torsdag 1 mars 2012

My review of "My Week With Marilyn"

First of all, I think Marilyn Monroe is one of the most overrated people of all time.

If there's one very negative thing about this film.. it's just that I'm probably not alone in wanting to have more than a week with Marilyn. It just becomes "a week".. even though you'll get to see most of what Marilyn Monroe was about, it's still "just a week".

That's most likely one of the issues people have with this film. I for one, think it's very interesting, but even though staying true to the two books it is based on, it is still more about Colin Clark, the main character in the film played by Eddie Redmayne. I figure people would much rather want a complete Marilyn Monroe biopic, from rise to fall. I personally would have loved it!

Another thing, Michelle Williams. She is someone you'll either love or hate.. and I personally think no one has any right to hate her. Look, Marilyn Monroe was a complex character and frankly someone it must have been hell to play. Michelle Williams took an incredible "stab in the dark" here because she could have made a complete fool of herself. I think she did it brilliantly, she played a complex Marilyn, we get to see Marilyn the addict, Marilyn the diva, Marilyn the vulnerable and she actually brings a lot of warmth to her portrayal. Michelle Williams actually makes Marilyn a person you can't help but love, no matter if you did like the real Marilyn Monroe or not. Michelle just becomes Marilyn, her manerisms, flirty personality etc. A VERY deserving Oscar nomination for Michelle Williams. She just had a card up her sleeve and that card is her performance in this film. After seeing her portrayal it is hard to imagine someone else having played the role.. It's called acting, you can't say her voice isn't close enough or her looks or whatever.. I truly believe Michelle Williams did all in her power to do Marilyn justice..

I have to say I didn't expect much from this film, I didn't really have any expectations for this film.. but it's actually surprisingly good.. other than Michelle Williams, the cast is brilliant! Julia Ormond who is brilliant as Vivian Leigh. Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier who he got an Oscar nomination for playing in the category of "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role". You can also see Emma Watson, who's adorable as always. Toby Jones, who has the funniest lines. Dougray Scott, great as Arthur Miller. Dominic Cooper, Dame Judi Dench and Zoe Wanamaker.

It is more of an independent film so don't expect any big Michael Bay kind of explosions or anything.. but it's truly a joy to watch. I personally love biopics, especially on actors and actresses. It is my dream to play someone in a biopic actually. I just think it's cool to get to play someone who is or has been alive and getting to do all research, looking up a persons old work, interviews, personal life etc.

But if this "little" independent film can create TWO big Oscar nominations in the most important categories, which is for acting, then how bad can this film really be?

By the way.. this film is about a young man named Colin Clark who gets to work as a third assistant director on the set of the movie "The Prince and the Showgirl" shot in England starring Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier. Colin is to resist the sexy flirts of Marilyn Monroe. That's it, that's the plot, try to not think of what might go wrong...

This movie surprised me, it has a lot of magic to it.. maybe because the reenactment scenes from "The Prince and the Showgirl" were actually filmed at the very same soundstage as the original film was filmed on...

It's worth a look! And frankly, didn't get the attention it deserves, other than the Oscar nominations of course.. It might be a little dull at times too...

My rating: 7,2/10

torsdag 23 februari 2012

My review of "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"

Extremely mainstream yet incredibly close to being amazing. Now let me explain.. This movie is a little ass kissing of the Academy but I can't help but think that there's something very special about it. The film captured New York quite well, both the unfriendly people as well as those who are genuinely nice, the way people interracted with each other was amazing. But then 9/11 comes into the picture, which is totally uncalled for.. However, it is staying true to the novel, which is important.

The acting is absolutely brilliant, Tom Hanks is great in everything he does and although I feel Sandra Bullock is overrated, she's not half bad in this film. Viola Davis, Jeffrey Wright and John Goodman are also in this film.. but the two main actors that caught my attention were Max von Sydow and Thomas Horn. Max von Sydow is a living legend, he is nominated for his role in the category of "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role". I personally think he deserves it. Thomas Horn, who is playing the main role of Oskar Schell does so quite well. Keep in mind that this is his very first film.. the emotions coming out of that kid is just amazing, especially during those rough scenes. At first, I disliked him a little, he's an unlikeable character, he's rude, obnoxious and treats his mother like shit, although that's what you get when you spoil your kid too much and give him everything he's ever pointed his finger at. However when he does emotional scenes, you can't help but find him more sympathetic and he grows on you.

