DVD Review: Rabbit Hole

The only way out is through.

All through awards season I got to listen to people rave about Nicole Kidman's performance in this film. It really hyped me up for it because it never came to theaters near me. I felt like I had to wait forever. I'm glad I wasn't the least bit disappointed.

Rabbit Hole follows couple, Howie (Aaron Eckhart) and Becca (Nicole Kidman) who lost their young son eight months prior. His death is never shown, but we are told he chased his dog out into the street and was struck by a car. They are dealing with this in very different ways. Howie wants to remember his son, he wants to see his things all over the house, he attends a group therapy session to help him cope. Becca feels the same way on the inside, but doesn't show it. She's takes his pictures down, gives his clothes to Good Will, lashes out at others without warning. They are slowly pushing each other away. Howie is contemplating an affair, Becca is secretly meeting the boy that accidentally ran her son down.

The performances in this film are so raw, so pure, and so believable. Nicole Kidman earned her Oscar nom, and it's a shame that Aaron Eckhart was overlooked, because his performance was just as powerful. Grief can be a hard thing to capture on film, but both of these actors nailed it perfectly. Besides the strong acting, another thing that really stuck out to me was the score. It was beautiful, like the film. It's hard to call a movie about the death of a child beautiful, but this truly was. We felt the character's pain, and are relieved when we get even a glimpse of them moving on. It's tough subject matter, but worth the watch.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "Then what happens?" - Becca (Nicole Kidman)

DVD Review: Conviction

So about that "happy ending"..

Conviction is based on the true story of Betty Anne Waters, (Hilary Swank) a working mother of two who puts herself through law school in order to defend her brother Kenny, (Sam Rockwell) who has been falsely convicted of murder and armed robbery and sentenced to life without parole. His public defenders have failed him, and now it's up to Betty Anne to prove his innocence.

The story did a really good job of showing the closeness of Betty Anne and Kenny. Both Swank and Rockwell, and also the young actors who portray them as children have excellent chemistry has brother and sister. The pacing was good, and it kept me interested. The problem was it didn't keep me invested. All of the characters have potential to be interesting, but it never goes beyond that. It lacked heart. One should be happy for Betty Anne for passing her bar exam, but that's not what I felt. One should be jumping for joy when Kenny is finally freed, but I didn't feel that either. The entire movie felt like it was just going through the motions and didn't care to spend the time to get anyone emotionally invested in it.

The epilogue of the film shows us the real life Betty Anne and Kenny (who Swank and Rockwell look NOTHING like, by the way) and also lets us know that the real murderer of Katharina Brow has still never been found. Uplifting. Oh, and here's another sad thing to think about; the movie didn't mention that the real life Kenny fell to his death a mere 6 months after all of this happened.

Recommended: No

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "We'd sneak into houses and pretend to have a normal life. " - Betty Anne Waters (Hilary Swank)

Stylish Blogger Award

Lesya, over at Eternity of Dream kindly mentioned me in her Stylish Blogger Award post, so here I go trying to do the same!

Seven facts about me:

1) If you couldn't already tell, I love film. I enjoy going to the movies, and writing about them. While I don't really share my blog with the ones I know in real life, I'm happy to find plenty of other fellow film lovers to share my opinions with.

2) One of the nerdiest things about me is that I love professional wrestling. Sure it's not what it used to be, but I love being a fan. Lately WWE has been showing me while I remain a fan after all these years. I love the rush of it, I don't care the the endings are worked, it takes real athleticism to be a professional wrestler and I have nothing but respect for all of them. They put their bodies on the line 4 nights a week to keep us entertained.

3) I'm a terrible speller. I would be officially screwed without my Spell Check. 

4) I'm fluent in German. I know a little French. (Blame Canada, I live close by.)

5) I love playing soccer, I've been playing since I was 6, all through high school and into college.

6) I'm going to be a first time mom this summer. To know that I'm actually carrying a child inside of me is the most surreal feeling ever. It's scary and beautiful.

7) The one movie that I quote the most is probably Anchorman. That's one of the best comedies ever made in my opinion.

I pass the Stylish Blogger Award onto these seven people. (I'm sorry if you've already been passed this!)

1) Brian at Brian's Film Blog
2) Chic at Cinematically Correct
3) Snobby Film Guy at Pulp Truth
4) Candice at Reel Talk
5) John at John Likes Movies
6) Jose at Movies Kick Ass
7) James at Rants of a Diva

Review: Paul

Great expectations.

You would think a movie written by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, starring Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman, and Bill Hader among others would be full of laughs, right?

