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A love story told in a complete unique way.
I don't know whether I love this movie because it is so depressing or if I hate this film because it is so depressing.
My initial thought was that this movie was a comedy about a kid who needs extra money and therefore ends up getting the worst job ever. I also thought it was set in the modern era (it's not, its set in the eighties). However, this film is completely different.
The film begins with your typical sweet geeky guy, James, (I'm surprised Michael Cera didn't get this role) being dumped after a twelve day relationship. He thought he was in love. His friends came up with a theory that the reason he was dumped was because he told her he was a virgin (he has a tendency to tell the truth). He then also finds out his father has lost his job and his parents won't be giving him anymore money for College, so he has to get a job. He has no real experience and his qualifications don't matter much. This results in him getting a job at Adventureland as a games keeper. The most boring, pathetic and unrewarding job ever (you don't even get freebies). The only person who seems enthusiastic with anything that is going on in the park is the boss, Bobby (Bill Hader). Whilst working at the theme park, he meets some strange, but wonderful people including Em (Kristen Stewart), the girl he falls in love with, Joel (Martin Starr), a geeky guy who can't find love, Lisa P (Margarita Levieva), the girl all the guys want and Mike (Ryan Reynolds) the rock band failure who everyone wants be (who is having an affair with Em, making things a little complicated).
The story is that James (Jesse Eisenberg), has fallen for Em, your typical "girl next door." She seems mysterious and holds a lot of pain within her. Her mother died and her father marries a woman who is the step-mum from hell. To get out of the house, she works at Adventureland even though she doesn't need the money. To control her emotions, she goes to the one guy who will always have her, Mike, who just so happens to be married. Then James comes along and changes her world because she realises what it is like to actually be loved and having someone care along about you and no one else. However, Mike gets involved and tells James that he shouldn't just focus on Em. This results in him going out with Lisa P, making all the other guys jealous. When everyone finds out that Em is sleeping with Mike, she quits her job and James has to convince her she is not an awful person and he really does like her ... a lot.
This is a beautiful love story told in a dark and depressing way, but sometimes love is just like that and this film shows that perfectly and the ending is the cherry at the top of the cake. It finishes the story perfectly.
When I heard Kristen Stewart, I was not enthusiastic after her dull performance in Twilight. However, I loved Kristen's character, I love the story that was behind her and I think Kristen told it well. The character bottles up a lot of her emotion, and this is hard to show to the audience, but she manages it and when that bottle opens up, it shows that Kristen is capable of being a good actress. The acting by Jesse Eisenberg was really good, I like him, but I couldn't help thinking Michael Cera all the way through the film. I think the actors that outshine in the film were Bill Hader, whose character is hilarious, and Martin Starr. They play their character roles perfectly. However, I thought Ryan Reynolds was there just to get the film known as he is a well known name. His character should have had more; it had the possibility to be excellent. Another thing that I think they could have developed on was the character of Em. I think the pain of her character should have been shown more and yes this may make the film more depressing, but it would have given this film real emotion. I really did like her character.
The humour in the film isn't exactly laugh out loud funny, but the wit is there and is throughout the film, which gives it something special.
To conclude, I actually still don't know whether I love this film or not. It is something different to your normal teen love comedies and I think it is worth the watch. It's enjoyable to watch.
The Ugly Truth (2009)
An enjoyable, humorous film.
The minute I saw the trailer for this film I knew the ending, but then again after watching any trailer for a chick flick, you usually know what's going to happen. This was the same with another summer release this year, The Proposal. It wouldn't be a chick flick without the happily ever after of the two lead characters getting together. However, many chick flicks are still made and many people, both men and women still go see them. The outcome is always the same, it's the getting to it which makes the films different and this film is different.
This movie starts with a television producer, Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl), a control freak who finds it extremely hard to find love; it has been eleven months since she has had sex to be exact. After a dreadful date, she comes home to the company of her cat that accidentally steps on the remote and turns on a show called The Ugly Truth. It is presented by a man, Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler), who tells people how it really is and his topic is sex and how men think. Abby, who is absolutely disgusted by his opinions and what he is saying, phones in and has an argument with him live on air. The next morning, she finds out that she has to work with him (typical!). At the beginning, she hates everything about him, until she realises he can help her get the man of her dreams. This man just happens to be living opposite her. He is good looking, intelligent (he's a doctor) and just so happens to have saved her from falling out of a tree. They go on a series of dates and her actions are all lead by Mike who is telling her exactly what men want. However, whilst doing this, he realises he is falling in love with her and the dilemma begins.
