Best of 2010

Never Let Me Go

by Alan Rapp on October 8, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Never Let Me Go
  • IMDB: link

Most of us never know what our purpose is or why we’re here. The same can’t be said of the characters of Never Let Me Go, adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel of the same name. As children they understand more about their roles in the world than most who live a full century.

The story is told through the perspective of Kathy H. (Carey Mulligan) thinking back over her childhood at Hailsham boarding school and her two best friends Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley). Hailsham isn’t your average school. And these aren’t your average youngsters. Here the guardians (not teachers or headmistresses) encourage the children’s creative expression, enforce strict discipline, and prepare the students for a life already chosen for them.

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The Social Network

by Alan Rapp on October 1, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Social Network
  • IMDB: link

Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is an asshole, or he’s at least trying his damnedest to be one. That seems to be the central point of The Social Network which gives us a traditional tale (genius without people skills, rise to power by stepping on your friends) with a fresh take, several good performances, and some darn fine dialogue by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

In the film director David Fincher and Sorkin team-up to adapt Ben Mezrich‘s 2009 nonfiction novel The Accidental Billionaires about Zuckerberg’s life and the creation of a little thing called Facebook (maybe you’ve heard of it?). The film tackles everything from friendship to cut-throat business tactics and class warfare.

We begin with a lengthy pre-credit scene involving Zuckerberg’s break-up with his girlfriend Rooney Mara which will lead to the drunken creation of his first social networking site later that night, and lay the foundation for the later creation of Facebook. It’s a great scene to start, though both actors seem to struggle initially with the pace and tempo of a very wordy Sorkin scene.

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Hubble 3D

by Alan Rapp on August 20, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Hubble 3D
  • IMDB: link

What is it about space that so captures our imagination? Is it the vastness that seems to becon, almost tease us, upward and outwards to explore its seemly endless wonders, or is it simply how it allows us another perspective in order to see how small and relatively unimportant one tiny blue dot is in the grand scheme of things? Whatever the reason, since man first turned his gaze to the sky we’ve been captivated with that final frontier just outside our grasp.

Since it’s launch two decades ago the Hubble Space Telescope has been responsible for several breakthroughs in the areas of astronomy and an increased understanding of the known universe. The new IMAX documentary Hubble 3D gives us a short history on the telescope, and its early struggles, before exploring the final service mission of to repair the telescope by the Atlantis crew.

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Inception

by Alan Rapp on July 16, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Inception
  • IMDB: link

The latest from writer/director Christopher Nolan is complicated, reality bending, multi-layered look inside the world of unconscious imagination. In the near future the ability to enter into an individual’s dreams and extract information has become a profitable, but highly illegal, enterprise. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Dom Cobb the leader of a group of experts who are the best at this type of information extraction.

As Cobb’s past catches up with him, both in the real world and that of his dreams, he’s offered a single chance to reclaim the life which was taken from him if he can perform the impossible: Inception. The idea is not to steal information from the latest subject, the heir to a business empire (Cillian Murphy), but instead implant an idea in his mind which will grow naturally and change one choice in the real world which could mean billions for Cobb’s client.

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Toy Story 3

by Alan Rapp on June 18, 2010

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Toy Story 3
  • IMDB: link

With Toy Story 3 Pixar moves into uncharted territory. The studio has shied away from movie franchises and, other than Toy Story 2, has even stayed away from sequels. It’s been 15 years since the original Toy Story hit theaters and an entire generation has grown up with these characters. So the question is: Does the third film do the franchise proud?

The answer, thankfully, is yes.

As the third film opens Andy (John Morris) is no longer so young. Over the past decade-and-a-half the young boy who played with Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the rest of the toys has grown up. About to leave for college Andy is forced to make decisions on what vestiges of his youth to keep.

Without giving too much away, through a series of misadventures the toys find themselves packed away to a local daycare. The situation divides the group as to whether they should return to Andy or make new lives for themselves with the young children eager to play with them.

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