This movie follows Nelson Mandela (Elba) from his tranquil childhood in the heart of rural South Africa through to the months just after his release from prison and his path to the abolition of the hated and cruel apartheid and the ultimate reunification of his deeply divided nation. As someone who was more familiar with the elder Mandela, who was already entrenched world-wide as a wise and determined freedom fighter, I found this story, based on his 1995 autobiography, really interesting, educational and very moving.
I am quite sure it is entirely unnecessary for me to fill you in on Nelson Mandela. If you don’t know who he is, go away and please never visit my blog again.
Adele (Winslet) is a lonely and depressed single mother. Her husband Gerald (Gregg) left her years ago and now has a new wife and family. She has withdrawn almost completely from the world and thus relies heavily on her son Henry (Griffith) to run basic errands for her. But once a month or so, she does venture out to the local chain department store for necessities. It is during one such visit on the Thursday afternoon before the American Labor Day weekend that Henry encounters escaped criminal Frank (Brolin) and they are given no option but to take Frank home with them.
I have been waiting and waiting to see this movie. And I was not disappointed.
Set in the near future, Theodore (Phoenix) is a quiet, shy, nerdy type trying to cope with the breakdown of his marriage to Catherine (Mara). He works as a beautiful letter writer …..because apparently in the near future people are too busy/lazy to pen their own prose …… so right off the bat we know he’s a romantic at heart.
After seeing an ad, he downloads the newest Operating System (OS) which promises to be new, unique and intuitive. After a few choice questions, he is away. His OS Samantha (Johansson) is the perfect combination of breathy, husky sexiness and wide-eyed naive charm. It doesn’t take too long before the human man and his OS are interacting on a level of such intimacy that you can easily understand how he falls in love with Samantha.
Based on the true story, Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) is a well-respected and happily married father of 2 young children. The year is 1841 and Solomon makes a very decent living as a musician. Overnight he loses everything …. he is betrayed, drugged and shipped south to New Orleans where he is sold into slavery.
In the week or so it takes for the sea journey south, every attempt is made to strip these slaves of their humanity and dignity. When they are sold …. in an actual shop…. they are stood naked and poked and prodded as if they were nothing but animals. Children are ripped screaming from their mothers. Families are torn apart.
For anyone who thought the Paranormal Activity franchise was dead….. think again.
Jesse (Jacobs) and Hector (Diaz) are best friends who have just turned 18 and graduated from high school. They are typical teenagers who film everything and cannot help but get themselves involved when some strange and very weird things happen in the apartment downstairs. They start by spying on the woman downstairs…. who their deeply religious Mexican community think is a bruja (witch) …. and soon after, Jesse starts to change. He becomes possessed. By what is still unclear.
Based on the movie’s protagonist Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, this is the latest Scorsese / Di Caprio collaboration (there have been 4 others) and has been nominated for a slew of Oscars this year, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Not too shabby but this IS Scorsese after all.
Is it 1987 and Jordan Belfort is a driven and ambitious young man. Declaring that he ‘always wanted to be a stockbroker’ and after no luck working for others, he and his new BFF Donnie Azoff (Hill) decide to start-up their own firm. Belfort is a born talker and could, as they say, sell ice to Eskimos. All it takes is some balls, a dubious press article (yes I know but this is the decade of greed, boys and girls) and his fellow scumbags and beating down his door to work with him.
The legend of the 47 Ronin ….. a Ronin being a wandering samurai who had no lord or master …. is a tale of loyalty, bravery and most importantly honour. You can read a really interesting but concise article on the real 47 Ronin here. I have read that this legend is to the Japanese what the legend of Gallipoli is to Aussies ( I can’t find where I read that so cannot link back)
With this all in mind, knowing Keanu was the lead actor and having read some scathing reviews, I went into this movie expecting very little. Now, I love me some Keanu but let’s face it, the boy doesn’t always make the best choices. But he does have a lifetime pass…..
Based on Australian author Markus Zusak’s bestselling novel of the same name, this tells the story of Liesel (Nélisse), a child sent to live with foster parents during the early years of World War II. When she arrives, she has a book with her and her new father Hans (Rush) encourages her to read. It is through this love of words that Liesel can escape the horrors of her life and foster the writer within.
Her parents Hans and Rosa (Watson) are struggling to earn a living, due in part to their continued reluctance to join the Nazi party. Of course, they appear to toe the line by flying the swastika and letting Liesel join the Hitler Youth but at home it is quite a different story.