Thursday, December 31, 2009

Up in the Air

From Jason Reitman, comes a film called “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the brink of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he’s met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.

My Review: Up in the Air excels at showing reality. While it's funny, the film also explores areas that are generally not touched upon. The sobering story succeeds at showing that not all films have a "happily-ever-after" fairy-tale ending. You can relate to Clooney as he plays a man who shows no personality and no regard for living a more decent life. This film is very different from anything Reitman has ever done. It shows that he can tell a story of a middle-aged man and the problems facing him. It was by no means a corky comedy, but rather a tragedy with a balance of humor and a sense of comfort in knowing that you aren't always alone. 3 out of 4 stars.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.) and his stalwart partner Watson (Law) embark on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes battles as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country.

My Review: From the start, the goal of the film was more focused on action sequences than focusing on the story. The script was poorly written and for the most part the dialogue was quiet and fuzzy. I was very disappointed in McAdams' acting as Irene Adler. She brought no charisma and none of her charm to the role. Downey Jr. and Law played the roles almost perfectly. They acted authentically and it was the only aspect of the film that intrigued me. I could relate to Downey Jr. because he played a very cynical role and cynicism in acting is something that works and often makes the film more enjoyable. The flow of the movie was far from consistent. Toward the end, the story became more interesting with a possible hint at a sequel... 2 and a half out of 4 stars.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) deals with epic crises in his personal and professional life. At the same time, he must strike a balance among the demands of the numerous women in his life, including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), his confidant (Judi Dench), and his muse (Nicole Kidman).

My Review: From the start, Nine dazzled the screen with its stars. Each of them had their time to shine. I was disturbed by Kate Hudson's "Cinema Italiano" because of the lack of authenticity and above all, passion. I expected more from a young, vibrant, versatile actress. Another thing that annoyed me was the brevity of Kidman's presence. Though when she appeared, I enjoyed every moment. Cruz was as always, nothing short of brilliant. Marion Cotillard shined even at times when the stage was dark and you could see nothing but her. Cotillard played the role of Contini's wife to a tee and did it with such passion and dedication. If she doesn't get awards for this role, there is something wrong. She had the most convincing performance of the whole cast. Fergie did a great job, even though it probably wasn't anything she hadn't done in real life before. Day-Lewis didn't do as well as I would expect him to. His accent sounded more like a vampire, which made it painful to listen to. Overall, the film didn't fulfill my expectations but you have to appreciate Nine for the music, women, and entertainment it succeeds at providing. 3 out of 4 stars.

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Complicated

Jane (Streep) is the mother of three grown kids, owns a bakery/restaurant and has an accordant relationship with her ex-husband, attorney Jake (Baldwin). When Jane and Jake find themselves out of town for their son’s college graduation, things start to get complicated. An innocent meal together turns into an affair. With Jake remarried to a much younger woman, Jane is now, the other woman. Caught in the middle of their renewed romance is Adam (Martin), an architect hired to remodel Jane’s kitchen. Healing from a divorce of his own, Adam starts to fall for Jane, but soon realizes he’s become part of a love triangle.

My Review: It's been a while since I saw a film and laughed-out-loud. This rare occasion was one where I did just that. The fantastic script was played so well by the actors. Meryl Streep, Baldwin, and Martin all contributed to the hilarious story that had the crowd rolling on the floor. This was by no means, a chick-flick. It was a romantic comedy about a divorced couple and the challenges they face as they find themselves interested in each other once again. Nancy Meyers never fails to fascinate with her stories about relationships and this was no exception. I couldn't imagine any others replacing Streep. She was the icing on the cake, the delicious melted hot filling in a warm croissant. What made the film authentic was its connection to reality. It breaks the stereotype that says people who are older sit around by the fireplace and read books. 3 out of 4 stars.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden Globes Nomination Comments

Award Season is upon us!
Ok, so I looked over the films nominated for Golden Globes this year and from my perspective, it will be a tough race in the comedy-musical category. I was disappointed to see A Serious Man get only one lousy nomination in the Best Actor category. There were also many movies that I haven't seen yet such as: A Single Man, Nine, It's Complicated, Up In The Air, Avatar, Precious, and The Blind Side. Based on reviews and such, I would expect Up In The Air to win at least a couple of awards. Meryl Streep will definitely take home one award (probably for Julie and Julia). I'm hoping that Inglourious Basterds wins the Best Director award for Quinten Tarentino. Now, even though Julia Roberts deserves an award for something, her role in Duplicity shouldn't even have been considered, for that film was garbage for the most part. I was excited to see (500) Days of Summer get nominated in Best Picture and Best Actor categories. Though it probably won't win either one, I am still hoping that Joseph Gordon-Levitt wins for best actor in a comedy. On a different note, this has been George Clooney's year from playing in 3 roles, one of which is an animated feature. He excelled in each of the movies that have been released so far. Once again, I have NOT seen Up In The Air yet so I can't make a final judgment call but based on the trailers, I think he is safe in winning the Best Actor Award. ----Then again, you have Jeff Bridges in the mix so one never knows if this will turn out like last year where Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke were neck and neck for the best actor category. Lastly, the Animated film category. This will be an obvious win for Pixar's latest, Up, but one will always wonder if Fantastic Mr. Fox ever stood a chance, which was my personal favorite in the mix!

Keep reading for my official Golden Globe Predictions that will be posted before the year's close. I don't know folks, I will have to process the comedy categories and watch all the Christmas Day releases (Nine, Sherlock Holmes, It's Complicated, Up In The Air) before I make my final predictions.

Stay Tuned and Happy Awards Season!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Everybody's Fine

"Everybody’s Fine" follows a widower (Robert De Niro) who embarks on an impromptu road trip to reconnect with each of his grown children only to discover that their lives are far from picture perfect.

My Review: The lighthearted turned emotional dramedy was pleasing to watch with the time passing by effortlessly. De Niro's performance was by far one of the best in his career because while watching it, you feel for the character who tried to make his children's lives planned out but not appreciated by the very ones that should have been. At times, the film becomes painful to watch. I felt De Niro's pain as he traveled to each of his children and not receiving so much of a warm welcome. Though predictable, like most movies made today, I still felt that "Everybody's Fine" has made an impact on my life. I will learn from the sobering situations that the characters are faced with throughout the film and carry those lessons with me when faced with similar obstacles. 3 out of 4 stars.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nine- Trailer(s) Review

Nine is a provocative new musical from the director of Chicago, Rob Marshall. In "Nine", Daniel Day-Lewis plays Guido Contini, a struggling middle-aged director who deals with the various women in his life. The A-list cast includes Academy Award winners Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Sophia Loren; Grammy winner Fergie and Golden Globe winner Kate Hudson rounding out the star studded cast. Ever since the get go, I have been eagerly anticipating the release of this film. After seeing the teaser trailer back in May, I was sold. The musical number: Be Italian", sung by Fergie, blew me away and left me waiting for more songs to surface. Months later, two new trailers were released, being even better than the first. The latest trailer features dialogue aside from all the music playing which gave me an idea of the tone and what to expect out of the film. This will either be a box office smash- winning all awards and getting critical praise, or will be a complete catastrophe. Let's hope it will be the first one. A+ trailer rating.