Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy holidays from Yes/No Films!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Yes/No Films will return with more movie reviews in 2011.

Here's a selection of films premiering in 2011 that I'm looking forward to:


Jan. 7: Season of the Witch
Jan. 14: The Green Hornet, The Dilemma
Jan. 21: The Company Men, No Strings Attached
Jan. 28: The Mechanic

Feb. 11: Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It
Feb. 18: I am Number Four

Mar. 4: The Adjustment Bureau
Mar. 18: The Lincoln Lawyer

April 1: Hop
April 22: Water for Elephants
April 29: Prom

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Gulliver's Travels"

I was a bit wary of this movie because the trailer did not look great, and movies with Jack Black in them can often be hit or miss (though I do like most of his movies). "Gulliver's Travels," however, ended up being kooky, zany, and not half bad.

Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black, "Year One"), or "Gulliver" to his friends, had worked in the mail room of a New York magazine for the past ten years, and has no hopes of ever being promoted. He has a crush on the magazine's travel editor, Darcy (Amanda Peet, "Please Give"), but is too shy to ask her out. Because of this shyness, Gulliver soon finds himself promising to write a travel piece, and Darcy sends him to investigate the Bermuda Triangle. After being caught in a storm, however, he finds himself on the island of Liliput, where he is gigantic compared to the rest of the people there. The townspeople originally label him "Beast" and chain him in a jail cell, but after he saves them from their enemies, they honor him as a hero. Gulliver then has to decide whether he should stay in Liliput forever or go back home to the "island of Manhattan."

Friday, December 17, 2010

"True Grit"

I am not a big fan of Westerns, but there have been some in the past that I have enjoyed. "True Grit," a remake of the 1969 film starring John Wayne, looked like one of those that I might like, but unfortunately it moved way too slow for my taste. It did, however, have a lot of witty banter, and without this, the film would have been far more dull than it actually was.

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld, TV's "Sons of Tucson") seeks revenge for her father's death. Her goal is to find his murderer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin, "Jonah Hex"), and bring him back to her city for a trial and then to see him hanged. She will need a bounty hunter to help her, however, and she turns to Federal Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges, "Tron Legacy") to escort her into Cherokee territory. The Texas Ranger Mr. LaBoeuf (Matt Damon, "Hereafter"), though, is also looking for Chaney, as he killed another man in Texas, and he wants to bring him back to Texas to hang, which Mattie is not happy about. The three must work together in order to find and capture Tom Chaney, and they encounter many difficulties along the way.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Tron Legacy"

I have seen the original "Tron," albeit a while ago, but I remember that I watched it in my 7th grade computer class. My teacher wanted to show us the movie because when it came out in 1982 it was new and exciting, in that it was the first computer-animated movie of its kind. I know Jeff Bridges was in it as well, but other than that, I don't remember much about it; after seeing the dynamic "Tron Legacy," however, I am going to have to re-watch it.

Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund, "Country Strong") idolized his father Kevin (Jeff Bridges, "True Grit") - until the night he disappeared, when Sam was twelve. His father was a technological genius who used to disappear into a computer game called "Tron," and he used to tell Sam how one day he would take him with him to "the Grid," where Tron was played. Fast-forward to fifteen years later, when Sam is twenty-seven, and the main shareholder of the company his father once led, now a multimillion dollar corporation. His father's old business partner gets a mysterious page from the old Flynn arcade, where the number has been disconnected for twenty years, and Sam goes there to check it out. What he finds in his father's old office, however, sets off a chain of events that he can't control, and he soon finds himself living the game that his father has created.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Golden Globes nominations announced today

The Golden Globes, hosted this year by Ricky Gervais, will air on Sunday, January 16th, from 8pm-11pm EST (5pm-8pm PST). The nominations this year were very surprising, in my opinion, because there were a lot of actor/actress nominations for movies that I thought were just so-so (and the individual performances, in my opinion, were not exceptional either).

Here's my picks for who and what will win, in the film categories:

Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy, or Musical:
Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs)
Angelina Jolie (The Tourist)
Julianne Moore (The Kids Are Alright)
Emma Stone (Easy A)
image from gossipteen.com

This could be a tough one. I would love to see Emma Stone win, as her performance in "Easy A" was hilarious, but I am thinking that the critics are going to pick Bening or Moore for their performance in "The Kids are All Right." I didn't much care for that movie but it was definitely a critics-pleaser. Hathaway did have a good performance in "Love and Other Drugs," but the movie was so-so.

Friday, December 10, 2010

"How Do You Know"

This film has four A-listers in it, and I usually like movies by all of them, so I had high hopes for it. My parents saw a screening of it the day before, and cautioned me that it was boring, but I didn't listen to them, and so I trekked across town (a few towns, actually) to see it. Alas, the movie was very slow and actually didn't feel like a movie at all, more like various scenes put together, and it definitely did not measure up to my expectations.

