Bruce Banner (Eric Banner) is a scientist working in a lab with his girlfriend Betty (Jennifer Connelly) when an accident happens. His father, played by Nick Nolte, (who Bruce has believed died when he was young) turns up to try to warn him that things are not as they seem. Eventually, it turns out, no spoiler alert here, that Banner has some strange DNA stuff going on that causes him to turn into the Incredible Hulk when he gets mad.
It’s an origin story, and for me, it takes a bit long to get anywhere. There are lots of sad thinking shots and confusion. The split shots were a nice nod to the comic book origin of the character and the story. Looking back at The Incredible Hulk, it did a great job of knocking off the whole origin story in the title sequence. It looks like our next Hulk sighting is going to be in the next Avengers film, and it will be Mark Ruffalo again. I’m pleased about this.
Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is an older woman who is obsessed by television, in particular the strange game show starring Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald). When she receives a letter advising she is going to be on television, she becomes obsessed with losing weight to fit into a dress, to extreme measures. Meanwhile, her son, Harry (Jared Leto), his mate Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) and his girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly) are having a ball, experimenting with drugs and dabbling in selling. Things are ace; then things go bad.
This is very close to being a sadtacular film. Close, but watching it again, the impact was greatly lessened. It is still an extremely good film, well crafted, stunning, amazing soundtrack, marvellous performances. But it no longer holds the power to cause me to cry my eyes out. If you’ve been scared to watch it, don’t. It’s worth it, even if it is hard.
Requiem for a Dream was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a leading Role (Ellen Burstyn).
Based on the life of mathematician John Nash, A Beautiful Mind follows the young mathematician through college and into a career working in cryptography. However, he has schizophrenia, and struggles to separate life from his delusions.
I think this is a wonderful film. I’m not a fan of Russell Crowe, but he was perfect for this role. Tormented, with a sneaky peak of a sense of humour behind the socially challenged personality. Years ago I heard this discussed on a medical show that was looking at the best and worst representations of mental illness and this was in the best category, and I reckon that’s about right.
A Beautiful mind won for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jennifer Connelly), Best Director (Ron Howard) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Russell Crowe), Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Best Music, Original Score.
Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) is writing Original of the Species, however he is challenged by ill-health and how his opinions challenge the church and, indeed, his own wife.
It is an interesting story but, unfortunately, not an interesting film. It chops and changes between Darwin as an ill, old man and a youth with his young daughter. This technique works well in some films, but in this it just felt clumsy and annoying. The music was overpowering and overall, it felt like a poorly made telemovie.
In 1951, a film was made which featured an alien visitor come to earth to warn the people of the planet that the planet would be destroyed if the destructive manner of the humans was not stopped. In 2008, someone decided that the message had not been received, and that the film should be remade. It was not the best decision.
Keanu Reeves plays Klaatu, the alien visitor who takes human form to report to the leaders of the planet. He leaves the secure site he is held in, helped by scientist Helen Benson(Jennifer Connelly) who believes he is not out to destroy the world. Add in her cute step-son, Jacob (Jaden Smith) and you have the makings of a mediocre disaster film. I’m not sure if anything could save this – it was corny and clichéd throughout. The special effects were pretty awesome, but neither they nor the talent of Kathy Bates or John Cleese could save it.