Finally! This is the movie I have been waiting to see all year, and I finally went down to Red Box to get it. A film by Derick Martini, Hick, is a coming of age story about thirteen-year-old girl Luli (Chloe Grace Moretz) who sets off on a cross country adventure to Las Vegas after her mom goes on a trip with a boyfriend and her dad decides to walkout. Along the way, she runs into Eddie (Eddie Redmayne). a former cowboy with a limp, and Glenda (Blake Lively), a coke-snorting drifter with a nasty past. Unfortunaltly for Luli, she learns the hard way she’s looking for love and purpose in all the wrong places.
I, for one, believe it’s time for Madea to ethier retire or drop dead. How much more of the same can this character possibly go through? I understand why Tyler Perry released another Madea film after the box office disappointment that was “Good Deeds,” but give it a rest! Come up with something original! This is better than his last Madea film, but worse all at the same time. This film didn’t have all the extra black stereotypes and overused archetypes he uses, but it’s like he didn’t even try with this one. This one had white people in it, and it was the black vs. white culture shock that is so overdone. It’s not funny anymore. As a matter of fact, this film isn’t funny at all, unless you find second jokes and a hood-talking Denise Richards hilarious.
I don’t feel like make going this long and drawn out, so I’ll just get to the point. This wasn’t good. I don’t understand all the people who say this was so amazing. Did we watch the same movie? Once upon a time Kristen Stewart was a good actress. She knew how to show emotion on her face, but then she took on the role of Bella Swan and she got stupid. I don’t understand the casting at all, or how we’re supposed to believe that Kristen Stewart is fairer than Charlize Theron, but anybody but KStew would have made this film an ounce better. I understand it’s what the evil queen thinks and she thinks Snow White is fairer than her, but come on now! The script was blotchy and confused and the acting was either over the top (Charlize Theron) or just not there at all (Kristen Stewart).
Kristen Stewart’s Snow White was “The One” and very pretty, but that was about it. There was nothing more to her than being destined to kill the queen. There was no character development or arc with her, and that’s not all her fault. Her character wasn’t written to have any depth, but if she were I doubt Stewart would have been able to pull it off. She’s a less than mediocre actress and this film showcases how much she’s lacking. There was also a lack of conflict. It’s Snow White vs. The Queen and we know the battle is at the end, but did we need to see Harry Potter and Voldemort together to feel that tension? Speaking of lack of conflict, Snow White has two love interests and there’s no conflict or competition between the two men. The so-called Prince doesn’t even break the spell, so why is he even in the story? He could have been left on the cutting room floor and the story wouldn’t have missed a beat, the same with the dwarfs. There were a lot of characters and scenes introduced but they did nothing to further the plot.
In its attempt to be an epic, this film was too short to reach that standard but too long for what it really was and too crowded. No character development, terrible acting (except by Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman, who was annoyingly perfect), and terribly written. The two things it had going for it was the set design and the costume design. Other than that, it was bland. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t impressed.
First off, let me just say that unless you live in North Carolina you can’t truly appreciate the beauty of the Appalachians. I’m a Queen City kid, but It was such a treat to see my state’s mountains and woods on the big screen. And you better believe everyone hooted and hollered when we saw Charlotte’s name in the credits. Its a cool feeling. But anyways, I had the great opportunity to see “The Hunger Games” last night at the midnight premiere. I can’t tell you how crowded it was because my AMC theater does pretty good job with crowd control when the situation calls for it, and I got there at 9pm and had my butt planted for three hours. If you want a synopsis, find another review or read the back of the book, because I’m just going to get straight to it.
This Thanksgiving season I am thankful for the movie theater that kept me entertained Thanksgiving morning. My family is spending the holiday in the mountains and I stayed behind, but I’m not mad about it. I’m not big on holidays and family get togethers anyway. I like the quiet time and the solitude. I went to a 10:30am showing of Hugo in 3D, Martin Scorsese’s new film. Quite different for him. Crime dramas and thrillers are his cup of tea, and he’s good at it. He has a particular style and it works for him and his audience loves it. No doubt it my mind, I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t sure what to expect for him. With a spectacular cast (Chloe Grace Moretz being my obvious favorite) and new 3D technology, when it’s done right, you can’t go wrong. With his first dip into the waters of family film, Hugo is an absolute dream. Talented cast, great writing, and beautifully shot, I can’t think of one thing about this film I would call wrong. Simply put, it’s amazing and a must see for all ages. Martin adds a piece of himself into this film, and it’s not what people would expect. Martin Scorsese loves film, but it breaks his heart that the humble (and often accidental) beginnings of the film industry are unknown by the general public. I studied film in college, and it’s not just the pieces themselves that are so important, it’s the audience reaction to seeing motion picture for the first time that is so worth knowing. I’ve seen “A Train Arriving at the Station” and I’ve heard the story of the premiere where people panicked and ran out of the theater because they thought the train was coming right at them. No one knows that story unless they know their history, and Martin Scorsese wants to remind the world how far we’ve come in this industry in such a short time. Not only that, but he also wants to understand the mindset. With that thought, he “recreated” that early film for this modern audience so we could taste that panic.
I’m a dork, so of course it brought tears to my eyes to see “The Kiss”, “The Great Train Robbery”, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin. To see “the cutting room” and to watch people learn about “tinting”. To see him use the match cut, which no one uses anymore, to open the film. Martin Scorsese’s Hugois gold and should be treasured as such. He combines two eras of film making just to remind us that film had a beginning and the illusion is endless.
