Friday, December 31, 2010
2010 has been a very special year for me movie-wise. As I said, before I was a teenager who liked action movies, now I am a much matured person who can enjoy a well acted, smart and even slow-moving drama.
2010 has turned out to be a great year for movies. Despite a very lackluster first half, the second one came packed with the goods (The Social Network, Black Swan, True Grit, etc), and now I can say that the once-awful-year-for-films might be the best-year-for-films-in-a-while.
I will soon be posting (in around five or six days) my list of the best films of 2010 (it will most likely be a top 20 rather than 10), as well as a list of the most underrated and overrated films of 2010 and a list of my favorite performances of the year.
So I say goodbye to 2010, a very good year for movies, and welcome 2011, which hopefully will be a better year than this! So Happy New Year to all of you and my best wishes for 2011!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Director: E. Elias Merhige
Country. United Kingdom
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The movie follows Edmund and Lucy Pevensie and their cousin Eustace Scrubb who are sucked into a Narnia by a painting of a Narnia boat, the Dawn Treader. As the water from the painting starts to fill the room, the three are transported into Narnia where they're rescued by Prince (now King) Caspian and the crew of the Dawn Treader. Caspian is on a mission to rescue the seven lost lords and their swords to save Narnia from an evil that lives on an island that will soon escape and corrupt the whole country.
Narnia movies are no masterpieces. They aren't award worthy (save for technical aspects) and they aren't all that memorable. Nevertheless, they are still entertaining rides full of magic and enjoyment. And while Prince Caspian and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are clearly superior to the Dawn Treader, the latter is still a good entry to the franchise, though still a weak one.
What I liked most about the film was its visual glory. Its special effects are very good and convicing. Just think about the green mist, crawling from behind in the dark. It was very convincing and very well done. The creatures and monsters were also very well designed, as well as the battle sequences had great visuals too. Also, its art direction is pretty wonderful too. The ship was very well done, as well as the edifications and even the rock formations were very good. The costume design is also very well done, and the camera work is fine too.
I also liked the performances, though nothing really special. All the actors did credible jobs, but nothing outstanding. I think worth mentioning is Tilda Swinton in her cameo as the White Witch as she tries to tempt Edmund. She was in the film less than a minute and she was still very frightening. Ben Barnes did also a belieavable job as Caspian, but I think he was better in the previous one. Gary Sweet as the captain Lord Dirian was probably my favorite performance. His mysterious and full of wisdom character was probably the most interesting.
I didn't like how the film flowed, though. It went by way too fast. I thought we were just in half an hour when they were already on their way to the dark island. And they get transported into Narnia in less than 10 minutes in, while in the past two we had to wait for some time before it happened. Though I think the battle at the end did go in appropiate time. Oh, and that's another thing, there is not too much action in this one, and while that's not usually a problem you have to take into account that this is an adventure film, and it is required that something happens as the movie flows.
I thought the story and the characters were weak in general. I didn't like how they tried to make Edmund fill Peter's role. He was the one who wanted to go back to Narnia badly, just as Peter did in the previous one, he was the one that was maturing, he was the one that felt jelous about Caspian (or that was rather in one scene, but still that was Peter's role in the previous one) and he was the one who wanted to be authoritarian. I also didn't like how Lucy wanted to be "as beautiful as Susan", but I guess that's important for her character to grow up. I thought that Caspian was just a useless douche who did nothing but just try to be a leader, and I really liked his character in the last one. And that Eustace kid was really annoying, though that was the idea, but when he finally found "the hero inside him" he was still annoying.
The film also tried to be other films, many which are superior. It tried to be Harry Potter in its quest for maturing, it tried to be the Lord of the Rings in the scene of the cave, Pirates of the Caribbean while trying to make the viewer feel like the sea's their home, and even borrowing from Stardust in the part of the beautiful star and Pan's Labyrinth in the Aslan table scene.
The film is pretty enjoyable. It has entertaining mythology and battle scenes and its power lies on the visuals. And while its story and characters are a little weak, the pace of the film goes in a flash and it tries to be what its not, it is still a good entry to the series. The previous two may be superior, but this is still a fun one.
