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At The Movies This Week

Skyfall ★★★★

Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney

Bond is back!  When M16 comes under attack, Bond must try to find the one responsible and finds himself running out of time when M’s life is put in danger.  This time it’s personal.

The plotline has it flaws but despite this, the action scenes, as you would expect from a Bond film, are fantastic.

James Bond himself, Daniel Craig delivers yet another excellent performance.  Bond seems even quite vulnerable at times, despite his seemingly superhuman strength.  “Skyfall” also gives us a few hints about James Bond’s origin, and while we do learn a bit more about his back story, there’s still a lot left unsaid.  The relationship between Bond and M has been turned into something quite remarkable with the help of Craig and Dench.

Javier Bardem is also impressive as the new Bond villain, Silva.  He has the right mix of humor and menace that makes a great villian. He’s one of the most disturbing Bond villains to ever come along. He also knows how to push Bond’s buttons in the right way that makes you think he’s homosexual; everything Bardem’s character does is intended to throw Bond off his game which makes him even more fascinating to watch.

Overall, “Skyfall” is a much better film than “Quantum of Solace” but is not quite up there with “Casino Royale”.

 

 

 

 

 

Argo ★★★★

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Set in 1979 and based on a true story, the Iranian revolution has reached its peak and in Tehran, protesters overtake the American Embassy. As the embassy staff is taken hostage, six Americans are able to secretly escape and make their way to the house of the Canadian ambassador. They are then safe, but are unable to escape the country. The six Americans can do nothing but hide and wait to be rescued.

Ben Affleck has crafted a brilliantly entertaining film on numerous levels.  It delivers some really funny and light hearted moments despite the heavy subject.  The acting is brilliant with everyone involved, including Affleck himself delivering an incredible performance whilst John Goodman and Alan Arkin deliver some humorous moments. These guys really bring the film to life while delivering Oscar worthy performance. The gritty look to this film really helps to capture the whole vibe and tone of the film while combined with the attention to detail, helps take you back into the 1970s.

Although Ben Affleck did a great job directing “Argo”, it does suffer from pacing issues. He proves once again of his talent as a director, this is a must see film and if you like spy dramas, political dramas, or historical dramas then “Argo” is something you should definitely check out at some point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Master ★★★★

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams

After the end of World War II, Navy man Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is unable to hold down a job until he stows away on the boat of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the creator of a new religion called The Cause.

Hoffman and Phoenix both give performances worthy of an Oscar. The film is at its best when Hoffman and Phoenix are pitted against each other, both of their characters are short tempered though Hoffman’s character is less violent and more sinister-like. Their strange, ambiguous relationship is the centre of the film.

The filmmaker’s latest never fails to hold the viewer completely in his grasp.  You can tell he has done his research into the 1950s.

“The Master” explores recurring themes such as authority, grand delusion and corruption by power.  This is one of those films that will linger in the mind and asks questions long after the end credits roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2  ★★★

Director: Bill Condon

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Billy Burke, Dakota Fanning, Michael Sheen

Picking up from “Breaking Dawn – Part 1’s” cliffhanger ending, “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” continues the Swan/Black/Cullen storyline where it left off.  We see Bella (Kristen Stewart) Cullen’s first day as a vampire.  Bella and Edward (Robert Pattinson) no longer have to worry about her growing old and dying, and best friend, werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has imprinted on their new born baby Renesmee, transferring all of his feelings for Bella to her daughter. It is as creepy as it sounds.  This grabs the attention of the Volturi, who then wish to kill her.  Bella, Edward and Jacob have to recruit the help of others to protect their newborn child.

“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” doesn’t really have much to offer and that’s the big problem.  The film tends to steer away from its original source material for most part which might not have been a bad thing if it hadn’t turned back to stay reassuring to the fans.

“Breaking Dawn – Part 2” suffers mightily in what should have been its strongest part, the actual finale.  To call it unsatisfying is a colossal understatement for those who have not read the book. For those who appreciated the books though, the films and the actors involved, this should be a satisfying conclusion for you.

 

 

 

 

 

Here Comes the Boom ★★★

Director: Frank Coraci

Cast: Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler, Greg Germann

When budget cuts threaten the music class at a high school, Scott (Kevin James) a biology teacher who suffers from lack of motivation decides to help out by trying to raise the money that is needed by fighting in mixed-martial arts cage matches.

This is Kevin James’s best film to date.  The story is a typical underdog tale, the screenplay is well written despite the idea been used many times before and is very predictable.

Henry Winkler stole most of the film though Kevin James was fun to watch. Kevin James’ character is one we can all relate to.

There are some real laugh out loud moments and leaves you with a good feeling at the end.

 

 

 

 

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