Oscars Nominations and who gets my Votes

I have watched several movies, some of which are I've reviewed, and it was with interest that I realized that a lot of those movies were being mentioned when touts for Oscar glory were being made. The nominations are out now and Lincoln takes the lead with 12 nominations, including best picture and best director for Steven Spielberg. I won't be surprised if it wins both, it is a worthy film though not my favorite.

At this point, can I say that I'm disappointed that Cloud Atlas did not make any of the top categories, and was not nominated at all, at all? Imagine the great work by Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and the other actors, as well as the directing, makeup, cinematography, editing, etc? Were they disqualified for some reason I don't know? Anyway, too bad.

So what do I think of those that were nominated? Not that it matters. The award winners are selected by "members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a group of some 6,000 working professionals in cinema", and I can assure you I'm not one of those esteemed people. But let's have some fun with this, shall we?

- The Best Picture nominees were "Amour," "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty." I have seen five out of the lot and hope to see Zero dark before too long. My favorite to win is Life of Pi, followed by Django Unchained. I want my best pictures to take me on a journey of the eyes as well as the mind, and these two movies did that.

- For Best Actor we have, Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"; Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"; Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"; and Denzel Washington, "Flight." I can tell you honestly that all these guys deserve it. They were awesome. The actors WERE the characters, you didn't see these A-list actors, but the roles they portrayed in the movie. But since someone has to win, I go with Daniel Day Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix.

- The Best Actress category is more complicated for me. It turns out I've only seen one of the movies nominated. There is Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"; Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Naomi Watts, "The Impossible." I hope to see some of the others if I can, but in the meantime, Jennifer Lawrence did a mighty good job and if she wins, that's OK.

- In the Supporting Actor group, there's Alan Arkin, "Argo"; Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"; Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"; Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained." From what I hear, all these actors have won Oscars before for other roles they've played. Having seen four out of five of the movies, I agree that the actors are solid. My favorites are Tommy Lee Jones and Christopher Waltz.

- The Supporting Actress nominees are Amy Adams, "The Master"; Sally Field, "Lincoln"; Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"; Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"; Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook." Again, I have seen four out of five of these movies, and they all did a great job. My favorites to win are Anne Hathaway and then Amy Adams.

- Nominees for Best Directing include Michael Haneke, "Amour"; Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"; Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"; David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook." Like I said at the beginning, I wouldn't be surprised if Steven Spielberg wins this category, he is almost every American's best loved and respected director and I'm not exempt. He equally did an absolutely amazing job with Lincoln, however, I feel the story and the actors did more of the heavy lifting than he did. Now take Silver Linings, that is a movie that would have gone unnoticed, but the director brought it home. He nuanced the humor in the story, paid so much attention to the quirks of each character and setting, and painted in the detail that nailed that final scene and makes the movie unforgettable. So I go with David Russell.

And now to the lesser categories that do interest me...

Animated Feature Film: "Brave"; "Frankenweenie"; "ParaNorman"; "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"; "Wreck-It Ralph." I vote Brave and Pirates!

Production Design: "Anna Karenina," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln." I vote for Les Mis and The Hobbit

Cinematography: "Anna Karenina," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Skyfall." I vote for Django Unchained and Skyfall.

Costume: "Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables," "Lincoln," "Mirror Mirror," "Snow White and the Huntsman." Lincoln and Les Miserables

Film Editing: "Argo," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty." Lincoln and Silver Lining.

Visual Effects: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Life of Pi," "Marvel's The Avengers," "Prometheus," "Snow White and the Huntsman." I love visual effects and wish it had more prominence. I enjoyed the CGI in Avengers, Prometheus and The Hobbit, but I give this one to Life of Pi.

All the best to the nominees, and may my favorites win :)

Date Night Movie Review - Nollywood Movies

I started the Date Night Movie Review series because I wanted to document some memorable movies, and celebrate doing things with your partner. Nollywood Reinvented pointed out a couple of weeks ago that we were neglecting Nollywood movies, and that was true. See, I like Nollywood Movies, but I know the ones I like, I just don't watch because I'm supposed to be patriotic or something.

I don't think I can be a Nollywood movie reviewer, I just don't have the patience. I watch for enjoyment, and maybe to learn something or two, either about storytelling, or simply about life. After all, movies are supposed to be a reflection of society, and writer/directors are auteurs meant to draw lessons through their stories. I applaud people like NollywoodReinvented who take the bullet so we can avoid the worst of the lot.

