Archive | July, 2012

[Review] – The Imposter

31 Jul

Title: The Imposter
Year: 2012
Director: Bart Layton
Writer: –
Starring: Frédéric Bourdin, Adam O’Brian, Carey Gibson
MPAA Rating: R, language
Runtime: 95 min
IMDb Rating: 6.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Metacritic: 77

In June of 1994 a 13-year-old boy named Nicholas disappeared in Texas, leaving absolutely no clue as to where he left to, or, as many assumed, where he was forcefully taken to. More than three years later they find him in a village in southern Spain, thousands of miles away from home, obviously, claiming that he had been kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused. As you might imagine, his grieving family in Texas was absolutely over the moon that their son, who they were slowly coming to terms with was gone by then, was found, and they were elated when he came back home to them.

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[Trailer] – Skyfall

31 Jul

When Daniel Craig took over duties from Pierce Brosnan and became the new James Bond, we got Casino Royale, which one could argue is the best 007 film ever, or at least certainly in the top three. So the world was eagerly awaiting the follow-up to that one, and we got Quantum of Solace, a film that, while certainly not bad, was still definitely inferior, and was a big disappointment to me personally. Well, now we’re getting Mr. Craig’s third go-round as the most famous spy in film history in Skyfall, and you can watch the trailer for it after the cut.

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[Review] – The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

30 Jul

Title: The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
Year: 2012
Directors: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Writers: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Starring: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis
MPAA Rating: R, language
Runtime: 76 min
IMDb Rating: 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Metacritic: 60

After watching The Dark Knight Rises, I decided to go on the most opposite direction of that movie I could find, and so I settled for The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, a film that has a very reduced cast, runs for less than half of what Christopher Nolan‘s final installment of his Batman trilogy does, and is just super low-budget, low-scale, low-everything. It’s also the second film of 2012 directed by brothers Jay and Mark Duplass, after the brilliant Jeff, Who Lives at Home, which I saw back in April and currently stands as my 13th favorite film of the year to date. This one also continues to make this a huge year for Mark Duplass, who in addition to directing those two films has had acting roles in four others, some of them truly great ones, with Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty still to come.

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[Review] – The Dark Knight Rises

29 Jul

Title: The Dark Knight Rises
Year: 2012
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, based on a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, based on the characters by Bob Kane
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard
MPAA Rating: PG-13, intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language
Runtime: 164 min
IMDb Rating: 9.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Metacritic: 78

And so it ends. I don’t even know where to begin, nor do I know exactly what I want to touch upon here, in my review for The Dark Knight Rises, the conclusion to Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy. Is it as good as The Dark Knight was? Well, no, not really. But to me it never was about beating its predecessor, because the bar was set so high by that masterpiece of a second installment, by Heath Ledger‘s performance, by the legacy, the records, the mystique surrounding it all. What it is, however, is a film that’s as ambitious as I’ve ever seen; Christopher Nolan really comes out swinging for the fences with all of his might here, delivering a film charged with so many ideas and messages and that’s still so thoroughly entertaining as an action film. Is it as perfect as its predecessor? Again, the answer is no; but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect on its own right.

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[Review] – Savages

26 Jul

Title: Savages
Year: 2012
Director: Oliver Stone
Writers: Shane Salerno, Don Winslow and Oliver Stone, based on the novel by Mr. Winslow
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Benicio del Toro, Salma Hayek, Demián Bichir, Emile Hirsch
MPAA Rating: R, strong brutal and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout
Runtime: 131 min
IMDb Rating: 6.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Metacritic: 61

And so Savages is finally upon us. To be honest, I have, for some reason or another, actually been very interested in seeing this film since it was first announced. At first it was for the very shallow reason that it was premiering on September 28, which is my birthday. But then it moved up to be a summer release, (which still left my birthday with Looper, one of my most anticipated releases of the year, as well as Trouble with the Curve, so I’m good), but I was still really interested in how Oliver Stone tackled the Don Winslow novel, and the cast intrigued me. Plus apparently Blake Lively, who wasn’t experienced at the gun range before she took classes for this movie, hit center mass in her first three shots. That’s totally meaningless, but I always remember that fact for some reason.

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[Review] – Ice Age: Continental Drift

25 Jul

Title: Ice Age: Continental Drift
Year: 2012
Directors: Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier
Writers: Jason Fuchs, Michael Berg and Mike Reiss
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Keke Palmer, Chris Wedge, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Lopez, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Josh Gad, Aziz Ansari, Wanda Sykes
MPAA Rating: PG, mild rude humor and action/peril
Runtime: 88 min
IMDb Rating: 6.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Metacritic: 48

Animated film franchises can get to be pretty boring quite fast, and the fall in quality from one to the next can be just tremendous, not even bothering to cover up the fact that they’re being made to make a ton of cash in box office grosses, home video and merchandising products. Of course there are exceptions, like Toy Story, but the fact is that when an animated film is given a sequel, whether it’s playing in theaters or going straight to video, more often than not it feels like a total cash-grab.

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[Trailer] – Life Of Pi

25 Jul

The first trailer for Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi is now out and, as you might have imagined, it’s visually stunning. Watch it after the cut.

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