Two girls left to fend for themselves in the forest for five lonely years after the death of their mother find refuge in the home of their uncle. But it soon becomes clear that the girls have not arrived alone in this woodsy supernatural chiller.
Rating: 6 out of 10
I really liked the premise of Mama. It sets up extremely well. The opening scenes are the tragic end of a family and how two little girls survive with the help of a paranormal mother figure.
The film is shot very well by director Andres Muschietti. There are a number of chilling scenes. In one, a character is in a dark room, pitch black, with nothing but a camera. He uses it for light, flashing shots to illuminate his surroundings. You’re forced to sit there, waiting for worst of things to happen. I also like that Mama never pulls back. The film takes some dark routes, which left some people I watched the movie with upset. There’s no happy ending.
Mama does, however, drag. But the moments of intense frights, combined with excellent performances by the two children and Academy Award-winning Jessica Chastain, hold the movie together well. Not the best thriller I’ve ever seen, but certainly entertaining and worth a watch.
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.
“Zero Dark Thirty”
Reviewed by Brian
Rating – 10 out of 10
Zero Dark Thirty is not just my pick for the best film of the year but for the last several. It’s a towering, suspenseful, smart, well acted, and action filled masterpiece from start to finish. Rarely do I insist you see a film but this one falls under that high a recommendation. Kathryn Bigelow has achieved something really special here. We all know the ending and yet I was in complete suspense for a running time of almost 3 hours. The attention to detail leads to a level of believability that is rarely captured on celluloid.
Recently, I watched a movie called End of Watch which was about 2 cops recording their actions on the job to create a pseudo-documentary feel. The purpose was to create a verisimilitude; a sense that we were watching reality. It didn’t work for me because the over top effort to falsely create that mood worked against its sole intent. Zero Dark Thirty doesn’t require such a gimmick because it took the time to get the facts straight and recreate the scenes through proper research. It all pays off because it has that rare ability to draw you in as a viewer and make you feel like part of the experience. I wasn’t watching a CIA operative research the clues. I was riding along in the car with her. I wasn’t feeling the sense that I already knew the ending. I felt like I was discovering the story for the first time as the characters did. And, I didn’t watch a group of Nave Seals invade the compound, I was standing right next to them.
Only the rare and special movie going experience has that quality and all participants involved should be proud of their work here. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that terrific acting, particularly by Jessica Chastain. Her intelligence and emotions are always portrayed realistically without over dramatizing situations that hardly need embellishment. She comes across as smart, tough, and vulnerable.
I have no idea if Zero Dark Thirty will win Best Picture or not at the Academy Awards but it deserves to. You won’t see a better film this year.