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Archive for the ‘Film Reviews’ Category

I Am Number Four Reviewed

Posted by film On March - 10 - 2011

I Am Number Four
Director: DJ Caruso
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron
Dreamworks SKG, 2011

So apparently this is based on a book or something?  I had no idea and had never heard of it before it existed in movie form, but I did become suspicious when they ending was left so wide open you could drive a fleet of sequel trucks through it.  I’m somewhat curious about the book now, if only to discover if it’s as badly written as the movie.  I need to know which writers to throw constructively critical bricks at.*

Anyhoo, I Am Number Four is a sci-fi alien movie that has a mini-crush on Twilight.  There are nine refugee alien children on our planet, you see, on the run from the other aliens who exterminated their species.  You can tell the refugee aliens are “good” because they look exactly like humans (except, you know, impossibly good looking) and that the other aliens are “evil” because they look like giant tiger shark-people in black overcoats.  The nine kids, now teenagers, each have their own protector to keep them safe until they reach adulthood, at which point the children will gain awesome super-powers.

This is handy, because the protectors don’t seem to have any powers whatsoever, unless you count getting the crap beat out of them whilst holding blue-glowing mini-scimitars.  One of them even gets beaten up by a couple of fat computer nerds, for God’s sake.  Anyway, for reasons that are never explained, the nine are being killed in a specific order.  So when Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) has a vision confirming that Number Three is dead, he knows he is next on the Big Mean Alien Hit List.  Immediately he and his protector (Timothy Olyphant) flee, with their hunters in pursuit. Read the rest of this entry »

Sanctum Reviewed

Posted by film On February - 7 - 2011

Sanctum
Directed by Alister Grierson
Universal Pictures, 2011

By Sean Kelly

It can be forgiven if anyone had the mistaken impression that this film was James Cameron’s directorial follow-up to Avatar. Nearly every ad I’ve seen for the film has started with, “from James Cameron, creator of Titanic and Avatar.” I suppose this isn’t the first time a film has been sold on the executive producer’s name – Steven Spielberg and George Lucas being the prime examples. Here, the greatest contribution Cameron made to the film was the use of his 3D camera technology, which probably still creates the most state-of-the-art 3D effects available. Read the rest of this entry »

The Green Hornet Reviewed

Posted by film On January - 24 - 2011

The Green Hornet
Directed by Michel Gondry
Columbia Pictures, 2011

By Sean Kelly

My only real experience involving the Green Hornet, prior to this film, was the character’s crossover appearance on the old 1960s Batman TV series. Indeed it was the Green Hornet TV series, from the same producers as Batman, where most people were introduced to the character. The TV series was also notable for introducing us to Bruce Lee, who co-starred as Kato a few years before becoming a movie star. I only recently found out that the character has its origins as a 1930s radio serial, as opposed to comic books, which did not appear until the 1940s.

The film version went through many stages of development, with one of the most notable being when Kevin Smith was hired in 2004 to write and direct the film. His script was adapted into a comic after he dropped out. The film was later taken up by Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg. Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle) was originally set to direct and co-star as Kato, but he eventually dropped out and the reigns were given to Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Read the rest of this entry »

Little Fockers Reviewed

Posted by film On January - 7 - 2011

Little Fockers
Directed by Paul Weitz
Universal Pictures/Paramount Pictures, 2010

By Sean Kelly

Meet the Parents became Ben Stiller’s first true hit, after breakout role in 1998’s There’s Something About Mary. I consider Meet the Parents and its 2004 sequel Meet the Fockers to be somewhat sentimental favourites of mine, which I have often played back-to-back to waste away an afternoon.

Now, here we are ten years later and onto the third film of the series. Before I move any further, I want to emphasise that I did find the film to be quite hilarious at times. However, I couldn’t help but feel that it was different from the other two. We no longer have the “Meet the _____” premise and now it seems we are just catching up with all the characters a few years after everything turned out happily ever after. Read the rest of this entry »

TRON: Legacy Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 22 - 2010

TRON: Legacy
Directed by Joseph Kosinski
Walt Disney Pictures, 2010

By Sean Kelly

It has been exactly one year since Avatar was released and pretty much revolutionized 3D films. However, the entire year since has seen studios go the cheap route and make post-converted cash-ins, instead of taking advantage of James Cameron’s camera technology and making original 3D films. I can confidently say that TRON: Legacy is the best 3D film to come out since Avatar. It also takes full advantage of IMAX (with many scenes shot in the format), so the film is definitely best seen on an IMAX screen.

The original 1982 TRON (which I have yet to see) is nearly as old as I am. At the time, the film had state of the art CGI effects, though by today’s standards it looks quite dated. How appropriate then that nearly 30 years later, a sequel has been made that can now more credibly show a world inside a computer. Read the rest of this entry »

The King’s Speech Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 14 - 2010

The King’s Speech
Directed by Tom Hooper
The Weinstein Company, 2010

By Sean Kelly

The King’s Speech was this year’s winner of the People’s Choice Award at TIFF and seems a very likely frontrunner for Best Picture in the Oscar race. The film tells the story of King George VI (Colin Firth), who is plagued with a stuttering problem, which is certainly less than ideal for someone expected to make regular speeches. His wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) locates an unorthodox Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to cure his affliction.

