with the bold text in the example below:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Bodyguard by Mick Jackson, 1992 (R)

with Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Bill Cobbs, Gary Kemp, Ralph Waite, Tomas Arana, Mike Starr, Robert Wuhl, DeVaughn Nixon

A former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) grudgingly takes an assignment to protect a pop idol (Whitney Houston) who's threatened by a crazed fan. At first, the safety-obsessed bodyguard and the self-indulgent diva totally clash. But before long, all that tension sparks fireworks of another sort, and the love-averse tough guy is torn between duty and romance. Songs recorded by Houston snagged two Oscar nominations.

This is my tribute to Whitney Houston, in a way. Watching The Bodyguard again. When I first watched Bodyguard, I had some apprehensions, since it was this cheesy movie TV channels would play around Valentine's day in France. And I watched it and fell in love (again) with Whitney, and a little with Kevin Costner... She was amazing, fragile, irritating and mind-blowing on stage. And the soundtrack was just perfect. Remembering buying of my fist CD of Whitney Houston. Remembering hearing about sad stuffs, not paying too much attention. And now remembering her, and just being sad this voice will not sound again live. So soon...
Happy beautiful Valentine's day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Underworld: Awakening by Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, 2012 (R)

with Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Charles Dance

When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrioress Selene leads the battle against humankind.

Or whatever. IT is the worse movie I have seen this year. Or these past years. I saw it in 3D. Which probably made it more interesting. But anyhow, the movie was with very little story, not coherent, with twist and turns that are motivated by how much special effect you can put on it to make it impressive visually. And it is visually beautiful, combats are impressive, violence is effective, 3D was surprising, but I switched my brain of and ate all this with some sort of numbness. The beginning of the story makes you believe there is actually something sophisticated about the genetic research they engaged with the destruction of vampires, but this story falls flat and again, it is about a battle between human, werewolves and vampires. Go watch Daybreakers instead.

50/50 by Jonathan Levine, 2011 (R)

with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Lincoln), Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick (Up in The Air, Twilight: New Moon), Bryce Dallas Howard (Hereafter, The Help), Anjelica Huston, Marie Avgeropoulos, Jessica Parker Kennedy, Serge Houde, Andrew Airlie, Matt Frewer, Philip Baker Hall (All Good Things)

An otherwise healthy twentysomething has a comically early midlife crisis when he gets slapped with a cancer diagnosis -- and a 50-50 chance of survival. But what's the meaning of life when you're not sure how long yours will last?

I think the cast got a lot of us mislead, for good or for bad. Seth Rogen is usually in let's say... not too intellectually challenging movies. But thank god the reviews were so good and I got to read them. So I finally saw the movie. It is really good, playing with the sensitive chord with some sort of cynicism, off humor, lighting up the awkward moments, but not too much it did not become just a big joke or bad taste. You're basically laughing with a tissue. The acting is excellent, the relationship very well developed with nuances that do not go from good to bad, but more towards learning and getting tired, awakening to a reality that is not easy to face, and the humanity that the story contains is truly touching. A beautiful accessible human story.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Winter in Wartime (Oorlogswinter) by Martin Koolhoven, 2008

with Martijn Lakemeier, Yorick van Wageningen (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2), Raymond Thiry, Melody Klaver, Anneke Blok, Mees Peijnenburg, Jesse van Driel, Dan van Husen, Ad Van Kempen, Tygo Gernandt

This sumptuously photographed drama focuses on 14-year-old Michiel as he wrestles with family loyalties, painful choices between safety and courage, and the harsh realities of the last, desperate winter of World War II.

The movie is amazing, misleading, great acting, cinematography. Perfect. With emotions and questioning. Not a simple story, something to think about.

The Red Baron (Der rote Baron) by Nikolai Müllerschön, 2008

with Matthias Schweighöfer, Til Schweiger, Joseph Fiennes, Lena Headey, Volker Bruch, Steffen Schroeder, Maxim Mehmet, Hanno Koffler, Richard Krajco, Lukás Príkazký

Based on the true story of the notorious World War I flying ace, this drama explores the life of Manfred von Richthofen -- aka the Red Baron -- from his childhood fascination with flying to his renowned career in the German Luftwaffe.

