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All reviews - Movies (76)

Shakespeare In Love review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 12 April 2010 02:35 (A review of Shakespeare In Love)

Pay attention and you will see how genius creates a legend.

If you haven't seen this film, shame on you. Lol, I'm kidding. :) This was the first romance film which I fell in love with (yes, I notice the similarity). Everything was perfect, and I wholeheartedly agree with it winning the best picture for 1998. Or was it 1999? Anyway, it still won as Best Picture, and that alone says something. The costumes, acting, storyline... wow.
William Shakespeare (Fiennes) is a writer for a theatre owner, Philip Henslowe (Rush), who is in a fierce competition for the most number of audiences with Richard Burbage (Clunes). The trend for plays during this time are comedies, especially those which involve dogs, as these seem to please Queen Elizabeth I (Dench). A woman of noble birth, Viola de Lesseps (Paltrow) enjoys the poetry being recited during those performances, and longs to hear more poems. This pushes her to audition for a play penned by Shakespeare, who, after being struck by her emotional performance, runs after her and realizes who she is. Thus begins a forbidden affair between Shakespeare and de Lesseps, whom has taken on the male lead in Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, formerly Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. They keep de Lesseps' identity a secret, because women are banned from performing onstage. As the play's rehearsals progress, the two lovers have to deal with de Lesseps' upcoming wedding with the shrewd and cruel Lord Wessex (Firth), plus the fact that their affair is slowly coming into light. There is no happy ending in this film, but I think that that gives the film its charm and appeal. Despite the intense love between the two, they know that their love can never be. Heartbreaking, yes, but there are comic moments as well. Ben Affleck as Shakespeare's closest friend and the most conceited actor during the time, Ned Alleyn, provides comic relief through his sarcastic wit. Love this film, and I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone. :)


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Keeping Mum review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 12 April 2010 02:18 (A review of Keeping Mum)

Oh my. Aren't you a busy bee?

A complete blast. It was amusing to see Professor Minerva McGonagall (or at least, the actress who plays her) as a cold-blooded killer who calmly disposes of people who hurt her and the people she loves.
Gloria Goodfellow (Scott Thomas) is experiencing quite a life. Her husband, Walter (Atkinson) is the reverend in their sleepy little village, her neighbor's dog keeps giving her hell every morning with his incessant barking, her daughter Holly (Egerton) is having sex with different boys, and her sex life seems nonexistent. Furthermore, she's having an affair with her golf instructor, Lance (Swayze). Things couldn't look any bleaker - until their assigned housekeeper, Grace Hawkins (Smith) arrives and turns Gloria's life and the lives of her family members topsy turvy. Years ago, a young woman known as Rosie Jones (Fox) was arrested for killing her husband and the woman he was having an affair with. So what's the connection? Well, you'd better watch this film to find out. :p
Loved the comedy and dark humour in this film. It was subtly hilarious, that you had to find the punchlines in the dialogue. Smith and Scott Thomas certainly hammed it up, and I was thrilled to see that Atkinson was still funny in his own way. Twas a nice surprise to see Swayze in the film as well, and he certainly lived up to his character. A few sex jokes knocked in, but I loved how Smith was able to rebuff some of them. Definitely a must see.


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Braveheart review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 11 April 2010 01:46 (A review of Braveheart)

They may take away our lives, but they'll never take away - our FREEDOM!!


