Reviews written by registered user
|233 reviews in total|
Will Montgomery (Foster),an Iraq War veteran has spent his fair share
of time in army hospitals, and with just three months to go before
returning to civilian life, he discovers that his girlfriend back home
(Malone) has decided to move on with her life. Crestfallen, Will
discovers that his latest hope for a fresh start will be training to
work for the Casualty Notification Office under the mentorship of
senior officer Tony (Harrelson). As someone who had a close brush with
death himself, Will isn't sure that he's the man to tell families that
their own loved ones will never be coming home. Thankfully, in between
his assignments, Tony offers a sympathetic ear and the two men form a
The Messenger has a very simplistic plot but at the same time tells a very emotional story. Ultimately the film is a character study. Of Will, who joined the army looking for a family, went to war and now has to readjust to "normal" life, of Tony, a man who's devotion to the army forced him to bottle up his emotions and of Kelly,a grieving widow (Morton) of a fallen soldier. It's a very sad, powerful and emotional film that shows two man doing a job no one in their right minds would want to do and the toll it takes on them. Trough their bond, they are able to confront some of their inner demons and to a certain extent, finally let go.
Both Foster and Harrelson were absolutely exceptional. Samantha Morton was a bit too apathetic for my taste (even considering she was grieving) and Steve Buscemi, who had a small part was great as usual. Overall, it's not the easiest film to watch and it's not a light drama. It deals with serious issues and the characters go trough a lot of pain and suffering but that's a consequence of war and part of "real life" and therefor the film deserves to be seen.
Rebel Without a Cause focuses on a teenage social outcast searching for
his identity. His dysfunctional parents (a milquetoast father and a
cantankerous mom) can't help him and he shuns any form of authority.
The young man only finds solace in the company of two fellow teenage
misfits, but even they aren't able to prevent tragedy from befalling
this reckless and uncontrollable anti-hero.
I understand why this film became such a classic but at the same time, had this film been release today it would probably be a major flop. It worked because it was made in the 50's and follows the standards of that era. Today it's no longer that powerful or revolutionary. And yes, the core themes of the film; honor and teenage angst, are still very much fascinating subjects but, by now, they have been dealt numerous ways and in a better fashion.
Regarding James Dean, wow, there's question why he became an icon. He's handsome, charismatic, stylish and definitely has that certain something, whatever you want to call it that it's so rare to find. His performance in this film is superb. On the other hand, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo who were both nominated for Oscars for their performances were absolutely awful. Not to the point of ruining the film but they over-acted throughout the entire thing.
I don't necessarily think Rebel Without a Cause is a timeless piece of work but it's still worth watching, mainly because of Dean.
When David (Liam Neeson) misses his flight home from New York and, as a
result, the surprise party his wife Catherine (Julianne Moore) has
planned for him, Catherine is forced to swallow her disappointment and
any suspicions and return to the waiting guests. Reading a text message
sent to David's phone the following morning from one of his female
students, Catherine's fear grows. More suspicious than ever that David
is having an affair, Catherine seeks out Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), an
escort, hiring her to test David's fidelity.
Chloe is a very solid thriller. Extremely engaging and incredibly entertaining, this story is ultimately about human nature and instincts. The film really grabs your attention and visually, it's quite a feat. The minimalistic sets and the way it was shot give this film a really modern and slick look. I feel like I should warn that there's quite a bit of nudity and somewhat graphic scenes but nothing outrageous or out of place.
Moore was absolutely terrific, she has proved her value already but here she delivers possibly one of the best performances of her career. Seyfried was quite a surprise. Her performance was subtle but very efficient and she seems a very promising young actress. Liam Neeson was not nearly as good as he usually is but it's understandable considering his wife died during the shooting of the film.
As I said, Chloe is a very solid and well done film. Unfortunately it has one major flaw, the predictably of the plot. I saw the twist coming from a mile way and I think any avid movie-goer will too. Still, it was a great watch, very entertaining and extremely well acted. Worth seeing.
This film tells the story of an ordinary teenager, Dave Lizewski, who
sets out to become a real-life superhero calling himself Kick-Ass. Dave
gets caught up in a bigger fight when he meets Big Daddy, a former cop
who, in his quest to bring down the evil drug lord Frank D'Amico, has
trained his eleven-year-old daughter to be the ruthless vigilante
Hit-Girl.Whenever there's a lot of hype an buzz around a film, I always
tend to be suspicious. When there's so much talk about a film before
its release, that is usually due to extensive marketing and publicity
by the studios and not an indicator of the film's quality. In fact,
most of the time, a lot of hype means a shallow and low quality
Hollywood blockbuster (i.e. Avatar).
