is never boring. Jeff Bridges gives another Oscar worthy performance and Matt Damon surprisingly slips in to his character easily. He is a great actor but in this film he really took it to another level. Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper appear briefly but give memorable performances. I believe this film is one of the best written films this year. It should certainly win a couple of awards for Best adapted Screenplay. More than anything the character that holds this whole film together is Mattie herself played by the relatively unknown Hailee Steinfeld. She is interesting to watch and holds her own against veteran big time actors, throw in an Oscar nod for her as well. I don't think the film itself will win best picture (although the Academy is partial to the Coen Brothers ) but it definitely deserves a nomination. I didn't like "No Country for Old Men" or "Burn After Reading" but "True Grit" is a welcome surprise and one my favorite Coen Brothers films. This is a good ole' fashion western, surprisingly steered straight forward by two directors who do everything but . Go see it! for more check out

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
even Oscar winner Jeff Bridges has a hard time pulling of the one liners in this film, 17 December 2010

I vaguely remember the 1982 version of "TRON" but I am familiar with the material and the characters. If you haven't seen it don't worry it's all fleshed out for you in this much awaited sequel. "Tron: Legacy" has a promising beginning and when our protagonist actually enters the grid it is really cool. The disk matches and light bike races dazzle, but the film never reaches that awesome moment the audience is waiting for. Its feels like the whole film keeps building up to a very unsatisfying conclusion. There are some great story elements in here which could have been more fleshed out and are worth exploring but the story tellers decided to go towards more of a family friendly route that kids could kind of follow. It's a Disney film so I guess that's part of the reason. It is a film that doesn't quite know who its audience is. It's trying to satisfy the adults, the kids and the fans but I'm afraid it fails on all counts. There is not enough comedic relief in here and what little it has is lame. There are also some unexplainable things in here which the audience will question while watching the film but it's not worth loosing brain cells over. Even the one thing I thought would be spectacular was a major disappointment. The 3D in this is not good at all. The visual style of the film offers a promising 3D experience but there is not one scene that stands out as a "Wow" moment. The dialog is trite and the acting is mediocre. Even Oscar winner Jeff Bridges has a difficult time pulling of some of the one liners in the film. The most memorable character in here is "Qurroa", played by Olivia Wilde, she is wonderful l. Another positive note about "Tron" is that is has an awesome soundtrack by Daft Punk, I was nodding my head to it throughout the film. Over all "Tron : Legacy" is somewhat enjoyable but there are way too many good films out right now to recommend it. If you are hyped about watching this, then go see it, you might like it more than I did. After experiencing the awesome, complicated world of "The Matrix" films "Tron: Legacy" just doesn't cut it. I'd wait for the DVD. (for more check out

Black Swan (2010)
4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Black Swan=Gold statue, 12 December 2010

Like many of Aranofskys films" Black Swan" is also about a very flawed broken character that is trying to achieve something that is larger than life. This film is a meditation on the world of Ballet and the competitive nature of the dance form. It is very cerebral and you walk out of the theater a bit dazed. There is no doubt it will have an effect of the viewer, whatever that may be for that individual, depending on you respond to the film. It's essentially the story of Nina (played by Natalie Portman with bravado and incredible vulnerability) and her quest to become the Swan Queen of Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake" and do justice to it. This role of a lifetime requires her to not only play the white swan but its antithesis the Black Swan which requires her to let go of her inhibitions and be free. Can she pull this off? Her mentor Thomas (played with gusto by Vincent Cassel) has doubts and pushes her in every way to the point where he comes off creepy and arrogant, but it ultimately helps her achieve her goal. This journey to become "perfect" proves to be a daunting task as Nina has pressure from all around. Her mother is vicariously living through her and won't let her little princess get sidetracked. It is also suggested that Nina might have some Psychological issues, which would justify some of the gruesome scenes in the film but it's never stated, keeping the audience guessing. There is also a rival dancer played by Mila Kunis who oozes with sexuality and is a big distraction for Nina and of course she has her own insecurities and hallucinations to deal with. Technically, this film is brilliant. The film mostly focuses on close up shots of Natalie Portman and everything she goes through. The audience really feels like they are living this world with her. It's a very intimate experience. One thing Aronofsky achieves with this is giving us a total immersive experience in to the world of Ballet, no 3D glasses needed. I felt like I had done a week of Ballet boot camp after watching it. The film eventually leads to a rousing conclusion and Ultimately "Black Swan" ends up being a very satisfying film. Portman spent 10 months preparing for this role and she very good in it. It will be an easy Oscar nomination for both Portman and director Aronofsky. This is not the best film I've seen this year but it's definitely in the top 10 and worth checking out. Go see it! for more check out The-Ticking-Ticket

