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Monday, April 29, 2013

Movie Review - The Campaign

Movie Title

The Campaign

Year

2012

Genre

Comedy

Story
North Carolina Republican Rep Congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell)'s ratings has plummeted due to his constant social faux pas (such as leaving sexually explicit messages in his devout consituents' family answering machine which went viral to say the least.)

The super-rich billionaire financiers, the Motch Brothers (played by John Lithgow & Dan Aykroyd) decide they needed to replace him with another candidate - Socially awkward (read Dumb & Weird) Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis).

Marty Huggins was initially put to the slaughter as he's a newbie while Cam Brady was a veteran. However, things begin to change when the Motch Brothers assign a no-nonsense campaign manager (played by Dylan McDermott) to help Huggins.

 
Acting
Zach Galifianakis has to speak with an easily recognizable Southern Accent (I think it's Southern) while Will Farrell's has slightly more subtle twang.

Will Ferrell has never been among my favorite actors and this movie hasn't done anything to change my mind.

Of course the gents delivered adequate performances and as is their "style", very over-the-top, which makes it very fake but then, this is a comedy, so we let it slide. Anyway, some of it was rather amusing, so...

I read somewhere that Dylan McDermott only has 1 expression on his face, kind of like Stallone and Statham, and you know what, after watching this movie, I kinda agree. What do you think? Also, I have always had a problem telling him apart from the guy from Friends - David Schwimmer.
Overall
I think it's very timely now that the General Election is upon us in these parts of the woods. It allows viewers the secret window to peer into the world of politics & how dirty and ridiculous it can be. One may think that the dirty tactics used in the movie are far-fetched but they are not because the actual political parties are doing things that are even more ridiculous in the REAL world!

Altho' I didn't laugh at all the jokes, some bits were quite funny to me and I think that you will find the bits to tickle your funny bone as well.

Have a viewing or if you've watched it before, watching it again now would give you a different viewing experience. I guarantee it.

Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Movie Review - Thor: The Dark World Poster

Thor 2's (Yes, I'd rather call it Thor 2) movie poster is out and it looks really good. My only gripe is that he's NOT WEARING HIS HELMET AGAIN! What's up with that?

Anyway, aside from that, I'm happy with what I see. What do you think?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Movie Review - The Astronaut's Wife


Movie Title
The Astronaut's Wife
Year
1999
Genre
Sci-Fi, Suspense, Retro (pre-2000)


Story
Commander Spencer Armacost (Johnny Depp) is part of a highly trained 2-man team of astronauts who while on a routine mission in space, lost contact with NASA for 2 minutes. Both return home with seemingly no injuries but his partner Capt. Alex Streck (Nick Cassavetes) starts showing tell-tale signs that all is not right. Soon, it leads to Streck's death followed shortly after by his wife, who apparently committed a gruesome suicide by electrocution in the bathroom.

Spencer soon announces that he's leaving the space program to become a test pilot.

Spencer's wife Jillian (Charlize Theron) welcomes the move but feels uneasy as she hadn't fully recovered from the depression of losing 2 family friends. Jillian soon finds herself pregnant, but she starts to notice little 
changes in her husband that unsettles her. She soon questions her own sanity when she begins to doubt whether there was something wrong with her husband. Especially so after the NASA liaison Sherman Reese (Joe Morton) warns Jillian that Spencer may not be what he appears to be. More eerily so after he reveals to her that she's having twins despite having no prior knowledge or details of her pregnancy AND her friend, Capt. Alex Streck's wife was also carrying twins when she electrocuted herself.

She then in caught in a race against time to find out the truth about her husband and everything surrounding the 2-minute incident in space.
Acting
Johhny Depp, altho' being the main star of the show, didn't really do much in this one. Instead, I found Charlize Theron to have stolen the limelight for this one. One thing with watching older movies is that you get to see the big Hollywood stars when they were so much younger and how the have developed their raw talent over the years. 

Even from this movie, made back in 1999, you can see that Charlize Theron was bound for stardom as she can really emote - from worry & fear to joy & paranoia. 

Overall
I found myself really enjoying it rather more so than the average viewer (as can be attested by the low IMDB rating of only 5.1). However, I must qualify that I allowed myself to be fully immersed into the story and hence, I believe that enhanced my viewing experience. 

Of course, for most fans of the Horror genre, this is a walk in the park as CGI was still in its nascent stage and this was not really a horror movie, but rather a suspenseful mystery movie with elements of horror.

If you havent watched it before, I would suggest it's worth a look. If you have watched this before and are a fan of Johnny Depp or Charlize Theron, I would recommend a re-watch as well.

Go give it a go & let me know.

Rating:
6.5/10

Monday, April 1, 2013

Movie Review - Jack the Giant Slayer

Movie Title
Jack the Giant Slayer
Year
2013
Genre
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Story
A brand new take on the classic fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, only this time, we have Bryan Singer (of the 1st 2 X-Men movies) at the helm.

The movie starts with 2 children being told an ancient story of a great conflict between Man & Giant and how Man finally managed to defeat the giants. Thus, bringing peace to the lands.

Over the years, the story had become a myth, with no one, except little children, believing in the existence of giants or the threat they pose. One of them was Jack (Nicholas Hoult from X-Men: First Class - Beast & a more recent movie Warm Bodies), a peasant farmer's son. The other was the Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson, last seen in 2010's Alice in Wonderland).

They both grow up to adulthood where as fate would have it, they meet and henceforth, their lives were inextricably intertwined.

Due to the evil machinations (aren't they always) of Roderick (Stanley Tucci last seen in Hunger Games 2012) who was to be betrothed to the free-spirited Princess Isabelle, the magic beans and the artifact that was used to defeat the giants resurface. And as we all know from the fairy tale, Jack was instrumental, albeit unintentionally, in activating the Giant Beanstalk that leads to the long forgotten kingdom of giants up in the sky, resulting in the princess being trapped there.

The King immediately sends his bravest knights, led by Elmont (Ewan McGregor) along with Roderick, whose evil agenda was as yet hidden from the king, to rescue the Princess.Jack joins the rescue mission in the hopes of winning the Princess' heart and redeem himself, as he had "caused" this catastrophe.

At the end of the movie, there is kind of an "explanation" as to why we have heard so many versions of essentially the same story, which is a nice touch.
 Acting
Well, I did find Ewan McGregor a little odd in this movie because I couldn't decide whether to take him seriously as the best warrior of the kingdom - Elmont, or as the comedian of the show because he constantly has an Errol Flynn-esque (see V for Vendetta's mask...) smirk of bravado on his face!

Hoult on the other hand, would easily win the hearts of young females. However, I found his performance to be rather stiff and awkward. Not sure if he was trying to convey his sense of low esteem in the presence of the Princess or false bravado in the face of nigh-impossible odds.

Overall
Fee-Fye-Foe-Fumm! We always thought they were gibberish mumbled by the dumb giants. Now we know they are the names of 4 giant warriors!

I quite enjoyed this movie because deep down, I'm still a kid at heart and I have a soft spot for fairy tales. ;)
Now, be honest, who isn't a kid at heart? C'mon!

There are some who think that the CGI for the giants are too unrealistic but I believe that they were intentionally designed & meant to look like that to convey a sense of surrealism or a hint of fantasy visually.

Have fun when you go watch this movie. After all, it's supposed to be a fairy tale.

Rating: 6.5/10