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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 »

By Sean Kelly

Every year there seem to be two films that stand out in the Oscar race. For instance, last year it was a well-documented battle between The Hurt Locker and Avatar. This year’s battle is shaping up to feature The King’s Speech facing off against The Social Network. If this battle wasn’t apparent before, it certainly is now that The Social Network won four of its six Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture – Drama. I figured that it would be fun it create a boxing-style “tale of the tape” comparison between the two films. Read the rest of this entry »

Sean’s Film Disappointments of 2010

Posted by film On January - 19 - 2011

By Sean Kelly

Every year at MONDOfilm, we revisit our most disappointing experiences and biggest gripes of the year in the film world. They can be actual films, actors and filmmakers or trends and occurences that got our backs up. Sean Kelly kicks things off. Enjoy.

Lucy looks down upon us.

1. Too Much 3D (for real)

When I wrote my article in February contemplating how studios were jumping on the 3D bandwagon, following the success of Avatar, I had no idea how truly out of hand 3D would get during 2010. It started to seem that every single major release was coming out in 3D (often with the hilarious side note “also available in 2D”). The downside to this was that the studios were cutting corners and converting the majority of these films in post-production, which resulted in greatly diminished 3D effects (and wasted premium movie prices). This resulted in an understandable backlash, highlighted by an anti-3D article written by Roger Ebert. The 3D revolution also gave electronics companies a reason to speed up technological obsolescence by telling people to buy their new fancy 3D-compatable HDTVs and Blu-Ray players so soon after consumers (myself included) started to fully embrace the technology.

On the upside, TRON: Legacy restored my faith in 3D films and the next year promises to see more major films that were actually SHOT in 3D, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: The Dark of the Moon. Read the rest of this entry »

Sean Kelly’s Top 5 Films of 2010

Posted by film On January - 13 - 2011

By Sean Kelly

5. Black Swan (dir. Darren Aronofsky)
A film that proves that a movie about ballet doesn’t have to be boring.

4. Inception (dir. Christopher Nolan)
Even though there are likely some who are still confused by this very cerebral film, I have to say that I found this film to be one of the most enjoyable I’ve seen this year.

3. Toy Story 3 (dir. Lee Unkrich)
Pixar keeps outdoing themselves with each film and this film was a fitting conclusion to the one that started it all. 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 »

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 »

Devil Reviewed

Posted by film On October - 5 - 2010

Devil
Directed by John Erick Dowdle
Universal Pictures, 2010

By Sean Kelly

To most of the mainstream audience, M Night Shyamalan has become a bit of a joke. When the trailer for this film played in theatres, audiences would usually groan when Shyamalan’s name appeared on screen. However, after seeing it, I have to say that the film itself actually turned out to be quite decent.

Devil is the first chapter of the Shyamalan-produced trilogy called The Night Chronicles. Essentially, this trilogy involves taking some of Shyamalan’s unproduced film ideas and handing them off to up-and-coming directors. For this film, the directing duties were given to John Erick Dowdle, who is probably best known for his 2008 film Quarantine. Read the rest of this entry »

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