Lisa (Reese Witherspoon, "Four Christmases") is a 31 year-old Team USA softball player who just found out that she didn't make this year's team. She's currently kinda/sorta dating Matty (Owen Wilson, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"), but has recently started hanging out with George (Paul Rudd, "Dinner for Schmucks"), who has just found out that he may be indicted for fraud, even though he's innocent. That's the basic plot of the film, but from there the movie flits off into whatever directions it pleases; it didn't really matter what profession any of the characters were, or even their personalities, really, just that there was two guys and a girl, and the girl will eventually have to choose which of the guys she wants to be with.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"The Tourist"

I knew "The Tourist" would be good (you can never go wrong with Angelina or Johnny, and when you put them together in a movie there's so much star power that you may actually need sunglasses), but it surprised me by pulling out a twist at the end. I then went over the entire movie in my mind and tried to figure out what clues I missed, but I may have to see it again to fully put my mind at ease.

Elise (Angelina Jolie, "Salt") is going to Venice to reunite with a con man ex-boyfriend, Alexander, and he sends her very specific instructions: take the 8:22 train to Italy, and find someone with his height and build to befriend, so that the authorities think he's me. She chooses Frank (Johnny Depp, "Alice in Wonderland"), an American community college teacher from Wisconsin, but they part ways after they leave the train. The U.S. authorities, led by Inspector John Acheson (Paul Bettany, "Legion") have already figured out Frank is not Alexander, but unfortunately the hit men who are out for Alexander have not. Frank soon finds himself running for his life through the winding streets of Venice, until Elise finds him and tries to make sure he gets home safely .

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"The Fighter"

I will preface this by saying I am not a boxing fan; all that punching and fighting is not really what I want to see when I sit down to watch TV. However, I like movies based on true stories, and sports movies that make me forget that I am actually watching a movie, and "The Fighter" does just that - by the end of it I almost felt like I was watching a boxing match, but this was an exciting match that I wanted to see.

Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg, "The Other Guys") has been a boxer for a while now, and he trains with his brother Dicky (Christian Bale, "Public Enemies"), a former boxer who once defeated Sugar Ray Leonard, in their Lowell, MA gym. When Dicky gets sent to jail, however, Micky realizes the bad effect his family and Dicky are having on his boxing, and he wonders if he should go elsewhere. At the same time, he is dating Charlene (Amy Adams, "Leap Year"), and still training for fights under the tutelage of a local police officer and his father. When Dicky gets out of jail, Micky must decide if he wants to let him back into his training, or shut him out altogether.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"

I have seen the first two "Narnia" movies, but have not read any of the books. However, I have heard that they have condensed five of the books into the three movies, so I am assuming that they are not very similar. I enjoyed the first two "Narnia" movies greatly so I was hoping this one would be the same; unfortunately, it tends to drag a lot more and the plot was not as interesting.

Edmund (Skandar Keynes, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian") and his sister Lucy (Georgie Henley, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian") are staying with their dreadful cousin Eustace (Will Poulter, TV's "School of Comedy") and their aunt and uncle while their parents and older siblings are abroad in America. It looks like their time there is going to be awful, until they are all transported back to Narnia, where they meet up with King Caspian (Ben Barnes, "Dorian Gray") who is on a quest. People have been disappearing, and he must find the seven swords, belonging to seven lords, and lay them at the Table of Aslan in order to restore peace to Narnia. Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace sail with him on the Dawn Treader, as they try to help him find the swords and battle the obstacles that get in their way.

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Black Swan"

NYC magazine editor and fellow blogger Rachel Zar was able to see a special early advanced screening of "Black Swan" in New York City about a month ago. See below for her thoughts on the movie.

A dancer myself, I’m always first in line for a new dance movie. “Center Stage” fans be warned, however, as “Black Swan” is nothing like the sappy love stories you’ve seen in the past. This movie will keep you guessing until the end, and seriously questioning your grip on reality; I certainly never stopped gripping my seat. In true Darren Aronofsky form (think “Requiem for a Dream”), the film, at times, goes over the top with disturbing, bloody scenes, but juxtaposed with stunning ballet choreography by New York City Ballet’s Benjamin Millipied, you won’t be able to keep your eyes covered for long.

The story is of sheltered ballerina Nina (Natalie Portman), who struggles to embody both the innocent White Swan and sensual Black Swan characters in a fictional NYC ballet company’s production of Swan Lake. Her fellow dancer and rival, Lily (Mila Kunis) embodies the Black Swan’s persona perfectly, and drives delicate Nina to the edge—of both fear and desire. If you’ve seen the gripping scene in the “Black Swan” trailer of Portman pulling a bloody feather from her shoulder blade or heard of an intense girl-on-girl love scene between Portman and Kunis, that’s only the beginning of where this psychological thriller will go.