When aliens invade Planet Earth, who else but the U.S. Marine Corps can save the day? That is the premise for this year’s action-packed film Battle: Los Angeles. Unrealistic? Of course. Predictable? Certainly. But entertaining? Without a doubt.
Matt Damon’s newest film, The Adjustment Bureau, questions the basis and validity of free will. Is man’s destiny truly in his own hands, or is his destiny in the hands of a higher power (God)? Is it one or the other — or both? The film also emphasizes the issues of sacrifice and liberty (but what is liberty — does it include trying to evade God’s plans for you?), marking it as yet another hit film to add to Damon’s lengthy roster.
Sunday night's 83rd Annual Academy Awards proved to be relatively entertaining. With a number of wonderful musical performances and compelling tributes, to the honoring of some worthy films, this year’s Academy Awards rightfully earned better ratings than in recent years.
If you prefer the charm of hand-drawn animation to the computer-generated sort, you’ll love The Illusionist. The primary character, an aging and outdated European magician named Tatischeff, plays one-night gigs traveling from town to town and country to country, often being cheated by his employers. Eventually he crosses paths with Alice, a teenager who plays at being grownup, and who believes him to be the magician he once was. Their ensuing adventure together is both humorous and haunting. The movie is enchantingly slow-paced, and the animation and sound styles create a nearly perfect stage for this character-driven story.
The new children's movie Gnomeo & Juliet is of course an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic work, Romeo & Juliet. In this new world, the bickering enemies are red and blue garden gnomes. The blue garden belongs to the Montagues of 2B and the red Capulets live next door, at not 2B.
The King’s Speech, a period piece set in the 1930s, portrays the story of Prince Albert (Bertie), the man who would never be King, and his relationship with Lionel Logue, a speech therapist, which would later become a lifelong friendship. Bertie’s older brother, David, is first in line for the British throne, and thank goodness, because Bertie suffers from a terrible stammer unsuitable for a public life that now involves not just looking good, but also sounding good. The latter thanks to the new-fangled invention called the “wireless.”
If ever a movie could put the idea of freedom, and what people will do to get it, into perspective, it is The Way Back. Inspired by the 1956 book, The Long Walk, a true story by Slavomir Rawicz, the film is the latest from Australian director Peter Weir.
Director Michael Gondry’s The Green Hornet is a prime example of what happens when a director has a lot of money with which to work but minimal substance on which to stand. While it’s evident that effort was involved in making the film, particularly as it pertains to the action scenes, it is an overall disappointment.
The 2010 remake of the John Wayne classic True Grit is now the highest-grossing Coen Brothers film to date, and for good reason. The surprising hit, comprised of a number of talented performances, stays true to the original story, so full of wit and adventure. As a result, True Grit ended 2010 by topping the box office charts at number one, surpassing even Little Fockers.
The Fighter is based on the true story of professional boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg). It tells the tale of Ward’s relationship with his half-brother Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale), and how the brothers helped to put their city of Lowell, Massachusetts, on the map, though not always in the best way. The movie is exciting and gripping, but explicit language, heavy drug use, and violence orient the film to a specific type of audience.
C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia book series is a fascinating allegory of Christian faith as it walks its reader through various tenets of Christianity. Recognizing both the mastery and implicit spirituality of the book series, Walden Media elected to portray the lively tales on the big screen, and thank goodness for that. Thus far, the films have artistically captured the strength of the novels, and the most recent installment, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is a prime example of that.