Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kings Speech

This movie was incredible. An enjoyable surprise. I know little about the the time period and region of this setting, but found it completely engrossing. There where parts that left me laughing out loud, others that made me somber and reflective. Compelling story so powerful....  a description of the human spirit. I was moved 
Plot: A
A monarch with no public voice. The inability to give public orations. The life long struggle to overcome ones shortcomings. Based in the real world and incredible. It had several elements not original to the movie screen, but for the life of me I cant recall one that did it better. The plot was simple. Rise and fall  to rise and fall to eventually rise again. The test of life's challenges captured and portrayed in this surprisingly true story. 
What was more fascinating to me, was how the movie introduced very real, very historically important characters but sidestepped any great detail about them. It kept the movie in focus and that was quite the challenge.  
Soundtracking: C
I enjoyed the music, the sound. But the film could have used a stronger score. I came away from the movie with a visual experience only. For the life of me I cant remember a single moment that was not made better by the music. The most powerful moments where made by the silence. 
Acting: A 
I am not sure who deserves it more. Geoffrey Rush, or Colin Firth. But one of those 2 is gonna get an academy award. Absolutely amazing. Dialog and witty banter. Range of emotion and depth of character. It is honestly worth seeing the movie to watch those 2 alone.
Cinematography: B 
There where some interesting camera angles produced for this cinematic experience. Most noticeably miss placed were a set of fish eye lens shots. They were done with the full intent of capturing  the size and scale of the world, but the application was not very well executed. Had you not known that the picture was to look the way it did, you could easily confuse the shot for green screen background computer generated. Well, they were not. They were real shots that just looked like carp. And for that fact only this category dropped to a B rating.    
Film Ending Feelings: B
I had heard this was the sleeper for best picture.... Unless they saw something I missed.... It was good. Surpassed my expectations. But Oscar worthy for best picture.... I would not vote for it that way. Over all in my opinion, I am happy that is has been nominated but deserving, I find it not. Absolutely fabulous but not best picture.  
I rate this movie a solid B rating and worth the watch, but I doubt I will ever watch this film again.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Black Swan

This review took an extra day of reflection, due to the complex and beautifully dark movie. The innumerable range of emotions surrounded by psychotic moments, left me disoriented.
When you review a movie, you look at the individual elements that comprise the whole and judge them according to their strengths and weaknesses. This is the first movie this year were I found nothing but seamless cooperation between the elements, bringing forth a truly dark experience.
Plot: B
The basis of the movie was not an original concept, but the twists that occur are original to this story. Right as the movie starts you feel a dark undertone to the movie. As if you just climbed aboard a boat headed for a whirlpool. as the movie progresses you are being drawn down into an unexplainable madness from which it is impossible to discern reality.
Soundtracking: A
The music was composed perfectly. Taking you into dark and bringing out true emotions. Then breaking into silence, leaving you alone in the moment. Those moments are then flooded by gut wrenching, hair raising sound effects that embody pain. Soundtracking is absolutely solid, working subtly in the background to convey every scenes emotions.
Cinematography: A
Beautiful, flawless. Story capture at its best.
Acting: A
Natalie deserves every award possible. I truly believe that for her to have done so well, she fully became this character. Sadness, joy and elation, madness, anger. She conveyed it all. And you believed it all. From her tearful expressions, to the silent pain. She lived a roller coaster of emotions.
What I really enjoyed, was the subtle strings of madness followed by her reactions. Her mind playing tricks on her and those tricks melding in and out of the viewers perception of reality. Just a fabulous job.
Film Ended Feelings: A
I was so drawn into the movie, that as we were leaving, I handed Erica the car keys and said ' you drive'. I was so disoriented, truly, my mind was blown away by that movie and I would gladly watch it again. Fabulous movie, with an unbelievabl... unpredictable ending. I did everything but cry in this movie, but believe me, the knot was there in throat.

Overall the best movie I have seen yet, on this movie review year. I give this a solid A Rating

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Now this was a solid movie.
Plot: B
The storyline was based in real life. But even it were not true, it would still be solid. The fact that it was true added an extra element to my enjoyment. How ever, the story had been done before. And in my personal belief, boxing is a dying sport. So people don't really have anything new to expect from a boxing movie. You either win the fight, or you don't. So this movie offered little surprise in the expectations. However some of the close to home attributes of the characters made it engrossing. So I was quickly drawn in.
Soundtracking: B
For the most part the music and songs were era and environment appropriate. Always on Que with some of the boxing arena jams and subtle daily life buzz sounds. I would have liked the sound engineering to be a little more left right feel. As it was majoritively coming straight at you. The only way you could truly complete the experience is to feel it; disorienting you perceptions with sound to give you the total feeling, as if you were there. And honestly that is the only reason this didn't get an 'A Rating'.
Cinematography: A
Wow! When you watch a movie, the actions in the movie are always understood to be fake. It's the camera director or cinematographer's job to get the shots in such a light and angle so that the SFX guy can complete the movie magic with as little digital register work as possible.... Well, hats off to you! I could not tell from one fight to the next whether the actors were pulling punches or really landing body jolting shots. You think that obviously they're not hitting, but then you watch the rest of the body. Watch to see if the punches are sending shockwaves thru the bodies. And as I sat there watching, let me tell you. Some of the scenes, I am absolutely convinced. They were hitting eachother. There ain't no amount of movie magic to remove the micro expression from someone's face after they just got their bell rung a little.
To top it off, they also retro filmed various scenes. Were they take and film with an older type of camera tech, and incorporate the footages together. This adds an era correct feel to the visual flow of the movie.
Acting: A
Whether it was cinematography or acting, Christian Bale looked the part. He did his job with the speech and body twitches. But the sunken eye makeup and body moistures. He, for all reason in my mind, could have been addicted to crack for this movie. The dialogues between characters was as enjoyable as the fights. From the opening scene of the movie, you understood that you had just feel down the rabbit hole. And now were looking straight into these peoples life. Acting was superb, nothing left to say.
Film Ended Feelings: B+
I was surprised by the ending. I felt as tho I had just witnessed the major events of these dysfunctional peoples lives. I was happy to have seen it, and in my opinion, was one of the best movies this year. But Most likely will never watch it again.
And on a side note.... Amy Adams.... Hot!

