Tag Archives: review: movie

Life of Pi – The Movie

5 Feb

Life_of_Pi_2012_Poster

I knew the book for years now, I had never read it but I knew of its existence, for some inexplicable reason it never really appealed to me. Honestly though I had no idea what the story about and some part of me had always thought it was about some mathematics genius and I don’t know how it happened but on the version of the book cover I knew I had never really noticed the ship, tiger and fishes. Somehow in my mind it had settled itself as a blue cover with math signs on it. Boy was I wrong! I still haven’t read the books but it’s on my to read list now so I’ll get there at some point. As one of my reading resolutions of this year is to read a bit more adult fiction (not counting the ones I read for my research), I should give it a go this year. The movie seemed like one of those one has to see so off to the movies I went with my friend.

Yay!

  • The stunning visuals, it’s a long movie but you never get bored due to the wonderful cinematography. Be it India or the wide open sea, a tropical island or hallucinations, there’s never a boring visual moment in this movie.
  • The acting skills of young Pi Patel, Suraj Sharma. I love that they chose an unknown actor for this part, it gives the main character that innocence it needs and not somebody who maybe tries to overdo it.
  • The fact that the tiger was CGI most of the time because really in this day and age we don’t need real animals anymore, also it was amazing CGI because Richard Parker looked amazingly real. Although I would have liked to see a 100% use of CGI.
  • The way Pi embraces all religions, I’m not religious but I liked the way it was dealt with in this movie.
  • The main thematic of the movie, when somebody tells us a story, can we ever completely believe it? And what is actually reality and what is fantasy?
  • Man’s relationship with the forces of nature and how helpless we can be in the light of some things juxtaposed to the fact that Richard Parker and Pi have to find a way to survive the wild open sea.
  • The hopelessness and desolation coming across the screen, the movie in some way feels a bit claustrophobic but it’s beautiful to see how Pi never seems to completely lose hope.

Nay…

  • I keep thinking that the theme of which story is true lends itself better to a book, thinking of the question how reliable a narrator is or can be. It was however wonderfully done in this movie and I can only really judge this when I read the book.
  • They could have used only CGI for the tiger.

All in All

I really liked this movie and I went in not knowing a lot about it which was probably a good thing because I could just let it all wash over me. It’s a long movie but you won’t be bored for a second. There’s nothing really bad I can say about this movie so if you want to see a stunning movie that has amazing visuals and tells a wonderful story satisfying your mind and eyes, you should definitely watch this.

4 stars

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

31 Mar

I loved the books so I obviously had to go and see The Hunger Games as soon as possible. I don’t think I have been this excited in a long time to see a movie. Maybe the fact that I was so excited about it was part of why it didn’t live up to my expectations. I guess I liked it but I didn’t love the movie.

Let’s break this down into things that worked for me and things that didn’t work for me:

Yay!

The actors, I think every single one of them did an awesome job portraying their characters. Some are obviously outstanding:

  • Jennifer Lawrence simply is Katniss, she brings her to life like nobody else could have done it I think. She has that toughness about her, that stoicness, that kick-assness, she portrayed her perfectly in every facet.
  • Lenny Kravitz was awesome as Cinna, just perfect. Cinna is one of my favorite characters in the book and he did such an awesome and classy job with this part. His scenes with Katniss were awesome.
  • Woody Harrelson, there are parts of Haymitch that I disliked (but more about that later) but he did an awesome job and his scenes with Katniss are great.
  • Elizabeth Banks, I’m not a fan of Effie but even I have to admit that she did such a great job and she’s exactly how I pictured her in the book.
  • Stanley Tucci, now I love everything this man does and yet again he was perfect as Caesar.

All the scenes with Rue were wonderful and I cried both times I read the book when she died so obviously I had to cry when she died in the movie. I really liked the scene in district 11 they put in after Katniss’ salute into the camera, it fit perfectly. Speaking of salutes, the quiet salute she gets from district 12 is impressive in the book already but it’s even more so in the movie.

I really liked the silentness of the movie also, it fit the story I think. At first I thought I would have liked some background music but in retrospect I really liked the way they did it now.

The Capitol was amazing, I really liked the way they envisioned all the architecture, very well done! Also in the Capitol are the game makers of course, one aspect I thought was really well done, it was great to see behind the screens and get a better idea of how these games are actually constructed and how much planning goes into them. I also really liked the commentary of Caesar during the games from time to time, they kinda explained certain things you could only know if you read the book so this was a good way to solve that.

The video Effie showed before the reaping was really well done and a quick way to introduce people who didn’t read the book to the history of Panem and the Hunger Games. Also, I can totally see them doing this every year during the reaping to have people never forget.

Nay…

The thing that bugged me most were the battle scenes that were filmed way too quickly. The book is gruesome so film people deal with it! Show what these games are really about and don’t just have us imagine how they are. Especially the last scene with the showdown between Cato and Katniss/Peeta and the mutts was done way too quickly. I get that they couldn’t have dragged it out endlessly but a little more longer to show how bad things were at that moment would have been nice.

Josh Hutcherson’s face, seriously his eyes are too close together. And yes, I realize this is a very random and shallow observation. I’m not a bit fan of Peeta anyway so I didn’t really care for him but that’s a story for another time as this is about the movie.

Haymitch, he was kinda too young and sexy but that was not the biggest concern because Woody did an awesome job, he should have been way more extreme though, more drunk and mean.

While I loved the Capitol’s architecture and all that, I was kinda disappointed by the people, they made them less extreme as they are in the book and there were a couple of bright recurring colors in their clothing, hair and make-up that seemed to be just a little too much calculated in the sense that it seemed like after so many pink, the needed so many blue etc.

The written explanation at the beginning of the movie, I think it would have been better to have it start right away.

The absence of Madge! I thought it was kinda weird that Katniss got the pin elsewhere and not from Madge, the movie was so long already they could have included this part too.

President Snow, I’m not sure what to think about him; I think he should have been and could have been more creepy than he was, although he was pretty creepy already.

All in all

I really liked it and I think they did a great job staying true to the books mostly, with some little flaws that I can live with. Other changes they made really worked in the movie’s advantage so that was really well done. I think the only thing that didn’t work for me are the actual action/killing scenes, the camera was too shaky and too quick, and as I said before already, it simply needed more gore.

I think I’m going with 4 from 5 stars but I might be influenced by the fact that I love the books so much, which gets 5 stars.