Saturday, 28 November 2009

The 'Precious' debate

If you scroll through any of the posts about 'Precious' over at 'Awards Daily' you will see some very serious debates, some of these come in the form of attacks. - and man can they be vicious.
I do not think there is a film so far this year to inspire such feeling. What people love about the film, others resent:The sucker punch the film delivers
The representation of people on welfare
The representation of the black community
Having an over average weight woman as the lead
The representation of the welfare system
The representation of the education system
The movie
Sadly what people are forgetting is that this is just one story. No single story can ever represent a community, a class or a people, but take every story ever told and you will find a fairly accurate representation of mankind.
Still some of the attacks on the film are extremely vicious and rampant (I swear the people froth at the mouth while writing the pieces they write). That is something that saddens me, that so much hate, confusion, anger and bitterness as stemmed from this film.
I left the cinema thankful for seeing film about a girl with no prospects, decide that she was worth fighting for a future. I guess growing up being exposed to domestic and other abuse allows for seeing a film like this in a different light.
I know Precious. Many of my friends do. Sadly, many of the people I have spoken to also know Mary. It does exist, this abuse, and I for one am happy there is a film getting a lot of attention and inspiring a lot of debate for shining a light on it.

Best Original Song

Sometimes, when you stop to think about it, the Oscars can be really bloody cool.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Nothing Really Matter but MOI

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Mini Reviews

'Monsters vs Aliens'

I get it, I get it. Animated films are largely aimed at kids. But do they have to be so dumb and dull?
I mean really, I did not crack a smile watching this.
Not a one.
Am I asking too much for these studios to make a film that makes me feel something other than "when does this end?".
Last night I re-watched 'The Iron Giant'. Now that is how you do it.

Grade - D+

'Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen'

Someone please make Michael Bay watch all his films in a row, then sit him in front of 'Star Trek', 'District 9', 'The Dark Knight' and many other films that involve heros, CGI, explosions until he sees the difference with what he makes (a loud, ugly mess for people with ADD).
I actually think that man suffers with ADD and needs to get some serious help.
Here is what was wrong with the film:The plot. How can you follow it? Make it simple. Deceptions need a new home and do not want to share it. See Michael Bay - EASY! Please cut out a explosion that would only take up 5 minutes and pay a screenwriter.
Shia LaBeouf. He acts like he has ADD too. When you find yourself wish to see more of Megan Fox you know you lead is not very good.
What I love about the cartoon and the toys is seeing how they transform, and it making sense. Here they make no sense in terms of scale and transformability. And do not get me started on Devastator. He was the toy I always wanted and never got. Here they turned him into a giant hoover. The only reason this film does not get an 'F' grade is because of Soundwave. He was cool.

On second thought. Just retire Michael Bay, he is not worth keeping around. I only watched this because the child in me demanded it.

Grade - D-

'Invictus' reviewed

David Ansen over at Newsweek has chimed in:
"We witness a politician at the top of his game: Freeman's wily Mandela is a master of charm and soft-spoken gravitas. Anthony Peckham's sturdy, functional screenplay, based on John Carlin's book Playing the Enemy, can be a bit on the nose (and the message songs Eastwood adds are overkill). Yet the lapses fade in the face of such a soul-stirring story—one that would be hard to believe if it were fiction."
I could not really tell if the review was great or good.
I am very curious about this film. I normally find Clints films rather dull or lacking in something to make them great, but sometimes spotted with wonderful performances (Meryl Streep, Marcia Gay Harden to name a few) that lift the material up. I mean Meryl in 'Bridges' makes that film ten times better that it was.

Also on TMRzoo I read this review by Bruce Owens (no idea who the guy is or about the site, just came up in a Google search and I went to it):
In it he says the following (which made me smile a little):
"Invictus is a poem by British poet William Ernest Henley. The title is Latin for “unconquered”. This movie title has been chosen for the new Clint Eastwood film about South Africa’s triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He should have titled the movie “Somni” which is Latin for sleep. Clint’s 34th outing as a Director looks like he has gone down the Changeling and Bridges of Madison County road again. No one can bore an audience like Clint can."
Ouch. But obviously this review does not matter, what matters is that if one person feels it, then others will as well, just how many is beyond me.

The film will no doubt 'stir the soul' for some, but it will definitely have it's cracks. Will it make the final 10? More than likely. The question we have to ask, will the movie be a big enough hit to get nominations for its director and actors? I say this because the field is tightening up and you have to ask who you can drop to make room.

More 'The Wolfman' goodness

Wow. 'The Wolfman' poster are pretty things to behold. They evoke that old fashioned gothic horror that has sadly been replaced by puppets with saws.

The first new poster:

Showing the gigantic Wolfman and the small Emily Blunt is effective in conveying how she is completely overwhelmed by the man/beast. However it does make me laugh a little. The Wolfmans breath blends into the light which illuminates Blunt. However the effect looks more like he coughing his raw meat breath all over the poor woman.

The second new poster:

Much better.
Bloodied, ripped and howling (how sex should be ;). I am loving the use of perspective and angles in these posters. Job well done!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

'The Last Station' trailer

Well after seeing it I seriously think Helen is in the race big time, and so is Christopher Plummer.

The person I am most excited to see though is Anne-Marie Duff who I think is a wonderful actress.

'The Princess and the Frog' screens

Well it seems the fate of the Best Animated Film category at the Oscars is going to be pretty much sewn up soonish.

With 'Up' as a lock, and 'Coraline' looking really good we can now most likely add 'The Princess and the Frog' to the lock/likely list.

