Sunday, January 15, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

The trailer for Wes Anderson's upcoming film Moonrise Kingdom has after an insane amount of waiting, finally been released. It is everything one would want and expect from Wes Anderson. The coloring, the music, the setting and the story are all classic trademarks Anderson has come to be known by.

The story is about two young kids who run off together, and the resulting shenanigans that ensue as the community tries to find them. It's got the regular Anderson cast with Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray but with newcomers that are sure to fit in perfectly to his world with Harvey Keitel, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Frances Mcdormand. Check it out below

Monday, January 2, 2012

War Horse: Proof that Steven Spielberg Still Has It

2011 is the year that Steven Spielberg proved to the world that he has not yet become a "Hollywood hack". Most people were ready to write the guy off (myself included) quite unfairly after the colossal blunder that was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But were we all forgetting the movies this man had given us, were we all forgetting the magic this man had created? This man had made a robotic shark scary, he made us all care about a little alien, he made dinosaurs walk the earth, put us on Normandy beach on D-Day, took us on thrilling adventures to find the Ark of Covenant and the Holy Grail. This mans name is synonymous with movies....and yet we all wrote him off.

So he definitely had something to prove as December, 2011 came and he released his animated, soon to be classic The Adventures of Tintin and the epic, heart wrenching War Horse. While Tintin oozed with fun and adventure and literally every frame was exciting and fun, War Horse is a whole different cinematic experience.

There are movies that remind you why you even love them in the first place, movies that make you fall in love with them all over again. War Horse is one of those movies. From John Williams' sweeping score to Janusz Kaminski's breathtaking cinematography every bit of War Horse draws you in and takes a hold of you.

Jeremy Irvine plays the poor farm boy Albert who raises the endearing Joey(the horse) only to have to give him up with his father sells him to Captain Nicholls, a superbly subtle performance from the vastly underrated Tom Hiddleston (Thor, Midnight in Paris) as World War I breaks loose on Europe. What follows is the journey Joey experiences through the trenches and battles that made the first great war so terrible. He passes through different owners who's own stories tug at your heart, yet make you believe whole heartedly that the world is truly a good place, despite the terrible things human beings are capable of. Soon Albert is in the fight as well, running through battlefields and trenches hoping to one day meet his friend again.

There is a warming yet gutwrenching scene as Joey has been caught in barbed wire and a temporary cease fire occurs as a British soldier, with the help of a German soldier untangles Joey from the mess.

The acting is incredible. Hiddleston gives a great performance as the kind Captain who promises Albert that he will protect Joey and return him to him if he can. As Peter Travers said in his review at rollingstone magazine, you just want more of him. Both Peter Mullen and Emily Watson are great as Albert's parents and Neils Arstup as a French farmer/grandfather is terrific.

Spielberg has created a sweeping epic, and like only he can do, made us care just as much about the animals as the human characters. The year of 2011 was a pretty weak year for movies with only a few bright spots, and War Horse is possibly the brightest of them all. Spielberg deserves to be at the very least nominated for Best Director at this years Academy Awards, and it definitely deserves Best Picture. Cause really, what else was better this year?

**** out of ****