Tag Archive: box office


I would not have seen this movie because it is just not one of those that grabbed my attention because it is not a full drama. I was mistaken.

This post was inspired by Crystal Tyler who left a comment asking if I had heard about the twists in this movie and if I had seen it.

Well, I have now and it blew me away. I liked the movie. I would watch it again if I had two hours or more to spear. The film could have been shorter but maybe it needed that time to tell the story. My head is spinning just recollecting all the twists in this movie. I hope I will do a good job because this is a movie you can’t sleep in, no bathroom breaks either. If you do, you would have missed out on a piece of the puzzle.

Shutter Island

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kinsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Max Von Sydow.

It’s 1954 and U.S Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are being sent to investigate the escape of Rachel Solando played by two women (Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson). Do not be confused everything is explained. Rachel, a young woman is convicted of killing her three young children and has escaped from her cell, she is considered dangerous. Shutter Island is a federal maximum security hospital/prison for criminally insane patients.

The movie begins with Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule in a conversation. Truth be told, this is their first meeting which is revealed closer to the end of the movie. So their role is to solve this big mystery of the missing patient at Shutter Island. There is no way off the island, only a ferry seems to have access to it. Upon their arrival they are briefed and reminded of all the rules that govern Shutter Island.

The cops are introduced to Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) who thinks everyone is a potential patient at Shutter Island. He is good in the film, very serious and seems to be in all the right places at all times.

There is no way to escape Shutter Island which leads Teddy Daniels to think Rachel is still on the island. Teddy Daniels is being haunted by his own hallucinations of his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams) who haunts him constantly. He is still in love with his wife, who appears to be helping him solve the case as well – giving him directions.

After the hour mark in the film the pieces all fall into place with an ending no one could imagine. Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie is at his best. His co-star Mark Ruffalo sometimes is shaky but he holds up to the calibre of DiCaprio. The different juxtapositions in the film are not to confuse the viewers but help in some way. Some roles are doubled with conviction. It leaves the viewer in a position where you become a lost person in a maze and just wants everything to be solved. At the end of the movie you wonder if it was all necessary but it makes the movie what it is – a good watch. If you love movies and I mean love movies then you will want to see this film over and over again. I don’t think the first watch will explain all the twists the movie had but it certainly was entertaining. The movie is also a period film –great set design. You cannot ignore the choice of music for the film. As you hear it you think it was deliberately chosen. It is not sweet and calm but to create a particular effect.

I could not end though without sharing that an encounter Teddy Daniels had with a patient at one of the wards places everything in perspective. It took a storm, cutting electricity for that to happen. Just to say, the conversation revealed who Teddy Daniels was and who he was searching for – himself. The movie is so good that it makes the viewer become Teddy Daniels and allows you to feel the pain he struggles with caught between hallucinations and his own reality. It is revealed to Teddy Daniels the truth that everyone at the facility knows about him and his problem.

If you want to read how the movie really went, continue. I know you would want to read it.

Essentially Teddy Daniels lived a happy life. He came home one evening to see his three children all lying dead in the lake behind their house. In grieving, he shot his wife, killing her. Apparently at this point he went bizarre and had to be placed at Shutter Island – which takes us to the beginning of the movie. Understanding who he is, they tricked him into thinking he is going to Shutter Island to solve a mystery – the missing patient but instead he was there for his own treatment.

In all of this, he figures out he is not there to solve the mystery of the missing girl (they found her) but he becomes the 67th patient at Shutter Island.

There are even more twists in the movie. His pal Chuck Aule is revealed to be his doctor and he has been treating him for 24 months.

When the truth is finally revealed to Teddy Daniels at the end, he is flabbergasted because it is turning out to be true. Therefore everything we saw in the beginning is now false.

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I wanted to watch this movie because of its biographical nature. I thought it would have been great, stellar, and an amazing movie. I should have watched this movie days ago but somehow I just got around to it.

Amelia Earhart

Hilary Swank as Amelia

Amelia Earhart born on July 4, 1897 was declared legally dead on January 5, 1939. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. All of what she accomplished was in the era of pre-feminism, the turn of the century. In the movie, she failed at one attempt to lift the plane off the runway because of some mechanical problems and the men who saw what happened laughed her to scorn with all the media coverage.

Half way in the movie I was disappointed. I did not know the movie would have turned out the way it did. There was no build up. The movie reminded me of Jamaican journalists who put together News Year in Review and begin in September. The movie hinted at her childhood and I will tell you what happened. All you see is Amelia in a field (country) looking up at an airplane in the sky and says “I will fly one day”. She went from that to being the commander and flying aircrafts across the world.

