Up in the Air Review

Its actually rather difficult to put down into words exactly how much I enjoyed Up in the Air. I think the biggest reason I fell in love with this movie was because I went in there not expecting much. It just didn’t look very interesting. And George Clooney is on and off for me. I love him in movies like O Brother, Where Art Thou?, From Dusk Till Dawn and Michael Clayton, but than I’m not a big fan of him in movies like the Ocean’s trilogy and the Perfect Storm.

Then when it came to the director Jason Reitman, I loved Thank You for Smoking and I really liked JUno, but didn’t find it to be the masterpiece most did. So I went in not expecting much. I wasn’t thinking it would be a bad movie, I was thinking it would be an ok a movie. I was wrong, my expectations were exceeded with flying colors, I loved Up in the Air.

Up in the Air tells the story of a loner who flies daily to different companies in order to fire people whose bosses are too scared to. Ryan Bingham prides himself on independence and the many miles he’s acquired in the air. Than an unexpected thing happens, scratch that. Many expect things happen, but you’ll just have to find out what they are for yourself.

This is one of the movies I did enjoy Clooney in. He really hasn’t been disappointing as of late. He gave a great performance here, not oscar worthy, but great. Farmiga and Kendrick as the supporting women also were scene stealers. Everyone was on top of their game, especially behind the camera. I shall never doubt Reitman’s work again, I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next.

Up in the Air tells a story that feels real and heartfelt. A movie that deserves to be experienced multiple times. Like life, Up in the Air doesn’t follow a certain formula, you don’t know what to expect. The events that follow are simply… up in the air.

Grade: A+

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The White Ribbon Review

The White Ribbon has certainly been getting an incredble amount of praise. As most know, it won the prestigious Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was just nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes. Not to mention the numerous reviews praising it as one of the greatest films this year’s had to offer. The White Ribbon was a great movie, but it was not an amazing movie.

I’m probably just saying this because my expectations were too high, but I just didn’t find it as perfect a movie as many are saying. There are many movies that came out this year alone that I found were better movies. This isn’t to say I didn’t like the movie because I did, a lot. I just don’t believe it can be held to the caliber of other movies that have been released this year.

Getting past all that, The White Ribbon was a fantastically well-made movie made in stark brisk black and white that truly brought you to Germany before WWI. The story was incredibly well directed and acted. It was a tense look at morals in a small town during a time of deceit, strange occurances and no answers. It told a simple tale with relentless meaning.

That’s all well in good, but throughout the movie it seemed that The White Ribbon was concerned less with involving and entertaining me as a viewer and more concerned with award winning and as a result, The White Ribbon seemed a bit dry and even boring at times. Overall, The White Ribbon was a really good movie, but didn’t offer as much entertainment value as I would have hoped.

Grade: B+

Tetro Review

I heard about Tetro a while ago and the idea of it really appealed to me. For some reason I was highly excited to see this movie. It was probably due to the combination of the fantastic trailer and the fact that at the helm of this film was the great Francis Ford Coppola. So I was certainly not surprised that by the reel’s end I came to the conclusion that I absolutely loved every moment of the film.

The beauty of the film was in its simplicity. Bennie, a young man working on a cruise ship that just brook down in Buenos Aires, gets a chance to reconcile with his older brother who ran away when he was very young. The film throughout was very mellow and as a result felt very real, while at the same time I found myself very entertained where the tone of the movie could be considered boring by some, but I think it completely works here.

The film was made in crisp black and white and would be a completely different film without it. The black and white was a perfect choice. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The film looked fantastic and the shots were chosen perfectly. Everything just added onto the realism of the film, especially the performances.

I’ve never seen these actors in other movies and that made the movie all the better because I knew these actors only b their characters and everyone was doing fantastic. Alden Ehrenreich was fantastic as Bennie and Vincent Gallo gave one of the best performances of the year as the title character Tetro.

