War Horse (2011)
The high rating I gave War Horse still surprises me because when it started, I almost immediately regretted going to see it. The start was cringe-worthy and melodramatic, until the war started when it picked up a lot, only to fall down again at the awful French family scenes. It was very distracting when English dialogue was used with a French or German accent. Subtitles would have made it so much more authentic.
It was really let down by certain scenes that made it seem like a children’s horse movie (although I later found out it was adapted from a children’s book). Despite some odd directorial choices, it surprised me how I was able to feel for every person who had a connection with the horse. The best scene was when two soldiers of opposing sides came together to rescue the horse.
It was hard not to be emotionally affected, but maybe I always will be where animals are concerned. I became teary-eyed more than a few times. It was also visually pleasing, with cinematography that paid homage to some classic Hollywood movies. I liked the score, but not how was used in the movie. It was too intrusive and predictable.
One thing War Horse does not deserve is any awards for its adapted screenplay. It was the factor that really let the film down. War Horse is getting criticism because it didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, because it was too “vanilla,” but it told a good story and, for the most part, told it well. 8/10.
Red Dog (2011)
I only gave this movie the rating I did because of the dog and the obviously touching story. As much as I want to support the Australian film industry, it’s hard when the films produced are sometimes so badly written. Why does it have to be so rare for something like Animal Kingdom or Shine to come along?
Most of the scenes in Red Dog were cringe-worthy; the supposedly comedic scenes were not funny at all, and the drama was plain cheesy. Admittedly, I have no idea about the mining culture of 1970s Dampier, but surely these characters were highly stereotypical. It improved a lot in the second half once the audience becomes emotionally attached to the dog and his owner. The north-western Australian scenery made it visually pleasing and it had a good soundtrack, but overall Red Dog was just a sad, heat-warming story that could have been made much better. 5.5/10.
The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
Being a longtime Tintin fan, I thought The Adventures of Tintin, one of my most anticipated movies of the year, deserved a review. The least I expected from this adaptation was an action-adventure based on the characters and stories I grew up with, and that is what was delivered. The opening credits and score were amazingly done and set the tone, but as it began, it was hard not to notice the changes to the storyline. The combination of three books meant there were many differences apparent throughout.
However, as a film it was undoubtedly entertaining. Spielberg is the quintessential director of adventure, and it shows here in every scene. There was also a shout out to Jaws that amused me. The use of motion capture was a good choice and looked great from the people to the scenery. The action sequences were exhilarating, but there were a few too many for my liking. The humour of the books was not evident in the screenplay either, which was disappointing.
It was vastly different from the original comics, but that is not to say it didn’t do them justice. It had all the suspense, intricacies and character traits that were seen in the much loved comic series.
It will never be as exciting or have exactly the same feel as reading the books, but continuously comparing the two is not judging the movie for its own merits. Regardless of the storyline changes, it was an enjoyable ride which captured the essence of Tintin well. 7/10.
Spirited Away (2001)
This is one of those movies that I appreciate more than adore. I love the animation, and the surrealism of it. It still remains one of the most creative and best adventure movies of all time. Spirited Away is visually stunning and so captivating for that reason alone. Its themes are interesting and leave the viewers with a lot to think about as does the main character’s personal growth. I don’t see the apparent “lack of story” as a flaw at all, I think I’m just not able to connect with it on an emotional level which is what prevents it from being great for me. 7.5/10.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
This and the entire franchise have been the hardest movies I’ve had to rate. Separating the stories I love so much from the quality of the films is never an easy task, so I usually really enjoy them no matter what. I purposely avoided re-reading the book so I could be an unbiased judge, and I thought David Yates and Steve Kloves did a great job.
Of course there will always be some parts, especially Snape’s and Dumbledore’s past, that would have made the movie better if they had been more explored. However, the emotion still definitely came across, to the point where I became emotional because of the characters and story and not just because it was the end.
The acting was good from most of the cast, particularly Rickman and Maggie Smith whose first scene made me cry (and then I didn’t stop). Radcliffe was the best he’s ever been. The cinematography was stunning, and I hope it gets some awards recognition. I still slightly preferred Part 1, but it was a fitting end to a series that did justice to those amazing books. It has been a large part of my childhood and I will truly miss the excitement.
