Archive for Ellen Page

Inception (2010)

Posted in 2010, Action, Blockbuster, Drama, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , on December 7, 2010 by filmglutton

Ok, I’m not going to write a synopsis, because if you haven’t seen Inception yet, you should be watching it without knowing anything of the plot beforehand…it’s all the more fun to discover it during the viewing! The only thing I’ll say is that it’s about dreams…

This is a movie that requires a bit of thinking from its audience…how refreshing is that? All of the actors are great, though some are given more to work with than others. Leonardo DiCaprio proves yet again just what an arresting screen presence he is. He carries this movie effortlessly. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is swoon-worthy (ok, so I have a crush), Marion Cotillard (as usual) manages to bring something special to every scene she’s in, Ellen Page is great as the young architect…and many of the other supporting players are similarly good. This a a great ensemble piece and it’s an added bonus that all of them are great to look at too.

This is a blockbuster, which makes this film even better because it doesn’t cheat the audience; it shows us that you don’t have to substitute substance for explosions. It was written, directed and producer by Christopher Nolan…we must all bow down to him!  I wasn’t too fussed on The Dark Knight (don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a really good film, but not great. Definitely not 5 stars…) but this is fantastic. I was completely into it the whole way through and the movie just flew by. It’s a crazy ride…afterwards I was left with the sense that I’d been dreaming. Weird. Some people found this movie too confusing, but I just went with it. I hate it when people try to pick apart the logic of the movie after they’ve seen it. JUST ENJOY IT!

Inception has hardly any swearing and is not terribly violent (while there are plenty of gun fights etc, there’s no blood or gore), so it appeals to a wider audience. While the themes are quite dark (Marion Cotillard’s character, in particular, provides some creepy moments) it is suitable for teens and up. I won’t say any more about this. It’s a total crowd pleaser. Some have said this is an instant classic, and I might agree with them. Unless you’re one of those indie people that hates all commercial films (you know who you are!), I guarantee you will enjoy this one.

 My rating:

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Whip It (2009)

Posted in 2009, Comedy, Drama, Reviews, Teen with tags , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by filmglutton

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Whip It is Drew Barrymore’s first foray into directing – quite a long time coming considering she has been acting and producing business for so long.

The movie focuses on Bliss (Ellen Page), a 17-year-old living in Bodeen, Texas, a small town in close proximity to Austin. Bliss is a bit of a misfit. She’s a student at the local high school (though we only see her at school in one brief scene) and works at the Oink Joint, a tacky takeaway store. Bliss’ best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) also works at Oink Joint and they have a lot of fun teasing their supervisor ‘Birdman’ (Carlo Alban). Both of them want to get out and see the world, with Pash hoping for an Ivy League education and Bliss hoping to do anything but beauty pageants. Her mother (Marcia Gay Harden) makes both Bliss and her younger daughter Shania (Eulala Scheel) participate in pageant after pageant, reliving a bit of her own lost youth. Bliss’ father Earl (Daniel Stern) is a football fan and is more encouraging of Bliss, wanting her to do something she enjoys. One day while shopping in Austin Bliss sees a flyer for a roller derby display, which she and Pash attend. After telling one of the ‘Hurl Scouts’ that they are her new heroes, she is encouraged to attend tryouts. Finally Bliss has something to aim for; she practise with old Barbie skates until she has the hang of it again, and she makes it into the team because of her great speed. She calls herself Babe Ruthless. From here the plot moves between the Roller Derby games, where the Hurl Scouts try to actually win some games, and Bliss’ relationship with her parents, from whom she keeps roller derby a secret.

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There are a lot of minor characters in this, most of whom are pretty forgettable. Juliette Lewis, Kristen Wiig, Zoe Bell and Eve all have small roles as part of the Hurl Scouts. Drew Barrymore cast herself in a small part, and Bliss has a love interest in Oliver (Landon Pigg) – I found him to be really insipid and annoying. Overall the cast is strong, especially Ellen Page, who is always likeable onscreen. I also really liked Alia Shawkat, whom I hadn’t seen before (yes, I know she is in Arrested Development, one day I will get around to it).

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The roller derby sequences are handled quite well; they are exciting and the constant commentary helps us understand what is happening in the sport. I think it’s great that they’ve taken this sport and glorified it on film…you know, girl power and all that. I’d say this film would most appeal to girls in their early to mid teens. Apparently all the actors did their own skating, and it certainly looks very believable. There is nothing too racy apart from Bliss and Oliver kissing underwater and stripping their clothes, and a bit of underage drinking.

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Whip It isn’t particularly fresh or new, and it is certainly bogged down a bit by cliché, but it does stand out amongst sports films, mainly because Roller Derby strikes us as something new and exciting. It has your typical teen angst, teen finding an outlet to express her true personality, parents disagreeing etc, and of course it builds to a grand final game. There is something quite strange about the tone of the film; it’s as if it doesn’t know its genre, doesn’t quite know if it’s aiming for indie or commercial or comedy or drama. And, as I’ve already noted, the romance seemed a little forced. However, Whip It is and enjoyable film that’s better than most other teen flicks out there.

My Rating: 1112