Tag Archive: Emma Watson


Movies are certainly a business, but they’re also an art form. It’s understandable that the people behind them want to make money, but they also shouldn’t let their corporate greed get in the way of the film’s quality. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was split into two parts, most people thought that it was an understandable decision. With the book clocking in at over 700 pages, this decision seemed to be made because there was simply too much content to pack into a single movie. But now movie studios have become savvy to this idea and lately the decision to split a final installment into two parts seems to occur just so they can make twice as much money. The final installment in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, isn’t even the longest novel out of the three. After having watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, it’s clear that the decision to split this franchise finale into two parts was a poor one. Not only are moviegoers only getting half of a movie, but the half of a movie that they get is slow, boring and incredibly uneventful.

Following the events of Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been picked up by members of the rebellion and brought into District 13’s underground bunker. While there, she reconnects with old friends including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Finnick (Sam Claflin). She also meets President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), the head of the rebellion. With the help of Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), they convince Katniss to become the face of the rebellion. They send her out onto the battlefield and film her for a propaganda video. But Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is being held in the Capitol by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Katniss doesn’t want to do anything until they’re able to rescue him.

I realize that the summary that I just wrote feels very slim, but that’s literally all that happens in the movie. This is only the first act of a three act story and it’s been stretched out into a 2 hour film. Where the film begins and where it ends is essentially the same place, with only a few minor differences. If Mockingjay had been made into one film instead of two, the events that occur in this film would have occupied the first 30-45 minutes. This is the first Hunger Games film without any appearance of the actual Hunger Games and there’s hardly any action to substitute for it. This is a film that’s all about setup. While this could have been interesting, the political strategizing that’s going on here is so basic that it fails to garner any interest. It also doesn’t help that the majority of the runtime takes place in an underground bunker that’s bland and uninteresting to look at.

How long will studios be able to get away with this? We never used to see films get split into two parts, but now it seems like every major blockbuster is using this idea. It makes sense from a business standpoint, but from a creativity standpoint, it’s shallow and ultimately pointless. Maybe it’s time that moviegoers start a rebellion, much like the one that we see in Mockingjay – Part 1. We could strategize in an underground lair, before we march up to the bigwigs in Hollywood and force them to end this nonsense. We’re getting tricked into buying two tickets for a single movie and we won’t stand for it any longer. Who could we have as our Mockingjay symbol? Jennifer Lawrence probably wouldn’t do it, because I’m assuming that she’s making twice as much money from these movies as well. Maybe someone from the Harry Potter franchise could join our cause. That series is the only one to do a two-part finale well, so maybe they’re just as outraged at what The Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent are doing. I certainly wouldn’t mind having Emma Watson as our Mockingjay symbol.

Even though this film is adequately directed by Francis Lawrence and features some fine performance (Julianne Moore is a welcome addition to the cast), there’s just nothing to get excited about. In fact, the only great part of the movie is the Lorde song that plays over the end credits. The song , entitled “Yellow Flicker Beat”, was written by Lorde and Joel Little and it perfectly captures the tone of the Hunger Games franchise. It starts off slow and quiet before turning into a kicking pop song that’s more exciting than anything in the film. Lorde is the best pop star working today; she’s just 18 years old, has only released one album and she’s already put veteran stars like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to shame. She has such a unique voice and her songs never feel like they’re trying to appeal to the masses. Just look at a song like “Royals”, which goes against the fame and fortune that most pop songs are built upon. Lorde curated the official soundtrack to go along with Mockingjay – Part 1 and it’s good to see that the song she provided  is just as good as anything on her debut album, Pure Heroine.

