Tag: Movie review

Fan Film Review: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 2001-2003

The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring movie posterBefore I start, I want to clarify that this is a review of the films only. I have read the books between 13-20 times (I lost count at 13) and seen the whole trilogy of films more than 20 times. I have also read The Hobbit 3 or 4 times, read the Silmarillion twice, The Book of Lost Tales, Unfinished Tales and The Children of Hurin, so I would say I am pretty familiar with Tolkien’s work. The films are a pretty good reflection of the books but they are not an accurate rendering on screen, so if you really want to know and understand Tolkien, read the books; the man was a genius, so I can’t even attempt to do him justice in a review of his work. We are simply talking about Peter Jackson’s excellent movies here. I will attempt to outline what is good and bad about the movies and compare them with the books, as well as Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, both of which it’s frequently compared to. This whole review is a spoiler, so if you don’t want to know what happens to the characters, don’t read this.

The Fellowship of the Ring
The three movies begin with the Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo Baggins, nephew of the wealthy, respected (if only because of his wealth) and usually reserved Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo returned from an adventure some 70s years before with treasure that included a ring of invisibility. We needn’t concern ourselves with that story here; read The Hobbit for details of his adventure. Frodo is perplexed when Bilbo puts on the ring at his 111th Birthday disappears and then abruptly leaves the Shire, homeland of the diminutive race of hobbits. Only the wizard Gandalf, who has been a friend of the family since Bilbo’s adventure, has a clue what the ring is; it is the One Ring, a ring forged to control the races of men, dwarves and elves in ancient times by Sauron the Great, servant of the Lord of Darkness himself, Morgoth.

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Movie Review: La Vérité (The Truth), 1960 – Brigitte Bardot

Poster for La Verite starring Bridgitte Bardot
Poster for La Verite starring Bridgitte Bardot

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, this movie follows a courtroom search for truth in a world of dark passions, art and death. Beautifully shot, it reveals Bardot’s enormous talent for portraying tortured beauties, yet her beauty quickly fades from prominence as the depths of her character’s deepest motivations lead us to question whether we can ever find the truth in examining one life, or one relationship.

Apart from brief shots of Bardot’s cute derrière, there is no nudity in this film, which is refreshing, and in her role as Dominique, she turns in an Oscar-worthy performance.

Dominique, an intelligent girl, yet driven by the need for love more than ambition, is spurned by her father in favour of the ambition of her sister, Annie, a gifted violinist. Only after a failed suicide by Dominique is she is allowed to accompany her sister to Paris to study.

I think things started to go wrong for Dominique when her father doesn’t appreciate her emotional character. Yet she is only slightly jealous of her sister, and I don’t think that’s her main motivation; she is something of an idealist, perhaps even a visionary, driven by ideas of a future where spirits mingle in a world of equality and freedom. It’s a typical ideal for the 1960s and yet she is too early to have a whole movement (the hippies) to support her. Feeling something of an outcast, she fights back and rebels against everything her parents stand for.

Dominique falls in with a group of creative beatniks, or indolent ‘dissolutes’ as her parents would think of them. While Annie begins a conventional marriage-oriented relationship with precocious student orchestral conductor Gilbert, Annie shares her bed carelessly with many artists.

I think Dominique and Gilbert both loved each other passionately, but at different times and in different ways. She wanted to give herself to a man completely, but she felt her duty ended where she had already supplied the sensual stimulation she believed a musician such as Gilbert needed. Although Gilbert’s character is not revealed to the same depth as hers, we see him as somewhat fickle, veering carelessly between the status and security of his ‘engagement’ with Annie and passionate nights with Bridgitte. Yet he is not free of an intense possessiveness, no doubt born from his insecurity as a young, ambitious man in his milieu of Paris artists. He is so praised by those around him that he feels no need to make choices about romance until it’s too late.

Meanwhile, Dominique has fallen in love with him. She loves him for his talent and ambition, yet she despises him for being in love with her. She cannot quite accept that a man might love her fully, even though Gilbert may not have ultimately been that man.

In the courtroom, a picture is drawn of a spoilt bitch who gleefully triumphs over her sister before dropping Gilbert and then picking him up again when he rekindles his relationship with Annie.

==============Spoiler alert ==============

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Movie Review: Oblivion, 2013

Oblivion movie still of the Sky Tower
Oblivion movie still of the Sky Tower

What more can be said of Tom Cruise in sci-fi roles? He always seems to deliver, so I was expecting something a bit special when I sat down to watch Oblivion last week.

Things were looking good after half an hour; great sets, great scenery and great special effects. Cruise was, as usual, dry in his delivery of Jack’s lines and held my attention.

But then I noticed something odd; Andrea Risborough, as Jack’s girlfriend and teammate Victoria, was acting badly. I thought, ‘Oh yeah, she must be an android and this will all be explained properly later,’ but no, the further into the movie I got, the more it became apparent that Victoria was human, and therefore badly portrayed. I am not saying Risborough can’t act, but she must have been at least badly cast here. It makes all the scenes with Cruise wooden and the love-making scene was just embarrassing. Continue reading “Movie Review: Oblivion, 2013”