Running Time (minutes): 86
Description: At New York’s Central Park Zoo, a lion, a zebra, a giraffe, and a hippo are best friends and stars of the show. But when one of the animals goes missing from their cage, the other three break free to look for him, only to find themselves reunited … on a ship en route to Africa. When their vessel is hijacked, however, the friends, who have all been raised in captivity, learn first-hand what life can be like in the wild.
Stars: Chris Rock, Ben Stiller and David Schwimmer
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
At first I didn’t think I’d be able to watch this one as my speakers are giving up the ghost, but earphones came to the rescue. Obviously this is a simple film, but I enjoyed it nevertheless except for the stupid Alex ‘subplot’ at the end.
Hans Zimme’s cheerful score was a really pleasant surprise after all his superhero trash I recently endured.
The narrator was obviously having a great time recording all the descriptions, but it would have been nice had he said a little more from time to time.
Name: The Family Stone
Running Time (minutes): 103
Description: The Stone family unites in common cause when their favorite son brings his uptight girlfriend home for the Christmas holiday, with plans of proposing. Overwhelmed by the hostile reception, she begs her sister to join her for emotional support, triggering further complications.
Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker and Claire Danes
Genres: Comedy, Drama Romanc
I think there’s something wrong with the title of this film. It’s about the Stone family, not about a secret heirloom. Also don’t really understand why they broadcast a Christmas film in July. I really liked Diane Keaton and Craig T Nelson, who said very little, but when he did speak, the emotion was always palpable. The ending was rather good (except for the fact that Meredith wasn’t stabbed to death), I only wish the rest had been just as good.
Giacchino’s score was surprisingly pleasant, though, but someone needs to tell the guy about reverb, fast.
The audio description was ineffective at times. I had to consult Wikipedia twice before I understood who was who.
Name: Mr. And Mrs. Smith
Running Time (minutes): 120
Description: A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.
Stars: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Adam Brody
Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance
Turned it off after 10 minutes.
Name: Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith
Running Time (minutes): 140
Description: It is three years after the Clone Wars. The leader of the droid army, General Grievous, has captured Chancellor Palpatine on board his ship, the Invisible Hand. Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker must fly through Coruscant safely, and enter the Invisible Hand so that they can rescue the captive Chancellor. Just when Palpatine is about to be released, Count Dooku shows up. Obi-Wan and Anakin both battle it out with him, but Obi-Wan ends up unconscious. Anakin slices off his head and kills him. Anakin carries Obi-Wan, and Palpatine follows him. They meet General Grievous face to face, and Anakin tries to fly the last half of the ship so that they can safely land on Coruscant. Later, Palpatine starts acting strangely, constantly manipulating Anakin into believing that the Jedi Council is against him. Eventually, it is found out that he is the Dark Lord of the Sith. Jedi Master Mace Windu fights him…
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
At first I thought it wasn’t going to be too great because the first twenty minutes or so was just more fighting and escaping, but then things got underway. I loved the scenes between Darth Sidious and Anakin (who was much better in this film, incidentally), how his love for Padme ultimately drove him to the dark side and, well, basically, the whole sequence of events that followed. Story-wise, this is definitely my favourite Star Wars film so far.
Score-wise, too. John Williams stunned me again as Anakin was killing the Jedi. Beautiful, beautiful music all around, not to mention the march/fanfare when Anakin was sent on his mission to destroy the Jedi.
Looking back, I have to say I prefer the prequels and I should have watched those first because so many things seem childishly simple or illogical when you start with the originals. At least the story is complete now: I know why Luke is special, why Leia is a Princess etc.
Name: Harry Potter 4-Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
Running Time (minutes): 157
Description: Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts is about to start and he is enjoying the summer vacation with his friends. They get the tickets to The Quidditch World Cup Final but after the match is over, people dressed like Lord Voldemort’s ‘Death Eaters’ set a fire to all the visitors’ tents, coupled with the appearance of Voldemort’s symbol, the ‘Dark Mark’ in the sky, which causes a frenzy across the magical community. That same year, Hogwarts is hosting ‘The Triwizard Tournament’, a magical tournament between three well-known schools of magic : Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. The contestants have to be above the age of 17, and are chosen by a magical object called the Goblet of Fire. On the night of selection, however, the Goblet spews out four names instead of the usual three, with Harry unwittingly being selected as the Fourth Champion. Since the magic cannot be reversed, Harry is forced to go with it and brave three exceedingly difficult tasks.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
It was difficult to really enjoy it as I know it inside out, but anyway…
Story-wise, it stands perfectly well on its own, better than HP3 actually. Newell also did his own thing with the characters, which mostly resulted in welcome changes. I loved Moaning Myrtle (she likes Harry so she can’t possibly be morose all the time). As for Gambon, yes, he’s not the Dumbledore from the books, but I’ve found the reactions of some hardcore fans totally ridiculous. He did not commit treason because he didn’t read the books, and I think he’s not obliged to either. If neither scriptwriter nor director bother to look into their characters, don’t give him all the blame. Daniel Radcliffe didn’t always convince me when he was crying and the way Moody was always helping him, giving him hard stares and long looks was really over the top, but I must say that this film contains one special thing that all the following ones don’t: raw emotion. Even now, the graveyard and its aftermath made me shiver.
It’s hard to say something objective about the score that made me listen to film music and therefore changed my life. I still remember being enchanted by it as a 12-year-old and buying the CD in the theatre right after seeing the film. Doyle did his own thing and I don’t think he emulated John Williams at all and he shouldn’t have done so either. He dropped lots of themes, but then again, Williams did too. For me, it’s still magical, symphonic bliss.
Name: Pride and Prejudice
Running Time (minutes): 127
Description: The story is based on Jane Austen’s novel about five sisters – Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty and Lydia Bennet – in Georgian England. Their lives are turned upside down when a wealthy young man (Mr. Bingley) and his best friend (Mr. Darcy) arrive in their neighborhood.
Stars: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen and Brenda Blethyn
Genres: Drama, Romance
LOVED IT. As usual it took me a few moments to get into the 18th-century politics and multitude of characters (quite confusing at first), but other than that, everything was just perfect. And a great score, too. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been so touched by a piano performance.