Tetro was a fantastic movie worthy of the many views I shall be giving it. At times I felt myself enjoying this film just as much, if not more than Coppola’s classics. Need I remind you that this is the same man who made The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. It was difficult to find and the movie was highly anticipated for me, but the wait was worth it.

Grade: A

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Review

The greatest word to describe The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is interesting. I did find myself enjoying the movie very much at times, but it just seemed rushed and forced at times. Its actually a bit hard to describe, but it just didn’t feel well-made. The effects were fun to look at, a avery wonderland-esgue world has been created here and I love that, but I times the whole movie felt a bit under-payed and too flashy.

Also, I didn’t really understand the casting at all here, what you got here is a bunch of amateurs who are difficult to watch act at times surrounded by two great actors (Plummer and Waits) and one of the greatest actors I’ve seen, who also happens to be a cultural icon (Ledger, of course). But then you are saddened because it turns out that the amateurs are the good guys in the story and the cultural icon I mentioned before is actually a terrible person whose character you basically hate from the get go. And I don’t mean his character is the comelling villain, no that role went to Tom Waits and he totally owned that part, he’s the saving grace of the film. I’m saying his character was just a dick. He wasn’t enjoyable to watch.

Don’t get me wrong, Heath Ledger pulled it off perfectly. He was fantastic and I would expect nothing less, but his character was just unentertaining. The entertainment value of this film came from the the idea of the film and the battle between its antagonist and protagonist. This film was essentially a complex look at the devil and angel on your shoulder. It’s a great depiction of choice, I just wish it was made more professionally.

It may seem like I’m trashing this movie to no end, but the best way to descibe my feelings is disappointment. It just wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. They’re were certainly a lot of pros to this movie. I did enjoy Heath Ledger going into the Imaginarium and becoming a different person (Depp, Law and Farrell) it really worked. The biggest pro to this movie was its antagonist though. I loved Tom Waits in the role as the gambling, and almost charming devil, or as the movie named him, Mr. Nick. I was highly entertained each time he was on screen which wasn’t enough in my opinion. Christopher Plummer also did a good job as well.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was a film with a fantastic idea behind it, only it wasn’t able to completely follow through as well as I would’ve hoped. Heath Ledger did an incredible job, but I hated his character, while Tom Waits did a great job and I loved his character. Other than that, things were pretty sub-par. There was no consistency here. Oh well, I’ll have to deal with what I got. I was entertained and I see myself re-watching it a couple times in the future.

Grade: B-

Sherlock Holmes Review

I believe when viewing Sherlock Homes, most are looking at it as the Guy Ritchie selling out. Sure the movie will make money with the A-list actors and the action, but what Guy Ritchie brought us wasn’t your cliche action movie with a few big names. What he brought was his signature brand of fun, fast-paced and clever direction in order to modernize a classic character we all know and well. I don’t believe a better director could’ve been chosen.

Shelock and Watson and their London adventures are an almost perfect match for Guy Ritchie’s wit. I can’t believe it took this long to realize it to tell you the truth. I loved Sherlock Holmes, it was a wonderful time at the movies. You sit down and immediately you’re thrown into the story. A classic technique used by Ritchie, he never wastes your time and certainly doesn’t spoon feed you.

As for the actors. Each was fell perfectly into place. Robert Downey Jr. was a obvious choice. He brought that same arrogance he brought to Tony Stark, while being a bit more intelligent. Robert Downey Jr. is really perfect for the leading roles he’s been getting. Jude Law was brilliant and the ┬álevel-headed partner Dr. Watson. The duo was absolutely thrilling to watch, they seemed to have so much chemistry it was impeccably entertaining. I also fell in love with Mark Strong from his performance in Rock N Rolla and it was nice to see another great performance as the menacing Lord Blackwood.

Overall, Sherlock Holmes was certainly a well put together piece of entertainment. Sure their were a few overlong action scenes thrown in for fan boy’s sake, but you get past that and what you have is another Guy Ritchie classic worthy of praise. I’m looking forward to a good trilogy to put onto my shelves, at the very least, I know from the ending that a sequel isn’t far out of reach.

Grade: A-