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Monthly Archives: October 2013

In Darkness

in darknessA dramatization of one man’s rescue of Jewish refugees in the Nazi-occupied Polish city of Lvov. (IMDb)

So. I’m going to start this off by saying this is a rough two and half hours. Not rough in terms of film making, but rough in terms of “this is a Holocaust movie about Jews living in a sewer for a year” rough. Director Agnieszka Holland doesn’t shy away from showing the brutality of their situation and of the time period in general. Basically, this movie is one depressing situation after another. But don’t get me wrong, this movie is also very good. I really liked the realistic portrayal of the main character, as he starts out helping them only for personal gain, and then we see him grow as a person as he starts realizing that they are people too. I loved his wife, Wanda, she is a great character. Also, the group of people that ended up staying in the sewers was also interesting. They were not friends, only four of them were family, and not all of them even liked each other, they all just got thrown into this situation and had to deal with. This was mostly very quickly paced, and was fairly good at transitioning the jumps in time, although it did lack a little into the second half. Also for me, the fact that the resolution obviously took place months after the climax didn’t quite work. It was this huge tension filled moment in the sewers…and then it was a fast forward to a least a few months later and it was the ending of the movie. But I will say, this is worth a watch for the story, which is even more remarkable because it was true.

7/10

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Posted by on October 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Anna Karenina

anna kareninaSet in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. (IMDb)

For starters, I never read the book. Ok, I started the book, never finished it. So honestly, what drew me to this was pretty much just the names attached. But once I started watching, the real draw is Joe Wright’s concept, which he executed amazingly. The whole movie takes place on a stage. But not just on the stage, but under it, above it, in the house, in the lobby, everywhere imaginable. It’s brilliant. The way everything (the set, actors, etc.) moves seamlessly from one place to another is choreographed beautifully. (Also loved the choreography in the ball scene) The whole thing itself had the feel of a ballet. But what was also interesting is how as the movie progressed, it became less and less obviously theatrical. It still was, but you almost forgot about it at times. A few of us talked about if it was intentional, and what it meant. One of the downfalls is the story though for me. It took a lot to keep up with it normally, and with this at times I would be too busy watching the spectacle, and then play catch up on the story. Also, we paused it a few times to figure out who was related to who, who was in love with who, etc. While I did appreciate Tom Stoppard’s attempts to streamline the plot, and I did love his beautiful one liner quotes throughout the movie, the plot itself was still a little confusing. It also does lag a little in the second hour, and the ending felt like it was rushing a bit to tie up all of the plotlines. As for the acting, I loved it. Matthew Macfayden and Domhnall Gleeson both played characters that are different than their usuals, and I thought they were great. But, it really belonged to Keira Knightley, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Jude Law. I thought the three of them were brilliant. They played the characters in such a way that at times I felt bad for them, other times I sympathized, times I thought they were being stupid, and rooted for them other times. I mean, basically they were playing human beings. Overall, i have a lot of feelings about this. (As you can tell), but most of them are positive, and I think this is definitely worth watching.

8/10

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Vow

the vowA car accident puts Paige in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo works to win her heart again.

So…I liked this…didn’t love it. Ok, what I did like was the story. It was more realistic than most romance movies. Also, Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams were cute together. Plus, they had a good support system actor wise. (Jessica Lange, Sam Neill, Tatiana Maslany, etc.) Here’s the thing though. I felt like these people were archetypes, especially McAdams’ character. Her “married self” was this sculptor, hipster, type, and her “old self” was completely opposite, an uptight future real housewife. And yes, people do change over time, but it was almost like two completely different personalities. It was like I couldn’t believe that one became the other. Also, all of the ladies in this movie cried a LOT. I just wanted to be like come on people, can we get through one conversation without crying? Nothing against the actresses honestly, it was just a lot. So yeah, this is nice, this is cute, but it’s nothing memorable.

5.5/10

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Woman in Black

the woman in blackA young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals. (IMDb)

So, let me start this off by saying that I don’t like scary movies. Seriously, I get no joy in being scared shitless. The only reason I watched this was for DanRad. No shame. And actually, I quite liked this. No, I still didn’t like the things jumping out at me. But I thought the story was actually interesting, and more hearbreaking, considering there were children involved. The ending is also so. good. The cinematography is awesome. They do a lot of really cool stuff to really amp of the scary. But the real question is…how did DanRad do? And the answer is…pretty good actually. While, no I didn’t really believe him as a father of a four year old, I thought his acting was really well done. Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer also turn in great performances as the only couple who are helpful. So. Like I said, I hate scary movies, but this is one I not only tolerated and sat through until the end, I actually really enjoyed it. So, yeah I definitely recommend this one.

7.5/10

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Chronicle

ChronicleWhilst attending a party, three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides. (IMDb)

So, I was not expecting much from this, considering I’m usually not a fan of the whole first person/found footage/shaky cam thing. But you know what? This movie was actually pretty awesome. Yes, it’s found footage, but it’s found footage done well. Which I never thought I would ever say. There are a lot of creative and clever story tricks used in order to get the affect they wanted, and it worked. The only place is fell apart a little was in the big climactic scene, but honestly, I was so focused on the action of the scene, I didn’t realize it until after it was over. The acting is extremely good from this relatively unknown cast. The special effects are also quite impressive, you can actually see how their powers develop. So overall, this is actually way better than you would expect it to be, and I was engaged the entire time.

7/10

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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