Other than review blogs like her's, my biggest criteria to choosing a Nollywood movie to watch - just like a Hollywood movie actually - are directors, story/screenplay writers, the trailer, and of course, the actors. It is almost a given that an actor like Denzel Washington, or Genevieve, or Omotola, at this stage of their careers, would not be found in low quality movies. I know I may miss some good movies that way, which is where selecting movies by certain directors comes in.

That is not to say one won't find a shaky movie by an A-list actor or a tried, tested and trusted director, but the probability is less that just picking up any movie DVD out of Nigeria. I find that the artistic vision of a talented director can sometimes make one see a story in a movie, that you wouldn't see otherwise. And that is why I mostly watch movies by certain directors.

Leila Djansi is one of such directors, Midred Okwo, Izu Ojukwu, Emem Isong, Obi Emelonye, Shirley Frimpong, and Kunle Afolayan are others. They are the new Nollywood and I am happy and hopeful as new directors join their ranks. Having seen Ije recently, I can comfortably add Chineze Anyaene to the list. Charles Novia used to do a great job but I don't think he's working anymore. Tunde Kelani is still there doing his thing too.

Of course, these directors are ambitious, and they want to show their movies in cinemas and in film festivals. And because they work in Nigeria, it means that living outside the country, it is harder to access their films. But I do want them to make money so I try as much as possible to find legal means of watching those movies, even if it means waiting a couple of years or more to see them.

While I was a poor student in the UK, and for a while after I arrived here in the states, I used to patronise Online Nigeria and Buni-Buni, among others. However, since I started producing and trying to market my own content, I realize that I should pay for it, if I can. I only have to be more discriminatory. I now have a subscription to IrokoTV+, I watch on Youtube if it is a full clip and I think the channel has an agreement with the filmmakers. I also watch the few that are on Amazon and Netflix.

Anyway, I am writing all this to say I'll be posting some reviews of Nollywood movies in the coming weeks among the usual Hollywood cinema fare (BTW, wouldn't it be cool to have Nollywood on the big screens here?). Some I'll do alone, and others will also have Atala's point of view. Because I take care in choosing the ones I watch, and even more care in the ones I invite Atala to watch, the reviews will more likely be positive.

But where I'm pissed, like in Mr. and Mrs, I'll also let you guys know. I hope the producers don't have my head. I see them on the review blogs, and the writer/director even paid me a visit when I blogged about Married but Living Single.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and see you soon.

Movie Review - The Hobbit (An Unexpected Journey)

Far over
The misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep
And caverns old...

Atala - Thus begin the lyrics to the Song of the Misty Mountain, a song which recurs throughout "The Hobbit", the subject movie of this review. And I have to say that if I had to choose a song to fit the movie, I couldn't have chosen better than this. It's a deep, soulful and haunting tune which evokes scenes of epic adventure full of perils and drama.

And there are certainly perils and drama aplenty in this film, as Bilbo Baggins, the eponymous hobbit, Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves go on an adventure to reclaim the dwarves' lost kingdom.

I was somewhat apprehensive about going to watch this; a few months ago, I had watched a Lord of the Rings trilogy of films in a marathon session, and I came away with a headache.

But this was very different. While the Lord of the Rings trilogy took itself all seriously with complicated plots full of Nazgul-this and Sauron-that, this was a much more light-hearted film which was much more straightforward to follow, while still keeping me at the edge of my seat with dramatic scenes where the adventurers encounter all kinds of monsters.

A particularly favourite scene of mine was Bilbo's encounter with Gollum, the degenerate hobbit who lives in a dark cavern. The scenes with Gollum were one of the few bright spots in my unhappy experience watching LotR, and I enjoyed no less the way his dual character was displayed as he switched from wide-eyed innocence to outright malevolence. Too bad he can't have his own movie.

So all in all, a fun, enjoyable experience, and worth the 3.5 stars that it gets.

Myne - I am a big fan of the LOTRs trilogy and when the initial previews of The Hobbit came out last year, I convinced Atala to do a marathon of the movies with me so we could relive the middle earth adventure. Those initial previews hooked me in with the Dwarves' song, and after watching the LOTRs movies, I just couldn't wait for this instalment. I wasn't disappointed.

