We Bought a Zoo (2011) – Movie Review

We Bought a Zoo is a heart-warming comedy-drama film based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee about how the author and his family used their life savings to buy Dartmoor Zoological Park, a dilapidated zoo in England.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Matt Damon, Thomas Haden Church, Angus Macfadyen, Alice Marie Crowe, Patrick Fugit, Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning, Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Dustin Ybarra and Ben Seeder in "We Bought a Zoo"
Matt Damon, Thomas Haden Church, Angus Macfadyen, Alice Marie Crowe, Patrick Fugit, Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning, Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Dustin Ybarra and Ben Seeder in "We Bought a Zoo"

We Bought a Zoo is a story about Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) is a widower who decides to buy a zoo to start a new life with his kids Dylan (Colin Ford) and 7-year-old Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones).

The challenge for Benjamin is getting the zoo reopens while dealing with the lost of his wife and his troubled son. Luckily for him, a team of dedicated zoo staff led by zookeeper Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson) is there to help him.

Although Kelly is skeptical about Benjamin in the beginning, things change when Benjamin who doesn’t have any experience in zoological shows his dedications in the upkeep of the zoo and begins bonding with the animals. Benjamin even risks his life as he deals with a 650-pound grizzly bear face-to-face when it escapes.

Matt Damon creates a commanding presence in the film and easily overshadows the rest of the cast with his solid performance as a widower dealing with emotional issues. Scarlett Johansson shines well in her role as a zookeeper although she is easily outshined by Damon’s performance.

Overall, We Bought a Zoo is perhaps the next best thing to do after going to a real-life zoo in the holiday season.

  • 7 out of 10
  • A light, heart-warming holiday film for the whole family.
  • No

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) – Movie Review

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is the first part of the final installment of The Twilight Saga film series with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner all reprising their roles.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn"
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn"

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn also known as Breaking Dawn focuses mainly on Bella Swan’s (Kristen Stewart) marriage to Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). While the wedding is grand and lavish, it is easily overdone. Ensuing the wedding, the couple then spends their honeymoon on Isle Esme in Brazil. Bella and Edward have sex and before long, Bella finds out she is pregnant.

When Sam Uley (Chaske Spencer), the Alpha of the werewolf pack learns of Bella’s pregnancy, he plans to kill Bella along with the unborn baby. Despite that, Sam and the other werewolves have no balls to launch an attack.

Eventually, Bella becomes too weak as the unborn baby overpowers her, taking all the nutrition from her body and becomes the main cause of Bella’s death.

To summarize it, first part of Breaking Dawn is all about the wedding, honeymoon, pregnancy and birth of a vampire baby and is literally boring.

In the end of part one, as expected, Bella heals, wakes up with red eyes depicting she has turned into a vampire.

Overall, Breaking Dawn Part 1 has weak storyline, full of drama and corniness and completely toothless. Certainly one of the worst, if not the worst Twilight film to date.

  • 5 out of 10
  • Breaking Dawn Part 1 is melodramatic and toothless with little to no action. Watch it if you love soap opera.
  • Yes. The Volturi clan learns of Bella’s newborn baby and when Aro (Michael Sheen) says the Cullens still have something he wants, he could possibly mean Renesmee.

Shame (2011) Trailer

Shame is a film that centers around Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon’s insular life spirals out of control. Directed by Steve McQueen and starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and Hannah Ware, Shame opens on December 2, 2011.

Immortals (2011) – Movie Review

Immortals is a 3D fantasy film produced by the same producers of "300" and directed by Tarsem Singh based loosely on Theseus and the Minotaur and the War of the Titans.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Stephen Dorff, Greg Bryk, Henry Cavill and Freida Pinto in "Immortals"
Stephen Dorff, Greg Bryk, Henry Cavill and Freida Pinto in "Immortals"

Years after the War of the Titans, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) declares war on humanity as he leads a bloodthirsty army on a murderous rampage across Greece in search of the Epirus Bow in order to free the Titans.

Zeus (Luke Evans) forbids the gods to save humanity as it is against the ancient laws for the gods to intervene the human war in the form of gods. It is left to Theseus (Henry Cavill) who was secretly chosen by Zeus in his human form (John Hurt) to save his people.

With the help of Phaedra (Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire), an oracle priestess and a thief named Stavros (Stephen Dorff), Theseus has to battle Minotaur-like army and Hyperion soldiers before he finally has the chance to face off with King Hyperion. By then King Hyperion has managed to free the Titans using the Epirus Bow he stole from Theseus.

Despite the incredible visual effects throughout the film, the movies started off too slowly but moved too quickly during the final battle stance. The best part of the film was probably when the gods jump right in to stop the Titans from escaping.

Overall, Immortals is not really so much of immortals. Even, the gods have flaws. After all, even the immortals die and bleed. Like the gods, the film has its share of flaws. Even so, the movie is enjoyable to watch with "300"-style face-off borrowed. It is just not that terrific.

  • 6 out of 10
  • A beautiful film which is visually attractive but do not expect too much as there is not much storytelling.
  • No

Trespass (2011) Trailer

Trespass is a crime thriller centers on the Miller family’s estate. In a private, wealthy community, priority is placed on security and no exception is made for the Miller family’s estate. Behind their pristine walls and manicured gardens, Kyle (Nicolas Cage), a fast-talking businessman, has entrusted the mansion’s renovation to his stunning wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman). But between making those big decisions and keeping tabs on their defiant teenage daughter, Sarah often finds herself distracted by a young, handsome worker at their home. Nothing is what it seems, and it will take a group of cold-blooded criminals led by Elias, who have been planning a vicious home invasion for months, to bring the Miller family together. When they storm the manor, everyone is tangled up in betrayal, deception, temptation and scheming. Kyle, Sarah and Avery will take the ultimate risk to make it out with their lives and their family intact. Directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman and Cam Gigandet, Trespass opens on October 14, 2011.