Reviews of Stuff

I don’t just write stories, because I often find it hard to get started; I pass time to chase my hobby by writing reviews of stuff. (Doesn’t everyone like to be a critic once in a while, or as a professional?) Mostly reviewed here are movies, and books.

Monsters, directed by Gareth Edwards <<3.5 stars out of 5>> 

For an independent film by an independent director, with a little-known cast, this movie does surprisingly well for its genre! A monster movie with more warning signs than monsters; it’s all about not seeing, and if seeing, that they resemble giant glowing octopuses.

Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood <<3 stars out of 5>>

Visually spectacular where visual effects are used, if not visionary.

Rabbit Hole, directed by John Cameron Mitchell <<4 stars our of 5>>

The Ordinary People of 2010. (Ordinary People was directed by Robert Redford, it was the Academy Award for best picture of 1980) 

Good Morning, Vietnam, directed by Barry Levinson <<4 stars out of 5>>

If you’ve never seen Robin Williams in this or Mrs. Doubtfire, you got to see one of them, because Robin Williams is a comedy genius, and here, who says war can’t have a funny side? 

Elizabethtown, directed by Cameron Crowe <<4 stars out of 5>>

I believe in love when Cameron Crowe tells it (his other movie I’ve watched, Jerry Maguire, was also a brilliant RomCom), otherwise, love is still not interesting for a minor such as myself. Orlando Bloom and Kristin Dunst are awesome!

(500) Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb <<4.5 stars out of 5>>

‘This is not a love story’, the old wise narrator of this movie says; well, I’m in love with it, is that okay? 

The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper <<4 stars out of 5>> 

Starting now, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are my favorite trio of actors in a British drama. Search King George VI, Duke of York for the historical story.

The Social Network, directed by David Fincher <<4 stars out of 5>>

A great soundtrack, a largely dislikable but brilliant title character (Jesse Eisenberg, nominated for an oscar), a great ensemble (there should be a ‘best ensemble cast’ award at the Oscars, if you ask me), a great director (David Fincher, who did Benjamin Button and Fight Club, so far I’ve seen), and a great many pages of smart acting dialogue. Did you ever wonder how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook? Well, here it is, heavily fictionalized (and with heavily-needed drama).

Schindler’s List, directed by Steven Spielberg <<5 stars out of 5>>

With Schindler’s List, it’s not whether it’s great or not, it’s HOW great it is. After seeing this, which is one of the best movies I’ve ever watched, I can never look at evil in the same way ever again.

Green Zone, directed by Paul Greengrass <<3.5 stars out of 5>>

Political war films all have at least one thing in common, maybe two; one, it reveals a conspiracy where a certain government of a certain country is not telling the truth or the whole truth about a certain operation or mission in a certain place (most likely a country in Asia); in the case of Green Zone it’s about the search for non-existent Mass Destruction Weapons in Iraq back around 2003 conducted by the US military, and two (this factor adds drama to the story, because if there’s a conspiracy but no one cares then the movie is more of a lost cause), a lone warrior and an outside-the-conspirators-circle guy is trying to find out about the truth behind the ‘classified’ curtain; in the case of Green Zone it’s Matt Damon as the US soldier Roger Miller, played with cool. All political war films follow a kind of this pattern, and the message in all these films (Lions For Lambs, Syriana, Body of Lies…) is to inform us on a dirty trick played by the gove or the intelligence unit, one that we live near by, most likely. Isn’t it great to be informed? 

Gone Baby Gone, directed by Ben Affleck <<4 stars out of 5>>

You know that really good mystery cop drama where the detective digs deep into the ‘what really happened’ folder and uncover a startling result he can’t encompass? That’s Gone Baby Gone you’re talking about; it all depends on that final decision after the grand revealing. Thanks to curiosity for getting us there. Great acting.  

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, directed by Lee Daniels <<4 stars out of 5>>

I saw the trailer of this movie a long time ago (meaning a year ago) and found it difficult to watch, the novel was also difficult to read, one of the most difficult novels I’ve ever read actually, right next to Charlotte’s Web (that was difficult because I found EB White’s writing style obnoxiously disagreeable). The subject matter of this movie (and the book which it was based on) itself is difficult to talk about and probably disturbing to think about for tender souls, so I’ll save that for Wikipedia; the acting is brilliant, if not too amazing, and the movie style is innovative, artistic I’d say (I know, who am I to judge art?). Look for the 82nd academy awards best picture nominees, this one has the longest title. 

Kingdom of Heaven, directed by Ridley Scott <<4 stars out of 5>>

This is an epic movie; as a matter of fact, this movie inspired me to rearrange this blog page, and I can’t help but want to see it again. It doesn’t matter that I watched the shorter version, which was the first one released and the less well-received one, mostly because of the plot-holes I’ll say that got cut out of the original; now I can look forward to watching the longer version when I get the chance. It doesn’t matter either that Orlando Bloom could have been a little more emotional with the acting, that doesn’t matter when there’s a twenty-minute city siege with a lot of explosions in the grand finale, where he’s the hero I can cheer on any day, and the story altogether is in my opinion better than what happened in Lord of the Rings the third (the Oscars pick the wrong movies way too often). If you haven’t seen it yet, see it. And don’t worry, this is not a cheesy faith-based movie, this is a true adventure epic about conflict, religion, and great meanings.

Published on 2011/03/27 at 8:05 PM  Leave a Comment  

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