jueves, 28 de febrero de 2013

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence by Steven Spielberg

I wanted to review a book today but I have just finished watching this one for the very first time and I thought I might review it here.
The film is based upon a short story by Brian Aldiss. Now, I have not read the short story so I don't know if it has the same characters or not, that's why I'll stick to the film.
The film is set in a very interesting future: global warming has somewhat destroyed the planet and the cities that defined mankind are gone. Robots are becoming more and more authentic and the creators want to go one step further. They decide that the next robot that will be created should be one capable of loving, and the only way to achieve that is a child robot who could feel love for those he would consider his or her parents. 
The handicap to these robots will be that if rejected, they will be destroyed because their love will be real and will not be reconfigurable.
Sometime later, a child robot, David, arrives in a devastated family that is about to lose their real son. David becomes like a second son and develops real love for the mother, who he believes to be his own. It all changes when the real son comes back and puts David in different situations that end up with poor David abandoned with a robot teddy bear, rather than destroyed.
David has a dream: he will find the blue fairy and will ask her to make him a real boy, just like Pinocchio. From the moment he is left all in his own, he begins a journey to find her, to become a real kid and go back to his beloved mother.
 It is indeed a great story, I was so in love with it by this point that I had not realized that almost an hour and a half had gone by. There are great characters from beginning to end in the film, David being the most interesting. Jude Law is in it too and plays a robot Gigolo, which was so unexpected that it was genius. Great characters, great story, great writing, real feelings (which obviously is a big deal in the film), and great aspirations.
I really do not want to spoil what happens from the moment David and Joe (Jude Law) meet so I'll stop here. 
The one thing that to me killed the film was its final part. There is a clear, amazing even, ending to the story, and it is even beautifully narrated with a voice over. But for some reason the film goes on for another 25 minutes (with Aliens in it!). That part did not make much sense to me, and as I said it pretty much killed the magic of the entire story… But, aside from that, I can easily pretend that the film ends where I think it should end, and I'll love it and probably re-watch it.

MadHatterSays: Watch it!

miércoles, 27 de febrero de 2013

The Hobbit (2012)

I have just Watched it, so, here it comes!

The Hobbit is a 2012 film directed by Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures and The Lord of the rings trilogy).  The film is a comeback to Middle Earth, the world that British author J.R.R. Tolkien created in his children's book of the same name, The Hobbit. 

The film is set many years before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book of the trilogy, and it narrates the journey that Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, undertakes with thirteen dwarfs and Gandalf, the wizard played by Ian McKellen who reprises his role from the previous films. The adventure begins with Gandalf asking Bilbo to join him in an adventure. This adventure forces Bilbo to leave everything behind, all the comforts of his hobbit life and go into the world, which he knows nothing about. This interesting and very funny companionship will have to struggle with such things as Trolls, Orcs, Giant mountains, trust and friendship issues and even the infamous Gollum, who will play an important part in the story later on, to accomplish its ultimate goal; defeating the evil dragon Smaug, which took the land of the dwarfs many years ago and is determined to keep it. 

The Hobbit is a clear example that shows that no matter how little the story is, if it is well crafted, acted and directed, then the film is going to work and live up to what people was expecting. The film is praised for its technical achievements, being the first film to be shoot in 48 frames per second. It will be split into another trilogy so the filmmakers can make a link between this film and the original trilogy, which has been highly criticized as a way to make more money rather than a decision for better story development. The film was very anticipated by the film community and by people around the world, who had been waiting for years for the adaptation to hit the silver screen. The film's early success is not only a hard earned recognition by those who made it, but a huge response from fans all over the planet who could not wait to see middle earth once more. 

Now, anything I don't like? Sure, there are things that were not in the original story, the White Orc for example, which to me, was mainly pointless and did not really work. Aside for that, I consider it to be quite a good adaptation and, even though I don't think it should be a trilogy, I am indeed looking for the second part.
MadHatterSays: Watch it!

martes, 26 de febrero de 2013

The Reader

The Reader by Bernard Schlink.

Today I have decided to move away from the "young adult" section for this review. The Reader is a concise, "stick to the point" novel that you can actually read in a sit (It is no more than 200 pages).

The story focuses on the life of Michael Berg, in his romantic life I should say. The story narrates particular periods of his life in which he meets love, then the effects of that love and then, he faces that love.
The novel begins just after WWII, when Michael is just a teenager. He is sick and a woman helps him. That woman is Hanna Schmitz, with whom the boy will have an affair. They are very different from each other, not only by their ages (she is on her 30s and he, again, is a teenager) But their personalities clash from the very beginning of the story, you see a strong, intriguing woman and a loving boy, who is madly in love with someone who he barely knows. And then, at the end of the summer, and with no notice, Hanna disappears.

My personal favorite part of the story is the middle section, or as I have previously called it: "the effects of that love". 8 years after the affair, the lovers meet again in a very different situation. Michael is a law student, Hannah is being judged for her job as a SS guard in the last years of the war. From that moment on, there's a sort of thriller feeling while you are reading, all the sexiness from the first part is gone and Michael begins a sort of "pursuit" for the truth of his youth.

The narrative is brilliant, so intense that again, you really don't want to put the book down. This is one of the only books that I have read more than once, and every time I read it feels like the first time. Fresh, sexy, thrilling… The reader is a wonderful story, with great characters and terrifying background that will make you feel, think and experience things that not many 200 books can give… One of my favorites.

