Tag Archives: Natalie Portman

THOR: THE DARK WORLD hammers out an unsatisfactory ending

18 Jan


The sequel, Thor: The Dark World finds the title character tackling the all-to-common villain that wants to destroy the entire universe for some illogical reason that is never fully explained and never full thought out. However, it does not matter because Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane (Natalie Portman) are re-united for a meet the parents episode while Loki (Tom Hiddleson) broods in prison for his past offenses. Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is a formidable arch-rival for both Thor and Odin who will ultimately need Loki’s help to confront Malekith. The film is entertaining and I prefer it over the original because the characters are able to delve deeper into their relationships with one another. However, like most Marvel products the ending does not do the rest of the film justice because it hammers out an unsatisfactory ending that cannot control the balance between action and comedy.

Chuck’s Grade: B-
Adam’s Grade: N/A

Black Swan is perfect

1 Apr


Director Darren Aronofsky exploration into the world of ballet has more going on than rival dancers vying for the lead role in Swan Lake. This psychological thriller introduces us to Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina given the opportunity to play the dual role of the Swan Queen. She is ideal for the White Swan, but struggles with the sensuality and emotion needed to become the Black Swan. She is confronted with the possibility of losing the role to Lily (Mila Kunis), an uninhibited ballerina that fits nicely in the darker role. Nina’s is willing to do anything to become the principal dancer, but her pursuit for perfection begins to take its toll.

Aronofsky’s ability to tell stories about single-minded characters’ is unmatched. Their desires and obsessions lead to moments of ecstasy, but their passions lead to their demise. Nina is no different and Portman’s portrayal in the Black Swan is perfect. She was deserving of her Best Actress Academy Award.


Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A+

Closer lies its way to the truth

12 Mar


Director Mike Nichols directs this emotionally devastating film based on Patrick Marber’s play. Set in London, Dan (Jude Law) begins dating Alice Ayres (Natalie Portman), but ends up meeting a photographer named Anna (Julia Roberts), but she is not does not want to be in a relationship with him.  Instead, she begins dating and eventually marrying Larry (Clive Owen) as a result of a childish prank played by Dan. The relationships are tested when Anna and Dan finally engage in an affair and Larry and Alice find out the truth.

The four actors give strong performances, but Portman and Owen command our attention in every scene. She is memorizing as an American stripper working in England while he is unshakeable. This is a classic Nichols film that reveals flawed characters demonstrating self-destructive behavior while Marber’s script pushes the boundaries of love, lust, and lies. Closer is a powerful film that ends up lying its way to the unforgettable truth.


Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: B+

Hesher moves in

20 Nov

I really enjoyed Hesher on many levels. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Hesher) continues to rack up cult hits with his character choices. I sat in the theater wondering what Hesher was going to do next. It was like swinging on a pendulum. One second your laughing and having a good time, and then the next you’re cringing and thinking to yourself that this guy is “not right.” This movie spends a lot of time on the surface with Hesher’s appearance and soundtrack, but the film has a heart and it beats stronger when it is needed the most. It is a dark comedy that borders on Theatre of the Absurd, but brings audiences back to reality with the kinds of human choices and mistakes people make. For some reason, this is one of those films that remind you of two films put together. For me, I couldn’t stop thinking Hesher reminded me of Bad Santa meeting Little Miss Sunshine.


Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: C+