I am no movie critic but I would have loved to see Amelia’s training, a look at her childhood, or take it from where she graduated. The movie started with her flying all over the place and the recognition she received early on.

In the beginning George Putnam (Richard Gere) who plays her promoter and husband did a creditable job at his role. This is the second movie I am watching in recent times with Richard Gere and he is a fantastic actor. Read my Hachiko: A Dog’s Story post to view that review. Back to the movie – In the beginning, in the twinkling of an eye George Putname (Richard Gere) plants a huge kiss on Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank). Again, no build up, no flirting, nothing to show he was interested but they got hitched and later got married.

Amelia Earhart in the movie continues to fly all over the place, breaking records and embarking on new frontiers. There is a total difference in the first half of the movie when compared to the second. I wished the first half was as fun and exciting as the second. The first half was not slow but everything just happened and that took away from the movie.

The challenges she faces as a woman is inspirational I would imagine for the female audience who would see this movie. All in all it is an inspiring movie. She grew up at a time when women were not allowed to do certain things. For her to be flying an airplane was new. I read her Biography online and her childhood was not poor. Her parents were established citizens in Kansas. Her dad was a judge and a banker. Of course she would have some ambition in life, seeing that everyone around her did well.

Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank) and George Putname (Richard Gere)

The cinematography in the movie was good. The shots of her flying the aircraft – those experiences were great to see. I loved the casting for the movie. Hilary Swank looks just like Amelia Earhart, although that was expected, the resemblance was close. Did she get into the character? That’s another case.

With the publicity of Amelia Earhart, there must have been challenges. Of course men were attracted to her, but more than that it caused a strain on her relationship at one point. Her husband, very protective of her became insecure when a friend Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor) started to show interest. Amelia’s husband found a love letter she received from him. It could have ruined their relationship but it didn’t.

Amelia Earhart is portrayed as tom boyish in the movie. While this does not suggest she was a lesbian, her frequent comments about the beauty of the women she encountered leave this question wide open. Her androgyny fits in perfectly with her image as a woman like no other. It is not surprising that Hilary Swank, an actress celebrated for her androgynous beauty and her award winning role in Boys Don’t Cry (the story of transsexual Tina Brandon aka. Brandon Tina), was cast as Amelia Earhart.

What the movie explores also is her success and her final flight where she went missing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

I particularly liked the way the movie ended. It brought closure in some way mainly from the husband’s perspective.

Would I recommend it? Watch it if you want to see a diluted biography.

After seeing Emily Blunt on The View discussing her role in the new movie The Young Victoria, I simply had to see the movie.

Watching the period film, I was in awe. I will give this movie two thumbs up for its delivery. From the styling, to the production (set), the acting was simply flawless. The movie suffers from what I call the slow syndrome. It is not slow to the extreme where you are annoyed and want the pace to be increased. However, I like the fact that it goes slow because I am not a 40 year old who would have known the full Queen Victoria history – I’m bad on history I might add.

The movie starts with young Victoria as a child in the palace and the movie chronicles her life and enduring romance with Price Albert.

Highlights

What stood out for me particularly was the way she handled relationships. I would say Queen Victoria knew how to play her cards just right. Many of her own critics expected her to fail but she blew everyone away. She also married the perfect guy. When you watch the movie you may not like Prince Albert’s way of courting the Queen but it worked and in the end he got his dream of marrying her. His expressions were always on quality instead of quantity which was not always great to see.

I really appreciated the term he used in referring to his wife. He always said ‘my wife’ in reference to Queen Victoria. It was the sweetest thing to watch their relationship grow and their uncountable sessions of showing their love to each other. In the end they had nine children together.

The chemistry between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was great to watch. The actors on a whole delivered; from the accents to the fashions were on point.

In any relationship there are struggles especially when an individual matters to the world – like Queen Victoria. Prince Albert wanted his voice and the struggle to achieve that voice and his space in Queen Victoria’s life was notable. Watching the movie you want the best for them. There is a moment in her life which you have to see – which really places their love and relationship in perspective. Leaders can take away messages from the life of Queen Victoria in the way she honoured her husband. That was great to see the gesture of love, care and thought.

If you like all things elegant, you will love this movie. I could not end this unconventional review without mentioning the relationship the Queen had with her own mother. Family relationships are not always the best. Queen Victoria was a victim of this and the way her own mother handled the situation when she should have stood up had ramifications for her own family – which was only sad to see play out.

