Friday, December 31, 2010

Weather Girl: Movie Review

Absolutely hilarious from beginning to end with just a hint of self-awareness.

Tricia O'Kelley is our sassy weather girl, Sylvia, except she insists she's not sassy, she just has boyfriend problems and now employment problems giving way to the numerous emotional issues which our heroine explores in this romantic comedy.

Directed by: Blayne Weaver

Screenplay by: Blayne Weaver

Starring: Tricia O'Kelley

Sylvia is a fantastic romantic comedy heroine. Sure, she's slightly desperate for a boyfriend but when her job opportunities disappear, she does the responsible thing and finds a temporary solution, as a waitress. She retains just enough optimism peeking out of the many hysterical breakdowns, that watching her is a joyful experience.

We have two leading men, both extremely attractive and even better, their many moments of humour are priceless. Walt (Ryan Devlin) is Sylvia's younger brother and he puts up with all her neuroses because of brotherly love. Byron (Patrick J. Adams) is Walt's best friend, he also puts up with Sylvia's many neuroses, but out of a more carnal love.

This film succeeds because young career women can relate to Sylvia's problems unlike the similar "Morning Glory" (2010), and every actor aptly delivers the comedy (unlike most big budget comedies). It's well written and knows its genre well playing up most of the formulaic elements on purpose but without any of the hackneyed details.

"Weather Girl" is definitely a great romantic comedy because it's absolutely hilarious from beginning to end with just a hint of self-awareness.
Best of 2010


Kissing Jessica Stein (2001) - Well written and funny, Jessica doesn't know what she wants and that's the best kind of romantic comedy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The King's Speech: Movie Review

"The King's Speech" is fit to wear the crown.

"The King's Speech" gave us the story of a man who shouldn't have been King but staunchly rose to the position. Colin Firth was King George VI who had a deeply-rooted, severe stuttering problem. Geoffrey Rush had the perfect touch as his speech therapist.   2010

Directed by: Tom Hooper

Screenplay by: David Seidler

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter's Bone: Movie Review


"Winter's Bone" isn't even a character study let alone a thriller.

Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) is one tough girl. Her father is a convicted drug dealer, her mother is a drugged out imbecile, her neighbours are all drug abusing ass-holes, she has to raise her younger brother and sister all by herself, and.... Oh, I'm sorry, were you expecting there to be an "and", like some kind of plot? Well no, there is no point. Just that life sucks for Ree. How about a character study? No, not much to these characters either. Just that life sucks for Ree. 2010

Directed by: Debra Granik

Screenplay by: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Town: Movie Review

Thoughtful, character-driven crime drama thriller.

Take a crime-ridden community with gritty streets but with young men trying to get to a better life and the hopefulness of a possible romance, and you get "The Town", a thoughtful and discerning dramatic thriller. 2010

Directed by: Ben Affleck

Screenplay by: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard

Starring: Ben Affleck

Black Swan: Movie Review

(2010, directed by: Darren Aronofsky, starring: Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel)

Visually arresting, but morally and essentially empty.

Natalie Portman is the Swan Queen. She is the White Swan who becomes the Black Swan through her own ambitions mixed with insecurity.

"Black Swan" is a good film because Darren Aronofsky made it so visually enchanting, he made it a film that I couldn't turn away from. Natalie Portman really is the best actress of the year, if not the decade. She made her character of Nina Sayers, the hopeful ballerina, dark, interesting and all-encompassing. And Vincent Cassel who plays the depraved, arrogant artistic director, actually made me question if his sleaziness was an act or who he really was.

The 7 stars is actually quite generous, it could easily be 2. The story is over-used and completely predictable and the few elements that were added to make it more daring, like female eroticism, just make it seem like it should be a porno film.

"Black Swan" is a film to be experienced, but if you're not interested in run-of-the-mill psychological thrillers with girl-on-girl action, then it is certainly not the best film of the year.

Also recommended: My Normal (for more female erotica)

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Social Network: Movie Review

A film not about Facebook, but the face of the guys behind the book.

"The Social Network" is a great film and it does deserve all the credit it's getting. The key is in how Sorkin crafted the story and the characters and then how the actors ably portrayed those characters. This isn't about Facebook, but more the guys, or guy, who invented it. And the way Sorkin presented these characters was perfect.   2010

Directed by: David Fincher

Screenplay by: Aaron Sorkin

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield

Monday, December 13, 2010

Flipped: Movie Review

"Flipped" has all the comedy, naiveté and bewilderment of first love.

Juli just had to take one look at Bryce's blue eyes, and she knew it was true love. Bryce just had to take one notice of Juli's manic desperation, and he knew it was going to be a friendship of torment. I just had to take one look at the film's artfully designed poster, and I knew Flipped was a film to be savoured. 2010

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Screenplay by: Rob Reiner and Andrew Scheinman

Starring: Madeline Carroll and Calan McAuliffe

A beautifully told film of first love, we flip from Juli's point of view to Bryce's point of view, very effectively giving us the true nature of their friendship, love and respect they have for each other. Except in the case of middle-school graders, that love and respect can frequently look like embarrassment, mistrust, and shame. This film is told with a lot of intelligence, subtlety and humour as we navigate all of those emotions that teenagers manically flip between.

Filmmaker Rob Reiner has taken Wendelin Van Draanen’s popular young teen romance novel and changed the era to the 60s. One of the more important aspects of Flipped, is that it is timeless. This could be set in any era and the story will feel just as genuine and sincere.

The beginning is not a meet cute, because this film is not a romance film, but a romantic coming-of-age, exploration of lives led and the intersection of those lives. Nonetheless, at the beginning we meet Juli (Madeline Carroll) and Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) when Bryce’s family moves to her Norman Rockwellian street. They go to school together, grow up together, and whatever fate may have in store for them, their parents’ relationships and interactions will affect that.

Juli’s family is middle-of-the-road working class roots, while Bryce’s family is a little more tightly wound. In among all the push and pull of their families and how Juli and Bryce each see their own relationship, is a beautiful Sycamore tree and its fate.

Flipped has all of the comedy, naiveté and bewilderment of first love. It takes the romantic comedy farther by actually giving us characters with real depth. There is more going on than just Juli and Bryce figuring out their love for each other, and every aspect of this film is well written, touching and relevant.

Flipped is a cute film for everybody who fondly remembers that fiercely independent girl or the guy with piercing blue eyes that lived across the street.


Never Let Me Go (2010) - Romantic drama and science fiction of kids growing up together and falling in love.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Girlfriend's Boyfriend: Movie Review


Boy meets girl, and then girl meets boy.
"My Girlfriend's Boyfriend" is a boy meets girl, and then girl meets boy story. It starts out exactly as you expect a romantic comedy to go. Jesse is unlucky in love, Ethan is unlucky in his writing career, she vows to help him, and he easily falls in love with her. But then Troy is there to sweep Jesse off her feet, and before we know it Jesse has a dilemma. 2010

Directed by: Daryn Tufts

Screenplay by: Daryn Tufts

Starring: Alyssa Milano, Christopher Gorham