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Dolphin Tale (2011)
A superb family treat.
Harry Connick Jr, Nathan Gamble, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Freeman, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Winter, Ray McKinnon, Austin Stowell, Jim Fitzpatrick, Austin Highsmith, Ashley White, Kurt Yaeger, Marc Macaulay, Rus Blackwell, Michael Roark, Juliana Harkavy and Richard Libertini.
Charles Martin Smith.
Okay so this family drama is based on a book which is based on a real life events that took place in 2005 on the shores of Florida but few of the events have been changed in the movie. I didn't thought this movie would do much good on the Box Office or with the critics but would be a usual B movie with some well known actors. I was literally surprised by the success of this movie with both, it really was something that was appealing to the families and critics called the best family movie. It is made in a very smart way, not like your usual silly corny children movies. An injured bottelnose dolphin is seen along the shores by a fisherman who calls for help where Sawyer played by Nathan Gamble who is biking both call for assistance and rescue workers from Clearwater Marine Hospital comes which is run by Dr. Clay played by Harry Connick Jr. Sawyer who is having some troubles at homes develops a bond with the dolphin and the daughter of Dr. Clay Hazel one day lets him in the hospital where her father doesn't really allows untrained people. Sawyer skips classes to visit Winter, his mom is surprise by his attitude and change in behavior which was effected when his father left them 5 years ago. Winter's tail had to amputated but it develops an alternate type of swimming technique which is later revealed to be life threatening for him. Sawyer while visiting his cousin meets Dr. Cameron who specializes in the prosthetic limbs making and thinks he might help winter. Thus begins their journey to try making prosthetic tails for winter, they are hit badly by a hurricane too, they already were financially weak. But an idea of Sawyer really does save everything at last.
I honestly don't like most of the children or family centered movies these days as they are nothing but junks, with silly one liners from animated or talking animal characters and hilariously noisy use of over the top CGI that does nothing but drive children mad. This is a movie that will touch their heart, show them some good drama, will teach them some good family values and will provide them some entertainment too. This is type of family centered movie that is really missing from screens and is a welcome surprise to have it finally, a truly breath of fresh air. The actors have done their best it is well made and executed. This movie is quite a uplifting and heart warming tale of this dolphin that leaves you cheering and inspired at the same times. I was really moved by some scenes and got tears in my eyes during the scenes where they try their very best to give this dolphin its new tail and the end where they shows the documentary footage of the real life hospital and everything.
It has a really nice use of CGI, very minimal and only where it needed. A story about family and friendship bonds, moving on in your life, believing and fighting for what you believe in. It is directed very well and written too, for me it was a change in my movie viewing experience to have seen all year long some quite dramatic, action, awfully stupid and some disturbing movies to finally have a experience like this. I literally enjoyed watching this movie and felt connected to it. Do watch it when you have time, with your family or even alone if you don't want them to see you cry while watching the dolphin-Sawyer swimming scenes. Literally one of the best family movie of the year. Good attempt.
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Margin Call (2011)
Well acted ensemble financial thriller quite tensed and slow burning.
Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Aasif Mandvi, Mary McDonnell, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Ashley Williams and Al Sapienza.
This movie is destined to make my Honorable Mention list when i'll make a proper one or it may peek into my top 20 too, you never know. It at first didn't looked liked a movie that i would like or feel connected to it because of the topic. I am certainly not into the commerce/financial stuff but have seen a few movies on the financial crisis, none of them is even close to this slow burning and often edgy movie. This indie financial drama is an excellent movie based on a group of people at a big investment bank and their actions taken during the 2007-08 financial crisis or collapse. The time period that the entire movie take place is just a 36-hour period, yes it is very slow but is more thrilling and exciting than many other movies. The it takes a closer, deeper and more clearer look at the financial meltdown is very interesting and noteworthy. I still have my own problems with not understanding much going on in the movie because of my lack of interest and knowledge about this field but this movie didn't made me confused or that i felt totally stranger but instead it was an easy watch movie. I heard the Oscar winning documentary Inside Jod does the better job in representing each and every person behind the financial meltdown as a villain and is much more detailed and honest study but this movie does shows the fact that not everyone behind were evils but bring some human characters too.
