The Aristocats has always been a great memory of my childhood. Every time I re-watch it with my siblings we reminisce about our favorite scenes and moments, always bursting into laughter when these points in the film take place. There is allot to like about this film, and it is respectfully entertaining, but but lacking in greatness and originality.
I would basically call The Aristocats, One Hundred and One Dalmatians for cats. Cats are stolen, cats must journey home and defeat bad guy. Of course it takes a different, more comic and jazzy route than Dalmatians. But you still can’t scratch the feeling that you have seen this before.
Acting: I love, love, love the voices used in this film. it is probably my favorite part. Roddy Maude-Roxby voice as Edgar is timeless. His hoity-toity voice is absolutely perfect. “Hear Kitty-Kitty!” The rest of the cast is perfect. Absolutely no complaints.
Visuals: I am a pretty big fan of this raw style of cell animation, frankly I miss it. Though it isn’t quite as glamorous as some, it still holds its own. It reminds me of a coloring book.
Story: You read my complaints earlier about the story. It is still fun, but lacks in originality. The pacing of the film is great though. I am a pretty big fan of the songs, especially O’malley the alley cat and Everybody Wants to Be a Cat. Heck I even get a good laugh out of Scales and Arpeggios.
Concept: Not too original, but still fun.
Personal: I really like The Aristocats, sure it isn’t my favorite, but I own it on BluRay and will come back to it every once in a while.
12 Years a Slave is one of the toughest films I have ever seen. While being both artist and stylistic in its choices it never becoming inaccessible. The casting is nearly flawless and the actors themselves give the best ensemble performance I have seen this year.
Not until the end of the film do we ever find relief from the excruciating visuals that linger on some of the more gruesome scenes I have ever seen. But this cinematic choice works flawlessly.
I also found the journey of Solomon Northup (Portrayed stunningly by Chiwetel Ejiofor) both narratively and visually compelling. Throughout his story we are observers, just as Solomon is an observer to the actions taking place around him. We can do nothing to help, all we can do is watch. And we do watch as Solomon denies, accepts, and finally fights his enslavement. We are shown these moments during a number of shots throughout the film that linger on Northup after of number of life changing incidents.
12 Years a Slave is film that shows humanity at its weakest, and in this weakness sometimes all we have is hope and faith.
I am stealing this line when I say, “Ender’s Game is the most underwhelming fascinating movie I have ever seen.”
Ender’s Game isn’t even two hours long and I feel like it could have prospered with a longer running time. The problem here is how the story seems to be rushed. The plot keeps moving and moving, while the director and actors try and fail to give us some kind of emotional appeal, that in the end, never seems to really work. Frankly, each emotional moment in the film seems forced, we are given almost no time to grow with the relationships in this movie. One moment Ender is strong and courageous, the next moment something “deep” happens and we are supposed to feel some kind of emotion. WHERE IS THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT?
The visuals are rather good and the acting is well rounded. The world is captivating, but I could never really come to
grips with it. It was always just out of reach. I am not familiar with the book, so I don’t have anything to compare.
Ender’s Game left me wanting something more, maybe that something will be found in the book. I do hope so.
I was afraid when watching the trailers for this that I was getting every major story beat. Though it would have been refreshing to have seen it without the interference of a trailer, Prisoners is much more than it seems.
Prisoners can be best described as a dramatic thriller. At its center is two families dealing with the absence of their missing daughter. This is the main focus point for the beginning of the film. We watch as each character takes his or her approach with dealing with this problem. Depression, anger, violence, and hopelessness are all portrayed by one character, if not multiple.
On the other side of the sub genre is its thriller aspect. Jake Gyllenhaal as detective Loki holds the reigns during some of the more suspenseful of thrilling aspects of the film. I would have to say though that Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover (the father) lends a hand in this area quite often.
Prisoners is another film about humanity and how we will handle the situations that push us near the brink. The acting is solid across the board. None of the performances stick out badly, but many including Gyllenhaal, Jackman, Terrance Howard, and Paul Dano are at their A game.
Visually this movie has a constant air of doubt and sorrow. It is always gray, and is quite frequently raining. I don’t know how they managed to get such consistent weather. One of my favorite scenes was between Loki and Keller in Loki’s police car. As Keller approaches the car, the snow and rain becomes heavier and heavier making us at the audience ready for the worst. I don’t know if this was luck of the weather or artificially done, but regardless the effect worked.
Prisoners is a must see from this fall. It is one of the best thrillers I have seen in a long time. It reminded me allot of Silence of the Lambs, going places you wouldn’t expect. It is probably the best film out in wide release right now. Don’t miss you chance.
Visuals: 8.5/10 (Roger Deakins is the man)
Every once in a while there comes a film that connects to me in a way that cannot be ignored. The Spectacular Now punched me repeatedly in the chest and left me lying on the theater’s sticky floor. At least, that is what it felt like. I am not saying this movie is particular sad, but it certainly succeeds in by making us remember a time in our lives that closely reflects the story that is The Spectacular Now.