It is the story of Oskar Schell, a 9 year old boy, much different from everyone else. He's an amateur inventor, franchophile, pacifist among other things and has an amazing relationship with his father. They go on treasure hunts etc. His father dies on 9/11 and a year after, Oskar discovers a mysterious key located in a blue vase he accidentally breaks. Oskar becomes determined to find the matching lock for the key and is set out on an adventure all around New York City.

I think what hurt this film the most is the bad timing of this film. Director Stephen Daldry and producer Scott Rudin had been working on the film adaption of the book for five years.. maybe if it had been released 5 years ago, people would still think it would be okay to use 9/11 as part of a story. Even though it is an event that beat NYC to its knees, it just feels very cheesy to still be using 9/11 in movies and making a profit off of it. Although it is staying true to the novel, I know, I know! However, the movie captured human feelings tremendously.

But they could have still BASED the film on the novel and removed the 9/11 part or replace it with something else.. that's what bugs me if anything. But I still love Stephen Daldry and I think he's one of the most interesting directors out there..

Also, although I haven't seen "Hugo" yet, I can't help but think that the two films seem very similar. Boy losing father, father leaves key which sets off kid to a big adventure.

Should this have been nominated for "Best Motion Picture of the Year" though? It's quite hard to say.. It's a film people will either love or hate... I actuall had to re-write this review.. At first I didn't think it should have been nominated for "Best Motion Picture of the Year".. however after seeing bits of it yet again, it makes me realize how great this movie truly is... The writing is AMAZING especially Oskar's view on life at times. I think it's better than avarage, especially when there are some films in the "Best Motion Picture of the Year" category that don't deserve a nomination. It is a great film about moving on, or at least trying to move on from a tragic event that brought everyone a little closer together. The Academy has been known for nominating cheesy films in the past years... it's just not about artistic merit anymore as much as a dick swinging contest. It's all just so corrupted that it's sad. If it were for real artistic merit, you would have seen a heck lot more independent films being nominated as well as lesser known actors. It is cheesy at times but the acting, writing etc. still makes it better than most movies nominated for an Oscar. There's something about this movie that I love, I just quite haven't figured out what yet..

However I still feel this movie is a little better than avarage.. It's worth a look... hell, any movie is worth a look because you will be able to form your own opinions.. something no one can ever take away from you.

My rating: 7,5/10

My review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1"

I never really got into the Harry Potter series, I simply am not into these kind of franchises very much. But that does not mean I can't understand the greatness of them. However, I do not like the way franchises are milking audiences for money, especially in this new fucked up way that producers for some reason think is acceptable. Yes, I'm talking about dividing a movie into two parts. There is simply NO artistic merit behind dividing a long film into two very dragged out movies. It is nothing but a way to get people to pay up big bucks, I say big bucks because the prices for cinema tickets are ridiculous, and then not giving the audience much of the vital points of the story.

That's exactly what this movie is, sure it has brilliant and incredibly cool effects.. but this is not suppose to be "Transformers" where there's a very minimalistic or unimportant plot and the whole movie is just built on effects. I just think it's a damn shame... the movie has some, or most of Great Britain's most amazing actors and I can't help but think that this movie is the "sell-out" of the series.. maybe not story wise, but in the sense of it being divided into two parts.

This movie is so dragged out! It's about 2 hours and 15 minutes and the best action is literally in the last 15 minutes, obviously just to get you ready for part two, which you have to wait a year to see. Well, not now when it's already out but you get my point.

All of the villains, especially Lord Voldemord, are trying to kill Harry Potter and most of this movie is set in a forrest where they're just hiding out and having some teenage crisis.

I'm so very mad at this film and the way this crap has been going on.. I couldn't give two shits about other films that are divided, like "Twilight" but Harry Potter is NOT "Twilight". The Harry Potter franchise has good actors, that's one very big difference for starters. It also has a better plot and all that.

I can imagine "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" being much better with the story being all wrapped up and finally coming to a conclusion.. but these two movies should have simply been one movie.

However, the directing, editing and everything else is absolutely great! It's enjoyable but very slow, at least that's what I think.. If you like the Harry Potter movies, you'll like this for sure.. Maybe I'm the only one who can't stand these movies being divided?

My rating: 6,5/10

onsdag 22 februari 2012

My review of "Rango"

Without a doubt the best animation I've seen in one of the best animated films that I've ever seen. It's a Nickelodeon films production and I haven't been very impressed by them in recent years, but this animation just knocks all other films out of the game. You can literally see every wrinkle on Rango's skin. It's absolutely amazing and very lifelike.

