Archive for December, 2010

The Year's Best Movies


Because people love lists, I’ve managed to put together a list of  the 10 best movies I’ve seen this year (taking in consideration that I have yet to see “True Grit”, “Black Swan” and other golden globe nominees).  Happy new year everyone!

 
1The Ghost Writer    
                                                  
                                                              

My favorite movie of the year. Roman Polanski may have been busy dealing with the law, but he still managed to create one of his finest piece of work yet. Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor have never been better. Check out the full review here: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/the-ghost-writer/

 
2Inception                                           

                                 

The movie that  left us guessing, debating and wondering  for weeks on end. Need we say more? Christopher Nolan proves once again that he’s one of the finest directors out there. If you still haven’t seen “Inception”, what are you waiting for? Full review: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/inception/

 
3Shutter Island             
                                      
                        

A great companion to “Inception”, “Shutter Island” is proof that Martin Scorcesse can take on any genre and turn it into something beautiful and unique. Leonardo DiCaprio is terrific as a detective investigating the disappearance of a mental prisoner on a remote island. Creepy and masterfully directed by Scorsesse. What an ending! Full review here: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/unforgettable-movies-shutter-island/

 
 
4The Town
                                  
                        

Ben Affleck’s second attempt as a director turned out to be one of his finest movies as an actor aswell. “The Town” is both violent and clever; it’s also a perfect showcase for the talented Jeremy Renner (who was terrific in last year’s “Hurt Locker”) and Rebecca Hall. I love this movie. Full review here: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/the-town-2010/

 
5- Toy Story 3
 
                          

 The toys are back and what a wonderful comeback it was. We waited 11 years for this and let me just say: it was definitely worth the wait. One of the best animated movies ever made. Disney Pixar can be proud. Full review here: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/toy-story-3/

 
 
6-The Social Network
                           
                                 

Jesse Eisenberg is terrific as Mark Zuckenberg, the man behind the social networking site facebook. He totally nailed the role of the computer geek whose mouth works faster than his brain! David Fincher is a master filmmaker, and “The Social Network” is proof of that. Full review here: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/the-social-network-2010/ 

 
7- Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
                      
                               

Combine the efforts of Michael Cera, director Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz”, “Shaun Of The Dead”) and a talented supporting cast that includes Jason Shwartzman, Brandon Routh and Kieran Culkin and what do you get? Gold. “Scott Pilgrim” was not a box office hit, but it’s still a damn fine movie, and definitely one of the smartest films I’ve seen in a very long time! See it! Full review here: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world/

 
 
 8-Un Prophete
                          
                          

I am well aware that this movie was in fact released in 2009, but most of us didn’t get the chance to see it until now, and to not include it on this list would be a damn shame! So here it is, the french movie that knocked everybody off their feet! Full review here: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/un-prophete-2009/

 
 
9- Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part I
                                
                          

Yep a Harry Potter movie has actually made it on my list of best movies of the year. I was surprised myself, but this latest installment in the Harry Potter series is darker and much more entertaining than all the others. It’s a solid buildup to what promises to be one heck of a finale. Bring on part 2! Full review: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-i/

 
 
10-The Kids Are All Right
                     
                         

This small independant movie turned out to be one of the best surprises of the year, and I honestly can’t think of a better movie to include on my list. If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you do; it’s different than anything else you’ve seen this year (and that’s always a good sign). Full review: http://letstalkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/the-kids-are-all-right-2010/

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The Year’s Best Movies


Because people love lists, I’ve managed to put together a list of  the 10 best movies I’ve seen this year (taking in consideration that I have yet to see “True Grit”, “Black Swan” and other golden globe nominees).  Happy new year everyone!