This film is for both men and women. On one side you have the woman who is desperate to find love and then you have the typical man who only cares about one thing ... sex! Put them together and you get an incredibly funny movie. The humour is a mix of witty one liners and cringe worthy moments.
Katherine Heigl does what she does best in this movie, it's her typical movie role and she pulls it off as always, whilst always looking stunningly beautiful, may I add. Gerard Butler, on the other hand, is stepping away from his usual macho roles and takes a different direction and he does it quite well. At the beginning of the film, I didn't like him much and thought the casting of him was wrong, but as the film progressed he acts the character well. He can do the vulgar "man-whore," but he can also do the sensitive guy who has just realised he is in love and he does it well.
This is your typical chick flick and if you like that sort of film you will probably love this film. The thing that makes it different is the humour and the fact that it talks about adult subjects and has expletives.
The problem with this film though, is that it lacks depth. The storyline is a bit bland and the conclusion of the film happens before anything has really happened in the film.
Overall, it's a good entertaining film, but it won't be nominated for any Oscars, so if you want a little fun, go see this movie, unwind and laugh until it hurts.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
It hooks you in from the very beginning and doesn't let you go until the end of Vol. 2.
I found it hard to write a review for this film, due to the fact I write them as I am going along whilst watching the film. This is so I can get everything down that is in my head onto paper. However, I couldn't take my eyes off this film to be able to do that. It hooks you in from the very beginning and doesn't let you go until the end of Vol. 2.
It opens up with the attempted murder of a pregnant bride (Uma Thurman). The audience only know, at this point, that the killer is a man called Bill who apparently is the father of her unborn child, though; he still tries to kill her after finding out this information. After being in a coma for four years, she decides to begin her revenge on those who were involved her attempted murder. This begins with Vernita Green (Vivian Fox), but not much is told about her, other than she regrets what she did and she is now a changed person because she has a daughter. It then goes to tell the story of what happened to Uma's character from the time she was in a coma, introducing the other characters of the film and a bit about their back story.
One back story which is presented beautifully is that of O-Ren Ishii, (Lucy Liu). It is a dark, disturbing tale that is shown through the means of anime. The images are amazing, but yet so wrong to watch. The story then progresses to find The Bride wanting a specific Samurai Sword to kill one O-Ren Ishii and her infamous Crazy 88. Whether she succeeds, well you will just have to watch the film and find out.
The cinematography, throughout the film is spectacular. Every shot looks like it is something out of a painting. This is particularly shown in the scene which contains the House of Blue Leaves. The type of image changes in different scenes, whether it is colour, anime or black and white, but each as amazing as the next. There is a huge exaggeration on the image of blood, it is bright red and the amount is huge. However, this does not make it seem comical or weird. It fits in with the story perfectly and gives it that special unique quality the whole film endeavours.
The acting is also something incredible. Uma Thurman creates a power within her character that lets the audience capture the true emotion she is going through. She is the definition of girl power. Lucy Liu's performance shocked me a little. She has an innocent look about her, but manages to create an absolutely terrifying character. I haven't seen her in a role like this before (her character in Charlie's Angels does not count) and her acting abilities shine through. I think the best performance though came from Chiaki Kuriyama who plays the character Gogo Yubari. Her character is a sadistic teenager who sends a chill down your spine each time she smiles, though she also creates a feeling that you should be slightly sorry for her even if she is crazy. The character is portrayed perfectly by Chiaki Kuriyama.
Another thing that gives this movie that something special is the music. It sets the whole tone and setting of the scenes. Credit also goes to the choreographers of the film who trained the actors to perform the amazing fighting scenes.
The final compliment I have for the film is that of the director and writer of the film, Quentin Tarantino. His imagination and skills have created something truly magnificent. It is a classic film that will be remembered in many years to come.
With all these compliments, there has to be some complaints and right now I can only think of one and it is a pretty pathetic one at that. The true identity of The Bride is kept hidden from the audience. They are not to learn her name until the second instalment when the audience learns the reasons on why she deserves the revenge she is giving out, only then does she deserve to have the right to a name. Until then though, it will be beeped out every time it is said in the most annoying way possible. If it was done in a slightly more subtle way it would have been fine, but it wasn't, so it is the only flaw in the movie that I have to write about.
Overall, fantastic movie!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Not as good as it should be.
Roger Ebert gave this film a shocking zero stars when he rated this film in 2003. I thought no film could be that bad, so when it was shown on Film4's FrightFest Season in 2009, I decided to watch it. I was not familiar with the story, but from the title, you can guess what it is about. I have not seen the original, so I have nothing to compare it by. I had watched the prequel (which was released after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released) the night before, to familiar myself with the storyline and the character Leatherface. I was not very impressed by the prequel and saw that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had a higher rating on IMDb, so I expected it to be better, even though Ebert had failed to even give it a star.
