Review: The Artist

In the late 1920’s silent film star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. But after an incident outside one of his movie premiers with a fan, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) and the introduction of “Talkies”, it all goes downhill for Valentin and leaves Miller as the fresh face of film.

I was curious about this movie because right now movies are becoming clearer and 3D and this movie, being black & white and silent seems like a step backwards. I was excited to hear many good things about this movie before I went to see it. Now that I have seen it, i see what everyone was talking about.

Everything about The Artist is amazing. The acting, the sets, the costumes, the way it was filmed, everything was great. Even the dog that everyone is talking about (Uggie).

At first you find it odd that no one is talking. Especially after the first scene which is a scene from Valentins new movie. At the end of the scene the audience claps and you wonder why there’s no applause. It was so good that eventually you forget that it is a silent movie.

If this doesn’t get an oscar, then I and I’m sure a lot of others will be disappointed.

Watched: Mr. Poppers Penguins

Mr. Poppers Penguins is a movie about Thomas Popper (Jim Carrey), a businessman whose father was always away on adventures. One thing he always got was souvenirs. When his father dies, he gets one last souvenir, six penguins. Somehow he has to look after the penguins, keep his job, find time with his family and protect the penguins from Nat Jones, the guy from the zoo (Clark Gregg).

It’s a great sunday afternoon movie to watch with the family. You will love the penguins, and Jim Carrey is classic. The story is very generic and you can easily predict what is going to happen. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the film.

Watched: MirrorMask

I recently watched the movie MirrorMask and had to comment on it.

In a fantasy world of opposing kingdoms, a 15-year old girl named Helena [Stephanie Leonidas] who works at the family circus with her father [Rob Brydon] and mother [Gina McKee], who wishes–quite ironically–that she could run away from the circus and join ‘real life’. But such is not to be the case, as she finds herself on a strange journey into the Dark Lands, a fantastic landscape filled with giants, Monkeybirds and dangerous sphinxes. She must find the fabled MirrorMask in order to save the kingdom and get back home.

Synopsis from IMDb

This movie was written by author Neil Gaiman and it really shows. If you got trapped in his mind, it would look like this movie. It starts off in an odd looking setting which you quickly find out is the circus owned by Helena’s father. There are a few scenes in “real life” then it quickly becomes an Alice in Wonderland world, but with less colour. When I was done watching I had been so engrossed in the fantasy world and got so used to it that I wondered why everything around me looked so strange.

Just a warning, don’t watch this movie after taking drugs or when you’re really tired. But definitely find a copy and watch it.

Review: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

A movie adaptation of the John LeCarré novel, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is about spying in during the cold war. Set in the 1970’s, the movie begins after a mission in Budapest goes wrong for MI6 and the resignation of the head of the British Intelligence, code name Control (John Hurt). This mission brings to light the fact that one of the senior people in MI6 is a mole for the russians. George Smiley (Gary Oldman) also resigns but is asked by one of the government ministers, who heard a story from an agent (Tom Hardy), to find out if there really is a mole. So Smiley digs into the affairs of MI6 to find out what happened in Budapest and also find out if/who the mole is.

All the production crew of this movie should be incredibly proud of this movie. Everything was incredibly realistic for the time it was set in. The costumes, the sets, the makeup, right down to the haze that was in every workplace from smokers during the ’70s.

The story was great, although I can’t compare it to the book because I haven’t actually read it. There was only one thing that bugged me and it seemed to be the fault of whoever converted the book into a screenplay. There were quite a few really short scenes, no longer then a few seconds that were clearly things from the book that the person writing the script must’ve thought were important but ruined the flow of the movie.

Apart from that last point, the movie was amazing. Just one last thing though. If you go and see it, make sure you pay attention, it can be a little hard to follow if you aren’t.

Review: Shame

I’m just going to quote the IMDB description of the movie Shame because to be honest I couldn’t actually figure out what the movie was about.

Brandon [Michael Fassbender] is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister [Carey Mulligan] moves into his apartment, Brandon’s world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. Written by Momentum Pictures

You really shouldn’t believe what that says. It’s mostly just sex and close ups of people’s faces. A surprising amount of sex. I knew there would be some, but really… There is also very little dialogue. In other words it’s an arty movie. One of those ones that you can’t really figure out what its about or hear what people are saying most of the time. The tagline really should say “Come and pay $10 to see Michael Fassbenders dick”.

I shouldn’t really bash the actors though. They were very good.

So was the camera work.

and lighting.

and most of the sound.

But as a whole movie I didn’t enjoy it.

But what do I know.

To wrap this up, if you like arty movies this might be for you. Might not want to take a boyfriend/girlfriend though. It might get awkward. Definitely don’t take your mum. There really is a lot of sex and nudity. I understand why it has the rating it has.

Review: Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas

Image via Wikipedia

How does Santa deliver all the presents in one night? In Arthur Christmas Santa (voice of Jim Broadbent) uses lots of computers and a flying spaceship. But when a computer error leaves one child without a present, Santas son Steve (voice of Hugh Laurie) decides that its not important and that one in two billion isn’t a bad margin of error. Santas other son Arthur (voice of James McAvoy) thinks that one is two many and that he will go and deliver the present himself. So he enlists the help of Grandsanta (voice of Bill Nighy) who reveals that he still has Santas old sleigh and some reindeer and they can deliver the present before sunrise.

I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I only went because I had a few hours to kill and it was half price movie night. I was pleasantly surprised to find it reached my expected level of amusement and was a decent Christmas movie. There are some good jokes and a decent story. If you have the time, or some small children. Go see this movie, its quite good.

Review: My Week With Marilyn

Based on the book The Prince, The Showgirl and Me, The movie My Week With Marilyn is about the production of the movie The Prince and The Showgirl (1957) from the eyes of the third assistant director Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne). The movie starts with Colin getting a job as the assistant of Lawrence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) who is directing The Prince and The Showgirl. His job consists of preparing everything for the female lead in the movie, Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams). Once filming is ready to begin, Colin asks for a role in the production of the movie and is given the role of Third Assistant Director, whose responsibility is to do as their told. This allows Colin to be on set all the time and get to know lots of the cast including Dame Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench) and he also develops a special friendship with Marilyn.

I went into this movie expecting something similar to The Queen or The Aviator and i got just that. Of course I’m not saying it is exactly like either of those movies but it is in the same league. It is a movie based on real events full of actors you will recognize, similar to The Queen or The Aviator. If you enjoyed those movies, or if you are a fan of movies from that time then you will like this movie.

I have to say that while the story was good, it was a little predictable. I did however, enjoy the performances by some of the actors. Kenneth Branagh played a great role. How accurate it was I’m not too sure but I enjoyed it. Another great performance was Judi Dench. You might know her from the Bond films as “M”. Yet again, not sure about the accuracy of the character but enjoyable nonetheless.

Then there is Michelle Willams performance. While not as realistic as other movies I’ve seen where actors and actresses have portrayed real characters, both Williams and the writers managed to give a fairly accurate portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. If you don’t know much about Marilyn, she wasn’t the best actor, she was mostly hired for her looks, and this is shown in My Week With Marilyn. There were also other parts of Marilyns life that I think were conveyed very well to the audience.

I recommend that you go and see this movie. It is definitely worthy of a couple of Oscar nominations, although not too sure if it will win anything.