Saturday, February 27, 2010


Plot: A paraplegic ex-marine sent to a moon called Pandora becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder,

Review: I saw this a few weeks ago, and it was amazing. Please refer to my mom's blog for her review because I completely agree with it.

Awards: Nominated for 9 Oscars:
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Best Achievement in Directing
Best Achievement in Editing
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Best Achievement in Sound
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Best Achievement in Visual Effects
Best Motion Picture of the Year

Rating: Acting-C
Art Direction-A
Visual Effects-A

*** Stars

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bright Star

Plot: Passionate love story between the stylish Fannie Brawne and poet John Keats
Starring: Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw

Review: So sad but truly moving. Normally I do not care for Abbie Cornish, but I thought that she was wonderful in this film as was Ben Whishaw. They're chemistry was undeniable. The poetry, their letters, the butterflies (don't want to ruin it). It was great as a love story. As a narrative, however, it was a mess. This is the fault of the director as well as the editor. Because this movie takes place over a period of three years, it requires quite a few time jumps. These time jumps were sudden and confusing. I would miss dialogue and have to run the movie back because I'd spent time trying to figure out how much time had passed and what's going on. It seemed to jump from scene to scene (which might be fine in a faster paced thriller but not this film) instead of seamlessly carrying me through them. All in all, a fine showcase for Abbie Cornish and a great love story. Fantastic costumes on Ms.Brawne by the way!

Awards:Nominated for Oscar for Costume Design & Golden Palm for Director Jane Campion at the Cannes Film Festival

Rating: Acting-A
Art Direction-A

**1/2 Stars

Cold Souls

Plot: A depressed man puts his soul in storage in order to feel better.
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Emily Watson, David Strathairn, Lauren Ambrose

Review: An interesting, funny, "thinking person's film". What else can I say? I really loved this movie. Interesting mix of comedy, fantasy, and drama. Beautifully acted. The cinematography was ethereal and dreamlike. This movie gave me the same feelings that Vanilla Sky and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind did. My only problem with this film were the scenes in Russian, and that's only because I was watching this movie on a small TV and had to have my hubby read the subtitles because I wasn't wearing my glasses. Beautiful, unique. Really, really stunning. This movie is what film making is all about: making smart, beautifully executed films that serve a purpose.

Awards:Nominated for 3 Independent Spirit Awards for best cinematography, first screenplay, and supporting female: Dina Korzun & Nominated for Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at Sundance Film Festival

Rating: Acting-A
Art Direction-A

***1/2 stars

Monday, February 15, 2010

Across the Hall

Plot: A man gets the room across the hall from his fiancée in order to catch her infidelity.
Starring: the late, great Brittany Murphy and Mike Vogul.

Review: First, I have to mention Brittany. All the actors were great in their parts, but Brittany was special. She has the look of a femme fatale yet plays the part with sympathy. She was a funny, multi layered actress, and it's a shame she left this world so young. I watched this movie as a tribute to Brittany as well as the genre. I am a huge film noir fan. This genre just isn't made much anymore, so it's exciting when a director makes one so well. The viewer is taken through the plot of a triangle involving a man, his fiancée, and his best friend. Shot basically in one setting of a seedy hotel, this film gives you a sense of claustrophobia as it winds its way through each room, each time revealing a new twist in the plot. Every character has the unique distinction of being both likeable and unlikeable at the same time, making for a very satisfactory movie pretty much any way it ends. Beautifully shot and set, this film is a perfect example of how a smaller budget film can still look expertly made. Dark, stylish film noir.

Rating: Acting-A
Music-B- from what I remember I liked it.
Costumes-A-very femme fatale
Art Direction-A
Makeup-A-Brittany looked stunning

*** Stars

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day Movies

I've compiled a list for every possible movie needed for Valentine's Day, whether you're a hopeless romantic or an absolute cynic. (in no particular order)

Top 10 Romance Movies

A Walk to Remember (my hubby's fave)
Meet Joe Black
The Princess Bride
When Harry Met Sally
Across the Universe
Romeo & Juliet (96)
Wuthering Heights (92) or {03 (TV)}
Benny & Joon
Wicker Park

Top 10 Anti-Valentine Movies

Bride of Chucky
Match Point
Killing Me Softly
The Crush
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Lolita (62) or (97)
The Graduate

Top 10 Worst Romance Movies

Pretty Woman
The Notebook
Shakespeare in Love
40 Days and 40 Nights
Before Sunset
Chasing Amy
Licence to Wed
Maid in Manhattan
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Down to You

Valentine’s Day Date Movies in Theaters

Dear John
Valentine’s Day
When in Rome
Princess and the Frog
Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Leap Year
It's Complicated

Anti-Valentine Movies in Theater

From Paris With Love

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Two Lovers

Plot: A depressed man can't choose between two women, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow & Vinessa Shaw.

Review: Why do so many indie films have to be depressing? Don't get me wrong I love a good sob fest. One of my all time favorite films is Waking the Dead. Now that is a sad movie; however, I prefer sad films that are sad because of circumstance rather than poor judgment by the main characters. Death versus voluntary abandonment, for instance. This film is the latter with the main character being a man of very poor judgment. Though the acting was great (this was a wonderful vehicle for Joaquin Phoenix-a great last film & Paltrow's Independent Spirit Award nod is well deserved), it was the characters that I didn't like. Phoenix started off as a depressed man that I at least felt sorry for, but his actions made me dislike him more and more. Paltrow was the typical damsel in distress type, the ones that cause all of their own drama (I hate those). The other love interest played by Vinessa Shaw was sweet but boring. The movie was well made: the cinematography was beautiful. It seemed to match the mood of the main character. Overall, I'm glad I watched the movie simply because it is supposedly Phoenix's last film, but it was too sad to watch again.

Awards: Nominated- Independent Spirit Award for Best Director James Gray and Best Female Lead Gwyneth Paltrow

Nominated- Golden Palm(Cannes Film Festival)- James Gray

Rating: Acting-A (tune into Bravo Mar 5th to see if Paltrow wins)
Music-B- a lot of opera used very symbolic
Costumes-C- two female leads were noticeably different, but the choices were very dated
Art Direction-B
Visual Effects-A love the first shot in the film- really symbolic

**1/2 stars-so close to 3 but the film just upset me too much.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jennifer's Body

Plot-After going off alone with a creepy band, a girl returns hungry for male flesh
Review- I was really excited about this movie because Diablo Cody wrote. She won an Oscar for Juno and created the amazing show “The United States of Tara”. Though this movie had some great dialogue, it just wasn't as funny as it should've been. I attribute that to the editing and to the acting by Megan Fox. Megan Fox, who usually has pretty decent comic timing, just didn't enunciate any of her lines, so it was hard to catch her many clever quips. I found myself running the movie back several times to get some of the lines. Her failure as an actress might have been saved by a decent sound editor and sound mixer. They could've raised the volume during the editing process so you could hear her better. The director also should have recognized her slurring and put a stop to it. It's a shame too because this could've been a great, dark comedy if I could've heard the lines.