Posts Tagged ‘2010’

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REVIEW: Remember Me (2010)

August 11, 2010

First off, let me just say that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t excel at being particularly objective when trying to choose a movie to watch. If you’ve read any of my previews, then you know that I scrutinize a lot of specific things when I’m deciding whether I think a movie will turn out to be worth 90+ of my minutes. In fact, I very rarely see movies with an entirely open mind at first and it’s often difficult for me to eliminate all of my preconceptions before I sit down to watch something. So being that I am a 16-year old male, you can imagine what kind of prejudices were hanging out in the back corner of my mind when I settled down to watch Remember Me– a film that looked like a sequel to Dear John with none other than that overnight-phenomenon, Twilight heartthrob leading the show. That being said…

Remember Me is not a unique romantic drama. Nor is it a special romantic drama. In fact, it’s really not a romantic drama at all. It is the story of the lives of two 21-year old New Yorkers who are still dealing with their grief over deceased family members. One is Tyler Hawkins (Robert Pattinson), a lost and rebellious bookstore employee who blames his dad for his older brother’s suicide and is “undecided about everything”. The other is Ally Craig (Emilie de Ravin), a college student who witnessed her mother’s murder at a young age and now lives with her overprotective cop father (Chris Cooper), living her life to the fullest and eating dessert before her entree at every dinner in order to make sure that if she were ever to meet an untimely death during her meal, she would at least have made it to one final indulgence.

The film focuses primarily on Tyler, observing the many problems he must endure, ranging from coping with the inescapable memory of the loss of his brother; an 11-year old art-prodigy sister (Ruby Jerins) who is unfairly teased and tormented by her classmates; and a cold, distant father (Pierce Brosnan) who ignores him and his sister both… to the troublemaking antics of his roommate, Aidan (Tate Ellington), and a broken deadbolt.

After his inability to keep his mouth shut lands him and roommate Aidan in jail for a night- courtesy of none other than Ally’s father himself, Tyler makes a deal with Aidan to sleep with Ally and then subsequently leave her to get revenge on her father. Of course, this devious and mean-spirited ploy sets into motion a relationship that transcends all of Tyler’s childish intentions, but at the same time, brings even more troubles into his life.

As I mentioned before, despite misleading trailers and marketing campaigns, this film is not primarily a romantic drama. While it’s certainly difficult to convince one of this notion with words alone (and given what seems to be a very romantic drama-ish plot), it’s an important reminder to remember when seeing the film. Many- both common moviegoers and critics- have cited their disappointment with the movie’s ending because it supposedly strayed from the film’s romantic tendencies. However, the ending reveals the movie’s true essence and conveys its intended message. In an effort to keep the review spoiler-free, I will refrain from elaborating on the ending any more, because- while I won’t guarantee that your viewing experience will be undermined by knowing the nature of the ending ahead of time- it is certainly crucial to the intended impact of the film that you don’t know about it beforehand. I’ll get to more on my thoughts about the ending later, for those of you who have seen the movie already.

In other departments, the film hardly ever excels above and beyond a simply decent production, however, certain aspects absolutely exceeded my expectations. Robert Pattinson’s acting didn’t blow me away, but managed to reconcile him from my list of actors who don’t deserve to be in the industry at all (if you’re wondering who’s still stranded on that unforgivable list… Zac Efron, Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, and Keanu Reeves are just a few of the top candidates I would vote out of the Hollywood tribe). I’m not about to jump the bandwagon of spellbound tweenage girls and run out to buy an Edward Cullen poster to plaster on my wall, but I will say that I was impressed with his abilities here. It’s true that he’s one of the best at brooding and sulking and even if that’s all he’s great at, at least it’s something. Emilie de Ravin isn’t quite as exceptional, but still puts in a strong performance. In the grand scheme of things, Chris Cooper and young rising star Ruby Jerins (she’s a regular in Nurse Jackie, but I’m now convinced she deserves an even bigger role in the near future) were the standout performers in my opinion as the loving but conflicted father and the misunderstood, too-mature-for-her-age sister. Pierce Brosnan, too, is exceptional in a way that makes you incapable of resisting your inner urge to hate his character and then find yourself sympathizing with him just a little bit, even if you don’t want to.

Some interactions breed a tad too much melodrama, the writing is far from flawless, and the dialogue is not without the occasional line that borders the edge of too-cutesy-to-hold-back-the-laughter, but these are all things you have to expect (not necessarily forgive) in a film that deals heavily with the relationship of two 21-year olds. For first time writer Will Fetters (who finished most of the script several years ago when he was only 22) and small-time-experience director Allen Coulter, the execution and production value of the film are enough to engage you for its full 113 minute runtime and feel satisfied with the time you spent. But if there’s any one element that sets it a step ahead of most other films of a similar nature (other than, of course, the ending… which I still can not ruin for those who haven’t seen it), it’s probably the film’s ability to feel genuine on many of its several layers. More than anything, the relationship between Tyler and his sister is admirably real and the chemistry between the two actors is particularly apparent. And on a greater scale, almost the entire cast give performances that feel collectively authentic, which is perhaps what allows the movie to create the meaningful effect that it does and leave you stunned by the ending.

In the end, the product that Coulter, Fetters, and their noteworthy cast accomplish is a well-constructed and– dare I say– captivating story of the lives of seemingly real New York individuals and the ways they deal with their unfortunate hardships and interactions, without pretending to give us the answers to our own problems or ostentatiously displaying to the audience how relationships are supposed to work. It’s flawed, but its strong points outweigh the weak ones, giving it the weight it requires to make an impact.

