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Showing posts from March, 2012

The Hunger Games (2012) PG-13

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The Hunger Games trilogy is underway, and director Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) has put together a faithful adaptation of a beloved young adult novel by Suzanne Collins. Collins also co-wrote the script, which was a serious plus. One might think she wouldn't of allowed a film to be made without her consent and involvement. Seasoned scribe Billy Ray (State of Play, Breach) also worked on the script.

The books are marvelous, entertaining and unforgettable. A lot of people were quite skeptical about a Hunger Games film from the beginning. Kids killing each other in an arena isn't exactly fun for the whole family. However, Ross' film is tastefully done and never quite seems as brutal as it probably should be; thanks in part to the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class). A star was born in 2010 with her tremendous performance in Winter's Bone, which undoubtedly helped her earn the much desired role of Katniss Everdeen.

One of the r…

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) R

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Yes, this will in fact be my second consecutive Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House) film that I review. This film is one thousand times more terrifying than that supposed "horror" film ever could have been. People have been buzzing about Olsen's performance here since last spring, and I finally got a chance to see it for myself. It was absolutely worth the wait.

This is a haunting film that's certain to leave it's mark on most viewers. It's certainly open for interpretation and argument, which is almost always a good thing in this business. It's not often you get the privilege to view such a deep, well-acted and thought-provoking film from a freshman writer/director. Sean Durkin really out-did himself. And although the dialogue is at times average, he more than made up for it by getting wonderful performances from his actors and bringing the terrifying source material to life. This is definitely not a film for everyone. It contains graphic nudity, brief violenc…

Silent House (2012) R

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The husband and wife duo behind 2003's claustrophobic Open Water are back once more to make us squirm and beg for something to happen. While the film isn't as atrocious as that shark tale, it does ultimately fail to provide any real horror. What we get instead is loads of confusion, and eventually an unbelievably godawful ending. Writing/directing team Chris Kentis and Laura Lau had good intentions with this remake of the Uruguayan film The Silent House, but more often than not these types of film are destined for failure.

At least they got one thing right with the casting of young and forgotten Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene). Olsen is a star on the rise, even if the material here doesn't quite help her cause in becoming the next Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, The Hunger Games). The storyline is quite simple, the dialogue is thin, the cinematography is shaky and the acting is sub-par. However, the first half of the film is actually quite watchable as we a…