Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Fiennes’

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit – Minute Movie Review

Montag, September 20th, 2010

Review:

Life is all about second chances. You give them to people. People give them to you. And sometimes – not very often, mind you – you offer them to a film. I first saw Were-Rabbit back in its theatrical run in 2005 and I was less than impressed. But after watching the recent Wallace & Gromit short A Matter of Loaf and Death and enjoying it immensely, I thought it was time to revise my judgement. Sadly, I was mistaken and my judgement still stands. Sure, the film has some outrageously funny scenes, some inspired ideas and is beautifully animated. (Claymated? That doesn’t sound right.) But ultimately, there are just not enough jokes or plot to sustain a feature film. The shorts are hilarious, but the film is somehow less. It’s by no means bad, but it’s just not great, with the story becoming increasingly silly (and not in a good way) and many of the jokes falling flat. And seriously, Gromit’s eyes are impressively expressive, but there is only so much one can take of them. In summary: it’s a good thing that Aardman went back to making short films – it’s where claymation belongs.

Random Observations:

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit at the IMDb

The film took half a decade to make, with only 3 seconds of footage being produced on most days. Stop motion animation is a lot of work, doing the whole thing with clay even more so.

It’s nice that the studio and director/creator Nick Park managed to retain Peter Sallis as the voice of Wallace. Some better known actor would have been a horrible choice.

The first third of the film, before the plot gets really under way, is easily my favourite part of the movie.

The Hurt Locker – Minute Movie Review

Montag, März 1st, 2010

Review:

A US Army bomb squad in Iraq loses its leader and his replacement turns out to be less concerned with rules and safety and more with the adrenalin rush of disarming bombs. The film follows their and especially his story in 2004 Iraq in a combination of action thriller and character study. Both parts are not perfect, but the combination is intriguing, with many suspenseful scenes as well as some interesting insights into the human psyche. Sadly, the film is less of a coherent story and more of a series of anecdotes, thus preventing any real connection with the protagonists and their situation.

Random Observations:

The Hurt Locker at the IMDb

Seventh of the ten Best Picture Oscar nominees I have seen and so far the only one who even remotely deserves that award.

The film has been criticized much both for its lack in realism (apparently, there are numerous mistakes in clothing, equipment and bomb disarming technique) and for it’s stand on the Iraq War (or as I like to call it: Vietnam II). Both criticisms completely miss the point: the depiction of war as hell (at least for most soldiers) is realistic even if they have the wrong guns and the film does not take a stand on the justification of the war at all.

Adventskalender 23

Mittwoch, Dezember 23rd, 2009

Klick auf den Link, um das dreiundzwanzigste Türchen zu öffnen. Click the link to open the twenty-third door.

(weiterlesen …)

Minute Movie Review – The Duchess

Montag, April 6th, 2009

Review:

The story of a young woman who, in 1744, marries a duke expecting a fabulous life, but is trapped in a loveless marriage and mistreated by her husband for her inability to give birth to a son. The story is actually a lot more layered than that, retelling a large portion of the live of the real Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire (with certain artistic license). Keira Knightley shines in the lead role – as she so often does in period dramas and Ralph Fiennes gives an incredibly performance as the Duke. Nevertheless, there is nothing really special about the film. It is a decent history movie, but nothing spectacular.

Random Observations:

The Duchess at imdb.com

The costumes in this film won an Oscar, which was well deserved. To think that people actually used to dress like that…

There were quite a few scenes set to candle light and I couldn’t help but wonder if they were shot without artificial lightning, as in Barry Lyndon. Somehow, I doubt it.

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 …)

Minute Movie Review – In Bruges

Montag, Juni 16th, 2008

Review:

After a hit in London, an Irish hit man and his mentor are send to Bruges until things blow over. The old man likes the city, with its medieval old town and historic places, but the young killer is only interested in a girl he just met, while he struggles with what he has done. But before long, boring Bruges is the least of his problems. The film is a dark and bloody comedy. It is beautifully shot, features great dialogue and surprisingly good acting from lead Colin Farrell and one of the most beautiful scores in recent memory. Simply put: I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun at the movies. Watch this!

Random Observations:

In Bruges at imdb.com

The movie is something of a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire reunion: Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes and Clémence Poésy all star.

Watching this movie really made me want to visit Bruges. Even if the movie says little positive about the city. But it’s a fairytale place!

Minute Movie Review – The Constant Gardener

Dienstag, Januar 15th, 2008

Review:

The Constant Gardener tells the story of a British diplomat in Kenia after his wife is brutally murdered. In flashbacks we learn about their life, her secrets from him, before we follow him as he slowly discovers them along with a plot involving major pharmaceutical companies. The movie is supposed to be a thriller, but is not very tantalising. It gets better in second part, when the story follows the husband, who at least has reasons for his search, but overall I felt the movie lacked anything to keep it truly interesting.

Random Observations:

The Constant Gardener at imdb.com

If you want to see a movie that displays perfectly what is wrong in Africa (and how Western countries are responsible for it), I’d recommend “Blood Diamond“. Ralph Fiennes, who plays the lead here, is a fine actor, but Leonardo DiCaprio is much better.

The first part of the story is the flashback to the killed wife’s life and is rather boring for a simple reason: While idealists may be very commendable and should be admired and what not, they don’t make for a good story. Interesting is what moves people, what motivates people – and simple idealism is a very boring motivation. That is why the second half is better, because the murder of one’s wife is much more interesting. (I’m not saying idealism is bad, I just say it makes a very boring story.)

Rachel Weisz got an Oscar (and other awards) for her performance as the idealist wife and while her performance was okay, there was really nothing spectacular about it. Maybe she got those awards for the many gratuitous nude shots? (I’m a cynic, I know.)

Minute Movie Review – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Donnerstag, November 15th, 2007

Review:

After the disaster that was “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” my expectations for “Order of the Phoenix” weren’t high. But even though the longest book was turned into the shortest (just over two hours) movie so far, the change in screenwriter and director made the fifth installment in the Harry Potter franchise very enjoyable. Of course many things were cut or changed from the novel, but the overall message of the book was conveyed. Harry Potter faces his worst enemy yet – not a resurrected Lord Voldemort or the people in charge who deny it, but adolescence, love and romance. With Order of the Phoenix the war in the wizard world begins and Harry is just about ready.

Random Observations:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at imdb.com

I’ve seen this movie on opening night, so the details in the review are sketchy. It was written more in anticipation of the DVD release, which is tomorrow in Germany, December 11th in the US and already in the past in the UK.

Amazon is selling the German DVD for €9,95, a ridiculously low price for a new blockbuster release. Is this a fluke or an actual trend for DVDs to be cheaper?