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Bright Star Movie Review: Beautifully Dull

Bright Star Movie Poster

Bright Star is a Jane Campion film, based on a three year romance between poet, John Keats and Fanny Brawne, starring Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish. Campion's best known for The Piano and The Portrait of a Lady, averaging a film every three years. While the early '90s could be described as her heyday, she seemed to lose some of the sparkle with more contemporary films like Holy Smoke and In The Cut.

Bright Star marks a return to classic Campion cinema with a real-life love story to rival Romeo & Juliet. John Keats passed away at the age of 25... echoing the sentiment that the brightest flames burn fastest. Bright Star illuminates the romance he shared with Ms Fanny Brawne, who inspired some of his best work and shared some of his last moments in love.

The cinematography is exquisite... lulling us into the poetic countryside estate where the two lovers met and guiding the film home under a Bright Star. The luscious visuals make the film's Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design seem a bit lonely, despite the period piece accuracy. This is a beautiful film to behold and swathes the viewer in an enchanting blanket of love. The atmosphere is perfect and paves the way for fine performances from a relatively unknown cast including: Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider and Abbie Cornish.

Whishaw's physique contrasts quite starkly with Cornish's and this reverses the roles in this romance. Fanny Brawne's name...continued.

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82nd Annual Academy Award Nominations


Another year has passed and the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony is ready to capture the world's attention as nominees prepare to feel their hearts in their throats and millions watch on in anticipation.

No doubt, Avatar will glide in with a couple of awards as will The Hurt Locker. The big talk of the town is Kathryn Bigelow's directorial nomination in The Hurt Locker, which was overlooked at the Golden Globes. Will she take an Oscar as the first female director to receive the accolade... only time will tell.

Here are the nominations for this year's awards... (some nominees are still being decided on). I've taken the liberty of filling you in on my personal favourites for this year. Having said that, it's difficult for me to make an truly accurate assessment... since I've only seen about 75% of the contenders.

Actor in a Leading Role * Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart” * George Clooney in “Up in the Air” * Colin Firth in “A Single Man” * Morgan Freeman in “Invictus” * Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role * Matt Damon in “Invictus” * Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger” * Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station” * Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones” * Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role * Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” * Helen Mirren in “The Last Station” * Carey Mulligan in “An Education” * Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” * Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role * Penélope Cruz in “Nine” * Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air” * Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart” * Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air” * Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film * “Coraline” Henry Selick * “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson * “The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements * “The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore * “Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction * “Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair * “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith * “Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim * “Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer * “The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography * “Avatar” Mauro Fiore * “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel * “The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd * “Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson * “The White Ribbon” Christian Berger Costume Design * “Bright Star” Janet Patterson * “Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier * “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme * “Nine” Colleen Atwood * “The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

Directing * “Avatar” James Cameron * “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow * “Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels * “Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature) * “Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller * “The Cove” Nominees to be determined * “Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein * “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith * “Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject) * “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill * “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher * “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert * “Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett * “Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing * “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron * “District 9” Julian Clarke * “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis * “Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film * “Ajami” Israel * “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina * “The Milk of Sorrow” Peru * “Un Prophète” France * “The White Ribbon” Germany

Makeup * “Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano * “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow * “The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score) * “Avatar” James Horner * “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat * “The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders * “Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer * “Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song) * “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman * “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman * “Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas * “Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston * “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture * “Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers * “The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined * “District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers * “An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers * “The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined * “Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers * “A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers * “Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer * “Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Short Film (Animated) * “French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert * “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell * “The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia * “Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin * “A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action) * “The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn * “Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström * “Kavi” Gregg Helvey * “Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey * “The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing * “Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle * “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson * “Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman * “Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin * “Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing * “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson * “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett * “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano * “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin * “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects * “Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones * “District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken * “Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay) * “District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell * “An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby * “In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche * “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher * “Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay) * “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal * “Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino * “The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman * “A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen * “Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

 
The Wolfman: Movie Preview

When the moon is full The Wolfman comes to life. What do Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, Benicio Del Toro and Hugo Weaving have in common? They're all starring in The Wolfman... the highly anticipated werewolf horror thriller remake of the 1941 classic, opening worldwide on the 12th February this month. Vampires have had their fun with Underworld, True Blood and Twilight. Now it's time for lycans, or more commonly werewolves to be the horror flavour of the season.

Ginger Snaps paved the way for werewolves in the '90s and it was only a matter of time before they howled their way back into our lives. The Wolfman is a Joe Johnston film and if the director's previous projects are anything to go by... it could be as interesting as Jumanji and The Rocketeer, or as exotic as Hidalgo and Jurassic Park III.

The cast are an interesting bunch... Emily Blunt has recently been acknowledged for her role in The Young Victoria and is quickly working her way up in Hollywood. Anthony Hopkins is the on-screen veteran of the ensemble adding a touch of class to the production. Benicio Del Toro has just come off a critically acclaimed back-to-back features Che: Part I and II as Che Guevara. While cult character actor Hugo Weaving of Matrix and Lord of the Rings notoriety emerges from the shadows.

It's a terrific cast with an experienced fantasy director at the helm, who is locked in to direct The First Avenger: Captain America for 2011. Either way, The Wolfman looks set to be a horror classic... with solid performances, beautiful cinematography and a taut atmosphere. Catch The Wolfman movie preview at Ster-Kinekor on Wednesday, 10th February at 19h45.

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New Rental Releases This Week (01/02/10)


New DVD rental releases at DVBee this week:

Gamer

 

 


GAMER (2009)
Director: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Starring: Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Age Restriction: 16 LNSV

This high-intensity actioner from the team that brought you Crank and Crank: High Voltage is every "adult" gamer's kind of movie. Ultra-violence, half-naked babes, dark comedy and a storyline bridging the real with the unreal. It's a no holds barred, adrenalin junkie's fix and if you play your games 16+, this splatter-fest is guaranteed to entertain. Gamer is all about the style and action - so if you're looking for explosive Sci-Fi action, fire away - just remember to leave your brain on ice at the door.


 

 
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