Monthly Archives: January 2012

Film Review: The Illusionist (2010)

When it was released in 2010, The Illusionist, a french animated film from director Sylvain Chomet, received a lot of warmth from the industry pundits. All of the good word of mouth that it received eventually led the film to a surprising Oscar nomination against the heavily favored Toy Story 3, which came out, as predicted, as the clear winner on the night.

As a piece of art, “The Illusionist” does not have anything to envy other major Hollywood releases on that year, or any year before that. The film is a very charming little story about an “Illusionist”, a precedent to today’s flashier and louder magicians, who struggles to make a living as his art is no longer as popular as it once was. The character is, unlike today’s show-driven illusion masters, an elegant, quiet type, who has perfected the commonly known tricks that have been immitated for many decades.

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A few words about the Academy Awards nominations

As I managed to finally close a project at the firm I work in just this past weekend, the Academy Awards announced their nominations for the best in another year of film.

As always, the Academy surprises all of us, in positive and negative ways, unless you are at the ends of the spectrum of taste that is. For those who enjoy blockbusters or mainstream cinema, the Academy gave several nominations to “Bridesmaids”, “The Help” and “Puss in Boots”. If, on the other hand, you love smaller, modest films, the Academy gave space to “Albert Nobbs” or “A Better Life”. Even for those who enjoy the oddballs, art-house type films, the Academy managed to shine a light, even if it was a very dim one at that, to films like “The Tree of Life” and “Drive” (it was only nominated for technical awards).

Having said this, lets dig in deeper and talk about each category while I throw in my predictions:

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The Best Moments in Film History: Carl and Ellie’s love story in “UP”

Moment # 5: Carl and Ellie’s love story sequence at the beginning of “UP”.

Among Pixar’s collection of wonderful productions, “UP” stands as one of the sweetest, more emotionally charged animated films in their collection.

Whereas previous Pixar films excel in carrying an idea through with clarity and consistency, “UP” packs much of its punch within the first half hour to subsequentially turn into an ad-hoc adventure involving, among other things, a floating house, a group of talking dogs and an odd looking bird.

Continue reading The Best Moments in Film History: Carl and Ellie’s love story in “UP”

Film Review: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Director: Marc Webb

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel

One of the pleasures of “500 Days of Summer” is found within the first couple of minutes of running time when the film declares: “this is not a romantic story”. By stating this, the director, Marc Webb, makes us perfectly aware of the ending, challenging us to appreciate the path the characters follow even when we know, to a certain extent, how it will all turn out for them.

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Film review: Terri (2011)

Director: Azazel Jacobs

Cast: John C. Reilly (Mr. Fitzgerald), Jacob Wisocki (Terri), Bridger Zadina (Chad), Olivia Crocichia (Heather)

With “Terri” I begin a whole new approach to my film reviews. I will no longer have the “1-minute reviews” posts if the movies at hand are worth analyzing more fully and in response to the often incomplete and insatisfactory nature of my recent shorter reviews.

With that in mind, lets go back to today’s review.

“Terri” is a cute little film that follows a High School teenager that bears the name of the movie’s title. Terri is overweight, some would say obese, a fact that makes him the target of bullies and the source of some of his insecurities. No less important to his predicament is that Terri lives alone with his uncle, an old man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who is not fully capable of raising a troubled teenager.

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1-minute reviews: Submarine, Win Win & Final Destination 5

After a celebratory last few days welcoming the new year, I am back to continue posting after a fruitful 9 months of being a part of the so-called blogosphere.
Today, as promised, I offer the reviews of a couple of well-received 2011 films and one not so great sequel/prequel that I was forced to watch under peer pressure.

Continue reading 1-minute reviews: Submarine, Win Win & Final Destination 5