The movie opens with "real" footage of a crime scene and police reports of the terrible incidents that happened in Texas and zooms in on the evidence which is a chainsaw ... hence the title, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It then takes us to the main characters, teenagers, driving back from Mexico where they went to buy marijuana. Whilst driving, they nearly run over a girl. They stop to ask if she's OK, but she seems extremely distracted. She tells them she wants to go home and they decide to drive her. Half way through the drive she tells them "they are all dead." Confused, the teenagers asks her who is dead and she freaks out telling them they are "going the wrong way" and "she doesn't want to go back there." She then produces a gun from her crotch, tells them they "are all going to die," puts the gun into her mouth and pulls the trigger. We later find out that her family went through what they are about to go through. With a dead girl in the back of their truck, the teenagers decide to find a sheriff and pull into the big bad house where their nightmares are about to begin. One of the family members (R. Lee Ermey) poses as the sheriff and sorts the dead body out by wrapping cling film around her, groping her boob and telling Andy (Mike Vogal) that she is wet down there. This is all happening whilst Erin (Jessica Biel) is in the house on the phone to the police being told the sheriff will be there in half an hour. Her boyfriend, Kemper (Eric Balfour) on the other hand has been kidnapped and is being tortured by Leatherface. Even though the group know everything is wrong with the situation they are in, they still decide to sneak into the house to find Kemper and events start to unfold from there.
The film is extremely boring. There's no suspense so you feel scared and there is no real character development, so you don't feel sorry for all the terrible things they are going through. Jessica Biel is extremely annoying, and it is obvious she has been cast for her beauty and her screaming skills. The beauty part is proved correct when her white top becomes soaked through and everything is visible, she might as well not be wearing a top.
As the film progresses, you don't think, "Oh my God, are they going to survive?" You think, "Oh my God, when is this going to end?" I didn't care if they lived or died. I thought, just kill them all now or let them go, I honestly don't care! Just end! I can see why Roger Ebert gave it zero stars; it's dull, boring and a waste of time. The concept of the story line is good, it could be a fantastic film, but it's just not! I would not recommend this film. Instead, read the title, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and use your imagination on what happened because it will be a lot better than the film.
Unique, weird, slow moving.
The movie "Grace" is a disturbing one. The plot of the story is that a woman, Madeline (Jordan Ladd) and her husband, Michael (Stephen Park), have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully. They have been pregnant twice before, but she had miscarriages. This time they have been successful and everything seems completely fine. Everything is completely fine until there is a crash which is the result of the car airbag flying open at the complete wrong time. This accident, results in the death of Madeline's husband (which she seems completely unbothered about) and her unborn child. She decides to keep the baby inside her for the term, until finally she gives birth to a stillborn. It is quite a sad scene when the child is finally born and is not responding to anything. She sits with it begging for it not to leave her. The midwife, (who is a long term friend of Madeline) tells her she can't just wish for her baby to be alive. Whilst she is saying this sentence, the baby of course comes back to life and Madeline introduces baby Grace to the audience. Everything seems fine until Grace decides she doesn't like milk but has a thirst for blood, which is ironic knowing her mother is a vegan. Madeline tries to provide Grace with blood as much as she can either by purchasing fresh cow's meat or enduring the pain herself. This would be fine and life would go on, if it wasn't for her interfering mother-in-law, Vivian (Gabrielle Rose), and her doctor, Richard (Malcolm Stewart). Vivian interferes because she has a disturbing fetish to breast feed and Richard interferes because he has a disturbing habit to drink breast milk. Together they try to take baby Grace away from Madeline.
This film is not your typical horror film. It isn't scary, it doesn't make you jump and it doesn't get your adrenaline pumping. It's the opposite. It is very slow moving and not very exciting in the slightest. The only thing that keeps you hooked into the film is the fact that it is so very wrong. Another thing that makes the film so wrong is the ability to make you feel sorry for mother and child. This baby is feeding off blood and the mother will do anything to allow it. However awful this may be, the mother is so desperate to have a child and she still loves it unconditionally and therefore the audience feels the need to understand that what Madeline is doing for the child is completely acceptable.
This movie is different. It won't win any Oscars for acting, directing, cinematography or even special effects (baby Grace, at times, seems scarily weird, watch out for the close ups of the mouth), but it is a good film to watch if you want something unique. However, don't begin to watch the movie expecting anything special. If you take it one step at a time it will be enjoyable. The ending of the film (and I will say this, hopefully, without giving anything away), is possibly one of the strangest things I have ever seen. The last line and one of the last images with give you a "wtf, this is wrong," moment.
