Archive for the ‘Member Movie Reviews’ Category

Black Swan

Posted 13 Dec 2010 — by contributor
Category Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

black swan Natalie Portman movies i didnt getBlack Swan, USA, 2010

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

The latest film from visionary director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) continues to show his versatility and determination to not make the same film twice. Originally slated to direct the upcoming David O. Russell film The Fighter, Aronofsky understandably considered the project too similar to his previous film, 2008’s The Wrestler, and opted instead to make the intense, hallucinatory madhouse that is Black Swan.

Natalie Portman stars as Nina Sayers, an up-and-coming ballet dancer in New York City who finds herself in the lead role of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. She is initially chosen for the role as a replacement for veteran dancer Beth Macintyre (Winona Ryder) because she embodies the qualities of the White Swan – grace and beauty. Her technical perfection is clear, but her lusty French director, Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel, in his best English-language role to date), insists that she find her dark side, the Black Swan representing cunning and sensuality. Read More

Hunger

Posted 13 Dec 2010 — by contributor
Category Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

hunger  Stuart Graham as Raymond Lohan  movies i didnt getHunger, UK / Ireland, 2008

Directed by Steve McQueen

I saw this in April of 2009 and the rest of the year failed to produce a more perfect film. Director Steve McQueen (not the one you’re thinking of) crafts a completely compelling take on the famed hunger strike endured by Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) and other political prisoners associated with the Irish Republican Army. However, Sands is not even seen until the second act of the film, after a brilliant first act that is nearly dialogue-free, detailing the conflict that leads to the hunger strike. Read More

Tangled

Posted 07 Dec 2010 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Tangled, USA, 2010

Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

tangled film review movies i didnt getTangled achieves something exemplary for Disney on two levels: it’s both a return to form and, hopefully, the birth of a new magical touch. They’ve lacked it for quite some time now. At the very least, this can be seen as an apology for last year’s abysmal The Princess and the Frog. No pointless updates to be found here, no ulterior motives, or subtle race cards being played. It’s Disney giving their unique breath to a classic fairy tale, and doing the best job they’ve done in years. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about this is their understanding of what they’re doing. Shades of acknowledgment are paid to Disney classics – Cinderella (1950), The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) – in fact, elements of all the “vaulted” Disney films can be found, in some shape or form. Perhaps that’s where the film gets its name from? Catching the references is almost as much fun as the film itself. All at once, Tangled is sharply funny, extremely touching, and visually breathtaking. We even have a couple of silent animals to make us laugh, and be moving in their own ways, along the journey. Read More

Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls

Posted 24 Nov 2010 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

For Colored Girls, USA, 2010

Written and Directed by Tyler Perry

Based on the Play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

for colored girls movies i didnt getThe thing that has always fascinated me about Tyler Perry’s films is how simple in structure they are. Everything has its place, and everything falls in line. It’s kind of elemental, or, even though this word implies a negative connotation, elementary; not really paint-by-numbers, but there are moments in his canon that are extremely formulaic, despite his “auteur” intent. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), The Family That Preys (2008), For Colored Girls – all have elements of each other, and all have elements of a distinct kind of American film: Soul Food (1997), Woman Thou Art Loosed (2004), Precious (2009); he even subtly draws from the days of the transcendence of exploitation minstrel into the hands of African-American filmmakers who made thoughtful blaxploitation films. Perry’s well-rounded direction makes up for his choppy writing.

From Ntosake Shage’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, he draws a broader portrait from Shange’s view of what it is to be a woman of color in the ’70s to what it is to be a woman of color in today’s harsher world. Love, abandonment, disease, abortion, rape – the film follows a pattern like that of 2004’s Crash in that the broad portrait is painted with broad characters to whom all bad things imaginable happen. No one falls down a staircase, there isn’t any expository dialogue, but the effort remains cyclical in the same root: stuff enough plot into the box until it won’t close properly. The play itself is nearly un-filmable, so Perry did his absolute best with what he could. Perry’s Colored Girls are more accessible in this day and age, if not more thinly written. Rather than just colors for names, he gives each woman a full characterization and uses their original monikers as a motif in their costuming. His new characters have no such motif, but are more stoic in their additions. From the moment they pop onto the screen, we know why they are there. Read More

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole – Fails To Take Flight

Posted 06 Nov 2010 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

Member Review By Oddmuninn

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, USA / Australia, 2010

Directed by Zack Snyder

legend of the guardians the owls of ga'hoole Soren flying movies i didnt getSome movies we watch purely for the spectacle. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in my book, a film has to earn its right through good story and characterization to impress me with its special effects. Or if it can’t do that, it at least has to be so fun that I’m enjoying myself too much to care. Unfortunately, there are far too many films that do neither, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is one of them.

The first time I saw the trailer for this animated film, it immediately appealed to my inner fantasy geek. It features a bright-eyed hero who is as in love with stories and myths as I am. The fact that the main character is a CG owl was no deterrent, as I’ve always liked movies that anthropomorphize animals, as long as they do it well. This one certainly does. However, the creators forgot to add one important element: heart. Read More