The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

One of my favorite films this year, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is by a young writer, director, and producer named Stephen Chbosky. Having written the screenplay for Rent, which I thought was not especially well done, and spending the past couple of years working on a TV series named Jericho, Stephen was apparently able to leverage his experience into a shot at his own film project, and quite a shot it was. Emma Watson in The Perks of Being a Wallflower There is definitely something to be said for limited budget films that are a complete vision from writing through film production. Chbosky’s characters have a richness and truth about them that will resonate with you. For all of the teens out there who are out of step with the rest of the school, which seems at time to be the majority of the students, and all of the adults who still remember what it was like to be in that position, the characters will be your friends, and your heroes as they struggle their way through life. Logan Lerman, who plays Charlie, Ezra Miller, who plays Patrick, and Emma Watson, who plays Patrick’s step-sister Sam, whom you probably spotted as the reknowned Hermione Granger; were all brilliant in their respective parts. Every wallflower in school needed a duo like Patrick and Emma to bring them under their wings in High School. The two seniors bring Charlie into their world as Patrick acknowledges him with the statement, “I didn’t realize there was anyone still worth discovering.” The 102 minutes of The Perks of Being A Wallflower are...
The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

I will admit that I am a fan of the comic book and the movies that come from them. Yes, there have been some bad films made from comics, but there have also been some great films that originated from comic books. The best of class has to go to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, which concludes with The Dark Knight Rises. The screenplay was written by Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan and then tweaked by Christopher into it’s final form. As Jonathan noted in the production notes of The Prestige,”…he’s somehow able to look at my ideas and flip them around in a way that’s just a little bit more twisted and interesting. It’s great to be able to work with him like that.” If that’s how they work together than Jonathan gave Christopher a great basis to tweak in this trilogy. Assembling a heavy hitting, Oscar-winning crew once again, Christopher Nolan worked with cinematographer Wally Pfister, effects masters Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, and composer Hans Zimmer, and the list of stars isn’t a skimpy one either: Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, and of course, Christian Bale. Who wouldn’t be looking forward to this film? Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister give their films such a unique look that it’s hard to imagine one working without the other, and that’s especially the case in this Dark Knight trilogy. Every screen is so impeccably crafted that you are totally immersed in their world. Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises © Warner Bros. Along with The Dark Knight Rising in...
Tangled Gets It Straight

Tangled Gets It Straight

2011 Oscar Nominee for Music (Original Song): “I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater Disney’s latest release of Tangled is a delight from start to finish. If you have kids and you can only see one film during the holidays, then this is it. This updated version of Rapunzel is smart, cute, and simply a blast! Rupunzel, Flynn Rider, and Maximus in Disney’s Tangled® You would think that a girl locked in a tower with super long hair would be a real drag, instead she is a spunky, young girl (played by Mandy Moore) who uses her hair like the ultimate tool. Her side-kick is a cute little chameleon, who keeps reminding her of her dreams. helps her with her paintings, and her chores around the tower. No kitty cats for this girl. Rapunzel’s Chameleon One day while her “mother” is out, a rogue by the name of Flynn (played by Zachary Levi Pugh) is chased into the castle by a guard’s horse, Maximus, a rather determined fellow. Striking a deal with Flynn after knocking him out with a frying pan, Rapunzel sets out on the first journey of her life to see the floating birthday lights that have fascinated her all her life. What ensues is hysterical and wonder filled. [ad name=”Google Adsense-bottom”]Although Disney has come under fire for changing the name of the story from Rapunzel to Tangled, it seems as though an updated story deserves an updated name. When asked about it at the film’s release, Wikipedia quotes the directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard as saying,” You can’t...
The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Peter Jackson’s first major film release since the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, is The Lovely Bones, from a 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. This was a top selling novel that had a large following waiting for it to make its film debut. Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones I couldn’t imagine how this film could be as expensive to make as it was, until I saw the film. Once again, Peter Jackson created a visually amazing film, which in places works wonderfully, and in other places becomes a bit overdone. Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is a 14 year old girl who is raped and murdered by her neighbor George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). She is lured to an amazing underground clubhouse in the middle of a cornfield and realizes to late that she is in his trap. The way that the death is handled in The Lovely Bones by Peter Jackson is skillful, with the audience at first thinking that Susie has gotten away, only to discover that it was her spirit that has escaped, while she is being murdered by Harvey. Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones I will always go see anything that Stanley Tucci plays in, but this was definitely one of the creepier roles that he has played. His affable personality makes the creepy side of Tucci all the more so. Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) ends up trapped in the “in-between” as she tries to tell her father (Mark Wahlberg) what has happened to her across the breach. A friend, Holly (Nikki SooHoo), shows up in the in-between to keep her company,...
Films of the Decade – 5. The Lord of the Rings

Films of the Decade – 5. The Lord of the Rings

No honest list of the best films of this decade would be complete without The Lord of the Rings. I don’t want to specify which of the three chapters is my personal favorite, because it is really one body of work. Upon the release of the first film, Peter Jackson became a household name and part of an elite club of filmmakers that are able to please mainstream audiences as well as critics. The name Peter Jackson can be grouped with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas as visionaries.

Films of the Decade – 9. Good Night and Good Luck

Films of the Decade – 9. Good Night and Good Luck

There is something special about Good Night, and Good Luck that separates it from other modern movies. It is presented in black and white, but I don’t think that is one of the film’s defining features. Black and white in this day and age suggest a commitment to a vision. Filmmakers could almost always make more money with a color film; however, they occasionally choose not to take the easy path.

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