Mini Movie Reviews: The Impossible, The Hobbit, and Life of Pi

the impossible

The Impossible: This movie is gut-wrenching and difficult to watch – but definitely worth it if you do. It tells the story of one family coping in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami and, even though I knew going in that they all survived, I was still on the edge of my seat the entire time. The performances here are fantastic – Naomi Watts is getting lots of Oscar buzz, and rightly so, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why there aren’t more people talking about Ewan McGregor, who’s equally wonderful. However, my favorite performance of all belongs to Tom Holland, as the eldest son. He takes the lead in the movie and provides some of the most emotionally affecting moments – I was incredibly impressed. Grade: A

the hobbit

The Hobbit: I don’t think I’m quite the target audience for these movies – I’ve never read the books, I don’t particularly enjoy the fantasy genre, and I find myself bored during long, drawn-out sword battles. Still, despite all that, I must admit that The Hobbit is kind of charming in its own way. The ragtag band of dwarfs is pretty funny, Martin Freeman is charming as Bilbo, and the scenery is fantastically beautiful. My major complaint is that there isn’t much plot here; I’ve read criticism of the decision to split one book into three movies, and based on this movie, such criticism seems warranted. There were a few too many pointless meandering diversions along the way, but still it’s a fun journey overall. Grade: B

life of pi

Life of Pi: I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this movie, but I loved it. First, it’s beautifully made – the visuals are gorgeous and each scene looks meticulously put-together. Second, it’s just a really great story; I was totally sucked in, even though most of the time it’s just a boy (Pi) and a tiger. In that sense, the movie reminded me of Castaway – except I found this movie much more compelling. As with The Impossible, even though I know how the story ended (the adult Pi is telling the story, so it’s obvious from the outset that he makes it), I was nervous every time the tiger growled or sharks circled the raft. Just great storytelling – and now I can’t wait to read the book. Grade: A

(Images via Indiewire, Forbes, and Slate)

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