I almost was after the later trailers skipped the soul stirring song in favor of longer scenes of fights with orcs and goblins. But after the relatively long movie experience which we saw in IMAX 3D, I was fulfilled. I got the full treatment of the song, and a rollicking action film to boot.

The Hobbit stays mostly true to the LOTR story, trying to tie them together and bringing back characters we already know, like Gandalf (of course), as well as the Lord of the elves, and Galadriel. In addition, there was the new characters of the dwarves to follow on a new adventure, and adventure full of portent and danger, but also fun and brotherhood.

Any Lord of the Rings fan will surely enjoy The Hobbit. I really did and I give it a 4.5 stars.

Have a great weekend and have fun at the movies if you do decide to go.

Date Night Movie Review - Lincoln

Atala - I'm a fan of historical movies - I feel they are a great way to spark one's interest in the events of another time while being entertained at the same time (although if you're really interested in history, you probably will want to do your own research to roughen up the smoothed-out Hollywood storylines). With this said, I was very keen on going to watch Lincoln, even though I understood that the film wasn't a full blown biography, but would just cover the first few months of 1865.

I glad to say that I came away learning about an interesting sliver of history that I hadn't been aware of before. In a nutshell, even though Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Act prohibiting slavery two years earlier, he still needed to get an amendment to the constitution ratified by the House of Congress so that slavery's illegality would be made permanent.

The film follows the political twists and turns as Lincoln works to get the amendment passed, and the opposition he encounters from various interest groups - ranging from hardline Democrats who are vehemently opposed to banning slavery to radical abolitionist Republicans those who think that the amendment does not even go far enough in banning slavery. It makes for fascinating political theatre, and it shows how even Lincoln and his cabinet members have to resort to all kinds of devious measures (including offer inducements to individual politicians) in order to get the amendment passed.

The film also tries to show Lincoln's human side - portraying the relationship between his wife (who dearly wishes the war would end so that her son would not have to fight in it) and his son (who does want to fight). But I felt that this was a sideshow that wasn't really needed in a film which was primarily about Lincoln the politician, not Lincoln the family man.

I also felt that Lincoln came across as too 'holy' - there were numerous scenes in the film when, instead of responding to a remark in a colloquial manner, he would go off into a flight of oratory. It felt kind of unreal - but perhaps that really was what Lincoln was like, so I shouldn't blame Daniel Day Lewis, who turned in a great performance as the 16th president of the United States.

In conclusion, I'll say the film was good - not a history-making kind of good, but good enough for 3 and a half stars from me.

Myne - The real Lincoln has always been an interesting character for me, and so I was interested to see this movie that showcased a sliver of his life and what made him a man of history. I am writing this review a day after watching another reflection of Lincoln in the History Channel's MANKIND, a history of all of us and I believe I have a fuller knowledge of the man behind the myth and inspirational stories and words.

The movie starts with Lincoln at the scene of a battle of the American civil war, he is meeting with surviving soldiers who hero worship him and quote the words of his Iconic democracy speech back at him. It is a perfect set up for the rest of the movie where he gives out more insightful nuggets, and shows also that he is a man with heart, and one who does not mind getting his hands dirty in the mud of politics.

In order not to spoil the movie, I won't say more than that it is a worthy movie. Daniel Day Lewis is great, and Spielberg also gets amazing acting from the others in the cast, including Tommy Lee Jones. I give the film four out of five stars, and expect that it will be referenced for years to come.

Date Night Movie Review - Silver Linings Playbook

Myne and I were reviewing the movies that we'd watched since the start of 2012, and we realised that there weren't that many comedies in the list. There's a reason - we like comedies where the humour is sharp, intelligent and natural, but unfortunately, there haven't been that many of those kinds of comedies.

So when I heard that one; Silver Linings Playbook had received rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, and two, it was a comedy, I immediately put it on my must-watch list, and when it came out, we went to watch it.

It turns out that there was a difference between what I expected and what I got. I had been expecting a more hilarious movie - maybe like a comedy of errors. But it turned out more to be a moving drama with many humorous moments, which was a difference that I didn't mind.