My recommendation: Its an enjoyable family adventure. I would recommend it to fans of the franchise, or at least for people who are familiar with it, because maybe outsiders will find the film boring ad ridiculous.
My score: 68%
Saturday, December 18, 2010
As the year comes to a close Award season begins. We have had already some nominations announced and a few awards already presented. And while there have been a few (or more) surprises, the movies we had expected to be honored were (and that's kind of a sad thing, being so predictable). So anyway, here are a few thoughts that I have for this season:
Part I: The Award Ceremonies
The nominations for this year's Golden Globe were already announced, and they came with a few surprises. For the Best Motion Picture - Drama category the films that were expected to be nominated (or at least most of them) were, and these were Inception, Black Swan, The King's Speech, The Socia Network and The Fighter. I was expecting 127 Hours instead of The Fighter, but I can't really complain here. My real complain is with the comedy nominations: The Kids Are All Right (the only one really worthy), Red, Alice in Wonderland, Burlesque and The Tourist. Three of the five got a Rotten rating at RT. I would have changed Alice in Wonderland, Burlesque and The Tourist for Toy Story 3, Greenberg and Cyrus maybe, and maybe even Red for Love and Other Drugs (though that one also got a Rotten rating but it is more of a comedy). I seriously doubt the credibility of this year's Golden Globes...
Critics Choice Awards:
The critics choice awards are a ceremony that, even if they have a lesser prestige than the Oscars or BAFTAs, are highly important in Hollywood. This year we have good nominations and I dare to say that they are similar to what the Oscars may be. For Best Picture the nominees were: 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Social Network, The King's Speech, The Town, True Grit, Toy Story 3, and Winter's Bone. I think this comes close to the 10 Oscar nominees, and I would say that I feel comfortable with them (though I would have liked The Kids Are All Right to get in). The six favored films are the ones nominated in the Best Director category, and those are Inception (Christopher Nolan), Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky), The Social Network (David Fincher), The King's Speech (Tom Hooper), True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen) and 127 Hours (Danny Boyle). I would place my bet on David Fincher and his movie, and most of the time this gets what the Oscars get too.
Screen Actors Guild Awards:
Another ceremony of high pedigree, very important for the Actors (especially when winning here is almost a lock for the Oscars), the Screen Actors Guild Awards have also announced their nominations and are good too. For Best Actor we have Jeff Bridges for True Grit, Robert Duvall for Get Low, Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network, Colin Firth for The King's Speech and James Franco for 127 Hours. I would vote for Colin Firth, and I would also like to say that I would have liked too to see Bardem being nominated for his role in Biutiful. For Best Actress we have Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right, Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole, Jennifer Lawrene for Winter's Bone, Natalie Portman for Black Swan and Hilary Swank for Conviction. I think it is bewteen Portman and Bening, and, while I haven't seen the film, the critics seem to be favoring Portman slightly. I would have liked to see Tilda Swinton for I Am Love, but it will now be hard since she has been overlooked for several ceremonies now.
Gotham Independent Film Awards:
The spirit of Independent cinema is here at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. The big winner has been Winter's Bone, with the awards for Best Film and Best Ensemble. The other four nominees for Best film were Black Swan, The Kids Are All Right, Blue Valentine and Let Me In.
Though the nominations haven't been announced yet I'd like to speak a little about the BAFTAs. The BAFTAs are as important as the Oscars for British films. I think this year the winner may be The King's Speech, as they ted to favor British productions, but it may also be The Social Network (hopefully, winning the Trifecta). The other nominees may be 127 Hours, Black Swan and maybe The Ghost Writer? or rather The Kids Are All Right. I don't know, but I don't see them nominating Inception for a lot this year.
Ahh, what is probably the most important award in the film business. The ceremony that gets all the attention, the mighty (and may I say flawed) Oscars. This year there is big competition, but I think it is safe to guess who will the winner be. Anyway, if you want to know more about my thoughts on the Oscars keep an eye for my next predictions...
Part II: The Favored Films
The Social Network
I think it is not hard to guess that this will be the big winner at the Oscars. The critics were raving about it when it was released and now it has been receiving alot of praise from these ceremonies. The film is most ikely to win the Oscar for Best Picture, the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama (though here they tend to go with more commercial films) and possibly the BAFTA. The film will also receive Best Director and Adapted Screenplay, as well as other minor awards like Editing and maybe music. Who knows? It has already received numerous awards that it is hard to count.
