Name: The Heartbreak Kid
Running Time (minutes): 116
Description: A newlywed man who believes he’s just gotten hitched to the perfect woman encounters another lady on his honeymoon.
Stars: Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Malin Akerman
Genre: Comedy, Romance
It was pleasant enough in the beginning, if a little fast-paced, but then it became shallow and extremely unrealistic: you don’t marry a girl you’ve been seeing for eight weeks only to discover right after the ceremony that she is not the one, irritating, unemployed, too stupid to understand that jobs pay, that inhabitate and fishes are not words, that she never mentioned the fact her previous boyfriend mugged her during your first meeting, that she used to be on drugs, that she snores like hell, always sings when the radio is on,
is allergic to everything, wants to have sex around the clock, is bipolar, a know-it-all… (Yes, I made this list while watching the film and that was the most enjoyable part of the whole movie experience.) The subsequent banter with the second wife-to-be was cringe-worthy as well and if your wife was the biggest mistake of your life, lying to your second one about the fact that you’re still stuck with the first one isn’t really the best plan either. Some nice jokes were scattered throughout all this rubbish, though, mainly courtesy of… the Mexicans. Overall, though, it was all so bad that it really became insufferable, so I turned it off.
The music was better, though, but the score was as shallow as the story.
The audio description wasn’t that good either. British Sky Broadcasting didn’t really make too much of an effort for this one: very concise descriptions, some important things like a mugging were not described at all and, worst of all, the descriptions themselves tended to be rather repetitive. ‘Eddie and Lila kiss on a beach. Eddie and Lila kiss on the Golden Gate Bridge.’ The narrator also sounded quite bored, but who could blame her when she’s only got boring material to work with?
Name: Ballet Shoes
Running Time (minutes): 90
Description: Set in Thirties London, Ballet Shoes tells a tale of orphans Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil, who are adopted by an eccentric explorer, Gum, and raised as sisters by his selfless niece. The story revolves around each girl’s struggle to fulfill her dreams: Pauline longs to be an actress, Petrova yearns to be an aviator, and Posy seems born to be a ballerina. But when Gum disappears, the money runs out – and the girls have a fight on their hands. They struggle to balance personal ambition with the need to survive physically, emotionally, and financially.
Stars: Emma Watson, Yasmin Paige and Lucy Boynton
Genres: Drama, Family
Not bad, I suppose, though there’s definitely a feel-good element in it that I don’t really like. This was also the first time that I watched Emma Watson in something unrelated to Harry Potter and she was by far the best main actress and the most interesting character. I find Watson especially powerful whenever she needs to deliver emotional lines and it’s quite clear to me that Harry Potter didn’t let her blossom sufficiently.
I really didn’t like all the music and the score was utterly unmemorable and extremely short.
Running Time (minutes): 113
Description: Wealthy, brilliant, and meticulous Ted Crawford, a structural engineer in Los Angeles, shoots his wife and entraps her lover. He signs a confession; at the arraignment, he asserts his rights to represent himself and asks the court to move immediately to trial. The prosecutor is Willy Beachum, a hotshot who’s soon to join a fancy civil-law firm, told by everyone it’s an open and shut case. Crawford sees Beachum’s weakness, the hairline fracture of his character: Willy’s a winner. The engineer sets in motion a clockwork crime with all the objects moving in ways he predicts.
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling and David Strathairn
Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Pretty great! Excellent story, effective though unmemorable score. And blimey, the audiodescriber had a glorious Oxford accent.
Name: PS. I Love You
Running Time (minutes): 126
Description: Holly Kennedy is beautiful, smart and married to the love of her life – a passionate, funny, and impetuous Irishman named Gerry. So when Gerry’s life is taken by an illness, it takes the life out of Holly. The only one who can help her is the person who is no longer there. Nobody knows Holly better than Gerry. So it’s a good thing he planned ahead. Before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of letters that will guide her, not only through her grief, but in rediscovering herself. The first message arrives on Holly’s 30th birthday in the form of a cake, and to her utter shock, a tape recording from Gerry, who proceeds to tell her to get out and “celebrate herself”. In the weeks and months that follow, more letters from Gerry are delivered in surprising ways, each sending her on a new adventure and each signing off in the same way; P.S. I Love You. Holly’s mother and best friends begin to worry that Gerry’s letters are keeping Holly tied to the past…
Stars: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler and Harry Connick Jr
Genres: Drama, Romance
It’s amazing how a summary can seem to promising, but that you end up turning the film off after six minutes because its absurdity simply isn’t acceptable.
Name: The Simpsons Movie
Running Time (minutes): 87
Description: Homer adopts a pig who’s run away from Krusty Burger after Krusty tried to have him slaughtered, naming the pig “Spider Pig.” At the same time, the lake is protected after the audience sink the barge Green Day are on with garbage after they mention the environment. Meanwhile, Spider Pig’s waste has filled up a silo in just 2 days, apparently with Homer’s help. Homer can’t get to the dump quickly so dumps the silo in the lake, polluting it. Russ Cargill, the villainous boss of the EPA, gives Arnold Schwarzenegger 5 options, forcing him to choose 4 (which is, unfortunately, to destroy Springfield) and putting a dome over Springfield to prevent evacuation. Homer, however, has escaped, along with his family. Can he stop the evil Cargill from annihilating his home town, and his family, who have been forced to return to Springfield?