It may seem like I’m getting off topic here, but that’s happening for a reason. There’s simply not a lot to discuss with this film. I can only talk about how uneventful it is for so long before I begin to sound repetitive. It feels like the filmmakers are treading water, stretching a film out even when they know that they shouldn’t. It’s just a shame that the executives in charge of splitting the movie will still get away with it. The film is bound to make millions upon millions of dollars and Part 2 will probably make even more money. So that’s why I’m calling for a revolution. Let’s recruit Emma Watson, organize our members and march to Hollywood so we can tell these producers what we really think of their greedy decisions. Mockingjay – Part 1 is the first bad film in the franchise and it’s all because somebody wanted to sell twice as many tickets.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 receives 2/4

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Noah – Movie Review

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With Darren Aronofsky at the helm, audiences should know not to expect their typical bible story with Noah. The film has generated controversy leading up to its release, due to the creative liberties that Aronofsky has taken with the classic story. But the story that is written in Genesis chapters 6-9 lacks the details that are required to make a quality film. Some religious groups may not approve of the changes that Aronofsky has made to the story, but these are the moments where the film excels the most. With these changes, Noah is a thought provoking character study; without them, the film would have been a dull, poorly paced biblical epic.

The film begins with a written out exposition describing the story of Adam and Eve and their sons Cain, Abel and Seth. Cain slew Abel and all the descendants of Cain had wickedness in their hearts. Only the descendants of Seth were truly good. The last living descendants of Seth include Noah (Russell Crowe), his wife (Jennifer Connelly) and their three sons. After receiving a vision from God telling him that the world is going to end and all of the descendants of Cain will be killed, Noah travels to visit his grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins). After visiting Methuselah, Noah becomes convinced that God will flood the world and that Noah needs to build an ark to save all of the animals and his family.

This first act of the film feels quite standard, setting up the bible story that we have all heard multiple times. It causes one to question why Darren Aronofsky, controversial director of Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, chose to adapt this tale. Initially, the only aspect of the film that could be considered even remotely controversial is the inclusion of The Watchers, fallen angels that have become encased in stone because of their attempt to help man. They’re well designed, but it feels like they were only added to give the film a more Lord of the Rings-esque feel.

Aside from this, the film’s first act is also poorly paced and sloppily edited. It lacks a certain flow that should enrapture the viewer in what is happening on screen. Scenes feel strangely detached from one another, perhaps because the film jumps into the action too quickly. Noah’s wife and sons are underdeveloped characters, so it is hard to empathize with the journey to Methuselah that they are making.

But once the film enters its second act, Aronofsky’s true vision begins to form. Noah realizes that there is wickedness in everybody and begins to question whether his family deserves to survive the flood. He becomes convinced that his family deserves to die as much as everyone else. Certain that this was God’s plan all along, he decides that he will even risk putting his family in danger in order to completely destroy the human race. This inner conflict is what makes the film truly interesting, but it will also anger religious groups who want Noah to be portrayed as a complete saint. In fact, in the film’s final hour, there are numerous instances where Noah’s strict adherence to faith makes him appear to be a villain. It’s a bold move to put a critique of religious faith in a biblical epic, but without it, Aronofsky’s Noah would have lacked a certain vigor.

Although most of the minor characters are underdeveloped, the film’s final hour is still very exciting because of strong direction and stunning visuals. It’s ultimately this final hour, where we get to explore Noah’s psyche and experience his troubles, that makes the film worthwhile. Despite a lack of characterization, practically every cast member shines: Ray Winstone is frightening but also surprisingly sympathetic as Tubal-cain, the film’s primary antagonist and Emma Watson successfully gives her character a feeling of sweetness and vulnerability that allows the audiences to fear for her safety and well-being in the film’s final hours. With a score from Clint Mansell that is suitably epic without becoming clichéd and arresting visuals from cinematographer Matthew Libatique, this is sure to be one of the most divisive biblical adaptations ever made. Aronofsky’s Noah may differ from the tale told in Genesis, but its ultimate message of universal love couldn’t be more biblical.

Noah receives 2.5/4

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Lately, cinema has been in a bit of a comedy drought. A lot of comedies are released every year, but very few of them are actually funny. Sure, some of them are good, but it has been a long time since a gut-bustingly hilarious film has been released. With its ridiculous premise, This is the End seemed like it could be the kind of comedy that would be nonstop hilarious throughout its entire length. Well, I am happy to report that it is.

Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles to spend a few days with his old friend, Seth Rogan. On his first night in town, Seth drags Jay to a party at James Franco’s new home. Anyone who’s anyone in Hollywood appears to be there and the party seems to be going great until a giant sinkhole opens up outside. After mass chaos and dozens of fatalities, Jay, Seth, James Franco, Craig Robinson and Jonah Hill appear to be the only people left alive. They decide to board up James Franco’s home and battle “The End”, whatever it may be.

The novelty of This is the End is that all the stars of the film play caricaturized versions of themselves: James Franco is obsessed with art, Jonah Hill is the nicest guy on the planet and Seth Rogan is a typical stoner. Luckily this novelty never wears off as writers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg are able to consistently come up with new ways to poke fun at their friends’ careers. Standouts in the cast include James Franco, Jonah Hill, the tough as nails Emma Watson and Michael Cera who actually gets to play a different kind of character for once.

Pop culture references abound and they range from the plainly obvious to the slyly subtle. Numerous references are made to the careers of these characters and every single one hits the comedic bulls eye. The creation of a sequel to Pineapple Express earns many of the largest laughs in the entire film, as does the many horror and Sci-Fi references that are scattered throughout the film. References made to The Exorcist are quite obvious, but a reference to 2007’s The Mist is a clever nod that fans of the film will appreciate.

Take away the comedy in the film and you are still left with a surprisingly engaging and suspenseful tale of the end of the world. I was truly interested in finding out what was going on and several scenes even garner a few scares. Crafting an interesting story is something that many comedies forget about nowadays, but thankfully This is the End is not one of those films.

This is the End has set the comedic bar for 2013 and it will be difficult for another film to top it. Crude, offensive, but also incredibly clever, this film knows how to do comedy right. It feels good to laugh again.

This is the End receives 3.5/4

 

After hearing that the cast of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah would contain the star power of Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Ray Winstone, one would think that the large ensemble cast was almost complete. Surprisingly, there is still more casting information and this news is quite big, as it has been announced that legendary movie star Anthony Hopkins has signed on to the film. This was announced on Darren Aronofsky’s twitter where he officially announced that Hopkins will be joining the cast.

 

i’m honored to be working with the great sir anthony hopkins. we just added him to the stellar cast of ‪#Noah‪#methuselahlives.

 

Based on this tweet, it appears that Anthony Hopkins will be playing Methuselah, a biblical character who lived until the age of 969. He was also Noah’s grandfather and he died just before the flood began. I think that this casting makes a lot of sense; Hopkins is great at playing wise old men and I would assume that Methuselah will act as Noah’s mentor. Hopkins’ filmography has been fairly hit or miss lately, but hopefully this film will prove to be a success for him.

 

Noah will be released in US theaters in March of 2014.

 

After weeks of rumors, Jennifer Connelly has officially been offered a role in the upcoming epic Noah, directed by Darren Aronofsky. She will be working with Russell Crowe, her costar on A Beautiful Mind, as she portrays the loyal wife to the prophet Noah. Just last week I reported that Emma Watson would be joining the cast of the film, along with Ray Winstone, who is expected to play the antagonist of the movie. Noah’s wife was the last major role to be cast and, according to Variety, Connelly has officially been offered the role.

 

Connelly had previously worked with Aronofsky on Requiem for a Dream and we are now finding out that she was involved with the project long before Russell Crowe had even jumped on board. Apparently she was involved with early table reads of the script, which basically confirms that this has been her role for a long time now. It will be interesting to see how Aronofsky interprets the Biblical tale and whether religious groups praise the film or condemn it.

 

Noah will set sail in US theaters in March of 2014.

Just several days ago, I reported that Emma Watson had joined the cast of Darren Aronofsky’s epic Noah. At the time, it was rumored that Liev Schreiber was going to play the antagonist of the film, a man who doubts Noah’s actions. Today we learned that the role will likely go to Ray Winstone. Winstone was offered the role and, while he has not officially accepted, he will most likely be joining the cast. According to Deadline, Winstone was offered the role because Aronofsky wanted someone with “grit and size” to go up against Noah. While Ray Winstone may not be a household name, he has had supporting roles in The Departed, Hugo and, most recently, Snow White and the Huntsman. Perhaps his most famous role was as the title character in 2007’s Beowulf.

