‘The Flowers of War’ Movie Review

I attended the advanced screening of ‘The Flowers of War’ this past Wednesday. This film served as another history lesson for me.  It was a very dramatic look into the lives of a select group of innocent Chinese women during an extremely traumatic event [Sino-Japanese War].  I could not help but feel for these women.  There are a few graphic scenes that were sad to watch, however, I did not get close to a point of expressing emotion.  I was looking forward to seeing Christian Bale, who is one of my favorite male actors.  He was the only Caucasian in the film, with exception of a cameo from Paul Schneider.  His character [in the beginning] slightly reminded me of his character in ‘The Fighter‘.  I only say that because, in this film, his character is a drunk, & extremely selfish, but when faced with a serious event, turns for the better.  I thought the cinematography in certain scenes was great, as well as the musical score [the trailer gave me chills]. However, this was another film that could have been shorter.  While watching it, I felt as though I could see it as a made-for-TV movie on the History Channel.  I also think if I were to see it again, it would be in the comfort of my home.   It’s one of those movies that ends on a bittersweet note & you leave the theater in silence.

‘The Flowers of War’ was released in U.S. theaters on January 20th, 2012.

‘The Flowers of War’ Trailer

‘Red Tails’ Movie Review

The advanced screening for ‘Red Tails’ was this past Tuesday in King of Prussia.  I was fortunate to have been there because the hosts of the screening introduced veterans of the Tuskegee airmen.  CBS3 was there as well.  One of the veterans spoke for a few minutes about his time serving which was very interesting & entertaining.  I did not know a lot about the Tuskegee airmen, so the film served as a mini history lesson. This film shows how these men felt, being outcasts in the war & then rising to glory.  I felt that the movie was a  bit longer than it needed to be.  It also took almost half way through to pick up.  It was definitely apparent that George Lucas was apart of this production…mainly because of the fighting scenes [in air] – it resembled scenes from Star Wars – not to say that it seemed fictional at all though.  I have to say, I was somewhat disappointed that Cuba Gooding Jr. & Terrance Howard didn’t play more pivotal roles.  The other characters were enjoyable, which made for easy watching.  Overall, it was an uplifting story.

Red Tails was released in theaters January 20th, 2012.

CBS Philly Coverage of Screening

‘Red Tails’ Trailer

‘Haywire’ Movie Review

Monday evening I had the chance to see ‘Haywire’. My feelings on it are somewhat neutral. It was entertaining to watch Gina Carano kick some serious ass, I’ll give her that. I always enjoy films with a strong female character that doesn’t take anyone’s crap. The fight scenes were intense & Gina Carano does not hold back one bit.  Channing Tatum was nice to look at, other than that, his character wasn’t particularly interesting.  I felt the musical score was lacking; the trailer is misleading in that sense.  For me, the music is what builds suspense & thrill. You can argue my next point, however, I was not a fan of just pure grunts & groans during the intense fight scenes; it was almost uncomfortable to see & hear only that. Maybe it’s because I have been subjected to too many thrillers that rely heavily on the score that makes me feel this way. Whatever the case, I would still prefer some kind of soundtrack to intensify the scene. Of the music that was heard, I enjoyed it’s resemblance to the spy movies from the 1950’s.  After waiting some time to finish this review, I have to say the movie sits better with me now. It was enjoyable, however, I’ve seen better.

‘Haywire’ was released in theaters January 20th, 2012.

Haywire Trailer

‘Man On A Ledge’ Movie Review

I saw an advanced screening of ‘Man on a Ledge’ two nights ago.  There’s not much to say…where the plot proved interesting, the script was lacking.  The beginning made it difficult to get into.  I wasn’t fond of the characters & again, the script was just terrible.  If I had my eyes shut, I think I would have named a few movies I thought I was listening to…that’s how unoriginal it was.  The punch lines were predictable, leaving the rest of the movie unbelievable.   It wasn’t until half way through when it piqued my interest. There was about 15 minutes that I can recall wondering what was going to happen next & then it was the end.  As if there weren’t enough shockers in the movie, they put the cherry on top of that sundae with another “surprise!”.  I left the theater somewhat amused that the movie just gave us all these “tah-dah” moments without any explanation…& trying to form a realistic assumption was just a waste of my time. So, if you’re looking to just sit back & watch a flick to pass time, this is the movie for you.

Man On A Ledge will be released in theaters January 27th, 2012.

‘The Artist’ Movie Review

Last night’s screening of The Artist was a pleasant surprise. I’ve never been a fan of the silent, black & white films so, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it.  I’ve also never watched a silent film in a theater before, which was an experience in itself. I found it so neat how the audience was still captivated by these actors, without hearing anything they were saying.    It definitely takes charm to keep the attention of the audience during a silent film & the main characters had plenty of it.  The only sound heard was the music that narrates the film.  Since it’s the only sound, it played a pivotal role – the music was what evoked emotion from the audience. I didn’t expect to actually laugh aloud & it was strange, yet fun, to hear the audience laugh in unison. I feel foolish saying these things because everything I’m describing I’ve experienced while watching a regular film. I guess the reaction of the audience & my own engagement in the film is more apparent when there is a loss of distraction [voices]. I enjoyed the simplicity of it & I actually felt as if I were in that era, especially when everyone clapped at the end.