Overall, one of the best boxing movies I have seen and the dysfunction of the family's was close to home. I give it a, B Rating.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Season of the Witch

well.... hm. what to say. The movie has its good points, but they are easily overshadowed by the bad ones.
Plot: D
I got lost. Let me say it again... I got lost. And not because I wasn't paying close attention. Literally, the plot tried to take you in to many directions. It starts out like a good old boys, untouchable war movie. But then turns war crimes trial so fast and then bam! off to an escaped prisoner feeling, seeking redemption for the wrongs of war. Enter the horror elements, action suspense, and then..... oh yeah comedy. Cause that is what this movie needed. All, mean while, surrounding inaccurately implemented historical elements. The average viewer may have missed them or not cared, but when you know how something was or is done, you notice when they are done wrong. All I am gonna say about that.
Soundtracking: D
This is given a D purely because of bad plot direction. The music score, sounds and feeling tones followed the plot. And when that happened, it helped turn this movie into a joke. I literally was reliving Monty Python scenes in my head because the real scenes flowed so disconjointedly. Sarcastic enactment of one scene, done vaguely. ' oh we have just seen a horrific sight, why do people deserve that..... that's not what your mother said last night'. You see, that just does not go together, and the music followed that. Happy triumphant, freak horror, comedy, suspense, comedy, sad,comedy..... its like watching a one legged one armed clown try to ride a bicycle... that second peddle gets him every time, but why am I laughing at this.
Cinematography: B
I would have given this an A, except for 1 thing. She's looking at the camera again. I think we just need 27 more camera angles of her looking thru her perpetually changing hair, wet to dry to wet hair, at the camera. However, the plague victims. wow. Good lighting and filming to capture the realism.
Acting: D
2 things. 1, the best and most real performance in this movie was by the dying cardinal, played by Christopher Lee. Not hard, you act what you know, and that man is what.... 100.
2. Since when did Nicholas cage start taking acting lessons from Matt Damon.
Film Ended Feelings: F
As in WHAT THE F! Easily goes to show, curiosity killed the cat. I am happy I saw it because I would have always been curious, but that almost killed me. I will never watch this movie again.

Overall, if you have something better to do, do it. Not the worst movie I have ever seen, but pretty close. I give this movie a D- Rating

Planned Event

movie event,
1-7-11 Season of the Witch
Jordan commons @ 7:55 pm.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Knight and Day

Plot: B. 
The plot was straightforward with few twists. Girl gets involved with spy game, falls into love with spy, then fights to stay with spy. 
Soundtracking: B. 
The music and sound was on the level with the movie, but not over the top, nor was it needed to have Hanz Zimmer compose for this simple a movie. However, I loved the theme element of the Louis Louis ringtones. An awesome throwback to Star Wars, and the character themes. 
Cinematography: B 
Cinematography, or the filming with the cameras, was done in a way that I really miss. It seems as tho in the last 10 years particularly, Hollywood has forgotten how to hold a camera still during intense action scenes. All tho I enjoy the attempt of the movies trying to make it more real, I would just prefer the ability to understand what the hell just happened...
Acting: C.
Acting was par with several scenes being so over the top not plausible, it could have been a major downfall. thus the lower rating in this category. Although the scenes were bad, they were made better by some of the acting.... and the constant smiling, as if the actors were saying themselves, this is supposed to be over the top and supposed to be funny.
Film Ending Feelings: C.
To sum it up, when the movie ended, I was glad that it ended the way it did. However, I was not left wanting more.The last 20 minutes of the flick was, to be honest a little too predictable.

My favorite line in the movie, I found Laugh out Loud hilarious. Everything leading up to it made it over the top funny. " We're hit June!, were goin down! but dont worry......" LOL. just typing it again is making me laugh.

Overall I Give this movie  C+ of an A-F scale. 

in 2010...

In the last year, movies I wanted to see have come and gone... But as life happens I missed most of them. This year will be different. With site in hand, I will become my own personal movie critic. My goal is to watch 100 movies this year, with my focus being on attending every new movie in theaters that I would possibly want to watch.
This goal is an attempt to recalibrate my movie experience and knowledge. To connect with a time that has gone. Weekends spent on visitation with my father, watching movies, living with the "Duke" and the "Stranger", experiencing life thru the movie filter.