Monthly Archives: August 2011

Hop (2011)

My Rating : 2/5 STAR
MovieStudio Quote >>
“HOP fails to deliver the Chipmunk effect, the bunny looks good though. They should have worked more on the plot!”

For the past 4,000 years, the Easter Bunny has brought joy and candy to kids all across the globe; however, the time has come for a new Easter Bunny to take over the tradition. But while EB (Russell Brand) is the next in line to receive the official title, he couldn’t care less about becoming the official bearer of chocolate eggs and jellybeans.

Hop

Escaping to Hollywood in a bid to find fame and fortune, EB hops in front of an oncoming car driven by Fred (James Marsden), who agrees to give him a place to recover until he’s healthy enough to hop along home.

Hop

Now, the harder Fred struggles to stop his furry new companion from sending his life into a tailspin, the more satisfaction he begins to get out of his newfound responsibility. With a little luck and a whole lot of patience, Fred just might become the man who saved Easter for everyone.

Incendies (2011)

My Rating : 5/5 STAR
MovieStudio Quote >>
“A RIPPING performance by Lubna Azabal with a story which will haunt you all night. I loved the cinematography, screenplay and the emotionally devastating climax – splendid!”

“Incendies,” the powerful, and powerfully uneven, French-Canadian Oscar nominee for last year’s best foreign film, is an intimate epic. Set largely in a fictionalized Middle Eastern country, it’s about momentous issues – retribution and reconciliation in the wake of war – but plays out as a detective story framed through the eyes of a single family. It begins in present-day Montreal as twin adult siblings Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxim Gaudette) are notified by a notary of two unusual requests in their mother’s will.

Incendies

A sealed envelope is presented to Jeanne with instructions to deliver it to the children’s father, even though they were raised by their mother, Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal), to believe he had died a heroic death many years before. Simon is also presented with a sealed envelope, to be delivered to a brother they never knew existed. Simon at first angrily rejects the whole thing, but Jeanne, a mathematician with a meticulous curiosity, travels to her mother’s Middle Eastern homeland and attempts to unravel the mystery. The real mystery, as Jeanne soon discovers, is her mother’s past life before she immigrated to Canada, about which the children knew nothing. The director, Denis Villeneuve, has based “Incendies” on the play “Scorched,” by Wajdi Mouawad, that was constructed as a series of long, lyrical monologues.

Incendies

For the most part he’s done a strong job of paring away the poeticisms; the film rarely betrays its theatrical roots. Alternating between the present and flashbacks to Nawal’s harrowing past, Villeneuve sets up a deliberately disorienting structure that mimics the children’s confusions (and ours). Nawal’s homeland is clearly meant to be Lebanon, and her time there parallels the 15-year civil war between Christians and Muslims that began in the 1970s.

Incendies

As a Christian, she fought in that conflict, and the scenes of her torture and imprisonment are chilling and also, in some ways, eerily transcendent. Nicknamed by her guards “the woman who sings,” Nawal seals herself off from madness by crooning soothingly to herself. Azabal, a Belgian actress, has a feral, mesmerizing power. On her sullen, aghast face can be read war’s true transcript. Without her performance, “Incendies,” overlong at 130 minutes, might most often resemble a pastiche of allegorical overreaching and high-caliber melodrama, although Villeneuve stages an attack on a Muslim bus by a Christian militia that brings home the terror of warfare in a way few films ever have.

Incendies

Such outbursts of power undercut the film’s too neat resolutions. By the end, it’s as if a Greek tragedy had degenerated into a neater, tidier universe. The film’s moral lesson – that violence begets violence – isn’t exactly a showstopper, and the balm that is laid on Nawal and her riven family can’t quite compensate for the poison that preceded it.

 

 

Wrecked (2011)

My Rating : 4/5 STAR
MovieStudio Quote >>
“Adrien Brody shoots off this flick as a one-man-show. He makes the best of it!”

Adrien Brody stars as a man who awakens in a mangled car-wreck at the bottom of a steep cliff. Injured and trapped inside, with no memory of how he got there or who he is, he must rely on his most primal instincts to survive.

Wrecked

But as he attempts to free himself from the carnage and escape an impossible situation, a darker side is revealed. Even if he manages to survive, the man may have to face the horrible consequences of an earlier, forgotten life.