Christopher Nolan's epic follow up to The Dark Knight may have become his most financially and possibly critically succesful film. It has already been nominated several times for the desired Best Picture and Best Director in many ceremonies, and it has won a few other awards too. However, I think this movie is destined to lay under The Social Network's shadow, but if Warner Bros gives a strong campaign, who knows what could happen. Whatever is the case, I'm sure this will be a hell of a competition.
The King's Speech
The British production of the year (apparently). I think this may rule the BAFTAs, and other ceremonies too. However, when its about winning Best Picture it is very hard to win over The Social Network. Nevertheless, the praise this movie will receive this season is in the acting categories. Most likely, Colin Firth will win Best Actor in most of the ceremonies, and Helena Boham Carter for Best Supporting Actress is too a good bet, plus Geoffrey Rush in the Supportin Actor department is good. Most likely, the film may win Best Ensemble and Best Actor in many ceremonies, including the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars, while the Supporting categories may fall short in the big awards.
Aronofsky's new project, a psychological thriller where everything is not what it seems like a delicate Ballet Ballerina can be a monster. The film has received excellent critical praise and many are saying that Portman may win the Oscar for Best Actress, while the film itself has good odds in Best Picture. It has already won a couple of awards in recent ceremonies, including Best Actress in the New York film critics Online, and I think they won't stop here.
James Franco and Danny Boyle have appeared in several ceremonies already. Franco has won already but I think Boyle hasn't yet (though maybe he'll get it soon). The critics love Franco's performance and many have speculated that he may take the Oscar too. And while he'll have to to Firth for that, he does stand a good chance.
Another film whose power lies in the performances and another strong contender for Best Ensemble at the SAGs. Receiving outstanding praise is Christian Bale as Mark Wahlberg's crackhead troublemaker brother. When I first saw the trailer I said to myself "he's got a chance to win the Best Supporting Actor award", and he's done it... several times. Also, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo are getting nominated for a few ceremonies, and Mark Wahlberg has too. And while this film may not have big chances to win Best Picture, it definitely has for Performances.
Toy Story 3
The animated film of the year. Pixar's return. A new adventure of Woody and Buzz. The film that captivated the hearts of millions has been nominated in all Best Animated Feature that has already been announced, and in all that have been presented it has won. The film stands a big chance to be nominated for Best Picture too.
The film isn't out yet so I can't really say much about it, only that it is going to be awesome. With a 96% in the Tomatometer for early reviewers and a casting of this caliber, not to mention that the two masterminds that brought us No Country for Old Men and Fargo are behind it, I am sure this will get alot of Oscar attention. It has been nominated more than one time for Best Pictur and/or Best Director. I am not 100 per cent sure that this will make the Oscar 10, but I think it stands a great chance.
The Kids Are All Right
Boosted by excellent performances from its cast all around and a marvellously charming script, Lisa Cholodenko's family film has received great reviews and it is most likely to be garner a few nominations with the Oscars. For the ceremonies it has already they have been nominated for its screenplay and performances (mostly Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo). Bening stands a real good chance for Best Actress (and she has already won in many), but I do think that Moore should get nominated too. Sadly, it all points that she won't.
There are a few others that I would like to mention but I don't want to make this post longe than it already is. So the point of this blog was to express my thoughts on the award season this year. Soon I'll be posting another update in my Oscar predictions, and now it will be much more easier. So anyway, this award season brings alot of surprises but also alot of exciting competition to see. It will all close in February 27.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The Social Network
The King's Speech
The Kids Are All Right
The Ghost Writer
Toy Story 3
This year's race for Best Picture seems to be a very hard one, and argues to be a tougher one than last year's. This year we have a variety of films that can make the list, and these are what I think will do. From this list, I think the winner will ultimately be The Social Network, which is the movie that is getting more praise from the critics (along with Toy Story 3, but I don't think the Academy will give the award to an animated feature), so I think it is the safest choice so far. But there are other movies with the potential to win, like The King's Speech (which I think will get the BAFTA) and even Ghost Writer is got a chance, as it just won the European Film Award for Best Picture. But the favorite contendor to go against The Social Network is Christopher Nolan's Sci Fi/Action film Inception. Big budget, great production values and an almost garanteed strong campaign make this possibly the biggest rival The Social Network will have to face. And though I think it is safe to say that the winner will be The Social Network, this competition will prove to be far more interesting than last year's Avatar vs The Hurt Locker. But, if we take into account that the Academy has overlooked Nolan several times in the past, there is also a chance that he will get overlooked this year as well. Lets just hope this is not the case.
