Monday, August 29, 2011

Peep World: Movie Review

 

A true comedy that you don't have to hold up a mirror for.

"Peep World" is a peek into a world of a dysfunctional family. It's a dysfunctional family comedy and it's funny. Henry had four children, even though he really shouldn't have had any, and they all pretty much hate each other and him. This movie is set on one particular day: Henry's birthday, and right after the youngest sibling, Nathan (Ben Schwartz), wrote a best-selling book revealing the family's secrets. 2010

Directed by: Barry W. Blaustein

Screenplay by: Peter Himmelstein

Starring: Ben Schwartz, Kate Mara and Michael C. Hall

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ceremony: Movie Review


   


The romantic desperation of flawed characters with humour, love and understanding.
Sam (Michael Angarano) is going to take his friend Marshall (Reece Thompson) on an adventure. It starts with Sam referring to liking a book in his “younger and more vulnerable years.” Sam used to think it was written about him; Marshall thinks it is written about him. And if you already know which book they are referring to, the characteristics of Sam and Marshall, and the adventure they are about to go on, instantly fall into place. 2010

Directed by: Max Winkler

Screenplay by: Max Winkler

Starring: Michael Angarano, Reece Thompson, Uma Thurman and Lee Pace

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Whistleblower: Movie Review

 

Uncovering corruption by breaking one law at a time.

Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) is “The Whistleblower.” Exposing the corruption in the U.N., and international and local Bosnian police corps when she uncovers human trafficking of teenage girls. A peace-keeping American police officer sent to Bosnia after the war, she takes her job of “investigating crimes and reporting wrong-doing” seriously. What her job actually is, isn’t very clear.2010

Directed by: Larysa Kondracki

Screenplay by: Larysa Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan

Starring: Rachel Weisz

Our Idiot Brother: Movie Review

     


Light on the comedy but so charming that "Our Idiot Brother" is likable.
As has been stated many times already, Ned (Paul Rudd) is not an idiot. Well, he kind of is. He lacks understanding of normal social protocol, and not in a genius kind-of-way, but as a hippie. Prone to frequent breakdowns in communication, one such instance lands him in jail. When he’s out, he’s off to live with his family. His sisters all treat him like he’s an idiot. Hence, the title, “Our Idiot Brother.”
2011

Directed by: Jesse Peretz

Screenplay by: David Schisgall and Evgenia Peretz

Starring: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Miss Nobody: Movie Review

 

Murder in a fun, cartoon-like environment.

Sarah Jane McKinney (Leslie Bibb) is "Miss Nobody", a secretary for a pharmaceutical company who has no boyfriend but faith that her guiding angel will send her messages as to what she should be doing. Her mother ensures her that everybody lies, so a very smudged resume gets her a promotion to junior executive. 2010

Directed by: Tim Cox

Screenplay by: Doug Steinberg

Starring: Leslie Bibb and Adam Goldberg

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Life During Wartime: Movie Review

 

Twisting normal life into something that is weirdly funny and strangely bizarre.

Dark, funny and tragic, “Life During Wartime” is like a satire of one of those dysfunctional family dramedies. But by creating characters that are just outside of arm’s reach and having them say things that are more tragic than funny, it’s more like it is a family dramedy than a satire of one. 2009

Directed by: Todd Solondz

Screenplay by: Todd Solondz

Starring: Allison Janney and Shirley Henderson

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shelter: Movie Review

 

Deranged characters playing in a deranged plot in a horror movie.

Dr. Cara Harding (Julianne Moore) is a psychiatrist. She no longer believes in God, but she does believe in “science”. The science in “Shelter” is shaky to say the least. It involves deranged psychopaths physically morphing into dead people and souls that come out of people’s mouths (if not held in by dirt). It’s supposed to be a psychological thriller, but it’s more like a horror without any real psychology to it.2010

Directed by: Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein

Screenplay by: Michael Cooney

Starring: Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Friday, August 19, 2011

One Day: Movie Review

 

By sticking to the novel, the movie loses connection to the characters.

