Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bridge to Terabithia Review

Some of the best kids films are not for kids at all. Look at Toy Story. Adults enjoy that more than the children do and Bridge to Terabithia is no different. 

Instead of the brash and rude approach to filming movies, that seems to be the standard today with effects driven movies, Terabithia focuses on the characters, the story, and the heart when telling this beautiful tale. Which, is part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much. Too often nowadays the story is built around the effects, not around the characters. A rather cumbersome and annoying way to tell a story, or be told a story, if you ask me. Instead, Terabithia uses the talents of both the amazing young actors, and its adult cast to enthrall and absorb the viewer in the magic of imagination and the reality of every-day life.

Now it's hard to review this movie without giving anything away, because if I did, the film would be totally ruined. More so than any other film because the surprise in this film is the best thing about it. 

What really struck me as brilliant was the limited, yet still perfect number of glimpses into the children's' imaginations. We don't see a lot of Terabithia, which is good, because it is more about the journey of the characters, than the land of Terabithia. That said, it still has quite a few more scenes of adventure than the book by Katherine Patterson, all of which add to, not take away from the story.

The movie touched on my every emotion, bringing me to tall peaks of happiness and leaving me teary-eyed and disconsolate, but still had a perfect and satisfying ending. I also, personally thought, the scenes and situations were more powerful, poignant, and realistic, than the book, which surprises me. Usually, the movie can't live up to the book. In this case, the phrase seemed switched around. The book didn't live up to the movie. As weird as it is for me to say this about a movie, Terabithia touched my heart like no film has ever before. And I doubt any film will give me quite the same feeling, ever again. 

And once again, I urge you to watch this film without any research into it. Just go into it blind and you will love it that much more. 


Snatch Review

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was a fantastic film which was made even better by the back story behind it all. Guy Ritchie put his all into that film - literally - and fortunately, it all went swimmingly. Enter Snatch. Now if any of you people out there loved Lock Stock as much as I did, do yourself a favour and see this movie as fast as you can. 

Much like with Tarantino and Pulp Fiction there was a lot of pressure on Ritchie to 'bring home the bacon' (as he would probably say) with Snatch. Thankfully, he did it. Snatch keeps the same style as Lock, Stock. It has that terrific dark humour, simple, yet effective story and great acting but it ups the ante (and the budget). 

The story is filled with unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers who all fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond. Pretty simple, but terribly, terribly funny. Snatch is a bit more serious than Lock Stock, but when it's funny, you'll laugh till your lungs burst.

The acting is amazing. All of the actors really nail playing this stupid, over the top characters so seriously. It was nice to see Vinnie Jones, who was Big Chris in the last movie, return as the same basic character (only now named Bullet Tooth Tony) and doing the same "slamming victim's head in a car door" act again. It's also a breath of fresh air to see a big star like Brad Pitt recognize what a talent Ritchie is an actually offer to be in this film. 

Guy Richie has a very music-video style as far as the camera angles, movements, and cinematography goes. The strange camera techniques get so mad with lunacy which is absolutely perfect for the pace and the tone of his movies.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this film. Well done to Guy Ritchie, England's Tarantino.