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74 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Masterpiece, 21 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I came to know the existence of this in the movie recommendations when I saw "Hope and Glory" earlier. And while "Hope and Glory" is the much more well-known one and is well-acclaimed along with several Academy Award nominations, "The Island on Bird Street" is my personal favorite.

"Hope and Glory" is not like other ordinary war films. It has taken an alternative approach in the portrait of the war time.

Still, both films share a lot of similarities. Both are set in the WWII, and both have a child as the protagonist.

"Hope and Glory", however, seems to have a lighter theme throughout and concentrates rather on seeking happiness under hard times than on the fear and the harrowing experiences. The film gives us a different view on the war through a child's eyes, with the innocence, the curiosity, and the inherent purity.

While I do like such a distinctive way of storytelling and realistic display, "The Island on Bird Street" does more for me.

With darker overtones, this is closer to the type of the usual war movies. It is special and different in terms of its unique and original plot. Based on the real experiences of the author, "The Island on Bird Street" is adapted from a book which is an autobiography. Like in "Hope and Glory", the audience can see the WWII through a child's eyes.

Nevertheless, this film has a much higher extent of focus. We follow Alex, a Polish boy, throughout the whole movie. As his father was taken away by the Nazis and his uncle killed for trying to save him, he was left on his own and the adventure began. He was determined to wait for the return of the father so he stayed in the same place, gathered resources, and built a temporary shelter. He later got to meet some other people and as the story progresses, we get to discover Alex's true nature and a lot more of his qualities are revealed.

Like any other ordinary children, Alex was scared of the German troops and spent most of the time avoiding them while safely finding food and water. He also loved his family and valued it very much. But when the circumstances required him to, he could also be very brave and a character of great independence. He was also very kindhearted and determined.

"The Island on Bird Street" is brilliant because it has beautifully captured all the important moments in a distant memory.

The scenes form a thrilling adventure as we closely follow Alex. When he gets scared, the audience gets scared for him. When he gets happy, the audience gets happy for him. This movie has the ability to make the audience connect with the main character, and while enjoying an exciting adventure of fear, the audience gets to know Alex better and better as the plot develops.

In some other parts of the movie there is also a display of kindness by other people. The interaction between Alex and the other characters was superb. The whole story is a very believable and realistic experience for the audience. It also tells us that despite the sorrow of living in such hard times, it is still essential for people to stay together and help one another, and never give up that faint spot of hope left in your heart, and that was what Alex did. The movie has allowed us to see the usually hidden kind nature of human beings when it comes to wars.

The young boy Jordan Kiziuk who played Alex has given the audience an amazing performance in the movie. He had been through a lot of emotions through the film and his acting was splendid. The audience can sense the fear and the hope inside of him, and his determination in believing that his father would return. The power of his acting makes the film a piece of astonishment to watch. The other characters are very good too, giving all sorts of very believable and well-done performances.

"The Island on Bird Street" is a vivid and true story about the adventure of a Polish boy in the WWII. The adventure itself is very exciting, and the acting is over the top. The connection between the audience and the characters is very strong. The audience is able to touch the fear and feel the hope of Alex, and embark on a ultimately moving journey of thrill, depression, faith and much more.

I will definitely recommend this to my family and friends, and I hope you will too. I do not understand why this movie is so unnoticed, carrying only a couple hundred votes. This movie is certainly a great war movie at the masterpiece level.

Little British Drama with Great Performances, 20 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Set in the 1980s seaside England, this film can be a great coming-of-age story with authenticity and may give a sense of nostalgia for some.

Bill Milner plays 10-year-old Edward, who is a curious child full of questions about ghosts and death. This story is about Edward's childhood in a old people's home run by his parents. As the story develops, Edward develops a special bond with Clarence, played by the amazing Michael Caine.

The start of the movie gives us a nice description of Edward's life and introduces us to a lot of characters in the house. The ghost hunting parts make the film a bit far-stretched from its theme but the films gets a lot better later. We get to know Clarence more, and we can see his life portrayed by Michale Caine's outstanding performance. Caine's acting is a great strength of the film, and it totally brings out Clarence's character to the audience. Milner also does a good job acting a kid full of curiosity and inner kindness. Clarence has a huge regret in his life. It is about his wife. We can see Edward's kindness as he tries to help him heal that wound in his heart.

