Tag Archives: Mila Kunis

Oz The Great and Powerful

OzIn this prequel to The Wizard of Oz, circus magician Oscar Diggs is magically transported to the Land of Oz, where he deals with three witches and uses his illusionist skills and resourcefulness to become the wizard the residents have been expecting through prophecy.

Rating: 8 out of 10

This movie doesn’t hold the same innocent charm of the original film, but it doesn’t want to be. And that’s what makes it so successful. .

Oz is the story of a sheister, a talented but troubled carnival magician who womanizes, lies, disrespects and hussles his way through life. That is, until that famous hot air balloon sweeps him away to a magical world.

And this is where the story really takes off. Oz goes on a wonderful journey, both internally and externally, as he grows into a reluctant hero and leads a group of unlikely characters – not so different from the original. But the greatest similarity to the original masterpiece is what the lion was granted – heart. I really found myself swept away alongside Oz, played well by James Franco and supported with an outstanding cast – most notably Michelle Williams as Glinda. I was really pleasantly surprised by Oz The Great And Powerful. Sam Raimi drove a film rich in stunning visuals, wonderful comedy, sharp performances and – GASP – no music!

Brian’s Review – “Ted” (2012)

As the result of a childhood wish, John Bennett’s teddy bear, Ted, came to life and has been by John’s side ever since – a friendship that’s tested when Lori, John’s girlfriend of four years, wants more from their relationship.


Rating: 6 out of 10

The premise of this film is actually quite good. What would happen if your Christmas wish came true and your teddy bear came to life and was your best friend? Now, what would happen after you grew up and you couldn’t get the bear to move out of your apartment? It’s a funny and refreshing idea from the mind of Seth MacFarlane who is most well known for being the creator of the Fox show Family Guy. I’ll be completely honest. I absolutely hate Family Guy. I’ll admit that humor is a very subjective thing and one person’s treasure can be what I might roll my eyes at. That show is a collection of stupid fucking jokes that have no relevance to anything. Thankfully, Ted does not suffer from that problem. The plot is very easy to follow and the performances, particularly by Wahlberg and Kunis, are very good. They both communicate convincingly with the bear and after a while he almost becomes real. The problem with that is that it eliminates the entire hook of the premise.

If the viewer grows so comfortable with a teddy bear as a main character that he fits into every day life, why make him a teddy bear at all? That was the main problem I had with the film. The idea is that the living teddy becomes such old news from the 1980’s that no one even gives a shit that he’s alive. That kind of eliminates a lot of the jokes. Teddy goes out to dinner, parties, has “sex”, does cocaine, and hosts parties and people don’t even react to him. He’s just another guy. It seemed like a terrible waste of a really good premise.

On the positive side, the first hour has some really funny moments. I did find myself laughing loud and often and it was a lot of fun. The second half goes the emotional route and lost me a bit but it’s still a comedy I can moderately recommend if you’re willing to lower your expectations a bit.

Black Swan

In director Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller, ambitious New York City ballet dancer Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) lands the lead role in “Swan Lake” but soon thinks her dreams of stardom are threatened by a rival ballerina (Mila Kunis). As opening night approaches and the pressure to be perfect builds, Nina’s obsession descends into paranoia and delusion. The film earned Golden Globe nods for Portman, Kunis, Aronofsky and Best Picture.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Since “Inception” hit theaters, I’ve been waiting for the movie that will beat it for best picture. We all know the Academy would never give a science fiction film best picture, and this is the one to do it. But I don’t hold a grudge. It’s a better film, and the best movie I’ve seen this year.

It’s the classic self verse self conflict story line, but what Aronofsky lays before us is a gripping story that keeps us just confused enough to be engaged in the story — even if we know the ending before we walk into the theater. This is simply a phenomenal piece of work, and Portman gives the best performance of her career and she simply must win best actress at the Oscars.

Portman gives great depth to her character, a young, naive woman who is obsessed with being the perfect dancer while blocking out all emotion and pleasure in her life — whether it’s the love of her mother, emitting passion in her dance, or being sexual. This film felt like I was watching a Stanley Kubrick masterpiece, and I loved every minute of it. Bravo!