Author Topic: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews  (Read 17204 times)


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Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« on: December 13, 2009, 03:39:05 AM »
Everytime I see a film at the cinema I post a review on here, I thought instead of making many different threads though I could just keep all the reviews in the one place.

Film's Seen At Cinema

- Whip It (3/5)
- 2012 (1½ /5)
- 9 (3½/5)
- Where The Wild Things Are (5/5)
- Avatar (4/5)
- Fantastic Mr Fox (4/5)
- Sherlock Holmes (4/5)
- Invictus (3½/5)
- Bran Nue Dae (4/5)
- Up in the Air (5/5)
- Alice in Wonderland (3½/5)
- Kick-Ass (5/5)
- How To Train Your Dragon - (4/5)
- Iron Man 2 - (3/5)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 01:04:03 AM by Critter »


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2009, 03:39:43 AM »
Whip It

Director: Drew Barrymore

Writer: Shauna Cross

Plot: In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.

Ellen Page - Bliss Cavendar
Alia Shawkat - Pash
Drew Barrymore - Smashley Simpson
Landon Pigg - Oliver
Andrew Wilson - Razor
Juliette Lewis - Iron Maven

My Thoughts

This is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut and it shows. With Whip It Barrymore played it as safe as someone could making their first film by following a formula of these "teen breaking out of a rut" type films that seems to have developed over the years. She stuck to this forumula and followed all the regular conventions and cliches so closely in fact that I often felt while watching the film that I had seen it before.

That said however this still was a cute and easily enjoyable film, it just didn't break any boundaries or bring anything new. Ellen Page seems to be playing the same character over and over these days of the quirky and often misunderstood teenager. And while I must admit she's good at it it would be nice to see her go back to the days where she had a larger variety of roles such as An American Crime, Hard Candy and X-Men.

One thing this film does succeed in doing is educating the world of the sport of 'Roller Derby' which really is the highlight of the film. The derby scenes are fast-paced and in my opinion very well shot which made them a delight to watch. Especially for those of us who didn't even know of the roller derby sport before this film (keep in mind I'm from a small town in Australia :P)

Overall this film is light-hearted and quite enjoyable with some funny and memorable characters yet still brings nothing new to the table.

Rating: 3/5
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 07:13:11 AM by Critter »


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2009, 03:40:21 AM »

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Roland Emmerich & Harald Kloser

Plot: An epic adventure about a global cataclysm that brings an end to the world and tells of the heroic struggle of the survivors.

John Cusack – Jackson Curtis
Amanda Peet – Kate Curtis
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Adrian Helmsley
Thandie Newton – Laura Wilson

My Thoughts
I saw this today mainly because my friend and I wanted to see something that isn’t New Moon but hardly anything else was showing. 2012 was fun in some parts due to the impressive visual effects but the storyline was very lacking and overall I felt it was very much a letdown. I felt no connection to hardly any of the characters and really didn’t care if they lived or died, as well as just being frustrated with them most of the time. Another thing I found odd was that even though this was a doomsday apocalyptic film I never really knew if the director wanted us to take it seriously or not, while some scenes were intense the majority of the most action-packed scenes were laced with lame jokes and antics which really didn’t seem to fit. Overall there really wasn’t much here, although I do admit the special effects were good by the end of the film they didn’t even seem impressive anymore as after 2 and a half hours I just felt bored of them.

Rating: 1 ½ /5


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2009, 03:44:00 AM »

Director(s): Shane Acker

Writer(s):Shane Acker, Pamela Pettler

Plot: A post-apocalyptic nightmare in which all of humanity is threatened.

Christopher Plummer - 1
Martin Landau - 2
John C. Reilly - 5
Crispin Glover - 6
Jennifer Connelly - 7
Fred Tatasciore - 8
Elijah Wood - 9
Alan Oppenheimer - The Scientist

My Thoughts
I saw this film today hardly knowing anything about it apart from the fact that it has Tim Burton’s name attached and it was based on a short film. I found 9 quite enjoyable but also underwhelming in many ways. The visual side of the film was outstanding, I found it quite refreshing to see a dark and somewhat gritty computer animated film come from America instead of the constant flow of films with their bright colours and cute characters (even though I do like these most of the time). The detail in the landscape created and the design of both the leading characters and the evil, junk yard type monsters was inspired, it actually made me want to get out a sketch pad and start drawing the minute I got home.  