The movie is interesting if you never heard of the Red Baron. And you've heard so much about world war II that you assume Germans during world war I were fighting for the same ideology. I was surprised and impressed by the mentality of pilots throughout the war, despite the rivalries. At the same time, the movie showcase the relevancy of being grounded in a war that we cannot forget had the most people dead. So interesting in that aspect. Then, the movie is not very subtle in making you get those points. And the romantic story is cute, but sometimes a bit moralistic. And the movie is a bit over-staged and overacted. Great portrait anyway of a hero from the "other" side.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Beaver by Jodie Foster, 2011 (PG-13)

with Mel Gibson (Payback), Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, The Hunger Games, X-Men: First Class, Silver Linings Playbook), Riley Thomas Stewart, Cherry Jones, Kelly Coffield, Michael Rivera, Zachary Booth (Keep the Lights On), Matt Lauer

The review from the New York Times was not good to the movie. Really not encouraging. But somehow we got it in the mail. So we watched it. Easy. With major apprehension. Anyway, after all, it could be an irritating beaver story, it could be a comedy, a deep psychological family portrait, an interesting study on what is depression, a drama. But it is not enough of each to fall in any category, and as an audience, I didn't get into the mood. Not laughing when it was supposed to be comical, not crying when it was sad, not waiting when the story was building expectation. It felt flat. How sad, much potential, good actors (except perhaps Mel Gibson being too much of himself, or just overacting), good cinematography, nice rythme, original story. Listening to the making of by Jodie Foster helped understanding why such a brilliant mind tried to achieve from this story, a novel originally. It makes sense, it actually shows the potential and the complexity this movie could have had. Please Jodie, don't just give up, try again directing...

Watch Trailer:

Bad Teacher by Jake Kasdan, 2011 (UR)

with Cameron Diaz, Lucy Punch, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins, Dave Allen, Jillian Armenante, Matthew J. Evans

Cameron Diaz stars as Elizabeth Halsey, a scheming and coarse-tongued middle school teacher who gets dumped by her wealthy boyfriend and rebounds by sinking her claws into a handsome substitute teacher (Justin Timberlake).

I read an amazing review on "Bad teacher". just before watching the movie. Not on purpose, just because I wanted to know what was the difference between the theatrical version and the unrated, which one was worth watching best.
I am quoting "The Bad Teacher DVD comes with two different versions of the movie: the 92-minute theatrical version, and the 97-minute unrated version with added "raunchy footage." I can't tell you what the difference is, you can't make me watch it twice. I chose to go with the longer cut, and I can't imagine whatever five minutes were added in made the movie that much worse, because you could take out any random five from what I saw and I don't think it would change a single thing." Jamie S. Rich
Made me crack up. Then I watched the movie, then I got what he meant. I am just leaving it to what is written below, it is not funny, not a great or original message, and poor Justin Timberlake, what a choice.

The Four-Faced Liar by Jacob Chase, 2010

with Marja Lewis Ryan, Emily Peck, Todd Kubrak, Daniel Carlisle, Liz Osborn, Lisa Bierman, Natasha David, Jessie Paddock, Tadia K. Taylor

Four twentysomethings struggling to find direction and meaning in their lives meet by chance in a New York City Irish tavern and after bonding over drinks, they proceed to put one another through an emotional wringer.

I was expecting anything coming from a channel such as Logo, interrupted by loud drag queen show advertizement, which was bit distracting over the viewing, as a side note. Turned out the first shots are quite good, with an esthetic sense, and the actors looks like they know what they are doing. Another thing is because it is sort of a romantic comedy, I was terrified of the postcard effect that some filmmakers feel like adding to the scenario (referring to "morning glory"), but no, it is a new york based movie with not too much of New York. So, the next step is dialogues, because it takes a bit before they start. The first conversation is such a mono-word ping ping that after two minutes of fast forward feeling, you get a bit exhausted, but then, it goes slower, it actually develops into real sentences, not bad. The story is a bit predictable, but the characters are attaching, which compensates, since you actually feel some rewards to see them evolve the way you wanted them to, with some twists and turns. We actually paused in the middle of the movie to get the full plot of "Wuthering Heights" to be sure to get the ins and ours of the story, which made us feels enriched by the end of the movie, as a full multimedia experience. Anyway, a really cute movie.

Watch Trailer: