Monthly Archives: February 2013

Films watched: January & February mini reviews

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOKNow that we’ve arrived to the end of February, I thought it was as good time as any to share some of my thoughts on the films I’ve seen and haven’t had a chance to review since the turn of the year.

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012)

An emotional drama with a touch of comedy punctuated by a very strong cast. Silver Linings offers just enough to think about and some to laugh at. A bit less transcendental than the awards season have made it out to be, but powerful enough to merit some recognition.

Highlight: the performance by Jennifer Lawrence + the return to form of Robert De Niro

Downside: it has its share of cliches and some sequences feel forced.

Continue reading Films watched: January & February mini reviews

IMDB Top 250: Platoon (1986)

Platoon

Genre: Drama

Cast: Charlie Sheen (Private Chris), Willem Dafoe (Sergeant Elias), Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger)

Director: Oliver Stone

Alongside Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Oliver Stone’s Platoon is the best representation I have seen of the devastation caused by the Vietnam War. Of the two films, Platoon’s approach is a bit less poetic, opting for gritty and harrowing realism, quickly turning into a fairly direct indictment of one of history’s most violent and pointless armed conflicts.

The film focuses on a group of soldiers who, in most cases, had been stripped of most (if not all) of their humanity by the time we are introduced to them on screen. War in Platoon is nothing to glorify, there are no winners, losers or heroes to be found. In the Vietnam of the film there are only victims and victimizers. There are no attempts at turning war into an entertaining sensory spectacle, nor are there any attempts to glorify violence and brutality in any way. In fact, the image of the American soldier is downright controversial, depicting battle-scarred soldiers that have long forgotten how to distinguish between right and wrong.

Continue reading IMDB Top 250: Platoon (1986)

Videogame review: Dishonored (2012)

Dishonored

Genre: 1st person shooter/ adventure

Developer: Arkane Studios

Difficulty: Average (depends on approach to completion)

Play time: 10-12 hours (expert gamers depending on approach to completion), up to 25 hours (casual player)

Thanks to my blogging pal Eric at The Warning Sign, I decided to take some time out of my busy life and expand The Blog of Big Ideas to the review of videogames. This is something I had been planning to do ever since I started the site but I just had not gotten around to doing so.

With all of that said, here’s my review of one of the most satisfying and entertaining games I’ve had the chance to play in recent years: Dishonored.

Continue reading Videogame review: Dishonored (2012)

The Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (part two): Strangers on a Train (1951)

Strangers on a Train

The master of suspense made 54 feature films during his very long and celebrated career. Having only seen a couple of his films before I started this challenge, it is time for the author of this blog to become a lot more familiar with Mr. Hitchcock. The minimum goal will be to watch and review at least 24 of his films in 2013, though I will try to aim for 30. I will start with the must-watch classics, slowly making my way to the lesser known part of his work.

Continue reading The Alfred Hitchcock Marathon (part two): Strangers on a Train (1951)