sexta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2011

Transformers (2007)

Transformers is one of those movies that’s going to split opinion right down the middle. But before you take sides consider what it is. It’s a big summer blockbuster that’s aimed at a wide audience of all ages as well as a major update and big screen outing of the 80’s animated TV show loved by kids, especially boys, plus anyone who has played the video game.
The Transformers themselves are split into two sides, the good Autobots and the evil Decepticons. A Transformer is a sentient machine that can either walk around as a giant robot or disguise itself by taking the form of any other machine, which in most case means cars, trucks, tanks or even planes.
As long as you can suspend your disbelief and accept the premise you’re in for a hell of a ride!
So I’ve told you what Transformers are – now here’s what they are doing in the movie. The Decepticons are coming to Earth to find ‘The Cube’, an object that crashed on Earth years ago. They will use this to assimilate all Earth machines and make our planet their home. Our only hope are the Autobots led by Optimus Prime who are scattered throughout the universe after a war with the Decepticons in which their own planet was destroyed.
Without getting into too much detail the story is told from Earth’s perspective and specifically teenager Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who’s great great grandfather discovered ‘The Cube’ after it crash landed in Antarctica years ago. Also Sam’s yet to be girlfriend, the ultra hot Mikaela (Megan Fox), US marine Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and yet another hot babe, computer expert Maggie Madsen (Rachael Taylor).
Basically Sam is the key to the Transformers finding ‘The Cube’. The Decepticons are out to get him and the Autobots must protect him and get to ‘The Cube’ first. All this happens to the very funny background of Sam getting his first car (Transformer BumbleBee) and pulling the hottest babe in town, the sexy Mikaela!

sábado, 19 de novembro de 2011

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Loved by legions of fans and featuring in poll after poll of the best ever movies ever made, the 1994 adaptation of Stephen King’s story packs an undeniable emotional punch. But as a stage translation - well, it works, but only just.

One problem is the look of the show which, although claiming to mine the source text, appears to seek to replicate the film at almost every turn. Most obviously, star Kevin Anderson looks like a clone of Tim Robbins, who first portrayed the banker Andy Dufresne in the film, holding onto hope amid prison brutality as he faces a double life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit. And while Reg E Cathey brings enormous depth and a quiet dignity to the role of the narrator friend Red, it is hard not to be reminded of Morgan Freeman in almost every sardonic, gently stoical aside.

What this stage adaptation, which brought the house down in Dublin when it was first shown, does bring is a boiled down intensity to King’s story. It is tightly directed by Peter Sheridan, who brings the hellish claustrophobia right up to our noses, via familiar but nonetheless shocking prison tropes - beatings, sexual attacks and endless, airless labour.

Of course, populating the stage with an ensemble of ten or so lags can give the impression that you’re watching a group of lads on a football tour and not a stinking prison full of hardened cons. And even the few people who haven’t seen the film might still be aware of the story’s joyously redemptive twist involving a poster of Rita Hayworth.

But then again, it is an unquestionably moving and life affirming tale and while it is hard not to feel that a DVD rental could do the trick just as effectively, you’d be hard pressed not to leave the auditorium with a glow of hope in your heart. I bet quite a few fans will be doing that over the next few weeks in what ought to prove a box office smash hit.

quinta-feira, 17 de novembro de 2011

Inception (2010)

At the emotional centre of the tale is Leonardo Di Caprio – an actor whose unrivalled consistency and common touch is quietly making him the talent of his generation – as Dom Cobb, a highly skilled thief who specialises in extracting information from people’s subconcious while they sleep. Leo has rather cornered the market in emotionally-scarred redemption seekers of late and his muse here is no different. Following the death of his wife Mallorie (Marion Cotillard) our man is haunted by her memory and hunted by the American authorities who believe he killed her, so when a powerful client (Ken Watanabe) offers him exoneration in exchange for one last job ™, he jumps at the chance. All he and his team (comprising the faultless Tom Hardy, Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) have to do is break into the mind of a multi-million dollar business heir and convince him to break up the company. Plenty for Leo to get his near-perfect teeth into then.

terça-feira, 15 de novembro de 2011

Titanic (1997)

The journey of "Titanic" begins in the present, at the site of the ship's watery grave, two-and-a-half miles under the ocean surface. An ambitious fortune hunter (Bill Paxton) is determined to plumb the treasures of this once-stately ship, only to bring to the surface a story left untold.

The tragic ruins melt away to reveal the glittering palace that was Titanic as it prepares to launch on its maiden voyage from England. Amidst the thousands of well-wishers bidding a fond bon voyage, destiny has called two young souls, daring them to nurture a passion that would change their lives forever.

Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is a 17-year-old, upper-class American suffocating under the rigid confines and expectations of Edwardian society who falls for a free-spirited young steerage passenger named Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio). Once he opens her eyes to the world that lies outside her gilded cage, Rose and Jack's forbidden love begins a powerful mystery that ultimately echoes across the years into the present. Nothing on earth is going to come between them -- not even something as unimaginable as the sinking of Titanic.

segunda-feira, 14 de novembro de 2011

The Pianist (2002)

This movie is set in Warsaw, Poland in the beginning of World War II. The protagonist is Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Jewish piano player of extraordinary talent. His family is fairly wealthy and appear to be of good reputation.

The movie begins to pick up pace when the Germans start bombing Warsaw and eventually take over the area. Ironically the Jews celebrated because now there would be no more bombing. However, they did not know what was to come. In small steps the Germans take away the rights of the Jews in the town, and spread propaganda to make the locals hate them. Before long the Jews are sent into a ghetto and after much abuse and death they are sent to death camps. The piano player was saved by a Jewish police officer from boarding the trains. He weeps for his family, who he knows are all going straight to their deaths.

From here on the viewer sees a well spoken, sharply dressed, kind, talented man evolve into a sewer rat. He comes so low that he eats food that inevitably makes him sick, drinks water covered in filth and mold, and wanders from barren house to barren house gleaning anything useful to help him survive. Near the end of the movie it is shown that not all Germans were monsters, as a high ranking Nazi general harbors the piano player and feeds him. The pianist goes on to be a great musician and die at 88. The kind Nazi general dies in a Russian POW camp.

The Godfather (1972)

The Godfather was released in 1972 and it's a movie about a mafia family and the New York City's gang war in the late 1940s. It was written by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, based on a Puzo's novel and was directed by Francis, himself.

Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is The Godfather, the "Don" (head) of a successful family whose business is organized crime. Their appearance is impulsive, hot-tempered Sonny (James Caan), whose brothers are brooding Michael (Al Pacino), who tries to seperate himself from his criminal family, and Fredo (John Cazale), who doesn't seem to do anything right. Vito has also adopted level-headed Tom Hagen (Rober Duvall), then the family lawyer.

Vito's refusal to enter the lucrative drug rackets puts him in a war between the mafia families. Michael gets his hand dirty by taking revenge on the family's behalf, and then taking over as the new calculating, ruthless godfather. In his new role he plots to make the Corleones the leading players in Las Vegas casino industry while arranging for the war in New York City to be settled for once and for all.