Friday, October 28, 2011

The Notebook (2004)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Starring: James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Romance
Runtime: 123 minutes

The story starts at a nursing home.  Duke (Garner), an elderly gentleman, comes to read to Allie (Rowlands) one of the patients suffering from dementia.  And he tells her the story of a whirlwind summer romance between Noah (Gosling), a persistent, but poor young man from the country, and Allie (McAdams), a pretty rich girl whose family is staying in the area for the summer.  The two fall deeply in love, but their economic differences threaten to tear them apart.

The Notebook has sort of become one of those films that girls just naturally watch.  Kinda like Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember.  Now, normally, I'm not one for chick flicks.  I mean, I enjoy them every once in a while, and have actually been starting to like them more as I get older, but usually, I tend to shy away from them.  When my roommate suggested we watch it together, however, that was a completely different matter.  Unless I'm completely opposed to the film, I'll almost always watch something with a friend if they suggest it.  After all, if they like the movie enough that they would ask me to watch it with them, then it must be pretty good.

The Notebook was surprisingly good.  I say "surprisingly" because more often than not, Nicholas Sparks' books and movies get a reputation for being drippy, sappy, and pretty terrible.  But, this one was pretty good.  It was sad though; very emotional.  And by the time I was finished, I barely needed even the slightest provocation to burst into tears.  I'm an emotional person, so perhaps it was just me, but I think that most of those who have seen this film will agree with me.

When it wasn't heartrendingly sad, it was very romantic.  I think it's safe to say that many girls secretly want to have a guy like Noah.  He's funny, outgoing, adorable, and totally obsessed with Allie.  Who wouldn't want to be in her shoes?  The many lovely scenes of Allie and Noah together were touching and sweet.  Life just seemed so perfect.  And as the plot begins to complicate itself, the audience is drawn right into the sad and tangled love story, wondering where it will all end, just as Allie wonders what will be the ending of the story Duke is reading to her.

All in all, it was a good (if not emotional) movie.  I enjoyed watching it very much.  It was cute, funny, emotional, passionate, and romantic.  Although, I will say that the ending was incredibly sad, so you should probably bring along a box of tissues to go with your popcorn.  Ladies, this is probably not the right movie to make your boyfriend watch with you; I'm sure he won't enjoy it nearly as much as you would, unless he doesn't mind being a cuddly shoulder to cry on.  However, it would be perfect to watch with your gal pals.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Minority Report (2002)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action, Crime, Mystery
Runtime: 145 minutes

In the year 2054, there is no murder.  At least not in the United States capital, Washington D.C.  This is thanks to a anti-crime initiative called Precrime, which predicts a murder before it happens, so that the "murderer" can be arrested and put away before he or she has the chance to actually commit the crime.  Crime rates have never been lower, and things are starting to look great.  That is, until FBI agent Danny Witwer (Farrell) starts nosing around, asking too many questions.  He asks to see the "Precogs," the beings whose premonitions inform Precrime of all impending murders.  John Anderton (Cruise) is leery to admit him, since any contact with the Precogs is looked at as an unwelcome influence on their visions.  Not long after Witwer's visit, the Precogs have a startling new premonition: John is supposed to murder a man he has never met before.  And all at once, his life is flipped upside down, as he runs from the law he swore to protect, and to try and prove his innocence.

Normally, as I'm sure many of you know, I'm not really a fan of action films.  In fact, I don't really watch them much at all.  Mostly, I reserve those for the times when I'm with my brother or my guy friends.  When I sat down to watch Minority Report, not only was I the only lady in a group of guys, but also, I had no idea what this movie was going to be about!  But, after two plus hours, I was not bored, as I feared, but really impressed.  It was quite simply just a good movie!

