Review – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

December 30, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [2008]

Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Taraji P. Henson
Director: David Fincher
Screenwriter: Eric Roth

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of the most disappointing films of 2008. Here is a film that has an incredibly skilled director, a talented cast and great technical credits, and yet despite all this, the payoff of the film is one where I felt cheated, let down, and frankly, a bit angry.

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On “Best of” Lists

December 29, 2009

I have a bit of a problem with the idea of making a “best” list. Individually-speaking. Passing off one’s individual opinion on what constitutes the “10 best movies of the year,” for example, seems kind of snobbish to me. Perhaps film critics are supposed to be snobbish to an extent, but why does it have to be that way? It’s also kind of funny that anyone can claim to know what the “10 best films” are of a given year, given the fact that so many films are released. Of the hundreds of movies released in the United States each year, how many of them will I see, for example? Not even close to a majority of them. Granted, I don’t have the luxury (or lack there of?) to go to every movie playing in a theater on any given weekend. But even those with press passes, who go to lots of film festivals, etc., are not going to see every film in the year in order to make a truly overarching judgment.

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Can Michael Cera Actually Act?

December 29, 2009

With Michael Cera’s new movie, Youth in Revolt coming out soon, I couldn’t help but ask myself if he can actually act. What I’m hearing is that he can. By this I’m only referring to the fact that he’s played essentially the same exact character since he debuted to the world in Arrested Development. There hasn’t really been much of a change at all in the way he’s interpreted these characters. Whether it be Bleeker in Juno, or a “caveman” in Year One, he always plays the awkward teenager trying to find love. And delivering his lines in the exact same way. I’ll grant you that this worked in Arrested Development, and it worked perfectly for Bleeker, and even for his role in Superbad. But it was around then when I started to think, “is this kid a brilliant actor, or is it just that he can’t play anyone, or anything, else?” The latter certainly seems to be winning.

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Review – Avatar

December 29, 2009

Avatar [2009]

Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver
Director: James Cameron
Screenwriter: James Cameron

Note: I saw this movie in IMAX 3D, and so my review reflects that experience of the film. I can’t comment on seeing it in 2D. But given the fact that Cameron suggested people see it in 3D, and IMAX if possible, I think my review is reflective of seeing the movie “the way it was meant to be seen”, especially if you’re one of those people who believe that the medium is the message.

One of the most pleasant feelings in the world for me is for my skepticism to be proven wrong. I love going into a movie and coming out feeling fully satisfied. I love wonderful surprises where what I think might be a mediocre experience is an exceptional one. Let me begin by stating that leading up to seeing this movie, I was a huge skeptic. I have never been a fan of 3D, and was thoroughly unimpressed by the first “teaser” trailer. I mocked and derided the film with my friends, playfully, but still mocked it nonetheless. Yet as I sat in the theater, watching Avatar unfold before me, my skepticism and doubt quickly faded away, and an elated joy took over. James Cameron had done it.

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Review – Up in the Air

December 28, 2009

Up in the Air [2009]

Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman
Director: Jason Reitman
Screenwriter: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Sometimes a movie comes along that’s so tightly put together, so well acted and directed, and so brilliantly executed, that it’s impossible to deny its place as one of the best films of the year. Up in the Air is one of those films. Considering this is only Jason Reitman’s third film, after the wonderful Thank You For Smoking, and charming Juno, I’m starting to wonder how his streak of brilliance can continue, and furthermore, how long he can continue to make his movies better than the last. It’s hard to imagine him topping Up in the Air.

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Opening Up Again!

December 28, 2009

Ok, so I’m an indecisive person. I know that. But honestly, I can’t get away from my love of film. And I doubt I ever will. With the encouragement of all of my friends and family, I’ve decided to return to writing movie reviews, and perhaps more film commentary.

I have a movie radio show now, too, at my college, and that’s really pushed me into getting back into movies. I’m going to be diligently working on writing some new reviews to post here by the end of the week. I’ll try to have weekly updates with new reviews, too. Either that or just post them when I can. The point is, I’m gonna be working on this blog more often. I’ve already established it as a movie blog. I’m going to do more advertising for it, on my radio show and on Twitter. I really hope to have a fun time doing it.

Thanks to all the people who gave their thumbs up to whether I should review movies again.