Tag Archives: Stanley Tucci

Film Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nathan Mack, Adrian Schiller, Hattie Morahan, Gerard Horan, Zoe Rainey, Henry Garrett, Harriet Jones

Beauty and the Beast in 3D is as magnificent as its grandiose  cast that includes Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Luke Evans and its main stars Dan Stevens and Emma Watson among others.

I don’t think there’s even a doubt about Emma Watson’s star-power after the weekend success of the live-action remake of one of the most beloved Disney animations Beauty and the Beast where she played the iconic role of Belle – the provincial lass who felt too confined in her small-minded-small town who fell in love with a cursed prince.

The film just raked in $350M worlwide since its March 16 release despite controversies involving LeFou’s “gay” character (which is totally a non-issue to begin with so to you bigoted piece of shits – Disney doesn’t need your money – kbye!)

I’ve read a tweet last week that says, a new generation is going to forget Emma playing Hermionie because of Beauty and the Beast.

If I’m being quite honest,I think it’s going to be the exact opposite. Emma  has been immortalized by the Harry Potter franchise as the dorky, know-it-all  Hermionie and with Watson playing Belle and meeting every expecations, it solidifies her star-power that trandscends generation. So she’s gonna be remembered for sure playing the two equally iconic roles.

Kids and kids-alike will get a kick out of its fun, funny and endearing characters and songs that will remind them so much of their childhood. I was actually on the verge of tears when Mrs. Potts started singing the theme of the movie during Belle and the Beast’ romantic dance.

The lovely and well-detailed faithfulness of this adaptation from its original animation is what made the film even more special. The magic stayed with  Condon’s fresh new take and fresh new songs from Alan Menken and TIm Rice that includes  “How Does A Moment Last Forever,” heard at the beginning of the movie being sung/hum by Maurice (Kevin Kline), Belle’s father and during the end-credits belted by none other than, Celine Dion.

From the moment Watson appeared on screen, I just knew that it’s gonna be as epic as its trailer. Beauty and the Beast did not disappoint one bit. It was pleasing to the eye, lovely to the ears and just a full-on heartwarming movie that will make you believe in the power of true love – Disney style!

Rating: Perfect 10

movie poster via impawards
Advertisements

Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

MockingjayDirector:Francis Lawrence
Based on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, Jena Malone, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Stef Dawson

Wow. I  didn’t see it coming for this one to actually hear people muttering about wasted money and being snoozefest and all after leaving my seat in the cinema. I loved the books and the first two film installments are just perfect for me. Mockingjay Part 1 this time gave me that almost “slow-burn” of enjoying a book and being forced to drop it while in the midst of the most important chapter. That should’ve been a bummer right? But no, I welcomed it for this film.

There were some changes which I didn’t appreciate at all having read the book and feeling faithful with it but as a whole, I very much enjoyed it even with the cliff-hanging to be continued…blahblahblah.

After  the events from the last film (Catching Fire), Katniss Everdeen was persuaded to be the face of the revolution where she get to learn more about the District 13, President Coin and her people, the whole long brewing plan for rebellion and that’s when the going gets tough.

I get to appreciate Liam Hemsworth much better here since well, we see a lot of him here. He’s got some moments and there was this really angsty chemistry between him and Jennifer Lawrence.

A lot of Josh Hutcherson fans (including moi) will be disappointed though since we didn’t feel much from Team Peeta here – nuh uh – not at all. They were seriously pushed aside to focus more on Katniss. But man’ Katniss o’ Katniss delivered big time. I think I mentioned once that Jennifer Lawrence was like the “heir apparent” to The Meryl Streep and with all the hype around her over the past – like 3 years? Man’ so worth it! That speech in District eight was like – OMG! Give this girl another Oscar already!!!!

