[REC] (2007) – Review

What starts out as a lethargic, hopeless late-night television broadcast of a fire station without any hesitation is quickly swayed into a night of unsuspected terror. When the fire alarm sounds, TV personality, Angela (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman Pablo (Pablo Rosso) accompany two firefighters, Manu (Ferran Terraza) and Alex (David Vert) toward the apartment of the distress call.

Upon their arrival, they soon discover the condition of the call is perhaps more severe than what was at first believed. Immediately upon entering the four collide, in the lobby, with the already hysteric residents whom, nerved and on edge, suspect the worst of the screaming woman upstairs. Thereafter—as part of a mysterious health code safety procedure—the four, together with the rest of the building’s inhabitants, are enclosed inside the apartment, forbidden by outside authorities to exit the premises.

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Manic (2001) – Review

After an act of extreme aggression during a baseball game and a perverse, uncooperative interview with a psychiatrist (Don Cheadle), Lyle (Joseph Gorden-Levitt) find himself placed into a psychiatric ward. While in the ward, Lyle befriends Chad, an insecure rich kid, Lauren (Zooey Deschanel), a withdrawn, unsociable girl whom suffers from recurring night terrors, and Kenny, Lyle’s roommate who masks his experiences through silence and solitude.

As well as creating new friendships and influences, Lyle also has the misfortune of creating an enemy in Mike-an all affecting bully who, though pallid and gout, speaks as if he were the toughest gangbanger on the street and often finds himself in conflict with the other residents of ward as well.

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Catfish (2010) – Review

In 2007 filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost began to follow Ariel’s brother, Yaniv Schulman, and his relationship with a mysterious family over Facebook and later the telephone. Their ambitious project leads the three into unsettling months of enthrallment as the family in which Yaniv is engaging with has a secret they wish not to be discovered.

It is when the friends grow suspicious of the family’s legitimacy, that they begin an investigation in which has them traveling together so many miles across the country with but the single intention of confronting them face to face.

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127 Hours (2010) – Review

127 Hours is the true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco), a mountain climber who has the terrible misfortune of a boulder happening upon his arm in a canyon, trapping him isolated there for the slow, arduous yawn of five days. With a limited supply of food and water, Ralston’s only company is that of a single black raven that flies a solitary pass overhead each morning, fifteen minutes of sunlight he receives during each ascending sunrise, and a collection of recently recorded files on his video camera of two girls he met and waved goodbye to but only moments before.

During his desperate struggle for survival, Ralston examines his life through recollection, dream, and hallucination. As he discovers absolution he too finds what he believed once lost: hope, himself.

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Charade (1963) – Review

Told and presented in a Hitchcock-esque style, Charade tells of Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn), a woman who on the verge of divorcing her husband upon her return to Paris. When she arrives there, she is told of the unfortunate news of her husbands death and the missing lot of money he happened to leave behind.

As it so happens, there are a handful of men interested in her husband’s missing fortune. Upon the notion of her having it, the men harass and threaten Regina in the hope of her turning it over. Fearing for her life, Regina befriends the mysterious albeit charming, Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) along the way and the two develop a platonic romance and he soon becomes the only person Regina trusts even after her revealing of his secret.

Together, Peter and Regina collaborate in an attempt to uncover Regina’s deceased husband’s fortune all the while the two are believed by the murderous men to have it in their very possession. Read more of this post

Howl (2010) – Review

Due to what was believed at the time to contain extreme content and subjective use of language, Alan Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” is part of obscenity trial in which the accusers hope it banned and deemed not literary. Throughout the course of the film, Alan Ginsberg (James Franco) discusses his life and while he reads aloud the contents of “Howl”, the poem itself is brought to life and illustrated through sophisticated animation.

The film moves between both Ginsberg in his apartment—talking to an unknown interviewer—, reading aloud at poetry clubs, and the courtroom where testimonies of the poems legitimacy, merit, and contents are raised.

Ultimately, Howl is about a young artist seeking a voice and the censorship of his work in a time period when the public expression of oneself had an invisible line drawn before it.

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Black Swan (2010) – Review

Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a ballet dancer, is the lead in “Swan Lake” who though is perfect as the delicate White Swan is unable to connect inwardly to a darker part of herself. If she is unable to do so, perfection will not be met and the possibility of being replaced by the younger, Lily (Mila Kunis), appears quite likely.

It is such, then, that she carries herself down, headlong, the path of darkness in an attempt to capture of the essence the Black Swan and become the perfect Swan Queen.

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The King’s Speech (2010) – Review

Upon the arrangement of Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), The King’s Speech center’s around Bertie (Colin Firth) and the unlikely friendship he forms with his speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) as together the two mechanically try to rid—through an unorthodox course of treatment and various exercises—Bertie of a stammer in which he has been acquainted with all his life. It is not until the death of King George V (Michael Gambon), his father, the abdication of the scandalous King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), his brother, that Bertie is crowned King George VI of Britian in a time when a nation is desperate for a leader.

As Germany’s troops failed to abandon Poland, it is such that Great Britain declared war upon Hitler’s regieme. Now, Bertie is to recollect all his sessions of therapy and deliver a war-time speech to inspire his great nation and unite them for the potential darkness that await in the shadows of the days ahead.

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The Fighter (2010) – Review

The Fighter is the true story of two close brothers, Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and Dickie (Christian Bale). Dickie was once a professional welterweight and former champion whom of which now takes to cocaine regularly, while his brother, Micky, is a newcomer trained under Dickie’s knowledgeable boxing wing. However, the affect Dickie’s addiction has on their training leads to a devastating loss and with the help from Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams), Micky decides it best to leave the guidance of his brother and train in Vegas.

It is in Vegas where Micky has the best of opportunities and it is there that he begins to make a name for himself be it only this time through matches he has won. After a long, arduous, fight that would not have hailed victorious if not for the help of Dickie, Micky’s next fight is the championship fight.

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Inception (2010) – Review

Don Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief whom of which infiltrates deep within a sleeper’s subconscious during their dream-state and extracts their most precious secrets. Cobb’s unusual skill and espionage have him a fugitive and distanced from his children living in America. The opportunity of Cobb’s final job presents himself with, upon success of completion, a clean slate which would in turn, grant him with the opportunity of returning home. However, the job itself is not so simple. Rather than extracting an idea, secrets, from a subject, Cobb is to plant one there—inception. He is to put together a team and implant an idea into the subconscious of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) a heir to a multi-billion dollar empire. The art of inception is a craft that requires one to delve deeper into the levels of a dream, an action of which is life-threatening and because of the depth they are descending could forever trap them in Limbo—an expanse of the subconscious not controlled by one individual—if improperly approached and executed.

To appreciate Inception, one must descend down the rabbit hole, farther than they themselves even imagined possible. Then do it all a second time over. Read more of this post