Stars: Dan Castellaneta , Julie Kavner and Nancy Cartwright
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Only watched it because I forgot to get the next James Bond film. Still like it, and it’s a really great score as well. I might forgive Hans Zimmer his Man of Steel crime.
Name: The Bucket List
Running Time (minutes): 97
Description: Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die according to their bucket list. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find joy in life.
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman and Sean Hayes
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Very moving story, the ending had me nearly in tears. The score was functional too. Obviously, this isn’t a very realistic portrayal of what cancer patients go through, but hey, do we really want a movie where the chracters just lie on a couch and vomit?
Running Time (minutes): 96
Description: Las Vegas showroom magician Cris Johnson has a secret which torments him: he can see a few minutes into the future. Sick of the examinations he underwent as a child and the interest of the government and medical establishment in his power, he lies low under an assumed name in Vegas, performing cheap tricks and living off small-time gambling “winnings.” But when a terrorist group threatens to detonate a nuclear device in Los Angeles, government agent Callie Ferris must use all her wiles to capture Cris and convince him to help her stop the cataclysm.
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore and Jessica Biel
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Meh. Didn’t know there were French terrorists who had a grudge against the US for no particular reason whatsoever. I really did like the twist at the ending, though. The score was at times functional and at times very effective.
Name: National Treasure 2: Book Of Secrets
Running Time (minutes): 124
Description: While Ben Gates is presenting new information about John Wilkes Booth and the 18 pages missing from Booth’s diary, a man by the name of Mitch Wilkinson stands up and presents a missing page of John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Thomas Gates, Ben’s great-grandfather, is mentioned on the page. It shows that Ben’s great-grandfather was a co-conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s murder. When doing more research, the conspiracy takes Ben, Abigail Chase, and Riley Poole to Buckingham Palace (which they break into). They discover a plank that has early Native American writing on it. The plank has only one symbol that Patrick Gates can identify. The symbol is Cibola (see-bowl-uh) meaning the City of Gold. In order to define the rest the have to go to Ben’s mother, Patrick’s divorced wife. After 32 years it brings back old arguments. After that the other clue is in the President’s…
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger and Justin Bartha
Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery
I had forgotten almost everything about it so enjoyed it, even though lots of it is ridiculous. The two themes of the score are literally the same as the beginning of Luke and Leia’s theme in Star Wars 6 and the Back to the Future theme that opens the end credits in the first film. The electric guitar is out of place too.
Name: Harry Potter 5-Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Running Time (minutes): 138
Description: After a lonely summer on Privet Drive, Harry returns to a Hogwarts full of ill-fortune. Few of students and parents believe him or Dumbledore that Voldemort is really back. The ministry had decided to step in by appointing a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that proves to be the nastiest person Harry has ever encountered. Harry also can’t help stealing glances at the beautiful Cho Chang. To top it off are dreams that Harry can’t explain, and a mystery behind something Voldemort is searching for. With these many things Harry begins one of his toughest years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
And so the violent decline of the franchise beigns.
The story is told rather well. I especially liked the humour this time, particularly the fireworks scene. Two things really bother me, though: it is mentioned that Cho betrayed the DA because of Veritaserum. So why did Harry forget all about her in the film world? Did he just decide over the summer she was totally useless or what? Also, the prophecy plot really is handled clumsily, a terrible mistake given its importance.
And the score… Hooper’s work really annoyed me from beginning to end. He clearly feels very comfortable writing upbeat music, which is kind of problematic if you’re working with a director who doesn’t seem to understand words such as joy, emotion and happiness. Someone once wrote that Hooper’s music ‘fills space’. I think that’s a huge compliment. At times, his music is just counterintuiitive: Harry’s expulsion from Hogwarts receives comical music and the flight sequence is scored in such a way you’d think Harry and co were going on holiday. Also, Yates really, really doesn’t understand the function of music, no matter its mood. So much stuff that has musical potential is left unscored, maybe because they realised Hooper just wasn’t up to it:
– Harry sulking at the Dursleys’
– Harry seeing Voldemort at the station (rejected) and as Hermione is looking concerned, cheerful Hedwig’s Theme variations kick in, seriously?
– Harry being rushed to Dumbledore after the snake vision
– DUMBLEDORE AND VOLDEMORT DUELLING
Also, about this so-called possession idea. It’s introduced during Harry’s final vision (one reference was rejected). Great establishment of a theme, that is. Williams, Doyle and Desplat’s themes all registered immediately when I first watched the films, but Hooper’s possession idea never did. Granted, Possession isn’t bad, but its setup is the huge problem. Finally, Hooper’s one true stroke of brilliance, the electric guitar in Fireworks, was deleted from the film. Why? Why did WB approve Hooper? Or Yates for that matter?