Monday, January 31, 2005

End of the month movie reviews

Jet Lag - I watched this on Star Movies. It was in French with English subtitles. Good enough acting by Jean Reno and Juliette Binoche. A chance encounter with a stranger that leads to a romance plot. It got me wondering how come in my numerous travels I never met someone that way! Tough luck!

Callas Forever - I stayed up late to see this on Star Movies. I'm not an opera fan but I've heard of Maria Callas. The tragedy of her life is Onassis never married her, he instead hooked up with Jacqueline Kennedy. Ain't that dramatic? Well anyways the film picks up on her life in Paris as a recluse. She is trying to stage a comeback through the guidance of a manager played by the indefatigable Jeremy Irons. The French actress Fanny Ardant portrayed her well from the uncunning resemblance to the theatrics of a fading diva.

Wasabi - is part of my foreign movies collection. But it is dubbed in English so the audio is murky. A Jean Reno starrer set in Japan. A rather simplistic plot where the lead character discovers he has a daughter with a Japanese woman. A child he never knew existed. More of an action flick than anything else. The actress who portrayed the daughter though irritated me to high heavens.

The Four Feathers - one of those VCDs I bought for a mere P75. Very interesting tale of bravery, cowardice, heroism entwined with patriotism. Heath Ledger projects well on screen but he sometimes mumbles his words. Or maybe my ears are failing me. Either way it is a riveting saga set against the backdrop of an unfortunate war in Sudan by the British forces. I like movies which dwell on contemporary history!

Crimson Rivers - January seemed to have been the Jean Reno festival month. I bought this movie in Dubai but never had the time to watch it back then. It is dubbed in English and it stars Vincent cassel in a good role. A bit gruesome but it all leads up to a twist in the end. Sort of teetering on the edge of your seat type of movie.

Ocean's 12 - George Clooney! Need I say more? Well the original was better! It seemed like a good excuse to just reassemble the entire cast and go off on an European junket and have fun while making the movie. Bruce Willis as himself was hilarious!

Far From Heaven - a low budget film which perhaps had a slow run at the theaters. So I was glad I caught it on TV. Julianne Moore is a Stepford wife-y character who stumbles upon the truth behind her husband's secret lifestyle. She is one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood yet she adds essence to each role she portrays.

Elf - a bit late for Christmas but I still borrowed it. I wanted to chill out with a feel good in a fun way movie.

The Butterfly Effect - has an interesting premise for a story. The lead character is given several chances to make changes in his past so his present life turns out for the best. Yet just how many times can you alter something just so your life is picture perfect? The countless twists towards the end of the movie drove me nuts.

Jersey Girl - I believe this would make a good date movie. It was simple, no murders, no mystery to figure out, no lessons learned - it is just pleasant! Ben Affleck has been getting a lot of flak for turning out flops this one included but hey would you ever credit him for his acting ability? I don't think so.

The Clearing - only the cast of Robert Redford, Helen Mirren & Willem Dafoe salvaged this lousy plot. Otherwise it had nothing going for itself.

Meet The Fockers - the casting was an excellent coup for this movie. Plot wise it was less corny than the original one. Hilariously funny scenes which had me laughing so loud I had tears in my eyes. A good one!

Open Water - I was too scared to watch this in the theaters so when I saw it at the video store it caught my attention. Being left behind by a boat in the middle of the ocean is a very terrifying situation. But hey it was based on a true story, so go figure. Till now I can't get over the fact how that couple met their tragic end. Dehydration, drifting away in shark infested waters. Gosh I had nightmares for days.

Catwoman - Halle Berry in a leather cat outfit, Sharon Stone still looking good despite her 'advanced' years, Benjamin Bratt yummy as always. That's about it. The story was not engaging at all. Now I know why this film received 7 razzie nominations! Total letdown.

Freaky Friday - Mother and daughter switching bodies much to their chagrin. There were some funny scenes, lessons learned from being in someone's else shoes so to speak, just a fun film. Jamie Lee Curtis & Lindsay Lohan were pretty convincing in their roles.

Chasing Liberty - Not bad seeing a teenager gallivanting all over Europe - Prague, Venice, Berlin - only she happens to be the daughter of the US President and played by Mandy Moore. Ewww! The actor who played the undercover Secret Service agent though was really cute with his deep voice! His accent was lovely!

Stuck on You - Matt Damon & Greg Kinnear stuck together as conjoined twins. That in itself is funny already. It could have been corny but it wasn't. Or maybe I'm just too shallow that silly stuffs make me laugh right away.

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