Historically, the film takes place primarily in the years prior to King George, then known as Prince Albert, taking the throne. It was expected that Albert’s older brother Edward (Guy Pearce) would take the crown after the death of King George V (Michael Gambon). However, when circumstances force Edward to relinquish the crown to Albert, his sessions with Logue become all the more important. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Swan Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 9 - 2010

Black Swan
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Fox Searchlight, 2010

By Sean Kelly

I wouldn’t usually be interested in seeing a film about ballet, but with Darren Aronofsky directing (best known for Requiem for a Dream), I knew that this wasn’t going to be your average ballet film, something which was confirmed when I saw the trailer for the film. This film initially piqued my interest when it played at the Toronto Film Festival a few months ago and now, with its general release, I finally got a chance to see the film.

The film centres on Nina (Natalie Portman), a dancer for a ballet company in New York. She is given the duo lead role in a production of Swan Lake. While her director (Vincent Cassel) is confident in Nina’s ability to play the innocent role of the White Swan, he is not so sure if she could handle the dark and seductive Black Swan. This leads to Nina having a rivalry with fellow dancer Lily (Mila Kunis), in which the events seem to be mirroring the ballet itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Faster Reviewed

Posted by film On December - 4 - 2010

Faster
Directed by George Tillman Jr.
Alliance Pictures, 2010

By Caesar Martini

You know, if you’re a huge, intimidating dude, I think there is a finite amount of time you can spend in an environment intentionally set up to be the diametric opposite of your appearance and personality (such as a family movie) before that juxtaposition ceases to be funny or interesting (re: anything in the 80’s starring Hulk Hogan). In my humble opinion, that finite amount of time is about thirty seconds, which is why it’s annoying that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has done no less than three full length family films. He wore a tutu in one, for god’s sake.

Thank Odin that The Rock has chosen Faster as his most recent project; a film where his only job is looking angry and being terrifyingly well muscled while he shoots people in the face. And he does this job very well. The first thing I thought when I saw the opening of the movie as The Rock paced menacingly in his prison cell was, “Holy shit he is HUGE.” I was legitimately afraid of him because he was so very big and so very angry. Read the rest of this entry »

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Reviewed

Posted by film On November - 22 - 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Directed by David Yates
Warner Bros, 2010

By Sean Kelly

I should probably start off by saying that I have never read any of the Harry Potter novels. This was conscious decision on my part, since a) I’m a notoriously slow reader and b) I thought it would be best to judge the films as films without worrying about how close they are to the books.

By the time Part 2 of The Deathly Hallows comes out next July, the series will be four months shy of being a decade old. Read the rest of this entry »

Unstoppable Reviewed

Posted by film On November - 20 - 2010

Unstoppable
Directed by Tony Scott
Twentieth Century Fox, 2010

By Caesar Martini

I went into this movie half-thinking, “Why am I going into this movie again?” The answer is because my friend wanted to see it. I wasn’t particularly interested, as I had just seen Tony Scott direct Denzel Washington in a movie heavily involving trains last year (The Taking of Pelham 123). In fact, I’ve seen Scott direct Washington in five movies now. It’s as if he can’t direct anyone else in a lead role. Or maybe he looked at how his brother, Ridley Scott, has directed Russell Crowe in five movies and said, “Hey I want one too! Only, you know… black.” Perhaps the Scotts are prone to man-crushes on talented actors. Anyway, groundlessly speculated director-actor homoeroticism aside, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Unstoppable. Read the rest of this entry »

127 Hours Reviewed

Posted by film On November - 19 - 2010

127 Hours
Directed by Danny Boyle
Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2010

By Sean Kelly

One of the problems with seeing a film based on true events is that you already know the entire story prior to seeing film. In the case of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, the story is that of mountain climber Aron Ralston (James Franco), who, after getting trapped by a boulder is eventually forced to amputate his own arm to free himself. As such, the film is less about what happened and more about how it’s portrayed. Read the rest of this entry »

Paranormal Activity 2 Reviewed

Posted by film On November - 1 - 2010

Paranormal Activity 2
Directed by Todd Williams
Paramount Pictures, 2010

By Sean Kelly

I don’t think there has been a single movie sequel that I’ve been more wary of than Paranormal Activity 2.  Let’s face it; the first film came out of nowhere.  The “Demand It!” campaign was an ingenious form of movie marketing and by the time the original finally went to wide release, it not only topped the box office, but it dethroned the Saw series’ long run at the top of the Halloween box office.  Naturally, Paramount wanted lightning to strike twice and this film was born.

Calling this film a sequel is not entirely accurate.  It is established early on that the bulk of this film takes place within the two months before the events of the first film and even features appearances by Micah and Katie of the original.  In this film, the victims of the night time disturbances are the family of Katie’s sister, who recently gave birth to a son named Hunter. Most of the disturbances seem concentrated around his room. Read the rest of this entry »

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