And that's precisely the case with Kick-Ass. A somewhat entertaining film but at the same time extremely flawed.Despite an original premise, the story couldn't be more predictable,it's almost insulting in fact. The dialog isn't that great either and most characters are caricatures.There's also an awful lot of over-acting. As a comedy the film fails miserably, most of the jokes are incredibly plain, simple and above all, very, very silly and it doesn't help that the film shifts tones constantly. What's to enjoy? A few well done action scenes and some of the interactions between Hit-Girl and her father.
I'm sure some people will be offended by the strong language used by Hit Girl, after all the actress playing the part was only 11 years old at the time Kick-Ass was being filmed but to be honest, I don't think anything she said is too offensive. In conclusion, the film is decent enough to be watched until the end but I think it is a very poor effort and a film you should probably skip. Definitely not worthy of all the buzz.
A Single Man is based on the novel of the same name by Christopher
Isherwood. Set in Los Angeles in 1962, at the height of the Cuban
missile crisis, it is the story of a British college professor (Colin
Firth) who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of
his long time partner. The story is a romantic tale of love
interrupted, the isolation that is an inherent part of the human
condition, and ultimately the importance of the seemingly smaller
moments in life.
I was looking forward to watch A Single Man, mainly because it's fashion designer Tom Ford directorial debut and partially because I heard good things about it. To be honest, the film didn't leave up to my expectations but it's not a bad film either. Where to start? First, although the main character is gay, I look at this film as, above all, a love story. I think love surpasses gender and sexuality and therefor I would say this film can be enjoyed by everyone. I'm just saying this because there's a lot of people who will immediately dismiss A Single Man because it is a "gay film".
The production values are terrific and as expected the art direction is impeccable. Everything from costumes to sets to camera work is simply amazing. Visually, the film is absolutely outstanding. No question about that. Story wise ? Not so much. Not that it is a bad story but I don't think it is story enough, so to speak, to be made into a film. I guess the best word to describe the plot would be uneventful. I feel as if it's not so much a story but more of a character study of a Man who's hurting, either way I didn't find the story satisfying enough. Maybe the novel didn't translate so well into film, I honestly don't know. The fact of the matter is, if you take the visual aspect of the film out of the equation, then A Single Man would probably be a very mediocre piece of work.
Colin Firth, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance, was in fact pretty great as the lonely and depressed George but I don't think his performance was necessarily Oscar material. Julianne Moore had much, much less screen-time but she was equally as good. Nicholas Hoult, one of the most promising young British actors delivered a solid performance. Overall, a nice watch and a very promising debut by Tom Ford but I wish the story had a little more content to it.
Identity is a thriller set at an isolated motel in rural Nevada during
an unrelenting rainstorm. With all roads washed out and all forms of
communication dead, a group of people become stranded at the motel
along with the shifty manager (John Hawkes). Among the stranded are Ed
(John Cusack), a former cop turned limo driver; Caroline (Rebecca De
Mornay), a self-absorbed actress; Paris (Amanda Peet), a prostitute
attempting to escape her profession; Rhodes (Ray Liotta), a cop
transporting a prisoner (Jake Busey); Lou (William Lee Scott) and Ginny
(Clea DuVall), bickering newlyweds; and George (John McGinley) and
Alice (Leila Kenzle), a married couple traveling with their young son.
Soon the waterlogged lodgers start dying in mysterious--and
brutal--ways, and the increasingly dwindling number of survivors must
discover the killer to prevent their own demises.
The initial formula for this film seems very cliché and something we've seen a thousand times before. However, Identity has a very clever and bold twist. Something very unexpected that completely turns the film around and makes it one of the most original thrillers I have seen in a long time. It's hard to talk about it without spoiling the film but I'll say this, the viewers that "stick" trough Identity will be rewarded with something much more interesting and intriguing then the usual "we're getting murdered one by one"-kind of thriller. Also the entire cast did a good job with perhaps Amanda Peet standing out. Overall, a very original little thriller and a breath of fresh air from an overdone genre.
In this film wealthy prep school student Kathryn (Sarah Michelle
Gellar) bets her stepbrother Sebastian (Ryan Phillipe) that he can't
deflower the virginal Annette (Reese Witherspoon) before the school
year begins. If he fails to accomplish this task, Kathryn gets his
Jaguar Roadster; if he succeeds, he gets an evening of pleasure with
I just finished watching Cruel Intentions and what a pleasant surprise this film turned out to be. I guess the best way to describe it is as a sexy and seductive thriller. The film is very clever and bold but above all, extremely engaging and entertaining. Dealing with this kind of subject...making this kind of film...it's definitely not easy. Usually these kind of films come off somewhat "fake" and lame; corny, whatever you want to call it. Thankfully, Cruel Intentions went the other way, probably thanks to the witty and sharp dialogue and a very good direction.