Although Justin Change of Variety was not blown away:
"Disney goes back to the drawing board with results more diverting than captivating in "The Princess and the Frog." Conspicuously outfitted with an African-American heroine and a vibrant 1920s New Orleans setting, this cheeky update of a classic fairy tale boasts almost as many talking points as merchandising opportunities, and should enjoy jazzy holiday biz starting with its Thanksgiving weekend bicoastal engagement and extending well past its Dec. 11 wide release. But whatever it accomplishes for Disney's reputation or bottom line, this long-anticipated throwback to a venerable house style never comes within kissing distance of the studio's former glory."
This would usually usher in a whole bunch of people immediately dismissing the film (me included - for some reason I think of Variety as holy) but Kirk Honeycutt at The Hollywood Reporter loved the film saying:
"This is the best Disney animated film in years. Audiences -- who don't care whether it's cel animation, CGI, stop motion, claymation or motion capture as long as it's a good story -- will respond in large numbers. A joyous holiday season is about to begin for Disney."
And over at Entertainment Weekly, Lisa Schwarzbaum echos that statement in her grade 'A' review saying
"Young viewers of The Princess and the Frogwon't give a croak that the marvelous new 
 adventure from Walt Disney Animation Studios has been created using the same hand-drawn, 2-D techniques that entertained those viewers'Bambi-loving grandparents more than 65 years ago. But adults should: This old-fashioned charmer holds its own beside the motion-capture elegance of Disney's A Christmas Carol, the engrossing stop-motion universes ofCoraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox, the CG-enhanced genius of Up, the wonder of 3-D technology, and, indeed, the unique, hand-drawn Japanese artistry of Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo as the year's deepest, most affecting, and most inventive movies"
Glad to see they are back. I for one cannot wait to see if it lives up for the gloriousness of its hey day. My childhood demands it.

New 'Nine' poster

Is it just me, or is this poster campaign all over the place?

First we had this poster:

I did like it even if the sun light soaked back drop does look a little bit like the Batman symbol. Plus the obsessive compulsive in me got really worried about shoes on a white sofa. I also was not overly happy with the red font. It looked tacked on and not thought out. However it worked very well in setting the mood for the central character.

Then this poster gets released:

I get it, a movie within a movie - poster within a poster.
Still it just does not work for me.
Penélope is caught at an awkward angle (she looks in the throws of ecstasy of arm pit shaving), Kate looks like she is practising her red carpet pose, Marion looks annoyed and bored, like she has been waiting at the Dr's office for a really long time. As for Nicole, well she looks like she need some allergy eye drops and an emergency room visit. She must be having an allergic reaction 'cause her head look HUGE!.

Then we get this photoshopped and jumbled mess:

Daniel must have something in his ear, Marion is fascinated. Penélope is celebrating her newly shaved arm pits. I can almost hear her - "Touch them...they are smmmmoooth"

And now this:

Let me break this down for you.

Daniel Day Lewis - 1 Oscars, 2 other nominations
Nicole Kidman - 1 Oscar, 1 other nomination
Sophia Loren - 1 Oscar, 1 honorary Oscar, 1 other nomination
Judi Dench - 1 Oscar, 5 other nominations
Marion Cotillard - 1 Oscar

None of them make the poster. Let's market this to the American Idol generation.
Fergie is on a potential Oscar Best Picture nominee poster people!!!

'The Lovely Bones' hits (misses)

So I take a much needed mental health break (drinking all weekend) and now I am back to bore you to death with my incessant droning.

So 'The Lovely Bones' has been seen and the over all opinion is the film is good, but not great.
Todd McCarthy of Variety says:
"Peter Jackson's infatuation with fancy visual effects mortally wounds "The Lovely Bones." Alice Sebold's cheerily melancholy bestseller, centered upon a 14-year-old girl who narrates the story from heaven after having been brutally murdered, provides almost ready-made bigscreen material. But Jackson undermines solid work from a good cast with show-offy celestial evocations that severely disrupt the emotional connections with the characters."
but he does have some good things to say about the film, especially for Saoirse Ronan performance:
"With reddish hair, brilliantly alive eyes and a seemingly irrepressible impulse for movement and activity, Ronan represents a heavenly creature indeed, a figure of surging, eager, anticipatory life cut off just as it is budding."
Surprisingly Tucci, who most have thought would be a front runner, did not get a rave from McCarthy.

Time magazine was less harsh, but still pointed to a few problems within the film:
"The plot has a few pitfalls. Jack, who fingers dozens of men as Susie's potential abductor, takes ages to notice the strange guy across the street. And Abigail departs and reappears with little organic reason. But the movie is packed with privileged moments..."
This seems to be a recurring theme. from reading the reviews at Variety and Time, then going over to AICN I read Harry Knowels swooning review, but you take him with a pinch of salt, he is always going to love Jackson. However his review seemed to lack his usual passion.
Screen Daily felt it was "exquisitely realised, sometimes frustratingly uneven."
Even Total Film doesn't sound overly excited, but does give the biggest thumbs up.

I think The Hollywood Reporter says what I feel will be what many others feel:
"This was never going to be an easy story to film. Using the same characters and many events, Jackson and his team tell a fundamentally different story. It's one that is not without its tension, humor and compelling details. But it's also a simpler, more button-pushing tale that misses the joy and heartbreak of the original."
With ten nominees the film could very well make it into the cut, but as it stands now, this is very very shaky. Perhaps Ronan and Tucci will make it, but its Oscar prospects have somewhat dipped.