Tag Archives: Scarlett Johansson

I am glad I spent time with HER

16 Jan


Spike Jonze’s latest film ‘Her’, set in the not-too-distant future, tells the story of writer Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who finds himself falling in love with Samantha, an advanced operating system (Scarlett Johansson), while he is dealing with a divorce from his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara). The film emits warmth and intelligence with its exceptional production design, cinematography, and performances. There is a charming quality to Jonze’s dialogue with both of the characters being tormented by loneliness. Her does not shy away from topical subject material, such as modern society’s dependence on technology. If it has not happened yet, it will in the near future, unless people are to compartmentalize and measure technologies contribution to a better life. Phoenix tops his performance in The Master with this grounded performance while Johansson, captivates our senses with her sultry voice. Her reminds audiences to appreciate the moments with our loved one. I am glad I spent time with Her.


Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

The Prestige is an underrated film

14 Sep


Christopher Nolan has been known to trick and challenge his audiences to think, but he explores new ground in the underrated film, The Prestige. Two magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) have turned a friendly competition into a bitter rivalry that consumes each of them with obsession and jealousy. Both actors give convincing performances. Their preparation for the roles of magicians are obvious and not lost on the audience.

Magicians are not supposed to reveal their secrets and Nolan continues to amaze audiences with his ability to direct or should I say misdirect the obvious from the mind and eye. Wally Pfister’s camera work and use of dark-lighting sets the tone for Nolan and his brother Jonathan to adapt a story that is full of mystery from start to finish. Every great magic trick consists of three acts. The Prestige has all three parts and has audiences leaving the theater asking, “How did he do that?”


Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: B

Match Point serves up a masterful thriller

17 Mar


Woody Allen is one of the most prolific directors of the modern era, which means some of his projects can be hit or miss, but his movie, Match Point serves up a masterful film that demonstrates Allen at the top of his game. The story opens with a monologue that will get you hooked into the characters and action. Former tennis pro Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) takes a job as an instructor and befriends Tom Hewitt (Matthew Goode) who introduces Chris to his family. Shortly thereafter, Chris begins a relationship with Tom’s sister Chloe (Emily Mortimer) and ends up marrying her, which leads to a business relationship with the Hewitt family, but Chris becomes tangled in an affair with Tom’s fiancée, Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson). The performances by Rhys-Meyers and Johansson are engaging and audiences cannot stop watching the drama unfold, even though the ending can be frustrating for some. Allen’s Match Point is a stroke of genius.


Adam’s Grade: A-
Chuck’s Grade: N/A

Lost in Translation finds something

6 Dec


Sophia’s Coppola’s film, Lost in Translation captures the displacement of two American strangers trying to maneuver their way past the culture shock of not being comfortable and in control. An aging actor, Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a beautiful young woman Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) find themselves connected by their moments of loneliness, dissatisfaction, and insomnia.  Coppola successfully introduces these two random people to each other at a Tokyo Hotel  where their unlikely connection will lead them to become a pair of cultural tourists that visit some of the more stereotypical parts of Japanese nightlife.

Murray’s subtle humor and Johansson’s subtle sex appeal combine to create the right amount of tension that lead audiences to experience an interesting, but temporary relationship. I was enthralled with both actors because they knew where the characters were and where they were going, even though we had no idea what was going to happen. Lost in Translation finds itself at the top of my list.


Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: B+

Hitchcock is the master of suspense

26 Nov

Alfred Hitchcock is one of the greatest directors Hollywood has ever seen, but ironically, he has never won an Oscar for his efforts.  This year’s Academy Awards will have plenty of nominations for the recent biopic starring Anthony Hopkins as the “corpulent” and aging filmmaker trying to make Psycho. Hollywood loves films about the movie business and this one delivers a poignant look at director’s creative genius, the movie studio’s stupidity, and Hitchcock’s career long relationship with his wife and partner,  Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), who has a prominent role in the success of the film.

The power of the film comes from his Hopkins and Mirren’s relationship finding itself at an emotional crossroads, but like most biopics, a darker side of the character must be explored to keep it from becoming a docudrama. In Hitchcock, the filmmaker’s not-so secret obsession with his blonde leading ladies is respectfully introduced to audiences, but kept under control by director Sacha Gervasi.


Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: N/A