Movie starts with the decisions of laying off some of the company's employees including Eric Dale who before leaving handles a USB drive to one of the workers there Peter Sullivan played by Zachary Quinto and tells him to be careful with that. He doesn't leave and tries to understand the data contained in it and discovers something massive, together with two other co-workers Will Emerson played by Paul Bettany and Seth Bregman played by Penn Badgley they figure out the fact that they might be going towards a severe loss, something that would totally destroy their company. They inform their seniors about everything and thus begins the process of decision makings, the unethical decisions they have to make in order to save their jobs and their company. You see slowly how the bodies involved in the company reacts to everything, there are many characters in the movie and each plays their role perfectly and quite clearly. There is Sam Rogers played by Kevin Spacey than Sarach Richardson played by Demi Moore together with Ramesh Shah played by Asif Madvi, Jared Cohen played by Simon Baker ranks superior to them and then the final Ceo John Tuld played by Jeremy Irons. Everything in this movie is explained in quite simple and understandable terms for viewers like me who knows nothing about economics and stuff, quite a easy language that truly transforms into this good study.
This movie has one of the very best ensemble cast of the year packed with some superb and stellar performances. Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons and Stanley Tucci comes out as the three outstanding performers with Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Simon Baker and even Penn Badgley not far behind. The presence of Jeremy Irons in the movie is just strong, he plays the kind of character who seems like a cunning and evil person because he is the authority. He steals the scenes with his outstanding performance and superb dialogue delivery. Movie begins with a very brilliant performance by Stanley Tucci that honestly sets the tone for everyone else, in the scenes where he is about to get fired is the one to watch. Kevin Spacey impressed me after a very long time due to his really bad choices of movies and some over the top dull performances but here he is cast perfectly. And some scene stealing jobs from the rest of the cast too in their particular moments. Everyone is cast perfectly and delivers one of their best.
Two thumbs up to J.C. Chandor, his debut movie as a director is quite intense and near flawless, definitely one of the best debut director of 2011. Screenplay is quite tightly written with a nice if somewhat uneven flow of the story that really is the demand here. Outstanding cinematography and other technical stuff. A entertaining financial thriller drama that needs to be viewed, the best look at the Wall Street than two of the other movies that did so lately.
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The Debt (2010)
A flawed thriller but worthy of a watch thanks to Chastain.
Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Ciarán Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Marton Csokas, Jesper Christensen and Romi Aboulafia.
I was looking forward to watch this movie back then because it looked interesting to me, i really feel some weird anticipation for these espionage thrillers. This movie was quite delayed but released finally last year and i saw it a few weeks back. It didn't turned out quite classy or a perfectly structured thriller movie but it surely was a good watch and nice time to spend. This movie has some twist that are worth looking to and the end which may or may not completely spoil your mood but overall it just was a worthy entry into this genre which surely need movies like these to survive. Now the story follows time shifting, back in 1966, Mossad agent Rachel Singer played by Jessica Chastain meets her fellow agents David Peretz played by Sam Worthington and Stefan Gold played by Marton Csokas in Berlin. Their mission is to capture a surgeon who had some horrible medical experiments on Jews in the 2nd World War and to bring him to Israel. I wont be revealing the tiny details about the movie but when they try to do so, the fail and then they have to bring the surgeon to their apartment tied while waiting for their next move. The surgeon escapes from their and Stefan decides to tell a lie to everyone that they have killed the surgeon, they are later being honored by the government. Not Stefan but David and Rachel can't live with this lie their entire life where later you will see one of them trying to do the thing they were suppose to and the outcome of it all.
I agree that this isn't your regular suspense thriller with all you see is several missions getting completed step by step with careful and detailed developments followed by a happy and conclusive ending. This is a much more simpler and real look at a mission that actually may go wrong and even one bad decision can ruin there entire life, the anger and rage they have for their own people to have suffered the holocaust can then drive them to the levels where they risk their own lives and people around them but things they couldn't do back then, they have to do it now or they will die with regrets that no one wants. The ending was quite painful to watch for me specially due to the character of Rachel as she is the strongest and the main of them all. Jessica Chastain had the best year any actor had or even think of having with such great movies and brilliant performances and being in every other movie released. She is the best thing about the movie. I must say they had a bit casting problems, when i read some of the reviews before i saw the movie, i thought that was ridiculous to point out towards the wrong casting choices. But it wasn't until i saw when i realized they weren't wrong at all. You might not find any problem with the Chastain- Mirren casting but in the older David and Stefan roles it is confusing and almost ridiculous.
