So we’ve reached that time again. Below are ten movies I watched last year that I liked the least. Not all these movies are bad, but they all remain either disappointing or unremarkable. In descending order from average to awful…
Although Kristen Stewart has appeared in some big name movies, including Twilight and Snow White and the Huntsman, she’s often overshadowed by either co-stars or the movies themselves. She can be an actress that seems a bit one dimensional but regardless I’ve always felt there’s potential. This latest effort puts her front and centre so let’s hope it delivers.
This has Stewart, as part of a deep-sea mining crew that following a disaster have to journey to another facility, crossing the sea bed along the way. Only problem is there seems to be a group of deadly creatures hunting them. So a battle for survival commenced in the depths of the ocean. I got a distinct The Abyss meets Alien vibe with this and it didn’t go unnoticed that Stewart is rather Ripley-like even if she’s no Sigourney Weaver. Despite lacking the ambition of either of those titles, the movie does deliver an at times intense and claustrophobic experience that’s often quite unnerving. With a disaster right at the start it’s a movie that hits the ground running and barely let’s up ‘till the credits roll. The sea creatures are more freaky than scary and unfortunately the horror is a tad watered down (pun intended). The beginning also suggests the plot might explore the psychological effects of being so deep under the sea, but this gets abandoned almost instantly.
Stewart is decent though, proving both gutsy and vulnerable at all the right moments. Support comes from thedependable Vincent Cassell and T J Miller (who’s predictably the comic relief) and direction throughout is focused and atmospheric. This is a good looking movie with some stylish sequences but ultimately is let down by under-developed characters and an over-resemblance to better movies. Solid entertainment, but lacking its own personality.
Few can argue the versatility and sheer talent of actress Julianne Moore who I think has come on leaps and bounds over the years to become the new Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren. This award winning drama could also be the pinnacle of her career so far.
Moore plays Alice, a college professor who is diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s disease, a rare onset of the illness considering she’s only 50. With her husband and two daughters around for support we watch as the symptoms gradually get worse and worse and she struggles to cope in her life as the person she’s always been gradually slips away. It’s a hard hitting subject make no mistake, and is portrayed well if you know anything about the disease. My mother used to work with elderly patients suffering from the disease so as I watched the film with her she marvelled at how accurate it all was. Moore is simply amazing and heart-breaking, expressing every little detail of frustration and bewilderment as she starts to forget things or lose track of what she’s doing or where she is. Alec Baldwin is decent as her husband but the casting of two of the blandest actresses currently working (Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart) as Alice’s daughters let’s the side down somewhat as they struggle to convey such strong emotions on expression-free, personality-free faces. Honestly, does Stewart only have one look no matter what she is saying?
Above all else though this is Julianne Moore’s gig and she’s every bit worthy of those Oscar and Golden Globe nods. The movie portrays a very cruel disease intelligently, finding room for humour amongst the despair and I came away surprised at how much the story moved me.
I missed this during its theatrical run as there were other movies I was wanting to see. Yet I have since heard very good things about it, so was eager to discover what all the fuss was about. The casting of Kristen Stewart didn’t entirely excite me due to her involvement in the tiresome Twilight series, but with Thor’s charismatic Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman and a classic fairy tale back drop, I still had a feeling this was going to be good.
Snow White has been held in a tower for many years by evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) following the fall of her kingdom, and with the Queen beginning to run out of youthful peasants to drain the life force from, turns to Snow White who holds the key to her immortality. Yet Snow White manages to escape, and befriends a world-weary Huntsman who has been hired to kill her.
A clever twist on a very old fairy tale, inspired by the Brothers Grimm short story and directed with no end of visual flair by relative newcomer Rupert Sanders. Sort of a cross between Lord Of The Rings and Ridley Scott classic Legend, I was swept up in the good vs evil story with some quality acting, especially from Theron in a creepy, disturbing take on a classic character, and for an attractive but usually bland actress, Stewart suited her role well, and proved a lot fiestier than I thought possible. Chris Hemsworth of course almost steals the show in a lovable rogue performance that is also different enough from Thor to make him one of the more enjoyable actors around.
As far as the formula goes, this doesn’t really do much we haven’t seen before, and the ending left me wanting – but I suppose that’s what sequels are for. However, this offers up an intelligent and slick 2hrs with thrills a plenty, gorgeous imagery and impressive effects (check out the black glass soldiers – wow) – making this very much a must-see.
I liked Twilight. It may be undeserving of the media and fan frenzy that followed in wake of the books by Stephenie Meyer, but the simple love story between a quiet girl and a cool Vampire was never going to be boring. Yet that movie lacked a bit of attitude and pace, and well, not a lot happened. Still with the sequel I went into this expecting many of the themes hinted at in the first installment to finally get some screen time and things to start happening.
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