"One Day", based on the novel of the same name, is the relationship of two people, Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess), as we see it on July 15th of each year. As can be expected from the nature of the story, it's a little dry, lacking in comedy. But then again, it's a romantic drama, not a romantic comedy.
2011

Directed by: Lone Scherfig

Screenplay by: David Nicholls

Starring: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Soul Surfer: Movie Review

 

Without the constant presence of God, "Soul Surfer" would have been more inspiring.

Based on the true story of soul surfer Bethany Hamilton, “Soul Surfer” is close to the true story, just exaggerated to make sure we don’t miss any subtle points on how perfect everybody is. Wikipedia even defines the term “soul surfer” incase you couldn’t catch the meaning that it’s about a girl who surfs for the sheer pleasure of surfing. God has put surfing in her soul, if you will. 2011

Directed by: Sean McNamara

Screenplay by: too many to name

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rio: Movie Review

 

Birds singing and dancing their way to Brazil, and that's all.

I thought it was just for fun that "Rio" rhymed with "Nemo" and that the story of "Rio" (2011) nearly mirrors the story of 'Finding Nemo" (2003). But there is actual fact in this movie. Hyacinth Macaws (blue in colour) are real birds who are endangered and native to Rio de Janeiro. The cage bird trade — which takes our beloved Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) to Minnesota — are a problem for the species. I'm pretty sure they don't talk though. 2011

Directed by: Carlos Saldanha

Screenplay by: too many to name

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Help: Movie Review

 

Comedy, drama and characters who walk Hollywood's high rope.

It's the 1960s in Mississippi, and the uppity, high-class, rich white girls have returned from university with husbands in tow and babies in their bellies, and now they get to hire maids of their own. The maids of course are poor black women from the other side of the tracks (literally). Skeeter (Emma Stone), on the other hand, has returned home from university with a degree in hand, rather than a husband, and after a stop-off in New York City in a failed attempt to get a job as a writer. 2011

Directed by: Tate Taylor

Screenplay by: Tate Taylor
Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett

Starring: Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trust: Movie Review

 

The simple act of trusting runs deep and dramatically. 

“Trust.” That’s what the online sexual predator keeps telling 14 year-old Annie (Liana Liberato). “Trust me.” Problem is, she does. Even when he keeps lying about his age, lying about where he lives, and then taking her to his motel room. This movie is about the stupid things that 14 year-old girls do. Although Annie is relatively careful she doesn’t understand what qualities good people have and what qualities evil people have. 2010

Directed by: David Schwimmer

Screenplay by: Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger

Starring: Liana Liberato, Clive Owen and Catherine Keener

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dear Lemon Lima: Movie Review

 

A smart, boy-obsessed girl creating a unique, quirky indie.

I have discovered a missing genre in the American film landscape: the smart, quirky girl teen comedy. Most notably with “Rushmore” (1998) and filmmakers like Wes Anderson, the smart, isolated male teen have become heroes in quirky indie films. Up until now, there hasn’t really been a female equivalent. But here comes “Dear Lemon Lima” where our heroine is awkward and boy-obsessed, but she’s also ambitious, kind-hearted and smart, and those are the qualities that drive this film. 2009 (with 2011 DVD release)

Directed by: Suzi Yoonessi

Screenplay by: Suzi Yoonessi

Starring: Savanah Wiltfong and Shayne Topp

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beautiful Boy: Movie Review

 

The beauty of love and the beast of life's realities.

“Beautiful Boy” is about people. Husband Bill (Michael Sheen) and wife Kate (Maria Bello) and their son who is in his first year of college. They have an emotionless marriage, one where things are done logically rather than with feeling. They’re separated, just not physically. Bill is going to save up money, then find an apartment, then put a down payment on it, and then move out. But then comes the news of a mass shooting at their son’s school. The police arrive at their door and the tears start flowing. But, wait, as the cops say, “There’s more.”2010

Directed by: Shawn Ku

Screenplay by: Michael Armbruster and Shawn Ku

Starring: Maria Bello and Michael Sheen