Helen Mirren did a fine job and played the character really good, she have done many movies after her The Queen win that doesn't always represent her to her utmost acting abilities, she needs more awards contender movies for sure. The real best thing about this movie is the wonderful, gorgeous and a outstanding performer Jessica Chastain who is cast perfectly and she delivers a believable and honest performance. In some scenes where she has to flex some of her muscles for some fights and things, she does it like any other female action movie star. Chastain is once again the best thing about this movie. The need to have focused more on the time shifting narrative option and should have utilized that more as the ones taking place in the real time were the weakest scenes in the movie, it honestly feels like the whole movie is shifted or that both of them were directed by two different directors, that is a flaw which makes this movie a bit down or else it is somewhat intelligent and smart if not too smart offering enough twists and thriller moments that you can look for apart from the flaws that it has.
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Good acting, character development and fight scenes, still a bit overrated.
Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Kurt Angle, Jake McLaughlin, Noah Emmerich, Kevin Dunn, Denzel Whitaker, Maximiliano Hernández, Erik Apple, Vanessa Martinez, Nate Marquardt, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, Josh Rosenthal, Bryan Callen, Sam Sheridan, Justin Berg and Rashad Evans.
So Warrior is a Sports Drama with some good ol' action that tells story of two brothers and them entering the Mixed Martial Art MMA tournament and basically deals with their struggling relationship with their father and themselves. This movie was released with Contagion which was quite overlooked by many people but they appreciated it so much. I don't think i disliked Warrior at all but thought it was just overrated, it is not even near The Fighter or something like that but is a good movie to watch. I think people who are a die hard fans of action and fighting movies will love it and not to forget fans of Tom Hardy. So Tommy played by Tom Hardy is a former U.S. Marine has a love and hate relation with his father Paddy played by Nick Nolte because of his past behavior. Paddy is now a Christian but was very violent alcoholic in the past that hints towards their disturb childhood. During a visit he fails to impress Tommy that he have changed, Tommy enters a competition called as Sparta which is a MMA Tournament after he beats a well known fighter at a local gym and the video gets viral. Paddy's older son Brendan played by Joel Edgerton is a high school physics teacher struggling to cop with his financial difficulties even he and his wife Tess played by Jennifer Morrison works very hard, he has two daughters too. He has no other options but to enter the MMA local fights with different fighters which was his former profession earning enough to finish the loan but the rumors start spreading the school and he has to stop doing such a dangerous profession or would be expelled. With the help of his friend and trainer he enters the Sparta too just like his brother who is being trained by their father. Things get a bit thrilling and weird at the same time when the two brothers comes face to face with one another at the ring.
As this movie isn't your usual offbeat or indie movie but a mass entertainer, i would avoid giving out much smaller details of the movie. Now i think the scene stellar in this movie was the one and only Nick Nolte, i am rooting for him getting a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, he is just brilliant. Tom Hardy's character was interesting and he performed nicely too while Joel's acting abilities aren't as good as both of them but he really handled this movie perfectly. Nick Nolte is pitch perfect in his portrayal of a troubled father finding his way back into his sons life. I was brilliantly touched, superbly effected and in some scene furious to his acts all at once which is a rare thing for an actor playing such a diverse role to convince you through all these factor even if director doesn't show some of them. You can clearly see paddy's past and his obvious willingness of a bright future in his eyes. I think this is one of the best supporting performance of the year, brilliant and outstanding. I will also appreciate Tom Hardy's work in this movie as deeply satisfying and quite convincing. Joel Edgerton is fine too but Tom Hardy plays his character with much more conviction. Overall the movie is very heartbreaking and somewhat gripping sports action drama that truly knows its audience and their emotional spots. Towards the end it came of as emotionally satisfying to me and i really like the human spirit of this movie.
I think it might be the lack of interest in the sport movies or in fact in the fighting movies but then i appreciated Moneyball and The Fighter tremendously. I don't know what holds me back for giving this movie a above average score but not a very good one like everyone else and the fact that i am calling it overrated. I think the character development in this movie is outstanding, just a few minutes into their life and you feel like you knew everything about them. At the end, it is a rare fact that no one comes out as a loser in the movie, everyone wins which is a satisfying ending in terms of the story where they were doing the fights not to win or make their careers but for some specific reasons. I think the fights scenes were carefully examined and added, i was thrilled by many of the sequences specially the endings one. There is story development and everything in the start but hardcore fighting scenes in the other half. It has fine music and cinematography to it too. I enjoyed the movie, not all of it but most of the parts and thought it could have been a bit better than what it already is. But its not bad or average at all,i think you will have a good time watching this movie.
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Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
A near perfect indie thriller with brilliant performance by Miss Olsen.
