Showing posts with label Bryce Dallas Howard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bryce Dallas Howard. Show all posts

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Help

It’s rare that I watch a film and want to hurt the cast but I deeply disliked about 60% of the characters in The Help and wanted to punch about 20% of them in the face. The Oscar winning 2011 film tells the story of disenfranchised maids living in early 1960s Jackson, Mississippi. Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) returns from college with the world at her feet but realises that her family and friends expect very specific things of her. She is to act and dress in a certain way, not think too hard and settle down with a husband as soon as possible. Skeeter goes against what is expected and gets a job at the local paper. Desperate for something worthwhile to write about she asks her friend’s maid Aibileen (Viola Davis) if she can write about life from the help’s perspective. Although weary at first, Aibileen soon opens up to Skeeter and soon fellow maid Minny (Octavia Spencer) is telling her story too.

I never saw The Help on its initial release and is in fact a rare example of a recent Best Picture candidate I’ve missed. Something about the movie didn’t appeal to me and my early hatred of the bad guy characters coupled with finding Emma Stone’s character annoying got me off to a bad start. By the end though I was wishing the film wouldn’t end and would have watched another act. I grew to respect and love certain characters but still want to punch others and the story is a remarkable example of bravery, courage and setting right what is wrong.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Spider-Man 3

"Everybody needs help sometimes Peter, even Spider-Man"

The final part of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy finds Peter Parker finally enjoying life. Things are going well for him; he’s top of his class, closer than ever to MJ and still has time to fight crime as Spider-Man. If anything Peter has become over arrogant with his all round success and this comes back to bite him when an extra terrestrial parasite which amplifies the characteristics of its host attaches itself to Peter and turns his Spidey suit black. Now more cocky and arrogant than ever Peter has little time for MJ and they drift apart. At the same time an escaped criminal accidentally ends up in a particle accelerator filled with sand. The sand fuses with his body and turns him into the Sandman – Spider-Man’s latest nemesis.

This is generally regarded to be the worst of the Raimi Spider-Man films but personally I’d put it second, slightly ahead of Spider-Man While there is an enormous amount wrong with the film, I actually think that the story is the strongest of the three. I like how the film looks at Peter Parker’s psychological state and how the alien parasite is able to effect how and who he is. His relationship with Mary Jane becomes fractured after ending on a high in Spider-Man 2 and this creates plenty of drama and commotion. Add this to Harry’s ever growing disdain for Spider-Man and you have the makings of a decent plot. As a result of focussing more on Parker/Spider-Man’s turmoil, the villain characters suffer a little and the Sandman’s back-story is only briefly touched upon. Venom is only really seen in a few scenes as an arrogant up and comer before becoming a super villain.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


In recent years I’ve come to expect good things from Director Clint Eastwood and actor Matt Damon (I still say it in the Team America voice) but I was disappointed with Hereafter.

The film’s protagonist, Damon plays George Lonegan, a man who can communicate with the dead. Lonegan does his best to hide his power after an earlier career making money from it left him unable to get close to people for fear of what he might discover. To him, his gift is in fact a curse. This is shown to be the case when his psychic readings wreck the beginnings of a promising new relationship.

Damon shares a moment of tenderness with love interest Bryce Dallas Howard

The two other strands to this story about a young boy who loses his twin in a car crash and a Frenchwoman caught up in the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 are unfortunately dull. While the Tsunami scene itself is exciting, you are left feeling detached and wondering where all the locals were. (Most of the victims appear to be European).
The acting is for the most part, terrible. Some actors seem as though they are reading their lines off a piece of card in front of them for the first time. It must be said however that Matt Damon delivers a believable performance of a man troubled by his gift. 

It is perhaps difficult to get into a film about a psychic as the profession is in my opinion a disgusting attempt to use pseudoscience and guesswork to con bereaved people out of money. I could see past this in The Sixth Sense though so perhaps the fact that I was thinking about what bollocks psychic abilities are tells me that I was not gripped by the film.