quinta-feira, fevereiro 20, 2014

Robocop (2014)

It’s been out there for a while now that Hollywood is getting more and more desperate for new, fresh ideas...
That’s why production companies, screenwriters and directors keep working on adaptations and re-adaptations,  reboots and remakes… From books, comics, theater, classic movies and even recent ones.

Robocop (2014) is just one of those examples. The original from which this was inspired (directed by Dutch master Paul Verhoeven) came out in the late 80’s as a huge success – enjoying cult status amongst moviegoers/critics - so obviously an older audience – or at least those who’ve seen the original -  would set the bar really high for the “revamped” version.

I guess it’s no surprise when I say this 2014 version was poor. They’ve tried so hard to make themselves a different film from the original that the whole thing came out wrong.

A lot of people actually defend this, arguing "why bother putting effort to do the exact same movie"? That's fair enough… but that just brings me back to that original point.

Why do it?
Haven’t you heard: “If it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it”.

Not even its talented cast – with the likes of Joel Kinnerman, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, to name a few - and the up and coming Brazilian filmmaker Jose Pandilha (bringing some of his Elite Squad techniques) could salvage what was truly a disastrous screenplay/storyline.

Maybe a younger and unfamiliar audience will enjoy it… iMDB seems to show it that way. 

With its flashy special effects and full throttle action scenes it can satisfy those who don’t know better…

My advice?

Just stick to the 1987 masterpiece.  




quinta-feira, fevereiro 13, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) is the remarkable story of Ron Woodroof told by Jean-Marc Vallée through the magnificent performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, both deserving of various award nominations and accolades.

I wouldn’t say it’s a given that both will win the golden statue come March 2nd, since I believe the impact of their characters – while outstanding – is not far superior than the other actors contending for the award. What I mean is that… while Matthew is brilliant, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was able to stir my emotions (be it for laughter or tears) more than perhaps a DiCaprio, Dern or even a Tom Hanks (who was unfairly left out of the list for Oscar nominees) with his epic last 20 minutes of sheer acting talent. However, there is no doubt that they have performed the hardest of roles this year, with a high level of acting that demanded both physical and psychological sacrifices.

 I would also like to leave a positive note to the wonderful Jennifer Garner. She’s clearly away from the spotlight that shines over McConaughey and Leto, yet she is able to deliver a sweet and enduring character that provides a certain amount of balance to the storytelling. She is (or tries to be) everything that is good in the world and when you are confronted most of the time by illness, despair and prejudice… that my friends is a breath of fresh air and she was able to provide us with the right amount.

All and all, a must-see movie… one that would certainly be featured in my top 10 list for 2013 If I had seen it in time.

Don’t miss out!

terça-feira, fevereiro 11, 2014

The Spectacular Now (2013)

One of the great contemporary movies from the last few years. 

A - definite - must see!

segunda-feira, fevereiro 10, 2014

The United States of Leland

Ignore what the critics have said about The United States of Leland (2003). Forget Rotten Tomatoes, but rather focus on iMDB. In my opinion, it's that score that reflects how good the movie is... and trust me... it's very good.

It's well written, using a style of narrative that I don't see that often anymore. On top of that it features a stellar cast made names such as Don Cheadle, (a young) Ryan Gosling, Kevin Spacey, Jena Malone, Michelle Williams, Chris Klein, Michael Pena, Kerry Washington and Sherilyn Fenn.

Definitely worth watching!

terça-feira, fevereiro 04, 2014

About Time (2013)

“Never judge a book but its cover” so they say…

Yet I seem to make that same mistake from time to time, consequence of intricate aspects of past experiences which lead me to misjudge character or value in something… whether be it a person, a film, a play… anything!

However, in certain occasions that sense of misjudgement can set in motion a great reaction. Having incredible low expectations for something that ends up being quite good, thus catching you by surprise and leaving you almost in utter disbelief.

That’s what happened with the movie About Time (2013). 

During the longest time I saw the poster all over London, featuring a smiling Rachel McAdams under heavy rain… It looked like one of those basic, cliched romantic comedies. Right from the start, I was quick to dismiss the film… until the day where I got to its iMDB page. I don’t know how or why, but something took me there and having seen the rating, my level of curiosity arose.

Wrote down on my “to see list”… but had so much going on during the next few days, I had no chance of getting my hands on it. Soon after, I was leaving to Dubai on a work trip… 
The movie was long gone in my mind. Didn’t even remember it ever existed. 

But it was on my return trip to London that I came across the title on the on-board selection… and with 7 hours to kill… it seemed like the perfect time to watch it.

It was one of the best things I’ve seen recently… It’s  smart, funny and remarkably profound without having to over-think it.

And it’s a movie which is accessible for everyone, in the sense that it will suit your needs/demand.

Highly recommend it!