So the name of the movie is Martha Marcy May Marlene, these are three names for one character, the one portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen. This is a psychological thriller drama concerning return of Martha to her sister's house after her experience at an abusive cult in the mountains. This movie does show what happened to her there in series of flashbacks but is mainly concerned about her experience after she returns, Martha is unable to separate her past experience and her present following series of delusion and paranoia. Yes this movie is about a cult, a group lead by Patrick (John Hawkes), a commune where many children and Patrick's many wives lives under a one roof, they share their belongings and follows a particular schedule of daily routine life as prescribed by their leader. Everything does sound scary and very weird and it is, i really like the detailing and the way Sean tells us about the cult group slowly and gradually. As the movie passes, not only we get deeper and more clearer look at the group itself and what happened to Martha there but her return to the normal life and the re-adjustments. Martha still gets shaken by the fact that she might be still living there or that the group leader still may have there eyes on her following her to the house. As the movie starts, we see her packing her stuff and slowly making her way out of that commune house into the woods and running. A group member sees her doing that and runs after her followed by everyone else too but Martha manages to run away making her way to a road. She sees phone booth, calls her sister Lucy and tells her to pick her up. Lucy thinks she and her boyfriend had some issues and Martha makes up a story rather than telling her about the cult group she was in. From there on we see her trying to battle her paranoia and the real world in a way which is so believable. Right from her eating habits to her bathing one, she still seems to follow the rules as done in the group.
Hats off to one of the best performance of the year by Elizabeth Olsen, quite a brave and bold attempt at a movie like this which really paid off. Can't believe she got such an incredible movie to debut from, this was a one in a million precious opportunity and she is a one lucky girl. Her performance is outstanding, she seems to have given herself for the part completely involved and absorbed in her character. The shifts we see from Martha to Marcy May and from Marcy May to Martha is brilliant, she does it very easily and doesn't requires much efforts. Elizabeth is comfortable in the role and performs brilliantly. She grabs your attention from the very start till the very end, very few newcomers does that when you really feel connected with them. Supporting performances are good too, John Hawkes as Patrick is one man that truly creeps the hell out of you without any scary faces or stares, without any scary monster make up or weird way to talk or act but he is severely calm, quite and peaceful. One moment you will see him making love to Marcy May (i mean rape) and the next thing you see is grabbing a guitar and singing a song that he made just for Marcy May while looking at her in a way that i can't even put in words. He is brilliant at what he does and so effortlessly. The least he does, the more you get from him. A brilliant supporting performance nevertheless. I thought Sarah Paulson acted very well too, she might feels too bossy and arrogant over her sister trying to show off her wealthy life style and sophistication over Martha but that is really not the case at all, she loves her sister and wants to get involved with her trying to get out all the depression she is suffering and mainly to take care of her. One of the best sister to sister relationship i have ever seen, i thought she performed really well too.
I love movies that really concentrates on the aspects of storytelling and finds a unique way to show it on screen with good developments. Sean Durkin really had a strong control over that aspect and it shows so well. You don't feel lost, confused or suffering at all when the movie shifts back and forth. Perfectly written movie with a strong screenplay and excellent direction and outstanding editing work done. The more i think of it the more i want to give five stars to it but something that i don't know is holding me back. I thought cinematography was amazing and quite excellent. The way we see the past of Martha is represented through the confused mind of Martha herself which feels so effective. Olsen's compelling and strong performance really is the best thing about the movie followed by the screenplay. This movie truly has a great ending that many people seems to under- appreciate as they don't see something happening before the movie ends. I don't think that a filmmaker always needs to wrap up a movie by showing us everything, i think sometimes its really nice to leave something for the audience to do. This movie ends in a very tensed way you see Martha in car with her sister and brother in law while being chased by the cult group members, now that just can be an illusion but that also can be a reality. One of the most disturbing, brilliant and genius endings i have seen, its not interrupted ending as you first of all don't even know that what you see is really happening or is it just Martha's troubled mind.
Rating: 4.5/5 A-
**FULL REVIEW On My Blog: Hollywoodandme.Blogspot.com**
a brilliant look into the dark, troubled and disturbing lives.
