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Archive for January, 2009

wrestler2

 

Rated R

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Judah Friedlander, Ajay Naidu

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 4.5

Word of Warning: This is a movie for adults and the R rating is appropriate.

 

Complete with solid writing, a believable storyline and outstanding performances, I believe “The Wrestler” is one of the best movies of 2008. The movie opened in limited release, but with critical acclaim growing daily, it is now playing almost everywhere.

 

Read the rest of this review HERE.

 

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defiance

Rated R

Directed by Edward Zwick

Starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Tomas Arana

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 2

Word of Warning: Too long, too many clichés, not enough heart.

 

With an inspiring name and all-star cast, “Defiance” fails to deliver on what it promises. The film is wrongly titled, wrongly cast and unfortunately, just plain dull. It is based on the true story of four Polish-Jewish brothers during World War II, who escape the Nazis by hiding out in the heavily wooded forests of Poland. As time goes on, other Jews seeking escape from Nazi brutality join the brothers and the group continues to grow as word of the hidden forest camp spreads.

Read the rest of the review HERE.

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C2-GRAN_FR_C_^_FRIDAY

Rated R

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 4.5

Word of Warning: Language, racial slurs and violence – this one’s not for the kiddos or the easily offended.

 

Written, directed and starring an icon of our time, Clint Eastwood, “Gran Torino is one of the best movies of 2008 (it was in limited release during December, widely released in January). Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a veteran of the Korean War and retiree from Ford Motors, living in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.

 

Kowalski is a hard-as-nails, work-a-day man, who is emotionally distant from his two sons and their families. His wife has recently passed away and the neighborhood they have lived in for years has changed dramatically. His neighbors now represent various cultures, much different than his own and for the cantankerous, and at times, racist, Kowalski, it is almost more than he can take.

 

A conflict arises between Kowalski and his Hmong neighbors (many Hmong people fled to the United States from Vietnam, Thailand and Laos immediately after the Vietnam War). However, the conflict results in Kowalski inadvertently becoming involved in the lives of the two Hmong young people, brother and sister, Tao and Sue.

 

When a local gang begins relentlessly harassing Tao and Sue, Kowalski cannot simply stand by and watch; this time he intentionally becomes involved.

 

“Gran Torino” is much funnier than I had expected, and at times it is downright sad, but overall, it is one of the best movies of 2008, and I am hoping Eastwood finally takes home a Best Actor Oscar at the Academy Award on February 22.

 

 

***Also appearing in the Berthoud Weekly Surveyor

 

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Hollywood came out for the Globes tonight. Many ladies wore pastel dresses resembling bridesmaid attire, and many men were sporting facial hair.

The big news? Kate Winslet probably won’t be winning an Oscar, now that she’s finally walked away with an award – two actually. She won Best Supporting Actress for “The Reader” and Best Actress for “Revolutionary Road,” leaving the door wide open for a most deserving Meryl Streep to win the Oscar.

kate-leo-revolutionary-road

Winslet was surprised by the second win and had a terrible time getting through all her thank you’s, though having a British accent always makes a person seem proper, even when they are in a state of disarray. She confessed her “13 year” love of co-star Leonardo DiCaprio – thankfully she quickly followed up by adding how much she loves her husband and “Revolutionary Road” director, Sam Mendes.

“Slumdog Millionaire,” one of my favorites, was the surprise big winner, walking away with Best Screenplay, Best Musical Score and Best Picture.

Best Actor went to Mickey Rourke for his performance in “The Wrestler.” A seemingly sober Rourke tripped on the stairs, but then regained his composure enough to deliver a very good acceptance speech, which even included thanking his dogs (something most dog people will appreciate).

Not a surprise, Best Supporting Actor was given posthumously to Health Ledger for his portrayal of the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”

Best Actor in a comedy or musical went to Colin Ferrell, who looked dapper in his suit, but was annoyingly fidgety during his speech. Best Actress in a comedy or musical went to relatively unknown British actress, Sally Hawkins for her role in “Happy Go Lucky.”

Television awards do not interest me, so you’ll have to search elsewhere for who won on that front.

Now, bring on the Oscars!

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doubt-streep_l

Rated PG

Directed by John Patrick Shanley

Starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 3

Word of Warning: Dialogue driven film, adapted from a play; may bore the young or those who prefer a faster paced movie.

 

I have no doubt Meryl Streep will win the Best Actress for her portrayal of Sister Aloysius Beauvier at the Golden Globes and Oscars this year. “Doubt” is a showcase of her impressive talent. However, though the performances by Streep, Adams and Hoffman are outstanding, the movie leaves the audience feeling somewhat uncertain, perhaps that is the intent, but for me it was slightly irritating.

 

Read the rest of this review HERE.

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2008movies_benjaminbutton

Rated PG13

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 3.75

Word of Warning: Some war scenes and tame sexual situations.

 

After watching months of previews for this movie, I had had enough of the storyline and when it finally arrived in theaters I didn’t go to see it right away. However, when I finally decided to see “Benjamin Button,” the story had me captivated from beginning to end. As I walked out of the theater I didn’t even realize the movie’s running time had been nearly three hours.

 

Read the rest of this review HERE.

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Film National Board Awards

Rated R

Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 4

Word of Warning: Scenes of tragic poverty and violence.

 

This movie is now playing at Lyric Cinema Café on Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins. Englishman Danny Boyle directed this Golden Globe Best Picture winner. “Slumdog Millionaire” has also been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category, along with receiving nine other nominations in various categories.

Read the rest of this review HERE.

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