Old 12-11-2012, 08:55 AM

Finally got around to seeing Andrew Dominik's debut. So far the guy is 3/3 with me. Eric Bana was fantastic 8/10

Last edited by Frosty_86; 12-13-2012 at 09:15 PM..
Old 12-11-2012, 07:54 PM
The Brothers Karamazov (1958) - This version focused on Dmitri at the expense of his brothers since Yul Brynner was the biggest star but it is still a pretty good telling of the story. I enjoyed every actor in it and I think they were all pretty faithful to Dostoyevsky's novel. 8/10

The World is Not Enough - This would have been a good spy story if it wasn't for the incredibly stupid decision to cast Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. She really sucked the life out of every one of her scenes. I did really like Sophie Marceau and her turn was a really well done. 5/10
Old 12-11-2012, 11:55 PM

Girl in Progress(2012)-4/10
Old 12-12-2012, 02:03 AM
Life of pie great movie to watch full entertaining movie. my rating to this movie is 9/10
Old 12-12-2012, 02:28 PM
Lawless (8/10)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (8/10)
Dr. No (8/10)
Old 12-12-2012, 02:33 PM
Scrooged (1988)

I can't believe this was made in 88! my god that's a long time ago and I remember when it came out haha!. We all know the plot here I should think, the classic Dickens tale revamped and 'modified' for the modern era...well the 80's.

Straight of the bat this is a classic film based around a classic tale. Like the 'Muppet Christmas Carol' its one of the best versions of Dickens fable around and really gets you in the Xmas spirit. I always loved the title for a start, such a simple idea yet really original in the way its been slightly tweaked.

I never knew that Danny Elfman did the musical score for this either, as I watched this again recently and the film started you hear this typical Elfman score, 'Batman Returns/Beetlejuice' type of thing. You know what I mean...that kind of spooky, gothic, halloween-ish tune accompanied by a young choir to give that crispy old English Xmas atmosphere. These days that typical Elfman score is a bit samey I'll admit but it always works.

The film is so so dated now but you gotta love that 80's look n feel right?. The old 'Gordon Gecko' style high flying business corporate world with its glossy offices, greasy suits and large plastic looking technology hehe. Murray is the perfect cast for this concept, the film was made for him (probably was) as he uses his dead pan, wry, dry stinging humour to really create a sleazy, immoral, disreputable, executive suit wearing Scrooge.

Of course he's not called Scrooge here, the whole film doesn't really mention or use any wording that refers to the old tale (well if you don't count the in-movie plot). This is merely a clever little recreation using the basic story but setting it in the business world. Whats really great is the effects and general visuals still hold up today, they aren't hugely over done effects but simply utilizing makeup and the odd bluescreen. The three main ghosts really add to the film with their performances. 'The Ghost of Christmas Past' (Johansen) easily being the best for me as a dirty, grumpy, pug ugly NY cab driver who shouts abuse at other road users, smokes, probably drinks and generally acts as if he's just sobering up.

'The Ghost of Christmas Present' (Kane) is close behind with her fantastic performance as a sort of bitchy, spoilt, pixie sized fairy with violent tendencies. Despite her delicate appearance in a kind of little girls halloween pink fairy costume complete with tiny wings and lots of sparkly glitter, she acts like a bully. The swing from softly spoken fairy to a swift kick in the balls is quite amusing if childish.

'The Ghost of Christmas Future' is a nice bit of visualisation and simple effects. A large 'man in a suit' approach with some puppet work and a TV screen for a face, to make him seem more modernised I guess. Didn't really see enough of this guy I reckon and he could of been a bit more creepy really, but the sequence where his large hooded face looms up behind 'Frank' across his multiple TV screens is brilliantly done. There he looked good.

The best ghost visually is probably 'Lew Hayward' who is 'Frank's' old boss who comes back to warn him of his pending situation. A great bit of makeup and prosthetic work which really does look real haha loved his snapping arm moment complete with plumes of dry dusty decomposition.