The film itself was about a classic Hollywood love story, that everyone can enjoy. It was fun to watch because it brought me back to how I felt when I was on set of the Silver Linings Playbook last month. However, I think it’s apparent that the majority of my amusement came from the overall experience. I have a new appreciation for the silent, black & white films – my mother will be so happy [that doesn’t mean I’ll sit & watch AMC/TCM for hours though, sorry!]

View Trailer

The Artist was released November 25th, 2011 [limited] 

‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ Movie Review

Before tonight’s screening of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I knew nothing about the story, never read the book..I had only heard good things. I like being in the dark about a film before viewing it because I like to be surprised. & this was a very good surprise. I knew it was going to be good from the intro alone – I have never seen anything like it – very dark & edgy is how I’d best describe it [left me curious as to how they filmed it]. The movie had me in suspense the majority of it’s run time. The main character, Lisbeth Salander [Rooney Mara], is extremely dark & disturbed, yet I couldn’t help but be curious about her.  On top of that, her character is very intelligent when it comes to computers & street smarts. There were very disturbing/graphic scenes that Lisbeth was involved in, but I think it helped develop her character in a way that the audience could find respect for her. The first part of the movie, David Fincher [director] follows Lisbeth & the other main character, Mikael Blomkvist [Daniel Craig] separately, so I wasn’t sure how they were connected, how they would be connected, or even if they would be connected.  Eventually, their stories find each other & the second half of the movie is nothing short of thrilling. As a fan of mystery, I enjoyed how Fincher took the audience through every clue & detail that was discovered by Lisbeth & Mikael in their search to solve the missing person case – it gave the audience a chance to try to solve it on their own as well.  I appreciated that Fincher did not focus much on the relationship between the two main characters or give great background on either of them because some of the scenes [including the ending] would have been harder to accept.

Although the run time of this movie is 160 min, it did not feel that way at all.  I was kept on my toes & Fincher had my attention the entire time. I was very pleased & would definitely recommend this movie.

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opens in theaters tomorrow, December 20th, 2011. 

‘War Horse’ Movie Review

This comes a little late, but I went to the screening of War Horse on Thursday evening. I’ll preface with this: it was one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. I wasn’t surprised Spielberg was able to evoke some emotion from me, but I wasn’t expecting this kind.  Going into it, I thought I’d be leaving with a heavy heart – boy, was I wrong! Spielberg did an amazing job capturing the time period; I thought he showed just enough of the war to give you the sense of being there. & the way the horse’s story is told was unique to any other movie [about horses].  There were some scenes I would have rather not seen, but I used to ride [horses], so I think it may have hit me harder than say just a regular dog or cat lover. Being that I used to ride, I really understood the connection between the boy & his horse & I appreciated how Spielberg portrayed it – I’m sure fellow horse lovers can attest to what I mean. However, if you love animals [in general], you’ll enjoy this movie. & if you’re easily taken by cinema, I would bring tissues.

War Horse opens in theaters December 25, 2011. [great movie to see with the family!]

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Prologue Review

I had the privilege of seeing the first 6 minutes of The Dark Knight Rises last night.  I watched it at an IMAX [dome screen] theater, so it was a little harder to capture everything that was going on in one scene.  However, it was definitely action-packed & full of crazy stunts, which left me wanting more.  The character Bane was hard to understand, so most of the dialogue was lost on me, & I obviously have questions that won’t be answered until the full movie is released. If you have the chance, I would recommend seeing the newest Mission Impossible movie this weekend [in select IMAX theaters] because they will be showing this prologue beforehand.

& thank you to Gofobo for hosting the screening & handing out free t-shirts!

The Dark Knight Rises opens in theaters this July [2012].

‘Young Adult’ Movie Review

I attended the screening of Young Adult last night. To put it simply, I wasn’t impressed. While it did have some funny moments, it was mostly awkward & uncomfortable to watch. Maybe that’s because I’m a woman who could semi relate to Charlize Theron’s character on some level, or some part of me is afraid I could end up like her – trust me, no one would want that. The ending was almost too easy, but it made sense with the overall story-line. In the end, I wasn’t shocked with my own reaction of this film because I wasn’t a huge fan of Jason Reitman’s [director] last film, Up In The Air.  I feel as though these two films are very similar in the fact that the main character is going through some sort of struggle, & is almost sad to watch their downfall.

With that being said, I wouldn’t pay full price admission to see this film. However, I was happy to have received a free Awolnation CD from Radio 104.5, [so it wasn’t a complete waste of time] !

Young Adult opens in theaters Friday, December 16th, 2011.