Winstone will be joining an all-star cast that includes Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman and Emma Watson. The role of Noah’s wife has yet to be cast, but it is rumored that the part will go to Jennifer Connelly, who previously worked with Crowe on A Beautiful Mind. The budget for the film has been reported to be around $130 million, so this is sure to be a film of epic proportions. Production for the film begins this August and the film is set to be released in March of 2014.

 

This past week was very exciting in regards to trailers. We got our first look at Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, The Perks of Being a Wallflower starring Emma Watson, and Disney’s upcoming Wreck-It Ralph. Check out all of this week’s trailers below.

 

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite directors, so my expectations were high in regards to his newest film. After having viewed the trailer, my anticipation for the film has grown even greater. This is truly a Tarantino film, filled with stylized violence and humorous dialogue. The use of a James Brown song in a western may seem like an impossible feat to pull off, but it is the perfect fit for Tarantino. I sincerely hope that he will use more songs like this in the actual film. Performance wise, everybody appears to be doing a great job, but Leonardo DiCaprio is the clear standout. I don’t want to speak too soon, but if his performance is as good in the actual film as it is in the trailer, than we might see him secure his first Oscar win. The film may look a little too similar to Inglorious Basterds, but the plot seems to be a little more straightforward than his previous film. We will all be able to unwrap this entire present, when the film is released this Christmas.

 

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’m a big fan of Emma Watson, so I was looking forward to this film just because she was in it. But I must say that this film actually appears to be fairly interesting. I have not read the book that the film is based on, but I hope to read it before it is released. The performances from the three leads appear to be very good and Emma Watson is as charming as ever. Thanks to the use of the song “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, this is a trailer that I cannot get out of my head.

 

 

Wreck-It Ralph

After learning that this film would contain cameos from actual video game characters, I was really looking forward to it. In the trailer, we see appearances from Bowser, a ghost from Pac-Man and a zombie from House of the Dead. While it was cool to see these characters in a movie, the rest of the trailer is pretty awful. They are clearly trying very hard to get kids interested, because the humor in this film is very juvenile. Also, the use of the song “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida feels tacked on and it completely ruins the second half of the trailer. On a positive note, the visuals for the film look very good and John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman appear to give great voice performances. But unless Disney can release a better trailer, my interest in the film has plummeted.

 

 

Flight

I actually didn’t know anything about this film before viewing the trailer, which might be why I enjoyed it so much. I was expecting a bland movie about an airplane, but this film actually looks really good. Denzel Washington appears to be as excellent as he always is and the visuals for the film (particularly in regards to the crash) are astounding. This could be a case of a trailer that is better than the actual film, but hopefully it won’t be. In any case, this is a film that I will be looking forward to.

 

 

Other trailers released this week include 360 and The Babymakers.

 

360

 

 

The Babymakers

 

Anybody that knows me well, knows that my favorite actress is Emma Watson. Because I am such a big fan of her, I consider any news regarding her to be breaking news. Well, today it was announced that Watson will be joining the cast of Noah, directed by Oscar nominee Darren Aronofsky. She joins an all-star cast that includes Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman and Douglas Booth.

Russell Crowe will play the prophet Noah, who is instructed to build an ark from God. It has been stated that Emma Watson’s character will be a young woman named Ila, who forms a relationship with Noah’s son Shem. Dakota Fanning was originally slated to play this character, but had to drop out due to scheduling issues.

It is also rumored that Liev Schreiber and Jennifer Connelly will join the cast. Connelly is in talks to play the role of Noah’s wife, reuniting her with A Beautiful Mind costar Russell Crowe. Schreiber is the front runner to play a character who doubts Noah’s actions. It has been stated that this will make him somewhat of an antagonist.

I’m a fan of Darren Aronofsky’s work, so I was already anticipating this film, but now that Emma Watson has joined the cast, my anticipation for the film has skyrocketed. The film is also being written by Ari Handel and John Logan, the latter of which received an Oscar nomination for his work on Hugo. With this much talent working on it, Noah has the potential to be one of the best films of next year. Production is slated to begin this August and it is set to be released in theaters in March of 2014.