Archive for January, 2010


Directed By: John Carpenter
Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, David Clennon

What It’s All About:
A group of scientists enduring the harsh winter conditions of Antarctica discover an alien life-form that is capable of assimilating any living creature. The “thing” infiltrates the base and minute by minute the surviving crew members fall into a sense of paranoia, wondering who is human and who has been infected.

The Verdict:
The Thing is quite possibly the most important Sci-Fi horror film since Alien (1979), seamlessly creating an atmosphere of true terror and paranoia. Kurt Russell truly shines as the leading man, and boasting some truly gory and terrific special effects for it’s day, The Thing is a movie that has stood the test of time.

4/5

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Directed By: Peter Jackson
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci

What It’s All About:
Based on the best selling novel of the same name, The Lovely Bones tells the story of Susie Salmon, a fourteen year old girl that is raped and murdered. Stuck in-between death and the afterlife, Susie watches as her family deals with her disappearance. Her father becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to his daughter, and Susie is stuck between wanting vengeance towards her killer and wanting her family to move on from their tragic loss.

The Verdict:
When watching The Lovely Bones you can’t help but be captivated by the story that unfolds on the screen, yet the constant mood swings between a light-hearted movie and a dark thriller offer enough juxtaposition to pull away from the immersion. There are some real stand out moments in this movie, yet the constant changes of tone and themes simply don’t mesh well with the source material. Stanley Tucci’s performance is outstanding, and Mark Wahlberg has his shining moments. The Lovely Bones is certainly worth a watch, yet it could have been so much more.

3/5

Directed By: Jim Sheridan
Starring: Tobey McGuire, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal

What It’s All About:
Sam (McGuire) and Tommy (Gyllenhaal) are brothers. Sam is a marine on his fourth tour in the Middle East and Tommy has just gotten out of jail. Sam is believed to be killed in action when his helicopter goes down, and the movie tells the story of Tommy growing as a man, becoming responsible and helping his brother’s family function. Sam is actually alive, and once he returns home, the psychological trauma takes his toll and himself, his family, and his brother.

The Verdict:
Brothers is a harsh and realistic look at the effects of war not only on the soldiers, but the families who are left behind. McGuire puts in a stunning performance that will hopefully lift him out of his Spiderman fame and realise he is a shining force when placed in a dramatic setting. Natalie Portman is stunning as the widow struggling with the loss of her husband. Beneath all this sadness there is deep understanding of the human condition, and Sheridan isn’t afraid to show that every family has it’s own issues. A great film, great cast, and a wonderful yet sad story to be told.

4/5