Day: March 8, 2012

2012 in Film: #65 – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

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2012 in Film: #65

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) | Directed by Rupert Wyatt

Grade: B+

Thoughts: I’ve never seen any of the other Planet of the Ape films, so it was initially a mystery to me as to why my mother even purchased it on a blind buy. From all that she’s told me, she hates the series. Nevertheless, seeing none of the previous ones doesn’t matter, as it is an origin story.And an entertaining and fun one at that. James Franco is fine as the scientist who develops a medication that is supposed to fight off Alzheimer’s, and, while it’s at it, repair severed connections in the brain, making the apes that they’re testing the medicine on all the smarter and more cunning. Andy Serkis, who else, provide the motion capture acting for Cesar, the main primate of the film. Exciting, touching, and luckily did not shove any animal testing agenda down the viewer’s throat.

2012 in Film: #64 – Brokeback Mountain

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2012 in Film: #64

Brokeback Mountain (2005) | Directed by Ang Lee

Grade: B+

Thoughts: FOr me, the relationship between ranch handlers Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal wasn’t that interesting, whatever nuances there were. What makes the film is how their relationship, passionate, loving, or hedonistic, or both, affects the people around them. their families, friends, etc. That is where I was most intrigued and moved. Michelle Williams was superb. Anne Hathaway was good. And, rightly so, the stage belonged to Ledger and Gylenhaal.

2012 in Film: #63 – The Holiday

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2012 in Film: #63

The Holiday (2006) | Directed by Nancy Meyers

Grade: B+

Thoughts: A lovely romantic comedy, where Kate Winslet plays against type (again, kind of) as the wallowy singleton, Cameron Diaz as the Type-A trailer editor, Jude Law as the Winslet’s brother with lots of baggage, and Jack Black as the charismatic and sweet composer. The house switching thing is cute. I wish I could do that.Thoroughly entertaining.

2012 in Film: #62 – Insignificance

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2012 in Film: #62

Insignificance (1985) | Directed by Nicolas Roeg

Grade: A

Thoughts: (I wasn’t terribly surprised, even by the title, that everything in every frame would be nothing of insignificance and that each minute, meticulously constructed detail would have some sort of semblance of meaning, even if indiscernible. What I was not expecting was for it to be so powerful, beautiful, and entertaining. Theresa Russel’s Actress is grating for the first five minutes, but her character becomes a riveting power house of emotion, while the rest of the cast is just as superb. And despite the conversations revolving around philosophy, science, fame, etc. it *doesn’t* come off as pretentious. It leaves a mark of honesty and yet remains totally enigmatic. It’s a mind blower of a film, honestly.

2012 in Film: #61 – 10 Things I Hate About You

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2012 in Film: #61

10 Things I Hate About You (1999) | Directed by Gil Junger

Grade: A

Thoughts: Oh, how I love a good teen comedy. From Mean Girls to Easy A and of course the John Hughes of the 1980’s, they just have a certain wit about that that reminds me, strangely, of screwball comedies. The fast paced dialogue and merciless repartee between characters in this film is perfectly reminiscent of Bringing Up Baby or The Philadelphia Story. But this, here, is an update of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are awesome, and it’s just a sheer delight to watch.