Tag: Naomi Watts

The Impossible

by on Jan.29, 2017, under Movie Reviews

the impossibleThe Impossible is based on the true story of an unfortunate/extremely fortunate family that was on vacation in Thailand when it was hit by a tsunami in 2004. I say unfortunate/extremely fortunate because they had to go through such a terrible experience but that they all survived it. There were numerous families that didn’t survive or that lost members from this tragic event…

The film is told in a very compelling way with the opening of the film revealing the family on vacation at a beach front resort for Christmas. There’s some minor backstory revealed here and there to establish character but the main event is when the wave hits. You hear stories of such things and you see the footage afterward but the way the film delivers what it might have been like is truly extraordinary. And to see how everyone hit by the wave was just carried away and pounded with debris like glass, cars (not kidding, cars), street signs, etc. was terrifying.

Naomi Watts plays Maria, the mother of the family and she apparently had the worst injuries, especially to her legs. Don’t forget the circumstances here, not only were her injuries grave but everyone and everything was effected by this devastating wave, which means hospitals, ambulances, medical staff and so on. The family was separated multiple times throughout this chaotic experience in a country where english isn’t the primary language. That alone can be intimidating but then work in 3 young boys into the equation too.

Suffice it to say, you should see the film and let it stand on its own. The whole thing is crafted with expertise, care and passion. From the engaging script to the powerful delivery of the actors to the outstanding design and effects, the film is top-notch all the way. It’s hard to watch at times due to the realistic nature of it and the trials that the survivors had to go through to make it out alive. I found myself glad the film was over but relieved for the ones that made it.

The cast just nails this one and includes Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland (the new Spiderman!), Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast. Directed by J.A. Bayona.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

by on Nov.22, 2015, under Movie Reviews

birdmanWinner of the 2015 Oscar for best picture, Birdman’s performances, delivery, and script were exemplary of an Academy Award Winner. Written and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, he delivers a familiar story in a very original package.

The story centers around Riggan, an actor who is in his later years and trying to prove to himself, the rest of the world as well as his daughter that he’s not a has-been. Part of this struggle lies in his past as he’s experienced greatness as comic book action hero Birdman in a series of successful blockbuster movies. Now, with his glory days behind him, Riggan faces the pressures of putting together a successful play on Broadway, depression, financial issues, and making up for being an absent father to his jaded daughter. Oh and he seems to be a bit schizophrenic (not bi-polar, I know the difference) and he has superpowers.

The film is surreal and amazing to watch. Among the numerous things that I found compelling about Birdman is that the film is shown mostly in one long, continuous shot with very few edits most of which take place at the very end. The transitions used are seemless and the effects shots blend in amazingly smoothly, the film is crafted together in a masterful, clever way. The director and his team knocked it out of the park visually combining slick visuals with snappy pacing matching nicely with some jazzy undertones early on while building more broadly to the films conclusion.

In terms of performances, all the actors were superb with the standouts for me being Michael Keaton and Emma Stone. Keaton as the lead in the role of Riggan delivers on screen in a big way, he’s passionate, broken, emotional and somewhere deep down, trying to be a good person instead of the self-centered bastard people see him for. Stone is Keaton’s bitter daughter working in show-biz as an assistant to her father. Stone’s acting skills shine throughout Birdman in her subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors that amplify her feelings without the use of words. Ed Norton as the hot-shot Broadway actor Mike is fun to watch and makes you wonder just how much of his personality is embodied in his character. The rest of the exceptional lineup includes: Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Shamos, and Andrea Riseborough.

Birdman is a challenging, interesting, sad, funny, uplifting film with an ambiguous ending and I would totally recommend seeing it.

Reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Movie 43

by on Feb.23, 2014, under Movie Reviews

This has got to be in the top 10 list of the worst movies ever made. Movie 43 is Peter Farrelly’s attempt at making an homage to movies such as The Kentucky Fried Movie and Amazon Women From the Moon. The film is comprised of a collection of shorts that are suppose to be humorous or outrageous or both. Sadly, it just comes off as really, really poorly written and produced…

The plots are ridiculous, it’s shocking for the sake of being shocking (the word tasteless fits in here as well) while ultimately losing its shock appeal through the terrible writing and plot design. The quality of it is what is really shocking here. The Farrelly brothers have always delivered films that challenged taste but usually had a point in there somewhere. This is just shock and cheap for the sake of being shocking and cheap but with no real rewards.

The writing is well, bad. Here’s a prime example – one of the stories consists of a date between 2 people – Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman. Jackman’s character has balls on his chin. This is the big gag. That’s right, balls on his chin. That drives the whole concept of this segment – balls on his character’s chin. That seems to be the basis for most of these segments – some cheap gag that comes off as something created for the novelty of shock value with nothing else behind it. Another story premise centers around a woman wanting her boyfriend to poop on her which serves as the main plot point while everything else circles around that idea. Wow.

The directing comes off as lazy and just going through the motions as it’s very un-imaginative and doesn’t present the material in the same fun way that other films in this style were delivered in. It looks like it was shot on a low budget and just pieced together without much effort behind it. The acting is pretty bad too as most of the actors look like they’re phoning it in to repay a favor to Farrelly. Ugh.

There’s only one thing that’s impressive here, and that’s the lineup of talent. I read several articles online that mentioned that noone helped to promote this film and some even tried to squash the film from being released. The impressive credits of actors include (besides Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet): Richard Gere, Liev Schriber, Naomi Watts, Justin Long, Halle Barre, Jason Sudekis, Patrick Warburton, Anna Ferris, Chris Pratt, Greg Kinnear, Dennis Quaid, Johnny Knoxvile, Sean William Scott, Emma Stone, Common, Will Sasso, Seth McFarlane, and more…

If you liked The Kentucky Fried Movie or Amazon Women From the Moon – watch those movies instead.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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