Many thought that Mel Gibson's decision to star and direct the 1995 movie "Braveheart:, the story of the Scottish rebel William Wallace, was too bold. Some even thought it would sink into film industry oblivion, a topic of taboo for most film critics to even think about. But Gibson proved the gambler and gave audiences worldwide an epic feast: his movie garnered the coveted 'Best Picture' award at the 1995 Academy Awards, as well as the 'Best Director' award for himself, thus proving his acting and directing ability (try seeing "Apocalypto"; it may not be in English, but the way the story is told is enough to keep you riveted to the screen. Besides, there are English subtitles to guide you.).
The movie begins with a narration by actor Angus MacFadyen, who plays the sixth Robert of Bruce, one of the strong contenders for the crown of Scotland. It is through his memory that the tale of William Wallace (Gibson) is told. William was a young boy when the King of England, Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan), called a peace offering for all the Scottish landlords. They were set to meet in a barn, with only a page in attendance. William's father, Malcolm Wallace (Sean Lawlor) and older brother, John Wallace (Sandy Nelson) were all set to attend, but when they got there, they found all the landlords and their pages hanging from the rafters. Because of that, they gathered an army and attacked the English forces. In the battle, William?s father and older brother were killed.
During the funeral, a little girl noticed William standing over the graves of his father and brother. Moved by pity, she gives him a purple flower before leaving. Their relationship won't blossom until many years later. William was taken care of by his Uncle Argyle Wallace (Brian Cox), who taught him a great many things.
When William returned, it was during the time when Longshanks had proclaimed prima noctre , the right of every English noble to bed a newly married Scottish woman on the night of her wedding. This was his attempt to stop the increase in the Scottish population ("If we can't stamp them out, we breed them out."). Also, Longshanks oldest son Edward, the Prince of Wales (Peter Hanly) was already married to the French princess Isabelle (Sophie Marceau), the daughter of Longshanks' rival. However, the king notes a rather close friendship between his son and one of the courtiers, Phillip (Stephen Billington), so he plans to impregnate Princess Isabelle if his son cannot.
At the wedding of one of the Scottish couples in his land, William sees a familiar face; the young girl who had given him the purple flower years ago is now a beautiful young woman: Murron MacClannough (Catherine McCormack). A mutual attraction quickly develops between the two, and despite the refusal of Murron's father (Sean McGinley) to allow Wallace to court his youngest daughter, the two secretly get married.
Unfortunately their marriage is brief, when one English soldier (and a really scraggly one at that) attempts to rape Murron in the marketplace and Wallace defends her. During the struggle, Murron falls off the horse meant to take her to a secret place and is tied to a wooden post by the lord of their land to force Wallace to show himself. The lord slits Murron's throat to aggravate Wallace even further, and when he does show himself, all the English soldiers and the lord are killed.
The events that follow end up in the formation of the massive Scottish army, their many triumphs against the British (and even French) forces, the knighting of Wallace as the defender of Scotland, and the rift among the Scottish nobles. Wallace is closely aided by his childhood friend, Hamish Campbell (Brendan Gleeson), the wacky Irishman Stephen (David O'Hara), Morrison (Tommy Flannigan), the groom whose bride was taken by the lord under the premises of fulfilling prima noctre and Campbell (James Cosmo), Hamish's father.
In an attempt to secure peace with Wallace and save his other states from being sacked and pillaged, Longshanks sends Princess Isabelle to offer Wallace terms of peace: lordship, titles, and lands of his own. Wallace refuses the king's terms, saying that he never forgot Longshanks' notion of peace. In time, Wallace and Princess Isabelle form a secret affair, and when Wallace is finally caught and sentenced to death by means of torture and then beheading, the princess gives him a potion that would numb his senses and therefore make him feel no pain when he is being tortured. He pretends to drink the potion for her sake, but spits it out as soon as she leaves the prison cell.
As Longshanks lies dying in his bed (while Wallace is being tortured in the scaffolding below his window), Princess Isabelle reveals to him the biggest blow of all: that a child is growing in her womb and it is not the child of Longshanks' son, but the child of William Wallace; a child that will one day rule the whole of England.
The movie is a nonstop thrill ride, from the euphoria of the Scots going to battle against the British forces (the cheeky blighters even mooned the Brits!), the heartbreaking love story of William Wallace and Murron MacClannough, the obvious homosexual tendencies of the Prince of Wales; heck, even Longshanks himself is amusing to watch especially when dealing with his coward son. You may not be a fan of battle epics (the uncut version of the movie has very graphic fight scenes), but I'm sure this one will definitely change your perspective on these type of movies.
Kudos to Mel Gibson and the entire cast and crew of the movie for a stellar job.


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Quarantine review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 11 April 2010 01:39 (A review of Quarantine)

They won't let us out.

Arguably on of the most realistic horror films I've seen. The fact that it was a remake of the Spanish horror film [REC] still did not erase the fact that this was a film worth watching. Despite being nearly dark for most of the film, "Quarantine" still delivers a horrifying dish of terror, mainly due to the superb acting of its main character, news reporter Angela Vidal (Carpenter).
Angela and her cameraman, Scott Percival (Harris) are assigned to follow a group of L.A. firemen on their rounds. When the firemen respond to an emergency call in an apartment, Angela, Scott, the firemen, and the rest of the residents in the apartments are unwittingly pitted against an unspeakable horror which eventually threatens to consume them all. Without any contact from the outside world, Angela and Scott are forced to fight for their lives, as each of the apartment tenants slowly succumb to a mysterious disease which seems to be transmitted through bites, scratches, or other forms of physical contact which involve the mixing of blood. The resulting beings are bloodthirsty, and hungry for warm, human flesh. As the sun rises, nothing is left of the people inside the building. The only clue as to what really happened has been recorded down to the last horrifying second by Angela and Scott.
I remember Jay Hernandez (who plays fireman Jake) previously starred in another horror film (if my memory serves me right, it was Hostel) so it was a comfort to see a somewhat horror veteran in this film. The rest of the cast, although virtually unknown, contribute nicely to the flow of the film. Eerie. Scary. What would you:)


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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 11 April 2010 09:54 (A review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

You dare speak his name, you filthy half breed?!

