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All posts in Film Reviews 2009




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Title: Avatar
Year: 2009
Director: James Cameron
Lead: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi
Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking.

A paralyzed marine is sent to the planet Pandora on a unique mission and finds himself torn between two different worlds, he must choose to protect the one he feels is home.

This movie was amazing, it ranks in my top ten of this decade. It is visually remarkable, I have never seen anything like this in my life. It felt like I was watching Star Wars for the first time, again. I cant remember the last time I was pulled into a film like I was when I watched Avatar. James Cameron has created something very special that we wont see again, for a very, very long time (unless there are sequels like he mentioned). There was incredible emotion in this movie, I was tense, sad, excited, everything they wanted me to feel in this movie, I felt. This movie blew me away, some of my friends complained that it was too long (2:40), and they could have cut the movie down, what do I say? No way! this movie was worth all the time I spent in the theater and money I spent at the box office. The special effects in this film are unrivaled. Everything looks amazing, it is absolutely believable. You know that a movie is fantastic when the writer/director take a completely unbelievable story, and make you believe every single bit of it. I think that every person should see Avatar, it will seriously blow your mind. I would see it again, I will buy it when it comes out. Its crazy, it will be on a lot of peoples top movie lists. It will definitely win some goods at the AA’s. Go see it, its so cool. 9 1/2 out of 10




The Blind Side

Title: The Blind Side
Year: 2009
Director: John Lee Hancock
Lead: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw
Rated: Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references.

The remarkable true story about Michael Oher. An under-privileged kid from a broken home in the bad part of town, is taken in by theTouhys, who clothe him, feed him, and take him in and call them their son. He finds that he has a very big talent in football.

This movie is outstanding! Best movie I’ve seen all year, it is very emotional, and very dramatic, and quite possibly one of the best sports stories around. Its a great story about a bunch of extraordinary people. The Touhy”s took this stranger into their home and gave him everything he needed to succeed, and Michael, in turn, took what they gave him and made the best of it. He was given a scholarship to play football at Ole Miss, and was eventually drafted in the first round of the NFL draft to the Baltimore Ravens. Its the ultimate feel good story. Very well written and casted, Sandra Bullock does an amazing job, this is my favorite movie of hers by far. Go see it! its the best movie out right now, and is destined to win something come Oscar season. 9 1/2 out of 10! GO SEE IT!




Law Abiding Citizen

Title: Law Abiding Citizen
Year: 2009
Director: F. Gary Gray
Lead: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx
Rated: Rated R for strong bloody brutal violence and torture, a scene of rape, and pervasive language.

A man seeks revenge on the judicial system after his family’s brutal murder is mishandled in court.

This is very awesome. Very cool effects, a cool idea too! A man kills people from his solitary confinement jail cell. Gerard Butler is the new great action star, he his just a cool guy. Jamie Foxx does a great job in this film, he plays the lawyer that was in charge of Gerard’s character’s case, he is great at showing emotion. There are some tense moments in the movie, and some surprising moments also. A lady is killed when an explosive inside her cell phone detonates when she answers a call. The ending was a little anti-climactic, but they couldn’t really end it any other way. Its a really smart movie, a lot of reverse psychology stuff that make it really interesting and attention holding. Go see it… you wont bedisappointed. 8 1/2 out of 10




The Graduate

Title: The Graduate
Year: 1967
Director: Mike Nichols
Lead: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft
Rated: PG for Sexual Content (today would be pg-13)

A college graduate is seduced into having an affair with his fathers business partner, Mrs. Robinson.

This movie was fantastic, it was very funny, and very dramatic. Dustin Hoffman has some very funny lines like, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” or “Oh no dad, its completely baked”. Its a very funny plot, a college grad has an affair with his dad’s business partners wife who is two times older than him, however, he falls in love with her daughter. Its considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. This was Dustin Hoffman’s first role and he does fantastic. The ending is great too, the last 30 minutes are very cool and quite funny. The last shot of this film is very cool also (as pointed out by my film teacher) Ben and Elaines faces go from utter elation to absolute confusion. That’s all I’m going to say, your going to have to watch it for yourself. Its funny, dramatic, and definitely worth the watch. The Graduate won an Oscar for Best Director. 9 out of 10




paranormalactivity

Title: Paranormal Activity
Year: 2009
Director: Oren Peli
Lead: Katie Featherston, Micha Sloat
Rated: R for language

A couple becomes increasingly disturbed by paranormal activity in their home.

Let me start by saying, this was amazing. Finally, a director figures out that you don’t need special effects and a couple million dollar budget to make a great horror film. This film cost $15000 to make, and was filmed in 7 days at the directors home in San Diego. The actors were paid $500 for their roles, they worked 14-18 hours a day. When they did sleep, they slept in the “haunted house”. Katie was a waitress at Buca di Beppo at Universal City Walk, and Micha was a struggling actor/computer programmer, after this, they can forget about that.