Apparently not. Paul follows Graeme (Pegg) and Clive, (Frost) two life long friends from England that travel to the US to go to San Diego's Comic Con. After they decide to go on a tour of the "alien hot spots" they encounter a real alien outside of Area 51. He is Paul, (voiced by Rogen) He's been hanging around since the 1940's giving the government some insight on life outside of Earth. Now they are done with him and want to take out his brain to better understand how he can do things such as heel and pass is knowledge onto others by just touching them.  Paul hitches a ride with Graeme and Clive, who try to get him back to his mother ship.

I'm not saying Paul is completely laugh-free. There are a few funny parts in the film. With a cast like that I can't help but expect more. It's chuck full of pop culture references, but doesn't even hold a candle to all those things it's idolizes. When it attempts to be sweet, it ends up just being awkward. The entire film is fairly predictable.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "Are you going to paint me like one of your French girls?"- Paul (Seth Rogen)

Review: Piranha

Blood. Booze. Boobs

Those are the essentials for campy horror films, and oh does Piranha have a never ending supply of them.

An underwater earthquake releases a prehistoric species of killer piranhas into a lake. This lake happens to be a popular spring break destination where tons of college kids are there to let loose. A group of people must band together to evacuate everyone from the dangerous waters, but can they save themselves?

Uber Douche Avatar director James Cameron famously bitched about how films like Piranha "cheapen" 3D. The fact that he actually complained about this made me love the movie more. Was the 3D in this movie necessary? Of course not! 3D is never necessary unless your making an animated feature. Then it is only partially necessary. 3D didn't add to Piranha because it already had everything it needed to be an awesome, campy horror movie. Over the top performances, stupid characters and lots of blood. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Then where are the parents?" - Novak (Adam Scott)

DVD Review: Wild Target

She is out of control.

She is Rose (Emily Blunt) a quirky, beautiful thief who after duping some very rich people out of a painting finds herself a target for Victor Maynard's (Bill Nighy) next hit. Victor is quiet and withdrawn and lives only to please his mother. When he's not killing, he spends most of his days in his home (where everything is wrapped with plastic) learning French. When he encounters Rose, he notices right away that she's different from his other hits. When another hit man attempts to kill her first, he ends up protecting her and gaining a new apprentice in the innocent by-stander, Tony. (Rupert Grint) Victor's client isn't too pleased with him protecting his target. He leads Rose and Tony on to believing he's a private detective, and away they go.

The script to me felt all over the place. Blunt, Nighy and Grint dead-pan all their lines. Sentences end quickly, scenes change at a fast pace, it's almost like everyone in this film is a little ADD. All this randomness might make the film feel stupid, but instead I thought it felt sweet. I enjoyed the actors and their antics, no matter how weird it seemed to be. The soundtrack was catchy and was the perfect tone for the quirk in this film.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote" "This is Roger, The Parrot." - Victor (Bill Nighy)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II First Look

ABC Family is having a Harry Potter weekend. Throughout they will be showing clips of the highly anticipated Deathly Hallows Part II.

This is the first clip they've released, Thanks to Fuck Yeah Harry Potter. For some reason I can't copy the video into Blogger.

Verdict? I can't wait. The final battle was so epic in the book, and I Hope it lives up my to expectations on film. I'm not a huge fan of how the advertisers ignore Ron and Hermione's love story, that's something I know a lot of people can't wait to see. Hopefully that doesn't disappoint.

DVD Review: Daydreamer

This dream is a bore.

Clinton (Aaron Paul) is an alcoholic. When we first meet him he's wasted in a dive bar. He soon sets his sights on Casey, (Arielle Kebbel) a classy looking girl who certainly looks out of place in this hole in the wall. He approaches her, she brings him home. What could a girl like her want with a guy like him? That's the question Clinton is asking himself. He's sure she must be a figment of his imagination, strange things have been happening to him. He steals from her, but wakes up the next morning to find nothing. He sits around in his apartment, smokes some weed, goes to sleep and wakes up the next morning with bloody knuckles. This same cycle keeps going, people are telling him he's doing things he doesn't remember. Casey tells him he's completely different when he's with her.

This movie wastes the talents of Aaron Paul (who if you've seen Breaking Bad, you know this guy is damn impressive) and Arielle Kebbel. Kebbel is always charming, but she's literally given nothing to do. The repetition in this film is horrible. Clinton doesn't really do anything interesting. He gets high, puts his weed and gun in his drawer, then wakes up to find it in the trash. This happens over and over again. We slowly piece together the parts missing from Clinton's memory, but by the time we get to the end it's in no way satisfying. The ending of course is left open, because how could a script with such little to say actually give us that luxury.

Recommended: No

Grade: D+

Memorable Quote: "I know that was me." - Clinton (Aaron Paul)