Ryan Phillippe delivered a terrific performance and so did Reese Witherspoon. I was actually a bit disappointed with Sarah Michelle Gellar, her acting was not very convincing at times to say the least but honestly, the story is so engaging that I was able to overlook that flaw. Another aspect that really took me by surprise was the musical score. Cruel Intentions has one of the best soundtracks I have ever seen in films. There's some great well known songs like Skunk Anansie's "secretly" and Placebo's "every me and every you", but there's also some fast paced instrumental tracks throughout the film that really compliment the scenes. Overall, a great watch and so much more then a teen film.
In this film, a government plane carrying a dangerous virus crashes
near a small town. The virus finds its way into the town's drinking
water, turning everyone who is exposed to it into a murderous lunatic.
Sheriff David (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha
Mitchell), remain unaffected but face great danger in trying to escape
the town, which has been quarantined by the US army, whose members lurk
around every corner, clad in gas masks and protective suits.
In the age of remakes here is another one. I haven't seen the original and the remake didn't make me want to. To be honest, this is a completely average horror flick. There's nothing new or even a different spin on things. The story starts interesting but after a while it stagnates and there's no way it can go. The last hour of the film is basically the protagonists fighting the crazies ( who's behavior is identical to zombies) and trying to escape...you know, the usual and therefor, this thriller quickly becomes just another "zombie flick".
To make matters worse, there's a lot of over-acting and Timothy Olyphant was a bit bland. It's not all bad though, The Crazies is somewhat entertaining and the perfect film to watch on a boring night but, the film is average at best. Just another director/studio trying to cash in on yesterday's classics.
This film follows four criminals on the lam who encounter a pair of
nubile female teens in a small mountain town. After murdering one and
brutally raping the other and leaving her for dead, the cons seek
refuge at a nearby summer house.The twist is that it's the very home
inhabited by the parents of one of the victims.
Just finished watching The Last House on the Left and I have to say that it was quite a disappointment. I was in the mood for a horror/thriller but despite all the violence and gory moments, this flick can be quite boring at times. Mainly because of the plot, which was too simple for its own good. Also some of the dialogue was pretty crappy and unrealistic. Yes, there's a lot of terror(not horror) and blood which is what most people are expecting from this kind of film but without a solid story in the background the film becomes dull and senseless.
The cast ( Sara Paxton, Aaron Paul,Monica Potter, Garret Dillahunt) did a great job, with the exception of Tony Goldwyn who for the most part of the film, looked terribly apathetic delivering a very wooden performance. The film was also beautifully shot and the cinematography is impressive. Having said that, good acting and a nice image isn't enough. The plot is indeed very thin and almost an excuse to show violence. This one is a miss.
Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish play Dan and Candy, two young bohemians
who fall madly in love while shooting heroin together. In the
beginning, the couple's days are occupied with making love,
shoplifting, and having a strung-out wedding day that ends with a lot
of giggling over a couple of Big Macs. Despite Candy's disapproving
parents, they cling to each other with a fierceness that shuts out any
and all outside criticism. When funds or drugs are low they pop by the
house of a pharmacology professor named Casper (Geoffrey Rush), who
uses his professional expertise to supply them with
pharmaceutical-grade heroin. As the reality of their addiction creeps
to the forefront, they must turn to desperate measures to get their
Candy is one of the most beautiful and poignant films I have seen lately. It's extremely rare for me to feel the need to re-watch a film immediately after the first viewing but that's exactly what happened with Candy. I didn't, of course. I rather let the film sink in and then watch it again after a couple of weeks or months but it goes to show you how much I enjoyed the film. Candy starts with the two main characters entering some sort of rotating device ( a futuristic carousel if you will) along with a bunch of kids while the famous "Song to the Siren" plays on the background. From that moment I knew I was watching something special and I also knew that Candy, just like the rotating device, would be a hell of a ride. And I was right. The film is a realistic portrayal of what addiction does to people and shows the several stages of Dan and Candy's relationship. Because of its realism, the film can be hard to watch at times but I think every single scene in the film is absolutely necessary to tell the story effectively.
Candy was beautifully shot and the soundtrack is mesmerizing. There's a lot of conceptual scenes that add to the depth and poignancy of the film and that show the director's unique vision. Yes, heroin abuse has been documented in many films but there's something very special and beautiful about Candy. Both Ledger and Cornish deliver terrific performances. They displayed a huge amount of talent and it was some of the finest acting I have ever seen. I think it's absurd how Heath won an Oscar for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight (which I thought was completely average) and yet, his brilliant work in Candy was completely over-looked. Overall, a touching, entertaining and absolutely beautiful film that I strongly recommend.
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