I went to see The Spectacular Now with two friends, one who is studying film with me, the other a recent graduate from our program. When I am with either of the two we will undoubtedly talk movies, and that is what we did the 30 min trip to the theater and back. I wish I could relay the conversation we had about this movie, but certainly that couldn’t be written too easily, what with all our fragmented sentences and how we couldn’t stay one narrow path of conversation, rather we stray to blurt out anything and everything that comes to mind. But I will try my best.
Visually, The Spectacular Now is anything but glamorous. This story is projected in a realistic version of our world today, nothing it glossy, nothing sparkling, everything is as it should be, naturally beautiful. From the dark hallways of the school, to the early afternoon lit lunch room, it is here we remember our days in high-school, thinking back and realizing there was nothing lustrous about our school building, it was really rather dull. This subtly beautiful visual style is reflected perfectly to our two main actors, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.
Much like the natural lighting scheme, the actors are nothing more than themselves. Shailene Woodley wears no makeup in this film, accept during the prom scene. Other than that we are once again given another reason to be absorbed by this world that is so much like ours or at least one that has past from us years, months or even decades before.
Miles Teller’s work as Sutter is another example of why I have so much faith in this generation of actors. His range is superb, going from the life of the party to a beat up, lost alcoholic teenager that continues to lie to himself that he is nothing but an adolescent version of his father. Throughout this film we see that he is one of the most loving people we could imagine, but he fails to see the love that is shown to him everyday.
Shailene Woodley as Aimee is remarkable. the chemistry between Miles Teller and herself is one of the most genuine teenage relationships I have ever seen. The outstanding love shown by Aimee reminded me of my own girlfriend and just made me appreciate how special we are if we have anyone in our life like Aimee. This love is unconditional in the most dense meaning of the word.
Another standout performance I would like to mention is Kyle Chandler’s performance as Tommy, Sutter’s dad. He is not in allot of the film, but through Chandler’s performance we see this character’s soul, we see his struggle and his faults from the most subtle shift in the eye. It is a hard character to pull off and Chandler is outstanding.
The Spectacular Now is the least glamorized and perfectly translated version of a high-school, coming of age film I have ever seen, at least for my generation. The screenplay captures this world of the teenager perfectly. James Ponsoldt’s direction is on key from start to finish. We never doubt the lives that are playing before us are real. From scene to scene we become closer and closer to these characters, because we we were all these characters so that the twist in the plot hits us hard and leaves us understand and remember to times like these during our own time in high-school.
In the end their details may be different, but our story is the same.
Acting: AJ Bowen gave the worst performance I have seen this year, glad he wasn’t in much of the movie. He was given the longest monologue and every second of it hurt my inner actor. But most everyone else was good.
Story: Intentionally funny and full of some cringe worthy violence, I thought writer Simon Barrett brought allot of fun to the mix, with some great moments. The first 20 minutes were tough, but once you get past that you should be ok. Some great jokes relating to film making. This is a film makers movie.
Concept: Not highly original, but swing to a horror film that I didn’t expect to see going in. It isn’t the most original take I have seen to a sub genre horror film. Didn’t understand the motivation of some of the characters, money isn’t enough in this case.
Personal: Enjoyed the heck out of this one, nothing will hit you soul or make you think too much. it treads lightly on the road to farce.
Re-Watchability: Just to watch again with those who haven’t seen it. Probably some of my film maker friends.
Not since re-watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame have I been so pleased to be watching the Disney Animation Studios Canon. The Great Mouse Detective is not only a pleasant transition piece to the Disney Renaissance but it is a clever, splendidly paced homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. I recently started listening to the audiobooks of Sherlock and was pleasantly surprised to how many references they make to these timeless stories. I loved the inclusion of Toby, the detail in Basil’s home; his studies of footprints and cigarette and cigar ash.
Visuals: The character animation is splendid throughout this film. Every character is given his or her little quirks that we soon familiarize ourselves with. I background detail was splendid, creating a fully realized tiny world of mice in London. Also that clock scene was truly a masterwork. I don’t know how they did, but damn, that was sure an impressive scene.
Acting: Vincent Price as Ratigan is gold, Barrie Ingham plays an equally good crazy Basil of Bakerstreet. I loved all these character voices. Maybe I will watch it again soon to hear those lovely British accents.
Story: The story is splendidly paced, it will keep both the youngsters and adults cheery from start to finish. no scene drags, there is allot of laughs and some witty dialogue. The only downside is the inclusion of some not so good songs. One I really liked and I thought seemed to fit was the “Let Me Be Good to You”. How has this song been forgotten. It matched the bar scene perfectly.
Concept: Take a group of novels about the Sherlock Holmes in the mouse world, who lives in Sherlock’s house. What with the animals and the vibrant world of Sherlock, this makes for a perfect Disney film.
Personal: I am becoming more and more introduced into the world of Sherlock and I am loving every minute of it. I would suggest you read the Holmes novels and stories before you watch this one again. it makes it so much better.
Re-Watchability: It’s out on BluRay. I know I will be picking it up soon. There is just so much fun to be had here, so many characters to love and become even more familiar with. Would love a sequel.