It's the story of Rango, a pet chameleon who accidentally comes across a little town called Dirt. He is apointed sheriff of the town in hopes of being able to save it from aridity.

The whole plot just becomes so damn contemporary, especially when more and more is unfolded in the story but that's as much as I'll say...

The voice acting is absolutely amazing, especially by Johnny Depp. Who would've known? But then again, Johnny Depp isn't exactly known for disappointing. Also lending their voices: Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton, Timothy Olyphant, Ray Winstone and more! What a cast! They all did a brilliant job.

Gore Verbinski, director of such films as "The Mexican", "The Weather Man" and Pirates of the Caribbean 1-3 has directed "Rango", making this his first animated film. It is nominated for an Academy Award in the category of "Best Animated Feature Film of the Year" and I personally think it should win. I've seen all other in the category and I think this is the strongest one. Best animation, best plot, most entertaining.

I personally think this was one of the best films of 2011, it's a little gem. I think it didn't get the attention it very much deserved, which is quite a shame... It's absolutely hilarious, the characters are likeable as well as unlikeable, the ones that should be unlikeable that is.

I think it's a very clever film and there's not really much bad to say about it. I know a lot of people aren't going to agree on my rating but I stand corrected. This is not a boring animated film, finally an animated film that's for adults. I hate people who claim a film is for kids simply because it's animated, stop that will you?

This film is a fresh breath of air in the animation industry, at least that's what I think.. I think you should see this film if you want a good time.

My rating: 10/10

My review of "The Adventures of Tintin"

This film is not a complete home run but almost there. I used to read the Tintin comic books when I was a kid, I wasn't quite obsessed with them but I can see why people were. The Tintin stories have some really great plots, as does this movie. Even if you don't know much about Tintin, I like the way they have set up the characters for the audience, you don't really have to know the characters before watching this film as most of them are explained and introduced to us quite well.

Surprisingly, it's directed by Steven Spielberg, it happens to be his first animated film. The cool thing about this whole thing is that Steven Spielberg has actually been a fan of Tintin since the 1980's and the creator of Tintin, Hergé was actually a fan of Steven Spielberg's. Hergé once stated that he's sure that only Spielberg can do Tintin justice, if it were to be turned into a film. It's just a shame he didn't get to see this film.. Although much that Steven Spielberg touches becomes gold, this is no exception but it could have become platinum.

Let me explain, this is not a bad movie, not at all. It is very entertaining, has quite an interesting plot but.. 1. It feels quite rushed at times. 2. I would rather have a live action film, which Steven Spielberg actually wanted to do at a point, I think as the visionary that Spielberg is, he could pull off anything, especially that. Imagine a live action Tintin but a little more modern, like Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes". 3. I think the animation is distracting.. I mean, the animation is great, yet it isn't. It's kind of hard to explain, but at times, you'll see how amazingly well it is done and sometimes it just looks very corny. Sometimes you see how the characters hair blows in the wind and sometimes their movements are just quite wooden. It's quite a shame because there's this one scene where sand turns into water and that has to be one of the most visually beautiful things I've ever seen. If only the animation would have been that great all the time, like in "Rango", flawless from beginning to end.

The voice acting is great, Jamie Bell does a great Tintin. It's great to have Simon Pegg and Nick Frost together again as "Thompson and Thompson". Daniel Craig is surprisingly good as a voice actor. Andy Serkis is brilliant as always as Captain Haddock. He's the only truly irreplaceable thing about this film.

It's still an incredible film and it's quite a thrill ride. It should have easily been nominated for an Oscar in the category of "Best Animated Film of the Year", it was snubbed. But I'm very happy lesser known animated films got attention in that category, "A Cat in Paris" and "Chico & Rita".

It's a little too childish at times but then again we all started to read Tintin as kids or teenagers, not as adults. So I'm happy it has stayed quite true to the comic book. Animation or live action film, I'm absolutely convinced that Hergé would have been proud of you, Mr. Spielberg.

My rating: 7,5/10

måndag 20 februari 2012

My review of "The Artist"

This is one of those films that is just absolutely flawless, at least that's my opinion. It's the perfect lenght too, 100 minutes, so people can't say it's boring or too "dragged out". Although the 100 minutes feel like half an hour. I've been wanting to see this film ever since I heard about it and saw the trailer, more than a year ago. I have to give the Weinstein brothers some credit for distributing this film... The whole concept of the film is a big risk.. it's either a win or lose film but turns out this movie is more than a winner, more than an absolute homerun...

It's the story about silent movie star George Valentin who happens to meet a young struggling actress by the name of Peppy Miller. The rest is history...

