Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

Breaking Dawn – Part I (♦♦♦♦)

Image
In this installment of the Twilight Saga, Bella and Edward celebrate their nuptials on the Cullens’ estate. The well-kept secret honeymoon spot is an island off Rio de Janeiro’s coast. There, under the moonlight, Bella and Edward consummate their love. Fourteen days into the honeymoon, Bella finds out she is pregnant, but…Surprise, the baby, or whatever is growing in her belly, is killing her.

In an effort to save Bella, the lovers fly back to Forks to be under Carlisle’s care. Unfortunately, the baby is stronger than Bella and she is adamant about having him/her. Edward doesn’t want anything to do with the baby if Bella dies, but listening to the baby’s thoughts makes him realize that he/she has goodness in him/her.

Meanwhile, Sam and his pack of werewolves are determined to kill Bella and her baby, which prompts Jacob to defect from the pack accompanied by Seth and Leah. Jacob swears to protect Bella and joins the Cullens in their effort to do the same.

Special attention was devote…

J. Edgar (♦♦♦♦)

Image
J. Edgar chronicles the beginnings of the FBI from the fight against communist radicals in the 1920s and 1930s until Hoover’s death in the 1970s. From his point of view, Edgar Hoover describes his relationship with his mother, his devotion to his career, his power struggles with politicians of the era, and his lifelong relationship with Clyde Tolson, the second man in the FBI.

A major faux pas in this movie is the rather ghastly makeup applied to the aging characters of Hoover, his secretary and Mr. Tolson. However, if one overlooks that flaw and focuses on the acting, then one is up for a real treat. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers his best performance yet, and Armie Hammer is equally amazing as his lover-friend. Judi Dench and Naomi Watts have minor roles but fundamental in J. Edgar’s life: Hoover’s controlling mother and his loyal secretary.

The much discussed and anticipated kissing scene between DiCaprio and Hammer is rather minor and, in my opinion doesn’t justify the hype. The movi…

The Skin I Live In (La Piel que Habito) (♦♦♦♦)

Image
Marked by the tragic deaths of his wife Gal and his daughter Norma, Robert Ledgard, a plastic surgeon, begins to experiment transplanting transgenic skin to Vera, a patient he keeps secluded in his house. The genesis of his experimentation and the patient herself, predate but are very much intertwined with Norma’s death.

In this suspenseful thriller, Spanish director Pedro Almodovar has outdone himself. The movie keeps the themes of sexual preferences and transgender issues—so common in his previous works—to a minimum. In this film, however, the constants are marital betrayal, revenge and the use of scientific inventions for personal gain.

Despite being filmed in interiors almost in its entirety, the movie doesn’t feel claustrophobic, but surprisingly intimate. As audience, we don’t know at all times where the story is going, but we take the plunge just the same with astounding results. The conclusion of the film will resonate with you.

Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya and Marisa Parede…

Anonymous (♦♦♦½)

Image
This film puts forth the theory that the literary work of William Shakespeare was penned by nobleman Earl of Oxford and given to a lesser known author for profit in exchange for his discretion regarding the provenance of the manuscripts. Groomed to succeed Elizabeth I as monarch of England, the Earl of Oxford committed two sins as a youth: wrote poetry, which was considered seditious, and he engaged in an illicit affair with the queen despite himself being married to the daughter of Elizabeth’s state counselor. A child was conceived by the lovers, but their romance was doomed due to state affairs.

Despite having a great premise, I found the story rather confusing, at least the political subplot. The theory involving the true origins of Shakespeare is rather tantalizing.

Good movie but confusing, better to be watched on DVD.

The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand (♦♦♦♦)

Image
The summer in Nantucket came with promise…But on June 20, Tess and Greg McAvoy sailed away for a day to celebrate their twelfth wedding anniversary and drowned instead. Their six closest friends (Andrea and Ed Kapenash, Delilah and Jeffrey Drake, and Phoebe and Addison Wheeler) were devastated by the news, some more than others. But nothing could prepare Tess and Greg’s seven-year-old twin children for the loss of their parents.

Tess and Greg had weathered a rocky year in their marriage, thanks in part to a student accusing Greg of sexual misconduct, which was later withdrawn. The lies or half truths haunted their relationship ever since. Tess left Greg for a week, but decided to take him back; Andrea asked Tess to. On their anniversary they had little to celebrate, but wanted to mend fences and start again stronger than ever.

Andrea Kapenash, the chief of police’s wife, was Tess’ first cousin. They practically grew up together, thus Andrea always felt protective of Tess, almost as T…