Another high point for me was the excellent voice acting and the high standard of sound effects throughout the film. The sound effects especially made the fight scenes genuinely exciting for the most part and even allowed for a few unexpected jumps. While I found this film visually outstanding what let it down for me was the plot, which felt almost rushed as the film progressed and didn’t seem to be going anywhere. There were no subplots through this film, just one straight story which I found to be quite repetitive. Although I found the plot somewhat diminished I feel this film is a great step for Western mainstream animation. It’s proof, perhaps somewhat guided by the success of WALL·E that animation does not have to be all about comedy set within clean cut colourful words of cute characters.


« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 03:46:12 AM by Critter »

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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2009, 04:13:24 AM »
I've updated the link for the first 2 reviews in the list, the previous lead to nowhere :shrug:
9 is already listed for this week update (I've the previous link in your animation marathon)


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 04:23:56 AM »
Thanks Jimmy, sorry I should have warned you before I started moving all my reviews around.


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2009, 09:29:42 AM »
Where the Wild Things Are

Director(s): Spike Jonze

Writer(s):Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers

Plot: An adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world--a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler.

Max Records – Max
Catherine Keener – Mum
Mark Ruffalo – The Boyfriend
James Gandolfini – Carol
Paul Dano – Alexandra
Catherine O’Hara – Judith
Chris Cooper – Douglas

My Thoughts
I have been looking forward to this film for a long time, I loved the book as a child and this is one of the most creative film adaptations I have seen. With a lot of book to screen films such as Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings series, filmmakers come against the problem of having too much material, having to choose what to take out, and worrying how closely they should stick to the book. Wild things is almost the polar opposite to this situation as the book itself is a mere 38 pages long with only one or two sentences on each page. In this case Jonze did not have to worry about what to take out, but more, what to add in. This gave him and his creative team license to go as far as they wanted with the story while still keeping the essence of the book alive and I feel they did this very well.

The wild things themselves are marvelous, the large costumes and CGI effects applied to the faces are so realistic that throughout the film I never once thought that is a just a person in a costume. Each wild thing felt so real and was propelled by the raw emotion supplied within the storyline that also helped their characters develop. The voice acting of each wild thing was natural and extremely well done. While this film may be based on a children’s picture book, it is certainly not a children’s film. Some of the scenes are quite intense to the point of scary and the way the characters are seen turning on each other throughout the film could be disturbing to very young children.

Another highpoint of the film to me was the soundtrack and the locations. I’m not sure where it was filmed exactly but the scenery was absolutely beautiful, as was indeed the entire film.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 08:52:30 AM by Critter »


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2009, 09:27:27 AM »

Director(s): James Cameron

Writer(s):James Cameron

Plot: A paraplegic marine dispatched to the planet Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Sam Worthington– Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana – Neytiri
Sigourney Weaver – Dr. Grace Augustine
Stephen Lang - Colonel Miles Quaritch
Michelle Rodriguez – Trudy Chacon

My Thoughts
I don’t even know where to begin describing this film. I limited myself from reading reviews before seeing it to have an open mind as I am aware that there has been an equally large negative response as there has been positive. In the end I don’t care what the critics are saying as this film gave me one of the best cinema experiences I have had. I saw this in 3D which I was apprehensive about at the start as I haven’t seen a 3D film at the cinema before and have only previously witnesses blurriness or colour distortion within such films. Avatar however was something else, the 3D was amazing, it wasn’t about making things jump out of the screen at you, but about pulling you into the screen and into this world that Cameron created.

