Sunday, April 05, 2009

March Films

Director : Gabor Csupo
Genre : Fantasy, Children's
Rating : 4.0/5

Based on the well known children's novel The Little White Horse. When Maria's (Dakota Blue Richards) father dies she goes to live with her uncle Sir Benjamin (Ioan Gruffudd) along with her lady maid Miss Heliotrope (Juliet Stevenson). There she discovers she is a Moon Princess and has to avert the end of both waring families trying to find the Moon Pearls. She must bring together Sir Benjamin and his lost love Loveday (Natascha McElhone) who feel out in a Romeo and Juliet style arguement over their family names.

Making things more difficult for Maria is the Coeur De Noir (Tim Curry) and his son Robin (Augustus Prew). Luckily she has Sir Benjamin's black demon dog helping her who is more than he seems and she keeps seeing a unicorn in the gardens guiding her on.

I thought this was a charming film and will definitely be getting the DVD when it is released. Tim Curry always makes a great villian and the magic and fantasy aspects were dealt with really well. It is probably best suited to younger viewers (10 upwards) and for those older but still young at heart.

Director : Woody Allen
Genre : Drama, Romance
Rating : 4.0/5

A sintilating and sexy drama by Woody Allen set in Barcelona. Vicky (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) head on holiday before Vicky gets married to Barcelona where they meet sexy artist Juan Antonio Gonzalo (Javier Bardem). He sets his sights on both girls and tries to seduce both of them. First he tries Cristina but she ends up being sick all night and is out of action for a few days so he turns his charms on to engaged Cristina. She eventuall succumbs, but is saddened to hear Juan Antonio is still after her friend.

Cristina ends up moving in with Juan Antonio and all is going well for them until his demented ex-wife and fellow artist Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz) arrives after having tried to kill herself. She moves in as well and the three find a happy balance where they are all in a relationship together. It seems Cristina was the missing ingredient from the former married couple. Cristina has an itch though and is unable to settle for long. She moves on and Juan Antanio and Marie Elena's relationship quickly falls apart.

A very sexy film without anything explicit which made a lovely change in Hollywood. I adore Rebecca Hall from seeing her in Starter for Ten and The Prestige. I hope for great things from her in the future. Scarlett sizzled alongside sexy Penelope and Javier. They have such great chemistry on set and I will definitely be watching this one again.
Director : Ken Kwapis
Genre : Comedy
Rating : 3.0/5

A look at dating and realtionships. All women are programmed to believe that the meaner a man is the more it must mean he likes you. This film looks at the truths behind the myths as we follow a series of characters whose lives intertwine along the way. First we have Gigi Haim (Ginnifer Goodwin who is a single girl just looking for the right man. She meets Alex (Justin Long) who helps her see the bullshit through the men she dates talk. Then there are Neil Jones (Ben Affleck) and Beth Bartlett (Jennifer Anniston) who are in a long term relationship and living together, but Neil does not want to get married.

Ben Gunders (Bradley Cooper) is married to Janine Gunders (Jennifer Connolly) but is attracted to Anna Taylor (Scarlett Johansson). They are getting their house re-done and Ben just can't seem to help himself stray from his slightly untight wife to free spirited Anna who is a singer and yoga instructer. Mary Harris (Drew Barrymore) is Anna's friend who watches Conor Barry (Kevin Connolly) fall in love with her only to be unrequited.

It was mostly a feel good comedy, but it made more of an impact on me by not tying everyone up with a happy ending. My favourite character was easily Gigi who was such a sweet natured girl putting herself out there despite repeated knock backs. I also quite liked Janine and felt so sorry for her knowing her husband was cheating on her. I was pleased with how she dealt with things in the end. I am interested to read the novel it was based on at some point.

Director : Clint Eastwood
Genre : Drama
Rating : 3.5/5

Clint Eastwood stars as Walt Kowalski, a war vet who isn't close to his family. When his wife dies his son tried to get him to move into a retirement home which he resists and the young local priest Father Janovich (Christopher Carley) is determined to hear his confession. To make matters worse, he seems to be the last white man in the neightbourhood and he has some very strong feelings about those not orignally from America whether they are Black, Hispanic, Itallian, Korean or Chinese etc.

Moving in next door are Sue Lor (Ahney Her) and her brother Thao Vang Lor (Bee Vang). Sue is an intelligent young lady who aspires to go to college. Her young brother who Walt nicknames Toad, is more lost and unsure of his path in life. His cousin is trying to get him to join their gang and as an initiation he is to steal Walt's Gran Torino car. Walt catches him and later breaks up a fight between him and his cousin causing the neighbours to see him as a hero. Walt starts to get on with the locals and helps Thao get a construction job. Meanwhile the gang are getting more violent and determined to bring over Thao. It becomes a battle between them and Walt for the soul of Thao.

I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I was expecting to. Clint gives a great performance along with the supporting cast who are mostly unknown. It's extremely racist all of the way through and it is supposed to be ok as he is racist against all colours and races. It doesn't excuse it and I did flinch quite a lot during the course of the film. There are some horrible scenes and my heart went out to Sue at one point. This is supposed to be Clint's last acting role before moving behind the camera only. It definitely felt like his swan song and was a very fine one at that.


jessi said...

I quite enjoyed Gran Torino. I saw it with a Korean friend of mine, and I was surprised at how amusing she thought Clint Eastwood's character was. I haven't seen the others you mentioned, but I will warn you about the book He's Just Not That Into You: it's a self-help book, not a novel. And it's not that great. My mom gave me a copy a few years ago, and most of the "advice" made me roll my eyes. That's part of the reason I didn't want to see the movie, even though I do like some of the actors in it.

Literary Feline said...

I'm really curious about Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I am not a fan of Woody Allen though, so it's not high up on my list. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it!

I probably will catch He's Not That Into You at some point down the road. It sounds like it would be a fun movie.

I hadn't expected to like Gran Torino as much as I did either. My in-laws really wanted to see it and since they were visiting from out of town, we let them pick the movie.

Kerry said...

I just love The Little White Horse, but I didn't know there was a film. It's nice to hear you liked it, as film adaptions of one's favourite books often seem to be something of a mixed bag. I'll keep an eye out for the film.

Ana S. said...

I hadn't heard of the first one, and it sounds like a lot of fun. Also really looking forward to Vicky Christina Barcelona. I love almost everything Woody Allen has done.

I'm not sure if the third and fourth ones are for me. I've had bad experiences before with Clint Eastwood's movie. I know a lot of people love them, but I just don't enjoy them much.

Rhinoa said...

Jessi - Thanks for the tip, maybe I will give the book a miss afterall.

Literary Feline - It was your review of Gran Torino that made me make the effort to be honest. Vicky Cristina Barcelona is definitely worth checking out, very sexy.

Kerry - I have to admit to having not read the book yet, but I definitely will be after loving the film so much.

Nymeth - To be honest this is the first Clint Eastwood film I have sat down and watched to my shame. I dont think it is a typical film for him (it's not a Western for a start!) if you can make an effort giving it a try.

Ladytink_534 said...

Love the poster for The Secret of Moon Acre. Never read that book before.