Posts Tagged ‘Jude Law’

The Aviator – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, Juni 23rd, 2010

Review:

In 1927, after his parents’ death, a young Howard Hughes (greatest actor of his generation Leonard DiCaprio) came to Hollywood and used his inherited business to make the most expensive film at the time, while also developing an interest in aviation. Over the next two decades, he rose to prominence in both fields before a fall from grace (and a plane crash) caused his neurosis to overcome his eager drive and he developed the most famous case of OCD in history. The biopic by Martin Scorsese is well-made and solidly acted, with some inspired ideas (I especially like the use of colour reflecting the film stock of the time), but it plays havoc with the true chronology of events and omits the last three decades of Hughes’ life completely. Sure, they were decidedly less interesting, but taking the most interesting items from them and inserting them randomly into earlier events does not serve the story.

Random Observations:

The Aviator at the IMDb

I really liked the scenes at the Coconut Grove, which made “old” Hollywood truly come alive.

It’s very odd to see modern day actors and actresses portray the greats of that time. Cate Blanchett does a surprisingly convincing Katharine Hepburn, but Kate Beckinsale’s Ava Gardner and especially Jude Law’s Errol Flynn are a disappointment.

For a man who loved aviation, aka flying, more than anything, the film spends relatively little time exploring that theme.

Also, the importance of Noah Dietrich (John C. Reilly) to the success of Hughes’ companies is vastly underplayed in the film.

Sherlock Holmes – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, Februar 9th, 2010

Review:

When I first read that Guy Ritchie, the guy behind the vastly overrated gangster comedies Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, was making a Sherlock Holmes movie that would focus on the action hero aspect of the character, I expected something terrible. But due to great casting (Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law AND Mark Strong? You wouldn’t even need to add Rachel McAdams, I’m in!) and good advance word, I actually wanted to see this film. A big mistake. The film is every bit as horrible as expected, a generic action thriller with nary a good moment. Holmes detecting mostly consists of smelling stuff, hitting men bigger than him and being outsmarted by every second person in the film. There are 60 original Holmes stories, so there really was no reason for the film to create some crazy conspiracy story that barely makes sense and is riddled with plot holes. That Ritchie’s directing is at best mediocre I expected, but it was actually painful to watch how he managed to reduce the great cast to horrible actors. No matter how you feel about the real Sherlock Holmes, avoid this film. How it ever came to be successful is a mystery that would have even intrigued the great detective.

Random Observations:

Sherlock Holmes at the IMDb

Hans Zimmer’s score is nominated for an Oscar. It was certainly very effective in calling attention to itself, but I wouldn’t consider that a good thing. If you notice that the music does not fit the scene, you are taken out of it. Also: who the hell thought that some Irish folk music  would be good for the end credits?

I have to admit that there was one redeeming factor to the film: the exchanges between Holmes and Watson were often quite entertaining. But that was not nearly enough to save the film from being horrible.

There are many more bad things about this film I want to address, but I fear that I might have a heartache if I continue thinking about the film. So for now, be warned to stay away.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Minute Movie Review

Donnerstag, Januar 21st, 2010

Review:

As much as I like the work of Terry Gilliam – and I do like almost everything he’s done, even some things that are not critically adored – the advance word on his newest film was so bad that I would have skipped it were it not for the fact that this is Heath Ledger’s final performance. Here, he plays a man who was hanged and has lost his memory, but is rescued by Doctor Parnassus and his crew, who entertain people by allowing them inside the Doctor’s mind. In there, he wages a battle with the devil that has been going on for a thousand years – and when Ledger enters the imagination, he is played by Johnny Depp, Jude Law or Colin Farrell. This works surprisingly well and the film is filled with the usual array of ideas sprung from Gilliam’s overactive imagination. Nevertheless, it doesn’t quite work. The story is a bit too rambling and many of the sequences rely to heavily on CGI to be believable, creating a film that might have been great, but is deeply flawed. It’s not bad, but from the talent involved one could expect more.

Random Observations:

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at the IMDb

Depp and Ledger look eerily similar in this film, making this transition the smoothest. It also should be said that all of the three actors played the part of Ledger they were best suited to, but that it would have been even more interesting to see Ledger transform so much throughout the story.

The female lead, Lily Cole, was completely unknown to me and after her performance here, I very much hope that will be the case once again quite soon.

