Average User Score: 7.8May 21, 2013I'm sure J.J. Abrams and his smug writing team felt bad that poor Gene Roddenberry didn't leave to see STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, but as ironyI'm sure J.J. Abrams and his smug writing team felt bad that poor Gene Roddenberry didn't leave to see STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, but as irony would have it, he did.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Nov 26, 2012I'm seeing some people struggle with the many peculiar yet delightful choices in this surprisingly solid film. The first thing any viewerI'm seeing some people struggle with the many peculiar yet delightful choices in this surprisingly solid film. The first thing any viewer should realize is that this film fights desperately to avoid cliche -- and succeeds. For instance, it's not always clear if the starring young lady is a girl. Most writer/directors would make the mistake of making her the sweetest little thing this side of sunshine. And her Dad the most endearing man you've ever met. I don't want to spoil, but as you'll learn -- that's not even close. The director does this (I believe) to avoid the dated liberal notion of angelic black folk in cinema -- a painful art house cliche. The movie must make a baker's dozen of such surprise choices -- including the lead's mother in spades.
Another choice in this film is presenting countless mysteries that aren't nice and neatly tied up. One is where our star lives in comparison to her Dad. We see it but we don't know why. In poor writing this is known as a loose end. In great writing -- as in BEASTS -- it captures our curiosity without being detrimental to the story. The resulting effect is a terribly realistic story where not everything ties up nice and neat with a bow -- like in the Hollywood movie world. Terribly realistic despite being a fable of sorts.
Speaking of fables, I've seen the preview for highly rated LIFE OF PI. I fear that everything that is raunchy and wonderful in BEASTS will be CGI glossed and Disney-fabled in PI. That is: PI may make viewers feel more comfortable -- but great movies aren't suppsed to be over-stuffed couches.
The mark of a great movie is if you can and will view it again at some point. BEASTS is one of those movies. It reminds me a little of SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, even though it has little in common with it -- except for the totally 'fresh' feeling of the story and it's masterful execution. This may not be the year's best picture, but it would be crime to quality cinema if it wasn't nominated.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Nov 12, 2012The hype on this Bond is embarrassing. I'm all about a more serious Bond with Sam Mendes at the helm. What I wanted was a clever spy story.The hype on this Bond is embarrassing. I'm all about a more serious Bond with Sam Mendes at the helm. What I wanted was a clever spy story. What we instead get is a rehashing of great moments from other movies.
As to not spoil, the list of stolen ideas from better movies include: LIVE AND LET DIE, BATMAN, THE UNTOUCHABLES, and the painfully obvious SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Now I know why Sam Mendes has been unable to prosper without Bond. Apparently he's a hack.
As much as I like the actor who played the villain, he reminded me too closely in appearance and performance of Christopher Walken's disastrous A VIEW TO A KILL villain. Laughing and smirking in a little world the rest of us neither understand or give a crepe about. In this film I didn't care the villain, Bond, or the 'dramatic' event at movies end -- which wasn't set up by professional filmmakers but Comic book fanboys. And the oh so precious introduction of a Bond institution at movie's end was another 'precious' fanboy moment played terribly wrong.
Where the Bond girl? The same place this script was. Up someone's arrogant myopic behind.… Expand