An iconic line said by a legendary British thespian. The main reason that pushed me to see this film was to see Helena Bonham Carter in Death Eater action. I was beyond euphoric to see her pull off a perfect Bellatrix Lestrange. Although her screen time was brief, I couldn't help but cross my fingers in the hope that she would be given more screen time in the following films. As this film marks the beginning of the Second Wizarding War, the whole aura which gripped the film was gloomy and, at times, apprehensive. It seemed as if the film itself knew that one of its members would be removed from its ranks. Nevertheless, this is a great film adaptation of the Harry Potter novel, although it may not stick exactly to the books.
Harry Potter (Radcliffe) has escaped the cluthes of Lord Voldemort (Fiennes) a third time, but he still carries with him the memory of a fellow Hogwarts student who was slain before his very eyes: Cedric Diggory (Pattinson). Over the summer, he feels cut off from the rest of the world, and after a particularly intense fall out he had with his cousin, Dudley (Melling), Harry is transported to 12 Grimmauld Place, which happens to be the home of his godfather, Sirius Black (Oldman). Here, Harry learns that the Order of the Phoenix, a group formed by Albus Dumbledore (Gambon) to fight the forces of Lord Voldemort, has been recalled once more, and is currently using Grimmauld Place as headquarters. Going back to Hogwarts after learning of Lord Voldermort's return seems foolish, but Harry, Ron (Grint), and Hermione (Watson) have no choice. This year they have to contend with a particularly foul professor, Professor Dolores Umbridge (Staunton), who believes that she is molding Hogwarts into the ideal school, and refuses to believe Harry's claims that Lord Voldemort is back. The climax of the film occurs not at Hogwarts, but in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic. Here, Harry will have to face his nemesis and hope that he comes out alive, especially with a murderous group of witches and wizards hot on his and his friends tail.
Excellent. That's all I can say. The characters penned by J.K. Rowling are coming to life before my very eyes, and I must say that Yates did a fantastic job with this one. The fight scenes add a touch of magic and everything feels surreal. It's my favorite film in the series; but we'll have to wait until the seventh and *gasp* final films come out before I say anything final. ;)


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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 11 April 2010 06:15 (A review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Oh my god! I've killed Harry Potter!

Well, not exactly. How can you kill off someone who is just beginning to come into maturity? As a self-confessed Potterphile, I completely fell in love with this film. Although Harris' loss was deeply saddening, I could not have asked for a better actor to replace him than Sir Michael Gambon. Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson have definitely grown up, and although their first three films seemed lacking in terms of acting ability and flexibility, they certainly come to terms in this film. I have to commend Watson for finally showing us the kind of stuff she is really made of. The rest of the cast... wow. Britain's acting force comes out full swing in this film (woe that Oldman was only given a few seconds' screen time, and in a fireplace, no less!), and it adds to the charm and loveablity of the film.
Harry Potter (Radcliffe) is now on his fourth year at Hogwarts, but turbulent times lie ahead. During the summer, the much-anticipated sporting event, the Quidditch World Cup, was interrupted by the casting of the Dark Mark, the known symbol of the Dark Lord, Voldemort (Fiennes). The start of the year shows that an age-old competition is being revived, and only sixth and seventh years are allowed to participate. Harry, along with his two closest friends, Ron Weasley (Grint) and Hermione Granger (Watson), have nothing in mind but to sit back and watch the event unfold. Unfortunately for Harry, someone has submitted his name in the competition, and as his name is chosen for the fourth candidate, it causes a rift between him and Ron, as well as among the other headmasters of the two magical schools who are included in the contest: Igor Karkaroff (Bjelac) and Madame Maxime (de la Tour). But bigger problems lie ahead. Will a competition between three magical schools even matter if the return of Lord Voldemort is inevitable?
Excellent. Probably my third favorite of the series, after The Half Blood Prince and The Order of the Phoenix. Having David Tennant and Miranda Richardson on board was definitely a tasty treat. Any fantasy fan would be incomplete without watching the film adaptation of the biggest literary series to come out this century. ;)


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Monsters, Inc. review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 11 April 2010 03:16 (A review of Monsters, Inc.)

