Name: Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past
Running Time (minutes): 100
Description: A bachelor is haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends at his younger brother’s wedding.
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Emma Stone
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
I’ve been wanting to watch this one ever since it aired last Halloween, but only got around to doing so now. Really liked it, especially after all the crap I’ve been watching this week. Uncle Wayne’s character doesn’t really make much sense to me and I found it rather hard to like the main character and his stupid accent, but other than that, I really enjoyed the whole thing. Jennifer Garner and Emma Stone are always pleasing to the ear.
The score was very nice too. I just can’t enough of hopelessly optimistic romantic music.
What struck me most about the audio description was how concise all the sentences were and how slowly the narrator spoke, but she could have said way more and did not describe an important kiss and sometimes failed to mention locations.
Name: The Taking Of Pelham 123
Running Time (minutes): 106
Description: In early afternoon, four armed men hijack a subway train in Manhattan. They stop on a slight incline, decoupling the first car to let the rest of the train coast back. Their leader is Ryder; he connects by phone with Walter Garber, the dispatcher watching that line. Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder demands $10 million within an hour, or he’ll start shooting hostages. He’ll deal only with Garber. The mayor okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling and it’s unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal. Will hostages, kidnappers and negotiators live through this?
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta and Luis Guzmán
Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
The premise is interesting. The actors aren’t. Travolta is cold-blooded and seems to have some religious motivation that isn’t really explained properly, if I recall correctly. And I really dislike Denzel Washington: always that same stoopid accent, always playing the same stoopid cop who isn’t as stoopid as his fellow cops. And then there’s the matter of his wife, who, when he tells her he might be in mortal danger, demands he bring back a bottle of milk from the supermarket. And he can’t just bring any bottle, oh no. She’s very adamant about that. (He just risked his job by paying his daughter’s tuition fees with illegal money, by the way.) So, wives, always remember to irritate your husbands with milk bottles when they are in mortal danger. The ending is rushed and stupid/sentimental/wannabe heroic: it clearly implies that nobody really matters in this film, only its plot does. The characters are just there out of sheer necessity. But… Will the bottle of milk arrive at Denzel Washington’s house safe and sound at the end? Or will the wife have to fetch it herself?
The score is functional, but hardly noticeable.
Name: The Blind Side
Running Time (minutes): 129
Description: Based on the true story of Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael ‘Big Mike’ Oher. Michael has no idea who his father is and his mother is a drug addict. Michael has had little formal education and few skills to help him learn. Leigh Anne soon takes charge, however, as is her nature, ensuring that the young man has every opportunity to succeed. When he expresses an interest in football, she goes all out to help him, including giving the coach a few ideas on how best to use Michael’s skills. They not only provide him with a loving home, but hire a tutor to help him improve his grades to the point where he would qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft.
Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw
Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport
Quite a touching story, although I was far more interested in Leigh Anne than in that stupid boy she chose to help. There should be more people like her in this world. The only scene that really annoyed me was the one where numerous coaches visit their home to visit Michael and she has to call that idiot into the room every single time. You’d think he’d just come out into the hallway whenever the bell rang after three times.
Carter Burwell’s score is functional, but not memorable at all.
Name: District 9
Running Time (minutes): 112
Description: In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed “The Prawns,” appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarised ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge. In this operation, Wikus is exposed to a strange alien chemical and must rely on the help of his only two new Prawn friends.
Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James and Jason Cope
Genres: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Turned it off, way too fast-paced and character-packed. A great premise, no doubt, but just not handled well. The entire thing felt so… crowded, so massively populated by sounds and dialogue that it became overwhelming.