cinegab

Cinegab is a blog site devoted to movies or the entertainment industry directly or indirectly. A place where fans of movies and film can discuss the ins and outs of the art form.

08 October 2005

Review: Flight Plan

Flight Plan was directed by Robert Schwentke and stars both Jodie Foster and Peter Sarsgaard. To me the trailers made this movie look like Panic Room 2 in an airplane or The Forgotten 2 in an airplane, so usually such a silly premise would turn me away entirely. Still, I had slight interest if only because I really like Peter Sarsgaard and Jodie Foster is good at pulling off suspense movies.

This film is about a woman (Foster) who loses her daughter while on a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean. As she frantically tries to find her daughter she is confronted by one of the flight attendants that the plane doesn't have record of her daughter ever being on the flight. As I stated above this premise isn't anything new and it is eerily similar to the premise that the film The Forgotten sets up. Fortunately Flight Plan is much better than The Forgotten.

As I watched the first half of the movie I was more than pleasantly surprised. The movie did keep me in suspense by keeping me guessing what the twist would be or if there would be a twist at all and who the real antagonist was. Was the antagonist Jodie Foster herself? Did she really have a daughter? Why was her Daughter missing? It was questions like these that kept the suspense at a high level for me and in turn kept the movie very enjoyable. Sadly, the suspense all left a little more than halfway through the movie when all the mysteries causing the suspense were answered. Although the movie was still quite enjoyable, it could have been much better if they didn't release the mysteries of movie until the resolution. The second half of the movie was just a little better than plain boring.

Jodie Foster's filmography can be found here.

Peter Sarsgaard's filmography can be found here.

2 and a half stars

07 October 2005

Review: Batman Begins

This was the second time I had seen this movie and I liked it just as much the second time as I did the first time, which was quite a bit. As I have stated previously, I am a comic book fan and therefore am inherently a comic book movie fan. I think that Batman Begins is one of the top three or four comic book movies to come out as of yet. Barring my love for the comic book movie Sin City, I can't decide weather I like Spiderman, Spiderman 2 or Batman Begins best. Making a comparison between Spiderman and Batman is also really unfair. Yes, they are both movies based on famous comic books, but the tone to both of the comic books is very different. The Batman storyline is dark and mysterious while the Spiderman storyline is upbeat and playful. They are both spectacular comic-to-movie films in their own exciting way.

Batman Begins stars Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, and Katie Holmes. Both Bale and Neeson brought a lot to the film as they do with most projects they work on. Bale is easily the best Batman to date and Batman Begins is by far the best from the Batman franchise. Neeson shows again that not only can he carry a movie by himself but he can play great supporting characters as well. Christopher Nolan, the director of Batman Begins, is fast becoming one of the more intriguing director talents out there. I loved his first of his well known projects- Memento, but his follow-up effort in the movie Insomnia was largely a disappointment. Batman Begins is great and he brought to the Batman franchise exactly what was needed, but it pales in comparison to the masterpiece that was Memento. I will definitely have my eye on future Nolan projects.

Anyone who enjoys action packed movies, comic book movies, or even coming of age movies should enjoy Batman Begins.

Christian Bale's filmography can be found here.

Liam Neeson's filmography can be found here.

Christopher Nolan's filmography can be found here.

3 and a half stars

04 October 2005

Review: 13 Going On 30

When I first saw the trailer for this movie a few years ago I immediately thought that this movie is "Big" with a girl rather than a boy. I was amused by a few of the punch lines in the trailer, but overall I couldn't imagine enjoying or even wanting to watch a knockoff of one of the better Tom Hanks movies (Big) out there. I finally decided to watch this movie the other night because I was bored and had nothing to do and my sister owned a copy.

The movie has nothing original to tell nor does it have a new refreshing way of telling a story. It does have, however, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo as its main characters. Garner and Ruffalo are a treat to watch together on screen. They have a great deal of onscreen chemistry, and they both possess the quality in actors that make us want to watch them more. This is the main reason why this movie works. While the story has already been done and been done much better, it is obviously a story that the general public enjoys. Combine this with the wonderful Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo and all the sudden the movie is fun to watch. That's basically what this movie was for me "fun to watch."

For pure entertainment purposes this movie is a winner. It's not the best or worst movie of its kind but it has a way of making you care about the characters and what happens to them. It is an above average entertaining movie. Jennifer Garner's filmography is here. Mark Ruffalo's filmography is here.

2 and a half stars

03 October 2005

Review: Prozac Nation

This movie is based on a book written by Elizabeth Wurtzel. I had known about this movie for a few years now and was waiting for its release so that I could watch it. Unfortunately it was never released in theaters and was only released in DVD format within the last few months. I guess the studio thought that it wouldn't make as much money in theaters as it would by releasing it straight to DVD.

The premise of the movie was very intriguing to me. I enjoy coming of age movies and that is exactly what this movie is. This movie is about a girl, played by Christina Ricci, who suffers from serious depression. I was also very interested in the premise since I have suffered from some of the same ailments and witnessed similar type sufferings to several people close to me in my life.

The movie started out very slow without much to keep me excited and I actually considered turning the movie off about twenty minutes in, but close to halfway through the story picked up a lot. Most of the first part of the movie was about Ricci's character going to college for the first time and experiencing several firsts while there. She began to abuse drugs and alcohol which sent her reeling into a life of depression. All of this was the boring part. Once the story started to focus on how one that is depressed acts and treats others was when the story became much more interesting. I think that overall the movie portrayed depression quite well, although depression affects everybody in a different way.

I was mostly impressed with Ricci's acting in this movie. She has been around for years and since she was a child, but more and more I am gaining respect for Ricci's acting ability. I have seen three or four movies with her in it now that I have really enjoyed her portrayal of the character. Her filmography can be found here.

This movie will be enjoyable to those that enjoy the style of most independent movies. If you like big budget movies only, you will likely dislike this movie.

2 and a half stars

02 October 2005

Review: Visions of Light

Visions of Light is a documentary made in 1992 about the art of cinematography. The documentary starts at the beginning of the history of film and explains the ever evolving art of cinematography. Throughout the movie several directors of photography (also known as cinematographers) are interviewed and asked questions that pertain directly to what exactly cinematography is and how it has become what it is today.

The first segment of the documentary focused on the era of silent films. Many of the cinematographers expressed that this era was excellent for cinematography because they were forced to tell a story visually and without dialogue. It was noted that once movies with sound came in that there was a drop-off of quality in a lot of the movies. As the industry evolved from black and white to color the cinematographers explained various techniques of lighting and camera angles to tell a story.

After viewing this documentary it has become obvious to me that the cinematographer’s duties are as important as anything when it comes to making a good overall movie. Although I do believe that a great movie needs to have good artistic expression in all ways, cinematography is likely the most important part of how the viewers understand what happens in a movie visually.

This film is great for anyone who loves movies and likes to learn about how movies are made or enjoys learning about the history of film.

For more information of Visions of Light go here.

3 and a half stars