I have heard what people have been saying about the film, not original this, predictable storyline that etc , and I will admit the storyline (which ran just short of 3 hours) was somewhat predictable. And yes, it did remind me somewhat of FernGully: The Last Rainforest which was one of my favourite animated films of the 90’s. In the end though I just didn’t care, I had been taken into a whole new world, a world with such a strong atmosphere and amazing visuals that I had to occasionally look around the cinema to remind myself that I was not actually on Pandora (the fictional planet of the film). I don’t know what this film would have been like in 2D but the world I saw was so real and believable that I could just about forget it was a film at all, instead believing that I was walking amongst these native people on their planet.

One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was Sigourney Weaver’s role. I of course knew she was in the film but I had no idea just how large of a role she had. Weaver yet again delivered another spellbinding performance in a science fiction film, the genre she is well known for. Aside from Weaver the whole cast was fantastic. Australian actor Sam Worthington was fantastic for someone who was relatively unknown before this film, he carried all of his scenes fantastically (even though a lot of them were in the digitally altered blue, alien body).

For those who know me they will understand my love and fascination with animation and visual effects in film which is most likely another reason I rate this film so highly. For me, someone who wants to become and animator and work on film effects myself in the future you can imagine how this film must have seemed like an early Christmas present. An area of design that has always captured my attention in film the most has been creature design. Avatar presented me with an entire planet of new animals! Needless to say I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved seeing so much fantastic creature design put to work to bring these fantastical beings to life. The end result of course, was outstanding.

And as some of you know I am also an archer and have a strong interest in this sport as well as the history of it. In Avatar of course the native people’s weapon of choice was the good ol bow and arrow which provided yet another reason why I loved this film so much. The design of some of the bows and the magnificent archery displayed was something I found captivating.

As you can tell from this review Avatar had a lot in it that I already had a large personal interest in which contributes to my love for it. And while I can defiantly see how this film is not for everyone I encourage anyone who is seeing it to see it in 3D as they will not regret it. I myself am hoping to catch it again in the cinema before it leaves which is a rare thing for me with such long films.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 02:53:04 PM by Critter »


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2009, 12:23:39 PM »
Thanks, Critter! Is it the cinematic revolution we've been promised? I can't see how; a milestone maybe, but for me, cinema progresses in writing, not tech.


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2009, 12:30:00 PM »
Hmm I wouldn't call it a milestone in cinema storytelling, but I would definatly call it a milestone in filmmaking... if that makes sense. It's hard to explain but James Cameron actually invented the technology to make this film, he made a new way of using 3D which presents and opportunity to fully involve the audience in the film. As I said in the review it's one of the first times in the cinema I truly felt like I had been transported to another world, rather than just watching a film on the screen.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 12:33:18 PM by Critter »


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2009, 12:38:37 PM »
Im going to see it this afternoon, this film could make or break 3D... I can't say i'm excited... some feeling in the back of my head tells me i'm not gonna like it.


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2009, 12:41:23 PM »
I hope you enjoy it Emma, although as I said I can see how Avatar isn't for everyone and can understand where the critics are coming from. Yet I just loved it to pieces haha, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have tears underneath those 3D glasses more than once  :P. When a film can do that to me, and also leave me with a face much like this smiley-> :o for a lot of it then hell, I'm impressed.


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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2009, 12:45:59 PM »
I work in a cinema and already this film has divided people, I took a look at last night when I finished my shift and I have to say the 3D was impressive but im not impressed with the story.... if James Cameron spent as much time on the story as he did on the technology... this could have been a brilliant film.

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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 12:57:08 PM »
I hadn't planned on seeing this film in the theater but after reading your review I think I must. I hope I feel the way I did after seeing Star Wars in the cinema for the first time - goosebumps.

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Re: Critter's Films at Cinemas Reviews
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009, 01:10:08 PM »
I understand most people compare it to Fern Gully or Dances With Wolves (Jon.... ;))

Thanks, Critter! Is it the cinematic revolution we've been promised? I can't see how; a milestone maybe, but for me, cinema progresses in writing, not tech.
Well. in case you didn't hear that episode, Mark Kermode criticized the film for being "baggy" (overly long), the story being non-original (see above), the creature design lacking and, of couse, the 3D being unnecessary. However,  he did point out that in overall he did somewhat enjoy it and several times went "Wow!". I guess from him this is almost like a seal of approval for this kind of film.