Here comes another British movie, i think 2011 have been one of the very best year for the British cinema as we have seen such outstanding movies coming out. And you can also say that 2011 has been the best year for the debut directors as well. Tyrannosaur is not a movie about Dinosaurs but somewhat the exact behavior and situations in our own lives. This movie marks the directorial debut of an actor, Paddy Considine who is a very fine actor and a breakthrough filmmaker as well. This movie is based on the short film he made a few years ago that won many awards all over starring the same actors playing the same characters. Its been said that this movie depicts somewhat same conditions that Considine himself grew up with while its not entirely an autobiography. I think i wasn't prepared to watch a movie like this when i did, it left me feeling shocked as hell. The low rating i gave to this movie is because of that, its not a bad movie or a masterpiece but a very good one but too uncomfortable. This year offered many movies that challenged viewers, i have had many experiences watching movies that were quite unsettling and challenging. Here is the case where every bit of the movie left my every bit of mind and heart feeling not so good. I don't think if a movie is too uncomfortable that is a bad thing or that i wont watch it, i love the experience. This is a movie which is violent in every way, not just the fact where you'll see people beaten to death but also the characters beaten down by their life, their luck and fate and the situations. Almost everyone is one hundred percent drunk and you'll hear like ten swear words in a minute or so.
Joseph is a lonely man, who is unemployed and a widower. He is an active drunk too and all the hate, anger, rage and violence is driving him to a self destructive path. The anger and violence is filled in Joseph, to a point where you will see him beating his own dog to death and after that burying him. You will detect a slight difference of attitude in him once this incident happens, a moment where he is almost closed to kill some people at a local pub, he controls and stop himself. He forces himself to run here and there scared of his own self wanting to change his life and a way to get out of his unpleasant past and everything around him. Joseph played wonderfully by Peter Mullan crashes into a charity clothes house, he hides himself in between two racks of clothes. That shop is owned by a very kind and Christian woman Hannah played superbly by Olivia Coleman who takes pity on him, she prays for him and Joseph for a split seconds feels like a big load has been lifted from his shoulders. They later seem to develop a friendship bond, Joseph not knowing anything about Hannah, her past and present that seem to coincides with his own. Little does he know that the feel of redemption that he feels in her presence, she herself has a deep dark secret that may take him back to the path which he has been running away from. Hannah is married to James played by Eddie Marsan who once again plays a near psychotic douche bag kind of a character, he doesn't even believe on himself or is too confident about his own manliness when he suspects something going on between Hannah and Joseph, he beats Hannah violently and rapes her. Joseph not just take a deep interest in Hannah but on his neighbor too, a very young child who is threatened to death by his crazy step dad not different from James.
This movie has some outstanding performances, first of all, Olivia Coleman. She is a scene stellar, the kind of performer that grabs and holds your attention for the entire movie. I loved her performance and think all the acclaim she got is so deserving. From her sympathetic Christian woman and quite innocent but still somewhat darker image at the beginning to the woman who regularly survives domestic violence and tries to move on with it hiding her bruises from the world. Her character goes many changes and she seems to go with it. A brilliant job worthy of awards. Petter Mullan who i hardly remembered until i saw Children Of Men once again did a fantastic job, like Coleman his performance is something i would consider the best of his career. He plays it so effortlessly that you fall into this illusion that he might be exactly like this in his real life. Outstanding performance by both of them. Eddie Marsan who i think is another wonderful actor gives one of the best supporting performance of his career since Happy Go Lucky. He is the kind of a man you just hate the core but he does it perfectly. One thing is for sure that in the beginning when Joseph seems like a unlikable, violent and angry man that slowly fades away towards the end when you find even more ugliness in people around him.
Rating: 3.5/5 B-
**FULL REVIEW on my Blog: Hollywoodandme.Blogspot.com**
Joseph Gordon-Levitt at his very best.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas, Anjelica Huston, Serge Houde, Andrew Airlie, Matt Frewer, Philip Baker Hall, Donna Yamamoto, Sugar Lyn Beard, Yee Jee Tso, Sarah Smyth, Peter Kelamis, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Daniel Bacon, P. Lynn Johnson, Laura Bertram, Matty Finochio and Veena Sood.
So i really wasn't sure about what kind of a movie it will turned out after watching as it was giving me quite mixed messages. I mean a Cancer comedy? But since i saw the trailers and after that the reviews came pouring in, i really got excited for it. This movie has one of the most accurate titles this year, 50/50 acts as a movie that provides us with some comedy as well as drama, life and all the positive things it brings along with the negatives of it and yes, the death. You might know the ending of the movie because the screenwriter of the movie was actually portrayed in the movie and yes he is alive. It is loosely based on his kind of struggle with this condition and the reactions of people around him along with Seth Rogen who is really closed to him, their friendship. I may not be able to elaborate a lot on this movie as i saw it many weeks before and wasn't able to review many movies as you all know but i would really try to recall the wonderful time i had watching this movie. I first of all would like to say that i am really impressed by the kind of movies Joseph Gordon-Levitt does, his choices are really different and impressive. This role of his is something no one else would have done the way he did, he brings this certain kind of personality to Adam. Its not just his face or his looks but he is this quite humbled, down to earth regular guy who has a bad news awaiting for him at his other step which really would turn his life upside down but he certainly learns how to cop with a situation like that.
