Archive for November, 2011
This movie has very little to do with Greek mythology and even less to do with any sort of historical reality. Very few of the cast look Greek. The Herecletans or whatever are just redone Romans. Mickey Rourke is angry and wants to smash everything. Everyone looks way too handsome and too clean. (Ladies, this a great eye candy movie for you, and, on some level, I think that this effort is explained as a
The producers of 300 are back with the film Immortals. Theseus (played by Henry Cavill), is humanity
Based on an urban legend of sorts, The Box is, well, about a box, duh. The thing that makes the box special is that if you press the big red button on it, you will be granted a million dollars but someone, somewhere, that you don’t know, is going to die as a result of the button being pushed. So that’s the idea…
Of course that’s just part of the film, the filmmakers introduce a family element with the couple of Norma and Arthur Lewis (played by Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) along with their son Walter. They’re struggling financially (but it’s not exactly dire which is a weak point in the script) and they’re given this opportunity by Frank Langella’s Arilington Steward character. Of course this opportunity turns out to be a double-edged sword as this experiment plays out. There are some interesting elements in here with regard to who’s behind the box and why. It plays out a little plastic at times but the backdrop is intriguing but unfortunately at times clunky.
I think the directing and some of the script plot points are what’s hurting this a bit. It’s not awful, it’s just awkward at times as the events play out. Example – when Arlington Steward shows up to present the box to the Lewises, they genuinely seem surprised but don’t ask nearly enough questions, seeming a bit too naive or trusting for such a bizarre set of circumstances. Their home plight isn’t necessarily super-terrible either, not really worth the risk of killing someone to bail them out that’s for damn sure, unless they’re supposed to be cold, selfish people, which doesn’t fit their characters. Regardless, it’s compelling to watch the story unfold…
The actors pull off their roles well, all of the principals fit nicely. Cameron Diaz is particularly good and shows herself to be a versatile actor once again. Frank Langella is always enjoyable to watch.
Visually this is set in the 70’s and is done true to form. The clothing and the settings put you there and with the tension the soundtrack helps to build, it has a bit of a Hitchcock vibe, which heightened the un-nerving chain of events the main characters were experiencing.
Overall, worth a look to be sure.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
Had one more from the Halloween season to round out our horror theme…
An interesting approach to the vampire movie, told from the perspective of 12 year olds, this is definitely one to see…
A young boy is the main character – he’s bullied at school, ignored by his parents in some ways, and has some serious self-esteem and anger issues. He’s a loner until his new neighbor, a female vampire moves in next door. They meet, their lives intertwine and the film plays out from there.
I know I’m being a bit vague but I’d rather not spoil it. About 2/3rds in, you’ll see where things are going, but it won’t matter because it’s more about how they get there that makes this scary, interesting, and even at times, fun to watch. The awkwardness of them as 12 year olds has this unusual charm to it.
The acting is really something to pay strong attention to, at least in terms of studying the craft because all of the actors in here are a nice fit in their roles. The cast is mostly high school-ish age and really pull out some great performances. The 2 leads, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Owen and Chloe Grace Moretz as Abby are exceptional. Great starts to their careers. The cast includes some veteran talent in here too that includes Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas (both are great).
Matt Reeves is the writer/director on this and created a compelling, scary, intense storyline and presentation. It’s also a nice demonstration of his range considering he was a writer on the Felicity TV series as well (73 episodes).
Watch this one with a significant other, you’ll end up close.
reviewed by Sean McKnight