Kids these days. They just don't get scared like they used to.

Probably the best monster-themed cartoon I have ever seen. Who would have thought that the reason why monsters scared kids from their bedroom closets was because they needed the screams to provide energy into the city? Genius.
In the monster world, the top energy company is Monsters, Inc., whose slogan "We Scare Because We Care" symbolizes their goal: to collect as much screams from children as possible in order to provide ample energy to the city. The top scarer of the company is James P. Sullivan (Goodman), also known as "Sully" to his friends. Sully's top competitor is Randall Boggs (Buscemi), who will stop at nothing to achieve the number one status which, up to now, has been firmly held by Sully. Sully's closest friend and assistant, a round Cyclops-esque monster, Mike Wazowski (Crystal), helps him out with everything, but when a little girl accidentally stumbles into the monster world, Sully and Mike's friendship is tested to its breaking point. Now, the two friends have to deal with a secret conspiracy brewing within the company, all the while trying to bring the little girl back to her home without anyone noticing.
Lovely film. Even if you're beyond the 20-year mark (which I am, haha), you will surely enjoy this immensely. This isn't a cartoon made to add to another one on the market; this film is pure entertainment, comedy, and, at times, emotional. The possibility of having a second Monsters, Inc. is introduced in the final scene, as I think that it was left hanging. Not that I wouldn't mind to see Sully and Mike come back, but... oh for cripes' sake, just bring them back for another one! Lol.


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28 Weeks Later review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 10 April 2010 05:20 (A review of 28 Weeks Later)

We need your help.

The sequel to the 2002 film "28 Days Later" actually occurs six months before the Rage Virus ravaged Britain, leaving death and destruction in its wake. The film actually opens during the siege of the virus. We see a husband and wife living in a country house with four other people. Don (Carlyle) and Alice (McCormack) are extremely grateful that their two children have survived the epidemic, since they are currently on a school trip in Spain. During their meal, a frantic knocking on the door causes Alice to plead with the others to open the door - it is the voice of a young boy. Don reluctantly agrees to let the boy in, but it turns out to be a fatal mistake. Hordes of Infected have followed the child, and the group is quickly devoured. In a moment of cowardice, Don deserts his wife and escapes. Flash forward to six months later, the British citizens who were abroad during the time of the infection return, and among them are Don and Alice's children, Tammy (Poots) and Andy (Muggleton). While on a medical check up, the attending medical officer, Scarlet (Byrne), notices that Andy's eyes each have a different colour. Andy explains that he and his mum have the same feature. Tammy and Andy are reunited with their father, and when they ask what happened to their mother, Don replies that he did what he could to save her, but the Infected had already taken her. The children believe his story, that is, until Andy discovers their mother in a frantic and confused state in the second story of their former home. When Scarlet comes to examine Alice, she learns that Alice is a carrier of the virus, but a genetic quirk has made her immune to the effects of the virus. Tammy and Andy now realize that the story their father has told them was false, and they berate him for it. Don visits Alice, and in a moment of passion, they kiss. Unknowingly, Alice passes the virus to Don through her saliva, and since he does not have the same immunity as she does, he becomes Infected. He immediately kills Alice by pressing his thumbs deep into her eye sockets, and proceeds to infect everyone. The US military force led by Stone (Elba) have now declared a Red Alert; they shut all remaining survivors in a room while they deal with the escaped Infected. During the scuffle, Andy is separated from Tammy and Scarlet, who has realized that the two children may hold the cure to the virus in their blood. Andy is trapped in the same room as the other residents, but unfortunately, Don is also in the room and begins biting and mauling everyone. Andy escapes by climbing into an air duct, and as the people, both Infected and human, spill out into the streets, snipers poised at the rooftops are given to shoot and kill everyone and everything that moves, may these be human or dead. One sniper, Doyle (Renner), abandons his post and runs into Andy, Tammy, and Scarlet. The group then decides to head to safer ground, since the city will certainly be firebombed in order to contain the infection. Unknown to them, Don is following them, driven not by fatherly instincts, but by Rage.
I didn't really like this as much as the first, but it was still pretty good. I just was a bit apprehensive that they had to snuff off McCormack - I've held a soft spot for her ever since I saw her on Braveheart, but, well, if it fits into the storyline, so be it. Renner was the perfect sniper... too bad he had to die as well. Poots and Muggleton were able to work well together, and I didn't get annoyed by them unlike other child stars in horror movies. Carlyle still proved to be an efficient villain (Durza from Eragon, anyone?), and Byrne provided a fresh face to the film, even if it WAS about a zombie outbreak all over again. It's really up to you if you watch this film or not. :p


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28 Days Later review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 7 April 2010 03:06 (A review of 28 Days Later)

With endless love, we left you sleeping. Now we're sleeping with you. Don't wake up.

