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Ezen Baklattan

Spaghetti Kitchen: Year 6

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Yeah, I'm doing my reviews early too. Everybody request two films.

 

Damn... When I thought I was going to eat something good tonight.

 

Daniel Rigger and ... Oh wait, you already saw To The Moon.

 

Just Rigger for now.

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I should probably warn you that some of these reviews contain spoilers.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Andrew The Alien Presents

 

From Director Sam Mendes

 

Katniss Everdeen

Gwen Stacy

Troy Bolton

Éponine Thérnardier

Seaweed Stubs

The New Teen Wolf

 

in....

 

SOCIETY

 

The Perks Of Being Angsty & Singing About It

 

So basically, Society explores the state of American society by focusing on a small high school in Wisconsin, and Sam Mendes wants to explore pretty much everything. Bullying? Check. Abortions? Uh huh. Religion? You bet. With topics such as partying, suicide, eating disorders, teen pregancy, it's all here. I feel like this scope of topics may be a bit excessive for a 2.5 hour movie rather than a television miniseries, but I'm giving credit to Mendes for trying to touch into the important matters in society. The musical angle is a very interesting approach to take, but some of the songs are hit and miss, with more hits, though. While some of the songs are poignant and well written, (that, and most of the cast members have good singing voices) others felt jarring and out of place with the rest of the film, such as the gossip song and the song at the abortion clinic. My favorite song was Childhood, a poignant look at how we all used to have simpler lives.

 

Lawrence and Banks are probably the most seasoned actors in the bunch, although Stone gives a surprisingly good performance with this more somber role. Kelly also gives a good performance as a Muslim student who finally reaches his breaking point. The others in the cast weren't quite as strong, unfortunately. Efron and Haynes give serviceable performances, but they probably work better as teen heartthrobs than serious dramatic actors.

 

As for the handling of the issues in the film, this is where some problems get in. At times, the film presents a very poignant take on some issues, and some scenes were pretty emotional. At others, Mendes goes overboard and the film becomes a caricature of society, becoming heavy in cliches, teen angst, and stereotypes. At times, it almost got as melodramatic as any high school drama on MTV or ABC Family. Given who was behind the director's chair, I was kind of hoping for more than this. I wanted to get into the movie and just tell all of the characters this.

 

Having said that, most of the film is still very intriguing, and I'll admit that many parts were well put together, even if they were a little bit sentimental. It's not quite the film that it could have been, but you're getting something that's a lot better than the average teen drama here.

 

The Verdict:

 

B

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ChD Presents

 

A Film By Guy Ritchie

 

Oskar Schindler

Hermoine Granger

 

in.......

 

THE STORY OF DANIEL RIGGER

 

Is This Dream Real?

 

Daniel Rigger has been encountering a mysterious woman in her dreams, but does this connect to a love from his past? With this, Rigger embarks on a journey to try and find this mystery girl. We're starting off with a somewhat unique premise here, and fortunately, the execution is pretty solid. Liam Neeson is taking a relatively more somber role as Daniel Rigger, a man desperate to re-discover his past in order to achieve a better life, and he does a great job here. He's a legitimate contender for the Best Actor category, IMO. It also helps that his character is well written, showing both emotion and intensity with ease. This movie is truly carried by Neeson's performance.

 

Of course, the rest of the movie is pretty well crafted. I personally wouldn't have used Guy Ritchie for a film like this, but he certainly does a good job of bring out the journey of Rigger. Watching his story unfold makes for a refreshing retreat from the January blues, which consists mainly of crappy new releases and Oscar films that I've already seen. The final scene, however, did feel a little out of place to me, and some of the scenes with Emma Watson felt a little bit off at times, but these are just minor quibbles for one of the most unique and interesting films that we could ask for in the early months of a new year. I'd highly recommend it.

 

The Verdict:

 

B/B+

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