So, another month long break from me which sucks I know. So many precursor awards have been announced and again it is a whole pile of organisations desperate to try and guess Oscar. With so many films out in one year, it seems strange that these apparently 'professional' groups only think 8 or 9 films are the best of the year. It is kind of like Oscar is the teet they most like to suck. Sad considering this would be their chance to actually stand up and declare themselves different from the pack.
Ho hum. Well as you will know the films that are doing the best are 'The Social Network', 'Inception', 'Winters Bone', 'The Kings Speech', 'Toy Story 3', '127 Hours', 'True Grit', 'The Fighter' and of course 'Black Swan'. These are apparently the best films of the year. I have only seen 5 of them, and aside from 'Inception' I would kind of agree.
Anyway, here is another slew of reviews.
One of the few films of the year that makes you cover your eyes in horror whilst still trying to see, for missing an single screen shot is to miss pure beauty.
Darren Aronofsky has made a film that is a bold and unflinching study of ambition and how it can consume.
Anchored by an astonishing performance by Natalie Portman, some of the finest acting, and most dedicated, seen in some time.
Grade - A-
Wow, I wasn't expecting this to be quite so much fun.
Charming, funny, touching yet deliciously evil, just how a film about a super villain should be.
Sure the minions bordered on cutesy, but they were fun, and the voice acting was superb, especially by Steve Carell as Gru
This has been an incredibly strong year for animation and to see the big studios finally getting things right is a relief. As much as I love Pixar it is nice to see Dreamworks and Universal stepping up the game a little.
Grade - B+
On the outside it is like any other teen comedy, in that it starts out strong and three quarters of the way through it kind of fall apart, but manages to pic itself right back up. However this is different thanks to three very important things:
Stanley Tucci as the father, Patricia Clarkson as the mother and most importantly, Emma Stone in the lead.
The film would not have worked as well as it did without her. A smart, hysterically funny and brave performance that Oscar will surely miss.
Grade - B+
'Get Him To The Greek'
It is kind of sad when you watch a movie and remember so little of it.
Something about Jonah Hill trying to get Russell Brand to a concert.
And Puff Daddy being unexpectedly funny.
Grade - C
'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work'
Why this woman get no respect I do not know.
This film is a tribute to an exceptionally talented woman who refuses to give up, turns her back on the critics and works works works.
She is the butt of joke made by people who do not have 1/5 of her stamina and resilience, and she knows it.
Sure this film is full of humour, but it is the cracks of doubt, sorrow and regret that make this such an insight to one of the worlds biggest talents.
Grade - B+
'Scott Pilgrim vs The World'
Sure Michael Cera plays the same guy again (but who really cares, he is good at it) and the whole movie kind of plays like a A.D.D. sufferers dream, but man it is something to get caught up in.
So ridiculous and over the top get saved by going to far over by smart performances by Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Aubrey Plaza and of course the fantastic Mae Whitman.
'Shrek Forever After'
It made me chuckle and had some really cute and smart references, but on a whole this series needs to be put to bed.
The longer it goes on, the more it makes me dislike the first film.
Grade - B-
'The Kids Are All Right'
A lovely little movie that is a breath of fresh air.
Any film depicting a gay marriage you expect to played as some sort of political drama. Made to prove a point.
In this the point is clear. Marriage is tough, no matter who it is between.
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening have amazing chemistry (who would have thought Bening would make such an amazing dyke), but it is Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson who make the film wonderful, both giving smart and realistic performances and two teenaged caught up in the middle of a little shit storm.
Grade - B
'The Social Network'
A wordy talky drama that plays like a tight thriller.
The rapid fire dialogue filled with so many gems that you need many viewings to get all the insults and subtleties.
This is also a film that is very very now, yet somehow manages to feel like the type of film that will hold up in years to come - time will tell.
Here is hoping Aaron Sorkin, Jessie Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and yes, Justin Timberlake get the kudos they deserve!
Grade - A-