Sunday, September 29, 2013

Week 2 Films

This Friday, Gravity hits theaters. Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, this space-thriller chronicles two astronaut's attempt at survival after their spaceship is involved in an accident. To coincide with this film's release, this week we have decided to review one of George Clooney's most well known works - The Ocean's Trilogy.

The Ocean's Trilogy is a series of three movies (Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, and Ocean's Thirteen), which depict the heists of a criminal team led by Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney. Ocean's Eleven is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name. All three films possess large ensemble casts, which include the likes of Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Matt Damon.

Tweet your thoughts @moviereviewclub and join us on Tuesday for our review!

Friday, September 27, 2013

What's New?

Released on DVD This Tuesday
Tuesday, October 1

After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy.

While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.

Coming To Theatres Next Friday
Friday, October 4

Staring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, Gravity is the tale of a medical engineer and an astronaut who work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

When a poor college student, Richie Furst, cracks an online poker games goes bust, he arranges a face-to-face with the man he thinks cheated him. The sly offshore entrepreneur lures Furst into becoming is protégé and right-hand man.

A failed New York playwright stages a suicide in an attempt to win back her ex, only to wind up in the custody of her gambling-addicted mother.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday - Star Wars IV: A New Hope

Cody – This week for Throwback Thursday, we have decided to review a classic for many science fiction fans Star Wars IV: A New Hope. This film from George Lucas stars MarkHamill as Luke Skywalker, an aspiring pilot who undertakes a galactic journey to save the galaxy from evil. Luke is helped by a number of characters on his quest, including the bounty hunter Han Solo and Princess Leia, played by Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher respectively.

Chris - After re-watching A New Hope, the film fails to hold up to the expectations I had when I was younger. I felt very little compassion for any of the characters, which seemed quite flat and underwhelming, in particular Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill). The film fails to give a true reason to root for Luke; he suffers no great loss or challenges in his journey. Yes, his aunt and uncle are killed at the beginning of the film, but the plot moves on quickly from this point. We never see Luke truly grieving for his loss; rather, he seems to accept it rather quickly.

Cody - It is not until the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi that we truly see Luke show any emotion for another character, and the scene fails to deliver any significant impact. Viewers who have seen the 3 newer films (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith) feel emotional impact to this death because these films explored Obi-Wan’s life; they allowed the viewer to truly get to know Obi-Wan. A New Hope may have occurred after these films chronologically, but it was the first film of the series to be released. This prevents the viewer from gaining much insight into Obi-Wan’s impact on the overall story, making the Luke-Obi-Wan relationship seem quite superficial and insincere when viewed solely from the one film.

Chris – The film is still well known for its amazing story, one which I found to be particularly thrilling. However, I feel the film still does not live up to the expectations set out by its dedicated fan base. Nostalgia is what makes this film enjoyable; nevertheless, I can still appreciate what this film did for the industry and genre.

Cody – The acting is not particularly great in certain sequences, some of the jokes fall flat, and certain elements of the storyline still felt rushed (in particular Luke’s quick ascension to Rebel pilot following Obi-Wan’s death). However, the story is still what makes this film enjoyable - following a young man’s journey throughout the galaxy in his pursuit from zero to hero.

Our Ratings

Chris - 7/10

Cody - 7/10

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Cody – 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, a relatively happy radio journalist whose life is turned upside down with the discovery that he has contracted cancer. The movie follows Adam’s struggle with his new-found disease and how his relationships with family and friends become affected.

Ellie - I enjoyed this movie! Adam’s character is perfectly set up and explained in the very first shot. While out jogging he stops at a crosswalk and, even when there is obviously no traffic around, he waits until directed to cross the street. Adam is a man the does what he is supposed to. This is an attitude he carries with him for the majority of the movie. Even though he is dealt a bad hand by life, he does not rail against the world. Instead he jumps right into receiving treatment. That is, until he is forced to face his own mortality after the death of Mitch. Until this point in the movie it doesn’t quite seem real that, while these men are admittedly sick, they may also be dying.

Cody – The supporting characters within 50/50 really do help capture all of the emotions that are felt by Adam. While Gordon-Levitt’s performance as Adam shines brightly in a dark film, Seth Rogen’s representation of Kyle, Adam’s friend, is worth commending. Kyle is consistently supportive of his friend and acts as the comedic foil to Adam’s serious nature. Rogen’s performance allows the viewer to laugh at a film about a man undergoing cancer treatment without guilt.

Ellie - The movie is not simply a dramatic story of how a man fights for his life against cancer. It is a very real picture of how an individual and those who share his life learn to cope with the diagnosis of cancer. We all have someone in our lives that has been affected by cancer, and regardless of the outcome it is a trying experience that is stressful for everyone involved. Yet despite the seriousness of the topic 50/50 was also able to make us laugh. Adam’s friends are able to keep some light in his life as he deals with the darkness that is surrounding him.

Cody - 50/50 manages to seamlessly transition between comedic and dramatic elements throughout the film. While Adam’s situation is portrayed as dire and unfortunate, the film is able to keep a somewhat upbeat attitude in regards to his cancer. This mirrors Adam’s own behaviour throughout much of the film, as he maintains a positive outlook despite his unfortunate circumstance. Adam’s behaviour only begins to drastically change after the death of a friend, where he begins to come to grips with his situation and accepts the possibility that he will die.

