Midnight in Paris Review

Comedies for me are very hit or miss. I, like almost everyone, do love the occasional comedy from time to time. There are a lot of comedies out there that, regardless of how much you laugh, are only focused on just that; making you laugh. These comedies don’t really care about the characters and the story their shaping. It’s always refreshing to see a movie that can be considered a comedy and be so so much more. Midnight in Paris is just that kind of movie.

Yes,Woody Allen’s latest film is funny, but Midnight in Paris can best be described as charming and sweet. In a story about a writer who finds out on his vacation to Paris that at Midnight he can travel to and experience the zest and company of the roaring 20s you get a portrait of love and the ability to start over. It’s an interesting tale and one that could’ve fell flat, but instead the concepts were taken seriously and they are fresh, appealing, and it all completely works.

The film is stacked with great performers such as Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen and even the marvelous Marion Cotillard. It was an absolute pleasure to watch Owen Wilson in a more serious role as the lovable, yet wimpish protagonist. Like the actors, practically everything from the camera work to the score just fits. It was a very meaningful, but fun watch.

It’s always nice to watch a shorter film that’s actually very good because most truly good films have to be over 2 hours to tell their stories. Midnight in Paris doesn’t tell too little or too much, it tells just the right amount. There’s only so much you can do with a story about a man who continues to travel back in time to have a good time in the 1920s and Midnight in Paris never feels boring so it obviously did its job and did it admirably. Midnight in Paris isn’t a very challenging movie and it’s not a film that will change you, it is however a well made film that will make you smile.

Grade: A-

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Review

Any time you make a sequel you run the risk of disappointing a lot of people. More often than not if you make a sequel the people who are watching it have seen and enjoyed the first one. You could make   one of those rare sequels that are actually better than the original, you could make one that’s right on par with the original or you could go the same route as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and be very disappointing. I am an avid and of the first Sherlock Holmes movie and Guy Ritchie’s other films and I will say that with out a doubt, this is the worst Guy Ritchie film I’ve seen.

This was a film that I was very excited for. Unlike a lot of people I was actually a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes and what Guy Ritchie had done with the story and I couldn’t wait to see what he’d do with Holmes’ nemesis, Professor Moriarty. I was even excited about character actor Jared Harris playing Moriarty whose performance was the most redeeming quality of this film. Unfortunately, even a good villain wasn’t enough to save the rest of the film from falling a part.

Right from the beginning there was simply something off putting about the film and it went essentially nowhere compelling from there. A lot of it just felt like one extremely dull moment after another just to lead into another one generic action sequence after another. My favorite moments of the film were the scenes between Holmes and Moriarty especially a final climactic scene involving a game of chess. Unfortunately, the rest of the film was nearly captivating enough and the decently satisfying climax was not worth the wait.

Almost everything I enjoyed about the first one I found was overplayed and almost, at times, unbearable in this one. The chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law was there, but there relationship just became more accustomed to joke-telling than with actual character and story development. Worst of all though, I felt as though the female lead was just tossed into the film so that the film could have a female lead. Noomi Rapace did a fine job, but here character was about as unnecessary as this film.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows was just not a very enjoyable experience. Admittedly there were parts of the movie that were fun, but when you combine those scenes with the rest of the film you get two-hour movie that just simply was only worth the price of admission because it had the honor of showing a “The Dark Knight Rises” trailer before it. I can’t wait to watch Sherlock Holmes again because I find that a very excellent film, I can’t say the same about its sequel.

Grade: C

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  level-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-