Pearl Harbor (2001) Film Review

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Rafe (Ben Affleck) and Danny (Josh Hartnett) were best mates through childhood, and ended up fighter pilots together in the US military. Rafe met a nurse, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) and fell in love, but then went to Europe to fight for the allies. It seemed he was dead, then Evelyn fell in love with Danny. But, Rafe turns up and things get bit awkward. Luckily, before anyone has to deal with their feelings, the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and everyone is a bit busy. At the end of the attack, heaps of people are dead, but not Danny, Rafe or Evelyn. So they still need to deal with their issues. But then there is more.

There are heaps of films I haven’t seen but intend to for a variety of reasons. For me, Pearl Harbor was one, purely because it has a reputation for being a terrible film. And oh, it is so terrible! There is a pretty fabulous cast, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Ewen Bremner, Jennifer Garner, Jon Voight, Michael Shannon, Dan Ackroyd, Tom Sizemore, Cuba Gooding Jnr… And there are some pretty fabulous special effects. But I guess, with all they spent on all of that, they should have spent a bit more on scripting. It goes from being extremely average to being just plain terrible.

Pearl Harbor won an Oscar for Best Sound Editing

 

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) Film Review

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Dallas 1985. Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is a hard-living man, drinking, cocaine and having sex with any lady that stands still long enough. Then he gets sick, and the doctor diagnoses AIDS, giving him thirty days to live. After a brief moment of denial, Ron does some investigating and discovers Dr Vass (Griffin Dunne), an ex-US ex-doctor who is using alternative medications in Mexico. Ron has some success with these and decides to bring them back to Dallas, starting up a business known as a buyers club. Prior to getting ill, Ron was extremely homophobic, but now he finds most of his business is with the gay community. He strikes up an unlikely friendship with cross-dressing Rayon (Jared Leto) to try to fight the system and keep himself and many others alive, regardless of how the government tried to fight him.

It’s not an easy film to watch. McConaughey looks extremely ill for much of the film, and the politics of the situation are horrible. (A few years ago, I watched several documentaries, notably How to Survive a Plague, and cannot believe the attitudes of the US government. Although I believe that, should a similar situation happen now, it probably wouldn’t be that different. There might just be more people with a louder voice fighting).

I feel that the true-life story of Woodroof is an excellent story to tell. It shows a number of sides, although it should always be recognised that it is a fictionalised version of the truth, so it should not be treated as a documentary. It’s not an easy film to watch, but it is good in an almost sadtacular fashion.

Dallas Buyers Club won Oscars for Best Performance by an actor in a Leading Role (Matthew McConaughey), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Jared Leto) and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Writing, Original Screenplay. It also won Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Matthew McConaughey) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Jared Leto).

Valentine’s Day (2010) Film Review

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What happens when you get a whole bunch of stars together to tell a whole bunch of stories? Valentine’s Day. And much as I expected to dislike it, being very Hollywood and corny… I loved it. I loved the romance, I loved the slightly unexpected twists (and that many of the twists were not that unexpected), it was just great.

I’m not going to try to recount the plots – there were just so many intertwining. All you need to know is that in LA on this particular Valentine’s Day, heaps of people interact. Some get together, some don’t, some break up, some rekindle their love. It’s gentle and fun and has a huge cast. If you get sick of the stories, you can spend some time trying to name everyone in the film. This is a great film to know for playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

 

 

Juno (2007) Film Review

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Juno (Ellen Page) is sixteen and pregnant. She decides to have the child and adopt it out to couple she finds in the Pennysaver (I’m fairly certain this is like the Trading Post), Vanessa (Jennifer Garner) and Mark (Jason Bateman). The film follows Juno, the couple, Juno’s father (JK Simmons) and step-mother (Allison Janney) and the father of the child, Paul (Michael Cera) through the pregnancy.

Written by Diablo Cody who later went on to write United States of Tara. I know there are people who can’t stand this film – the whole extremely witty banter and constant sarcasm. I love it. I think the cast is marvelous, especially Ellen Page. The writing is marvellous. The only thing I find a little odd is the fact that Vanessa and Mark really seem to have absolutely nothing in common. I get that they kind of have to, given the way the plot unfolds. That and, like in The Easy A, the parents are ridiculously cool, supportive and delightful. But, I love them, and I love the quirky, silly music and the nifty little animations and all of that stuff.

Diablo Cody won an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. Juno was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing (Jason Reitman), Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Ellen Page)

Alias – TV Review

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So, there’s an awesome female spy, Sydney Bristow(Jennifer Garner). She does all kinds of cool spy stuff; ace costumes, hair colour craziness, speaking different languages, shooting people, fighting people, getting through security systems. The whole lot. Then she finds out that the people she is working for are bad guys. Or are they? Or are they? Or are they? To sustain this for as many seasons as they do, there is a lot of counter-spying, double-crossing and other stuff. Plus, Sydney’s dad, (Victor Garber) is part of the organization. Or is he? Or is he? Or is he?

I love it. It’s awesome and terrible at the same time. The action is great, and I love all of that side of things. Some of the plots are pretty terrible, and I really can’t believe that a spy who is supposed to be really smart and discerning about human nature could possibly trust so many people so blindly. It’s still ace.