Alongside many other quirky characters there is Glover as 'Brice Cummings' who epitomises the image of an 80's office type and complete arse kissing suck up, love it!. You know he afters 'Frank's' job and that makes him such a good character.

The end to the film does get a bit too vomit inducing for me, never really liked how it all gets so mushy* and almost turns into a 'behind the scenes' piece. 'Frank' breaks the fourth wall in the end and it kinda spoils the film even though its a unique thing to do in a major movie. Up to the very end the film is really enjoyable and chock full of spine tingling atmosphere with great performances, its just a shame the finale goes off track...in my opinion.

'Yule love it!'
Old 12-12-2012, 05:42 PM

Playing for Keeps(2012)-6/10
Old 12-12-2012, 08:04 PM
Cry of Battle - A decent war film set during the Japanese fighting in the Philippines in WWII. The story wasn't very original but the performances but the two leading men were really good and that partly made up for some of the shortcomings of the film. 6/10

Die Another Day - I liked how Bond was made to suffer at the beginning of the film to show he wasn't actually perfect at foiling every evil plot in the world. The story was better than the past couple of Bond films but I really didn't care for Halle Berry. There wasn't any point to her character. The villains on the other hand were pretty good. 7/10
Old 12-12-2012, 08:32 PM

Fire in Babylon(2011)-8/10
Old 12-13-2012, 05:39 AM


Old 12-13-2012, 01:18 PM
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 9/10
Old 12-13-2012, 08:11 PM
Nude Nuns With Big Guns 4/10
Old 12-13-2012, 08:33 PM
The West Wing: The Complete Fifth Season

Who knew federal budget negotiations could be as thrilling as a Wild West [Wing] showdown? Leave it to Sorkin and his crack writing staff. Have I said enough about them in these West Wing blurbs to make you sick already? I’ll spare you this time, don’t worry. But just when I get over my jealousy, I watch another season and it strikes again. Bastard. If nothing else, the show proves that any time is a good time for a Fatty Taft joke, even during an international crisis in Gaza. So now that Bartlet’s second term has commenced, a lot of the campaign tension that abounded in S4 is missing this time (obviously), replaced with the President’s struggle to establish himself in the annals of history with a legacy worth remembering. Which means there’s less of that immediacy of frontline political survival that defined earlier seasons. It’s much more of the general soul-searching that goes on between the President and his staffers over the dwindling time left to do something big, and what the future might hold for the outgoing agenda. I did like Toby (Richard Schiff) and Will’s (Josh Malina) little rivalry for that reason, as Will becomes focused on the future (regarding the VP, played by Gary Cole) while Toby seems intent on going down in a blaze of glory if need be with his meal ticket Bartlet. Some standout episodes this season include a visit to the White House by the Muppets (ironic justice for this past election season, in a sense), a tense standoff between Israel and Hamas that the gun-shy Bartlet can’t seem to intercede in effectively, and a great gimmick piece modeled after 60 Minutes and its ilk showing a day in the life of Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (Alison Janney) during an unforeseen domestic terror incident.

-> 9/10
Old 12-14-2012, 12:09 AM
Ninja 忍者 (2009)

Well this action takes you right back to the late 80's early 90's. If you picture 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' but with blood and for an adult audience then you have 'Ninja'. I won't lie to you I found this silly nonsense kinda fun to watch hehe it was full of totally ridiculous set pieces, hordes of blade fodder in the form of a never ending supply of henchmen all wearing identical outfits which is simply hilarious and some really over the top CGI blood spurting. Yes this was an epic slice of hokum.

I gotta admit there was some nice imagery throughout the film with the ninja suits, especially in the dark rainy parts and the dojo sequences at the start. Some cool fights, moves and some nice weaponry to boot...its a film about cool ass ninjas, think about it.
Totally predictable and extremely corny with all the regular goodie and baddie cliches but admittedly Adkins (the goodie ninja guy) has probably the best looking torso I've seen since Jason Scott Lee in 'Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story'!. As a man I must admit I was impressed! and this is one of his early films too, before he became even more buffed for the 'Undisputed' franchise.

