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Showing posts from March, 2013

Side Effects

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Disclaimer: It is rather hard to judge this movie objectively without my healthcare/medical background creeping in to colour some of my opinions.

As Soderbergh's last movie, this is rather disappointing. If nothing else this is a decent thriller: a poor man's "Primal Fear" meets physician's nightmare, but this is nowhere as intriguing/gripping as "Contagion" or as sincere as "Magic Mike". There is a whole mine load of potential story lines that could have been developed and brought out based on the basic premise of the plot, but it seemed like writer Scott Z. Burns and Soderbergh chickened out somewhere in the middle of the second act and dropped the ball. Either that or external factors like studio or backers or ... necessitated the change to a typical, run-of-the-mill thriller plot machinations. The lacked of ambiguity in the characters and the drivers behind them, make them all so one-dimensional and, ultimately, boring. As said, the first…

Django Unchained

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A fun and entertaining, quintessentially Quentin Tarantino movie that is typically more plot rather than character driven. Nonetheless, Tarantino has scripted a highly original screenplay and populated it with a cast of talented actors, it is just a pity that the characters are relatively one-dimensional. Tarantino may have a daft hand and mind to come up with brilliant stories, but like all his other previous features, e.g Kill Bill 1 & 2 and Inglourious Basterds, he fails at providing real depth to his characters and firmly establishing their motivation into the psyche of the audience. In particular, when it comes to romance he is just clumsy and clunky. Thankfully, his movies always have a very absorbing plot, memorable characters, some great lines, a superb soundtrack and panache. The supporting casts are all outstanding with some of the best work by Leonardo diCaprio and Samuel L Jackson. DiCaprio was easily one of the best thing about this movie, as he embraces his inner vi…

Warm Bodies

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I love the book by Isaac Marion and I love the concept behind this apocalyptic, zombified Romeo and Juliet fairy tale. Nicholas Hoult definitely very competently carried off the lead. His sardonic, deadpanned wit and British charisma brought this Jonathan Levine adapted/scripted, voice-over heavy first act alive. That coupled with the many clever lines, physical comedy gold, his spot on facial expressions and self-depreciating reaction shots made the first act a hilarious joy to watch with many laughters and chuckles throughout. The second act slowed down a bit but at least the two leads had some sort of chemistry and it was nice to see this atypical love story develop, although at times Teresa Palmer appeared deader than Hoult. However, this is more likely due to how less fleshed out (hah!) her character is compared to zombie R. The third act unfortunately lost momentum and became somewhat "normal"...oh, the irony! It just felt like any other typical horror/action thriller.…

Stoker

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Park Chan-Wook's first American movie is his usual superbly stylish, masterfully suspenseful and gorgeously inventively shot. More in common with "Sympathy for Mr Vengeance" and "Thirst" than his most famous "Old Boy". Wentworth Miller's script deserved being shortlisted on the 2010 Black List for being interesting, and although nothing groundbreaking about the thin plot, Miller managed to create two (and a half) wondrously complex characters. The story started off a bit slow but really gets going when it focuses only on the three leads. And the two main juicy roles were played marvellously well by Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman. It is a crime that the insanely brilliant Wasikowska is so overlooked and underrated, whereas Jennifer Lawrence (who although is talented too, but pales to the range of Wasikowska...come on! Even Meryl Streep has publicly praised her) is an Oscar winner. Wasikowska's portrayal of the lead character is an ever evolv…

Oz: The Great and Powerful [IMAX] [3D]

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A fun and moderately entertaining family-fare that unfortunately is neither great, nor as powerful as the 1939 Judy Garland classic. One of the greatest problem with it is not that Garland's tale is a tough act to follow, but for this generation, Gregory Maguire's wickedly brilliant and smart satire "Wicked" (and to a lesser extent, its sequels) as well as the inanely dumb-downed Broadway fare "Wicked" are already so well ingrained into the consciousness of many of the target audience Disney is aiming at. This result in a very strong discordance between the audience and what is happening on screen. But more importantly, the writers themselves, Mitchell Kapner and Pulitzer prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire,  are also conflicted in their characterisation of the cast and the world they created which had both shadows of Baum's and Maguire's works intermingling with some originality. Come on, have some guts to do something wholly original! Sam Raimi is …