Jessica Chastain

Frozen: The Dark World

Let me start by saying I really hated Snow White and The Huntsman. It was a boring mess of a film. If you can even call it a film. It was more of a series of images pasted together without a legit story or even a real reason to propel you toward the next image. That said I went to The Huntsman: Winter’s War with a bit of low expectations. Figured what the hey, let’s go check out three insanely hot girls, and Thor in the live version of Frozen Meets The Dark World. However, not only did I find myself laughing at the one liners, and smiling throughout the film, I found myself invested in the characters! Could it be? Was this actually a good movie?

Actually, no, it is not a good movie, but it is not bad. It can be entertaining, and dare I say, worth the money. I had fun in it. The story is not complex or deep by any means, and there are enormous plot holes, but it did what a film should do, and that is being entertaining.  I never found myself bored, or wanting to check my watch. While it is not something I feel I need to own or see again, it was definitely a good time at the theater.

The number one thing about this The Huntsman is obviously the cast. It stars Emily Blunt, Thor, Charlize Theron, and Jessica Chastain. While Blunt is mailing in her performance a little bit, even when she does that she is incredible. Years ago when I first started my movie awards blog, I created an award for Charlize Theron called “Crazy Chick of the Year” and I gave it to her for Snow White and The Huntsman. And I’m not going to lie; I think she deserves it again. She gives this witch such a complete edge of crazy is awesomely fun to watch. Other stars include Nick Frost reprising his role as one of the seven dwarfs. He and his brother, played by Rob Brydon, are responsible for the most of the laughs with their quick witted one liners

The other major positive is the great chemistry between Thor and Jessica Chastain. These two are great together. While Thor is a compelling ad fun actor, his near trademarked smirk helps drive the belief in these two. I would really like to see these two in another project together. Light Bulb! Chastain needs to join the Marvel Universe. As an Asgardian of some sorts. Either way, they need to be put in another project together, one where they can really shine. Another positive is an uncredited role of narration done by Liam Neeson. Don’t let it bug you as it did me, it is Liam Neeson!

Now it is not all good. There are major story holes. And if you have seen too many of the trailers, the writers, and probably director, made a few mistakes. While the trailers gave away many of the plot points, they continue to try and hide these storylines as the film goes on. Like we were not going to notice. As well the reveal for the return of the Theron’s dead character is a pretty weak plot device. As if they couldn’t come up with a reason to bring her back, but had to have her back because they had her under contract. And if you have Charlize Theron, you find a way! Even if it is as bad as this.

The cinematography and CGI were pretty lackluster too. CGI especially. While the ice scenes are pretty cool, there is a scene in the middle of the film, that didn’t need to be there, but involves Goblins. These Goblins have terrible CGI and are completely too cartoony. The action scenes shift back and forth from being shot acceptable, to being done with extreme close-ups that make them hard to understand who is fighting who.

Most of these issues I feel steam from new comer in the director’s chair, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. His storytelling is all over the place, and his action sequences are weak. Not to mention the fact that he has Emily Blunt who is noticeably mailing it in. Hopefully this guy will take a step back and work with a few smaller films before trying to tackle another big budget film.

This will feel weird to say, but the film also missed Kristin Stewart’s Snow White. Mainly because there is a body double for one seen, that was obviously not her, and the many mentions of her character, without actually having her there hindered the film more then helped it.

All in all I actually enjoyed watching this film, despite its many flaws. It has made me really want another film or project involving the Mighty Thor and Jessica Chastain. As well it was fun to see Charlize Theron step back into this crazy witch of a role. And Even if Emily Blunt is sleeping walking through it, her sleep walking is better than most when they are fully awake.  Maybe it was my low expectations, maybe it was the company I was with, but I had a good time. Maybe not good enough to give it a great score though. I am scoring Huntsman: Winter’s War and 1.8, with a Jeebus bonus of .3 for the chemistry between Thor and Chastain. That gives us a Jeebus Score of 2.1

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

 