I really didn't know they made films like this anymore hehe yet I'm pleased. Really brought memories of my teen years flooding back, the only thing missing from this Shinobi (忍び) epic is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa snearing his ass off, now that would have been the ultimate badassery.
Old 12-14-2012, 12:49 AM
The Other Love with Barbara Stanwyck and David Niven - A woman with TB ignores her doctor's order to rest and decides to pursue a romance. Two fantastic performances from the leads even if the story is little more than fluff. 7/10

Casino Royale (2006) - This was a really good Bond story and aside from the ridiculous poker hands there isn't much to criticize. Daniel Craig is probably already my second favorite Bond and the action scenes were pretty intense. 8/10
Old 12-14-2012, 02:53 AM

Ah good old blighty, red letter boxes, bubble n squeak and now Bond seems to be back home for most of this new adventure. So no more glorious locations and outrageous set pieces involving overly tanned women and Lotus Esprits? well kinda.

Bond film number 23, geez! does this franchise really need to carry on?. Well yes and no if you ask me, yes he's pretty much one of the UK's best known fictional heroes alongside 'Sherlock Holmes' and practically a tourist attraction. On the other hand these films really are getting somewhat repetitive now come on.

The films poster is rather uninspired also, plus the title seems rather obscure and meaningless (yes I know its the name of 'Bond's' family estate, weird name though innit?).

The one issue I have with this film and the previous Craig 'adult' Bond films is they can't decide what to do with them. On one side the films are showboated as gritty, hard edged, realistic super spy films, yet on the other side they are still quite stupid, cheesy, cliched and camp in places. So which is it guys? we've had classic Bond, camp Bond, serious Bond and smarmy Bond, is Craig suppose to be adult Bond?. The other issue is Bond used to be special, this franchise owned the super spy genre and each new film was the mother of all spy films, the new Bond film was like a religious/holy coming we were blessed with.

Unfortunately these days, like most genres, we are spoilt for choice and there are numerous super spy films/franchises that all do the same thing. So this whole deary hype we have to go through for every new Bond now seems pointless as it has all been done before, but now in various other franchises too.

So leaving my moaning aside what about this new effort. Well its actually a reasonable spy/action flick but not really much of a Bond flick. Most Bond flicks tend to have HUGE set pieces, one after another with little in between. Now that is admittedly rather tedious these days so its nice to see that this film does not have that problem. Thing is this film seems to swing right over to the other extreme and have virtually no decent impressive action set pieces in it.

The opening sequence is very good, well thought up, directed, edited, tense, great stunts and surprisingly not overly over blown (although I've never seen a JCB crush cars on a moving train before, that's a new one). After that there isn't really much else that impresses. There are a few good shoot outs, some good fighting and the assassination sequence with silhouettes against a backdrop of neon lights is really nice visually but that's it.

The film does seem more violent with plenty getting gunned down but at the same time it also harks back to classic Bond with plenty of silly humorous moments, which is OK. Although the addition of the old classic Bond car (Aston Martin DB5) wasn't really needed, over doing the homage there. Overall though the film feels very low key action wise, the ending is an incredible anti climax, especially for Bond.

The other strange thing here is the baddie (Bardem) is also incredibly weak and hardly threatening a tall. He has the 'Max Zorin' appearance from 'A View to a Kill' with a nasty blonde hairdo but isn't really very bad a tall, in fact he comes across as quite an OK guy haha. The most shocking thing he does in the whole film (apart from shoot a sexy female in the head, although he was nice about it) is touch up 'Bond' when he has him tied to chair!. That was an eye opening surprise right there, his mannerisms in the following dialog was quite amusing too I must say.

