Moonrise Kingdom Review

By Adrian Nathaniel Groves – July 4 2012

Sam – Jared Gilman
Suzy – Kara Hayward
Capt. Sharp – Bruce Willis
Ward – Edward Norton
Mr. Bishop – Bill Murray
Mrs. Bishop – Frances McDormand
Social Services – Tilda Swinton
Cousin Ben – Jason Schwartzman
The Narrator – Bob Balaban
Pierce – Harvey Keitel

 

Focus Features presents a film directed by Wes Anderson. Written by Roman Coppola and Anderson.

There’s a storm coming in Wes Anderson’s latest where a preteen couple try to escape from their miserable lives of adolescent restriction in a beautiful story of young love and the incoming hurricane they call adulthood. Sam and Suzie are pen pals meeting the previous summer and devising a plan to run away for a week. They are sought after by Sam’s fellow scouts led by Edward Norton as the scout captain as well as Suzie’s parents, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand respectively. Their adventure is, as they seem to realize, the final defiant act of their childhood. Looking back I’ve realized the films greatest strength is in making the audience remember our own youth. A lovingly detailed look at the world through the eyes of two twelve year olds who have discovered what they believe to be true love, while probably more akin to real friendship.

The perfs from the two unknown leads are the rock, they become their characters and the palpable chemistry anchors the film. The other star studded half of the cast come across as typical cynical Wes Anderson characters, oftentimes acting childish. Anderson’s contribution to the success of the film is in toning down some of his usual eccentricities, creating a vastly more accessible film with characters we find easier to identify. His penchant for being “too clever” toned down helped to create a genuine love for our protagonists, a quality I found missing in his previous efforts. What Anderson does that always works is he always plays it straight not for laughs. There are laughs to be had, several understated, quiet details that went over big with the audience.

 

 

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Prometheus Review

By Adrian Nathaniel Groves – July 2 2012

Elizabeth – Noomi Rapace
David – Michael Fassbender
Charlie – Logan Marshall-Green
Meredith –  Charlize Theron
Janek – Idris Elba

20th Century-Fox presents a film directed by Ridley Scott.Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof.

Questions of creation are at the centre of Ridley Scotts return to science fiction. His latest epic, Prometheus tells the old chestnut of a crack team of scientists aboard a vessel headed toward uncharted waters. Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green play a pair of scientists who discover an intricate pattern in various cave paintings spanning the globe, believe the paintings are an invitation by a yet unknown form of life across the universe. This sets the crew of the Prometheus on a mysterious mission to a dark moon with an unbreathable atmosphere. Needless to say the journey onto the moon and beyond raise more questions than they answer but such is the task of good science fiction.

The comparisons to the bloated “Alien” saga should be checked at the door. Prometheus is a completely different animal. Containing beautiful sequences including a sort of sand storm and the spelunking of an ancient dome untouched for God knows how long, I was rapt with anticipation from scene to scene. For me particularly the performance of Michael Fassbender made the movie. His incredibly believable performance as an elegant android with a fascination with “Lawrence of Arabia”  and a mysterious motive had me glued to the screen. Providing some of the more sinister moments as well as some of its funniest, he ironically becomes the most layered and provocative character in the film. Charlize Theron as the icy woman in charge and Noomi Rapace as the scientist searching for her creator aren’t given the time to really establish themselves, though Rapace does an admirable job as the Ripley surrogate. The rest of the crew are the usual rag tag group of wise crackers without much to offer, save for Idris Elba who makes the most of his few spotlights.

The second half goes into over drive throwing the explorers into a horrific chain of events including the worst example of “do-it-yourself” ever caught on tape. Broad in its appeal as a summer blockbuster there’s an inquiry at the centre of this opus, though not exactly Kubrickian with its use of shock and awe. I went in with high expectations and walked out surprisingly satisfied. Ridley Scott’s return to his science fiction roots delivers the epic action adventure romp I was hoping for.