Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm still not sure what Prada is....

So I was watching The Devil Wears Prada with some friends a few days was decent. Personally, I don't think it was much more than decent. Sure the acting was good all around, no huge standout performances, but good, sound acting. The music was fine, I didn't really notice it. It was pretty funny at times, but I wouldn't consider it a comedy. I just thought this story was average. The film was based on a book, so if I were to go by the film, the book was average. I wouldn't buy this film, I really have no interest in seeing it again. There are some good points made, but they don't make this film stand out. Really, all this film has going for it is the humor.

I didn't hate this film, it just didn't stand out or make me want to see it again. It don't think it deserved the 2 Oscar nominations it received. The Devil Wears Prada runs 109 minutes and is rated PG-13. I don't think kids would really enjoy it, so don't bother showing it to them. I give it 6 ramheads out of 10.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Every woman needs a blowtorch....

Julia Child was one of the most influential Americans to the "servantless" housewife. She taught America to cook and, more importantly, to eat. Julie and Julia is the story of two similar woman, in two different periods of time. It follows Julia Child learning to cook in France and Julie Powell, cooking through Child's cookbook and blogging about it in Queens.

Meryl Streep does a brilliant job as Child and Amy Adams really gets you to root for her. Stanley Tucci does an awesome job as Paul Child (Julia's husband). I thought the film-makers did a good job recreating the 50s Paris...and the 2002 New York. I was pleasantly surprised when this film featured married couples, and not just people living together. Dang society, making immorality the norm....

It is a cute little movie that will appeal mostly to those who can appreciate Julia Child and her impact on cooking in America. I took my fiance to see it last night, she grew up on Baking with Julia on PBS and she loved the movie. I can appreciate it, but it isn't my favorite movie by any means. It is a cute, funny, heartwarming movie for any American who loves food, with a side of humor. If you have ever watched Julia Child, you will probably enjoy this movie.

The film is still in theatres, runs 123 minutes and is rated PG-13 for some language. Younger kids wouldn't really get it. Older kids probably wouldn't either. I wouldn't bother taking them to see it unless they've seen Julia Child cooking shows.

I'll give it 8 ramheads out of 10 for being a pleasantly nice movie.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I promised this one a long time ago....

I was there at the midnight showing, second in line with my fiance. We waited 4 1/2 hours in line to see this. It was worth every second.

That's right, I really enjoyed Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). It showcased the best acting I've seen in a Harry Potter movie, the best production value, and created the mood and setting extremely well.

This movie had a mixed setting: young love and terror of death. I truly believe that even though they left some things out from the book, and changed a few things to make them work on the big screen, this movie was a solid Harry Potter movie. It embodied everything a Harry Potter movie should, and did so--in my opinion--better than any of its predecessors. It created the setting, the magic, the story, and it did so believably. It didn't lose any completely necessary part of the plot, and added only one unnecessary scene: the Burrow getting blown up. It was a good scene, don't get me wrong, but I don't feel it was needed for the story.

The acting in this film was significantly better than in previous Harry Potter films. Emma Watson, the actress who plays Hermione Granger, finally figured out that she doesn't have to move her eyebrows when she speaks. Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) gives a spectacular performance. Jim Broadbent (Slughorn) is new to the Harry Potter films, but he does an awesome job as well.

The music did an excellent job of creating a dark and depressing mood when it needed to and a flirty funny mood during times of teen drama. The soundtrack is a good one.

The film is a well made film and could be enjoyed by those who are not Harry Potter fans.

This film is rated PG-13 and runs 153 minutes.

I give this one 9 out of 10 ramheads.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Titanic is a Great Movie, So What?

Yeah, that's right. I really enjoyed Titanic (1997) and declare it my favorite "Chick-Flick" of all time. This movie really gets to your heart. James Cameron, the director did an excellent job of movie-making. I read that he was a super perfectionist and I'm glad, he made this movie what it is. I also read this movie was extremely expensive, I'm also glad about this, money helps. On to acting....

Kate Winslet does a sensational job convincing me of her character, her struggle against the upper-class expectations, her situation. Leonardo DiCaprio is just a good all-around actor. He's convincing and easy to like. This movie features a lot of good acting from, not only the main character, but the supporting roles and extras as well.

