Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
Review: Caught this at TIFF! Love the book and pretty much everything else Joe Hill has written.The movie has a great and mostly book accurate start but eventually falls off the rails and loses site of itself. It lacks a lot of character development for most characters especially the killer of Merrin, which I feel is very crucial to the plot, in the book.Mostly it felt disjointed, unpolished, unfinished and rushed.Rumor has it that the film went through quite the production problems, including swapping editors a few times and it definitely shows. As well as some extremely laughable and unnecessary CG work its safe to say the film needs to be delayed about a year, maybe even get a couple re-shoots in. Id say the confrontation scenes with the killer need the most reworking as they just feel sloppy and bland; I would also say the film could do with being about a half hour longer by the least, it needs more scenes of when the characters were young.Daniel does a tip top job portraying Ig and Juno Temple as Merrin; David Morse is pretty great in it too as well as James Remar and lots of the other actors, though Max Minghella didnt get enough material to work with imo.Well its safe to say its a decent flick, but it should and could be better, with the right amount of time. It just needs some tender love and care.All in all its worth watching, a decent adaption, with some scenes straight out of the book. It captures the feel of the book quite marvelously in some scenes.Another recent rumor Ive heard is that there is a longer cut of the film, than what they showed at Tiff, I would hope that ends up being the theatrical version, but if not I think a directors cut on video is a must!
Review: Robin Williams must have signed on this role while 99% intoxicated or else he wouldve have read the script before taking on the role. Right off the bat in the opening scene where his character had a bumper-to-bumper run in with a cab driver, the audience could tell that Williams made no effort to act. Did Williams realize how badly his character was written that he showed up to the set and just winged it? Also, what was Mila Kunis thinking when she was handed this script? If there was a negative 1 rating, this movie suffice. This is absolutely and utterly awful from the very beginning. Why would the people in Hollywood make such a movie? These Hollywood executives must have money they dont know how to spend. Whoever directed this movie shouldnt be given another shot to direct. I honestly mean it. It is bad all around. Terrible acting, dreadful dialogs, atrocious plot, just how, how can such a movie get made? What were the producers thinking when they got this script?
Review: A random and encounter has led Solomon Northup from living freely in New York to being kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana, getting handed over to various slave owners. There, Solomon witnesses numerous acts of cruelty that no man should ever face.As I stared at the movie screen with full dread, I was reeling back at certain scenes I had just witnessed. There were good films and television shows about slavery before, and they had various nuances at how to tackle slavery. This film is part of said resurgence of the sub- genre, hot on the heels of Django Unchained and The Butler. But while the former relinquishes on Spaghetti Western entertainment more than attempting to address the issue in a political light as the latter, Steve McQueens 12 Years a Slave shuts those two up, and perhaps the entire sub-genre, for good. I doubt any future slavery-themed film will be as harrowing as this one was.Steve McQueen is a fearless filmmaker, continuing his streak of unfiltered brutality within human depths. He frames his actors faces in extreme close-up, the eyes staring into despair, the nostrils fuming in aggression. Naked flesh are shown not because of erotic content, but rather because of desperation and futility. Long takes and wide shots are not uncommon in his films, and here they showcase a plethora of fantastic scenes and performances that work to discomfort the viewer as much as possible. McQueen doesnt just allow the audience to tackle slavery, he guts the audience and leaves them for the consequences. This is an extremely uncomfortable film to watch. Beautifully shot locations are placeholders for unsettling sequences before and after, contemplated by Hans Zimmers poignant and at times horrifying score. This all works to create a nightmarish time and place where hell walks on Earth.Central to all of this is the performance of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon. Ejiofor showcases that he is a natural force to be reckoned with in this film, after a decade of mostly supporting characters. He spaces out in despair as the camera lingers onto him for solid minutes, not a word spoken. Another sequence shows him mourning the death of a fellow worker, in which the singing of the surrounding group compels him and shakes him down to tears. These scenes follow earlier ones where he is a classy, free man in the upper states, mingling happily with the crowd and partaking in fanciful music sessions. It is a tour-de-force performance.A fine ensemble of established and up-and-coming actors surround Ejiofor in his limelight - Paul Dano, Paul Giammati, Alfre Woodard, Sarah Paulson, even Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch, but none so ferociously as McQueen regular Michael Fassbender as the despicable, sadistic plantation owner Edwin Epps. So excellent and terrifying is Fassbenders portrayal of such a merciless and barbaric person, that the mere sight of him will either cause audience members unfamiliar to him to flinch.I was left speechless as the credits rolled. A lesser film would have added tacked-on sentimentality/exaggeration and politically influenced claptrap. Not this one. This is a movie to watch as a reminder of how powerful the human spirit can endeavor, and how lucky all of us have grown past that dreadful time in history. The full effect of it has not been felt in movies before, until now.
Review: ... but 9 / 10 for the fans that love the series.I grew up with all 3 seasons. However, while seasons 1 & 2 were brilliant, season 3 sucked to high heaven. The movie is definitely just for those that really missed the characters and just needed a fresh 107 minutes of Veronica.The story offered isnt exactly water tight, but if youre a true Veronica Mars fan you will overlook the odd logical glitch in the story.One thing that gave me a pleasant surprise was that its still jaw-dropping amazing to look at Kristen Bell. Her cute and sexy voice/smile/attitude just makes you forget about some of the truly crappy storytelling in the movie.That the movie has a rating of 7,8 (03/20/2014) doesnt surprise me. This is just purely a hardcore fan rating.Bottom line: Veronica Mars fans will get what they deserve.
Review: Overall a showman of a film. Flashy, loud with bells and whistles and big personalities, an exciting premise... illusionists rob banks using (supposed) magic but the four horsemen are just puppets in a game, but the hype is more than the substance of the film itself.Youd expect suspense, twists, intelligent plot misdirection and all sorts of thrilling viewing? No. This film tries to be a lot more intelligent than it actually is. Like Atlas (Eisenberg) says, Always be the most intelligent person in the room or something similar, this film thinks it is being intelligent but actually its not challenging enough. It gives too much away, isnt as unpredictable as it should be (really, you couldnt see that ending coming?) and just isnt as clever as it promises. The tricks I really wanted explaining werent... the ones that were more obvious, were explained. The ending actually isnt a denouement, as its been laying clues all along - and anyone whos seen a lot of films can see the twists coming a mile away. I focus on the twists and reveal because as a heist movie, the end is the big reveal. But, unlike Oceans Eleven, for example, it has more or less handed it to you on a plate already.The actors were good. Morgan Freeman and Woody Harrelson stealing the show, of course, with Dave Franco doing a bang up job with some incredible physical acting, stunts and so forth. Im afraid Jesse Eisenberg didnt convince in his character and was annoying after a while, Franco rather underutilised really. Isla Fisher was good but clearly the glamour rather than a serious character, which was a shame as she was good.This was supposed to be a big blockbuster film, big back drops, epic stunts and huge crowd scenes, but it failed to deliver. As heist/magic genre films go its not that great, and The Prestige was far more cerebral and gripping. Entertaining to a point but I got a bit bored, and some of the scenes were too long - chases etc. If you are a fan of heist films or magic youll enjoy it, or are a fan of particular actors, or will just enjoy it for what it is and dont want to be challenged intellectually, its a great film. I think Hollywood endings are just too commonplace. 6/10 for me.