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November 27, 2012


Lincoln tells the story of President Abraham Lincoln as he tries to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. It is a very interesting historical story with excellent acting and just the right amount of humor mixed in. This is a classic historic film that tells a story about a very important time in the history of the United States. If you're looking for an action-packed thriller, this might not be the film for you. For any history buff, it is a must see! If you're in between, like me, it's worth checking out.

The highlight of Lincoln is definitely the acting. There is a lot of actual acting required. There were multiple scenes when a look or a gesture was used to convey important information and feelings. This requires strong actors who can make a statement with the slightest movement. Steven Spielberg and the casting director managed to find a plethora of actors who can REALLY act! At the forefront is Daniel Day-Lewis  as Lincoln. From the voice, to the stature, to the walk, Day-Lewis manages to bring to life every imagined picture you might have of this beloved president. Sally Field brings in some extra humor and strength as Mrs. Lincoln. The all-star cast is rounded out by David Strathairn, James Spader, and Tommy Lee Jones, to name a few. The cast as a whole did an excellent job creating the emotion of this significant time period and perfectly acted out the humor written by a group of clever writers. Among the civil war and political banter was just the right amount of humor to completely surprise the audience.  I would not be surprised if Lincoln was on the short list for acting and writing awards when awards season comes around!

While the acting and writing were expertly executed, I found myself checking the clock frequently throughout the film, the biggest no-no for any film. This is still a historically-based film, which means it isn't aiming for romance or action. This can create somewhat of a lull at times. I think Lincoln could have been improved slightly if it was shortened. The film runs about two hours and thirty minutes, which is fairly long for any film. This epic story could have been condensed slightly to keep the audience attention a little better. For this reason, I doubt there will be much buzz about the overall film for big time awards.

Even with some extra length and not quite fully keeping my attention, I would highly recommend this film. The acting is impeccable and memorable. Again, for any history buff, this is a must see. If you're not, this is probably best as a rental. Either way, find the time when you are in the right mindset to check out this fantastic movie!

For most people I'd say..... REDBOX/NETFLIX IT!!

November 19, 2012

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

As a huge fan of the Twilight books I have had a slightly biased view of the films in this saga; however, I have also had very high expectations. I have felt that the films have improved greatly over the course of the series. Breaking Dawn Part 2 continues in this pattern. Even though the first few films were not winning any awards based on acting or production abilities, you cannot deny that this series has been elevated to fan-favorite blockbuster status. I am not going to say that Part 2 is going to be on the Oscar short list for next year, but it did end the series on a high note. There was some definite surprises even for those avid book readers and some great closure for those fans who have anxiously awaited the arrival of each film.

I am not going to start singing praises for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, but the overall acting in this film was a great improvement from where it began. I was very anxious to see how Stewart would portray her character post-transformation. Her quirkiness suited this transition perfectly. This was clearly seen in one scene where Bella tries to control her new vampire speed and perfection to act human and talk with her father. Stewart made the feelings and humor of this scene come through effortlessly. Pattinson was much less annoying since his character was no longer resisting the urge to suck his bride's blood. The two had great chemistry on screen to fully bring together the ending to this love story.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 meets expectations to bring this epic saga to an end. It have the token battle scene, plenty of romance, and some drama too. The most talked about part will probably be the surprises that come towards the end. (Sorry I'm going to keep those to myself to avoid any spoilers!) After the audience receives just a glimpse into the future for the new Edward Cullen family, the producers included a montage of all the characters from the entire series. This provided the perfect closing reminding the fans of all the characters they have loved throughout the past four years. Overall, I give two thumbs up for a fantastic ending to a blockbuster series. Many times concluding films like this do not measure up, but I think these producers did it right!

If you're a Twilight fan, this is a definite must see! If not, Redbox/Netflix it! I still think it's worth the dollar.

January 30, 2012

The Best of 2011- The Burnies!!!

I have been slacking horribly over the past few months, but this is my favorite time of year... Award season!!! As the Oscar nominations were announced, I was reminded that last year I made a list of my top picks for the year. While I haven't seen all of the heavy hitters for this year yet, I'm going to try to change that, I think I can come up with a pretty good list of my favorites from this year. So far The Golden Globes are the biggest indicator of what the big wigs think and mostly I agree. The Ides of March was a big disappointment for me. It got many noms from Hollywood Foreign Press, but I don't think it quite measured up.I am now glad to see that the Academy agrees with me, almost shafting The Ides completely.  Also, there is no animated film on my list. I think this was a very disappointing year for animated films. My guess was that Adventures of Tintin would pull away with the awards pretty handily (however, I haven't seen it), but the Academy gave it no notice.

 Anyways, here's my list in no specific order, just the top films from 2011, keep in mind these are just the ones I've seen.

The Help
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Super 8
Friends with Benefits

These are the movies I'm still DYING to see!! So please let me know if you want to see any of them!
Most of them are nominated for Academy Awards and from what I've seen they deserve it.

Iron Lady
My week with Marilyn
Girl with Dragon tatoo
War Horse
J. Edgar
Midnight in Paris
Adventures of Tintin


50/50 is the story of a 27 year old man who discovers he has cancer. It tells the story of his relationships with pretty much everyone he encounters from his mother to his therapist. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the main character spectacularly. Seth Rogen plays his best friend, and pretty much the same character he has played in every other movie he's been in. While this is a very serious topic, the film gives is a comedic spin but doesn't downplay the severity of the situation.

The biggest highlight of this film is the acting. Joseph Godon-Levitt does an amazing job. He brings the realness that is necessary to breach a tragic topic like cancer while keeping some humor mixed in with his wit. He brings a lot more sarcastic humor than Seth Rogen's character. While Rogen's character is rather shallow, it is so realistic and enlightening to see the bro-mance-type relationship deal with a life-threatening issue.

The film as a whole is very current with this cancer issue. It also has a very indie feel to it. The story line is pretty general, but it develops the relationships of the main character eloquently. It's these relationships that really  make it any story at all, without them it'd be rather boring.

Overall, the story is in line with our current society. The strengths of the film are the development of the relationships throughout  the film and Gordon-Levitt's acting. Generally the independent-type movies do not wow me. They usually just make you feel like nothing actually happened throughout the whole movie. 50/50 is definitely as step up from nothing happening, but it didn't wow me.

I didn't make the effort to see this one in theaters, so I guess I'd say.... it's definitely worth a dollar!

Redbox/Netflix It