As I never have time for a writing a full length review, I list and write a quick review of the films I see at the cinema.
Movies take a long time to reach Japan, so for people outside Japan, these might make good rental choices. For people in Japan I'll hopefully give you an idea if you want to spend your hard-earned yen on these movies.
Please comment if you agree or disagree with my reviews. I enjoy feedback!
That the plot will be mind-boggling stupid is a given. That it is ever so slightly better than number two was a pleasant surprise. That it still will make my bottom 5 of the year is not. Overloud, overdumb, overmachined and entirely overlong. The Decepticons are trying to take over the world again, and the Autobots are trying to stop them. Who cares? I liked some of the humans, didn't care much about the metal-characters. My question is what were John Malkovich and Frances McDormand doing here? They must need the money!
You know what you're going to get if you see this film...perhaps it would be wiser to stay home and bang some pots and pans together to approximate how noisy this film was and how meaningless. I expect my 6 year old nephew will love it...I didn't like it, but was mildly entertained. Can't really recommend it unless you are a diehard fan (not a DieHard fan). I was bored, it was cheap. End of review.
An interesting tale about a time and place that I didn't know much about. Paul Soames (Cusack) goes to Shanghai to meet a friend and then tries to find out why he was killed. It is an interesting time to live in Shanghai, the Japanese are surrounding the city and the Americans are trying not to rock the boat. Soames becomes involved with the wife of a Chinese gangster and we try to discover who has done what and who can be trusted. There are many threads in this story and I found they came together very well. A movie that I hadn't heard much about, but was very enjoyable. Quite realistic in many ways too. Worth a view.
It's a little bittersweet writing about this film. That I have seen it, means that my Journey with Harry and his mates is most likely over. I enjoyed every film and have loved watching the cast grow up in front of my eyes.
I loved the books, and not surprisingly, I loved the movies too. This movie was a fitting end to the series. Harry, the boy who lived, must face Voldemort in a fight to the death. His best friends Ron and Hermione are along for the ride and support him in every way that they can. It follows the book, but of course there are a few things missing due to time constraints, however...the movie moves along at a rollicking good pace and you won't be bored. A must see for fans!
From the creative team of JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg comes a wonderful story about growing up in the late 70's in America. Joe's mother was killed in a work accident and his father, the town deputy, has a hard time relating to him. Joe finds comfort working on a film with his friends. One night they are filming by an old train station and something happens. Up to this point the movie was perfect, after this point it is merely very good!
I really liked this film and enjoyed the time warp to the past. The kids were believable and so were the parents. A really good film that actually didn't need the huge plot device!Worth seeing.
A very strange movie that starts as the sad tale of two parents grieving over their lost child and ends up as a couple in a cabin in the woods horror. Beautifully shot, well acted, this is a film that will shock you, and not in a good way. Not recommended for most people, certainly not for anyone who is squeamish or prudish. There is a lot of sexual nudity, violence and isn't a pleasant way to spend two hours. Creates more questions than it answers, a strange movie. Don't see it if you like happy movies or dislike watching sex on the screen. You have been warned!
An origins story that works. This film sees the rise of Professer X and Magneto from disparate backgrounds to becoming friends. They find and recruit young mutants, train them, and then lead them on a quest to rescue the humans from the evil mutants. Fun, with a couple of interesting cameos. Fans will like it, others may not be so enthralled.
An excellent Western that tells the story of a young woman's fight to have her father's death revenged. Mattie hires a Marshall to find the man who killed her father and tags along for the ride. A very old fashioned film, but well acted and directed by the Coen Brothers. A must see!
Mrs. Palfrey moves into the Claremont hotel in London, and waits for her grandson to visit her. Unfortunately, he doesn't. She runs an errand one day and meets a very nice young man who is mistaken for her grandson. He is a writer and is interested in learning about her life and memories. She's lonely and he's easy to talk with. This relationship sounds like it won't work, but it does. Both actors are lovely and the story is quite believable. There are very touching moments in this film and I thoroughly enjoyed it.No car chases, no gunfights, just a sweet story and great acting. Very worth seeing if you enjoy the genre of Enchanted April and the like.
A ballerina is given the role of a lifetime but the pressure causes her fragile psyche problems. An odd and disturbing film, but somehow very entertaining.
Two English boys try to film a sequel to Rambo and learn about growing up and life along the way. A genuine little gem of a movie. Not for children, but about children. Well worth seeing.
An attempt to make an old fashioned caper/derring do movie falls short, but does have a few good scenes, plus a wonderful turn from Angelina Jolie as a femme fatale. Johnny Depp is the person letting down the side here and sadly he doesn't provide the requisite charm necessary for his part. If he had channeled half of the charm that Jack Sparrow has, it might have been a decent film.
The problem with "Innocent Man Abroad" films is that we have to care and understand what the hero is going through. Twists are acceptable if they really add to the plot. Here, the plot twist takes away from the earlier sweetness and renders it all meaningless.
Recommended only for fans.
An ultra-violent new superhero movie. High School student Dave decides to become a superhero, sends away for a costume and tries to fight crime. He fails. He tries again and comes to the notice of Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. They are on a quest to avenge a wrongful death and bring the person responsible to justice.
This is a well made, entertaining film, although I do tend to think it was just too violent, especially when one of the characters is supposedly 11 years old. The sequel has been announced....
A rather limp version of the exciting book by C.S. Lewis. It was okay, but not a film that I need to see more than once. Prince Caspian sets out to find 7 missing lords and runs into Edmond and Lucy and their cousin Eustace. They have many adventures along the way. Somehow, the film showed more of the parts of the book that I didn't like, and less of the ones that I did. It was quite decent family fare. Shown in 3-D, but not important to see it that way.
In light of the recent events in Japan, I feel a little odd reviewing this film more than 4 months after I saw it. The film begins with a tsunami and one of the main characters drowns. If this puts you off the film, I understand, although the tsunami is not the one in Japan.
There are three major characters in the film. One is a psychic, one is a grieving teen and the other is an obsessed journalist. The major push of the film is how the characters meet and change each other's lives. I liked this film a lot, but other people have found it slow. Clint Eastwood directs, and does his usual good job, while Matt Damon is, as usual, great in his role. Worth seeing, IMHO!
Colin Firth is wonderful as George, a grieving professor. His lover died eight months before and George has decided that today will be his last day. He sees beauty in many things and people. He plans his death, his attire for his funeral and yet....something holds him back. A beautiful looking film from first time director Tom Ford.
A good action film brings a believable situation and characters together. Based loosely on a true story, this film takes the time to set up the characters and the situation. By the time the trains start rolling you'll be glad you're in a stationary theater! Great fun. Lovely to see a movie with believeable characters who are heroic, but not in a superhero type of way.
A not great updating of an old TV show. It doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy or an action movie and fails miserably at both. Cameron Diaz is wasted here, this part could be played by anyone. Jay Chou and the car are the best things about this film. Rental only.
An excellent film with a modern story. Mark Zuckerberg gets dumped by his girlfriend so he gets drunk,blogs drunk, and then creates a website that crashes the Harvard's computer network. A few days later he is a hero who then invents another on-line commmunity that becomes Facebook. Or, did he steal the idea? Based on a true story, we're never really quite sure if the characters are reliable or not. The dialogue goes at a cracking pace so stay awake. Excellent film. Deserves all the award nominations it received.