Garden State (2004)
This had been so highly recommended to me, and at the end I just felt like I was missing something, or maybe I just couldn’t relate to it at all. Usually I’m ok with movies that aren’t heavily plot driven, but this time I just didn’t find it compelling. It may have been a self-discovery movie, but it didn’t offer me anything to discover, except that it was so much more forgettable than I expected. I really liked Portman’s character, but not Braff’s. There were some good quotable moments, but the best aspect was the direction. I’d definitely like to see Zach Braff direct more films. It was fairly interesting, but I didn’t find it insightful or touching at all. 5.5/10.
The Tree of Life (2011)
After taking what I believe is necessary time to gather my thoughts after watching this movie, I’ve decided that it’s not for everyone, but it really resonated with me. It had themes that I could relate to, and asked questions about God and life that I have often wondered about. During the cosmic/evolution sequence the word ‘pretentious’ never really crept into my mind, because I don’t believe Malick is, although I understand why others may think so. I appreciated its place in the movie and understood the significance of contrasting the O’Brien family’s place in the world with the universe. However, I would not have liked the film less if it wasn’t there.
The cinematography of that sequence was amazing as expected, but I loved the family scenes the most. The same appreciation for nature and life that I saw in The New World was there in each shot, really allowing the audience to look at things in a way they wouldn’t usually. That is the characteristic of Malick’s direction that I have enjoyed so much. Stories of internal conflict always interest me. The Tree of Life has grown on me since I left the cinema and I would love to watch it again for a better understanding and appreciation. My favourite of the year so far. 8/10.
Ty! Ive watched (500) Days of Summer and really enjoyed it. Wouldnt bother with watching a basic carbon copy though… Even if it had its quirks ^^”
No give it a go! It’s not much like it. I just compared them because of same year and genre. (500) Days covers a lot more, but this is good too! More of a feel-good, lighter romcom.
Being an offbeat romantic comedy in 2009, Adventureland may have been overlooked because of the similar themed (500) Days of Summer. Unfortunately, it is only sometimes funny; the supporting characters are slightly irritating, but Eisenberg carries the movie well. The audience cares about his and Stewart’s characters and their romance and real life problems makes this movie worth the watch. It isn’t as original as it could have been and thefore doesn’t stand out. However, after thinking about it more, it doesn’t need typical indie quirkiness to be good. It’s just simply sweet. 7/10.
This is an abysmal rating! Im glad I didnt go to see it. What did you rate #1? Potentially the lowest Ive seen you rate a movie… Id like to read a review though :l too similar to #1 for ur likin?
Exactly this. Too similar to Part I to the point where it was one of the most unoriginal, uncreative movie I’ve ever seen. The creators should maybe look up the meaning of the word ‘sequel’ and they would realise it is not synonymous with ‘remake.’ I re-watched Part I again last night too, and gave it 6/10. I guess finding that very overrated meant I was bound to hate Part II. It wasn’t just recycled jokes it was recycled everything! I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it either. P.S. here is my lowest rated movie :P
I wanna see this today. I was afraid it didnt look v good :( review?
It wasn’t as bad as the bad reviews! I think critics, who didn’t like Cars in the first place, are too quick to give a bad review to any Pixar movie that is not amazing. Cars 2 has a completely different plot and a fresh new message (but it seems many people didn’t like this). I think it was also one of the funniest Pixar movies. If it’s compared to their last effort Toy Story 3, of course it wasn’t as creative or sentimental. Also, if you don’t like the character Mater then you won’t like this sequel. I liked it and while it may well be Pixar’s worst, it does not deserve a rotten 39% on RT.
Although Cars is often considered substandard for Pixar, I found that itstacked up well against their other productions. I liked that the main character was not already a hero nor an underdog, just a flawed protagonist with a satisfying character arc. I also liked that there was no specific villain, but rather just a way of thinking as the obstacle to overcome. Despite this, the execution still felt less creative than other Pixar movies. Cars was let down by it’s first 30 minutes which was dull and slow paced, despite being dominated by racing/driving segments. However, it got progressively funnier and more heartfelt. 7.5/10.
Just read the synopsis; this looks really interesting! Can’t believe it’s based on a true story.
Yes it’s a really unbelievable story! I found it really hard to enjoy this because I felt no sympathy for the characters but it’s well made, although disturbing. I was most shocked by the fact that the girls only spent 5 years in jail and they now live under new identities. It took a very original escapist/fantasy approach of depicting what would have otherwise been just another crime movie.
Scary :( review plz? :) *is curious*
I won’t write a full one because I actually haven’t watched this recently. It’s part of the double feature Grindhouse (2007) which I posted a while ago here. It also includes Tarantino’s Death Proof but I prefer Planet Terror. It’s definitely not scary! I would put it in the horror/comedy genre. It’s so much fun to watch!