Monday, January 31, 2011

More Bite-sized reviews

An invigorating fresh restart to the flagging Bond franchise, this is how reboots ought to be done. Gritty, realistic and very kinetic, yet retaining some of that Bond glamour, this film gives 007 a much-needed update for the 21st Century. Eva Green also makes a fetching Bond Girl and Jeffery Wright one of my favourite Felix Leiters.

A creative and original high-concept piece of sci-fi animation that is impossibly endearing as well. The story of a 700 year-old robot who finds love is sure to touch even the hardest of hearts. The emotion in the film is unforced, pure and very tangible. As usual, the Pixar team seems to have done a good deal of research, and the depiction of autonomous artificial intelligence and the workings of a “space cruise ship” are pretty plausible. Many winning comedic moments abound, and props have to be given to the Pixar team for being able to tell the story in the first 20 or so minutes with no dialogue.
4.5/5 STARS

The quintessential 90s action-thriller, featuring Kurt Russell and his team of soldiers kicking terrorist butt onboard a hijacked 747. Nothing extraordinary, but terrific fun anyway. Also features Halle Berry early in her film career, as a flight attendant. The movie takes itself fairly seriously, so the tense moments are indeed nail-biting, and the action sequences suitably thrilling. It is a little scary to watch this after 9/11, though. It's mainly great because Steven Seagal's character dies really early on in the film. Whoops, spoiler alert there.


It was hard for me to sit through this film, because it was a big parade of wasted opportunities. The filmmakers had a good true story for their source material, good casting with Meryl Streep and most of the other actors, and best of all good music. But it was all lost on a terrible screenplay and clumsy direction from Wes Craven - who is evidently more comfortable with horror and suspense thriller movies. By the time the late Isaac Stern and other very famous real-life violinists walk onto the Carnegie Hall stage, I felt numbed and unaffected. This is terrible because, as a former violin student who still plays for fun, that could have been the big fireworks ending. It wasn't.
2.5/5 STARS

A magical triumph on many levels, this is storytelling at its most extraordinary. Tom Hanks carries the film just as much as the film carries him, his superb Oscar-winning performance as the simpleton in extraordinary circumstances is in turn bolstered by intriguing supporting characters, lovely period mise en scene and visual effects that allowed Hanks to shake hands with John F Kennedy. A moviegoing experience that will leave you transformed.
4.5/5 STARS


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