Overall, the concept of this film is different. It is a slow paced film, but isn't entirely boring. It comes under the category of horror, but isn't scary. It is more chilling. If you want something different to the blockbusters, watch it. If not, then don't.
Road to Perdition (2002)
Slow moving, but beautiful film. Contains Spoilers!
The Road to Perdition (2002) is a crime film about a man, Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) who is seeking revenge over the death of his wife, Annie Sullivan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and youngest child, Peter Sullivan. He also has the help of his eldest son, Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin). It begins with Michael Jr. finding out his father kills people for a living by witnessing it with his own eyes. The trust between them is put on the line. When their family is killed, they have to stick together to survive, one can not live without the other.
I found this film extremely boring to begin with, but I told my self to stick with it even though I was finding it hard to concentrate on it. About an hour and a half into the movie, it begins to pick up when Michael Sullivan is telling his son how to drive a car. It is a comical scene which made me realise I know nothing about cars. The scenes which involve death are shocking, but are not brutally violent, which makes the film different. When the gunshots go off, it doesn't make you jump, there is a soft tone about this film. This is probably brought about by the amazing cinematography; every shot could be a photograph. This also fits in with Jude Law's character that shoots photographs of the dead. He has been hired to assassinate Michael Sullivan and Jude Law gives this character a creepy feel, he does wrong things and yet he makes you feel sort of happy about it. The final scenes are amazing. It has a shock dramatic ending, but you don't feel sad for losing a main character. You feel a joy of relief because any resentment Michael Sullivan Jr. had for his father is lifted when he forgives his father for what he did for a living and realises he is nothing like him and will not become him.
The acting in the film was amazing, there is a whole cast of fantastic actors. However, Daniel Craig's character I found weird and Paul Newman's character didn't interest me in the slightest, which let their acting abilities be not known. I felt Tom Hank's performance was a little disappointing at the beginning of the film, when his wife had died, I thought it lacked real emotion. However, as the movie progressed, so did his acting talent. Jude Law was fantastic and Tyler Hoechlin was OK, but nothing special.
The direction of Sam Mendes is great and the cinematography of the film is the best thing. It is purely amazing and uses many soft tones, this, combined with the music, tells the story in a unique way. When the dialogue went silent, the music told the narrative. It sets the mood, tone and era of the story. I found it fantastic.
The problem with this film is that it is really slow moving. It is has a good storyline, amazing actors, beautiful cinematography and great music, but it lacks something special. You really have to keep all attention on it otherwise you will get bored.
The Dark Knight (2008)
Amazing Film, Heath Ledger's Joker was the highlight of the film! Includes Spoilers.
The Dark Knight is the second instalment of Christopher Nolan's series of Batman films, with the first being Batman Begins. This story is based around The Joker, (Heath Ledger) a psychopathic maniac, who causes mayhem in Gotham City and Batman (Christian Bale) trying to stop him. It questions whether Batman is the true hero of Gotham City or if the public believe in someone else.
The opening scene is just spectacular; it takes place in bank and shows an extremely exciting robbery in which each robber gets killed by another until finally The Joker is left with all the money. The scene really gets the audience immediately hooked on the film, unable to take their eyes off the screen. About five minutes later, it begins another action packed scene that includes Batman stopping The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), a gang of mobsters and a bunch of Batman copy-cats. Throughout the film there are many scenes that are action packed and gripping. In one scene it shows two boats, one full of citizens and one full of criminals. They are told by The Joker to blow up the other boat in order to survive, but if they don't both boats will be blown up. They argue and take votes on what decision to make and it makes the audience themselves think, what would I do in that situation?
The acting is marvellous by most of the actors in the film. Gary Oldman, who plays Lt. James Gordon, was spectacular and you could really see the frustration his character was going through when he was unable to stop the Joker from killing his friends, colleagues and the citizens of Gotham City. When his character is forced to choose between his family members, you can really feel the heartache and pain of what he is going through. It is another outstanding performance by Gary Oldman. Aaron Eckhart's character, Harvey Dent, is honestly a pretty boring character and the only emotion he really has is his love for Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). However, the minute he turns into Two Face, his acting abilities shine through, which is probably helped with the shocking special effects that are used on half of his face.
Heath Ledger, who unfortunately passed away recently, plays The Joker and is the highlight of the film. He makes his character absolutely terrifying, but completely hilarious at the same time. The Joker has no rules and causes complete chaos just to watch people's reactions. This is Heath's last complete film role and it is such an amazing performance that he should win the Oscar that many people are speculating about.