Paranormal Activity is spine-tingling, it is very unsettling. It makes you hope it doesn’t happen to you. The whole film is shot on a handheld camera, held by one of the leads most of the time, or set on a tripod. There is not one scene filmed off the property surrounding the “haunted house”. The acting is fantastic, they are so believably a couple in real life, and are equally as freaked out as the audience when a scary moment comes along. Do not see this film alone, and see it while its still fresh, you don’t want to be in an empty theater, most of the fun is the other audience members reactions. Its very very unsettling. I wasn’t as scared as I expected to be, but its still scarier than any other film Ive seen. GO SEE IT! 8 out of 10




Singin' In The Rain

Title: Singin’ in the Rain
Year: 1952
Director: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Lead: Gene Kelley, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds
Rated: G

A silent film studio has trouble making the transition to sound pictures.

This is one of the best films ever made. My favorite part of this film is the story about the making of it. Debbie Reynolds was a new actress coming up in the business, she could not sing or dance (singin’ in the rain is a musical) and when Gene Kelly found out that he was going to co-star with her, he was upset and really gave her a hard time, and really didn’t like her. He had to act like they were in love, and in my opinion, he does a darn good job at it. The film itself is quite funny and very fun to watch. The songs are very catchy. This was a required film to watch for my film class, and although they say “required” its not a bad thing. This film is great, and everyone should see it. Its a piece of Americana that everyone knows. Singin’ in the Rain was nominated for 2 Oscars including; Best Supporting Actress in Jean Hagen and Best Music. 9 1/2 out of 10.




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Title: Couples Retreat
Year: 2009
Director: Peter Billingsley
Lead: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and language

A group of friends is convinced to go to a couples retreat in support of their friends desire to fix their broken marriage.

This film was funny. It wasn’t that funny, it seemed like a pointless movie to be honest. It was kind of cute, There isn’t alot to say about it. It was all over the place and it didn’t draw alot of real laughs. Everybody plays the same parts that they have played in every other movie Ive ever seen them in. Vince Vaughn was over the top and sarcastic like he always is. This film left me feeling glad I used a free movie pass. 6 out of 10. Don’t waste your money




Valkyrie

Title: Valkyrie
Year: 2008
Director: Bryan Singer
Lead: Tom Cruise
Rated: PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.

Based on true events. The plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler takes place during WWII.

This film is great, I really enjoyed it, Bryan Singer did a great job capturing the intensity of the moment, and made you feel it. I don’ttalk about this ever because its never good enough to notice, but the costume design in this film was really well done. The cinematography was awesome, many cool shots, and Tom Cruise (I don’t care what anyone says about him, he’s a great actor) does so well in this movie. I really liked the opening scene of the film when Tom Cruise’ character is speaking in German, and it transitions from German to English, it really makes you believe everything more, it kinda brings you into their state of mind. This film is based on true events, you’llbe asking yourself during this film, “did this happen”, yes it did. It is a great film, YOU SHOULD SEE! 8 1/2 out of 10




Dirty Harry

Title: Dirty Harry
Year: 1971
Director: Don Siegel
Lead: Clint Eastwood
Rated: R

A San Francisco Police officer tracks down a killer.

You’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? This movie is SO cool, Clint Eastwood is such a (for lack of a better word) badass. The villain in this movie is so weird, the creepiest, scariest villain Ive ever seen in a movie. Clint Eastwood, enough said, he makes this movie. He has no regard for the rules, and hes a jerk, but you love him, BECAUSE he has no regard for the rules AND he’s a jerk. Every Clint Eastwood fan (big or small) should see this film if you haven’t already, in fact, everyone PERIOD  should see this film, its awesome, really cool. 9 out of 10




Chaplin

Title: Chaplin
Year: 1993
Director: Richard Attenborough
Lead: Robert Downey Jr.
Rated: PG-13

The story of Charlie Chaplin. This is his life in a spectacular 2 1/2 hour film

This was great, very interesting. One of the catchphrases for this film is “Everyone has a wild side, even a legend.” this is so true, Charlie Chaplin was one interesting man. This film does a great job on touching every aspect of his life, and telling the story from Charlie’s point of view. This film was required watching for my film class, and for good reason. It gives a lot of background on some of the big directors, producers, and actors from that era. I felt really bad for Charlie at the end of this; he did do it to himself, but I still felt bad for him. This film is fantastic, and this is (in my opinion) Robert Downey Jr.’s best performance, He does so well! This really is a star studded cast, Dan Aykroyd, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Kline, and Diane Lane, to name most of them. Charlie Chaplin’s Daughter in real life, plays Charlies mom (her own grandmother) in this film, which is really cool. This film will give you great insight to the man behind “The Little Tramp”. Chaplin was nominated for 3 Oscars including, Best Actor, Best Art Direction- Set Decoration, and Best Original Score. I give this film a 8 1/2 out of 10.