 
1The Ghost Writer    
                                                  
                                                              

My favorite movie of the year. Roman Polanski may have been busy dealing with the law, but he still managed to create one of his finest piece of work yet. Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor have never been better. Check out the full review here: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/the-ghost-writer/

 
2Inception                                           

                                 

The movie that  left us guessing, debating and wondering  for weeks on end. Need we say more? Christopher Nolan proves once again that he’s one of the finest directors out there. If you still haven’t seen “Inception”, what are you waiting for? Full review: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/inception/

 
3Shutter Island             
                                      
                        

A great companion to “Inception”, “Shutter Island” is proof that Martin Scorcesse can take on any genre and turn it into something beautiful and unique. Leonardo DiCaprio is terrific as a detective investigating the disappearance of a mental prisoner on a remote island. Creepy and masterfully directed by Scorsesse. What an ending! Full review here: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/unforgettable-movies-shutter-island/

 
 
4The Town
                                  
                        

Ben Affleck’s second attempt as a director turned out to be one of his finest movies as an actor aswell. “The Town” is both violent and clever; it’s also a perfect showcase for the talented Jeremy Renner (who was terrific in last year’s “Hurt Locker”) and Rebecca Hall. I love this movie. Full review here: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/the-town-2010/

 
5- Toy Story 3
 
                          

 The toys are back and what a wonderful comeback it was. We waited 11 years for this and let me just say: it was definitely worth the wait. One of the best animated movies ever made. Disney Pixar can be proud. Full review here: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/toy-story-3/

 
 
6-The Social Network
                           
                                 

Jesse Eisenberg is terrific as Mark Zuckenberg, the man behind the social networking site facebook. He totally nailed the role of the computer geek whose mouth works faster than his brain! David Fincher is a master filmmaker, and “The Social Network” is proof of that. Full review here: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/the-social-network-2010/ 

 
7- Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
                      
                               

Combine the efforts of Michael Cera, director Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz”, “Shaun Of The Dead”) and a talented supporting cast that includes Jason Shwartzman, Brandon Routh and Kieran Culkin and what do you get? Gold. “Scott Pilgrim” was not a box office hit, but it’s still a damn fine movie, and definitely one of the smartest films I’ve seen in a very long time! See it! Full review here: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/scott-pilgrim-vs-the-world/

 
 
 8-Un Prophete
                          
                          

I am well aware that this movie was in fact released in 2009, but most of us didn’t get the chance to see it until now, and to not include it on this list would be a damn shame! So here it is, the french movie that knocked everybody off their feet! Full review here: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/un-prophete-2009/

 
 
9- Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part I
                                
                          

Yep a Harry Potter movie has actually made it on my list of best movies of the year. I was surprised myself, but this latest installment in the Harry Potter series is darker and much more entertaining than all the others. It’s a solid buildup to what promises to be one heck of a finale. Bring on part 2! Full review: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-i/

 
 
10-The Kids Are All Right
                     
                         

This small independant movie turned out to be one of the best surprises of the year, and I honestly can’t think of a better movie to include on my list. If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest you do; it’s different than anything else you’ve seen this year (and that’s always a good sign). Full review: https://talkabtmovies.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/the-kids-are-all-right-2010/

3 Comments

The Tourist [2010]


Johny Depp looks bored out of his mind as an American visiting Venice to mend a broken heart. Angelina Jolie plays the woman who crosses his path, and uses him as a decoy to convince the police that he is in fact her wanted lover. The two lack chemistry, but that’s just one of the things that went wrong in this awfully uneven movie. “The Tourist” tries to rip off every Hitchcock movie ever made (“North By Northwest”, “To Catch A Thief”…) to no avail. The story is slow and we barely get to see some action. It’s  a “suspense” movie made by people who’ve apparently never seen a suspense movie before; painfully predictable from the word go. Some might say that the real star here is Venice itself; it’s true that the locations are beautiful, but even the locations can’t make up for a weak script. I wonder why Depp and Jolie got themselves mixed up with this in the first place (they both deserve better).

Fun fact: Angelina Jolie admitted in an interview with Vogue Magazine that the only reason she agreed to do this movie was because she knew it would be a “quick shoot” in Venice, Italy.