I’ve to wonder about Finnick though – he’s one of the secondary characters in the book who’s got a lengthy pagetime and here his character was like, bazzooom! It’s either they decided not to give Finnick an overly emotional focus  or the actor playing it (Sam Claflin) couldn’t really act to save his life – I’m almost leaning towards the latter because I didn’t really feel much from “his” Finnick impersonation but it could also be the material he has to work on. I loved his character in the book and felt like, he wasn’t there at all.

At first I didn’t really pictured Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin when she was announced to play the role but I thought she was amazing here. Her interaction with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman was a beautiful thing to watch. It’s really sad because it feels like we need to see more of him.

As a whole, I liked this film better than I expected if I’m being honest. I loved the more aggressive yet uber-vulnerable Katniss. The story was amplified by “enough” action sequences IMO and though, there were some changes I really think that director Francis Lawrence was able to deliver a very solid introduction to the conclusion of this franchise.

Rating: 8/10

Review: Julie & Julia (2009)

Julie and Julia

Based on true events, the film’s a narrative of two very interesting and fascinating women whose passion for cooking taught them more in life than tasting and enjoying the food. Meryl Streep plays chef Julia Child who “taught America how to cook” and Amy Adams, as Julia Powell, a young writer in New York who lives with his husband. Powell with the encouragement of his husband took on the challenge to cook every recipe that Child has published and recounts her progress through a blog. This attracts the attention of many including the media and Julia Child herself.

The film also recounts Julia Child’s experience in France with his husband who works for the US government – as she was introduced to the art of cooking thus producing Mastering the Art of French Cooking and introducing French Cuisine in America.

As usual, La Streep was at her best – yet again. Like how does she do it? Meryl’s a different kind of artist – I mean she’s UP UP there. Like who could even rival her greatness? She’s very enigmatic on the screen and playing Julia Child, it’s like we’re really watching the real Julia Child. I even thought that she should’ve won the Oscars for her performance. Amy Adams on the other hand was equally stunning, this girl simply complimented Streep’s screen prowess. She’d some moments in the film but obviously, it was THE Meryl Streep who carry the film altogether.

Year: 2009
Genre: Comedy
Rating: 9 out of 10
Director: Nora Ephron
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Jane Lynch

via Pinoy Exchange 2014 Movie Challenge
30 Days Movie Challenge – Day 09: A movie of your favorite actress (Meryl Streep) 

Review: The Hunger Games (2012)

HungerGamesPosterI was not even aware of this book until last year when news erupted about its film adaptation. Suzanne Collins, author of the book wrote the screenplay of the film along with director Gary Ross and Billy Ray. There are likely many who have not read the book and do not know their Panems and Districts. Panem is the name of the nation that has risen from the ruins of once then North America. The people from its 12 Districts are subject to select one boy and one girl to participate in the annual ‘Hunger Games’ taking part in a battle where there is only one participant who will emerge as the winner. The Hunger Games is a televised reality show complete with sponsors and commentaries. This, according to the ‘Capitol’ leaders serves as a reminder of the people’s failed uprising against them that happened decades ago.

The film let us in to the colorful universe of Panem and its poor twelve districts. It features the central female protagonist Katniss Everdeen, played by Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence who yet again delivered another beautiful performance similar to her lead stint in Winter’s Bone. Katniss is the caretaker of her sister Primrose whom she promised to protect no matter what and her widowed mother who is too depressed to do anything. She is a skilled hunter who uses her skills to feed her starving family.

When Primrose name was selected in her first year of eligibility to the game, Katniss stepped up for her sister and volunteered as a tribute. The baker Peeta Mellark was the boy chosen for their district. Both were brought to the Capitol, went through make-overs and a bit of training and eventually were brought to the battleground where violence soon claimed the lives of those who are participating in the game.

The film is almost three hours and you won’t even feel that it was that long because there’ just so much in it. It was never boring and the story itself is way engaging that you’d really feel the characters, like she / he are representing your district. The cast ensemble is impeccable. Everyone seemed to really play his or her part really well. My favorite characters in this film would have to be Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), the mistress of ceremonies during the reaping for District 12 and Rue (Amandla Stenberg) from District 11. Her death was very heartbreaking that I can’t help but tear up a little. Jennifer Lawrence whose vulnerability and pain as she portrayed Katniss was the ultimate torch that carry the film altogether.

