Showing posts with label *****stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label *****stars. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2013

'Les Miserables' Revisited ****stars


when i first reviewed 'lez miz' i gave it***1/2stars. not too shabby. but after rewatching it this past weekend i am giving it back the 1/2* it had not gotten. i'll use the excuse that i was not fully recovered from my surgery when i saw it in the theater. uncomfortability can be an influence.

first i knocked russel crowe's singing. yes it is still not that good but damn it it fits the role. i mean would josh groban's voice have worked for the character javert? no! as i see crowe play the role his voice or lack of works perfectly.

second i believed anne hathaway was being applauded for one song. i was wrong. her performance throughout her 18 minutes or so on screen was magnificent. no i did not have a lobotomy. on the second and third view she stll amazed me. 

i originally wrote it was a brilliant piece of film. i still say this. however, i add it is a masterpiece of musical film. i always believed 'fiddler on the roof' was the best translation from stage to film. it has moved to second place.

and oh amanda seyfried....she made me smile and cry on my second viewing. she is wonderful and the unsung piece of this film this past award season. it's not often i am more amazed the second time i see a film. generally i am less impressed or just feel the same as the first time. not so with 'lez miz'. 

and hugh jackman. in another year he would have won the oscar for best actor. but there was mr. lincoln. but today i wonder if mr. jackman was not the best actor this year. just thinking out loud. you must decide for yourself.

aaron tveit and eddie redmayne and samantha barks remain wonderful.
sasha baron cohen and helena bonham cater were both great comic relief in an other wise tragedy.

bravo tom hooper.

and here is the lovely unsung amanda seyfried with eddie redmayne



the cast at this year's oscar ceremony

Sunday, December 30, 2012

'Argo' ****

'argo' the based on a true story about the rescue of 6 americans during the carter administration is really really good. we know how it will turn, out but i now say the brilliant, director ben affleck keeps us engrossed and on the edge of our seats throughout. the cast is one of the best ensemble casts of the year. special kudus to alan arkin a supporting actor nominee potential.


a potential best picture nominee i urge you to see it. and congrats mr. affleck. you are three for three.
it is the possible winner of that roque oscar.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

'Melancholia': ****stars

'melancholia' is not for everyone. it is a dark film revolving around the impening collision of our planet with another. it begins with a wedding whose bride suffers melancholia which is the name of the planet that will collide with earth. it has a good cast well suited to their parts but it is the amazing performance of kirsten dunst as the bride that is the center of it. her sister played by a wonderful charlotte gainsbourg anchors it until the final moments when roles reverse.

kirsten dunst deserves an oscar nom for here portrayal. she has already won best actress earlier this year at the cannes film festival. the question is whether or not academy members will see it. right now the film and ms dunst top my year end 'best of' lists.






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Friday, February 4, 2011

'The Fighter' ****stars


i went kicking and screaming to see this film. not literally but you knew that. and damn damn damn what a helluva surprise. for me anyway. this is a great film and just places with the other great films this year. it's about a fighter, two really, but it is so much more. it's the relationships, difficult relationships, amongst a truly dysfunctional set of people. the boxing out of the rink is as powerful as the boxing in the rink. it's psychological boxing and often more brutal.

as the award season progresses kudos keep going to melissa leo, amy adams  and christian bale and deservedly so. but why the hell is marl wahlberg never mentioned. his character is the heart and soul of this film. he is the center of the film. mr. wahlberg grows with every role he takes on. 

bravo to all the actors and to everyone connected to this film. run to see this now. that's the best i can say.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

'Black Swan': ****stars


first let me state that i've never been a fan of natalie portman. then i shall say that every once in awhile an actor gets a role of a lifetime like charlize theron in 'monster' and adrien brody in 'the pianist'. this is natalie's role of a lifetime. she is nothing less than extraordinary as a ballerina rehearsing the role of the swan queen in 'swan lake'. as she tries to enhance the role of the evil twin, the black swan, her descent into madness is slow but asured as she becomes more the black queen than the white queen twin. yes ms. portman is extraordinary and gives one of the greatest performances on screen ever.

'black swan' is in and of itself an extraordinary film. as it is one of the best of 2010 it will indeed be one of the best of this young decade. brilliantly directed by darren aronofsky it is so much more than a dance film. it is a 'horror' film in the best sense that madness is horrific.  if this film does not send shivers down your spine you may be dead.

the supporting cast truly supports the lead and unselfishly enhances her portrayal especially mila kunis and vincent cassell. barbara hershey shines as the mommie dearest of ballerina nina sayers.

run to see this film. i was shocked at how damn good it is. more shocked that natalie portman won me over. she's going to be hard to beat come oscar time.



Saturday, July 17, 2010

'Inception': Is a ****star Masterpiece


FINALLY A FILM THAT LIVES UP TO IT'S PRE-OPENING HYPE

 the best film of the summer is here. director christopher nolan denied twice for best director nominee and his 'batman begins' and 'the dark night' both denied best picture noms may just get his just rewards this time around. he had better. i defy the academy to ignore this picture come oscar nomination time. this is the new epic. my rating system goes to four stars. 'inception' deserves more.

you heard it's about dreams and invading dreams and that's all you are getting from me. you have to see it for yourself. on the big screen both times. both times? i believe you will want to make a return visit. it is so epic that i don't believe anyone can absorb all it offers in one visit. i'm going imax on it real soon.

this the the greatest roller coaster ride ever. this is edge of the seat movie going. it gets you to the edge, then gets you totally edged and trippy and all you want is to ride it longer. it is truly a mind blowing experience.

the cast headed by leo dicaprio is amazing. joseph gordon-levitt, tom hardy and ken watanabe really shine. i had reservations about ellen page at first but her casting was truly inspired. i thought she might be out of her league. but then her character appeared out of her league with the rest of the 'dream team'. neither ellen nor her character are out of their league. and then there is the divine marion cotillard. she brightens any film always. i am mad about this woman...this actress. her role is smaller than the rest but pivotal which makes it larger than the rest.

and then there is leonardo dicaprio. he just gets better and better. he is the film's center. he winds up being it's soul. this leaves a question begging to be asked. 'best actor nominee for this or 'shutter island'? so we have the kate winslet dilemma as in 'the reader' or 'revolutionary road' i picked 'the reader' for kate and she won. leo go with 'shutter island' because you owned that film. here you generously shared with a brilliant ensemble cast. trust me leo.

the musical score by hans zimmer is oscar bait. actually i say this can and will receive as many oscar noms as categories it qualifies for.

so i love this movie. it is amazing, brilliant, adult, thoughtful and yes it is a masterpiece. run to a theater near you. don't think about it just go. it is air conditioned and the perfect antidote for the heat wave in your neighborhood.
this movie about dreams is a dream come true in a summer of filmgoing mediocrity.









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i repeat the WARNING: see it before you speak about it!