This film is an invaluable lesson about life and death. The bond a young kid and an old man share can be very special. As the scenes move on, Edward is seen to grow and learn a lot of things from Clarence. It is incredible to see that this film succeeds in displaying that quality of life experience. The young have a lot to learn from the old who have much more experience in their life. The other way around, old people who are sometimes not their old self anymore can often use that energy from the young.

This film covers a lot of things and I am sure different people can learn different things from it. Anyway, people looking for an exciting drama is not going to like this. But if you are looking for is an inspiring drama that gives you something to think about, this is a good choice for you. For me, Caine's performance alone is enough to make the time worthwhile.

Realistic Comedy of Modern Love, 19 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow. "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is one of the top comedies this year. Depicting the story of a mid-aged father amid a marital crisis, this film prevails as both as a drama and comedy.

The first great thing is the unpredictability of the plot. You never know what happens next as the story unfolds. There are a lot of twists for dramatic and comedic effects and they unravel very well as the storyline develops. With its appropriate pace and distinctive style of portrait, it has the ability to make the audience burst out laughing and sobbing.

The second plus is that the film is very realistic, full of moments that a lot of people may actually experience in their lives. It is an excellent drama because it takes you through a roller coaster of emotions. What's better is that it makes you feel everything in a relaxing environment most of the time. Sometimes, it can be depressing, and sometimes cheering, but most vitally, it is nothing too serious and deep. After all, this is a comedy and even you are supposed to feel the sadness of the characters you can laugh at the same time.

The message is clear and a great one too. Love is uncertain and unpredictable, but that does not mean we should give up on it. It's quite the opposite. Once you find the one true love, you must hold on to it and keep trying despite the hardship.

This is highly recommended. It's a realistic drama with loaded fun moments and along with a great message and lesson for us all.

The Cure (1995)
Masterpiece - Deeply Touching Tale of Two Friends, 18 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Cure" is one of the few movies I gave a flawless score. It is one of the most deeply touching movies of all time. The story is so well-developed that we witness gradual shifts from absolute happiness to absolute sadness. In the process of this, however, it manages to attach an important message throughout the movie, which is the message of hope. The script is powerful enough to make the audience laugh and cry, and sometimes both at the same time. The acting is simply superb from two amazing boy actors, strengthening the power of this masterpiece.

"The Cure" is a masterpiece that combines simplicity, funny elements, deeply touching moments, the essence of having hope and the power and meaning of friendship. It is going to leave a mark in your heart that you will carry forever.


Spy School (2008)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fun Family Film, 18 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is it that bad? No, not at all. In fact, as a kids film it is above average. There are good films in all categories and this is a very outstanding one in its.

First, it's a good family comedy. Surely parents will have a good time with their kids watching this. It is a nice little family film with a nice plot and there is something to learn from as well.

Compared to the Spy Kids series, this lacks action and effects. But it makes up for that with an unpredictable plot, and I like that very much. The story development is smooth and the acting is good.

Towards the climax in the end it gets pretty intense and there are quite some unexpected twists.

To conclude, this is really an enjoyable piece of family comedy.

A Pleasant Surprise, 18 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Summary: A preteen's befriends a new girl at school and together they experience things that you cannot imagine.

This is a pleasant surprise! I don't want to spoil anything so I will just say that this movie is a lot more than what it looks. There is depth under the solid digital special effects. You should be happy with the visual aspects, but more importantly, you are bound to learn a great lesson from this, no matter you are an adult or a kid. This is a well-balanced piece of fantasy drama about friendship. This kind of friendship is not ordinary. It is not formed in ordinary ways, and it is not proved in ordinary ways, but it is true and solid and honest.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Satisfactory But Incomplete Finish, 18 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was surprised by how the movie turned out to be. I hadn't seen the trailer, but I thought it was some kind of comedy. Anyway, the beginning of the movie made me want to continue watching, and each scene following had that same power. This is a good catchy story overall, but I'd say it's a little too short and does not have the "wow" elements. I was a bit disappointed at the end of the movie because I wanted more when it was ended. There is a feeling that the movie is cut off and somewhat incomplete.

Needless to say, such a plot is unique. I like the way the story begins. It no doubt gives you the right kind of sense to continue watching.

I think the actors are good. Josh is experienced enough to handle his role. Chris does very well overall, despite occasionally lacking slight emotions and reactions.