The futuristic technology was quite impressive.  Computers full of information that move at the slightest gesture of your fingertips, sweet-looking futuristic cars, iris scans, and all kinds of other gadgets populated this film.  Besides being cool to watch, it also tied in an awesome crime/drama plot that was super-engaging.  I was pulled right in!  The only downside was that there was quite simply so much information that sometimes, it was hard to process it all.  However, even with one of my best friends constantly distracting me throughout the entire movie, I was still able to follow the plot line rather well.  So, it probably shouldn't be much of an issue.  There were a couple scenes that were pretty gross, so do be warned.  However, all in all, it was a dramatic, exciting two hours of crime drama, mystery, and suspense!

If you're interested in crime films, like a lot of action, and are looking for a good film for a group of guys to enjoy, then this is a great film to check out!  If you would prefer something a bit more tame and calm, then I would recommend checking something else out.  Still, on a Friday night, with a group of friends and a bowl of popcorn, this is a really good choice.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

City Lights (1931)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 9 out of 10
Director: Charles Chaplin
Starring: Charles "Charlie" Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Harry Myers
Rated: G
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Silent
Runtime: 87 minutes

Charlie Chaplin's little Tramp stars in this touching film about friendship and love.  On one of his walks the Tramp befriends a blind flower girl (Cherrill) who sells her wares on the street corner.  Desirous to help her, the Tramp tries to earn some money for her so that she can travel to Vienna and get an operation that will restore her sight.  Meanwhile, the he also befriends an eccentric millionaire (Myers), whom he stops from committing suicide in a drunken depression.  This new friend is only too happy to help the Tramp, but only when he's completely drunk.  When sober, he's a totally different person.  While trying to cope with the split personality of his rich friend, his love for the beautiful flower girl, and the series of rotten jobs he must perform to earn the money, the Tramp struggles for his fairytale ending.  But, will he get it?

I first heard about this movie from a little book about Charlie Chaplin that I found in a used book shop in Florida.  I've always thought Chaplin to be an interesting and iconic character (although I'd only seen one of his films) and still fondly remember my friend Sergio dressing up like the Tramp for a publicity stunt for our college's film club. This, however, was the first time I had actually seen a full-length Chaplin silent film, and I loved it!  The Tramp was both adorable and funny, and the storyline was so perfect, both in writing and performance, that one cannot help but be sucked into the story!  As an introduction to Chaplin's silent performances, City Lights perfectly rises to the occasion!

The plot is both romantic and funny, touching, suspenseful, and heartbreaking.  What more could one ask for in a film?

Chaplin of course, stole the show.  The Tramp is not one of the most iconic figures of cinema because of pure luck!  The character has obvious appeal.  He may be poor as dirt, with a hat and coat that are too small, and pants and shoes that are too big, but he sure doesn't live his life as a poor man!  In fact, this feisty little character seems to imagine himself to be a gentleman, even going so far as to treat his millionaire friend's butler as his own!  However, even though Chaplin is wonderful, I don't think it would be enough for him to carry the entire film on his shoulders.  The Tramp was supported by a delightful cast, with Virginia Cherrill's flower girl completely melting everyone's hearts, Myers's millionaire providing wonderful conflict and comedic relief, and Florence Lee playing the part of Cherrill's kind, gentle grandmother.

Although I enjoyed the entire movie very much, I have to say that for me, the best part was the ending.  The final scene of the film brought tears to my eyes, but, to prevent spoilers, I'm not going to tell you what actually happens ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Return Tomorrow

And I just have a quick question for all of you......

How many of you honestly read Cinema Sweetheart's Film Reviews anymore?  Because, while I'm not sure I'll END the blog, I am considering slowing down, or at least taking myself off of an "every Thursday" posting routine.  That would mean that reviews would be more sparse, and randomly posted.  It's just that I'm starting to lose steam for my review writing, and I feel like no one really reads my blog anyway.  I mean, it's not that big of a deal, but it's a lot of work if no one even cares.

I have enough reviews to get through October and a little bit of November, as of right now.  I will post all of these, but I'm not sure what will happen after that.  I guess that's up to you guys.....

Please let me know how you feel in the comments.  Please be honest; you seriously WON'T hurt my feelings, I promise!
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