Gary Ross made some very interesting visuals in the film that contradicts the darkness of its main theme’s premise. There is no hesitation nor inhibition about the brutality of the game and the screenplay is just in its perfect state. The only criticism I may have about this film would have to be development of Katniss and Peeta’s love story. Overall, the film is as beautiful as its book but what the movie delivered is a world that captured the essence of its source into an effortless and magnificent cinematic experience.

Rating: 9.5/10

Director: Gary Ross

Based on the book of Suzanne Collins

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Wes Bentley, Toby Jones, Alexander Ludwig, Amandla Stenberg, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jack Quaid, Leven Rambin, Dayo Okeniyi, Jacqueline Emerson, Paula Malcomson, Willow Shields

This film review was first posted at Pinoy Exchange. Read all my film reviews at Pinoy Exchange Official PEx Movie Reviews.

Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

Having read the Hunger Games book trilogy and easily becoming a fan, I came expecting something about the sequel that would let my mind linger a bit longer about it. The film brings us back to the world of Panem and its 12 Districts. The 74th Hunger Games winners Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are now comfortably residing at the Victors Village joining their mentor Haymitch. This victory is not without a price as we all know after what have happened during the stars-crossed “lovers” time at the arena from the last Hunger Games. Apparently, their final act of killing themselves both (by eating poisonous berries) instead of killing each other became a catalyst for every district to revolt yet again against the oppressive Capitol.

To combat this, the ever-so creepy President Snow ordered Katniss to play the crowd and convinced him that she indeed did not intend to create rebellion as she has become the “beacon” of hope for the people from the word of Snow himself. Being Katniss and all, she obviously did not succeed thus resulting to a twist of reaping the players of the 75th Hunger Games a.k.a the Quarter Quell from the pool of winning male and female tributes from each district. This would make Katniss go back to the arena but not ofcourse without Peeta volunteering. This leads to an agreement between Katniss and their mentor Haymitch to just try to save Peeta at whatever cost. This was the plan until a secret unravel in the very eyes of Katniss leaving her helpless and with just a little hope.

I’m actually satisfied with the outcome of the film. It was just okay. I thought this time unlike its predecessor; the film lacks agility, the fierceness of its characters and the emotional sub-plot of the book. It felt a bit too rush. Director Francis Lawrence was probably trying to make it as concise as possible making me wonder how Gary Ross would have handled it. I am not saying it’s not good, though, there were some great moments in the film but I was left with an uncertain thought about it. Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence was amazing as usual taking your to an emotional wrecking ball and so as the outrageous Effie Trinket played by the gorgeous Elizabeth Banks. I also love the support of Josh Hutcherson making my first judgment that he’s indeed the perfect actor for the role! Donald Sutherland makes President Snow all the more creepy while Woody Harrelson as Haymitch delivered yet again. My favorite in this film though was Jenna Malone who played Johanna Mason. She’s very refreshing. I’m still disappointed with Sam Claflin as Finnick but he’s fine. There was great acting in this film as a whole.

But the best thing, in my humble opinion about this film is that it didn’t lose its steam – there is still the charm from the first film. You would still care about Peeta, Katniss, Prim, Gale, the tributes and the rest of the oppressed people from the Districts.  If the first Hunger Games feels like a dissection of a lot of things political, this was a film that continue its promise to bring about a good story telling this time, a bit cliché but nevertheless entertaining.

Director: Francis Lawrence

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Jeffery Wright, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Lynn Cohen, Amada Plummer, Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Alan Ritchson, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, E. Roger Mitchell, Maria Howell, Elena Sanchez, Bobby Jordan, John Casino, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Patrick St. Spirit, Stef Dawson

Rating: 8.5/10