Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

This movie takes place in a very tough neighborhood in Boston where a 3-year-old girl, Amanda, has gone missing. The girl's mother is a drug-addict and a neglectful mother who was doing drugs when her little girl was taken. Patrick (Casey Affleck) and his girlfriend Angela (Michelle Monaghan) run a private detective business who are hired by the little girl's aunt and uncle. Patrick uses his knowledge and contacts in the neighborhood to find out who the child's mother was hanging around and what she was up to. Patrick and Angela are working with two cops, one of which is played by Ed Harris, to find the little girl. The police chief is played by Morgan Freeman. They find out that the mother stole a large sum of money from a drug dealer so at first it seems that the drug dealer also kidnapped the little girl. So an easy exchange of the money for the little girl, right? Of course not. The exchange goes wrong and it seems that the little girl gets lost in the mess. But nothing seems to add up and Patrick starts looking back at what he thought were truths. The end of this movies poses a very troubling and tough decision. I am still not 100% sure what the right decision is. My gut says clearly the obvious one but that one isn't perfect either. Plus, with the ending you are almost assured that your initial gut instinct was right. Great movie.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Dreams May Come (1998)

I know, I know. I can't believe I am just now getting around to watching this movie. This movie stars Robin Williams as Chris Nielson who finds his soulmate in Annie (Annabella Sciorra). The classic story of they meet in a very romantic, chance encounter and fall in love. They get married, build a life and have children. And then tragedy befalls this seemingly atypical family. First, their two children are killed in a car accident and then, four years later Chris dies in a car wreck himself. Once Chris is dead, he encounters Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character who guides him through the new and strange stage of his afterlife. At first, Chris has a hard time leaving his wife because she is having a very hard time with his death. After awhile, though, he realizes he is actually making her grief worse and decides to fully embrace his reality. He slowly finds and meets some people in the afterlife who are very special people. Then he finds outs his wife who has not been able to cope with his death, has killed herself. The unfortunate part is she doesn't get to join him in the wonderful afterlife he has discovered because of her suicide. She has to remain in hell unless she can forgive herself and let go of her current reality which she believes she is still alive. This seemingly is an impossibility. Chris is determined to find her and try to convince her and save her. The cinematography and visual effects in this movie are absolutely spectacular. Such a creative and tangible use of colors and imagery. A major point of this movie was about true and deep love transcending life and death. This movie made me think about my own views not of heaven and hell but of true love and soul mates. Do they actually exist? Part of me thinks this movie is extremely uplifting and the other part of me feels like the idea of soul mates can be an daunting endeavor. Maybe, I am just in a weird mood. Anyway, definitely a great movie that makes you feel good and think about things.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You Again (2010)

So this movie is a pretty enjoyable, easy to watch film. Marni (Kristen Bell) who was a dork in high school who was terrorized by Johanna (Odette Yustman). Marni has successfully shed her old high school nerdy ways to become a success in PR. She is heading home for her brother's upcoming nuptials to a bride she has yet to met and the bride, of course, turns out to be Johanna. Also, Jamie Lee Curtis plays Marni's mom whose rival in high school was Johanna's aunt played by Sigourney Weaver. Betty White plays Marni's grandmother who is absolutely hilarious, as always. I thought this movie was very similar to 27 Dresses, especially the rehearsal dinner scene. At first, Johanna pretends that she doesn't remember Marni from high school which of course makes Marni that much more uncomfortable. And it seems while Marni has been gone, Johanna has made herself comfortable in Marni's family. Then it becomes to clear (only to Marni) that Johanna does in fact remember her from high school and has no intention of apologizing or admitting to anyone what she was like in high school. On top of all of this, Marni's mom and Johanna's aunt are having their own competition going on. Johanna seems to be a different person than the horrible person she was in high school but you are always unsure if it is all just an act. Eventually, it all comes out in the most embarrassing of situations but of course there is a very happy ending for everyone. I enjoy watching movies like this every once in awhile. Definitely, a feel good movie. Kind of a mix between 27 Dresses and Never Been Kissed.

The Collector (2009)

So I absolutely love scary movies. My dad and I are always looking for more scary movies. The scarier, the gorier, the better. You have to watch a lot of bad ones too. Maybe sometime I will make a list of the top worst ones I have seen. Now that would be fun!! Any way, so about The Collector. This movie opens to, of course, a seemingly perfect, rich family that is having some home maintenance before they head off for a family vacation. Arkin (Josh Stewart) is a local contractor fixing small things around the house and there is also a team of exterminators. Initially, Arkin seems a bit shady. The man of the house is kind to Arkin and gives him extra money when he is paying him to help take care of Arkin's family, especially his daughter. Turns out Arkin's wife owes some loan shark an unknown amount of money. Arkin had promised to return with the amount but falls short and promises to come up with the rest. Arkin makes plans with some friends from his time in jail to break into the house he has been working on.
Unfortunately for Arkin, someone is already in the house. While trying to determine the safe combination, he hears the woman of the house scream for her life. So the family has a dad, a mom, a teenager daughter (played by Madeline Zima), and a young girl named Hannah. He maneuvers around a crazy man in a super creepy S&M type mask throughout the house to find the mom and the dad in the basement. He finds out the older daughter left before the crazy man attacked but Hannah is missing. Not to mention that the crazy man has psycho booby-trapped the entire house. The movie is pretty gory, lots of torture and suspense. The ending is very typical of this type of movie. Don't watch if you have a weak stomach but definitely worth a watch otherwise!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Munich (2005)

A very emotionally charged movie about the horrific tragedy that happened at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Eric Bana's character, Avner, is a Mossad agent that is tasked with a team of five to take down the 11 people responsible for planning the kidnapping and killing of the Jewish athletes at the Olympic games. Geoffrey Rush and Daniel Craig are included in the mixed group that help Avner to execute their mission. The scenery of the movie is awesome as it takes place over various different geographical locations such as France, Germany, Greece, England, New York, Beirut, and Israel. I think the overall theme of this movie is that violence doesn't solve violence, it just escalates it. I know this movie touches on a very sensitive and divided topic about the Israel/Palestine debate. I think this movie tries to make arguments for both sides of the conflict but is definitely more towards the Israel side. This movie was very well made and I loved all of the different uses of languages. I think this is a good movie to watch for a glimpse into the unfortunate struggle of these people that has been going on for too long with no end in sight and no clear solution. Maybe it will make more people aware of this situation that is still very real.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

So I literally just watched this movie at the theater. Basically, it was a alien/war movie. I thought the emotional component was definitely there. I thought that the movie's overall theme was our human nature being tested. Our emotional and vulnerable sides being tested against unfeeling, robotic like creatures. Aaron Eckhart plays a conflicted staff sergeant who is struggling with ending his career as a marine after a horrible combat situation and fighting for his life with a group of marines who believe he was a careless leader. The movie also had a lot of comedic relief considering the intensity throughout the movie. I did think that we could have seen more of the aliens or maybe learned more about their culture, background, etc.

Sorry it has been awhile...

It has been awhile since I last posted anything. I have more time on my hands now and so I plan on keeping up with this blog much more regularly. I have still been watching tons of movies so more reviews to definitely come.