David Fincher - The Social Network
Christopher Nolan - Inception
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
Tom Hoper - The King's Speech
Ben Affleck - The Town
his year's race for Best Director also seems to be a very hard and close one. From this list, the only one that I would say that may get thrown out when the nominees are announced would be Ben Affleck, he can be repleaced by Danny Boyle or Roman Polanski or maybe Lisa Cholodenko, but so far I'd say he may get in. For the other four, they still may get put aside but so far I think they are in. The winner appears that will be David Fincher for The Social Network, but I'm sure that the other nominees will also present a tough fight.
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
James Franco - 127 Hours
George Clooney - The American
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
This is another very tough competition and is probably hard to try to guess who will win, that assuming that my predictions are right. There are also a few other possible candidates that may enter the list (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jesse Eisenberg or Ewan McGregor maybe?), but so far this are the ones that are most likely to get in. I'd say that the award will probably go to Colin Firth for The King's Speech, a performance which the critics are raving about, but also a very strong contender might be Javier Bardem in Biutiful, who won Best Actor at Cannes and many critics are guesing that he may take home this award too.
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit's Hole
Tilda Swinton - I Am Love
We are flooding on tough competitions this year, but the one that's probably the hardest one is the Best Actress race. With a year full of great performances by female players, this are probably the ones who will get in. I had to remove Julianne Moore from the list, but not because she doesn't deserve to be here, on the contrary I fully 100 per cent support her being nominated, but this year's race seems to be so hard that the Academy will most likely favor Annette Bening over her. And to guess who will win the award can be even harder to try to guess who will make the five, but I would go with Annette Bening or Natalie Portman. Before I considered Tilda Swinton the one who would take it, but after re-watching The Kids are All Right and hearing all the praise for Natalie Portman (I haven't seen the film yet) I'd say that the award will probably be between them.
Best Supporting Actor:
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech
Sam Rockwell - Conviction
Christian Bale - The Fighter
With the Supporting Actor category I think that the winner may be Christian Bale in The Fighter or Geoffrey Rish from The King's Speech. Though I have not seen these two films, you can see from the trailer of The Fighter (I know basing one's opinion in a trailer might be tricky, but in this case I think this might be safe) you can see that Bale has taken his role to a whole new level, and with Geoffrey Rush, he's been getting alot of praise too and he's been nominated already for a coupl of awards. Jeremy Renner may also stand a chance, but I think the competition will be between the said two.
Best Supporting Actress:
Olivia Williams - The Ghost Writer
Marion Cotillar - Inception
Helena Boham Carter - The King's Speech
Violante Placido - The American
Cecil DeFrance - Hereafter
And while in the other categories the race seems to be a very hard one, in here it isn't really that tough. While a couple of possible conteneders may still get left out, I don't think there will be alot of competition coming from here. I think the award will go to Helena Boham Carter from The King's Speech, who has also been receiving praise and nominations like her co-stars, but I would like to see Marion Cotillard stand in that stage once again winning in this category, but I don't think it will happen.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Social Network (Written by Aaron Sorkin, based on the book The Accidental Millionaires by Ben Mezrich)
Winter's Bone (Written by Debra Garnik and Anne Rosellini, based on the novel Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell)
The Ghost Writer (Written by Roman Polanski and Robert Harris, based on the novel The Ghost by Robert Harris)
Shutter Island (Written by Laetta Kalogridis, based on the novel Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane)
The Town (Written by Ben Affleck, based on the novel The Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan)
This year there are many possibilities to end up in this list, but I think this are the ones who will get in. The award this year is most likely to go to Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network, but the rest of the nominees may also present a hard battle against it.