This dramatic comedy is not so complicated in any way but follows a very simple trajectory in a very brilliant way. Nothing is over or under developed but a very well crafted movie that leaves you feeling good about yourself, about everyone around you and yes most of all, for the characters. I heard that this movie draws comparisons with Funny People which definitely wont be even close to this one. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave the best performance of his career and something that really got me this year. It is so great to see a performer of this age doing such great kind of work. He is perfectly casted as Adam who is not a character from a fantasy land but someone from among us, he might be anybody. He acts, reacts and lives in a very normal way, peaceful, calm and composed that feels true and real. His face is superbly expressive, he doesn't require tremendous physical signs to tells us about his mood or feelings. You can clearly see in his eyes and on his face whether he is scared, worried about himself or is feeling isolated. He carries this movie very good, the whole movie actually rests on his own shoulders and he really doesn't disappoint. I am not a big Seth Rogen fan to be honest, i never was and i thing i never will. His performance in this movie is something that really didn't annoyed me at all nor i thought i want to go and punch him on his face. He shown signs of being committed and being attached to this movie as he is the real life friend of the writer. He acted well enough in this movie as Kyle who works as a cheering pot head friend of Adam through his difficult times. Bryce Dallas Howard played yet another annoying over the top (freak) woman after The Help. Her performance seems more over the top here than it did in The Help. Anjelica Huston performs well and Adam's mother who is too much of a sentimental woman. Anna Kendrick's performance doesn't reach the level of her performance in Up in The Air but nevertheless her presence is felt in a good way in the movie. She performed good as the practicing therapist of Adam.
Screenplay of 50/50 is excellent, very well written that really is up for a screenplay nomination. Honestly and truly written movie tackling subjects that otherwise are too hard and depressing to touch in a traditional kind of way but the unorthodox approach in this movie does wonders for me. Absolutely touching and at times sad, i was crying at the operation scene because i got so attached to the character of Adams. The interactions between characters are so easy flowing and something you would deeply understand. It is uplifting, inspiring and outstanding work. One of the year's best movies with great performance by by JGL. Must watch.
**FULL REVIEW on My Blog: Hollywoodandme.Blogspot.com**
Albert Nobbs (2011)
Not a good movie but has great performances.
Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson, Brenda Fricker, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Mark Williams.
This is a movie about a woman passing as a man, Albert Nobbs played by Glenn Close in order to work and survive in the 19th century Ireland. I heard that Glenn Close also played the title character in the stage play fifteen years ago and have tried since then to make it a big screen adaptation but couldn't succeed. I hardly see the whole off screen passion and struggle transformed on screen which is unfortunate as i heard it was Glenn Close's passion project which doesn't at all seems like one when you see the movie. I had minimal expectations but was very confident about the performances which really is the only best part of the movie even though it slowly fades due to the lack of good effort in other areas of the movie. Rodrigo Garcia directed a movie last year called Mother and Child which definitely had its flaws but it swept me away with its emotional and dramatic power. This movie is very dull, lacking in so many levels.
The characters aren't fully developed, we don't fully open our hearts for Albert Nobbs who is a woman dressed as a man working for her dream to open a shop and have a family. At the end you don't feel as emotional or as connected to them to leave with something, this movie needed a lot of work. The other thing is that if i am not wrong, its based on a short story or something, it really doesn't fit so well in the movie running time. I mean the material is so thin that the movie feels dragged and far fetched. We see some side stories, other characters and their life but ten we seem to forget about the lead character. Albert Nobbs have been living his life as a butler in a hotel in a very good way being the best working person there, everyone knows him and likes him to serve then everything as he is good at what he does. This whole calm and focused kind of a person who has to do his work slowly and get everything right then to go to his room and count what he earned. He has a dream, a goal to fulfill, something he wants in his life and is very near to that but then he falls the victim of his own self. The life he has been living till now comes in between everything. I thought what happens with him is so tragic, something i wasn't expecting at all.
