Okay so, being the movie buff that I am, I’ve seen a few flicks over that past few weeks and instead of a huge, indepth review on each, I thought I’d give you all my quick impression of a handfull.

“Lord of War” – starring Nicholas Cage, Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke
(click on the image to look at it in a larger form….very cool poster!)
Overall a really interesting, yet disturbing look at how someone can get into the arms dealing business supplying the world with the means to kill eachother. However, this movie was not a ‘grip the edge of your seat’ type film, but more of an expose on the lifestyle and downward spiral of the underworld of minor and major gun-running.

Cage plays the part well with moments where I felt we were supposed to hate/love him, instead of typically loving the protagonist. Leto is excellent at the ‘lost’ little brother who gets stuck in a life that keeps dragging him down. Ultimately, Leto’s character gives this movie substance and a conscience and, if only in my own eyes, redemption. Hawke is barely believeable as the Customs Agent on a bent to bagging the big ‘guns’ but because he won’t bend his own laws, never really seems to get and ‘get’ his quarry.

Don’t read this line if you don’t want to know…………but I would really have liked to know at the beginning of the movie that it was based on actual events….not at the end!

I give Lord of War

7 /10 kirsten-stars.

“Blood Diamond” – starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Housou, and Jennifer Connelly

In stark contrast but not at all foreign to “Lord of War”, “Blood Diamond” is a story of rescue and escape within a film about the tragic and cruel battles between and amoung African countries in political turmoil. Through a diamond smuggler, a poor father and a journalist we see how these wars rip a country and its’ families apart; brainwashing the young, maiming or killing the innocent, and pillaging the land’s resources, such as diamonds, to fund further wars and campaigns.

DiCaprio and Djimon are splendid in their contrasting roles. They both need eachother yet neither can trust the other fully. Djimon as the father poor in means but rich in determination and spirit embodies the voice of the African helpless in a country ruled by one dictator or war lord after another. DiCaprio brings his usual charm to what I call a ‘smarmy’ role, that of a lying dimond smuggler who doesn’t care what the rest of the world does as long as he makes a profit and can one day leave the continent that seems never to let him go. The South African accent is a little weak but DiCaprio plays his role believeably well otherwise.

I must say I learned more in 2 hours about African wars and the worldwide effect they have then I ever would listening to Cnn or reading a paper. Though film is a fictional medium I cannot take away the haunting images that this story brought forward. Images that I am sure are fairly accurate if not watered down from the real life struggles faced every day in war-torn Africa.

Kudos to the filmmakers. You have made me aware.

I give Blood Diamond

9/10 kirsten-stars.
“Pan’s Labyrinth”
“El Laberinto del fauno”

What I wouldn’t give to have more wonderful films such as this made every year! Perhaps that would make rare finds like “Pan’s Labyrinth” seem less brilliant!

As you can already tell, I was blown away by this film. This movie was not only a simple fairy tale to tweak the interest of wishful-thinking, child-at-heart people like me, but it is a drama, family story and war film all rolled into one. Every aspect of this movie, from choice of actors, to set, to the creature effects and looks, weaved together a magical tapestry of modern lore and the endless story-telling posibilities.

Read all the reviews and any synopsis you like, you simply must see this film for yourself to appreciate the rich, bold world that is created in the midst of a real country split by dictatorship and reformation.

At first slightly disturbing and scary, the creatures that a young girl discovers become a opportunity to escape and possibly be reborn to a life more wonderful than the horror that has become her present situation.

For Ofelia, the helpful yet unsettleing faun, the stick bug/faeries, the massive, greedy toad, and esspecially the deathly frightening ‘pale man’ all seem relatively tame and even normal in comparrison with her new step-father and his malicious bent on cruelty and justice. Though young and unsure, Ofelia carries the film with her quest both to complete the faun’s tasks and to leave her world to possibly become royalty in a legendary other.

See this film!!!

I give Pan’s Labyrinth

15 out of 10 kirsten-stars!!!!