Rating: 2/4

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The Invisible Man [1933]


One of the best movies of its genre, telling the story of a scientist (Claude Rains in an unforgettable role) who finds a way to make himself invisible, becoming mentally unstable as a result. It seems that one of the drugs he used has properties that can turn a man insane. Believing he can take over the world, our man recruits a fellow scientist and decides to install a reign of invisble terror. You might think that with today’s technology, the 1933 version would look ridiculous. Think again. In fact, I’ve never seen anything quite like it before: Claude Rains doesn’t spend much time on physical acting, but this is made up for with a dazzling array of special effects (considering this was made 77 years ago). His voice does all the work, and I don’t think there will ever be a better man for this role. We get to see his shirt dancing, things flying around the room, and a bicyle riding on its own! There’s some real movie magic at work here, and you don’t need today’s technology to admire such a wonderful and visually stunning film.

Fun fact: In order to achieve the effect that Claude Rains wasn’t there when his character took off the bandages, the director had Rains dressed completely in black velvet and filmed him in front of a black velvet background.

Rating: 3/4

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Little Fockers [2010]


In a year of craptaculars, “Little Fockers” deserves burial at the bottom of the sea (“Skyline” looks like you’re off the hook). No one expected Shakespeare, but Paul Weitz’s failure to cap his franchise with any real meaning can easily be ranked as one of the biggest disappointments of the year. This third (and hopefully last) installment should have been called “The Final Insult” instead. I can’t remember the last time I had a horrible time watching a comedy (or is it one?). “Little Fockers” reunites the same cast from the previous movie (a pleasant enough movie) and puts them in an extremely unfunny story about Jack Byrnes (Robert DeNiro) who feels it’s time to appoint a successor for the family. Meanwhile Greg Focker and his family are about to celebrate the twins’s birthday. Or something like that. Jokes include vomit, blood, a fight between Jack and Greg, and an awful scene in which DeNiro “accidentally” takes an erection pill (you can probably guess the rest). We waited 6 years for this, it wasn’t worth the wait. Casting Jessica Alba as a drug representative is like assigning Paris Hilton the role of a neurosurgeon. Screw those fockers!

Fiasco!

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12 Angry Men [1957]


Completely absorbing movie starring Henry Fonda as a juror who is convinced that a boy who is accused of murdering his father is completely innocent. But how will he  convince the rest of the jury, when they have no doubt in mind  that the defendant is guilty of all charges? Rarely a movie manages to keep you interested right through the closing credits, but “12 Angry Men” does exactly that; it’s a tense and powerful film (Sydnet Lumet’s directorial debut) with an unforgettable cast.  Lumet is an expert in filmmaking, but this is by far his greatest contibution to the movie business. He managed to create a masterpiece (that’s right!) and I strongly believe that it will easily stand the test of time (afterall its been 53 years since its release and it’s still a fascinating movie to watch). Some consider it as one of the all time greats; I couldn’t agree more.

Fun fact: Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Courtroom Drama”.

 

Rating: 4/4

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The Big Lebowski [1998]


One big funny joke, courtesy of the Coen brothers, about an unemployed slacker better known as “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges in a one of a kind hilarious role) who’s mistaken for a big shot millionaire of the same name, and then gets hired by the guy to deliver a ransom when his wife is kidnapped. The plan goes beserk when The Dude’s friend (John Goodman) schemes to keep the full ransom instead of delivering it. If you’re a fan of the Coen brothers, then you’re probably familiar with “The Big Lebowski”. Afterall, Jeff Bridges’s character has become an icon in today’s pop culture (I’m “The Dude” man!). But is it their best work? I don’t think so. It’s very funny, with plenty of amusing and memorable characters (John Turturo is hilarious as Jesus the bowler), but I wouldn’t rank it on the same level as “Fargo”. But still, there’s a lot to enjoy here, and it’s definitely hard to dismiss any movie directed by the Coens and starring the legendary Jeff Bridges (is he the man or what?).

Rating: 3/4

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