Best Original Screenplay:
Inception (Written by Christopher Nolan)
Toy Story 3 (Written by Michael Arndt)
The King's Speech (Written by David Seidler)
Black Swan (Written by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and Jon McLaughlin)
The Kids are All Right (Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg)
Unlike its adapted counterpart, the Original Screenplay race looks seems to be a harder one. With nominees such as the ones above, the competitions looks to be very interesting, not to metion that there may be a list of others that may not make the list. From here, I think the Award may go to The Kids are All Right, but it is a very hard choice, as the other four potential nominees are great also and are likely to be favored by the Academy.
Best Animated Feature:
Toy Story 3
How to Train Your Dragon
The battle here is likely to be between Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon, but it is not hard to try to guess who will win. Toy Story 3, coming from the undefeatable Pixar, will be the one chosen, not to mention that it may also be nominated for Best Picture.
Best Visual Effects:
Iron Man 2
Hard once again, but I would place my bet on Tron Legay.
Best Film Editing:
The Ghost Writer
The Social Network
The award is between Inception and The Social Network, and it is very hard to try to guess right now but The Social Network may be the one to take it (just think about the Winklevoss Twins).
Best Sound Editing:
Iron Man 2
I think the winner will be Inception but Tron Legacy may win also. I would bet for Inception, but we still have to see Tron.
Best Sound Mixing:
Toy Story 3
Iron Man 2
Here's the same case as in the Sound Editing category.
The Social Network
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Many films have had excellent camera work this year, with the ones above been the films that I think most deserve to get nominated, but there are also a couple of others that deserve it too. The award may go The American, which is full of excellent shots and camera work, but Inception also had great cinematography, so maybe that is my second choice.
Best Art Direction:
Alice in Wonderland
The King's Speech
Never Let Me Go
I would say the winner is between Alice in Wonderland and The King's Speech.
Best Costume Design:
The King's Speech
Never Let Me Go
Robin Hood's costumes were very good, Shutter Island's also, and Never Let Me Go received good praise for its costume design among other things. But Black Swan is likely to be ignored, leading me to who I think will win: The King's Speech. You can see with clips, pictures and trailers that its production is wonderful, and many are praising it for its realism. So The King's Speech really stands a chance to win this award.
Best Make Up:
Alice in Wonderland
The King's Speech
Never Let Me Go
Alice in Wonderland and Black Swan are most likely to be the two front runners here, but The King's Speech, The American and Never Let Me Go also stand a chance.
Best Original Score:
Never Let Me Go
The King's Speech
Beautiful music in Never Let Me Go and The American, haunting score in Shutter Island and Inception, with an excellent soundtrack for The King's Speech. To tell the truth, I don't know who will win here, but I am leaning towards Never Let Me Go.
Best Foreign Language Film:
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand)
Of Gods and Men (France)
The First Beautiful Thing (Italy)
Dogtooth received great praise in its country, Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives won Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Biutiful is being called Gonzales Inarritu's best feauture yet and has been excellently received at Mexico and at Cannes too, the same thing for Of Gods and Men, and The First Beautiful Thing received praise at the European Film Awards. Sadly, films like The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo isn't possible to be elected as Sweden didn't submit it as its official submission for this award. But the films that may get nominated, I think the award is between Biutiful and Of Gods and Men.
Best Documentary Feature:
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
If it was my choice I would choose Exit Through the Gift Shop, an excellent look at the underground art of graffiti or street art, as the winner but I think the award will go to Restrepo, which I still have to see.
These are my predictions as of now. This is most likely to change when the year ends, but so far I feel good with them. It is very likely that I am wrong with most of the ones I think will win, and maybe also with the nominations. We'll have to wait to February 27 2011 to see. See you again at the beginning of January with a new list of predictions.