Guzaarish (2010)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
not SLB's best, best worth a watch, 8 December 2010

"Guzaarish" is a very surprising and unexpected film from director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Although he has done similar fare before, this is a very personal film for him and everyone involved because of the subject matter it deals with. Ethan (Hrithik Roshan) is a former magician who is now confined to a bed because he is paralyzed from the neck down. He lives his life by making other people happy through a radio show he hosts. Hrithik nails his performance. I actually tried to find if any other part of his body moved in any of the scenes, I couldn't, he was perfect. It's refreshing to see him restrained and what he can do with limited movements; we are so used to seeing him gyrating his body with his incredible dancing. He loses himself in the character completely. He is desperate, angry, enthusiastic and even a little bit insane and he communicates all this very well even with what little he has to work with. Aishwarya Rai gives a very controlled and strong performance as his Nurse Sophia. There are wonderful unknown supporting actors in this as well who give commendable performances. This is not Bhansali's best but it's definitely worth checking out for the great performances and the subject matter it deals with, which is Euthanasia. After years of struggling with no hope for a cure Ethan wants to end his life but the courts of Goa won't let him. Much of the film is spent on his case while his lawyer and doctor both try to convince the judge to grant Ethan his wish. The conclusion is surprising, sad and uplifting at the same time. It really gives the audience a lot to think about. The one thing I would have liked to see is more scenes of Ethan as a magician and his past life, I was very curious to see what that was like. What the film shows is almost a tease. Like all of SLB films, "Guzaarish" is beautiful and touches you in unexpected ways. There is one heartbreaking scene when Ethan's mother passes away and he sings "What a wonderful world" at her funeral. It is Hrithik himself singing and it's poignant and genuine. Unlike "Devdas" and "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" this film is not for everyone, but it's certainly an important one for both Bollywood and SLB himself. Give it chance, you just might like it.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Gowariker's least ambitious film., 7 December 2010

After making one of Bollywood's most expensive film "Jodha Akhbar', Ashutosh Gowariker returns with "Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey". A story based on the 1930s Chittagong raids that started a revolution and eventually paved the way for India's Independence from the British Rule. It seems like Gowariker spent all his energy, money and creativity in 'Jodha Akbar' and whatever funds he had left went into the making of this mediocre fare. I must say knowing the directors previous work, I was very disappointed with this film. Apart from Abhishek Bachchan, who plays the hero Surjya Sen and couple of other unknown supporting players the acting is mediocre and I didn't care for much of the characters or what happened to them. One thing I keep seeing in Bollywood cinema is the lack of subtlety, everything is explained in detail and over the 3 hours it gets very boring. I know Gowariker is one of the best directors in Bollywood and I can let this pass, but his lack of passion and creativity really showed in this film. Hopefully he will redeem himself with his next film based on the life of Siddhartha. I gave this film two stars, one for the last ten minutes of the film. It's inspiring and emotionally charged but it does not make up for the other two and a half hours of torture that preceded it. The second star is for Abhishek's performance. He really carries his characters inner turmoil and passion throughout the film. There is no question that the story is inspiring and worth telling, but he missed his mark this time. Gowariker could have just made a 90 min documentary and educated us. Skip this film and If you do end up seeing this, stay for the credits its worth waiting an extra two minutes, after all you just sat through 3 hours of passion-less film making. If you're really feeling patriotic then just pop in a DVD of his Oscar nominated film 'Lagaan'. In fact I am going to go do that right now, to remind myself of how good of a film maker Gowariker really is. ( for more honest, insightful, fun reviews of the latest movies visit THE-TICKING-TICKET! is the movie worth your time? )