I, personally, am not a huge Batman fan, but I have seen one or two of the previous movies, not including Batman Begins. The Dark Knight does not feel like a comic book movie, even if it is Batman. It is serious and dark, unlike Batman and Robin which is comical, camp and crap. If you are not a Batman fan, you will still enjoy the movie. You don't need to have seen Batman Begins to understand what is going on. The only thing I questioned was whether Rachel knew the true identity of Batman, Bruce Wayne, but within about twenty seconds, I realised that in fact she did.
During the film, I noticed the reactions of the other audience members; some were hiding behind their coats, whilst others at the same time had a constant grin on their face. The film excellently combines thrill and humour to give it that something special.
The disappointing things about The Dark Knight were that it is over two and a half hours long and it does seem as if it drags on a bit. Also, I was extremely disappointed in Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance as Rachel Dawes. I found her acting bland and unemotional. She didn't seem bothered when The Joker was threatening her or when she thrown off the building, which resulted in the most pathetic scream I have ever heard. I really didn't care if she was the one who ended up getting blown up at the end. Another thing that just really annoyed me was Batman's voice, yes he has to disguise it so people don't recognise his real voice, but I just found it was annoying, weird and comical.
Overall, the film is spectacular, Heath Ledger's Joker was bloody amazing and it is a must see. It has got to be the best summer movie of 2008 or generally, one of the best movies of 2008.
The Green Mile (1999)
Does Contain Spoilers, Very Good Film, an emotional thrill ride!
The Green Mile, directed by Frank Darabont, is based on the story by Stephen King. It is set on Death Row and introduces us to many weird, but wonderful, characters. Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the main guard on the Green Mile (the ward has a green floor), who looks after the inmates that are awaiting execution. His workmates are lovable guards, all except one, Percy Wetmore, is a ruthless, vindictive man, who will stop at nothing to make himself seem more powerful.
The story is a flashback of Paul's life. Now in a retirement home, he begins to tell us his story; which doesn't really begin until a new inmate, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), joins the people on the Green Mile.
He is a huge, giant black man, convicted of the murder of two little white girls, but he is not what he seems, like the fact he is scared of the dark and is very sensitive deep down inside. He also carries a supernatural ability, which is used to help the people that surround him. Coffey, "like the drink, only not spelled the same," is a simpleminded, illiterate man who causes no trouble, but is found crying, with the girl's bodies in his hands and the question of whether he committed the crime, stays in your mind until the concluding part of the film, when the characters finally find out the truth.
Throughout the film, there are scenes of powerful emotion, one where Del Delacroix (Michael Jeter) is told that his pet mouse, Mr Jingles, won't be going to mousy heaven because there isn't one and the final scene for John Coffey, which is a definite tear jerker, so get the tissues out. However, there are scenes that have strong horror, like one scene shows the audience the horrific consequence if water is not added to the prisoner's head, before the electric execution, therefore this movie is not for sensitive souls and it is one of the reasons that it is rated 18. Other moments of great impact include the relationship between one man, Del, and his mouse, Mr Jingles and the subplots involving the wives of Paul (Bonnie Hunt) and the warden (Patricia Clarkson).
The centre of the movie, is based around the relationship of Edgecomb and Coffey and how Coffey can help things that are suffering, "I just took it back, is all" and his ability takes the story right to the end of the film when he frees himself of other people's pain and hands it to Paul.
When watching the film, it reminded me a lot of the story "Of mice and men" by John Steinbeck. Both tales were set in the Depression era when men were finding it hard to find work and black people were being discriminated against. John Coffey is much like the character Lennie, Paul like George and Percy is like Curley. Also, in 'Of Mice and Men' Lennie is blamed for murdering the mice, puppy and Curley's wife, and in The Green Mile, Coffey is blamed for the murder of the two girls.
The acting is extremely good, Michael Clarke Duncan's character is created in such a way that everyone is hoping that there will be a happy ending in store for him and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Whilst, Tom Hanks' character is more of a responsible person that you really get to know how he is feeling and he wins the audience's sympathy. Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) is a character that you love to hate and Mr Jingles, the mouse, is the star of the show.
The music in the film has perfect timing, which makes it more of an emotional ride and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound (Robert J. Litt, Elliot Tyson, Michael Herbick and Willie D. Burton) and for an Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film, USA Award, for Best Music (Thomas Newman).
Overall, the movie is fantastic; it is a gripping tale that will keep you intrigued until the very last moment. The acting and music turns the film into something quite magical and it has scenes that range from being so intense that you feel as if you were there, to moments where you wish you had bought some more tissues. However, the only thing that spoils the film is the length of it, a whopping three hours and eight minutes makes the tale seem that it is dragging on a little too much.