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The Event known as INTERSTELLAR

Nolanites rejoice. The time is upon us. The highly, HIGHLY anticipated Christopher Nolan film Interstellar. I was privileged enough to catch an early showing of the film, in 35 MM FILM. They way Nolan has intended it to be shown. Now this is going to be a very difficult film to review. The beauty of the film is that going into it, you know very little. You have a basic understanding of the plot, and we know the top billed stars. Other than that the film was shrouded in mystery. Now please excuse me while I rant a little, but, in my youth, that’s how film was. We didn’t have scoops, or set photos, or plot details. One night you’d be at the theater, and you’d see a trailer, and that is what you had to go on. Today there is all sorts of scoops and stories, and while it’s fun, and entertaining, it takes away some mystery. Some mystery that Nolan has brought back to us. The best thing about Nolan’s Interstellar is exactly what most of its cast has told us. It’s not a film, it is an event.

Now let’s look at the surface of the Interstellar. Written, directed, and produced by Nolan, it stars the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, and mystery actor. The story falls in a world where we have lost everything. Our food source is withering away, and we live in a practical dustbowl. When circumstances lead Cooper (McConaughey) to a voyage to save our dying race, he must race against time, space, and ethics to save us, or find his way back home.

Sound generic? It is not I assure you. Interstellar is riddled with theories and stories. It nearly plays out as three separate films. Act I II and III could all pan out to play as their own movies. The acting is spot on. McConaughey is on his way to another nomination, and perhaps trophy. Chastain is on her game, as is Caine. The breakout performance is done by McConaughey’s onscreen daughter, Mackenzie Foy. She is incredible! There is a surprise cameo role that I knew nothing about. I’m not going to blow it, and if you read the cast list you might find it. The cameo role got me so good, I gave Interstellar a .3 bonus.

Interstellar is very thought provoking. About what is out there, are we meant to go on? It never tries to be a message for you that this is fact, just a vision of an opinion. Nolan does a great job telling the story and leaves you thinking. You will walk out of this one with a lot to talk about. I know my brother and I stood in the parking lot for a good 20 minutes discussing the film. And we could have gone on for hours.

No film is perfect, they have their flaws and this one does too. The pacing can be off at times. Not to the point that the film drags, while you feel every minute of its 2 hour and 45 minute run time, it is not slow. It just seems to jump around a lot. From intense, to long winded exposition. And the exposition can get very confusing. I’m not one for quantum physics and space odyssey theories. While the script took nearly a decade working its facts, and scientific authenticity, to the layman it can be very confusing. Luckily I had my brother with me who is very into the worm hole and black hole theories, so after the film could fill me in some. But be prepared, where as in Nolan’s Inception if you pay close enough attention you can follow it, this one can get a little tricky.

So that’s it, without any spoilers, the best I can give you. Because this is a film you need to go into blind. Not knowing the story that lies ahead or what is in your future during those 2 hour and 45 minutes. I scored Interstellar 5.9 with a .3 bonus for its surprise casting, giving it a 6.2, JEEBUS-TACULAR. So go blindly into the film, if you are looking for something like the old days of my youth, grab your best gal and head to the cinema this Friday night. Don’t go for drinks or dinner before, save that for after. Because you are going to have a lot to talk about after this one.

New Interstellar Trailer is here!

The genius between The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Prestige, Momento, and Inception, Christopher Nolan, brings us his next big project, Interstellar. Not much is known about the film before the trailer other then Christopher Nolan is directing. The plot seems to center around a group of scientist and explorers set out on a mission to explore a wormhole that is found in space. The Hollywood Reporter has said that the film will involve time travel other worldly dimension.

With the release of Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, we were given a look at the brand new trailer for Interstellar that you can watch below. The film is going to be distributed by Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures, as well as Christopher Nolan’ Syncopy. It is scheduled to be released on November 7 2014, and will star Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace John Lithgow, and Matt Damon. Christopher Nolan is not only directing the film, but will be producer, and wrote the screenplay.