I am sure you might have heard or seen many period films that focused on royal families. I have to admit that this is not the heavy royal film that will leave you lost in the dialogue. The Young Victoria is simply stellar, light, has a youthful touch, easy to follow the story line and the movie delivers a class satisfaction that many films of this genre fail to offer.

I have seen reviews that give this movie a D+. Go out and watch this movie, you will love it. I dare you!

This is a review from a normal guy who is not into movies but was impressed with the movie The Stepfather.

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The movie is directed by Nelson McGormick who turns out to have directed the movie Prom Night.

“The Stepfather” was captivating from the start, with unexpected twists which leads to a riveting end. The Stepfather deserves a “thumbs up” and a rating of four out of five ( in my book).

The movie begins with David Harris (Dylan Walsh), a father who killed his entire family. He moves to Portland and meets a divorcee Susan Harding (Selah Ward) who falls in love so fast, she is blinded by his violent and secretive life.

MOVIE-REVIEW-THE-STEPFATHER

One of the reasons I like this thriller is because it moves pretty fast with interesting twists. Kelly Porter (Amber Heard) and Michael Harding (Penn Badgley) the son shares a beautiful relationship. There are some sexy scenes with Kelly that I’m sure every guy would enjoy. I mean she’s always in her underwear. The styling was average, I wanted Susan Harding, the divorcee to be more of a diva – but it works.

On the reality side of things, I thought the wife would have been more critical. She was too easy but guess what; it’s a movie so expect that – dumb things happen. The movie was not as bloody like other horror films (which I liked), very conservative on the bloody side. The music was great though, scary at most points and I felt the gruesome passion involved.

THE STEPFATHER

The ending is not what I had anticipated; but it works. It ends with a message of continuity, or it hints at it.

This blog endorses The Stepfather. Love it.

Watch the trailer below.

Welcome to the eighth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

What motivates you to vote for a political candidate?

Is his/her marriage really important to you?

Is marriage a prerequisite to serve at the highest level?

NO, if you ask me.

John Edwards and his familyHowever, it appears that politicians have to be married to even start a campaign. While divorces are on an all time high, it would seem we have forced politicians in a life that they don’t personally desire and that makes everything a lie.

Most times in political commentaries we focus on family life; to say political marriages makes the candidate more normal and thus has the capacity to vote on legislations that matters to you as a citizen. Married politicians are projected to be more caring and family oriented in campaigns. Although that may be true; when it isn’t going well our ‘expectations’ force them to live a lie to remain where we have forced them to be. Being married doesn’t say you have higher moral standing than those who aren’t.  What is says is that you have decided to walk life’s journey with this special person.

What say you?

Business

ModelIn a bid to stimulate the economy, the Jamaica Observer organized Fashion Night Out where fashion/retail outlets slashed their prices by large percentages up to 70% to generate high sales. Weeks ago, I had a haircut in the capital city, Kingston and at around 6pm after leaving the barber salon it was like a ghost town outside. I wondered to myself why the city was so quiet. I blamed the current economy and the recession. I should have considered that we have cultured our habits this way and this was the result. More recently, I had an acquaintance who moved to Jamaica from New York (the city that never sleeps) and after a week here he returned because the city was dead by sunset. It struck me then that we have a major problem. I appreciate the efforts what Fashion Night Out promoted and anticipate more FNOs. Over in Barbados, our neighbouring Caribbean island they have introduced legislation to have retailers open 24-7. Talk about competition and new ways of doing things. Retailers claimed the night a success which can only be good at the end of the ‘night.’

Entertainment

This is it – Review

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Michael Jackson

I watched the Michael Jackson documentary and thought it was stunning. The producers of the 50 minute documentary were able to capture the king of pop in his rehearsals before he passed away. I was impressed with the footage because it told the story we heard of Michael Jackson. Now we were able to relive the intimate moments of him without the screaming fans and blaring lights. We saw the perfectionist in action, directing the minute details of his to be last tour. There is a message within the documentary for every aspiring entertainer which must not be missed. Giving your best each time is of paramount importance and ensuring your delivery – the passion will be remembered by those who see it. That is what made MJ, what he was and so many artistes today. I sat and only imagined This is it with all the lights, screaming fans and Michael Jackson delivering his final set of shows stamping This is it into history; he never got the time.

Quote

2072865350015798315S500x500Q85“Readiness is all.” – William Shakespear