The story is about Pat, a man who suffers a mental breakdown after discovering his wife cheating on him - an event which exposes the fact that he had been struggling with bipolar disorder for a while. After being checked out of the mental health facility he was incarcerated in, he tries to pick up the pieces of his life again, and through a series of events, he meets Tiffany, a girl with her own fair share of baggage who gets him to participate with her in a dancing competition.

Like I said, the drama was very moving - Bradley Cooper did a great job in showing Pat's manic energy and upbeat attitude, as well as the deep scars he still carries from his wife's infidelity. I also felt for Tiffany (played by the Hunger Game's Jennifer Lawrence) who is struggling to deal with the loss of her husband and masks her pain with a brash don't-care attitude.

There was this scene I liked, where Pat defends Tiffany in the face of offensive remarks about her, not knowing that she is actually listening to his defence. It's events like these that sweetly set up the stage for a relationship to develop between them, even though Pat is still determined to get back together with his wife.

But it wasn't just moving drama - there were laughs too. Pat's dad was hilarious as this football fan who has all kinds of weird superstitions about what makes his team win or lose. And Chris Tucker plays a role of a fellow inmate and friend of Pat's who keeps on escaping from the mental health facility on one technicality or other. It was bits like these, along with the sympathetic portayal of people who have mental health problems, the optimistic tone and the very delightful ending that made me give the film four stars.



Hope Springs review and Blu-ray Giveaway

Hope Springs was billed as a comedy that tackles issues of marriage, and seeing that the main actors, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are favorites of ours, we decided to go see it. The movie, which is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week, turned out to be more serious, a mixture of comedy and drama and a very touching one at that.

Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple's specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, ME, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy.

Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough—the real challenge for both of them comes as they shed their bedroom hang-ups and try to rekindle the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place.

Atala and I went to see this movie at the cinema while my mum was here and she went along with us. One reason I felt OK asking her to go with us was because I assumed this was a romantic comedy, and hey, it is about a couple in their middle age, so it can't be too ehmm-- to watch with your mum, right? Well, I was mistaken as there were indeed some adult parts that made me glad we were in a dark cinema, lol.

One character that surprised me, pleasantly though, was Steve Carell. I've mostly only seen him in straight playing comedy like The 40year old virgin, Date Night, among others and I was thinking he would be a source of comic relief. In fact, he plays the role of the therapist with no tongue-in-cheek asides, but with a lot of warmth and understanding for the awkwardness the couple find themselves in.

Like most romantic movies, we know how this movie will end. The couple will end up together, and sure they do. In this movie, they also have a few bumps in the road that make it very grounded and realistic. These bumps serve as teachable moments for anyone in a long term relationship and who wants to keep the fires of love and desire burning. It is a 4 out of 5 stars for me. And maybe some Oscars for the actors :)

And now for the giveaway.

Yes, I have a free copy and you can enter to win Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell on Blu-ray! US only :)

Amazon List Price - $35.99)

Buy Link - http://www.amazon.com/Hope-Springs-UltraViolet-Digital-Blu-ray/dp/B0099116AY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1354893254&sr=8-3&keywords=hope+springs

Giveaway starts today 12/9/12 and ends 12/16/12

What to do? Leave a comment below saying why you would like to watch this movie.

If you have seen it but want to own it too, say what you liked about it.

Good luck!


This giveaway is sponsored by Sony Pictures who are providing the Blu-ray of Hope Springs to the lucky winner. The review is my honest opinion.

Date Night Movie Review - Life of Pi

Atala - I had read the book of the same name by Yann Martell many years ago, and I remember enjoying the first half of the book, while feeling the second half lacked the same compelling narrative. Still, I remembered so little of the story that I felt that there was nothing to be lost by going again to see the movie. Perhaps Hollywood would work some magic to make the story more palatable.

As it turned out, the film follows the novel quite closely. It's primarily about a Piscine "Pi" Patel, young man who is shipwrecked while he and his family are sailing from India to Canada with a collection of animals from the zoo that they owned in India, with the events narrated by Pi (now grown up) to a writer.

It starts with a very tender and sometimes amusing description of his life in India, and goes on to describe how, when the ship is wrecked, he is the only human survivor, as every one else perishes in the sea. Well, yes - Pi is the only human survivor, but not the only survivor. Floating along with him in his lifeboat are a hyena, an orangutan - and arguably the deuteragonist of the story, a Bengal tiger with improbable name of Richard Parker.