Like most films these days I can't help but notice silly things, I just can't!. 'Bond' and 'M' escape from the shootout in London together, next minute they're in the depths of Scotland? the UK ain't that small folks. At the start when 'Bond' gets shot and falls off the train and that rather large drop into the cold river below, don't really think he would have survived that but hey.

When 'Bond' holds on to the elevator that goes up that skyscraper, when it arrives at the top, one minute 'Bond' is underneath the elevator, next minute he's inside the building? oh and he only had the use of one arm!. Would Komodo Dragons really attack and eat a human just like that?. Also when 'bond'...ah who cares.

I did like the new casting for 'Q', the nerdy computer whizz, thought that would be awful but he was quite good actually. Fiennes naturally was good but felt he would make a much better baddie really, could just see it. Finally 'M' despite being a miserable looking cow, you gotta love her really, she has that strict but loving 'mum' thing about her which many of us can relate to. It was also kinda neat to see 'M' and his office return to their routes at the very end of the film. not sure how 'Moneypenny' is able to still be around, is 'Moneypenny' a code name like 'Bond'? must be.

Overall it is a good action film, a good low key action film, but it doesn't really feel like a Bond film. I understand what they have tried to do toning down the Hollywood aspect but maybe it did need just a bit more kick assery. But like I say there isn't really much you can do with this franchise now, its up against a lot of other very slick spy action films and altogether the genre is now flooded much like the superhero genre. Maybe give it a rest for some years.

I think I used the name 'Bond' there plenty don't you? lets count.
Old 12-14-2012, 05:58 AM


Old 12-14-2012, 06:36 AM

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - ****

Magnificent! One of the year's very best. Visually sumptuous, enthralling! Like all great movies, it completely transports you to another world, full of great characters and truly dazzling images!
Old 12-14-2012, 07:36 AM
Adventure Time - Season 1 - 9/10
Old 12-14-2012, 04:26 PM

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey(2012)-10/10
Old 12-14-2012, 07:21 PM
A Walk in the Spring Rain with Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn - A romance in which two married middle aged people fall for each other with dire consequences. The story may not be original but the two leads are both fantastic actors. 7/10

Quantum of Solace - This one was more confusing than many Bond films. Sometimes I wasn't quite sure what was going on from one location to the next. This story was way too convoluted and needed to be streamlined. Daniel Craig was still fantastic as Bond though. 6/10
Old 12-14-2012, 07:25 PM

Yeah, "retribution" seems appropriate. Good audio.
Old 12-14-2012, 09:34 PM


Spaghetti western starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer.
Old 12-15-2012, 12:23 PM
Silver Hawk (HK, 2004)

So you thought the 'Avengers' was a good comicbook flick huh? well move over 'Iron Man' and 'Hulk', move over for 'Silver Hawk'!!!.

Not too dissimilar from various other Far Eastern fantasy martial arts flicks, this film merely came to my attention due to the casting of Michael Jai White, Luke Goss and the gorgeous Michelle Yeoh. Its your basic comicbook character action film but the hero is a heroine (Yeoh) and she isn't exactly a superhero but more like 'Iron Man', a person with money who fights crime in a nifty suit.

Well I say nifty suit, this suit simply looks like silver spandex with some silver painted goggles on her head and a long silver flapping coat. The thing that is so silly with this is everyone is virtually dressed in silver haha all the bad guys and henchmen in silver armour and everyone uses silver weapons or gadgets.

Surprisingly Jai White is a silent bad guy henchmen in this (looking like a certain character out of 'Mortal Kombat' and with some 'Biggles' head wear for some reason) and unsurprisingly Goss is the main villain. He is dressed in a 'Matrix' style full length silver trench coat (indeed) with prosthetic silver metal forearms and looking like Richard O' Brien's brother. The action is tame but reasonably well choreographed, nothing amazing but it does the job with no strong violence or blood.

