I just thought I’d let everyone know: this blog is not active anymore. I’ve moved, over to The Racked Focus. Please, if you like what you’ve read here, go there and check out everything that’s going on! I’m moving the reviews I’ve written here over to there, and adding new content regularly. Thank you for all of your support!
The King’s Speech 
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Claire Bloom, Orlando Wells, Derek Jacobi, Jennifer Ehle, Eve Best, Timothy Spall, Anthony Andrews
Director: Tom Hooper
Screenwriter: David Seidler
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be born into royalty. That kind of life, for all the material wealth it provides, must be in so many ways devoid of any real human interaction. It’s a world that is so distant from “commoners” that imagining the rigidity of daily life is almost incomprehensible. Even more so are the expectations put upon each individual within that family. It is with this in mind that The King’s Speech develops itself. It is, as many have said, a rousing crowd pleaser. But to dismiss it as just that misses the point entirely. The film, acted with perfection and deftly scripted and directed, slowly reveals itself as a beautifully observant story of friendship between two unlikely men.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 
Starring: Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick
Director: Edgar Wright
Screenwriter: Michael Bacall, Edgar Wright
Scott Pilgrim is, in many regards, the movie of this generation; of my generation. The cultural references are to video games, comic books and new media. Its outlook on life is one that feels uniquely in touch with many of the sensibilities I feel myself and my peers hold. It’s also a movie that I can imagine people saying, “maybe I have to read the comic to fully understand it”. Although I agree that it’s difficult not to think of an adaptation in how it relates to its source, I also believe that adaptations should stand on their own and not rely on an understanding of the source to get the most out of them. Fortunately for Scott Pilgrim, it does stand on its own.
Nosferatu: The Vampyre 
Starring: Klaus Kinski, Isabelle Adjani, Bruno Ganz
Director: Werner Herzog
Screenwriter: Werner Herzog
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more beautiful vampire film, and I’ve seen quite a few. Writing this review when I’m writing it, with the onslaught of tween-themed vampire franchises like Twilight, and even more enjoyable fare like HBO’s True Blood, I think makes me appreciate Herzog’s film more than I might have ever been able to appreciate it in a time when vampires were not the “in” thing. Now, it seems so fresh.
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Screenwriter: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman
Here is a movie that begins with promise and ends with disappointment. It’s a movie that tries so hard to be different, and to find a niche that separates itself from other so-called “comic book movies”. Its premise relies on that very idea. Unfortunately, it’s a premise that doesn’t carry through to the end, and along the way quickly unravels.
Well, my predictions were pretty decent. If you look at the ones on this site, there’s a slight difference: I ended up going with The Hurt Locker for Best Original Screenplay. My computer has been down the past few days and didn’t think to change it. At my school every year they project the Oscars in the multi-purpose room, and have a contest for prizes. The people who can guess the most correct winners get the prize. I ended up with second place, correctly guessing 17/24 categories in total. The ones I missed:
Note: This post contains spoilers about The Hurt Locker. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t like spoilers, I recommend not reading the post. But it’s up to you.
Tokyo Tom Baker partially answers an inquiry I had earlier concerning the use of Gears of War in The Hurt Locker, which can be found on my blog, but also over at Roger Ebert’s website here. He writes on his blog, and in his review of the film,
“The theme of seeking order amid chaos is also apparent in a scene in which a soldier named Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) tries to lose himself in a violent video game after making a shoot/don’t-shoot decision that cost a friend his life. In a video game, you get a second chance to shoot, and you can do it over and over until you get it right.”
My response after the jump.