Tag Archive: Michelle Williams

Movie Review: Oz The Great and Powerful

Oz.the.great.cb1Pretty much everyone loves the classic Wizard of Oz, well I guess for a very long time Walt Disney had wanted to create a prequel to that film that explained how the Wizard got to Oz. It took a long time but it finally got made, director Sam Raimi who is one of my favorites was a perfect choice to bring this story to screen, problem is some choices come off as dull especially one man in the film: James Franco. His what I call, stoned approach to Oz did not work for me. He did not deliver a lot of lines right, sure he had the look down, and let me say he’s not terrible but he is the biggest flaw of the film.

The first thing you’ll notice is that a good ten minutes of the start of the film is in black and white, and this works, man the first ten minutes is really strong. The look is gorgeous, then once Oz reaches well… Oz everything gains color and over the top amounts of CGI. Sam Raimi does give us a lot of great visuals but the CGI at many times is over whelming, some pieces come off as so fake it looks like a video game and it’s distracting. Also Franco does not do a fantastic job of making us feel like we’re there, when he speaks to CGI characters he stares at them just a little off center. Franco really just doesn’t pull off the sleazy magician who grows a heart, he comes off like a stoner trying to be a magician.

The female leads pretty much keep the movie afloat acting wise. It was nice seeing Mila Kunis doing something else besides the “hot girl friend” type role. She brings a lot of pain and depth to the wicked witch. Rachel Weisz is the stand out here, mind you she gets the best lines but she is just such an amazing actress that she dominates the screen. The woman should be the next James Bond villain, first off would love to see her face off with her real life husband(Daniel Craig) on screen. Michelle Williams plays Glinda the Good, and she simply radiates goodness, you believe she’s the good witch the second you hear her speak.

This movie is really for kids, it’s not a dumb kids movie though, the jokes work and at moments there are some really great visuals. It’s just the tame rating leaves one wanting a little more. The action set pieces are so tame that it doesn’t really leave you astonished. Still once you realize your watching a kids movie, you understand you’re watching a really good kids movie. I just wish Raimi could have tried to make us care about Oz a little more, they focus so hard on CGI plants and creatures that when it comes to the people of Oz, I could care less about them.

The leading ladies are worth the price of admission alone, the visual make the film a fun ride and very worth seeing it on the big screen. Sadly though Franco and the lack of focus on the actual world of Oz leads the movie feeling a little off balance and not as epic as you’d hope. Still it’s not a failure at all and the movie never hits you over the head with references to the old film. If you have kids I’d say this is a must see otherwise understand that you should go in with low expectations.

Review: 7 out of 10

I didn’t really respond or post much about the Golden Globes(Thought they were “alright”). I’ve decided to not stay silent about the Academy Awards though. I’ll be going over the larger categories, listing the nominations and giving thoughts. This is my first year doing this hopefully you’ll be coming here for years and commenting on how wrong I am.

BEST PICTURE: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, The Tree of Life, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

I’m actually rather surprised by this list and delighted all at the same time. Hugo is really gaining a lot of steam this awards season. I personally loved The Artist and Moneyball, War Horse deserves to be there. The Tree of Life making it is a surprise along with ELAIC which hasn’t really been making any headlines recently. If I had to guess though this is between the Artist and The Descendants, don’t be surprised if Hugo wins though.

BEST ACTOR: George Clooney(The Descendants), Brad Pitt(Moneyball), Jean Dujardin(The Artist), Damien Bachir(A Better Life), Gary Oldman(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Wow! Now this is full of surprises. No Leo, no Fassbender(which is a Shame… Get it? The movie he was in was called Shame… I’ll move on) but Damien Bachir and Gary Oldman are in there, they both really deserve it. I really dug Brad Pitt in Moneyball but I don’t think he stands a chance. I think it’s a race between Dujardin and Clooney. I hope Dujardin wins, but I think Clooney is bringing it in.

BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close(Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis(The Help), Rooney Mara(Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep(The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams(My Week with Marilyn).

This is rather interesting because how close this will be. The Globes copped out by placing Michelle Williams in the “Musical or Comedy” actress role but they couldn’t do that here. All Streep does is win so you have that. Viola Davis made a huge impression in The Help. Glenn Close played a chick who is so ugly she can pull off being a man. Any other year and that wins the award for you. Michelle Williams deserves this one but Mara is going to get over looked which is a real shame. That was such a hard and daring role. I just hope the Academy members realize that Streep has won before, like a lot, so let someone else get a trophy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Kenneth Branagh(My Week With Marilyn), Nick Nolte(Warrior), Jonah Hill(Moneyball), Max von Sydow(Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Christopher Plummer(Beginners).

