Movie Review: LES MISÉRABLES (2012)

Okay so I lied and I went to go see this before I cleaned my room.  I was familiar with the director, Tom Hooper, and his work for The King’s Speech. He nagged an Oscar then for best directing so I was really curious to see what he would do here with this musical.  I have my dad’s copy of the 1998 Chicago musical which I have listened to from time to time and I’m familiar with the 1935 version that wasn’t a musical.  Ultimately  what led to the decision to go see it was my sister’s way of celebrating Boxing Day.

Needless to say I was absolutely taken away at the stunning visual quality of the film.  It was clear and sharp matching the phenomenal voices!  It also rang true to the original storyline.  Nonetheless, we all know the cast s brilliant and the performances were dead on from a Gladiator playing Javert and a lovely newcomer as Gavroche.  Honestly it’s the perfect film to end the year.

5/5

To Sir, With Love (1967)

I could easily start and end this review with:
“Enlgand. Sixties. Sidney Poitier.  That is all.”

But that wouldn’t give this movie any justice, not to mention Lulu’s song that goes with the movie.

I think every person who ever plans on becoming a teacher or counselor needs to see this.  It exemplifies human beings that care about others no matter who they are or where they are in life, a quality I find overlooked in today’s society.

Nonetheless, a teacher located in the tough city of London, who hopes that treating them like adults will make them realize they are no longer children.  I know that may seem vague and a very similar synopsis as Stand and Deliver (1998) or Freedom Writers (2007), but trust me this is very different and I actually admire this more.

I only wish they did a little more on Mr. Portier’s character.  However, it is based on a true story adapted into a book ,which I unfortunately have yet to come across on.

Oh and of course I do enjoy the time and location of the film, but that goes for any film outside the U.S.  I’m sure anyone would agree that watching a film not taking place where they are from, harbors that dream like quality.  The theme is relatable but it feels like a distance dream.

5/5

Trailer

Restless (2011)

This one was easily one of my favorites. This is one of those underrated romances.  It brings together some things that many people face alone, such as death, illness and attending other people’s funerals or fascination with birds.  Yet, it also deals with chance.  What are the chances of meeting that one person who understands you?

I also must commend Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper, because the characters were very complex from both emotions to outfit choices.  The matching hair cuts also did some good.  And we cannot forget Gus Van Sant, he really made me as a viewer feel like I was a ghost, just hovering.

It may not be the most timeless love story of the decade, but it certainly reflects on the now.

4.3/5

Trailer

Remember Me (2010)

 

This was the first movie I saw of Robert Pattinson that was not Twilight.  I wanted to see what else could he possibly do.

I was not immediately in love with this movie, it took a while to get into it.  Originally I thought if you’re really seeking a film to slightly gush over, or you really like modern love romance scenes.  However I’m glad to also say if you like a ending with a twist, then this is for you as well.

The story felt very dry.  There were things I had seen before in movies or I have had the unfortunately to read in the newspaper.  But that all distracts from

I was not pleased with the character development.  While the over all story was pretty good I felt that not having that extra layer to the characters, is what made me sort of shrug at the romance.  The performances were far from flat, but I would have liked to see a little more of their deeper thoughts.

To be honest I liked the script, the little bits and pieces made it a great story.  There were very quirky things scattered, like how Ally likes eating dessert first, Tyler’s love for his sister and how death foils both of their lives.

Oh and the Strand.  So much love for throwing that in.

3/5

The Royal Tenebaums (2001)

So I lost my Wes Anderson virginity a few days ago.  I honestly don’t know why I waited so long.  This is one of the quirkiest films I’ve seen in a while.  Alec Baldwin’s narration was an immediate sign of “I’m gonna need some popcorn.”  Then, being the sucker for architecture I immediately needed to know the  whereabouts of the Tenebaum house. It happens to be located right here in Harlem!

The three kids right form the very beginning were completely different in their own complex way.  I think that’s something very hard to find in reality.  The best scene here would be Richie releases his falcon on the roof and soars through the sky to “Hey Jude.” The whole family dynamic was closely parallel to the house, having each child a floor to there own and decorated to their specific taste.  Oh and of course Eli Cash.  That one kid that wishes he was part of the family.

Yet despite the eagerness to have a sleepover and put on a play under a fort, it deals with many unsettling issues.  How divorce and lack of parental affection has  as on the youth, and it’s long after affects. The after affects death has on us, and how worrying can kill.  Knowing the truth hurts, but love love hurts even more.  The constant yearning to be loved and accepted.

All these lessons and personas all intertwine perfectly.  Each person compliments another whether they love or loath.  Over all it deals with real problems, but with a heart of gold.

5/5

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

I saw this in theaters back in December and I have to say…

IT WAS THE SINGLE MOST AMAZING THING I EVER SAW IN MY WHOLE LIFE.

When I go to the movies I sit in chronic bitch mode and critique the movie the whole time, but  I honestly was drawn into this world.  I loved the opening sequence of Karen O blasting Led Zepplin through the speakers  The whole mystery element, touch of romance and slight humor made it all worth while.

I have to admit the Rape scene was VERY graphic and I don’t suggest watching it if you squirm easily, because almost every girl and her boyfriend did.  Yet I must admit, I love Rooney Mara.  She did an excellent job the way she make Lisbeth seem so real, I freaking fell in love with her.

The only thing I’m gonna pick on is Daniel Craig.  This is not James Bond.  Where was your Swedish accent?  But then again he didn’t really need it, and is easily overlooked because of his acting skills.

Oh and if you’re fan of the book the ending was slightly tweaked, but nothing major it still ends the same.

4.8/5

Spirited Away (2001)

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Hayao Miyazaki’s best known work that won the oscar for best featured film in 2003 when it was translated into English.

I remember seeing it once as a kid and letting the fanciful dream like characters take me away to an ocean filled with blue.

Today I re-watched and it still has the same lasting effect.

From the beginning we see that Chihiro is much wiser than her parents who get turned into pigs for eating the food that belongs to bathhouse.

Thus begins her journey to get them back but along the way she befriends Haku who comforts her that she will get back to the human world.

Through the entire story line despite plots we meet an array of characters each with a colorful personality and an appeal that makes me want to run up to them and have a nice chat over some tea.

For me the best part was when Chihiro tells Haku his name and his dragon shell breaks into hundred of facets.

But like most of Miyazaki’s films the dreams always end to early.

5/5