P.S.  If you’re interested in my take on the ending and my VERY mercilessly critical response to the way in which critics and many viewers have reacted to it, stay tuned for a later update in a lengthy, unrestrained, editorial-like style. It will come with a sufficiently sized spoiler alert, as I do STRONGLY advise those who have yet to see the film to avoid spoiling the ending for yourselves and make an effort to see it.

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POLL: What has been the best movie of 2010 so far? (Pick up to 3)

August 9, 2010

With the resurrection of the blog, comes a new poll!

Over half of the year has gone by now (more like flown by at high speeds) and although I have been severely disappointed with the lack of quality films that we’ve seen– particularly compared to last year’s great output, we’ve seen some good ones and even a few great ones already. It’s been a slow summer for Hollywood, but here’s to hoping that the best ones were saved for the end of the year.

I still have many of the more limited release films to catch up with and also some of the bigger ones too. In time, that will be fixed and I’ll post my Best of 2010 list for thus far. Until then, cast your vote and let your voice be heard about the which movies you think have been the best yet. There are 12 options, with 3 available choices per vote. Sadly, there wasn’t enough space to add ALL of the movies that should maybe be in contention for the title, but I tried to include the more popular ones.

Click “read more” just below and vote there or use the poll at the bottom of the right sidebar (on any page of the site). Add comments if you wish (by selecting “View Comments” at the bottom of the poll once you’ve voted)! Feedback is always greatly appreciated.

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February Film Preview — What To See and What to Skip

February 3, 2010

This February will be a month with many decent DVD releases that everyone should check out and, although it seems to be a bit of a slow month for film releases, there are a couple movies hitting the theaters that appear to have some potential.

As we approach the Oscars, we’re really just starting to wrap up the 2009 film year and it’s almost to the point where it does actually feel like a new year. By the end of the month, you can expect to see my favorites list for 2009, my top 30 of the last decade, and the remaining sections of my 6-part preview of the upcoming year.

For now, click Read More to move on and read the February preview for both movies coming to theaters and movies coming to DVD.

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2010 Preview – Movies to Watch For in 2010, Part 1 of 6

January 31, 2010

If there’s anything I learned from my original 2009 predictions, it’s that, 75% of the time, the movies you anticipate the most end up disappointing you the most and the movies you never expected to stand out much end up surprising you completely. So while the next six articles on the subject are devoted to previewing the upcoming year in film and predicting the good and the bad, things will most likely not go as planned. And when do they? Well, yeah, when a project comes up with Martin Scorsese directing a modern Boston mob drama starring Leo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, and Mark Wahlberg, it’s kinda destined to be a brilliant piece of awesomeness. But generally, movies sound a lot better during production than they end up playing out on the big screen on release night.

THE VIRTUOSO’S LAW OF PREDICTING THE QUALITY OF FILMS:

  • Section A — If a movie sounds too good to be true, then it will be nowhere near as good as you expect. (True exactly 91.4% of the time. Negated if the film is directed by either Christopher Nolan or David Fincher, at which point you can rest assured it will be amazing.)
  • Section B — If the plot of a movie seems to make absolutely no sense and sounds as if it would be the most boring concept ever, it’ll win an Oscar. Probably more than one. (True exactly 87.5% of the time. Unless, of course, it sounds like a film you might even possibly enjoy. Then, all bets are off on the whole winning an Oscar thing. In fact, the Academy will probably ignore it completely at that point.)
  • Section C — If a movie sounds like complete crap, give it a chance. If you expect nothing, you have the best odds of being surprised. And it’s these films that tend to surprise the most.

This preview is more of an attempt to make readers more aware of upcoming projects than it is a valid source of predictions. In fact, I hope that not all 42 movies that I’ll be anticpitating my anticipation for in this article are half as deserving of my anticipation as I’m anticipating. Because if all 42 were great, how much harder would it be for me to decide on a top 10 list in 12 months? Yeah, that’s right. I’m the guy who hopes to be disappointed by at least 32 films this year just so it’s that much easier to populate my top ten list at the end of the year. That’s a lazy “critic” thinking ahead for ya. I know, I know… I’m brilliant. Please. Save your praise for the comments.

But I digress. Bottom line… Don’t let my predictions sway your opinions about the quality of these films before you see them. Or at least until you see the trailer. UNLESS, of course, I really sound like I know what I’m talking about. At which point, I probably actually know the least about what I’m saying, but in some ironic twist of fate, I’ll end up being completely right. Trust me. I’ve seen it happen far too many times to give up on the theory now.

Anyway, let’s get on with it all… before you realize how much I’m actually discouraging you to read the rest of this potentially useless article. Read on for part 1 of 6 in this preview. Expect subsequent parts in the near future.

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67th Golden Globes Preview – Television

January 17, 2010

Be sure to check out my Film Preview also for the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards, broadcasting tonight at 8 PM EST on NBC. But here is my much less in-depth and potentially much less accurate preview of the TV side of things. More than anything, this was just for fun for me and I will honestly say I have much less insight about TV-related awards this year.

“Read more” for my predictions.

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67th Golden Globes Preview — Film

January 17, 2010

The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards will air Sunday at 8 PM EST on NBC, officially kicking off the entertainment awards season of 2010 (for reasons that I think are pretty obvious, I refuse to include the People’s Choice Awards).

I’ve always enjoyed the Golden Globes more than just about any other awards show every year. They always seem to be less hardcore-artsy than the Oscar’s and it’s the only chance all year to see a legitimate show that balances TV and film awards. And after the great year in film that 2009 was and with a brilliant host choice like Ricky Gervais, I have high hopes for this show.

So without any further ado, here is my preview of the film section of the show complete with my predictions, my hopes, and my snub/surprise list.

Read on for the breakdown…

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