Posts Tagged ‘Ellen Page’

Super – They Don’t Make Role Models Like They Used To

Posted 23 Jul 2013 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

Super is a frustratingly unfunny comedy from a great writer. By Ezra Stead

Super, USA, 2010

Written and Directed by James Gunn

I don’t want to sound like anybody’s grandma here, but I long ago abandoned the conversational defense that movies and other popular media have no part in encouraging real-life violence. Some movies definitely glorify violence to the point of actively promoting it as a righteous lifestyle choice, and James Gunn’s pseudo-realistic costumed avenger film Super is decidedly one of these. There are many other prime examples of this phenomenon – Troy Duffy’s The Boondock Saints (1999), Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted (2008), Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America (2011) – and while I find all of these films plenty entertaining, my level of comfort about enjoying them seems to be directly proportional to how well I can relate to the worldview of the avenging angel protagonists. In other words, I feel a lot less guilty enjoying God Bless America than The Boondock Saints, despite the fact that the latter is no more mean-spirited or simplistic than the former. Super exists somewhere between these two, a surprisingly conservative and reactionary film made by a well-known counterculture auteur.  Read More

Juno And The Restless Virgins

Posted 10 Jun 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Stuart Nachbar

Juno, USA, 2007 Ellen Page's charm offensive nails adolescent trauma in this new pregnancy comedy JUNO.

Directed by Jason Reitman

Since I wrote a novel based around sex education, I’ve tried to pay attention to other books and movies that do the same. I reviewed Tom Perrotta’s The Abstinence Teacher, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This time, I’m reviewing Juno, a movie I enjoyed so much I saw it twice, the first time with my wife, the second time alone, so I could take a more insightful look at the story.

Juno is the story of a pregnant teenager who is trying to make sense of her difficult circumstances. Ellen Page, who plays Juno, makes the movie. She’s not only funny, but she appears wise without taking things too seriously. Juno is the geeky guy’s best friend, someone you can talk to, jam with, but you’d forget she was a girl unless she reminded you – and that’s how she gets pregnant. She reminded the cheese on her macaroni, before he ever knew he was. Read More

Juno – Worst Hipster Movie Ever (So Far)

Posted 08 Jun 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

Juno, USA, 2007

Directed by Jason Reitman

Juno is an insufferable and overrated quirk-fest.

Juno is, in my decidedly non-humble and belligerent opinion, not only the most overrated film of the last decade, but also one of the worst. Before we go any further, let me assuage any accusations you might be formulating that I’m just trying to espouse an unpopular opinion for the sake of doing so, or that I didn’t want to like the movie: the second part is true. But I also went into Little Miss Sunshine (2006) expecting and wanting to hate it, and it won me over. I didn’t think it deserved to be regarded as one of the best films of that year, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let it also be known that I like all of Wes Anderson’s films (to varying degrees), The Squid and the Whale (2005) and Napoleon Dynamite (2004), so please don’t think I just hate quirky indie movies. That said, let me expound upon why this is the most insufferably cutesy and irritating film I’ve seen since Zach Braff’s Garden State in 2004 (and I think this one just might be worse).

The first thirty minutes or so of Juno are almost unbearable, as Ellen Page (an excellent actress who, like the rest of the cast, is completely wasted on this tripe) struggles to bring life to a character whose every line sounds like it was written by an angry, dumb teenager who thinks the audience callbacks at The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) are the height of wit. Worse than that, some of those lines are uttered into a hamburger phone that the character admits is awkward to use, but it’s all part of the ironic facade she uses to mask her true vulnerable, compassionate humanity. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in writing, so I should probably point out here that the film spends another hour unmasking this facet of the character, all the while indulging in the kind of dialogue that would get you a “D” at best in any self-respecting screenwriting program. Read More

Super

Posted 15 May 2011 — by Nicole P
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Scott Martin Super movie by James Gunn

Super, USA, 2010

Written and Directed by James Gunn

Super is twisted. Some films can pull that off in a positive way. Recall a film from 1998 called Happiness, directed by the superbly screwed-up Todd Solondz. That’s a film that somehow manages to find the dark humor in the sexually disturbed characters it portrays. Of course this isn’t a Todd Solondz film; it wouldn’t be as ugly if it were. No doubt, Super is very funny, in parts. Director James Gunn, whose last film was the deliriously strange Slither (2006), gives us a portrait of a mentally unhinged man who accepts a calling from God to be a superhero. He sees visions of demons and rights small wrongs before stumbling into a big crime. He wields a pipe wrench and cracks skulls for a living. The line between fantasy superhero and regular hyper-violence is blurred, not just in his mind, but in the film’s as well. We aren’t ever really shown a man we can get behind, even if it’s just to sympathize. Read More

Oscar Predictions 2011 – Which Movie Will Win the Best Picture Award?

Posted 22 Feb 2011 — by contributor
Category Box Office News, Film Industry News

The question of the year in the movie industry: Who will win the Best Picture award? Who will take another Academy Award home as winner and who will just spend the night applauding others? As no one knows for sure yet, let’s take a look at the list of the Best Picture Nominees and try to come up with some system to make predictions.

Best Picture Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards:

Black Swan — director: Darren Aronofsky; writers: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz; stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel

The Fighter — director: David O. Russell; writers: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy; stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams

Inception — director: Christopher Nolan; writer: Christopher Nolan; stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page

The Kids Are All Right — director: Lisa Cholodenko; writers: Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg; stars: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo

The King’s Speech — director: Tom Hooper; writer: David Seidler; stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter

127 Hours — director: Danny Boyle; writers: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy; stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara

The Social Network — director: David Fincher; writers: Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich; stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake

Toy Story 3 — director: Lee Unkrich; writers: John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton; stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack

True Grit — directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen; writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen; stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld

Winter’s Bone — director: Debra Granik; writers: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini; stars: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes and Garret Dillahunt Read More

Inception – One Simple Idea, Quite Simply A Masterpiece

Posted 18 Jul 2010 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Reviews, Most Confusing Films of All time, Movies I Got

By Jason A. Hill

Inception, USA / UK, 2010

leonardo dicaprio

In a story, and especially in screenwriting, writers often have a concept they refer to as the “controlling idea.” This is an idea that boils down all the complexity of a movie to one idea, one sentence.

In Inception, director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento) has crafted a story whose “controlling idea” is a controlling idea. That is, “an idea, planted deep enough into a person’s subconscious, will grow like a virus and become the very center of that person’s existence,” which is referred to as “inception.” This loop of meanings is just the surface of what is a multi-layered labyrinth of a plot, and can become very confusing for much of the audience this film will entertain. But if you can get past the vast complexity of the plot, where Nolan has spared no expense in giving plenty of action, suspense, and drama, you will have seen quite possibly the best sci-fi film in ten years. I know that’s a bold statement, and considering its very good but relatively tame 84% rating from RottenTomatoes.com’s composite of various critics’ reviews, it is still yet to be determined how it will resonate with viewers over the next few weeks. But having seen it for myself, I already know another viewing will be necessary to fully grasp all this film has to offer, and I may write another article just to explain. For now, I will try to justify my high praise for this film and attempt to apply the inception that it is not to be missed!

Read More