3/10. Tedious, dry, stiff and a weak story. Not one of Daniel Day Lewis better portraits his Lincoln just feels like an empty shell nor any of Spielbergs better movies.
In my opinion the boldest American movie so far this year ( though I haven't watched many american movies with high ratings yet). You will not see this film in top 10 lists of the year ( not even close) but in my top 10 it has a firm place.
The Past/ Le Passe ( France, 2013) 9.5/10
Another contender in my top 10 of the year. It is amazing how simple narrative without bloated social agendas can be so engaging and moving. It is only a domestic drama nothing else but the impression is that you have watched something big and meaningful. I should watch the previous film of Asghar Farhadi 'A Separation'.
Being a Physics and Engineering student a lot of films are hard for me to watch if they go for the semi-realistic thing.
Sin City (Extended Edition) - 8,5
4 little stories (one of them being a mini story) in the Neo-noir atmosphere of Sin City.
I have mixed feelings about this movie. Not regarding the moral paradigma behind the stories of course, but about some cinematic aspects.. I really like the Neo-noir concept recreated here and there's a lot to apprecciate in this movie - the intelligent monologues of the protagonists, the noir atmosphere carved by the unique and interesting cinematography and color treatment, the smart and mastertfull way how the several plots develop, etc...
But... this is the sort of cinema that ideally transports the viewer into a different world, a fantasy, a dreamlike experience and this movie fails to do so (with me) on a consistent level and as a result it falls short of what I'd consider deserving of reverence.
As I watched the movie I often found myself distracted and annoyed by an apparent amateurish nature and/or lack of skill in some technical aspects. I'm talking primarilly about some of the acting, things here could had been a lot more polished. For example, several characters didn't leave up to the demands of the movie, it seemed like some actors and actresses didn't give enough commitment or that they simply lacked the acting skills for their roles, they looked fake, forced, not authentic at all.
Being a multi-plot movie, these shortcomings affected each story by different degrees and I felt that "The Big Fat Kill" was the worse case. It was by far the one I least cared for, pretty boring and little of interest, I often couldn't help but gaze away and sigh due to the lack of polishment in the aforementioned and several other aspects. The plot itself was also the least interestingly developed and the end was... well, uneventful and boring despite what it was... I just didn't feel like I was watching the same movie as the other stories at all... the character played by Benicio Del Toro was probably the only one remotelly interesting to observe in "The Big Fat Kill".
"The Hard Goodbye" is a complete 180º turn though. I really liked this one, it was my favorite and if I had to score it alone, it'd be a solid 9. The main character is a brutal and amazeballs badass monster guy expertly played by Mickey Rourke, great work here! most of the acting in this story is pretty competent and the plot masterfully develops at the right pace. This was the definitelly the immersive and dreamlike Neo-noir experience Sin City movie was supposed to be. The only oddity in my opinion was the character played by Elijah Wood... cmon man really?? so pathetic and amateurish looking!, it could had spoiled it all, but fortunatelly the overall work in "The Hard Goodbye" was solid and high quality so this nuissance didn't detract my enjoyment so much, but still it's the only stronger reason why I wouldn't give this single story a 10 if I had to.
On a general note special effects also looked excessivelly weird and unpolished a bit to often, it's just a small detail but nonetheless still has it's detracting influence on the screen .
I feel that the consistency of Sin City is damaged by the lack of consistency between the several stories that form the whole movie, but maybe it's unrealistic to expect the same quality standard throughout so many different plots and such big cast with a "mere" 40 million USD budget...
Laying my thoughts on the available resources and the technical challenges present in the creation of this work I can see how this film may have been too ambitious for it's own good...
I ansiously look forward to the next Sin City film and I hope it doesn't disappoint it's own aspirations.
EDIT: Just saw this movie again and I feel I didn't give it fair credit. I revise the rating to 8,5 and take back my negative words on the sound work. The sound work is actually remarkable, what the hell was in my head when I wrote the previous comments I don't know... I guess I didn't fully understand the movie at first...
"The Yellow Bastard" story is the most polished work, it's beautifull, but my favourite is still "The Hard Goodbye". Unfortunatelly my view towards "The Big Fat Kill" haven't changed much, actually most of the things that I negativelly criticise are confined to this part.
I wish they hadn't included this story in the film because it really detracts from the overall positive impression I have of the movie. This would easilly become one of my favorite films of all time if they hadn't screw it up with "The Big Fat Kill".
It's still a beautifull movie!
Air Force (1943) - 8.5/10
Pretty interesting film, but it's definitely propaganda and released near the 1 year Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
There is one patriotic song that's looped over and over in all these old WWII movies. Wish I could remember what it is, but it's annoying as heck!
EDIT: It's called "Wild Blue Yonder" and is in every John Wayne movie ever made (probably)
The movie is not accurate and fiction mostly but based on real events.
It's about a group of B-17s that fly to Hawaii just minutes after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After they land they get orders to go and reinforce the Airfields in the Phillips (this is made up) and refuel on Wake Island.
There's some nonsense in here about local Japanese on Hawaii shooting at them and then sneaking into Airfields with a vegetable truck to blow up planes.
None of this ever occurred and this is typical Hollywood (back then) being anti-Japanese. They even had a dog trained to bark when he heard the word Japanese name "Moto"!
Towards the end when they try to restore their damaged planes (just before the enemies show up!) it suddenly turned into a John Wayne/Rambo style movie.
They even shot down enemies Zero Planes with hand-held Machine Guns. Uh huh.
With the movie you did feel like you were back in 1943 and seeing a big budget Hollywood war movie. The movie looks good and it's very entertaining.
Oh and towards the end they even asked you to buy war bonds
One of the better old movies about the Air Force. I also liked "30 Seconds over Tokyo".
Saw a few this holiday season:
If one never read the book - slightly overlong, good story, good action scenes, good characters.
If one did read the book - tedious, way too different from the original story. To many made up characters. A book that could have been redone in one movie, never mind in three (one more is coming)
Better title: The Hobbit volume 2, The Remixed and Extended Cut. 6/10
Skip it if you don't want your memories of the original Hobbit book tarnished.
This is one amazing movie. It starts off as one day in the life of a ghetto kid who realizes that his life has to change. Then it ends in a very tragic way. Characters are well acted and nicely developed.
Based on true life, but of course the movie takes some liberties. The movie pulls all the right emotional strings, and in the end it makes it a very effective and moving film.
Without giving away to much of the plot, I'll go straight to the rating - 9.5 out of 10, A must see. This one is Oscar material but I wouldn't be surprised if it gets ignored because of the powerful social message it carries.
Another good movie, with solid acting and characters, Jennifer Lawrence is a bit over the top though. Losely based on a Political scandal from the late '70's this movie also has a bit of a comic side to it. It's mostly well written and keeps one interested from beginning to end.
As an aside to the review, Amy Adams is a treat to watch in her seventies dresses.
Well worth watching and a solid 8/10. This one is Oscar material.
Saving Mr. Banks
Another Oscar material movie, with fantastic acting from all involved and a great story based on the true life attempts to make the original Disney movie Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson proves that she is still one of the best actresses of our times while Tom Hanks is at his best. Story line is very addictive, especially considering the subject matter, and keeps you watching from beginning to end.
9.5 out of 10.