All of the film is pure comicbook silliness which does look like something made for TV but a lot of Asian movies can look like this. You could almost think of this as a Chinese 'Batman and Robin' complete with fighting bad guys on bungee ropes, rollerblading ice hockey bad guys and 'Silver Hawk' has her own 'Batbike' type vehicle, its just not as camp. Well...that is until you see Goss in his skintight shiny silver vinyl costume towards the end.
Old 12-15-2012, 07:45 PM
The Hobbit: 8.5/10
Old 12-15-2012, 08:40 PM
A Separation - Definitely a worthy choice for Best Foreign Language Picture from last year. The story was pretty simple but still very engaging and I did like the actors who played the man separated from his wife and the woman he hires to take care of his father. 8/10

Pitch Perfect - Anna Kendrick was great and I think she's incredibly beautiful as well. Some of the music kind of sucked since it's a capella but the film was still fun. 7/10

Loverboy - Kyra Sedgwick plays a woman obsessed with having the perfect child. Her character seems loving on the surface but underneath she is pretty disturbed. A very good performance from her. I could have done without some of the flashback scenes but they didn't exactly detract from the film. 7/10
Old 12-16-2012, 12:13 AM

Old 12-16-2012, 05:48 AM

So so very confusing at first but I think I've worked this out now, I think. Very clever sci-fi and very intriguing but my god time travel is a bitch to follow at times haha. I really had to sit back and think about this at times, take it slow.

I won't go into the plot too much here as it may take time and I may reveal spoilers by mistake. I'm probably wrong about it myself. Even though this film is based on time travel its not a flashy effects time travel action film, its much more character driven with a solid premise requiring some thought.

'Joe' is a 'Looper', someone who kills people for the mob. The mob happens to be based 30yrs in the future. They send their targets back through time (which is highly illegal and only used by bigtime mobsters...somehow) to the Looper who then whacks them. This means the now dead target no longer exists in the future, but I'm unsure about his present day existence to be honest. I think he lives out the next 30yrs (the gap between present and future in the film) until the point where he is caught by the mob and sent back in time to be killed, no way out. Either that or he will just cease to exist at the time and date of death by the Looper.

This leads me to questions, many questions hehe. When someone is killed by a Looper what exactly happens to their present form? does it vanish into nothing or do they indeed continue living until the point of execution back in the past? (where they are sent by the mobsters). If so then surely this cycle would just go on and on wouldn't it?.

It does actually hurt your brain trying to get this nailed down. Other smaller issues don't quite feel right either, though not time related. The Loopers are assassins for the mob yet the job comes across like a government job with their own offices, weapons storage, pay department etc...'Joe' tells us that he cleans up the trash of the future which again makes you think its a proper pensioned government type job, it really doesn't feel like the mob a tall. The mob also seems to be able to pay all their Loopers in silver or gold so they must have easy access to these metals in the future or they are really rich mobsters.

The idea of 'closing the loop' also makes me wonder. Why on earth would anyone take a job where they know they could have their contract cancelled at any point and then be whacked themselves. The bizarre notion being they whack themselves, and they know it will definitely happen at some point when they accepted the job as a Looper in the first place. Then they only have 30yrs with their final payment to enjoy themselves before reaching the future moment where they were sent back to the past be killed (you get that?). Not a job for me thank you.

The prosthetic makeup used on Levitt to give him the looks of Willis is really good I must say, his eye colour was a bit off but overall it really worked well when they could of just left it. The casting of Levitt was inspired for the main role or 'Joe', as for willis' role...well anyone could of done that really, I don't rate the guy to be honest. The other let down was Daniels as the mob boss who has come from the future to look after the past. Not very threatening or intimidating really, not the type of guy you would choose for this role I think, he's too nice.

I also liked other subtle little futuristic touches like the 'Star Wars' style hover bikes, slight tweaks to skyscrapers and building designs plus some nice innovative touch screen technology throughout. Nothing amazing but it helped to give the impression of a slightly advanced future that isn't too unrecognisable or overblown. Overall the film is very minimalistic and extremely grounded with nothing much in the way of big budget effects.