The only disappointment, I would have to say, is when it comes to the end. I think the film can really end better with more scenes. And as I've mentioned before, we're talking about three books here, and the film is shorter than two hours. Its short length does gain the tension the audience wants but that incompleteness is the downside for sure. Scenes can be lengthened, giving more detailed backgrounds, and indeed further illustrates relationships between characters, thus improving the whole movie as a whole.

I'd really want to see a sequel following this. The ending isn't good enough, and that even makes me want a sequel more. Nevertheless, the movie is satisfactory.

6 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Below Average, Awfully Done, 18 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As the title concludes, this is a film supposedly meant for summer fun, but I can say it is a pretty bad one at that. I had strong reasons not to watch this in cinema, two of which being the majority of negative reviews and unpleasant comments from people I know. Now that I have finally got my copy and seen it, I am so glad that I decided not to get dragged to watch this.

The story is about how a preteen girl spends a summer with a plan to score "thrill points" and how it goes all wrong. Well, the idea is not that bad, not at all.

But the movie just fails to deliver anything as a whole. I personally find Judy Moody a bit creepy, and the way she acts and looks simply does not "fit in" to the group compared to other kids. A younger actress would be a lot better. Well, maybe it's just me.

A nice story with some fun moments would have made up for that creepiness anyway. Sadly that is not the case. I cannot really say the plot has anything unfitting and fatally incorrect in it. It is just nothing special and nothing fun. This summer is really a bummer for the kids.

There are loads of kids movies out there to learn from, to borrow ideas from. The story can be simple and fun, in the typical style of kids movies, and adults can be happy to see that their kids have fun while having something to learn from in the end. But no. There is absolutely nothing in this for kids to learn from, let alone have fun.

It's probably not the worst kids movie I've seen, but it's truly close. For me, I don't think it is worth one and a half hour of your time on this.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Brief Review on "Dolphin Tale", 14 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Dolphin Tale" is definitely a good movie for the whole family. Both children and adults will enjoy this. It may not have much depth but it is the sort of movie that can entertain people at all ages. The story is linear and simple. Basically it is about a boy who develops a bond with a dolphin named Winter and is dedicated to helping the dolphin with a lost tail to swim again. The story does build on simplicity but it still manages to be touching at certain moments. The story develops at a moderate pace. There are some underwater scenes in the film and the effects are nicely done. This film also does not disappoint people who have paid for 3D tickets.

All in all, "Dolphin Tale" is a good family film for the weekend.

Real Steel (2011)
14 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
"Real Steel" Succeeds as a Touching and Inspirating Drama with Stunning Yet Not Overdone Action, 10 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sometimes I do grow a bit weary of the robots-saving-the-world kind of movies. Surely they are action-packed and fun, but once in a while I want to look for something different. "Real Steel" brings the fresh idea of "boxing robots" and it was a very great experience for me and I will remember this movie for long in the days to come.

While this movie introduces us something new, it has maintained its balance well and further manages to do well in a lot of aspects. The elements of action and drama are nicely balanced, unlike the "Transformers" movies which really focus too much on being a showcase of visual effects and conveniently neglecting the plot. "Real Steel" is nothing like that. It is overall fast-paced with no boring parts. The scenes are appropriately cut. The plot itself is hardly predictable, with a little twists and turns here and there. There are also occasional moments of comedy and some touching scenes.

The acting is one of the best strengths of this movie. It is excellent. Extra credits should be given to Hugh Jackman and Dakota Goyo. Their performances are incredible, which make the film much more heart-warming. They take up major parts of the movie and we get to see a mending and building father-and-son relationship. The other actors are good too, though they do not really have much screen time to show it. Anyhow, the overall performance is just fascinating.

And how can we miss the visual effects and sound effects? They are superbly done throughout the movie. The robot designs are good and sharp. The movements of them are realistic and cool. The action is simply visually stunning. The sound effects are great achievements as well. The ambient sound is nicely done and it makes the fights between the bots a lot more appealing than it already is.

My slight suggestion is a longer ending. It will probably make the movie more complete. I would want more father-son interaction.

"Real Steel" is more than a box-office winner. It has a good story, good acting and good effects. It pretty much has all that is needed to make an excellent movie. Despite strong contenders this year like "Deathly Hallows P2" and "Dark of the Moon" and "Super 8" and perhaps "Rise of the Planet of Apes", I really hope this will at least get an Oscar nomination for visual effects. And I am demanding a sequel. Let's hope it will be made.

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