Road to Perdition – Minute Movie Review

Donnerstag, August 13th, 2009

Review:

In 1931, a twelve-year-old witnesses his father and his father’s boss’ son kill some people as part of their job with the mob. When the boss’ son decides that the kid can’t be trusted and starts to kill the entire family, father and son bond together while trying to survive and also avenge their family’s murder. Filmed with incredibly attention to detail and great cinematography (that rightfully earned the Director of Photography a posthumous Oscar), “Road to Perdition” is an atmospheric thriller that slowly draws one into it’s world. It could be a great movie, but truly dreadful performances from otherwise great actors (especially Tom Hanks and Jude Law) prevent it from reaching that greatness.

Random Observations:

Road to Perdition at the IMDb

You can really tell that the film is based on a graphic novel. There is a very large number of static shots with very little movement within the frame  – in short, shots that could be taken straight from the pages of a graphic novel.

I mentioned the film in my introduction to Comic Book Movie July last year, stating that I didn’t enjoy it much. And while I still don’t think that it was all that great, watching it with an eye towards good film-making, I couldn’t help but be impressed by parts of it.

I saw the film back in 2002 when it was released theatrically and never made the connection between the “villain” in this film and the newest Bond actor.

I actually remembered very little about the film apart from the opening shot and one of the last scenes.

Minute Movie Review – Artificial Intelligence: AI

Donnerstag, März 13th, 2008

Review:

In the distant future, robots can do anything – except love. AI tells the story of the first robot that is constructed to have real feelings. Adopted by a family whose son is in a coma, he dearly loves his mother – but when her real son returns, he is forced to leave the family. Desperately, he seeks the blue fairy from Pinocchio to become a real boy. Often visually stunning, the plot is somewhat lacking – and the voice-over ending so artificial that only Hollywood could have created it. Originally a Kubrick project, Spielberg took over and tried his best, but Haley Joel Osment in the lead role acts so wooden that he you just wish he would accept his android fate.

Random Observations:

Artificial Intelligence: AI at imdb.com

New York is flooded in this movie due to the polar ice caps melting. Proving that Al Gore wasn’t the first person to make a film about global warming.

The short story the movie is (very loosely) based on is “Supertoys Last All Summer Long”. Apparently, in Sci-Fi changing the name for a book adaptation is regular procedure (see “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”).

Streik, Oscars, New Line und Co

Montag, Februar 25th, 2008

Seit meinem letzten Eintrag über das bevorstehende Ende des Streiks der Drehbuchautoren sind ja doch einige Wochen ins Land gezogen. Der Grund dafür war simpel: Da ich meine journalistische Integrität als wichtiger betrachtet habe als meine schriftstellerische, habe ich ja auch während des Streiks eifrig geschrieben. Kaum war dieser beendet (an dem von mir schon angekündigten Tag) bin ich dann selber in den Streik getreten. Leider hat die AMPTP jedoch bis heute nicht auf meine (sehr moderaten) Forderungen reagiert und mein Streikposten vor dem Kodak Theater bei der gestrigen Oscar-Verleihung hat die Schauspieler auch nicht gestoppt. Wahrscheinlich weil er schon einige Stunden vor deren Auftauchen vom LAPD entfernt wurde. Und somit schreibe ich jetzt auch wieder – und hoffe, dass die Schauspieler, die in der SAG (Screen Actors Guild) vereinigt sind und deren Rahmenvertrag mit der AMPTP im Juni ausläuft, mich bei ihren Verhandlungen nicht vergessen. Denn auch wenn die Führung der SAG noch nicht mit der AMPTP spricht / sprechen will, läuft die PR-Maschine zur Verhinderung eines weiteren Streiks bereits auf Hochtouren. So haben beispielsweise einige der bekanntesten und beliebtesten Schauspieler der USA wie George Clooney und Tom Hanks die SAG schon aufgefordert, die Verhandlungen bald zu starten.

Gestern also war die Oscar-Verleihung – und da mein Versuch, sie zu bestreiken, leider verfrüht gescheitert ist, habe ich es mir natürlich dann doch angesehen. Was soll man dazu schon sagen: 4 Stunden feiert sich die Filmindustrie selber und man wartet als Zuschauer gespannt darauf, dass jemand mal endlich etwas wirklich Witziges sagt. Aber als relativer Oscar-Neuling sehe ich die Show eigentlich schon noch ganz gerne. Jon Stewart als Gastgeber war, wie auch schon 2006, lustig und souverän (auch wenn die meisten Kritiker das anders bewerten) und die meisten Gewinner – erwartete wie unerwartete – waren wohl auch gerechtfertigt. Die größte Überraschung war wohl die Auszeichnung Tilda Swintons als beste Nebendarstellerin, die sich unerwartet gegen Cate Blanchett und Amy Ryan durchsetzte. Auch interessant ist der Gewinn von drei (eher unbedeutenden) Auszeichnungen durch “The Bourne Ultimatum” – man wurde den Eindruck nie so ganz los, dass einige der Academy Mitglieder den Film gerne auch in wichtigeren Kategorien gesehen hätten. Die Gesamtliste der Gewinner kann man an vielen Stellen einsehen – in der Hoffnung dass wenigstens Amazon mich bezahlt, verlinke ich hierfür mal wieder zur IMDB.