The core of the movie focuses on the relationship between him and the tiger as they struggle to survive while drifting across the Pacific Ocean. I liked that the relationship was realistically portrayed, and that there were moments of tension and conflict between man and tiger that kept me wondering what would happen next.

I also liked the beautiful cinematography in the film. In one moment, I was caught up in the drama of a ship capsizing and feeling the terror of Pi as he struggled to keep afloat. In the next, I was entranced watching Pi and Richard Parker floating serenely against the backdrop of gorgeous oceanic scenery. At points in the film, it felt like I was watching an extraordinarily vivid nature documentary, because apart from the dramatic scenes between the animals in the boat, there were many rich scenes of marine life.

The film also aspired to explore philosophical questions, as Pi constantly reflected on how his predicament strengthened his faith in God, but I don't think that this was very well done. This was reflected in the ending which was deliberately ambiguous; however, I think the ambiguity was unnecessary.

Myne - I've heard about the book behind this movie but never read, it sounded too literary and theme driven for me. Even the fantasy aspect did not sway me. But seeing the previews did get my attention. Now, I was grabbed by the amazing cinematography and by the stripped down story, free from any agendas. Not that the filmmakers could escape it completely, the movie is based on the book after all.

There is Pi and his faith in his different gods. As a boy, Pi picked up several faiths including Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. He struggles as his days on the open sea continued and he's never rescued but he never loses hope. I have to say that the treatment of the faith aspect of the story felt scattershot, the gaps were just too glaring. One question stayed with me though - what is faith if there is no doubt? Pi has doubt and fear in spades, but he never loses his faith. He perseveres and in the end he triumphs when he makes land.

Some scenes with the boy and the Bengal tiger lost in the middle of the ocean were simply astonishing - visually, they blew you away, and emotionally, they grabbed you and dragged you in. Paintings of the sun and the sky reflected off a glass-like waters, or the night stars shining again in the ocean - you quickly got the sense that the life boat and each other were the only anchors these two had.

Watching this movie was quite an experience. Life of Pi was colorful, it made you think, and it educated you.

Five out of five stars.

Date Night Movie Review - Skyfall

Atala - I'm not really a James Bond fan - that's more Myne's department - so I was very lukewarm about going to watch this. Still, I like to keep an open mind, as Myne's choices have turned out to be very rewarding experiences (e.g. Cloud Atlas, which I reviewed a while ago). So I went along with this, hoping I'd be charmed by the Bond magic.

The film opened with a thrilling chase as James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) is in hot pursuit of a man who has stolen a hard drive with information that could compromise the safety of MI6 agents, and it ends with him getting shot and apparently falling to his death. Unfortunately, for me, that was the high point of the film - while there were several other reasonably compelling action scenes later on, none of them came close in making my eyes pop open in astonishment.

In fact, I found the plot of the film rather weak - the villain of the piece is a disgruntled agent who wants revenge on Bond's superior, so he launches an elaborate plot involving computer hackery and subterranean tunnels. And the ending which - in the tradition of all thriller movies - should have ended in a titanic struggle between Bond and the villain was very flat and left me feeling "so that was it?"

Perhaps you have to be a Bond fan to get Bond movies. But as for me, Myne will have to work some James Bond-like charm to get me to try again next time.

Myne - OK, I'm a James Bond fan so Skyfall wasn't as bad for me as it was for Atala, but it was not good either. I have been struggling with Daniel Craig as James Bond since he was selected, and this movie doesn't make it easier. After Casino Royale, I decided to watch the movies as simply action movies and forget the Bond tradition of a slick assasin who likes his martini and his women and will do anything for his country. I think it works better for me that way.

In Skyfall, Bond is accidentally shot on the orders of M, his superior and spends several months licking his wounds. When he discovers that MI6 is under attack, he goes back and is put in charge of finding out who is trying to expose and destroy several agents by releasing their names and locations on Youtube. It turns out to be a bitter former agent whose main goal is personal, he wants to kill M who betrayed him in the past.

For me, the movie began to go down when this goal was revealed. I want villains who want to take over the world, blow up a space station, release some biological weapon, or start nuclear war! So yeah, I felt kinda bored after a while, and as though the movie was just over-padded. One highlight was when M read Tennyson's poetry at a government committee hearing to support the use of spies and assassins.

