Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Portman’

New York, I Love You – Minute Movie Review

Donnerstag, Februar 11th, 2010

Review:

After the success of Paris, je t’aime, it was only a matter of time before another film consisting of several love stories all set in one city would be made. Now that film has arrived, set in the wondrous city of New York. But while the first film assembled a host of talented filmmakers, this second instalment of what is to become a franchise suffers from a slew of inexperienced, overtaxed or, quite simply, bad directors. Add to that stories that are largely unoriginal and the few good parts of the film are all but forgotten. But worst of all is the overall inconsistency. Where Paris, je t’aime was ordered, this film is utter chaos, with the episodes blending into one another, making it hard to follow them when you never get closure on any storyline. The film might have been a nice idea, but the execution ruined it.

Random Observations:

New York, I Love You at the IMDb

Two more segments have been filmed and were included in the first showings at film festivals, but were cut for the theatrical release.

Very few of the stories actually deal with love. Many more just deal with sex.

There were a few fun segments, namely the first (by Jiang Wen) and the last (by Joshua Marston), but for the most part the film didn’t even manage to entertain.

The best segment might have been Fatih Akin’s, although it ultimately had very little pay-off.

The best actor in the film was Ethan Hawke, trying to pick up a woman while standing outside smoking.

Having Bradley Cooper repeatedly get in the cabs of people from different segments was a nice touch, but ultimately meaningless because it was not employed throughout and the joke never had a punchline.

You found what you were looking for!

Mittwoch, Januar 14th, 2009

Over the last several months, it has happened occassionally that people used a search engine and were brought to my site. Most of these searches were pretty straightforward and I’m fairly certain that the people looking for “die welle review” or “christoph hartwig” found what they were looking for. There were some other quests, however, that were fatally unfulfilled. Since at Fabricated Truth we do everything for our readers, even one time readers who are unlikely to ever return, here are some of the search terms along with a guess what the person was looking for – so that the next time they will find an answer. (weiterlesen …)

The Ten Best Movies of 2008

Mittwoch, Januar 7th, 2009

Everybody loves Top Ten Lists, right? You can never get enough of them, correct? If you read one to the end, you want nothing more than start looking at the next one, or am I wrong? In any case, I like Top Ten (or basically any other number) Lists. I know they are silly and arbitrary and highly subjective, but they are still fun – even if one just reads them to poke fun at the author(s). So to start my own habitual list-making off, I hereby offer you the TEN BEST MOVIES OF 2008!

(weiterlesen …)

Comic Book Movie July – V for Vendetta

Freitag, Juli 18th, 2008

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November”. You don’t know why you should remember the fifth of November? Obviously, you either aren’t British or not very well versed in your country’s history. On November fifth of 1605, Guy Fawkes and a number of co-conspirators tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, killing the King (James I.) and many other leaders of the country in the process. The Gunpowder Plot, as it is now known, failed and Fawkes was later executed. To this day, the failure (or the attempt) is celebrated throughout the Commonwealth on the fifth of November. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember any of that to enjoy V for Vendetta.

(weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – Mars Attacks!

Dienstag, April 8th, 2008

Review:

Possibly the only movie ever based on a trading card game (usually its the other way around), Mars Attacks! is a parody of science fiction in general and the surprisingly large subgenre of earth-invasion movies in particular (think “Independence Day“). When Martians arrive on Earth, everyone wants peace with them – including the US president. But when they attack without warning, all hell brakes loose. Easily defeating the humans, they need to be outwitted somehow by a diverse cast of characters. The fact that all this sounds oh so stereotypical is intentional of course, and the parody works really well. Nevertheless, the fact that everything is exactly as expected still makes for a rather boring movie.

Random Observations:

Mars Attacks! at imdb.com

When you’re Tim Burton, you can apparently get almost every actor: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Michael J. Fox, Natalie Portman… The list goes on and on – and remember, the movie came out in 1996, so some of those hadn’t sold out yet.

Minute Movie Review – Paris, je t’aime

Dienstag, März 25th, 2008

Review:

Paris, je t’aime is essentially a collection of short films set in Paris and dealing, mostly, with love of all kinds. As that, it is interesting to see 18 different takes on the matter, from many accomplished as well as up-and-coming directors. Naturally, some of those short films are better than others and everyone will have different favourites. But when the director line-up includes Tykwer, Coens, Payne, Craven, Van Sant and Cuarón to name just a few, great film-making is guaranteed. The experiment works and the movie overall is very enjoyable, although some of the segments lower the overall accomplishment.

Random Observations:

Paris, je t’aime at imdb.com

The Coen brothers decided to make a comedic segment, with their regular Steven Buscemi in the lead role.

The only really bad parts for me were the vampire segment of Vincenzo Natali and parts of Nobuhiro Suwa’s segment about a mother who just lost a son.

I was especially surprised by Wes Craven’s segment, who I have only ever seen as a creator of horror and splatter movies like Scream. But even though it is set in a cemetery, it is quite different.