The thing that really gets me about this movie is the historical accuracy. I don't claim to be a historian, but nothing in this movie is completely absurd and I can comfortably believe it as history or close to it. I read that the center propeller is done wrong, but who cares? I like how they work in some historical characters: John Jacob Aster, Molly Brown, and Thomas Andrews (the ship builder). They even work in some historical people who were crew members and some in smaller roles. Details go a long way. It made me happy to read that some of the smaller roles represent actual people, not just movie fakes. This film really does a good, believable job of representing the time period. The costumes, the attitudes, and the actions of all the characters convinced me that they were in the early 1900s.

I like the history a lot, but the plot combined with history is what made this film the highest grossing film of all time and won it 11 Oscars. The love story. Classic, but not copycatting anyone. It gets you right in the heart. They really excelled in the area of romance and did an excellent job transitioning to the quick survival mode during the hour and a half of sinking. This movie kept me on my toes and didn't lose my interest for one second, even though it was three hours long.

The technical aspects of this movie are excellent as well. The special effects are very good, the sinking of the ship was almost entirely done by computer. For 1997, these are top notch effects. The music was also sensational. I am currently listening to the soundtrack, which happens to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, and became the best selling orchestral soundtrack of all time. It really brings the already amazing movie to the top tier of movies.

Like I said before, I really love this movie. It is rated PG-13 and runs 194 minutes. I wouldn't let anyone too young see it.

Even though this movie wasn't perfect, I'm still going to go ahead and give it 10 ramheads out of 10.

Will Ferrell....acting?

Sure we've seen him in comedies, but he's not really acting, he's just being himself. Yeah he's funny, but that's just what he does. So when I heard that Stranger than Fiction (2006) isn't really a comedy, I was intrigued. Will Ferrell plays an IRS agent who lives a very routine and boring life. Then one day he's hears a voice. A voice that no one else can hear. This voice narrates his life. It wasn't until the voice said he would die when he really needed to figure this out. He tries to track down his "author" and stop her from killing him.

Will Ferrell does a surprisingly good job in a serious role. The story is really interesting and unexpected and the plot moves at a good pace. Co-stars Maggie Gyllenhaal (Dark Knight), Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and Queen Latifah make this a solid cast and the movie just makes you happy and sad at the same time. Don't expect a comedy.

It runs 113 minutes and is rated PG-13. Pretty much anyone can watch it, anyone under 13 wouldn't really enjoy it. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10 and recommend it.

Part II of my Summer Mini-Reviews

Yeah, I know, I haven't posted in a long time...I've been working and traveling and watching movies. SO, without further ado, REVIEWS:

The first movie I'm going to review is one I watched this morning.

Lord of War -2005-
Lord of War stars Nicolas Cage as an arms dealer who sells to anyone and everyone who will pay him. He marries a model, lives like a rich man and single-handedly supplies guns to thousands of RUF and other "revolutionary" and "patriotic" forces in Africa with child soldiers. This movie is loosely based on actual events (meaning it happens, just not with Nic Cage). It is sad to face the fact that this happens. It is rated R and runs for 123 minutes. Don't show this to anyone under 18. It is very well done and I give it 7 ramheads out of 10.
Lord of War's depiction of wars in Africa reminded me of another movie that deals with similar conflict.

Blood Diamond -2006- Blood Diamond stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of a South Afrikaner who smuggles "blood diamonds", those diamonds that are sold to fund conflicts. He gets word of a large red diamond and wants it for himself. DiCaprio does a tremendous job with the accent and the character. He's a very good actor and he's very believable. The story is extremely moving and does a good job of getting its point across. Here's another essay I wrote about the movie: The movie is rated R and runs 143 minutes. I wouldn't show this to anyone under 15ish. I really suggest watching this movie. It will change your perspective of the world. I give it 9 ramheads out of 10.
This brings me to another movie I watched starring Leonardo DiCaprio. I watched it last night.

Catch Me If You Can -2002-I've always enjoyed this movie. It is a little long, but so what. Leonard DiCaprio and Tom Hanks both do an awesome job. They are convincing, they are easy to like, and they are funny. This movie is based on the true story of Frank Abignale Jr. and his amazing feats of impersination, check fraud, and stealing of millions of dollars, all before his 19th birthday. If you haven't seen it, watch it. If you've seen it, watch it again. This movie is rated PG-13 for some language and runs 141 minutes. I give it 8 ramheads out of 10.Finally, I'm going to give a quick review of the Ocean's 11-13 movies. -2001, 2004, 2007-

These movies are funny, clever, and packed to the brim with big name actors. The endings are always awesome. I recommend these movies to pretty much everyone. They are rated PG-13 and run between 113 and 126 minutes. I rate them 7 ramheads out of 10.