We also meet Hubert Page, who works as a painter. He is played by Janet McTeer which comes across as the most impressive performance of the movie. For a moment even you seem to be in doubt of Hubert's real identity but he is, like Nobbs, a woman. He shares the room with Nobbs and kind of get attached to him too, the both share their life story too later on and seems like a friendship bond between two likely wondering human beings living a quite unlikely life. Helen Dawes is played by Mia Wasikowska who again did a fine performance. She is the love interest of Nobbs who is romantically involved with Joe, played by Aaron Johnson. Screenplay of this movie suffers a lot, it is very poorly written and directed very badly too. Glenn Close should have hired another director for this movie as this one doesn't get his job done is a good way and the movie suffers thanks to that. You simply don't care about everything that happens, there are some funny moments too in the movie the characters situation does add some underlying humor at times but overall it is a very soft and quiet movie with sadness all over which is not fully expressed. Sadness within hearts, regrets of lives, living not for their own self but for others, a kind of life that you want but are unable to life fully. Lost chances everywhere and loves within heart for someone that is not expressed.
This is a very bizarre attempt for a movie that never fully touches or tackle the insides of everything and hence become as too forgettable and nothing outstanding. Janet McTeer's performance is the highlight of the movie, now that is a brave attempt. She does it so well that you seem to doubt your own self time to time as this might really be a boy, not McTeer. Her performance is much more open and confident but that really is a character thing as Albert Nobbs is completely the opposite. Which brings me to Glenn Close whose performance i don't hate or disliked but could have been so much better. Still i really appreciate her effort and you fully like her transformation from Glenn Close to Albert Nobbs. Mia Wasikowska does well too and so does the other actors. Nice art direction and costumes, doesn't full work as a Sunday Tea movie which most of Irish or British movies does and by that i mean movies like these. This is a very flawed movie that suffers from poor writing, poor direction and awful character development.
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One Day (2011)
A very disappointing movie.
Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Romola Garai, Rafe Spall, Ken Stott, Patricia Clarkson, Jodie Whittaker, Jamie Sives, Georgia King, Matt Berry and Matthew Beard.
So i was all so psyched about this movie when i saw the previews with the name Lone Scherfig in it which made me so convinced to expect another good movie from her after An Education. I was so convinced that this is going to be a wonderful romantic drama and a nice break from the awful romantic comedies these days but i was so wrong. This movie failed to impress me in every way possible, totally bland movie. I also own the book now on which this movie is based on from David Nicholls which i still have to read and i will someday no matter what. So One Day is a movie about a boy Dexter and the girl Emma who we see graduates from University of Edinburgh on July 15, 1988. They finds themselves alone, spends the night together. From there on, the movie follows them meeting on July 15 of every year for the next 23 years. I must say if you see, the whole idea is quite fresh and new. Narrative style does attracts you but it eventually fails to impress you on screen when as i heard, the written form is quite emotional and deep.
I did thought some times when i was waiting for a chance to see this movie that this might not be a perfect silver screen adaptation as many of the other movies but the director might use her own style in it and makes it worth watching. It definitely is not even worth watching, if you haven't seen this movie already, don't buy it on DVD but wait for some TV channel to show it to you on a day you have nothing else to do. An absolute dull and lifeless experience i had, i never cared about anything that was happening on screen just wished it would soon be over. It moves through these dates never actually first building these characters for a moment. I mean you never actually have a chance to understand these characters at a particular time, i heard someone saying this that it might have been a perfect mini series, which now that i think is a brilliant idea. Movie ends up on a very tragic and sad note which you don't see coming at all, i mean i was completely shocked when that incident takes place which, i was completely unaware of. You might feel a bit sad and sympathetic towards the characters but just on the surface, never actually because you weren't quite attached to them in the first place.
I thought cinematography was quite good, perfectly captured places which i don't remember right now actually but i think includes England, Scotland and Paris etc. Beautiful locations and something that you would really love watching, perhaps the only thing you would love watching. Screenplay as i told doesn't work at all, too superficial trying to jump over the dates so fast with less material to offer that leaves you feeling so empty. Direction suffered thanks to the writing in a way. Editing of this movie is bad but not terrible. Nice music used in the movie. Casting of Anne Hathaway was a terrible idea let me tell you this. Not even one British actress in this movie? I mean i was so miffed by people literally slamming her accent right from its previews, it wasn't until i saw the movie that i myself didn't quite liked her in the role of Emma. She was too American for me too even consider an Emma of One Day and just doesn't work. She seems British in a scene and a literally outsider in other. Her acting seems to be going downhill right from her Oscar nomination for Rachel Getting Married which impressed me a lot but not in her recent movies. Even her changing looks and hair cuts doesn't help but looks like that same old Anne than same old Emma if that character is meant to be like that. Where you do observe quite a brilliant change over the years, or should i say even over the moments is Jim Sturgess who literally delivers a really effective and mature performance. I really liked him in this movie, he have been in some movies where he was suppose to do a performance of a man thrice his age on a mental level and he does it so perfectly here. Not a flawless performance but certainly something that sticks with you where Anne's almost careless performance doesn't.
