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Tag Archives: Anna Kendrick

Review: ParaNorman (2012)

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ParaNormanRemember when Tim Burton made great movies with a fantastic sense of dark comedy and heart? Well those days might be over (Exhibit A: Dark Shadows), but don’t fret. There are still plenty of the like out there.

Norman can see things that no one else can. Like Sixth Sense stuff. Yup, Norman sees a lot of dead people in his already dark town of Blithe Hollow (known for a witch trail). But after a 100 year-old curse threatens the city Norman and his weight challenged friend Neil, must take on the goblins and ghouls to protect their town.

Forget animated, or stop motion. ParaNorman was one of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen: period. First off, technically, the film is a joy to watch and the animation is completely mesmerizing. Secondly the voice talent is superb with Kodi Smit-McPhee and Christopher Mintz-Plasse leading the way. But it’s more than a few laughs and get technically sound movie. The movie takes the familiar but old and distant Salem witch trials, and makes them human, heart-breaking even. Funny, smart, and sweet? Watch your back Burton.

My Rating: A

Review: Up in the Air (2009)

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The first thing you think of when you hear about firing? Probably the terrible head of hair that is Donald Trump. The aged face of George Clooney isn’t really the first thing you think of. But this film and its interesting plot line (a man who lives on the road, hired by the spineless to do their dirty work) is more than a brilliant script. It’s a case for a showcase of acting, movie making, and talent in general.

Ryan Bingham (Clooney) does the tough job, he fires people when the bigwigs can’t or won’t. His job is to tell the fired employee what they need to know and sometimes act as a fire extinguisher when things get heated. Ryan is the epitome of being home on the road, or should I say the air. He meets similar minded Alex (Vera Farmiga) and they begin a long distance relationship. Also thrown in the mix is young upstart Natalie (Anna Kendrick) who has ideas on how to streamline their jobs, and possibly make Ryan expendable. Its the tale of a man who doesn’t know love, and whose attempts at it are……interesting.

My thoughts on this film will be brief. George Clooney can pick ’em, can’t he? With Up in the Air and later The Descendants, Clooney seems to be mastering the middle aged crisis man. From the opening sequence, you can tell this is going to be a great movie. Everyone gives it their best,from Clooney to Anna Kendrick to Vera Farmiga. This is some great acting. If you’re into your movies having that, go ahead and watch.

My Rating: A

Review: Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)

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Yup, another movie based on a “graphic novel”, or for the rest of us, a comic book. While that idea has already been done before, there really hasn’t been a movie experience quite like Scott Pilgrim.

If you’re like most, Scott Pilgrim’s story isn’t quite as known as Jack and the Beanstalk. Taking place in the distant land of Canada, Scott is a heart-breaking bassist still hung up on his ex-turned superstar singer. However, he soon meets Ramona Flowers, the girl of his dreams. But there is one big problem. Actually, there are 7 big problems. In order to date Ramona, Scott must defeat each of her 7 evil ex’s (The Evil League of Ex’s).

While the plot is unique in itself, what really makes the movie stand apart is the filmmaking. Director Edgar Wright has created possibly, the most “comic book-y” movie, without going full on camp. Scene after scene had me gulping down the movie, completely fascinated. It’s really hard to state with words, but just take my word for it. Along with some amazing special effects, the dialogue is fast-paced banter at its finest (actually reminded me of His Girl Friday). Along with that, we get some really great comedic performances by Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, Alison Pill, and of course Michael Cera. Unique, intriguing, and hilarious, if you haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim vs the World, go see it yesterday.

My Rating: A

Review: 50/50 (2011)

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Terminal illness might be the next great comedy genre (Funny People, anyone?). Okay, maybe I wouldn’t quite go that far, but 50/50 takes the reigns from Adam Sandler and Jonah Hill and gives them to the very capable hands of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen.

50/50 are the chances 27-year old Adam (Gordon-Levitt) has of surviving his newly diagnosed cancer. The movie follows Adam, best friend (Rogen), his mom (Anjelica Huston) and father (Serge Houde), girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), and his still green shrink (Anna Kendrick). The effect not only deals with Adam’s body but his emotional state, and the well being of those around him.

Not many movies can take you on a emotional roller coaster (the good kind) that make you cry one minute than laugh the next. Yeah, Seth Rogen’s still annoying, but you see effort in his character. I myself have not had family members diagnosed, but I would to know their reaction to this film. It is quite honestly, a very brave film to make and it’s a testament to both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and writer Will Reiser (whom the story was based on) and their ability to turn what could be a very bleak and depressing story to life and make it true to life. It isn’t all rainbows and sugarplums (Anna Kendrick’s not-so perfect Katherine only adds to this), but that’s life.

My Rating: A-