Tag Archives: Paul Dano

Review: Ruby Sparks (2012)

Ruby Sparks

From Director Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris of Little Miss Sunshine comes Ruby Sparks that centers on once-famous novelist Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) and his struggles to come up with another novel worthy of talk. Advised by his therapist to find inspiration, Calvin created Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan,) his fictitious girlfriend who mysteriously came to life. With Ruby, Calvin changed both for the better and for the worst.

I love the thought of Ruby popping right up tp Calvin’s life ins’t mind-nagging at all. I mean, despite it’s impossibility, it still created a realistic narrative of the relationship between them.

Kazan who also wrote the screenplay was really good in this. She provided subdued and funny, also annoying moments that adequately complimented Dano’s sublime performance.

Overall, the film sparks enormous creativity, although boxed by an impossible premise, its persistent storyline consistently developed from start to finish.

Director: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

Cast: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, Chris Messina

Rating: 8/10

Advertisements

Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

Adapted from Solomon Northup’s autobiography, 12 Years A Slave chronicles the enduring and most of the time painful memory of Northup’s life into slavery. Born as a freeman, Northup was abducted and was sold as a slave from master to master and eventually grasping the freedom he never thought would come.

Prior to watching the film, I already have a preconceived idea about what’s it going to be. Not a clear one but almost a foreshadowing on how this would turn out – sold into slavery then the lead fought for freedom and that’s it. I was wrong though – blatantly  wrong.

12 Years A Slave may very well be the best movie of all time to capture the heart and soul of that nasty memory of human history where slavery and racial inequality was the most prevalent thing in the world that it’s almost dreamy.  Director Steve McQueen did not back down on letting us see the almost physical and psychological trauma that will engulf his audience. I for one felt a bit uncomfortable watching some of the scenes especially that scene when Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o,) a fellow slave was stripped, tied to a post and was whipped by Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) himself and his second master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender.) It was just heartbreaking and totally painful to watch.

 Now, speaking of the three, they all provided the right synergy to connect with their audience. Lupita Nyong’o delivered an almost innocent and flawless performance that I find myself overwhelmed by it. Michael Fassbender, the sadistic and drunk second master of Solomon was perfection here! He provided that lethal feel to the character yet at some point, you’d also feel for him.

Chiwetel Ejiofor on the other hand was almost numb to what’s happening with his character that his Solomon was flowing through him. He is him. Ejiofor was translucent and targeted his audience with those eyes – haunting eyes, blaming, begging, piercing eyes. This was a performance so powerful it will break you.

As an afterthought, the film was consistent in providing a drastic storyline that encompasses Solomon’s life to the point that it’s almost nonsensical to ask for more. It was sentimental, yes, but it provides authority. Sure, it’s a total Oscar bait but it’s all worth it. It was a film that is worthy of talk and worthy of endurance amongst all the films to come in later years.

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Director: Steve McQueen
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Adepero Oduye, Paul Giamatti, Alfre Woodard

Review: Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

Cowboys and Aliens is based on the 2006 graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, which I haven’t read prior to watching this film. The movie starts with a stranger (Daniel Craig) who wakes up in the desert town of Absolution with no memory at all. The only clue to who he might be is a weird bracelet attached to his wrist. Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) whose power is feared by the town’s people ran the town of Absolution.

At the night when the mysterious alien spaceships arrive in town and abduct most of its people one by one, the stranger whose name is Jake and is wanted for several crimes according to the town’s sheriff, discovers the use of his bracelet and collaborates with the cowboys to hunt the aliens and save those who were abducted.

I was thinking upon seeing the film’s trailer that it’d be a really interesting watch and something that would be a mash-up between Indiana Jones and James Bond boasting both actors who played each character. I was however a bit disappointed with the several loopholes presented in the film. Everything got mixed-up for me. First, the aliens’ objective to attack to accumulate gold lacks narrative (this is from someone who have not read the book.)

Ella’s scenes (Olivia Wilde) were a bit off because she would just pop out and it was distracting in the serious tone of the film. She always looks good and clean in the film’s dusty setting which kind of reminds me of Megan Fox in Transformers. Although her character is somewhat important because she knows stuff about Jake and the aliens, her dialogue didn’t give much information. Moreover, what exactly do the aliens want from Jake? They remind me of the prawns in District 9 but more grotesque and cartoon-like. Also, the scene which I’m just totally clueless about was the “light” the abductees are looking at. Exactly what is that? A hypnotism device of some sort?

Both Craig and Ford were actually okay and delivered most parts like how they should be delivered, it’s just that you will not feel for them because there’s no connection from them at all. I am not saying that it is a bad film. In general, it took me to that level where I’m expecting a lot of guns shooting and killing with the humans winning. I am just surprised with its mediocrity. The concept may be new to the ear but the scenes – I have seen them before.
Based on the graphic novel of Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Director: John Favreau
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, Clancy Brown, Keith Carradine, Noah Ringer
Rating: 5/10
@ the Philippine Premiere of Cowboys And Aliens
SM Noth Edsa IMAX Cinema c/o Pinoy Exchange

This review was first posted at the Official PeX Movie Reviews at Pinoy Exchange.