Archive | November, 2012

[Review] – Rise Of The Guardians

30 Nov

Title: Rise of the Guardians
Year: 2012
Director: Peter Ramsey
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire, based on the book series by William Joyce
Starring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo
MPAA Rating: PG, thematic elements and some mild scary action
Runtime: 97 min
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Metacritic: 57

If I’m to be perfectly honest, I’m quite disappointed by Rise of the Guardians. Not because it’s bad (it’s not) but because a part of me was really looking forward to it and thinking that it would be in contention for the title of best animated feature of the year. Granted, that would be a hard title to get considering how amazing Wreck-It Ralph was (I gave that one an A), but this one’s not even in the Top 5 and it just looked so cool to me from the trailers I’d seen.

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[Review] – Anna Karenina

29 Nov

Title: Anna Karenina
Year: 2012
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Tom Stoppard, based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams, Michelle Dockery, Emily Watson
MPAA Rating: R, some sexuality and violence
Runtime: 130 min
IMDb Rating: 7.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Metacritic: 63

There are some directors who just really do it for me visually, and Joe Wright is certainly one of them. Considering his directing career has spanned less than a decade and is now at five feature films it’s amazing just how much he’s been able to distinguish himself from his peers, his ability to really compose shots as moving paintings is gorgeous and those long tracking shots he’s known for are absolutely mesmerizing.

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[Review] – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

26 Nov

Title: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
Year: 2012
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy, Ashley Greene, Maggie Grace, Michael Sheen, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Jamie Campbell Bower, Dakota Fanning, Billy Burke, Lee Pace, Joe Anderson
MPAA Rating: PG-13, sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity
Runtime: 115 min
IMDb Rating: 5.9
Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Metacritic: 52

My relationship with the Twilight franchise is a love-hate one. I read all the books when they came out and thought they ranged from mediocre to decent, and I’ve seen all of the movies so far and thought they’ve been okay. It’s just that even though the movies are fine and I love Kristen Stewart, they’re movies that pretty much no one outside the core audience of the books will really enjoy all that much. That’s what made the Harry Potter films so amazing, that you didn’t have to be that invested in the books to love them. Here, if you love the books then you’ll go gaga for the films, but if you haven’t read the books or if you have but merely thought they were okay then chances are you’ll just think they’re utterly forgettable.

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[Review] – Silver Linings Playbook

21 Nov

Title: Silver Linings Playbook
Year: 2012
Director: David O. Russell
Writer: David O. Russell, based on the novel by Matthew Quick
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker
MPAA Rating: R, language and some sexual content/nudity
Runtime: 122 min
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Metacritic: 82

A lot has already been said about Silver Linings Playbook after it surprised virtually everyone when it won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s TIFF over Argo. It’s been said that it’s now one of the five front-runners to win the Best Picture Oscar, that Jennifer Lawrence is the front-runner to win Best Actress, that Bradley Cooper gives the best performance of his career, that Robert De Niro gives the best one he’s given in over a decade. All of that, by the way, is actually true. This is a tremendously successful film that walks a tightrope that’s been walked on by more than a few films before it, but that walks it way better than them because of his cast and this exceedingly talented director.

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[Review] – A Royal Affair

19 Nov

Title: A Royal Affair
Year: 2012
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Writers: Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg, based on the novel by Bodil Steensen-Leth
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander, Mikkel Følsgaard
MPAA Rating: R, sexual content and some violent images
Runtime: 137 min
IMDb Rating: 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Metacritic: 72

A Royal Affair is a film that came highly recommended to me, not only is it the Danish entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar but it also stars Mads Mikkelsen, an actor who’s finally getting his due after winning Best Actor at Cannes for The Hunt, getting the titular role in NBC‘s upcoming Hannibal TV series and starring in this movie. He’s always been quite good, it’s just that now he’s finally getting the attention he deserves for it.

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[Review] – Lincoln

18 Nov

Title: Lincoln
Year: 2012
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Tony Kushner, based on the book by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Lee Pace, Walton Goggins, Jared Harris, David Oyelowo, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson
MPAA Rating: PG-13, an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage and brief strong language
Runtime: 149 min
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Metacritic: 87

No disrespect to Timur Bekmambetov and the utterly mediocre Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but we all know that the real 2012 film about honest Abe was the one directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the beloved President and featuring no vampires. This was a movie that Mr. Spielberg had been wanting to make for over a decade (at first he had Liam Neeson pegged for the role) and that he took his time assembling the team to make it happen, getting Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kusher (who had co-written Munich for him) to adapt Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s massive book about Lincoln and then assembling a truly stunning ensemble to bring the story of the final four months of such an iconic life to the screen.

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[Trailer] – Now You See Me

17 Nov

Summer movies are usually huge tentpole films, most of which are sequels or prequels or reebots or remakes or based on huge books. Now You See Me, however, is original material, and you can watch the first trailer for it below.

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