You just have to sit back and relax, just watch the movie and keep in mind that this is the kind of movie you'll never ever be able to see again in the future. It has got to be one of the most unique films you'll ever see, especially at the cinemas. Years from now, you'll be able to tell your kids that you've seen a silent film at the cinemas. I personally will cherish this experience for the rest of my life.

It is nominated for a whooping 10 Oscars! Something for once, I will not argue with..

The directing by Michel Hazanavicius is awesome. An interesting thing about this movie and his directing is that there's not one single zoom made in this movie. He claims he stood by this because in the older films the zoom technology had not been invented yet.

Now on to the actors, ah, the flawless acting...

Jean Dujardin. Nominated for an Oscar in the category "Best Actor in a Leading Role". I haven't seen a more charming personality on screen for as long as I can remember... you have to keep in mind that these actors only have their facial expressions to work with if they can't use their voices.. He does it brilliantly, when he smiles, you feel his joy, when he's sad, you feel his pain etc. Jean Dujardin SHOULD and WILL win his Oscar! I'll be damned if he doesn't win... I'll be silent for a month as a protest.

Bérénice Bejo. Nominated in the category of "Best Actress in a Supporting Role". What a beautiful human being. So damn adorable and an amazing actress. She too deserves her Academy Award nomination and would be my pick, however she's in some very rough competition, but in the "actor categories" you usually are in for a rough ride. AMAZING. She's married to the director and has two children with him. However don't think she was picked for this film simply because of her relationship to the director, she's incredibly good. Don't judge in prior to have watched the film...

Uggie. Uggie the dog did most of the scenes in "The Artist" but two different dogs were also used. This dog is the cutest dog I've seen in a film in a very long time... I want a jack russell dog. He's a real scene stealer in the film. You'll love him...

Also I was surprised at how many big names were involved in this film... John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Malcolm McDowell and more! Also be on the lookout for a great cameo by Ken Davitian, the fat bloke in "Borat".

I think a lot of people love this movie because it's so damn different. But different in a good way, which makes it unique. Or maybe it's because you've always wanted to live in that day and age?

I can keep on writing a whole page about this film.. just watch this movie, it is pure magic. Support this film, don't download it or anything like that. It deserves every penny. It's one of the best films I've ever seen... and I've seen about 5000 films in my lifetime.

If you are a movie lover, see this film. If you want to become an actor or an actress, see this film. There's no way around it... everyone should have a solid reason for wanting to see it.

My rating: 11/10 (Yes, that's correct, you are not intoxicated)

tisdag 14 februari 2012

My review of "Rundskop" ("Bullhead")

Impressive. What an impressive debut from director and writer of this film, Michael R. Roskam. The director has mainly worked on short films before and this is his first feature film... Pretty impressive for him to get an Academy Award nomination for his first, in the category "Best Foreign Language Film of the Year". It is a Belgian film but there's some French language spoken in it as well.

I actually love foreign films, they are everything movies should be about. They're rarely sugar coated with cheesyness, although unfortunately that happens as well but not as often as in Hollywood films. Foreign films are very raw and are very true to life. In most cases, foreign films are what all movies should be about.

The acting is quite amazing, especially by Matthias Schoenaerts, the lead actor, who is the best thing about the film. He actually gained 27 kilograms of muscles for this role, that's nearly 60 pounds of pure muscles! That alone should make you want to watch the film. All other actors are great as well but Matthias Schoenaerts clearly stands out...

The movie is about a young cattle farmer by the name of Jacky Vanmarsenille. He meets up with a veterinarian and a notorious beef trader for a shady deal but when a policeman is murdered it brings up the secret of Jacky's past which sets of a chain of consequences.

What really caught my interest is also the beautiful cinematography, some scenes are absolutely beautifully made. It's quite the interesting thriller, a type of thriller you have never seen before and most likely never will again. I've heard many people complain about the lenght of this movie but I had absolutely no problems with it, I would however say that some scenes are quite unimportant. But I like the way the tention is built up, so there's not really much bad to say about this film. The ending however is kind of cheesy and quite predictable, although the acting makes it better than it usually would have been, along with the sounds. Yes, the sounds. You'll understand when you'll see the ending.

It's quite painful to watch, almost too painful at times, seriously. It's an extraordinary movie. It reminds me of a greek play. But it's not quite a masterpiece. But almost.. damn, so close!

SEE IT for god's sake! Well, and for the sake of Matthias Schoenaerts who will obviously become a giant in the acting industry.

My rating: 8,5