Name: Mean Girls
Running Time (minutes): 97
Description: Raised in African bush country by her zoologist parents, Cady Heron thinks she knows about survival of the fittest. But the law of the jungle takes on a whole new meaning when the home-schooled 16-year-old enters public high school for the first time and encounters psychological warfare and unwritten social rules that teenage girls face today.
Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Bennett and Rachel McAdams
Henres: Comedy, Drama
I should really stop watching teenage movies.
Name: Anchorman – The Legend Of Ron Burgundy
Running Time (minutes): 94
Description: Ron Burgundy is the top-rated anchorman in San Diego in the ’70s. When feminism marches into the newsroom in the form of ambitious newswoman Veronica Corningstone, Ron is willing to play along at first – as long as Veronica stays in her place, covering cat fashion shows, cooking and other ‘female’ interests. But when Veronica refuses to settle for being eye candy and steps behind the news desk, it’s more than a battle between two perfectly coiffed anchor-persons, it’s war.
Stars: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate and Steve Carell
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Name: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Running Time (minutes): 141
Description: Harry Potter is having a tough time with his relatives (yet again). He runs away after using magic to inflate Uncle Vernon’s sister Marge who was being offensive towards Harry’s parents. Initially scared for using magic outside the school, he is pleasantly surprised that he won’t be penalised after all. However, he soon learns that a dangerous criminal and Voldemort’s trusted aide Sirius Black has escaped from the Azkaban prison and wants to kill Harry to avenge the Dark Lord. To worsen the conditions for Harry, vile shape-shifters called Dementors are appointed to guard the school gates and inexplicably happen to have the most horrible effect on him. Little does Harry know that by the end of this year, many holes in his past (whatever he knows of it) will be filled up and he will have a clearer vision of what the future has in store…
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
I’m trying to watch these films without thinking about the novels now and the result is really interesting. Cuarón did his own thing with Rowling’s world and it payed off. The result is nearly perfect, except for some minor issues: the first part of the time-travelling sequence does some weird things with the time in question (Harry and Hermione can’t possibly have the Pettigrew discussion in the short space of time in the initial sequence, but I loved Dumbledore waffling about the strawberries). The Marauders’ backstory also isn’t covered well at all, though I suppose one receives enough hints throughout the rest of the films to understand it. I’d forgotten how good Emma Thompson was, too, and of course Alan Rickman (is he really gone?) But why does Harry spend the entire pub scene panting like crazy? Wasn’t the point not to be noticed? it’s also blatantly obvious that Dumbledore is stalling the minister and executioner and could someone explain how Sirius managed to pay for that Firebolt? Shouldn’t someone at Gringotts be slightly alarmed when a cat suddenly brings in an order that involves the bank account of an escaped convict (that’s in the novel anyway?)
The score is really interesting. I absolutely love the medieval-sounding parts and only just noticed that Williams scored lots of the hectic time-travel scenes with rhythmic, clock-like music. It’s so different than the first two that, when I was a child unaware of film music, I assumed they had used another composer.
The audio description was read by the man who made Minority Report incomprehensible, but he was much better here. I enjoyed all the little details that I don’t remember hearing in the British version: Petunia waving goodbye to Marge, the fact that someone was reading A Brief History Of Time in the Leaky Cauldron, Buckbeak eating (all the time), Lupin scarred and walking with a cane, Fudge helping Hagrid out of a carriage, a cat in Trelawney’s room, Sirius having a tattoo on his hand… He did ruin Double Trouble and called Flitwick ‘the dwarf conductor’ twice, but as a Harry Potter fanboy, I’ll happily overlook these minor mistakes: these descriptions made the film a very interesting re-discovery. If only I had the other films with American AD…
Name: I, Robot
Running Time (minutes): 115
Description: Set in a future Earth (2035 A.D.) where robots are common assistants and workers for their human owners, this is the story of “robotophobic” Chicago Police Detective Del Spooner’s investigation into the murder of Dr Alfred Lanning, who works at U.S. Robotics, in which a robot, Sonny, appears to be implicated, even though that would mean the robot had violated the Three Laws of Robotics, which is apparently impossible. It seems impossible because… if robots can break those laws, there’s nothing to stop them from taking over the world, as humans have grown to become completely dependent upon their robots. Or maybe… they already have? Aiding Spooner in his investigation is a psychologist, Dr Susan Calvin, who specializes in the psyches of robots.
Stars: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan and Bruce Greenwood
Genres: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Pretty good. Will Smith’s ‘aaarghs’ did sound extremely similar.
The score worked but was unmemorable. The sound effects were nicely distributed across all the channels.
Running Time (minutes): 104
Description: Catwoman is the story of shy, sensitive artist Patience Philips, a woman who can’t seem to stop apologizing for her own existence. She works as a graphic designer for Hedare Beauty, a mammoth cosmetics company on the verge of releasing a revolutionary anti-aging product. When Patience inadvertently happens upon a dark secret her employer is hiding, she finds herself in the middle of a corporate conspiracy. What happens next changes Patience forever. In a mystical twist of fate, she is transformed into a woman with the strength, speed, agility and ultra-keen senses of a cat. With her newfound prowess and feline intuition, Patience becomes Catwoman, a sleek and stealthy creature balancing on the thin line between good and bad. Like any wildcat, she’s dangerous, elusive and untamed. Her adventures are complicated by a burgeoning relationship with Tom Lone, a cop who has fallen for Patience but cannot shake his fascination with the mysterious Catwoman…
Stars: Halle Berry, Sharon Stone and Benjamin Bratt
Genres: Action, Crime, Fantasy
Okay, uh, what was that? I’d have liked it if the company had accidentally turned her into Catwoman with one of their products, but this… Senseless action, stupid plot twists (cats reviving humans, for God’s sake…) I just kept watching because it was too late to start watching anything else. This was really ridiculous. Sharon Stone’s husband has the worst fake British accent I’ve ever heard. Pff, waste of time.
One interesting note about the audio description: they used a woman for the story, but a man to read the credits. Nice touch.
Name: The Forgotten
Running Time (minutes): 91
Description: A grieving mother, Telly Paretta, is struggling to cope with the loss of her 9-year-old son. She is stunned when her psychiatrist and her husband tell her that she has created eight years of memories of a son she never had. But when she meets the father of one of her son’s friends who is having the same experience, Telly embarks on a mission to prove her son’s existence and her sanity.
Stars: Julianne Moore, Dominic West and Christopher Kovaleski
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
It wasn’t bad, certainly not as bad as Rotten Tomatoes claims it is. The only huge flaw came when Julianne Moore says to her sidekick: ‘Do you think your daughter is still alive?’ And then he goes, ‘Maybe, yeah, I dunno,’ in such a ridiculously uninterested manner that it was laughable. But the plot itself was quite interesting and I liked how they kept up the tension till the very end. The very last scene, however, ruins it. Julianne Moore is great as usual, but, also as usual, tends to overplay the frantic part. But what’s worse, Moore being frantic or telling Moore at the very end that – spoiler alert! – the aliens did it? If you’ve got Julianne Moore as your protagonist, put a little thought into it, for God’s sake.
James Horner’s score is effective and at times quite moving (the opening cue, for instance). I didn’t really like the electric guitar, but the Inception-like dreamy sound effects at the end were quite interesting.