Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The King's Speech

Flawlessly constructed historical drama about King George VI (Firth) overcoming his stammer and the friendship that builds with speech therapist Rush in an equally memorable role. Helena Bonham Carter is great as The Queen Mother, and Freya Wilson is respectfully subtle as Elizabeth II--intentionally blending with Ramona Marquez as Princess Margaret. On location production, beautifully shot and Danny Cohen's cinematography is exceptional. The most admirable thing about this incredible film is that the climatic sequence is merely just a speech--and believe it or not, it's indeed intense. Terrifically done, Hooper. One of the best in years.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Funny People

Unique film that is best categorized as a depressing-comedy about successful comedian Sandler taking aspiring stand-up comedian Rogen under his wing after the former is diagnosed with leukemia. Rogen's character encourages the depressed (and selfish) Sandler to go back to his roots of stand-up comedy and also dig deep to rediscover lost love Mann. What starts off as a one-of-a-kind comedy soon finds itself too different for its own good. By mid-film, every single character flaunts their bad qualities shamelessly; by the end, you realize the film should have ended at least a half-hour earlier. The ensemble cast and celebrity cameos are interesting at first, but then they become exhausting and pointless. Director Apatow uses laughter in the same way Michael Bay would use special effects… a means to steer attention away from a dull conflict and a shallow story. Worth seeing for its gripping quest of a man who can buy anything but realizes the best things in life can't be bought; but it's far from a "good" movie.