Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Brokeback Mountain: Set in the 1960’s the story revolves around 2 cowboys who are hired to herd sheep. A relationship starts between the two men, something they need to keep secret. Both men go on with their lives, both meet women and start families, but they continue their relationship by meeting every few months to go “fishing”. I did say FISHING. The whole story and the idea if it will work falls on the shoulders of Heath Ledger – a throw away actor…..so I thought. His performance here is outstanding (him or Hoffman will win Oscar)! The rest of the cast is great as well, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams both turn in strong performances. This story is a tough sell to most people, I included. That being said – it was one of the best movies I have seen all year. The sex scene is a bit graphic and a little shocking. The story is so well told however I think all will like!
* * * and ½
With a running time of 134 minutes
This film is rated R
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Memoirs of a Geisha: A sprawling epic that is empty inside. Based on Author Golden’s novel of the same name, the story centers around a young girl who is sold to a life of servitude by her parents. We watch all the twists and turns of her life as she grows up to be a Geisha. The story is set in 1940’s Japan – the culture of that time and place is a very big element of the film. The actors do speak English and no subtitles are used. I am actually a little mad at this movie, because everything about it is done so well, but yet the product as a whole falls short. The acting is great, and the cinematography and costumes are just beautiful - may be the best of the year. The biggest part missing was the emotional tie to the story as we watch it unfold. I sat there wanting more out of it….and that is not a good thing. Still as I mentioned before the movie did a lot right…..so if you were interested in seeing this I still would….if you were on the fence….wait till video.
* * and ½
With a run time of 142 minutes
This movie is rated PG-13
Thursday, December 15, 2005
King Kong: Peter Jackson remakes this classic tale, we all know the story of Kong….but we have never SEEN it done like this. The movie’s run time is 3 hours, with the 1st hour dedicated to character development and the last 2 hours showing pure cinema delight. When the movie crew arrives at Skull Island you already know you are in for a treat. The visuals of the island and Islanders are awesome, creepy, and even scary. From the time Kong grabs Ann (played by Naomi Watts) the action is none stop. We see everything from Kong fighting dinosaurs and bats to the film crew taking on prehistoric insects and bugs. Later Kong takes on 1933 Manhattan, biplanes, and the empire state building. The film does everything right – gives us interesting characters, a ton of action, and wraps it all around a great story. Kong looked fantastic, which is the key to drawing in our emotion to the story. Peter Jackson proved he is at the top of his game and the rest of the industry is looking up. This is an Event film that truly should be seen at the theaters. // Side note, for all those of you who feel movies are too expensive……Paying $8-9 to see this movie is really a bargain. Enjoy!
* * * *
With a running time of 187 minutes
This film is rated PG-13
Syriana: George Clooney and Matt Damen star in this interesting thriller about the way Oil business is conducted in the Middle East. The film mirrors the movie Traffic – in that it shows you many different points of interest, characters, and story lines regarding the same subject. Everything about this movie is high grade. The story lines take time to develop, but keep drawing you in. It may start out a bit confusing with all the jumping around the film does, but the joy of it is how it all comes together. The acting is superb – with George Clooney turning in his first great performance of his career. What I liked most was the film did not take an American point of view, instead it showed how all sides are doing wrong – and shows us just how big the problems are. In a time when wars are fought over oil and oil prices are threw the roof – this movie is a must see.
* * *
With a running time of 127 minutes
This film is rated R
Thursday, December 08, 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Based on the beloved novel by C.S. Lewis, we journey along 4 kids as they travel through a wardrobe to the timeless land of Narnia. What made the books so loved is the way it pushed your imagination to the max, could a movie have that same magic – I am glad to say YES! The 1st to enter the land of Narnia is Lucy, who is the youngest. She quickly runs into Mr. Tumnus, a faun and the adventure really picks up from there. The Magic of Narnia is that there are no humans there and it is the animals that control the land. - That all changes when the 4 kids enter Narnia. They are guided by a knowledgeable lion, who informs them of their importance in this mysterious world. You could not even think about making this movie 10 years ago, but with today’s technology the sky is the limit. The effects are the key to this whole movie – we have people talking to animals the entire time and it needs to be done in a fantasy/believable way. We do have to remember that the story is for kids -- the movie does hold back on violent scenes, but that is not the point anyway…….the point is to BELIEVE…….and I did!!
* * *
With a running time of 140 minutes
This Film is rated PG
Monday, December 05, 2005
North Country: Based on the true story of Josey Aimes, who was involved in the 1st major sexual harassment case in the United States back in 1984. Charlize Theron plays Josey, who gets a job as a miner in upstate Minnesota. The mining company already is upset that they have to employ women; some of the guys working there do things to extreme to make the women uncomfortable. The acting by Charlize Theron proves that her role in Monster was no fluke…….she is absolutely excellent in this movie! (Oscar nomination) Frances McDormand also turns in a great role as a co-worker stricken with Lou Gehrig disease who comes to her friend’s side to fight. The story is powerful and has layers to it that the director handled perfectly. We even get a little court room drama mixed in. The focus is not on the job itself, but on the life struggles and triumphs some must go through.
* * * *
With a running time of 121 minutes
This film is rated R
Friday, December 02, 2005
The Squid and the Whale: This small independent movie focuses on a family of four going through a divorce. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney play the parents separating; both are intellectual writers who in some ways have lost touch with reality. The film is mainly a comedy actually, with drama sinking in near the end. Their two boys are the ones affected the most, as we see each kid take a side. The reason this film works is the great characters on the screen. This is Jeff Daniels best performance, playing a writer who has had nothing published in some time, works at a school teaching, and thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. He really carries the film and supplies plenty of laughs. Both the kids are excellent as well, some of the things they do and say are just shocking…….but real at the same time. The film is shot with the look of a documentary recorded with a video camera; this also helps submerge you into the story. If you are looking for something small, something different – this is an excellent choice. * Note, Noah Baumbach wrote this movie based on his childhood //// The move is produced by Wes Anderson.
* * * and1/2
With a running time of 88 minutes
This movie is rated R