The later half does get rather 'Omen-ish' towards the end with the little brat and his monotone ramblings and evil stares. Hard to believe 'Joe' takes soooo long to realise the little kid he's with all that time is the one he's after geez! pretty obvious. Also why 'Joe' decides to then help the kid! duh!? the kid is telekinetically unstable. Bottom line we don't actually know what this kid will do in the future other than close all Loops and take over organised crime, I guess we are meant to believe he will become a super villain type person?.

The first half of the film set in the city is much better visually and for the story, everything on the farm gets pretty drab frankly. So yes I found myself asking many questions and there are the odd moments of dumb action like when Willis manages to gun down all the bad guys despite the fact they have him pinned down at point blank range but I still liked the film as a very original sci-fi. A tad overly long but the film does exactly what it should and that is to make you think, get you involved deeply.

In the end I felt sorry for older 'Joe' played by Willis, was I suppose to? haha.
Old 12-16-2012, 06:28 AM

Old 12-16-2012, 08:00 AM
starting my Christmas movies with this

8/10 a childhood favorite
Old 12-16-2012, 10:07 AM
Neds (Peter Mullan, 2011)

Great performances, aside from that nothing to make it particularly more powerful than you're average grit-Brit flick. Wonderfully captures the era though.
Old 12-16-2012, 03:32 PM
Snow White & The Huntsman

It came, it made noise, it looked pretty, and now it’s gone. Plagued with problems that add up to serious flaws over its 2 ¼ hour runtime, it’s a darker reimagining of a classic fairytale with all the dull dialogue and jerky plotting of a second-rate historical epic, though buttressed by some captivating fantasy visuals and solid Hollywood action sequences. And of course, by Ian McShane and a slew of great British actors playing the badass dwarves. Loved those guys. So I guess it’s a wash on some level, but it was enough fun for me not to have regretted watching it this once. Great production value. I did have a good laugh at the absurd notion of Kristen Stewart even being thought as “fairer” than Charlize Theron, even with all the CG and makeup effects they used to uglify her. Nice try, but it couldn’t be done. I figured they meant fairer of personality, in which case yes, the evil queen was probably gonna lose. A basically insensate performance from Theron (admittedly with some one-dimensional material) didn’t bolster her cause any, save for an awkwardly placed flashback that aimed to humanize her without really revealing anything about why she does the evil shit she does at the beginning of the movie to that particular kingdom. I think it was revenge, but it was unclear who her “enemy” really was… Whatever. I think- Is it- Yes, I'm sure now - I don't care anymore.

-> 5/10
Old 12-16-2012, 06:16 PM
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - A nice coming of age tale in which a shy and troubled freshman makes friends with some seniors and they all try to muddle their way through high school. It turns out Emma Watson might actually be a decent actress so that was a nice surprise. A lot of low key but effective performances here. 8/10
Old 12-16-2012, 08:37 PM


Alps 7/10

Starbuck 8/10
Old 12-16-2012, 09:05 PM

If done in America, the film would have seemed cliche, but with an amazing performance from Cotillard, this takes so many emotional tones that it's hard to properly put it into words.

Old 12-16-2012, 09:06 PM

Old 12-16-2012, 10:21 PM

GREMLINS 2 - 7/10

I was going to watch A Nightmare Before Christmas, but instead I popped in Gremlins 2. I love the first movie because of how dark and twisted it is. It's always on the verge of pure horror, but instead centered on totally demented humor which I doubt would pass even in a PG-13 rating today. Smoking, beer and liqour-swilling puppets might not go over well today.

