Archive for May, 2011

20th May
2011
written by Adam

Pirate extraordinaire, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), finds himself in a race with the Spanish, the British, and Blackbeard the Pirate (Ian McShane) to find the fountain of youth. Of course, Jack is nothing without his star crossed lover Angelica (Penelope Cruz) in the mix; and, complicating matters Angelica is Blackbeard’s daughter. As all parties move closer to the prize, magic, action, and adventure lies ahead, but who will make it to the finish alive, and what of these stirrings Jack is feeling towards Angelica? Breaking from the previous storylines On Stranger Tides works as a stand alone film featuring many of the same characters and concepts we’ve already come to know in the last three films. And, as the case may have it the plot line here actually seems considerably more thought out, a welcome gift as the last two pirates films have felt anything but. Acting from the ensemble feels pretty much on par with what we’ve come to expect from our regular players, that includes Geoffery Rush too. Standing out from the bunch Ian McShane offers up a fresh new batch of pirate flavour, appreciated. The weak link, sadly, Penelope Cruz, I want to link her, and she has her moments, but overall her character feels misplaced. Fight sequences and computer animation come across in good form. Although, in 3D, the opening sequences and several other darker scenes look too dark, without the 3D glasses the brightness seems more appropriate. I’d opt for the non-3D version for maximum viewability, you won’t miss anything special anyway. Poised for box office success, it’s another shoo-in summer hit. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is rated PG-13.

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13th May
2011
written by Adam

In her mid 30’s crisis, Annie (Kristen Wiig), is faced with being the maid of honor for her best friend since childhood, Lillian (Maya Rudolph). Charged with planning the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, and many of the finishing touches on the wedding Annie strains to keep it together; meanwhile, Helen (Rose Byrne), Lillian’s newest girlfriend seems to have all the answers and perfect composure. But, as tension builds, who will ultimately win Lillian’s affection, and will Annie ever manage to get her life back on track? Saying that the film is produced by comedic juggernaut Judd Apatow almost feels like all that is needed here based on his track record alone, but then, what fun would writing this be? Right! So here goes, in many regards I’m thinking a female version of The Hangover. Situationally very funny scenes tie together from the crude and vulgar to the more intellectual. More impressive yet was the fact that where most “chick flicks” might go soft, the comedic force here powers forward and shows no mercy. And sure, while the film is predictable and the final destination is pretty much a given, there’s still just enough of the unexpected to keep the journey interesting. Well played ladies, well played. Bridesmaids is rated R.

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6th May
2011
written by Adam

The Norse god of thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), is banished from the mythical land of Asgard by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). In turn he is forced to live amongst humans on earth in hope that he may learn some humility. Meanwhile, brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) assumes the throne as king of Asgard but has a darker plan in store for the universe. Now it’s up to Thor to return home and set things right; and, with the help of his human friends, Jane (Natalie Portman), Darcy (Kat Dennings), and Erik (Stellan Skarsgard) he might stand a chance. Self sacrifice must be made, but who will pay the most? This latest Marvel comic, um excuse me– graphic novel, to be translated to screen comes at a time when many fans of the genre have grown weary of over-hyped stale plots, CGI madness to the point of lunacy, and poorly acted heroics; however, I’m proud to report, while the film isn’t void of these points, it still gets a lot right. For being a lesser character in the Marvel world, a fleshed out screenplay that blends Norse mythos with modern lore makes for an interesting colourful story. Albeit, a fair amount of the dialogue was pretty wooden, but that’s almost expected, we’re watching a brute swinging a hammer, not a Rhodes scholar, so that gets a pass. Meanwhile, and disappointingly, Oscar winner Natalie Portman phones this one in and
brings little to the table, but she has nice hair….mmmmm…I still can’t give her a pass…The film’s action and battles feel compelling and interesting, and, since many of us don’t know Thor’s character line it’s anyone’s guess how things might turn out. Overall, it’s big, it’s loud, it’s fun, mission complete. Thor is rated PG-13.

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