That said, there is enough action and explosions overall in Skyfall to keep me happy, and I really liked an abandoned island used as a setting which gave my curious side some gratifying homework.

3 out of 5 stars.

Date Night Movie Review - Flight

Atala - The trailer for this movie pointed a movie which seemed morally ambiguous. Should I, the viewer, be rooting for a character who was such a skilled pilot that he was able to save the majority of the passengers when the plane they were flying on suffered a serious malfunction? Or should I condemn him because it turned out that he had been drinking alcohol on the flight?

With these questions buzzing in my mind, we went to watch the movie. And I should say that the first thirty minutes or so were some of the most dramatic scenes that I have watched in a long while. All I can say is that if you have a fear of flying, you probably won't want to watch them. But after that drama was over, the movie settled into a slower pace, and the what the movie really was about - an alcoholic pilot in denial - came to the fore.

Denzel Washington, who played the lead role, did a great job here. I found myself alternately willing him to slay his addiction demons and mentally washing my hands off him as he relapsed again and again in the movie, especially as the consequences of continuing on his course of destruction would be pretty dire.

The ending of the movie builds towards the climactic scene where he is brought before a National Transportation Safety Board panel to explain what happened on the flight, and it was a fitting and emotional climax.

So I definitely recommend the movie, although I'll probably won't think the same way about flying in an airplane for a while.

Myne - We saw this movie just before my mum travelled back to Nigeria and I asked her if she wanted to see it with us. When she asked me what it was about, and then declined at the mention of plane crash, I realized I should have thought of that. So if you are scared of flying, or prefer not to save scary scenarios in your mind, you may want to keep away from this movie.

Otherwise, flight is a movie about redemption, or not, for those caught in the chains of substance abuse. Those who have gone through therapy may recognise the steps the main character had to go through to get to where he was by the end of the movie. The movie definitely makes you think - of stubborness, of human genius and fallibility, and of moral high grounds. It made me think of some personality traits I may have, and how these affects my relationships with others.

Now to the performances. I won't be surprised if Denzel Washington is nominated or wins an Oscar for best actor. He was like a bright falling star, you couldn't keep your eyes off him. He was in almost all the scenes in the movie, and in each, he steals the show. The writing of the movie was not bad, but he made the writers shine even more.

The other stand out actors were John Goodman and Don Cheadle. They were opposites of each other and where they both appeared together, the comparison was hilarious if not for the seriousness of the movie. Without doubt, they were both great foils for Denzel's character and it showed that they gave it their all.

I also highly recommend this movie but for adults. There is nudity and substance abuse.

Movie Review - The Man with the Iron Fists

Atala - When I first saw the trailer for this film, my first reaction was "Huh?" A man whose body turns to metal? An action sequence that I wasn't sure was dancing or fighting? I was sort of curious, but I put it out of my head after a day or two.

Fast forward to a few weeks later, and Myne and I were trying to decide what film to watch. We were going to watch 'Flight', a film that I had set my eyes on for a while, but the film times didn't work for us. So we had a look at what else was on offer. Thus it was that "The Man with the Iron Fists" reasserted itself into my consciousness again, and thus it was that we went to watch it, despite my apprehension at some negative reviews I saw about it.

It turns out my fears were misplaced, because the film turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. The main story is about a blacksmith who unwittingly ends up endangering the village he lives in when the weapons he makes fall into the hands of the baddies.

The plot has enough twists here and there to make it interesting, but the its main function is to serve as a framework for the extravaganza of choreographed martial-arts action. If you've ever watched a martial-arts movie, you'll know what I mean: bodies gyrating through the air, legs and arms windmilling with deadly and calculated precision; ten men being dispatched in exquisite style by one.

And blood. Lots of it. Yes, the movie was very gory in parts; I think that this may have had something to do with the influence of Quentin Tarantino, who has an association with RZA, the director of the movie. Fortunately for me, this didn't occur frequently enough to dim my enjoyment of the movie, and we left the theatre with me thinking "That won't win an Oscar, but it was certainly good fun."


If Atala went to see The Man with the Iron Fists because of RZA, I went to see it cos of Lucy Lui. She was fierce in the previews and there was a stretch of a scene where she completely stole the movie. I loved the fight scenes and the fact that it seemed all the actors were having fun.