Friday, December 3, 2010
2010 is almost done, almost over. As we wait for another Christmas to arrive and take away the year I look back and see how significant this year was to me, but that's a subject for another day. I wanted to inform you, anyone who bothers to read my humble blog, and what you will be getting in the next couple of weeks. You have to remember that I am just a teenage student that goes to school and is about to start examinations, so I may not have enough time to go through all of your reviews or even post everything that I have planned from now on. But without any more blah blah blah here's what you can expect from CACB:
-Three or four more "2010 Academy Awards Predictions" until the nominations are announced, and then a blog about said nominations (what I think about them and what I expect from them), including a pre and post Oscar night blog (I know, I can be too intense with this subject). My next one will be ready overthe weekend.
-A blog about how special and significant this year was for me, movie-wise.
-An end of the year list about the best, worst, most underrated and overrated of 2010 in film, and possibly on TV too.
-Possibly a review on the last episode of the season of The Walking Dead, which will air this weekend.
-Reviews of "The King's Speech" (if it plays in a theater near me), "The White Ribbon", "Airplane", and "True Grit". (Remember, there's a chance that I don't get to any of these -.-)
So far, this is what I'm planning to do for the end of the year on this blog. Also I may send a Merry Christmas blog around. Just be prepared :)
If you like The CACB Blog and you're expecting any of this, look out for these, I'll try to make them as interesting as possible...
Friday, November 26, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The films are quite faithful to the books, especially the first two. They practically follow the storyline to the dot, but of course the whole book isn't in the movie, but it only leaves out a very few insignificant details that probably nobody really missed. But then Alfonso Cuaron came, and brought a whole new level to the Harry Potter world. While Chris Columbus was faithful to the source material, trying his best to bring this wonderful world to the screen, Cuaron practically rewrote the story to make it his. And while there were a few plot details that would have been nice to see on screen, the film was wonderful, and is probably the best of all the series. Then, Mike Newell sat in the director's chair to bring his own vision of the series. The film became much darker, and it has a "thriller" feel, and he effectively brought th Dark Lord to our minds to hunt us in our nightmares. After Mike Newell didn't sign to direct the next one, David Yates came along and once again we got a very different and much darker version than the last one. In this film, Yates made the film the darkest in the series, leaving out many details of the book. And it is probably one of the weaker entries, but it is still a fun ride, and its dark tone was very amusing for me. The sixth film, also directed by David Yates, feels like the previous one does, though much less darker and more humurous. It was a step up from the last, and was a very good entry to the series. But then again, it left out a few interesting stuff from the books (like some of the flashbacks), though probably it works well this way. And tomorrow we'll know how the seventh film ends up like. I think that was my favorite book, and if everything goes right it may become my favorite movie. Even J.K Rowling, author of the books, said the seventh was her favorite.
Here is my order of favorites, from least favorite to most favorite:
6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
It was the first one, they were probably only learning, exploring new territory, but it was the worst (from my POV) of the series. That doesn't mean it was bad, on the contrary, it was the one that started my love for the series, but it is still the least good one. The film feels a lot like a kids or family fairy tale, and also feels like a kids movie, unlike the rest of the series. Also, the characters are underdeveloped, with the high majority being 2D, and it didn't have the dark tone of the next ones had. Nevertheless, the film is highly entertaining, with magical adventure and great sense of friendship.
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Fancy, 5 on number 5? Haha, okay. So this film is not like the preceeding three and subsequent one, but it was still a good one. The film is probably the darkest in the series, dealing with the aftermath of Harry's battle with Voldemort and Cedric's death, displaying a Harry full of anger and desires of revenge, a one who even questions himself of his heart nature. But, while these subjects may be interesting, I feel that David Yates failed to execute them in a fashion that all the family would like. This was a more mature film than all the previous and subsequent ones, and it was a movie more directed towards teens rather than to the whole family. And while the previous film I've mentioned felt like a fairy tale/adventure film, this felt rather like a psychological thriller or even horror film, without the scares. So probably, that's the reason of why so many disliked it. Plus, it is the movie that follows more loosly the book, though the studio made the filmmakers cut about 45 minutes of the film, making it the shortest in the series, from the longest book. I think that probably if those 45 minutes had been left, or at least 20 of them, the film would have been better.
4. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The second film in the series to be directed by David Yates, the Half Blood Prince was a step up from the last one, but still it wasn't the best of the series. David Yates film is still pretty dark, but much lesser than the previous one, which I didn't really mind considering that the fifth book was darker than the sixth. What I really didn't like was that it had more humor than it should. I'm not asking for a stiff, melodramatic film, but one that takes itself more serious. It can have a couple ofjokes, like all of the others had, but not as much as it does. Anyway, I felt that the performances here from its three leads have improved, and also the rest of the under 18 cast did too, like Ginny or Draco Malfoy. I think also that Michael Gambon, who plays Dumbledore, gives what could be his strongest performance in the series, and considering that this is the installment that has him more involved, it is adequate. I also especially liked Helena Bohan Carter as the demented Bellatrix Lestrange. The writing improved from the last one, as it returned to the original screenwriter Steve Kloves. And in this film, the feeling of an adventure film returns.
3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Well, probably you wouldn't place it as high as this, but I am very fond of this film. This was my favorite for a long time, until in 2008 when I rewatched all of them and decided that I liked the remaining ones better, and it is still one of my favorites. The plot of the film is basically a haunted house crossed with a detective mystery, and I liked that. The basilisk is one of the most interesting creatures (along with Buckbeak and Fluffy) in the series, and the fact that we have Voldemort's past come to life is also very cool. But the film's characters are 2D once again and lacking of depth. I also didn't like that the film still feels like a family film, which has clearly evelotuionated into something different (a haunted house film crossed with detective mystery anyone?).
2. Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban
This is a common favorite, a popular opinion, that this is the best of all the series, and while I may agree, I don't think it is my favorite. Let me say, that Alfonso Cuaron is probably the best thing that ever happened to this series. His take into the films is so beautiful, so wonderfully dark and complex and so rich in surprises that this might really be the best. It features Buckbeak, the Hypogriphe, who is also one of the most interesting creatures, and the dementors are as chilling as hell. The film's increasing dark tone is what differentiates the film from its predecessors. I also felt that the performances increased here too. Gary Oldman and David Thelwis, who play Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, are wonderful in their roles, becoming each their own character, giving their depth and development. And the rest of the cast also do a great job too. Also, Cuaron's direction is top notch, with the dark tone and his view to the series being one of the great parts of the film, making the film feel like a thriller. And while this might be probably the best of the series, my favorite of course is...
1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Precisely. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is probably the most entertaining of the series for me. It doesn't only feature one of the most exciting storylines in the series, the Triwizard Cup, but it also has the return of Lord Voldemort's plot arc, which takes in the whole movie secretly. Also, Alostor Moody, played magnificently by Brendan Gleeson, was introduced in the film, and his probably one of the coolest and oddest characters of the series. Other actors that were excellent in their roles were Ralph Fiennes as he-who-must-not-be-named, Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonnagal, Alan Rickman as the cold Severus Snape, Predrag Bjelac as Igor Karkaroff, among others. Also, Mike Newell's direction is great too. He makes the film what it is, giving it its dark tone and its thriller or action feel. So this is the most entertaining film in the series for me, for the Triwizard Tournament and the Lord Voldemort story arcs. It is my favorite of the series, and I'm gonna stick to it unless tomorrow we get something that tops this.
So I think a resume of this films and my like of them is like this: 5 and 6 lack the emotion of the first four films, but 1 and 2 lack the maturity and darkness of the next four, making 3 and 4 the perfect films of the series! Hahaha, but yeah, that is really what I think about them.
*And, if you were wondering what are the "feels" of each of the films I said here's a recap: Sorcerer's Stone a child fairy tale/adventure film, Chamber of Secrets a haunted house flick mixed with a detective mystery, Prisoner of Azkaban a dark thriller, Goblet of Fire a dark thriller too or an action film as well, Order of the Phoenix a psychological thriller or horror movie, and Half Blood Prince an adventure film. :)
So the Harry Potter series has a special place in my heart. And while I may have grown up now and I like other mature stuff, this will always be the movie of my childhood. I write with a tear in my heart of nostalgia, as the ending of this series probably means the end of my childhood, but also there is joy and emotion to see the final conclusion and climax. But then again, there is Part II in July 2011. We'll see how my view of the series changes after tomorrow when I see the seventh film. Who knows, there might be a new number 1 in my list. Expect to hear from me tomorrow for my review of the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, seventh film and first part of the finale of this epic series.