The Official Review Thread of 2015

anonymous1980
Emeritus
Posts: 4946
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:54 am

CINDERELLA
Cast: Lilly James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Stellan Skarsgard, Derek Jacobi, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Nonso Anozie, Hayley Atwell, Ben Chaplin, Eloise Webb.
Dir: Kenneth Branagh.

This is Disney's own live-action remake of its own animated feature version of the oft-told story of Cinderella. The film is surprisingly faithful to the original tale with very little of the modernized twists that a lot of the "re-imagined" film versions of fairy tales that have been coming out lately and oddly this is what makes it stand out and feel fresh (i.e. not making Cinderella some sort of badass chick) but that's not to say that they didn't add more meat to the story. The characters are more fleshed out and although Cinderella is not some "badass chick", she's still a much stronger character in her own way. The romance between her and the Prince is convincing. Cate Blanchett is fantastic as the Evil Stepmother. She surprisingly makes her convincingly human and doesn't give into the temptation to chew scenery. The real stars of the show are the costume design of Sandy Powell (she's a goddess) and the production design of Dante Ferretti. Simply marvelous. I have to say this has no right to be this good but it is!

Oscar Prospects: A strong contender for Production Design and Costume Design. Maybe for Original Song as well.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Emeritus
Posts: 4946
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:50 am

CHAPPIE
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Brandon Auret.
Dir: Neill Blomkamp

I still have some goodwill leftover for writer-director Neill Blomkamp after District 9 despite the deeply flawed but still interesting sophomore effort Elysium. I'm hoping his third feature will put him back on the right track. It didn't. This film is about a robot cop who acquires a program which gives him true artificial intelligence and sentience. Not a completely original idea but that doesn't mean there isn't way to make it fresh and exciting. Blomkamp tries VERY hard to make it so but it just ends up being a thematic and tonal mess. There are lots of interesting ideas here which I think could be explored in a better movie but it all ends up half-assed. The visual effects are pretty good and it is fairly entertaining but considering the talent involved, one can't help but be disappointed.

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects, maybe.

Grade: C.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 6818
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby Sabin » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:45 pm

Boy Meets Girl (Eric Shaffer)

I went to this film for casting purposes. For a crowd-pleasing heteronormative romantic comedy with a trans lead (one of many we're going to have soon), this one is very paint by numbers plot-wise with quite a bit of excruciatingly obvious dialogue and some very broad performances. In its favor are three big plusses: 1) a handful of hilarious dialogue scenes, 2) a very strong turn by Michael Galante whose work I've never seen until now but he is quite strong as Ricky's best friend, and 3) a star-making performance by Michelle Hendley. She's going to get compared to a trans Jennifer Lawrence a lot but a lot of that has to do to her haircut and facial expressions. She is so much better than this material and she nails every scene. Boy Meets Girl is a film that I much prefer to think back on than watch. Eric Shaffer just kinda sucks. He brings us in too close to the intimate moment, utilizes a miserable soundtrack, and Hallmarks the shit out of every scene. I'm sure much will be made of the politicking of said crowd-pleasing heteronormative rom-coms with a trans lead once more comes out, but I don't feel like doing it right now because Michelle Hendley is wonderful and deserves a long career.
Philomena is one of the year's best Philomenas!

anonymous1980
Emeritus
Posts: 4946
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:56 am

PREDESTINATION
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor.
Dirs: Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig.

A time traveler in charge of preventing huge crimes from happening meets his match with a bombing he's having a tough time preventing. All I knew about this film is that it's a time travel science fiction tale and there's a crime element to it. That's it. So I didn't know the big secret (I sort of guessed it half-way through the film). The film works best if you didn't know but even if you did know, it's still a very well-crafted, mind-bending film that will surely invite after-movie discussions. Ethan Hawke may be top-billed but the film belongs to Sarah Snook who should be getting more roles after this. There are lots of time travel movies and this one manages to get a fresh take on it. It's no sci-fi classic but definitely worth seeing.

Oscar Prospects: Makeup and Hairstyling maybe.

Grade: B+

anonymous1980
Emeritus
Posts: 4946
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:43 am

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE
Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Sophie Cookson, Mark Strong, Mark Hamill, Jack Davenport.
DIr: Matthew Vaughn.

What? Another play on the James Bond/spy genre? This time combining comedy and cartoonish graphic violence? This is an adaptation of Mark Millar's comic book which is basically a bit like Kick-Ass but this time playing in the spy genre. For the first 2/3rds or so in the film, I thought it absolutely works. It combines the aesthetic of the Sean Connery-James Bond era with tongue-in-cheek comedy and fierce graphic violence. Colin Firth is surprisingly pretty darn cool as a kick-ass spy and Samuel L. Jackson is a great villain (although the wink-wink references pointing out spy/James Bond tropes are now a bit stale). However, the third act of this film falls apart (I can't say it here without spoiling) and for me almost completely ruins it. The film mish-mash of the two genres don't work quite as well.