I love blood, guts, action and CGI as much as anyone, but if you really want to impress me, then give me simplicity. A nice, well-executed character piece that touches the basics with confidence and maturity. Drive is an “either, or” film: Either you’ll get it or you won’t, but it’s damn good either way. Ryan sinks so well into his character he disappears, and Carey Mulligan is wonderful. The pacing is slow, the music is somber, and the acting and cinematography are supreme. This isn’t an action movie; it’s the story of a boy with a good heart wrapped into some bad things, and it’s perfect. The violence in the film will disturb some because it’s not shy. Ryan walks a fine line in this film and he knows when and where to flip the switch. If “Transformers” is your kind of action film, then don’t waste your money. If you know what I mean when I say “Oscar season is the best time of the year” then buy a ticket. Not to belittle, but this isn’t for everyone.
I don’t like many Christian films because most of them are all message and no quality. I like the full package: acting, music, writing, cinematography, the works. But this was a GREAT movie. I think a lot of Christian filmmakers have a hard time reconciling Hollywood Style film-making and the Gospel, but this film does a great job mixing the two without compromising. The movie theater I worked at last year got this movie when it came out and we had it from August to mid November, and that’s a really long time. I believe it’s still on Netflix, so check it out.
(stars Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, Debby Ryan, and John Ratzenberger)
Another year, another Tyler Perry movie. Just a few months ago, I wrote a review on his Oscar-Bait drama For Colored Girls, but I’ve never written anything about his Madea movies. I own some of the plays and I have two of his movies. They’re funny, but I wouldn’t call myself a Tyler Perry fan. I find his movies entertaining, and I like to watch them sometimes when I’m falling asleep, but I think they’re terrible. I could write a book about why Tyler Perry needs a new day job, but let’s stay on topic. I went to see Madea’s Big Happy Family yesterday morning right before work thinking the 10am show would be fairly empty. I was wrong. That thing was PACKED. Tyler Perry knows how to draw a crowd, I’ll give him that, but it’s always the same crowd. People are more likely to jump off the wagon than join it. He has yet to produce a film that proves to the non-believers that he’s got “it”. And this film is no exception.
No one can resist the underdog story, and those that say they can are liars. It’s the one story any of us can relate to, the rags to riches; because aren’t we all just filthy rags looking to purify ourselves, be better than what we are. It’s the type of story that makes us feel like we’re not alone. This is what Jon M. Chu does, he takes this pop phenomenon who is light years beyond us and makes him relatable by reminding us that he had a beginning, that he wasn’t always “Justin Bieber”. On February 11th, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D hit theaters, and this past weekend Mr. Chu decided to grace us, for one weekend only, with the “Director’s Fan Cut” version. Me being the dork that I am…I saw both. I was planning to write a review after I saw the first one, but I think this is a little more interesting.
2010 is easily becoming my favorite year, and obviously not for personal reasons. With mind-tripping and generation-making films like Inception and The Social Network, I’m overwhelmed by the sheer awesomeness, complexity, and creative ingenuity that filmmakers have produced, and the year isn’t over yet. Last night I got the great opportunity to see Darren Aronofsky’s new film Black Swan, and the overwhelming feeling just won’t end. Until now, I had never seen a Darren Aronofsky film, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I know Natalie Portman’s work. She’s a talented, fearless, and versatile actresses with a humbling love for her craft. No part is too small or too simple, and there’s nothing she won’t try (like shaving her head…twice). In my honest opinion, Natalie can do no wrong, and this time she outdid herself. Black Swan is her Oscar.
Everything makes me cry. Bambi, The Lion King, My Sister’s Keepers, and The Secret Life of Bees made me cry. I cried when I watched The Last Song, and that movie was terrible. I am an emotional movie watcher, and if you can’t make me cry when it’s clear that I should be crying then you’re doing something wrong. If the subject matter hits close to home in a terrible movie (i.e. a dying father), then I’m likely to shed a few tears, but if I catch you trying to manipulate my heartstrings, then you’ve lost me. I just returned from seeing Tyler’ Perry’s new film For Colored Girls, and like most things, I have a lot to say about it. The film does tug at the heart, and most people will cry, but I know when I’m being played. Tyler Perry is the black Nicholas Sparks: he’s so incapable of creating a fluid narrative that he has to manipulate his audience into feeling something. Even when the narrative is handed to him, he fails. How do you do that?
The problem I have with most Christian films is that they place too much emphasis on the message. Not that they’re message heavy, but that ALL of the emphasis is put on making sure the central message of the film gets delivered. I’m not anti-message, I’m saying that if your main concern is that the audience gets the message, then write a sermon. The cinematic medium is what it is, and it’s a communicative medium that’s based in entertainment. Christian filmmakers forget to write a fluid story and cast actors that can act just so they can preach, and they wonder why the lines are around the corner. Many filmmakers are under the impression that one has to succumb to Hollywood tactics - violence, sex, and drugs - to create a story that people will see and I say, “No, No, No.” That is not the case. America wants a good movie. They will watch a good movie, and one can make a good movie with God being the central character.
I just got back from seeing It’s Kind of a Funny Story starring Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, and Zach Galifianakis, and I liked it. I didn’t laugh, but it was funny. It was very tame for having an intense central subject, however, I thought the feeling of depression came across better in the film than in the book. I had a hard time laughing because it was like I was looking into a mirror. I know what Craig, Bobby, and Noelle are going through. I know those emotions and that illness better than I care to admit sometimes, so certain parts of the film were hard to watch and had me in tears. It tore me up, I guess you could see, not as much as the book Thirteen Reasons Why but I did have to shake my head and regain my composure before I got in my car.
This film is what I call an “either, or film”. There’s not much for the in between, either you’re going to like it or your won’t. I think people suffering from depression will enjoy it more than most people because it’s always nice to find someone or something that understands. Even so, it has a talented cast and the editing is a trip. It’s worth seeing at least once, I will say that. I’ll probably see it more than once, but only for therapeutic reasons.