Movie overall feels less romantic or touching and more boring and dull with just things happening, covering basically there whole life in a way it feels just a year. Deeply disappointed with what i saw it should have been so much better.
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Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Overlooked by many it is a lovely animated movie.
Jim Cummings, Travis Oates, Tom Kenny, Craig Ferguson, Bud Luckey, Jack Boutler, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Wyatt Hall, Huell Howser and John Cleese.
This re-imagining or reboot of Disney's Winnie The Pooh franchise is the fifth theatrical movie. This movie revolves around Pooh obviously as he wakes up one day to find that he is out of honey and while in search for it, he discovers that Eeyore has lost his tail. As everyone tries to help him with this, Christopher Robin decides to hold a contest to find a suitable replacement for Eeyore's tail. The winner would a get a prize, a fresh pot of honey that Pooh is in dire need of, they try really hard but are failed at every attempt they make. Pooh next day goes to visit Christopher Robin but instead finds a not saying "Gon out bizy back soon". Pooh is unable to read it so he brings it to Owl, Owl himself is not good at reading and he makes everyone believe that he is being abducted by some scary ruthless monster called "Backson" as in "Back Soon". After that everyone tries to find a way to capture the monster, they finds a pit where the think backson would fall as he'll follow a trail of items that they put. Tigger also tries to deal with this situation in his way while involving Eeyore who is not interested in anything that time. On the other hand, not being able to fight with his hunger which leads him in a fail attempt to get honey from a bee hive that makes him fall into the pit they made for Backson. Everyone else trying to get him out falls in the pit themselves, on the other hand Tigger who is dressed in a supposedly Backson outfits scares Piglet who thinks its the same monster escapes from their through the red balloon which knocks the storybook letters into the pit. Tigger and piglet falls in the pit themselves but Pooh figures out a way to build a ladder through the fallen letters and everyone comes out. They all find Christopher Robin telling him about everything, he explains that he meant to be "Back soon". Pooh finds Eeyore's tail in owl's house who was using it as a door bell thing without even knowing and instead of sharing a pot of honey with Owl, Pooh returns Eeyore's tail and is rewarded by Christopher Robbins for his kindness. I came to find out about a Post Credit scene which i missed because i didn't knew it existed in which they reveal that the rumored Backson does existed but he was really friendlier.
Yes i am a big fan of Pooh from my childhood, though i don't much remember watching Pooh's movies and series that i have seen but still i just love the character and adore it so very much. I felt really glad when i first heard Winnie The Pooh's movie is going to release which i thought would be a delightful addition to this year's mediocre writing but superbly visual pleasure animated movies. I found this movie quite soft, nostalgic and such a pleasure to watch. We do get impress by the visual pleasure and shocking animation effects of the most 3D animated movies these days but movies like Pooh offers the old school pleasure of not being too flashy on the eyes but quite gently telling the story that not only can kids enjoy but their parents too. It seems like you are watching the moving pages of the books or something that is going on in your head as you are reading its book. It offers such a calm and soothing effect that i forgot i was watching a full on animated feature motion picture but a Disney TV show of it.
I did thought they could have offered a bit more of material to us than it already had because it had such a short length, i think i would have loved watching a bit more. That does effect the overall movie in a way for me but nevertheless it was a nice experience. A lovely family experience that everyone would enjoy, if none of you have seen any Pooh yet, this is the time. Honestly i don't have much to say about this movie but i will try a bit. It has this beautiful water color cozy charm to it, beautiful background and everything looks comfortable and outstanding. Screenplay was nice, told in a episodic way, when the movie finishes you feel like watching more just to enjoy the lovely Pooh. I just wanted to go there and hug Pooh. So the Owl's character is someone i had some problems with, i didn't liked him that well which isn't a problem but i hardly remember last time i got annoyed of a animated character. I would have also loved to see some more of Tigger. But loved seeing him and other characters like Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore and the only human Christopher Robin.
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