Ein bedeutender Anteil der Oscar-Verleihung sind immer die Montagen, also die Zusammenschnitte von Filmszenen oder früheren Preisträgern. Wenn, bedingt durch den Autorenstreik, die Vorbereitungszeit dann noch etwas kürzer wird, spielen sie noch eine wichtigere Rolle. Auch diesmal fehlte nicht das Gedenken an diejenigen Hollywoodianer, die im letzten Jahr verstorben sind. Den Abschluss der Auflistung bildete dabei Heath Ledger. Als Ledger starb, hatte er gerade eine Drehpause von dem Film “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” – dem neuen Film von Terry Gilliam. Dieser dachte schon, dass er mal wieder ein Projekt unvollendet abbrechen müsste, aber jetzt hat sich doch noch ein Ersatz gefunden. Oder genauer gesagt gleich drei. Denn die Rolle von Ledger werden in dem Film jetzt Johnny Depp, Jude Law und Colin Farrell übernehmen – in den noch nicht gedrehten Szenen. Wie es funktionieren soll, wenn vier Schauspieler eine Figur spielen, wird sich zeigen, aber der bisherige Erfolg von “I’m not there” scheint darauf hinzudeuten, dass es durchaus möglich ist.

Derweil rückt das Ende von dem beliebten Studio New Line immer näher. Nachdem auch “Der Goldene Kompass” ziemlich schlecht gelaufen ist, deutete sich ja schon an, dass das Studio von Warner Bros. übernommen wird. Die Verträge der Geschäftsführer wurden nicht verlängert und auch wenn die Einigung mit Peter Jackson und die Ankündigung von zwei “Der kleine Hobbit” Filmen nochmal als Hoffnungsschimmer galt, ist spätestens seitdem die Nachfahren von JRR Tolkien New Line verklagt haben, da es nicht für die Rechte am “Herr der Ringe” bezahlt habe, wohl endgültig mit der Eigenständigkeit vorbei.

Um nicht ganz so traurig zu schließen: Bei der Verleihung der Independet Spirit Awards am Samstag hat “Juno” sich als der große Gewinner herausgestellt. Der Film ist jetzt schon in den USA der größte Independent Erfolg seit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” und die Komödie mit der grandiosen Ellen Page in der Hauptrolle läuft am 20. März auch in Deutschland an.

Minute Movie Review – My Blueberry Nights

Dienstag, Februar 5th, 2008

Review:

If you ever wanted to go to film school, but couldn’t afford to, don’t worry too much. Instead of “Arthouse 101″, you can easily just watch “My Blueberry Nights”, celebrated Korean filmmaker Wong Kar Wai’s first English (in the language, not the country) movie. Takes that are painfully long, blurry images, close-ups, elevated background noise or scenes with a notable absence of music – it’s all there. The film tells the story of a woman with a broken heart and her journey through the US to find, well, to find whatever she was looking for or something. Along the way, she encounters different people and sees something of their stories. The story is painfully weak, the acting is mostly terrible and the fact that every cliché of Independent Cinema is fulfilled all too obvious. Maybe film school would have been more expensive, but at least it would have been fun. And felt a lot shorter.

Random Observations:

My Blueberry Nights at imdb.com

Casting singer Norah Jones in the lead role was a brilliant idea, especially since her complete lack of acting experience was sure proof of her superior acting ability. Never before has anybody employed the puppy dog eye look for two hours straight.

The only redeeming factor about this movie was David Strathairn’s performance as an alcoholic cop. He was the only one not affected by Jones’ acting. Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz certainly lost all acting ability in her presence.

And then there is Jude Law. I’m not sure he was supposed to do anything but look haughtily beautiful, which he accomplished with bravado.

I can understand that Norah Jones’ songs were used in the film – but why was the same song used four times? And why always the beginning? Something new wouldn’t have hurt. But probably the entire budget was already spent on the many location shots to afford more than one song. Location shots that are absolutely necessary when most of the action takes place inside.