Name: How To Train Your Dragon
Running Time (minutes): 98
Description: Long ago up North on the Island of Berk, the young Viking, Hiccup, wants to join his town’s fight against the dragons that continually raid their town. However, his macho father and village leader, Stoik the Vast, will not allow his small, clumsy, but inventive son to do so. Regardless, Hiccup ventures out into battle and downs a mysterious Night Fury dragon with his invention, but can’t bring himself to kill it. Instead, Hiccup and the dragon, whom he dubs Toothless, begin a friendship that would open up both their worlds as the observant boy learns that his people have misjudged the species. But even as the two each take flight in their own way, they find that they must fight the destructive ignorance plaguing their world.
Stars: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
The story is not bad at all, but why am I even talking about the plot when the score was so incredibly amazing? John Powell has surprised me lots of times, but this was just incredible. Fantastic main theme, terrific action music, stunningly beautiful and dazzling orchestration. Even if the movie had been the most terrible thing ever made, I’d still have kept watching. Let’s get that soundtrack.
Name: Eat Pray Love
Running Time (minutes): 133
Description: Liz Gilbert (Roberts) had everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of having – a husband, a house, a successful career – yet like so many others, she found herself lost, confused, and searching for what she really wanted in life. Newly divorced and at a crossroads, Gilbert steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life, embarking on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery. In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali.
Stars: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins
Genres: Drama, Romance
Well, I suppose it was all right. Why does Julia Roberts always star in bad or mediocre movies, though?
The biggest problem this film had was pacing. She wants to go to Italy: bam, she’s in Italy. She crowdfunds for a poor lady: bam, the lady gets $18,000, no questions asked, happy happy happy. Also, I didn’t really get her love troubles. Guy number one wants to study so she ditches him, guy number two does something I don’t even know that upsets her, guy number three has a cute Spanish accent, proposes, is rejected and later accepted…? I did like Richard Jenkins — Groceries is a really funny nickname to give someone — and he moved me more than anyone else. But what I want to know is how Roberts finds Americans all over the globe in no time and, the more pressing matter, how she funds her entire trip when she clearly isn’t working.
The score was okay. I liked how it changed every time she travels to another country.
Overall, it’s a mediocre movie and if you just want to empty your mind on a Friday night, it’ll do the job.
Name: The Last Airbender
Running Time (minutes): 103
Description: The world is divided into four kingdoms, each represented by the element they harness, and peace has lasted throughout the realms of Water, Air, Earth, and Fire under the supervision of the Avatar, a link to the spirit world and the only being capable of mastering the use of all four elements. When young Avatar Aang disappears, the Fire Nation launches an attack to eradicate all members of the Air Nomads to prevent interference in their future plans for world domination. 100 years pass and current Fire Lord Ozai continues to conquer and imprison anyone with elemental “bending” abilities in the Earth and Water Kingdoms, while siblings Katara and Sokka from a Southern Water Tribe find a mysterious boy trapped beneath the ice outside their village. Upon rescuing him, he reveals himself to be Aang, Avatar and last of the Air Nomads.
Stars: Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone
Genres: Action, Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Good concept, terrible acting, especially the princess. The scene where she sacrifices herself is cringe-worthy. Great score, but too much percussion. Did keep watching because of James Newton Howard’s music.
Name: The Back-Up Plan
Running Time (minutes): 106
Description: Zoe’s a woman who has a hard time letting anyone into her life. She has a habit of pushing people away when they get close. She also wants to have a baby but because she has no man in her life decides to be artificially inseminated. Shortly after having the procedure she meets a guy named Stan whom she connects with. But she’s still afraid to let him in and when she tells him about her pregnancy thinking he would bail, but he sticks with her.
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin and Michaela Watkins
Genres: Comedy, Romance
The score was great, especially the first cues, the story was okay-ish.
Name: Harry Potter 7-Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Running Time (minutes): 146
Description: Voldemort’s power is growing stronger. He now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide to finish Dumbledore’s work and find the rest of the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord. But little hope remains for the Trio, and the rest of the Wizarding World, so everything they do must go as planned.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
I really, really liked it this time! Way better than I remembered it. Very intense, mostly fast-paced and well-acted. A few issues remain:
– Radcliffe really sucks. Apparently he doesn’t only have the same expression on his face throughout the entire film (thank you for that observation, mother), he mostly sounds the same as well: moody and bitter. Kind of makes you wonder why everyone likes him that much in his world.
– Yates still doesn’t really know how to handle music (Ron Splinched, Hermione crying over Ron’s departure etc are unscored, which really kills the mood for me, but maybe the images speak for themselves).
– Yates implies so much but tells us so little. The entire Deathly Hallows story is vaguely suggested, Mundungus Fletcher isn’t handled properly, same goes for Harry’s animosity towards Kreacher (but then again, he hates everyone here, so…)
Depslat’s score really impressed me this time. Not only did he bring back the magic, he created lots of memorable themes and handled them extremely well too. Even Hermione has a theme in this score. Only the synthetic bass makes my head ache, my room vibrate and my housemates ask what the hell is going on.
Name: Rabbit Hole
Running Time (minutes): 91
Description: Becca and Howie Corbett are a happily married couple whose perfect world is forever changed when their young son, Danny, is killed by a car. Becca, an executive-turned-stay-at-home mother, tries to redefine her existence in a surreal landscape of well-meaning family and friends. Painful, poignant, and often funny, Becca’s experiences lead her to find solace in a mysterious relationship with a troubled young comic-book artist, Jason – the teenage driver of the car that killed Danny. Becca’s fixation with Jason pulls her away from memories of Danny, while Howie immerses himself in the past, seeking refuge in outsiders who offer him something Becca is unable to give. The Corbetts, both adrift, make surprising and dangerous choices as they choose a path that will determine their fate.
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest
Here’s a question. When a TV guide provides a summary of the film they’re gonna broadcast, what is its purpose? Do they want you to watch the film, or do they want to tell people who can’t watch what it’s all about? This summary literally told me EVERYTHING except for the fact that the father briefly uses drugs and that the mother mocks a child’s toy! So I can’t really say whether it’s good or bad or a mediocre film, only that this was the first Nicole Kidman movie I watched in which she didn’t overact and I don’t like feel-good endings. The score is subtle, but sufficient. The audiodescriber had an extremely pleasant voice.