For the first few scenes of the film, I knew this film was going to be part of my favorite zombie films. I loved the way it didn't meet other zombie film storylines; the origins of the virus was different, and even the look and feel of the zombies were different as well. They reminded me a LOT of Left 4 Dead zombies - they weren't shuffling or slow, they could definitely rush at you and bite a chunk of your flesh if you didn't blast their brains to pieces. Plus the film's atmosphere... you could definitely feel the terror of being one of the few survivors in a world plagued with endless scores of undead.
The film begins when a group of animal cruelty activists break into a top secret facility with the aim of freeing monkeys which they believe have been abused for the sake of research. Before they can do so, a scientist catches them and frantically warns them not to free the monkeys, since these have been injected with a virus which borders on extreme Rage and can be passed on through a bite, saliva, or any form of physical contact which involves wounds. The activists ignore the warnings of the scientist and release one monkey, which immediately jumps on a female activist and mauls her neck. Within seconds, she has turned into the first Infected, and the film cuts to Jim (Murphy), who awakes in a hospital 28 days after the incident. He goes out of the hospital and searches London for any signs of life. All he sees are rubbish and abandoned vehicles. At some point, he picks up wads of cash, but naturally, he does not know that he won't be needing it anymore. While exploring a church, he stumbles upon a group of Infected, who promptly chase him. A few seconds away from certain death, he is rescued by Selena (Harris) and Mark (Huntley). They take him to their hideout and explain what happened. Jim makes up his mind to see his parents, ignoring Selena and Mark's warnings that they may be dead by now. When they reach Jim's house, they find his parents dead in bed from an overdose of sleeping pills. During the night they are attacked by two of Jim's Infected neighbors, and Mark is wounded. In a flash, Selena hacks Mark to death, explaining to Jim that it takes 10-20 seconds to kill a person who has been wounded by an Infected before they transform. They continue on their way, and in the process, they meet Frank (Gleeson) and Hannah (Burns), a father-daughter team who say that there is a military outpost where they can find a cure for the infection. The four decide to travel together, but once they reach the camp, they learn that the so-called cure is to impregnate all human women in order to repopulate the Earth.
A definite original, although I did have an issue with the scene where Frank shows Jim the rooftop of the building where he and his daughter were living in. Sure, it had a lot of plastic containers in order to catch rainwater, but I spotted 3 laundry baskets. With holes. How in Zeus' lightning bolt are they going to catch water with THAT? That aside, this film is definitely one everyone should see. ;)


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Old Dogs review

Posted : 7 years, 8 months ago on 4 April 2010 01:34 (A review of Old Dogs)

Whoa. Does this drink come with a diving board? This is insane!

I had a lot of high hopes for this film, but unfortunately for me, this didn't quite cut it. It was hilarious at many points, yes, I have to give the producers and director credit for that, but the whole idea of having two men take care of kids and have their whole world turned upside down is getting a little too common nowadays. Even from the start, you could see where the movie was heading: the realization that he loved his kids more than anything else in the world, and the cliched happy ending. But don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing the movie. :p Perhaps if they added something else - a little twist to the whole plot, then it might have worked a little more. Don't ask me what that "twist" is, though. :pp
Charlie (Travolta) and Dan (Williams) are old school buddies who have stuck together all through the years, despite the differences in their lifestyles (Charlie is a dedicated bachelor who loves playing the field, while Dan is a failed divorcee). Now, they are owners of a sports marketing company, and have even taken under their wing a young, ambitious assistant, Ralph (Green), who, like Charlie and Dan, have high hopes of nailing what could be the biggest deal of their career. However, Dan receives word from an old fling he had back when he was newly divorced and in a drunken stupor: Vicki (Preston), whom he met when Charlie insisted they go to Florida. Much to his surprise, Dan learns that not only is Vicki going to jail for two weeks for a violation, but he is also a dad of twins, Emily (Bleu Travolta) and Zach (Rayburn). Now, this newfound dad has to fit his kids into his already busy schedule, close the deal, all the while dealing with the pains of growing old.
I was sad to learn that this was Bernie Mac's (he plays Jimmy Lunchbox) last film, so it also comes to no surprise that the film was released a year after its intended release. Of course, other reasons were Robin Williams' health scare, and the death of John Travolta and Kelly Preston's son, Jett. I'd hate to say this, but it makes me think this film was jinxed. *knocks on wood*


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