MadHatterSays: Read it!


lunes, 25 de febrero de 2013

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I didn't know what to review today and since I'm absolutely exhausted for last night's Oscar telecast, and I am also most happy for Jennifer Lawrence, I have decided to go with The Hunger Games.

This is a book that needs no introduction, everyone has heard or read or watched The hunger games, but, specially to those who have not read it, here's my personal review of the book.

The Hunger Games is narrated by Katniss Everdeen, that means that it's written in firs person. Now, I'm not a particular fan of this kind of writing but I have to say that Hunger Games does it so good that you actually have the feeling that it could not have been written in any other way. The story itself, as you know, is pretty interesting. It is set in a very detailed ruined world in which you get to know how society has evolved after a terrible war that put an end to the way people lived their life's.

Suzanne Collins achieves something that to me is essential in this kind of books, she gives the reader such a strong main character and puts you in all kind of situations that are so organic that feel so real  that you just can't put the book down. There are a lot of characters here, most of them are very interesting, some are not (as always happens), but well, perfection doesn't quite exist right?

Now, there is one particular point in the book that I never liked, especially after watching it translated into the screen. If you have not read it, this might be a spoiler: The mutants at the end of the story seem so pointless that you want to forget about them the moment you close the book, but aside from that, i love it.

I will most likely be reviewing both CATCHING FIRE and MOCKINGJAY, wait for it!

MadHatterSay: Read it!


domingo, 24 de febrero de 2013

The 85th annual Academy Awards

Since I reviewed a film nominated for the Academy Awards tonight I thought I might do a "prediction" list for what's going to happen tonight. Here it goes


Best motion picture of the year
Beasts of the southern wild»
«Django Unchained»
«Les misérables»
«Life of Pi»
«Silver Linings Playbook» DARK HORSE
«Zero Dark Thirty»

Best director
Michael Haneke «Amour»
Benh Zeitlin «
Beasts of the southern wild»
Ang Lee «Life of  Pi»
Steven Spielberg «Lincoln» WINNER
David O. Russell «Silver Linings Playbook» DARK HORSE

Best performance by an actress in a leading role
Jessica Chastain «Zero Dark Thirty»
Jennifer Lawrence «Silver Linings Playbook» WINNER
Emmanuelle Riva «Amour» DARK HORSE
Quvenzhané Wallis «
Beasts of the southern wild»
Naomi Watts «The impossible»

Best performance by an actor in a leading role
Bradley Cooper «Silver Linings Playbook»
Daniel Day-Lewis «Lincoln» WINNER
Hugh Jackman «Lés miserables»
Joaquin Phoenix «The Master» DARK HORSE
Denzel Washington «Flight

Best supporting actress
Amy Adams «The Master»
Sally Field «Lincoln» DARK HORSE
Anne Hathaway «Les misérables» WINNER
Helen Hunt «The Sessions»
Jackie Weaver «Silver Linings Playboo)»

Best supporting actor
Alan Arkin «Argo»
Robert De Niro «Silver Linings Playbook» DARK HORSE
Philip Seymour Hoffman «The Master»
Tommy Lee Jones «Lincoln» WINNER
Christoph Waltz «Django Unchained»

Best original screenplay
Michael Haneke «Amour»
Quentin Tarantino «Django Unchained» WINNER
John Gatins «Flight»
Wes Anderson y Roman Coppola «Moonrise Kingdom» DARK HORSE
Mark Boal «Zero Dark Thirty»

Best adapted screenplay
Chris Terrio «Argo» DARK HORSE
Lucy Alibar y Benh Zeitlin «Beasts of the southern wild»
David Magee «Life of Pi»
Tony Kushner «Lincoln»
David O. Russell «Silver Linings Playbook» WINNER

Best animated feature
«Brave» WINNER
«The Pirates!»
«¡Wreck it Ralph!» DARK HORSE

Best foreign language film
«Amour (Austria
«No (Chile)»
«A royal affair (Denmark)» DARK HORSE
«Kon-Tiki (Norway)»
«Rebelle (War witch) (Canadá)»

Enjoy the night if you are planning to watch it! These are just my predictions, I'll probably won't get much right but that's the way I'd like it to be. 

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook directed by David O. Russell

Well, this is the first of many movie reviews I'll do. I'm going to start with this one for two reasons: I love it, and tonight is Oscar night and it is nominated.

This is the story of Pat (Bradley Cooper) who is dealing with many issues at once and is not particularly in good shape. That all changes when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who shows him another way of living his life. This is not a very good synopsis, I know it, but if you have not seen the film, it will do.

The film deals with human relations: father-son, mother-son, friendship, brothers… there's something for everyone here, to me, it was one of those films that make you think and be grateful for what you have. It's not a drama,(not a very hard drama, if you prefer it that way) which makes it even more interesting. The performance are just spectacular, specially Jennifer Lawrence who at just 22 has proved some talent, which will get her far. Robert De Niro has not been this good in years, and even Cooper, who is not at all one of my "to watch" actors , does a great job.

The one thing that is just incredible here is the writing, and if you have seen the film you will understand what I mean: The scene between Lawrence and De Niro? I mean, that must be the best writing in a movie i n years. Amazing.

The story is good, it has great characters, you will laugh, maybe cry if you are an emotional person… you will think, you will think again… Great film!

The one thing that may be considered a drawback: Some have mentioned that the first half of the movie is spectacular and that the other half is not that original and it's just a "cliche". That's not my opinion, but I thought I should say it so I could restate that I love Silver Linings Playbook.

MadHatterSays: Watch it!!