Well to start off it will probably be Plummer. Love that Nick Nolte got the nomination for a role most over looked, hell the movie “Warrior” got over looked by most of America(Check it out you won’t be let down). I don’t get why Jonah Hill keeps getting nominations, he didn’t really bring anything to that role. I just feel like this is people trying to push him as a real actor, hard to do that when your upcoming movie is the “21 Jump Street” remake. For me Branagh should win, but I don’t think he will.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Berenice Bejo(The Artist), Melissa McCarthy(Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer(Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer(The Help), Jessica Chastain(The Help).

Octavia Spencer is getting this even though it should be Berenice Bejo(Who should be in the “Best Actress” category). Sad to see Melissa McCarthy here though. Mainly because she doesn’t belong and it’s obvious this was done as a ratings booster. Try and get people who love this movie to check out if she wins. She won’t but come on really? She was funny but… Come on!

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Rango, Chico and Rita, A Cat in Paris, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots.

Doesn’t this list seem fake? It just is weird first off not seeing a Pixar movie here. Seeing anything with a “2” in it is weird. One of the films is called Puss in Boots. I loved Rango so I hope it wins but for the comedy of it I hope Boots takes home the trophy.

BEST DIRECTOR: Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Martin Scorsese(Hugo), Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Terrence Malick(The Tree of Life).

Well there is a lot of talent there. The list is simply perfect. To me it should be Hazanavicius. Will probably be Payne. Glad Woody Allen got on there and especially Terrence Malick. Wouldn’t be too surprised though if Scorsese came out on top here.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Nat Faxon, Alexander Payne(The Descendants), Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian(Moneyball), John Logan(Hugo), George Clooney and Grant Heslov(Ides of March), Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

Yes I’m doing the scripts… Because I write scripts as a hobby. Anyway this is going to the Descendants but I think Moneyball should get it. Ides of March was also a very well done script but I think with the political tone going on right now it won’t get a lot of votes.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Woody Allen(Midnight in Paris), Michel Hazanavicius(The Artist), Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo(Bridesmaids), JC Chandor(Margin Call), Asghar Farhadi(A Separation).

Saved the best for last! This is a stacked category. The Artist of course should get it but I really believe this will be the place where Bridesmaids gets one as a “see we’re cool” item for the Academy. It’s nice to see Chandor and Farhadi make the list but I don’t think they stand much of a chance.

Well there it is… Some of the nominees and my responses. I look forward to the show it’s like the Super Bowl for movies and I love every second of it.

Movie Review: My Week With Marilyn

Marilyn Monroe is an icon, you can debate that if you like, you’ll be wrong but you can debate it. Set during the filming of the film “The Prince and the Showgirl” we follow a young named Colin Clark, who comes from serious money, but instead of following his family wishes, he followed a career in making movies. Soon he lands a job on the crew of the film being made by and starring Sir Laurence Olivier. It’s there he meets Marilyn Monroe and gets to see through her facade and easily falls in love with her.

Famously the filming of the movie was rather dramatic and the film focuses a lot on this. Monroe wanted to be a real actress and this clashed with what Olivier wanted at the time. My Week With Marilyn is a basic film, almost seems like it was going to be a mini-series, it sure was filmed like it. This isn’t a bad thing thought the film is a smooth ride actually. Now the making of the movie is very interesting the drama between Monroe and Olivier, who is played by the amazing Kenneth Branagh. The love story between Marilyn and Colin(Eddie Redmayne) is rather simple really, it’s hard to believe and no one will really ever know if it’s true or not. That’s not the point, the film allowed the audience to see that Marilyn Monroe was more than what we think she was, that she had problems, that fame really weighed her down.

Now of course the main reason to see this film is to see Michelle Williams performance. There are many moments in this film that you almost feel like you are watching Marilyn Monroe, what is so amazing about that is Williams doesn’t exactly look like Monroe. Monroe’s real name was Norma Jean and Williams shows us a lot of that woman. One that has a dark past and is an international sex symbol. It’s tragic really how much pressure was on this woman to be something she wasn’t. The film never gets preachy and frankly is very innocent in places, it’s hard to take it as a real story. Since it’s based off of a diary of a man, now I’m sorry but why not make up a story about a one week romantic romp with one of the most beautiful women of all time? Still fake or real the story is interesting. The behind the scenes drama of what happened on the set of “The Prince and the Showgirl” is what is really fun here. Michelle Williams hands down deserves the awards she is going to get for this movie and you might as well check it out yourself, it’s a performance that only comes around every once and a while, one I know I’ll never forget.

Rating: 8/10