Wednesday, June 6, 2012
This movie is based on a lesser-known play by William Shakespeare. The story tells us about a legendary Roman general, named Caius Martius (played by Ralph Fiennes), at a time where Rome just banished the last king and took the first steps towards the Republic. Though Caius Martius has won many victories for Rome, he is not loved with the common people, mainly because he is openly contemptuous towards the commoners.
When news arrives Rome is in danger because the Volscian army, lead by Aufidius (played by Gerald Butler) is on the move, Caius Martius leaves Rome to quelch the threat nearly single-handedly. After an encounter with his mortal enemy Aufidius in the city of Coriole, he returns victorious. He receives great praise and is granted the name "Coriolanus". His mother convinces him to run for consul. Some tribunes however do not agree with this idea, and rally the commoners against the general.
The tribunes are successful in their intent, and the commoners manage to provoke Coriolanus so much, that he openly insults the people of Rome. For that, he is exiled.
Filled with rage, Coriolanus swore to take revenge...
To me, this movie was awesome in so many ways. The story, the acting, the setting, but most of all, the way Ralph Fiennes (who is also the director) takes an "old" story and puts it in a contemporary background, without losing any of the original storyline or feeling. A risky, but magnificent choice was to keep the original text from the Shakespearian play. Though this might give the movie an archaic feeling to some, to me it was fantastic. I felt like I was in ancient Rome, but at the same time the movie felt so 'real', not only because it took place in a fictious present, but also because it really felt like this 'present' could actually happen. An amazing way to bring back Shakespeare into the hearts and minds of the people.
The acting also was astounding. The way Fiennes takes on the arrogant, wrathful role of Coriolanus in such a convincing manner, gives many a viewer - including me - the chills. Aufidius on the other hand is more forgiving, more reasonable. Gerald Butler made it look like these traits aren't just 'acted', but actually are a part of himself. Amazing.
In short, the way in which this Shakespearian tragedy is brought back to life, gives great homage to one of the most important writers known to man. Definitely worth watching.
Monday, June 4, 2012
As this was one of my top movies to see in 2012 (see here), I was more than excited and curious about what I was going to see when I sat down at the theatre, watching the opening credits of this 'prequel' to the famous Alien movie, directed by Ridley Scott.
And I wasn't held in curiousity for very long. The movie has quite a 'basic' storyline, that tells us about a group of adventurers searching for clues about the origin of our species. That search takes them to a mysterious planet, where they think to find those clues.
But it isn't so much the story as it is the feeling this movie conjures, that make it fantastic. From the start to the end, Ridley Scott succeeds again in implementing a certain degree of mystery in the movie. You can't really tell why, but you are gripped by a kind of anxiety, even though there isn't really happening anything scary. This kind of suspense is really one of the key elements to a good science-fiction/horror movie to me. Even though there are quite some awesome, gruesome and explicit horror scenes in the movie that takes this suspense to a climax, it is the continuous feeling of unsafety and threat that keeps people on the ball. This is something Ridley Scott perfected in "Alien", and implemented again in "Prometheus".
A very nice performance by Michael Fassbender, as a freaky, 'human-like' robot, who managed to add to the mystery that Ridley Scott was going for; and by Charlize Theron, as the leader of the expedition. There are several untold stories behind most of the characters, of which the viewer only gets a glimpse, again adding to the mystery.
In conclusion: a very exciting, thrilling sci-fi horror movie, definitely worth watching if you want to be scared the bejesus out of you. Mind you, it gets quite explicit and horrible from time to time, but that can't really hurt a horror now, can it.