Tag Archive: movie


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.

This post will look at two movies, Avatar and Up in the Air.

These are the hottest movies to start the year with. I watched Avatar last week and saw Up in the Air a few nights ago. Two very different movies, totally different budgets, and will receive two different classes of ratings – both rated among the best. I am no movie critic but here is my take on the movies.

Up in the Air

If you were ever to hear the words “You’re fired” who would you want to hear it from? The famous Donald Trump, Ashton Kutcher, your company’s CEO, or your direct manager/supervisor. Imagine a stranger entering your firm to deliver the bad news. The movie Up in the Air directed by James Reitman is about Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) whose duty is to travel across the USA delivering the sad news to employees who have been ‘let go’; by their managers. Interesting job, Isn’t it? Achieving 10 million flier miles just by his job he doesn’t see the importance of relationships and rightfully so, Ryan Bingham has no time to date and cannot devote his attention to anyone because of his busy schedule. Interestingly, he meets Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga). They have a great chemistry, similar job – travelling and falls in love – well Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) does. The movie reveals a damning revelation which ends their relationship. A little secret – Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) took relationships for a joke and the one person (Alex Goran) who he took seriously was playing him for a joke. How this was revealed is sad so that is another reason to watch the movie.

Clooney is great in the movie. I do not particularly like the second half of the movie. It became slow. The first half was fantastic Clooney was at his best and I believe that’s what people/critics will remember – acting was great.

Up in the Air has received awards and nominations including six Golden Globe Nominations – Best Picture, Best Director and Lead Actor for Clooney. The movie will certainly do well this award season – expect some Oscar buzz of course.

Jason Reitmam who directed the movie did an awesome job. The cinematography was good. I liked the first ten minutes of the film – just great on film – not your normal introduction.

However, before I watched the movie I checked out the movie trailer. I must say if George Clooney wasn’t in the movie I wouldn’t have watched it – going by the trailer. However watching the movie now makes perfect sense why that script made the trailer.

Up in the Air deserves a watch for sure. I don’t think I would watch it again – it’s not memorable.

4 out of 5.

Avatar

James Cameron

I watched Titanic and didn’t know the name James Cameron. Dumb! The movie Avatar will make you remember him for his stellar work in this film. You have amazing and awarded directors but this guy will receive all the accolades and deserves them this time around. He has no competition.

Avatar has grossed over $1 Billion already and it is the second highest grossed movie of all time. Titanic is the highest in history and grossed $1.842 billion. In the weeks the movie was released Avatar has done so well already. Will it beat Titanic? Duh!!!

That goes to show how good this film is. Do not read the reviews for the film, well you can. Set a date, you will need almost 3 hours – not as bad as Titanic (in hours) – and enjoy the movie. We always hear about movies with great graphics, this is real graphics – $500 million alone on graphics. From start to finish the movie is captivating. If you’re into politics you will love it, movie haters will love it, move lovers will be addicted to it, bloggers will watch it because they read it here. Lol  The movie is that good.

Watch it also because they film had no sex scene. I sat in my seat and wondered how these people who make out. Well Avatar did film a sex scene and it will be on the DVD. If someone asks you what you did to start the new decade – say you watched Avatar. This is the movie of the decade – it is beyond it’s time.

Avatar will be nominated at all the award shows this year. Expect Oscar buzz and expect the movie to win big and to be a major contender in any category. Can I say Avatar is nominated in the same categories with Up in the Air? Avatar steals the show for me.
Avatar – unrated. Perfection for what it is.

Invictus Review

Growing up, I heard about the life of Nelson Mandela. Although movies have been made showing his life I have not seem them. Hearing about Invictus, it renewed and I was determined to watch it.

The movie is about Nelson Mandela and his struggles to unite South Africa after apartheid. Apartheid according to Wikipedia was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government in South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and minority rule by white was maintained. Invictus documents Mandela early in his Presidency with aggressive measures to inspire and unite the country around the country’s rugby team and their quest to win the tournament.

The lead actors in the movie Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were outstanding. To think that these actors are American and were able to reproduce the respective South African accents (both black and white) with such clarity speaks to their depth as actors and their ability to tell the story. That is one thing you have to take away from the movie Invictus. The acting was classy and they did bring the story to live.

The cinematography of the movie was awesome. The camera angles showed throughout the movie were from a spectator’s view at times – as if it were an eyewitness capturing an event. This may have been deliberate because it allowed the viewer to be captivated. If you watch the movie there is a particular scene with an aircraft that is simply fantastic.

Invictus also attempted to show different views from South Africa. You saw the metropolitan areas and we could not escape from the more destitute areas – what I call the face of Africa. It was refreshing to see the developed areas. It actually has inspired me to visit South Africa – only if I could afford it. I have watched many events from South Africa and the packaged televised programs make you want to wake up there. South Africa is big on fashion and I just hope the country continues to show and inspire other African nations to do well. If you haven’t heard, South Africa will host 2010 World Cup, look forward to a world class event as they are capable to deliver just that.

Invictus is big on rugby, big on acting, big on Mandela but Invictus tackles issues that many countries still face today. There is a point in the movie where it shows thousands of people in long lines waiting to cast their votes. Of course, this would be the first time they would be voting since black people were not allowed to participate in elections. It brought back memories of Obama’s campaign and the energy that captivated the entire country and indeed the world. Racism is front and centre in Invictus. It goes to show how divided the country was. One particular scene from the movie shows the new security detail for Mandela not wanting to accept white security guards for the new President because of the effects of apartheid.

This movie is inspiring to watch, it will make you cry and it will make you hungry for something better. It is definitely a movie that will leave you satisfied and wanting more.

Go see Invictus today! I give it 5 out of 5. I love a good drama.

Precious – Review

This movie has been out for a while now and it was on my heart to watch. I think being from the black race made me even more want to watch the movie. Living in a developing country and seeing the realities here in some ways connect with the realities the movie projects from the plot in Precious.

The movie Precious is produced by Oprah Winfrey. The movie is based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Precious has been receiving many accolades since it was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The story is gruesome, gut wrenching, emotional because it tells a tale that is reality but we hide the stories. I am happy this film was produced because it is a story worth telling. The actors in the film are outstanding, some more than others.

Precious will receive some Oscar nominations but the biggest will be Mo’Nique who plays a pivotal role in the play. She was amazing from the beginning to the end. She starts out being very aggressive, demanding, abusive towards Precious but she gets some heart by the end of the movie.

It is worth watching. Precious is a school girl who is on Welfare and happens to be having her second child (with her own father) and is forced to attend a special school. At this school, she meets other girls who lead troubled lives just like her. One of the girls is from a Jamaican background. This character acted out to the tee preconceived images of Jamaicans who move to the United States. Personally, I was not thrilled with her depiction of Jamaicans but it is like black people who complain why the image of them eating fried chicken is always in their face. There is more to Jamaica than cursing ‘bombo’ and dancing which is in the movie.

Precious is not the movie that is slow to build. It moves pretty fast which they could have slowed down. Most people would have heard that the movie will make you cry but it moves so fast, you do not get that opportunity. We will never get tired of abusive parents but this move shows the real after effects of abusive families.

I did not like the music. I think it lacked that punch the movie needed. With better choices maybe I would have cried.

My rating is four stars out of five. It is not a stellar movie, the story shouts at you more.

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

stepfather-poster-0

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.