Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hanna (2011)

Raise your child up in the way she should go
Hanna has been raised in the wilderness by her father.  She can hunt, track, and fight, plus she's multilingual and very smart.  When her father presents her with a button, she declares herself ready presses it, and launches herself into the world of espionage.  Hanna is an international thriller which winds its way from Scandinavia to North Africa and across Europe.  Teenage actress Saoirse Ronan who plays Hanna holds her own next to international superstars Cate Blanchett, and Eric Bana.  Well written, very nicely shot (watch for the long shots as Eric Bana leaves the bus station), and very entertaining.

With a good mix of revenge, action, intrigue, and espionage, Hanna gets 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, The Soloist)
Writer: Seth Lochhead and David Farr
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, and Eric Bana.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Metacritic: 65 out of 100

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Divide trailer

The Divide is an apocalyptic thriller and, dang, this looks like one intense movie.  Read what Twitch has to say about it and then watch the trailer.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Four Lions (2010)

Keystone cops meet the jihad
Take some jihadists, add some incompetence, and lot of cheeky British humor and the product is brilliant.  Very few films or TV shows make me laugh out loud.   This one did.  I laughed throughout the entire movie.

Full of laughs and dealing with serious issues, Four Lions gets 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director:  Christopher Morris
Writer: Christopher Morris, Simon Blackwell, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain
Starring: Will Adamsdale, Riz Ahmed and Adeel Akhtar
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Metacritic: 68 out of 100

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sequels drive me crazy

Ah the Sequel.  A.K.A. the Hollywood Cash Cow.  In general I dislike sequels.  Here's an entry I wrote a couple of years ago on my other blog: "ridicurous": movie pet peeves

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Enter the Void (2009)

Imagining the hereafter
French director Gaspar Noé takes us on a journey through the mind in Enter the Void. Oscar and his sister Linda live in Tokyo. Oscar is a drug dealer and user. His sister is an exotic dancer. Oscar's death and life play out before the viewer in a non-linear sequence of events. Little by little, we learn how he got to where he was in life. The film is a wild ride of a movie that showcases Noé's technical prowess - long shots, flyovers, first person POV shots - but after a while the film becomes repetitive.  45 minutes or more could have pared off to improve the pacing and make a good film into a superior one. Enter the Void loses points for repetitiveness and numerous scenes that fail to advance the story.

A mind altering 3 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Gaspar Noé
Writer: Gaspar Noé & Lucile Hadzihalilovic
Metacritic: 69 out of 100

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Darkest hour Trailer

The Darkest Hour is produced by Timur Bekmambetov the man behind some of my favorite films of the past few years - Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted, and 9.  Its directed by a guy named Chris Gorak who has worked on some great films as well - Tombstone, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fight Club, Minority Report, Blade: Trinity to name a few.  This looks looks like a winner to me. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Biutiful (2010)

Beautiful disaster
Biutiful tells the heartbreaking tales of several hardworking people whose lives have gone wrong. Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Eat, Pray, Love) portrays Uxgal, a low class entrepreneur in Barcelona who employs illegal aliens to produce and sell counterfeit goods. Estranged from his wife Maramba (Maricel Álvarez), and raising their two children alone, he also happens to hear dead people. On top of all that he has cancer. Uxgal is a hard worker doing all he can to support his family. But nothing seems to be working out for him.

An engrossing tragedy with supernatural undertones, Biutiful gets 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Writer: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, Nicolás Giacobone
Starring: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez and Hanaa Bouchaib
Metacritic: 58 out of 100

Monday, October 10, 2011

El Aura (2005)

Playing make believe
Esteban (Ricardo Darín) is a taxidermist with an active imagination and a photographic memory.  He goes on a hunting trip with a friend and ends up in some situations that he never anticipated.  There are some real money shots in this film - near the beginning when Esteban is telling his friend how he'd pull off a heist and later, the transition between him sitting in his home, in the airport lounge, on the plane, then in the jeep. 

An engrossing story, beautifully executed scenes, and superb acting give El Aura a glowing 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Fabián Bielinsky
Writer: Fabián Bielinsky
Starring: Ricardo Darín, Manuel Rodal and Dolores Fonzi
Rotten Tomatoes:  89%
Metacritic: 78 out of 100

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Tree of Life (2011)

Feeling that transcends film
Childhood memories and family tensions populate Terrance Malick's Cannes favorite.  The plot meanders through time, but emotion holds center stage.  Brad Pitt shows his acting prowess as the father of three young boys.  A great display of film as art which invokes many emotions.  Recommended if you like The Thin Red Line.

Ambitious, transcendent, thoughtful, and impacting, Malick's The Tree of Life produces 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director:  Terrance Malick
Writer:  Terrance Malick
Starring:  Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain
Rotten Tomatoes -  85%
Metacritic - 85 out of 100

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Time trailer

Here's a movie I'm pretty stoked about, In Time.  From Andrew Niccol, the creator of The Truman Show, S1mone and Gattaca. Starring Justin TimberlakeAmanda Seyfried, and Cillian Murphy.  Read about it at /Film.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blue Valentine (2010)

Good lovin' gone bad
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams play out the story of blossoming love between Dean and Cindy.  Told with a dual time-line, the film moves back and forth between the older them and the younger them.  Both of these actors give stand out performances.

Giving us a painfully honest look at the deterioration of a relationship,  Blue Valentine wins my heart with 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director:  Derek Cianfrance
Writer:  Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis
Starring:  Ryan Gosling & Michelle Williams
Rotten Tomatoes -  88%
Metacritic - 81 out of 100

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mother (2009)

That's one mean mother!
When a mentally handicapped man is accused of a crime, his mother comes to his aid.  The son played by Bin Won (The Man from Nowhere) and his mother played by Hye-ja Kim give standout performances.  Mother asks the question, what lengths will a parent go to for their child?  Joon-ho Bong director of The Host brings great visuals, a great plot that twists and turns, and great acting.

This Mother earns her 5 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director:  Joon-ho Bong
Writer:  Joon-ho Bong, Eun-kyo Park
Starring:  Hye-ja Kim, Bin Won and Ku Jin
Rotten Tomatoes -  95%
Metacritic - 79 out of 100