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enjoyable yet confounding
As with any spy film, a certain amount of complexity in the script is to be expected. However this spy film adds on plot twists, flash backs, back stabbing and double agents with so much frequency that it left me scratching my head by its end. As an on screen team Julia Roberts and Clive Owen work well together but even their performances were drowned out by the sheer complexity of the script. There are also welcome surprises from the supporting cast, each of whom seemed to have their fair share of witty dialogue. Ultimately the movie is less about a romance between rival spies, and is more about keeping its audience wondering just how the plot can twist next. As the final credits role one looming question remains: "What happened here?" even complex spy thrillers such as "Mission Impossible" had some kind of wrap up at its end that cleared up any lingering doubt or questions and we were happier for it. 'Duplicity' is a fun little spy film, with some fine performances by Roberts and Owen and plenty of well written dialogue, but it is brought down by the overly complex plot and I fear will leave even fans of the genre feeling slightly numb when the credits role.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
a good film, not as good if you have read the novel
For the record I did read the book before viewing the movie but I will try to abstain from making this review an essay comparing the movie to the book.
First the acting, overall the actors did a fine job, however there was some room for improvement. I did particularly like the part of Ian McKellan as Sir Leigh Teabing. I thought that Audrey Tautou could have brought more the character of Sophie Neveu, there seemed to be an overall lack of chemistry between the characters of Sophie and Robert. When I first heard that Tom Hanks was picked for the lead role of Robert Langdon I was surprised, but after viewing the film I have changed my thinking, his character was very well played. Jean Reno was perfectly casted as Bezu Fache and Paul Bettany could not have been a better choice for Silas.
I did have a few issues with the screenplay, especially the fact that the movie reveals secrets far before it needs too, particularly when revealing one of the main villains. The film at points used flashbacks to explain historical data and personal backgrounds, but at a point they sometimes revealed information that would have been better if just spoken in dialog.
The film visually was very well done particularly the scenes that take place in the Louve and in the home of Ian McKellan's character Leigh Teabing. For instance visual elements were added when in the book it was simply spoken by the characters.
Now for the book-to-movie comparisons. As with any film based off a book cuts had to be made from the story to fit it all on screen, however with this film the screenwriters added elements to the story that were in no way alluded to in the original novel. I will not give too much detail on these changes but let me just comment that some of them were made in what appeared to be an attempt to cause more controversy particularly with the role of the catholic church. The film changed several major plot points that Dan Brown originally wrote, I believe some of those changes took away from the story.
Overall the film on its own does very well, had I not read the book before seeing the movie I would have thought that this makes a good mystery story, and I most likely would have been more interested in reading the original novel. However, those who have read the book upon seeing the movie might have several questions about the plot changes.
An under praised movie musical
I did not discover "Newsies" until my senior year in high school but it remains to this day one of my favorite movie musicals. The movie appeals to audiences both young and old and also gave us our first glimpses at such actors as Christian Bale (American Pysco, Batman Begins)and Bill Pullman (Independence Day). Being a fan of old school musicals such as "Guys and Dolls" and "The Music Man" I was skeptical that a film made in 1992 about news boys would be any good but my friends insisted (and rightly so)and the film still ranks as one of my favorites. The songs will stick in your head long after you have finished the film and you will be wishing you had seen it on the big screen. I recommend this film to children of all ages and anyone who loves good old fun movie musicals.
The Man from Snowy River (1982)
one of the best movies about cowboys just being cowboys
The Man from Snowy River is by far one of the best movies about cowboys I have seen. It shows cattle ranchers doing what they do best, riding their horses! But as it is with most of our favorite movies, we can find flaws in them. Kirk Douglas should not have played two characters, and the girl playing Jessica could not act to save her soul. But poor acting aside this movie has possibly the greatest horse chase sequences ever! The riders do things with their horses I never thought possible especially when Jim jumps over a cliff while on his horse. The movies musical score makes every sequence truly beautiful and accents the background of the Austrailan highlands perfectly. The music during the chase scene makes the sequence all the more inspirational. I would recommend this movie to any fan of westerns, young or old, American or Australian, this movie is for you!
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
was good overall but has some minor flaws
Last night I had to privilege of watching the new release of "The Phantom of the Opera" I had never heard a song or seen a production of this particular musical before. The opera house setting was beautifully done as well were the costumes. I was slightly confused by the fact that at times the actors mouths didn't match up with the songs they were singing. I was also distracted by the phantom's mask, all of the pictures I have seen from other productions of this musical have shown an entirely different mask than what was used in this film. Overall I thought the film was very entertaining and would suggest it to all fans of movie musicals.