Ellie - I did enjoy the overall feel of the movie, but I must admit I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters. I did of course hope that Adam successfully beat the cancer, but it was the hope of a passive viewer that knows she is supposed to care for the main character. But I don’t want to just be a passive viewer. I want the story to pull me in. I want to be on the edge of my seat hoping the director didn’t decide to get artsy with the film and make a statement ending. I want to desperately crave the big Hollywood finish- beat the cancer and get the girl! That wasn’t the case though. I just watched as the movie unfolded. The one time I genuinely felt something for the characters was when Adam and his mother are hugging before he goes in for the surgery. I also particularly liked the ending of this movie. We were given just enough closure that I could leave satisfied, but also left it open enough that the viewers are able to determine what exactly will come next. Though I was not particularly attached to the characters, the realistic story telling won me over with an enjoyable movie.

Cody – One of the very few flaws from my point of view was the lack of pace. While the film was an enjoyable story, some scenes of the film felt dragged out, while others didn’t necessarily get the attention they deserved. In particular, the scene where Adam learns of Mitch’s death and his subsequent funeral seemed rushed; however, the scene also communicates how fierce of a disease cancer can be. Friends who were there one minute are now gone the next, and this experience really teaches Adam how destructive his disease can become. Aside from a few minor flaws, this film does an effective job at conveying the struggles faced by those afflicted with cancer, and how they choose to cope with it.

Our Ratings:

Cody – 8/10

Ellie – 8/10

(500) Days of Summer

Cody - (500) Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom, a greeting card writer who becomes infatuated with a fellow coworker Summer, played by ZooeyDeschanel. This film charts the 500 days of their relationship from Tom’s perspective.

Ellie - On a whole, I enjoyed this movie for its story telling, if not for the story itself. It has many of the pieces that constitute a traditional romantic film such as boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy loses girl, however, unlike a traditional romance- boy does not win girl back. There are also some very traditional fairy tale elements included in the film; the search for his one true love, a spontaneous dance sequence, the animated bird, and even the wise sounding omnipotent narrator, all to add further contrast to the fact that this is not a traditional romance.

Cody – This film really did an excellent job in breaking the format of the typical romantic comedy. . This film breaks the trend by communicating early on how it will end; there will only be 500 days of Summer, with no fairy-tale ending. Rather than following the typical romantic comedy blueprint, this film simply tells a coming of age story from Tom’s point of view.  While the movie focuses on his romantic endeavours, its goal is to showcase a pivotal period in the life of Tom, and how he copes with it. It is much more of a coming-of-age story than it is a romance. (500) Days of Summer also does a terrific job communicating the story non-linearly. The plot takes place over a 500 day span, during which many different events take place, and many diverse emotions are felt by Tom. This film excels in transitioning between the high and low points of this period in Tom’s life, and the scene arrangement helps to gauge the relationship between Tom and Summer.

Ellie - It really can be tricky to tell a non-linear story, but (500) Days of Summer manages pull it off while adding even more depth to the narrative. I particularly loved the shot of expectation vs. reality. Both are individually beautiful but played out side by side they are wonderful. The shot of expectation played out the way a standard romance might have, while the shot of reality showed exactly that- reality. It illustrated what would most likely have occurred if this were a relationship in real life.

Cody - This movie does a great job in showcasing that a relationship is not a constant; it is constantly evolving and changing, and can be drastically altered in a short period of time. While many elements of the film worked well, I feel that the film failed in expanding the character of Summer. Tom is the main character of the film, and rightfully so dominates the screen in terms of dissecting his character’s backgrounds and motivation. However, it fails to truly explain who Summer is as a person. We learn about Tom’s family and friends, his ambition to become an architect, and his favourite spot in the world. But Summer is never truly fleshed out as a character – she is simply a symbol for Tom’s desire to achieve happiness.

Ellie - Tom and Summer both had their moments, but I did not particularly enjoy this movie for more than the cinematography. I found Tom’s all‑consuming interest in Summer to be a turn off. He was building his world around Summer and expected her to fall into place within it. I am a sucker for a good romance, but Tom’s attentions for Summer left me feeling flat. I felt that he was more concerned with how he felt about Summer than learning how she felt towards him. Yes, he wanted her to love him back, but only because he deserved her love in return for how much he loved her.  Ultimately this film offers a new look at a love story, but fails to truly garner support from this viewer with its lack of honest affection.

Our Ratings:

Cody – 7/10

Ellie – 6/10

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 1 Films

For our first week, we have decided to kick things off by reviewing two movies. 

This Friday, the film Don Jon is released in theaters, which was written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and stars him in titular role. In anticipation of his new film, we have decided to review two of Gordon-Levitt’s past films – (500) Days of Summer, and 50/50

(500) Days of Summer stars Gordon-Levitt as a man infatuated with one of his coworkers, and the film chronicles their evolving relationship. 

In 50/50, Gordon-Levitt plays a radio journalist who discovers he has contracted cancer, and must now struggle with this burden. 

Come visit on Tuesday to read our reviews!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Hello readers!

Judging from your presence on this blog, you are also a movie fanatic! Whether it be a newly-released flick or a nostalgic-inducing film from our childhood, we simply cannot get enough of movies. While we can all agree on our love for movies, our opinions of them are not always so similar. Realizing that others may share some of our differing views, we decided to create this blog. This way you can see our opinions on some of your favourite films, and possibly be alerted to a movie you haven’t seen!

Each week we will review two to three movies and offer our varying opinions on them. From current-day features to older classics, we intend on appraising films from several different genres and time periods. Every Sunday we will release the titles of the movies we intend on reviewing that week. The first review of the week will be made on Tuesday, and will typically encompass one to two films from the past decade. This will be followed up with our “Throwback Thursday” event, which will involve us viewing and reviewing a classic or nostalgic film from the past.

We hope you enjoy reading our insights on these films, and welcome recommendations on any movies we should review next!

- Cody, Chris and Ellie