The sequel, of course, goes in a completely different direction. What I found particularly interesting is the idea of smart-technology and how relevant this "futuristic" building is based on today's concept of everything being hooked into a collective. The concept is nice, but in reality it is so often a failure. Gremlins 2 did a wonderful satirical turn to this idea.
Fun movie. Certainly wacky and stupid, but with just enough smarts and self-aware jabs at the first movie and the non-sensical "rules" of gremlins to keep it fun.
Old 12-17-2012, 12:30 AM

Surreal, abstract, cold, original.

What is satisfying is while it never truly answers any questions surrounding the events, it winks at many things and leaves one pondering. I like that.


Bad Day At Black Rock

Watched this with the laserdisc commentary PTA so much raved about, and learned a ton about filmmaking, holy shit. Sturges is the man
Old 12-17-2012, 02:44 AM
Bowling for Columbine (rewatched)

Old 12-17-2012, 02:47 PM

There is that “feel good” quality in David O. Russell’s latest film, and why shouldn’t there be? Most films have those three act structures of characters in a pretty dark place, find some sort of muse to take them out of their emotional or physical obstacle, and lead on to that road of predictable, sappy endings that make the audience cheer and leave with a big smile on their face. Russell seems to perfectly understand that role in certain types of cinema, and while Silver Linings tries to attain it’s own vision under the guise of fairly personal “dramedy” for some of the film’s screen time, there’s that compulsive need to fall back on that “feel good” route that doesn’t inherently hurt the film, but never making the film truly great either.

The main focus of the film is mental illness, and the effect that it can have on friends and family. That afflicted character is Pat (Bradley Cooper) who is let out of a mental institution after a violent outburst made him lose his wife and teaching job. Feeling the need to be on the road to recovery, he begins a plan to better himself, crossing roads with another damaged individual Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), as well as dealing with a rocky relationship with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro).

The first act of the film is probably the strongest aspect of Silver Linings, with Russell showing how deep the problems with Cooper’s Pat have really gotten, as well as how these problems could have originated through his home life. There’s this looseness in this part of the story, and Cooper really sells the emotions and pent up anger that Pat has been dealing with throughout his life. One particular breakdown regarding Pat is visceral and intense, really selling Pat’s mental illness and not having that aspect being played up as a quality for Pat’s character that could seem like a minor hindrance in other films that would deal with this type of theme.

The other strong aspect in the first act is Lawrence’s Tiffany, whose back-and-forth with Pat, and as another troubled character is really solid. Lawrence truly shines in this role, always bringing that off-kilter personality, but never forgetting that her character is emotionally damaged. She’s always on par with the other actors around her, never feeling diminished by the likes of Cooper and even Deniro. She simply sells her character in every way that she can, whether it calls to be subdued or aggressively manic.

The relationship of Pat and Tiffany is one of the main selling points of the film, and while the pairing seems like something that feels as artificially Hollywood that the script calls for, Cooper and Lawrence make the whole thing work. The whole feels organic for most of the film’s running time, never having times where the film has each of the characters reflect on their relationships to other characters, but rather letting the audience be smart enough to know that their chemistry is blooming every time that they are together.

But, while there’s this subtlety in Silver Lining Playbook, the film unfortunately seems very dead set to go down a road where there’s this huge conflict and that the characters need to work together to overcome that obstacle. Now, the main focal point of Pat and his mental illness is the obstacle in the Russell’s film, but another obstacle pops up in the film regarding Deniro’s character that just seemed out-of-place for a film that had a bit more looseness in how the characters connect and develop as people. Not to say that the film’s script loses the more subtle approach to how the main characters evolve as people, but now the film is under the third act portion of the script that is heart warming and many audiences will lap up, but doesn’t feel as authentic as the rest of the film felt.

But, while Silver Lining Playbook does lose its authenticity near the end, the film still has great direction and acting to somewhat elevate the predictable “feel good” qualities that Russell enjoys to implement in this film. There’s nothing thoroughly groundbreaking or amazing in this film, but a leisurely Saturday/Sunday night viewing for those interested will probably get the most out of David O Russell’s film.

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