Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron star in this visually striking adaptation of Snow White, complete with a side-trip into Faerie that reminds me more than a little of Princess Mononoke. The script adds some nice flourishes to the well-known tale, restoring the rough edges that generations of Disney viewers would have missed, and the actors acquit themselves well. The real star however is the art direction and effects, from the design of the castle to the creatures of Faerie to the magic of the witch-queen. Check it out on the big screen if you can.
Ridley Scott reimagines the film that made him famous in this grand and impressive science fiction piece starring Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, and Logan Marshall-Green. Probably the easiest way to explain this film is with this formula:
Promethus : Alien == Battlestar Galactica (2004) : Battlestar Galactica (1978).
It is not a shot for shot remake, but the broad strokes are the same, the cast is similar, and what happens to them is pretty similar. The scope is broader, the stakes are higher, and the budget is much bigger, so the claustrophobic suspense in space is replaced with vistas and sets straight from H.R. Giger’s sketchbooks. Noomi Rapace is quite fine in the Ripley role, leading an expedition to a planet that may unlock the answers to humanity’s origins. The other standout is Fassbender as the android who helps run the ship while serving the agenda of the corporation that is paying for the voyage. Elba, of course, steals most of his scenes as a captain who takes some pretty insane things in stride.
I didn’t mind the recycling of the original film, but it was not as much of a leap in quality as it was for the two versions of Galactica. I enjoyed the new elements of the large humanoid aliens – I think it would be fair to refer to them as “Titans” – but I did not care for the theme of Rapace’s faith, which felt clumsy and unnecessary with so much else going on.
As with all of Scott’s films, Prometheus is technically brilliant; production design, wardrobe, special effects, editing, sound, and other elements are top-notch without forgetting the story they serve. This new version certainly leaves room for more; considering how terrible the other sequels were, I would be happy to see Ridley Scott’s attempt.
Pretty good you-can’t-go-home-again tale starring Charlize Theron as Mavis, a struggling ghostwriter of a popular series of Twilight-like novels who goes into crisis mode when she receives an email from her high school sweetheart that he and his wife have just had their first child. She drives back to her small hometown and enacts a plan to win him back, despite the warnings of another high school classmate (Patton Oswalt). The film received a lot of pre-release attention because it marked the reunion of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, director and writer of Juno. The two films certainly make for an interesting exercise in contrast.
I remember seeing an interview once with Russell Crowe where he talked about the difference between an actor and a movie star, and pardon me for paraphrasing: he said that an actor disappears into a character and you forget their off-screen persona if they are doing it right, whereas a movie star always wants to be liked, and that informs their performance no matter what the role. The heavy lifting in this film falls upon Charlize Theron, and she handles it as an actor, with excellent support from Oswalt, both of them selling the virtues and the occasional weaknesses of the script.
You should not see this film expecting a wacky comedy; it is much like the young adult novel Mavis is working on, where the protagonist learns an important lesson, albeit later in life than usual. It is closer to the likes of Beautiful Girls than it is to Juno, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.