Minute Movie Review – V for Vendetta

Freitag, März 14th, 2008

Review:

V for Vendetta is based on a comic of the same name by Alan Moore, who was so fed up with Hollywood’s versions of his visions, he refused to even be named in the credits for this one. But unlike “From Hell” or “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen“, this film stayed true to the original story (although it is updated to our time). In a future Britain, an all-powerful government promises to keep the country from collapsing like the rest of the world. But the people’s freedom is restricted too much and a single “terrorist”, code-named V, fights the government. Remembering Guy Fawkes, he tries to steer up a revolution. The film is a mixture of political drama and action and as that works very well. It’s smart, it’s witty and it’s insightful – and just oh so much fun. A brilliant film that everyone should see.

Random Observations:

V for Vendetta at imdb.com

The title of this blog, Fabricated Truth, was actually inspired by this movie (or maybe the comic, I can’t recall). There is a quote along the lines of: “Artists use lies to tell the truth, politicians to cover it up”. In this spirit, the truth may be fabricated here, but it’s alright and even good.

Natalie Portman shaved her hair for this film. Now that is dedication. She also spoke with a British accent that sadly was not as noticeable in “The Other Boleyn Girl“.

My favourite funny-man Stephen Fry has a part in this that wasn’t in the graphic novel. Maybe that is why I like the movie so much more.

Minute Movie Review – The Other Boleyn Girl

Donnerstag, März 13th, 2008

Review:

The best way to describe The Other Boleyn Girl is “bland”. There is a lot of potential – an interesting setting during the reign of King Henry VIII., the battle between two sisters, two talented actresses (Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson) squaring off – and almost all of it is not realized. The story of the two sisters interested in the king focuses more on soap opera type sex (and how their family sold them out) than the real issue of the king’s decision to leave the Catholic church and while the costumes are certainly contrived enough, they are not enough to transport the viewer back in time. There is nothing really wrong with this film, but there is also nothing really right. In short: bland.

Random Observations:

The Other Boleyn Girl at imdb.com

So, in the battle of the pretty faces, Natalie Portman definitely wins the acting challenge. Though part of that may be due to her playing the more challenging role.

Jim Sturgess plays the Boleyn’s sisters’ brother – and he looks exactly like Daniel Brühl.

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.

The Darjeeling Limited – First Thoughts

Mittwoch, Januar 9th, 2008

Ever since I finally saw “The Darjeeling Limited“, the new Wes Anderson movie, on Sunday, I’ve been wanting to write a short review. But I am simply not able to. I don’t really know what I think of the film yet, so there is little point in writing something as definitive as a review. Instead I am just going to post some of the things the movie made me think, hopefully helping sort out the confusion the movie has caused.

The problem with saying something about Darjeeling Limited is that on the one hand the movie was everything I expected from a Wes Anderson movie and that on the other hand it was everything I expected from a Wes Anderson movie. After “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Life Aquatic” it is the third time in a row that Anderson deals largely with an estranged family and while he does so beautifully, moving, sentimental, amusing and touching, you also get a feeling of “same old, same old”. I’ve been a fan of Wes Anderson ever since I first saw “The Royal Tenenbaums” when it was first released and then saw it again and again. I really like his earlier movie “Rushmore” and “Bottle Rocket” (the feature film, I’ve sadly never seen the short). I even learned to love “The Life Aquatic”, which after Tenenbaums was a bit of a disappointment.

Anderson always manages to get a lot of brilliant actors to appear in his movies and Darjeeling is no exception. With Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson in the lead roles, Anjelica Huston in a supporting role and the likes of Bill Murray and Natalie Portman (who flew to India for 3o minutes of filming) in bit parts, the acting is great as always. Taking everything to such an exotic place as India (for us Westerners) was something new and certainly added to the flavour of the movie. The cinematography was beautiful as usual and the score, made up of songs composed for Indian movies, was, as usual, a great add-on to the movie. But still, something was missing. Or at least I feel that something was missing. Maybe it was due to the fact that for some obscure reason the short “Hotel Chevalier”, which is a sort of prelude to the movie was not shown when I saw the film. I’ve seen it before, but I certainly missed seeing it on the big screen. Not just because Natalie Portman gets naked in it (something which every geek, dork and nerd (Not Even Remotely Dorky, thank you Professor Frink!) has been talking about on the internet for month), but because it really adds background to the story of the three estranged brothers that travel through India together to… And here the problems really start: To do what?. In typical Anderson fashion, we don’t really know why they are taking the journey. Francis, the oldest, is responsible for organizing it, but why the other two came along is completely unclear. It’s a spiritual journey and while some mystery about the character’s motivations is certainly allowable and even necessary, it bothered me a little here. Why did Peter leave his 7-month pregnant wife to go on a spiritual journey through India? Certainly he needs and wants to figure some things out, but is that really enough of an explanation?

And problems like that continue. I’m not sure why many of the events in the movie took place – and usually I’m quite attentive when watching a movie and certainly when finally watching the movie I have been looking forward to for months. But even though I really liked the parts the film was made of, I somehow didn’t really like the overall picture. And I can’t really explain why, which annoys me. So the only solution is to see the movie again. And again. And again.

(This sentence is only added because I already finished a recent entry with “And again. And again.”)