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Watch it for the Stunning Animation and nothing more, 29 November 2010

"Legend of the Guardians" is a stunning and breathtaking film, probably the most beautiful looking film since "Avatar" but after you get over that fact what then? I was really looking forward to this film and the animation did not disappoint, however the film itself did. I literally gave it an extra star and half just for the amazing animation and all the credit goes to the WB animation studios who have perfected bird and landscape animation after the super hit "Happy Feet". This film has the dark tones and epic scale to be an awesome film but in the hands of director Zack Snyder(300) its missing the heart. There are definitely the moments where you can see Snyder's signature slow-mo epic-ness but over all it feels like its lacking and adults and kids a like might feel a bit bored. The 3D is great, better then most films this year, but it certainly doesn't out due "Avatar". If you are a fan animation or familiar with the source material its a wonderful treat to see this in 3D or even 2D. Otherwise just wait for the DVD, if the kiddies are yearning to see it just put on "Happy Feet" again.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Perfect Movie!, 29 November 2010

There is always one movie each year that manages to get everything right, and "The Social Network" is that film. well, it is a David Fincher film! From the script, to directing, the performances and even the music is perfect. The film has a great opening and keeps building momentum til the very end. The narrative jumps back and forth from Zuckerberg's case where he is being sued by his former buddies and class mates to all the events that led up to the trial. And not one bit of its confusing but its all entertaining. Jesse Eisenberg is pretty much Jesse Eisenberg in every role but this happens to be the perfect movie for Eisenberg. He pull off the nerdy genius guy with ease and adds depth unseen in his other films. I guess he finally got some great material to work with. Andrew Garfield's Eduardo is the heart of this film while Timberlake's Sean Parker is the film's douche bag. The Winklevoss twins offer up some great comedy and both are remarkably played by one actor, Armie Hammer. "The Social Network" (which makes it possible for me to write this review and share it with you all), is fun, intriguing and a genius piece of film making. It is the best movie I've seen this year so far and will definitely walk away with a few Oscars. Don't miss it!

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Buried (2010)
2 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
a top notch thriller!!, 29 November 2010

A man finds himself waking up to darkness, frustration and fear. He struggles to move but he can't. Frantically he searches around and finds a lighter with a few clicks a flame gives light to a realization, that Paul Conroy, a truck driver from the U.S. is buried alive. He finds a cell phone and after searching through it quickly realizes he is in the middle of the Iraqi dessert and his captives are holding him for ransom. I won't give away too much detail its a film that just needs to be experienced. Being buried alive has got be one of the worst fears for many people and director Rodrigo Cortes brings every detail to life. This film is unlike anything I've seen. From the first frame to last the entire film is in a coffin and the only visual break you get is from the darkness, which doesn't help. I felt very claustrophobic while watching this, so if you have issues with this, don't watch it. Its a very well crafted thriller for only $3 Million, seems low but there really is no other person or places in this movie. You only hear voices on the other end of the phone, everyone from his wife, 911 operator to his captives but the camera never cuts away. There is one very creepy scene where a certain slithering reptile finds its way into the coffin and our hero needs to figure out how to deal with it. So , is there a happy ending, does he ever get rescued, you'll just have to see it to find out. Its only in limited release so if its playing near you , check it out, its a must see! My only hang up was casting Ryan Reynolds in this role. Don't get me wrong, He is fantastic, he makes it work with what little he has to work with, but having an unknown actor would have made the whole experience even more real.

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