Monday, October 27, 2008

Hearts In Atlantis

At the beginning, we see Bobby Garfield receiving an old baseball glove in the post and later attends a funeral. He also finds out that Carol is already dead and seems really upset to hear about it. After that, we see a flashback of Bobby’s life when he was 11 years old.

Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his two best friends, Carol and Sully enjoy having adventures and going to the fair together. Bobby’s life also changes when they have a new boarder to live in his house. An old man with paper bags to put his stuff in. This makes Bobby’s mom (Hope Davis) suspicious of Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) but Bobby is friendly with him and even earns a dollar a week just by reading newspapers and looking out for the bogeyman.

Bobby’s mom keeps telling him that his father was useless and only left them a lot of unsettled debts. But was Bobby’s dad as bad as that or was he something else?

This movie was based on Stephen King’s book. So you can expect something extraordinary especially with Ted and also Bobby! Anthony Hopkins was brilliant as usual playing the character of an unusual man.

I’ll also look out for the book.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Movie Review: August Rush

All right, where do I start with this movie? I thought that most of it didn’t make any sense at all!

Evan Taylor (Freddie Highmore) lives in an orphanage and he claims that he can hear the music in almost everything. He also believes that he will find his parents again. If they don’t find him, he’ll set out to find them himself. The other boys in the orphanage are aghast with his peculiarity but he remains firm with what he believed in.

Then, we will watch a flashback of what happened 11 years ago. Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) is a gifted cellist while Louis (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a singer in a band. They happened to meet at a party on a rooftop and slept with each other. After that, due to unforeseen circumstances, they never see each other again. Lyla becomes pregnant and is constantly being pressured by her strict father to give up the baby. Later when the baby was born, Lyla’s father gave the baby up for adoption without her knowing. Instead, he told her that the baby did not survive.

Louis, on the other hand, has no clue of all the drama in Lyla’s life. He is miserable in his own life too, being unhappy that he couldn’t meet Lyla again. After that, he stopped singing and took up another job where he got to wear expensive suits and ride in expensive cars. He found a new girlfriend too, Jen (Becki Newton) but apparently doesn’t tell her much about himself.

And then back to the present. Evan finally decides to run away from the orphanage in search for his parents. He then meets Arthur who was singing on the streets and tells Arthur that he has no place to stay. Arthur brings Evan back to Wizard (Robin Williams), an eccentric man who loves music too. Wizard then makes Evan change his name to August Rush because it sounds better than plain Evan Taylor. He was probably afraid that somebody might find Evan and bring him back to the orphanage.

Now this kinds of reminds me of Oliver Twist! Instead of picking pockets and bringing the money back to Fagin, the kids in Wizard’s clan perform in the streets and bring back their earnings to him.

Now why did I say that this movie doesn’t make sense? First, Lyla and Louis barely knew each other. They were already sucking face after less than ten minutes of knowing each other. After their one night stand, they still can’t forget each other and you can see that they haven’t really moved on in their lives. They were still pining for each other.

Secondly, wow, is Evan really that talented? He has possibly never seen any music notes in his life but after a brief music lesson, he managed to compose something magnificent. Okay, so he’s a child prodigy but that was quite hard to believe. Anyway, that scene was interesting, where he was writing out music notes as if that’s what he did every day when it was actually his first time.

I still enjoyed this film despite its ridiculous storyline. Rhys Meyers is gorgeous. Girls will enjoy looking at him. He also sings in the movie! Yeah, a chance for you to drool over him. Freddie Highmore was quite okay as young Evan Taylor and as a weirdo who loses himself in the music he hears most of the time.

But I was disappointed that they didn’t show what happened to Arthur and Wizard in the end. The movie ended way too soon. They should at least have told us what Arthur and Wizard have become.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

So, this is one of the few movies where Johnny Depp acts as a normal guy. You can see how good-looking he is in this movie! He acted in this film when he was younger. So far, the Johnny Depp movies that I’ve watched were Edward Scissorhands, Secret Window, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sleepy Hollow, Chocolat, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Almost in all those movies, his characters were odd and unusual.

So, Depp is Gilbert Grape in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”. What’s eating the guy, huh? He thinks his life is a complete misery. He has 3 other siblings. The youngest brother (Leonardo DiCaprio), Arnie, is a bit mentally-challenged and needs to be watched most of the time. If not, he’ll always be up to no good and get into trouble. For example, he loves to climb a water tower somewhere in their neighbourhood and the police will come to persuade him to come back down. DiCaprio played the Arnie character really well! That was when he was much younger too.

Gilbert’s mother is also obese and eats a lot. She never leaves the house anymore and is literally stuck to the couch in front of the television. Gilbert said that she used to be pretty in her younger days but since their father committed suicide years ago, she started to eat her feelings. When she finally stepped out of her house just once, the people in town stared at her like they have never seen her before. Well, they don’t see her much anyway. But it was very rude of them to stare!

Besides that, Gilbert is also having an affair with a married woman, Betty! She has two sons and quite a nice husband but maybe she’s not so happy with him and finds it more exciting to be with Gilbert. Their relationship deteriorated when a new girl, Becky (Juliette Lewis), appeared in town.

Gilbert is seen as being a selfish son who’s ashamed of his mother and allows other people to make fun of her. His life is kind of complicated and he’s already making it worse, that is by getting involved with a married woman. But when Becky came into the picture, he confides in her and she helps him understand himself and his family better.

It’s a nice movie, a great one for the whole family to watch together. Arnie’s escapades are quite funny. I enjoyed watching DiCaprio act as Arnie. That one was really fascinating.