Saturday, October 27, 2012

Review - Upside Down, On The Road, The Day

Starring Jim Sturgess, Timothy Spall and Kirsten Dunst.
Directed by Juan Diego Solanas.

Originality is not quite dead in the movie industry. Upside Down is proof of that but unfortunately the movie still failed to deliver. This is one of those movies with a great concept and idea but was just placed in the wrong hands. Adam (Jim Sturgess) falls in love with a girl Eden (Kirsten Dunst) who lives in an inverted world with its own gravity. The worlds are directly above each other. Yes, just picture two planets upside down each other and that's basically how you are going to watch the entire movie. Both worlds are divided by not only gravity but also by social class. Adam and Eden get separated  but ten years later, Adam spots her on a television show and decides to do everything in his power to reunite with her.
Upside Down has a very original concept/idea but it was torn apart by its ridiculous sappy and drawn out love story. Kirsten and Jim were not bad as leads but I really wish they had done more in terms of the writing of this movie. It was ridiculously cliched and while I believe it could have been a love story, it should have at least had some action incorporated into it. Another positive of this movie? Its dazzling visuals. Very beautiful and almost Melancholia-like. I was also very impressed with the camera angles. One moment we are on this angle, another moment we are upside down without it looking confusing or anything. A wanna-be Romeo and Juliet story with an interesting concept? Yes. Too bad Upside Down was disappointing.
Rating: 5/10

The Day (2012)
Starring Shawn Ashmore, Dominic Monaghan and Ashley Bell.
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski.

So apparently this movie is set in post-apocalyptic time where a group of survivors, five to be exact, roam deserted plains seeking shelter and food. They come across an abandoned old farmhouse where they plan to rest. Unfortunate for them, the farmhouse is actually a trap and it set off an alarm for the antagonists of this film - a group of cannibalistic human predators. So now the group must battle for their survival against these predators, blah blah blah.
The Day's plot was weak as hell. I mean, who were these antagonists? Where did they come from? I just know that they somehow caused the apocalypse. The Day is perhaps the most boring post-apocalyptic movie ever. The movie was like really boring and I cannot stress how lifeless the characters were. Not even the battles between the group and the predators were exciting. A positive of the film? Usually in films of this nature, we are accustomed to seeing vampires, zombies etc but in The Day, at least they tried to be different by using humans as the antagonists. Even the idea of using the house as a trap and signal was different and you could see the effort of writer Luke Passmore but overall this movie just lacked energy. The acting was bad and the movie felt really dull like its cinematography.
Rating: 2/10

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012)
Starring Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Garner and CJ Adams.
Directed by Peter Hedges.

This story is about a couple, Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), who unfortunately cannot have children. One night while stricken with grief, the couple sits down and picture how they would want their child to be. They write down each quality they would want their child to possess and then bury it in their backyard. Later that night, a young boy (CJ Adams) emerges from the "burial" site in the backyard and instantly Cindy and Jim bond with him. Throughout the film, we will see the child Timothy bond with the family and others around him. We also see each quality being demonstrated BUT honestly we really don't see the point of The Odd Life Of Timothy Green. The movie was pointless. [Spoiler] Timothy had leaves on his feet and when each leaf fell off, he had to leave the family. Like Seriously? Couldn't they have come up with a better reason why he had to leave? Anyways, this movie had real poor writing/script. The characters were overly sentimental and clueless if you ask me. The Timothy Green character was adorable but not enough to carry this movie. After watching this movie, I asked myself, "What was achieved in the story? What was the point? What was Timothy's real reason to the story? Why was Jim and Cindy even telling the story to the adoption agents?"
Rating: 3/10

Movies Also Watched: 

On The Road (2012)
The story of aspiring young writer Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) and his interactions and journey across America with friends. Based on a true story and set in the late 1940s, On the Road was overall disappointing. I enjoyed Garret Hedlund's performance and even though the story had spouts here and there, it just didnt interest me. For a film set in the 1940s, the musical score was pretty weak too. - 5.5/10

Attack The Block (2011)
I initially thought this movie was a corny dance flick but it turned out to be a very fun and enjoyable alien movie. Attack The Block's strength lies in its dialogue and consistent humor carried by Moses (John Boyega) and the crew. Highly entertaining and worth the watch. - 9/10 

Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)
An amusing, engaging and fun look at street art. Great story, great artworks, mysterious and even fun characters.... Exit Through The Gift Shop is a documentary that works. - 9.5/10

Hunger (2008)
Powerful, gripping and somewhat disturbing is what can be used to describe this directorial debut from Steve McQueen.  True story of Bobby Sands and his enforced prison hunger strike to get the government to acknowledge the IRA as a legit political party. Solid acting from the cast and the message gets across wide and clear. - 8.5/10

Misery (1990)
Kathy Bates makes her film debut in this taunting horror as a crazed fan who would do anything, and I mean anything, to show her appreciation for her idol. James Caan was equally as excellent in this film. Misery was tense, suspenseful and driven by a innocent yet crazy performance from the lead. - 9/10

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Director Paul Thomas Anderson does it again in this strange but interesting tale of love. Adam Sandler wasn't his usual corny self, he was totally submerged in a melancholy personality. Punch-Drunk Love is driven by good performances, a soothing score and a unique and enjoyable story. - 9/10

Life Is Beautiful (1997)
Life is indeed beautiful and so was this movie. Creative, smart and absolutely funny, Life is Beautiful starts out as a charming love story then transitions into a more dark setting - a Nazi concentration camp. Roberto Benigni was stunning and so was his young son (Giorgio Cantarini) - 10/10

Stand and Deliver (1988)
Based on a true story of a compassionate teacher who strives to turn his students lives around. Even though Stand and Deliver boasts a familiar story, I enjoyed the interactions between Edward James Olmos and his students. He was stern, silly, slick, sarcastic and really carried this movie. Inspirational? Yes. Cliched? Yes -but I still liked this film. - 8/10