La stella che non c'è (The Star that is Not There) from 2006 by Gianni Amelio about an Italian mechanic who travels to China - and isn't quite prepared for what he encounters. Guided by a Chinese girl who learned Italian because she didn't qualify for a university that taught the 'major languages', he sets out on his trip. It's not the most glamorous depiction of the country, but perhaps precisely because of that, a more impressive one.
Inception- I'm into the last hour and really enjoying it.
Well, I've just finished seeing Inception and I think one of the best films I have ever seen.
My take is the lead character Cobb was asleep the whole time. but his guilt-riddled brain refused to accept the world it had created, so it came up with this elaborate fictional redemption plot to get over the tragic death of his wife. The final scene shows Cobb's acceptance.
John Carter: Boring and drab. Even the alien setting did nothing. Seeing Dominic West again was the only good thing.
Drive: Liked it, decent movie. I really loved the soundtrack, and the plot of the movie being down-to-earth and modest with the action was welcome.
Watched TDKR again with friends, and I really can't understand the acclaim this movie is getting. I would have found it believable that this movie was directed by Michael Bay. There is nothing of the awesome cinematography of TDK, cringe-worthy one-liners and a stupid plot-twist that'll give M Night Shyamalan a bout of diarrhea.
Just watched Surviving Life, very good indeed.
Last edited by magnus1969; 03-08-2012 at 12:37 PM.
I went to see Brave yesterday, because if there is one studio which continually disproves my cynical assumption that Hollywood is a soulless monster bent on raking in as much cash as possible by pandering to the lowest common denominator, it's Pixar. After Cars 2, which was enjoyable but disappointingly mediocre, and the somewhat mixed reviews from various critics, I didn't actually have too many expectations for Brave, but now I have to say it might be one of my favourite works from Pixar.
It's definitely not a film without flaws. The pacing in particular feels a little off. It has a great opening scene and the early parts do a good job of properly introducing all important characters and their respective relationships. But once the central plot element is introduced, it sort of falls apart and the middle section feels really disconnected from the rest of the film. The individual scenes work well by themselves, but they fail to create a cohesive structure. And the scene near the end with the tension between the clans could have benefitted from being longer, the resolution there felt a bit too simple considering it's one of the film's main conflicts.
Another problem is the humour. It's not that Brave isn't funny, in fact it might be the funniest Pixar film since The Incredibles, but the funny scenes sometimes clash too strongly with the more dramatic ones. Usually, Pixar is very good about balancing lighearted and emotional moments, but here there were a few scenes towards the end where I felt the dramatic tension was ruined by juxtaposing it with some silly antics. It doesn't help that the villain doesn't actually do much. His design is very well done and the scenes he actually appears in are genuinely frightening, but for the most part he isn't part of the story and only really exists to give the film a sense of urgency it otherwise lacks.
That being said, Brave has all the usual qualities associated with a Pixar production. The animation and art direction is breathtaking at times, Merida's hair alone is a technical achievment. The score is good, though not quite on the same level as Ratatouille or Up, and the comedic timing is flawless most of the time.
But what impressed me most about it were the characters and the way they interact. The villain, the fairy tale elements and the aforementioned tension between the clans only serve as a background for the films central conflict: the relationship between Merida and her mother. And this conflict is handled beautifully. Merida herself is a unique look at the princess stereotype commonly found in animated films and the clichés associated with it and her mother manages to be her complete opposite while still being presented as a reasonable and caring character. It's a film where neither side is shown as being completely right or wrong and ultimately they both develop over the course of the story, learning to respect the other's point of view. The relationship between mother and daughter isn't very commonly depicted in films, so it's great to see Pixar attempt it and it's even better to see them pull it off in a nuanced and complex manner without resorting to simple answers.
Long story short, Brave's story lacks the adventure aspect that most other Pixar films feature, but it makes up for it by being a lot more personal and focused on character development. I feel it's best compared to Ratatouille, both are films with a somewhat smaller scope but with a lot of charm and humour. Definitely go see it if you're a fan of Pixar. And if you're not, how does it feel to be history's greatest monster?
I also saw Ice Age 4 last week. It was entertaining, but not really memorable enough to write any paragraphs about it.
And why is it called Brave anyway? Is it just a reference to Braveheart?
Merida's personality, maybe?
Bah! My blog is fulla bollox! What? Don't believe me?Here! Just look at it!
which was enjoyable but disappointingly mediocre, and the somewhat mixed reviews from various critics, I didn't actually have too many expectations for Brave, but now I have to say it might be one of my favourite works from Pixar.
It's definitely not a film without flaws. The pacing in particular feels a little off.
I was a bit bummed out when i heard that this happened:
Which I think makes all the negative comments about structure understandable and i'm not to sure whether i want to go to a film that does that because there was obviously a change of vision when that happened, the original female director totally wanted the film to focus on the mother and the daughter! But as an animation student and a love for Pixar i want to see it because it looks absolutely fantastic.
I wasn't aware of that, thanks for pointing it out. It does explain why the actual villain and some of the scenes feel rather superfluos. It's a real shame, I'd have loved it if the film had focused solely on the relationship between Merida and her mother, but I suppose Pixar was afraid of deviating too much from their standard formula.
I'd still recommend watching it. As I alluded to in my previous post, the scenes focusing on the mother-daughter relationship are some of Pixar's finest work and the rest of the film is entertaining enough that you never feel bored.
Just don't go in expecting Incredibles or you'll be disappointed. As good as Pixar's work is in general, the two films Brad Bird directed are in a league of their own.
I enjoyed some of Brave's content but was very disappointed by it overall. The prompting conflict was very poorly motivated and trivially resolved. The heroine sacrifices nothing to set right her mistake. Too much caricature over character. My father loved it and saw it twice, but he also viewed it as a movie for kids. I expected better of Pixar.
To read that Chapman set out to make a mature dark fairy tale set in Scottish lore and motivated by her relationship with a precocious daughter but then was effectively fired and the movie Disney-child-proofed is heartbreaking.
It was split between THERE WILL BE BLOOD and Wall-E,i was gonna pick first one but it was long three hours so i went with Wall-E,pretty cute movie. Today i'm watching UP,from Pixar i think.
... I take the lives of a few to protect the lives of many. I commit acts of war to preserve the greater peace. I take no joy in killing, but make no mistake; I'll do what needs to be done. Because it's my job. It's my duty. My name is Sam Fisher, and I am a Splinter Cell.