Oscar Prospects: Doubtful.

Grade: C+

THE LAST FIVE YEARS
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan.
Dir: Richard LaGravanese.

This is a film based on an off-Broadway cult semi-autobiographical by Jason Robert Brown. I think only hardcore musical theater fans have heard of it (I myself, a huge musical theater nerd, have not heard of it until the last year or two or so). For those not in the know, the musical is about a failed marriage/relationship where the woman's perspective is told in backwards narrative and the man's perspective is told chronologically. In the stage musical, each one does solos for every scene, only meeting each other halfway through the engagement/wedding scene. The same method is used in the film though not 100 percent successful. It could have been a modern-day musical take on Two for the Road but it isn't quite that. The two actors were great though especially Anna Kendrick (*sighs*).

Oscar Prospects: None but the two leads COULD get Golden Globe (Musical/Comedy) nods.

Grade: B-

User avatar
Sonic Youth
Laureate
Posts: 7332
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:35 pm
Location: USA

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby Sonic Youth » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:06 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:PADDINGTON
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Jim Broadbent, Matt Lucas, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, voices of Ben Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon.
Dir: Paul King.

I kind of loved this movie.


I really liked it, too. We just saw it today, and it was my daughter's first movie theater experience. It was a wonderful time overall, so maybe I'm overrating the movie in my mind, but I don't think so. It was warm, gentle, funny and full of invention. The Wes Anderson comparison is apt.
"What the hell?"
Win Butler

anonymous1980
Emeritus
Posts: 4946
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:00 pm

PADDINGTON
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Jim Broadbent, Matt Lucas, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, voices of Ben Whishaw, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon.
Dir: Paul King.

I kind of loved this movie. I am in fact familiar with the character of Paddington, the polite marmalade-loving bear who lived with a human family. This big-screen treatment of the classic character could have gone wrong in a whole lot of ways (see The Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Garfield, etc.) but thankfully, this film was obviously by people who are both cinematically capable and actually have an affection for the source material resulting in a funny, sweet, touching and entertaining movie that doesn't fall into the trap of trying too hard to be hip or snarky. It's pleasant and whimsical, and yes, I do agree with some reviews I read that it does often feel like a Wes Anderson film. It would make a nice double-bill with Fantastic Mr. Fox. I should also note that the voice of Paddington in the Philippine release was done by local actor/celebrity Xian Lim instead of Ben Whishaw. He did a fairly good job but I wonder how much of a box-office boost this move made.

Oscar Prospects: I don't know if this is eligible of Animated Feature but it sure deserves it. I would nominate it for Visual Effects, Production Design and Adapted Screenplay.

Grade: A-

anonymous1980
Emeritus
Posts: 4946
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:00 am

JUPITER ASCENDING
Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tuppence Middleton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Dirs: Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski.

I have a weird relationship with the Wachowskis. I've seen most of their films but I don't particularly LOVE any of them. I mean, I like the first Matrix just fine and I do admire large parts of Cloud Atlas but mostly their stuff are problematic for me even though I do admire a lot of their originality and imagination. This is no different. I love the fact that this is a completely original piece and the world they built was fascinating. It's got some great visuals but the film sadly is highly problematic from a tone and script standpoint. It's too silly to be taken seriously yet at the time, it's too self-serious to be taken as a silly fun science-fiction. Yes, Eddie Redmayne is pretty awful in this. It feels like he's doing a bad Marlon Brando impression. I do recommend checking this one out solely for the scene that references Brazil that ends with a great cameo by (SPOILER).

Oscar Prospects: Visual Effects, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing are possibles but it will probably be eclipsed by other films in the coming months.

Grade: C+

anonymous1980
Emeritus
Posts: 4946
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:03 pm
Location: Manila
Contact:

The Official Review Thread of 2015

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:44 am

BLACKHAT
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tang Wei, Wang Lee Hom, Viola Davis, Ritchie Coster, Holt McCallany, Yorick van Wageningen, John Ortiz.
Dir: Michael Mann.

The fact that this film was dumped in January was not a good sign. Predictably, it did get meh reviews from the critics and bombed at the box-office. But you know, it's Michael Mann. That and coupled with the fact that a few friends of mine whose opinions I trust and respect spoke highly of it made me wanna check this out. And it's pretty good! Far better than its reputation suggests. The film is of course about cyberterrorism. The FBI and the Chinese government enlists the aid of a convicted hacker to apprehend someone hacking into secure systems unleashing terror and mayhem. It is kind of ludicrous and a bit overlong and the end game of the villain is very 60's James Bond villain. But it is still a very stylish in the way only Michael Mann can deliver. It's no masterpiece but it's a solid piece of pulpy, grown-up entertainment.

Oscar Prospects: None.

Grade: B.


Return to “2015”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest