Valentine’s Marathon: Romeo & Juliet (2013)

Next up in the Valentine’s Marathon is a tale really as old as time and probably one of the first Shakespeare plays I had to read in school but super renowned and adapted a ton of times and that is Romeo & Juliet. This version is the 2013 one with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth.

Let’s check it out!

Romeo & Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet 2013

Director: Carlo Carlei

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Ed Westwick, Christian Cooke

Romeo and Juliet secretly wed despite the sworn contempt their families hold for each other. It is not long, however, before a chain of fateful events changes the lives of both families forever.-IMDB

 Its always hard to review Romeo and Juliet adaptations. We all know how the story will go and the tragic fate of these lovers. It becomes even harder each time to feel moved by the characters and the story somehow because of that familiarity. I’m not sure if this is the most recent movie adaptation but I think so with these young stars playing the popular roles. In reality, it feels like quite the task and one that I’d eventually like to do to talk about the play and all adaptations (or as many as I have access to). Maybe I’ll give that a go one day. However, we’re here to look at this adaptation and to be fair, it was fine. There were some familiar faces, some good performances, the set was pretty decent and so were the costumes. I’m not a Shakespeare extreme connoisseur so I don’t know the play front and back. It been a long time since I’ve read it but from what I remember, its seems pretty close (if not the same) in dialogue.  However, something seems missing which I can’t quite pinpoint so maybe as I write this out, I’ll figure it out.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet are played respectively by Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld.  I haven’t seen a lot of Hailee Steinfeld but I have seen Douglas Booth in few of his previous roles, probably the one I remember most is LOL and Jupiter Ascending (review HERE). To step into Romeo and Juliet is a big task (like I mentioned before), there was to be passion and believability in their roles. Perhaps one of the things I didn’t quite feel was their connection. Sure, they were passionate in their lines and I could see it working but when they were together, something just didn’t click. Although, I feel that it progressed a little fast also. I get that its supposed to be a few days of events like most Romeo and Juliet movies are set in but it took two seconds to jump to seeing each other, dancing and then going to to the back and kissing. I never felt like other Romeo and Juliet movies progressed the love arc that fast for them and maybe its why those movies had a more impactful performance. Oh, and I actually did like Hailee Steinfeld’s performance. I feel that she has potential to do more and that’s where I think I probably should check out The Edge of Seventeen from last year.

Romeo and Juliet 2013

Talking about the Montague boys now, we’ve already discussed Romeo as the lover boy but possibly a great bromance trio goes to these guys who felt naturally good together. Somehow they worked well in showing their different personalities of Mercutio, Romeo and Benvolio. It was easy to believe that they all held different views of the rivalry between the Montague and the Capulets but also that they each also had different values. Mercutio is played by Christian Cooke, who is a familiar face and I liked him in the role. However, I love Kodi Smit-McPhee ever since I saw him in Let Me In (review HERE). This guy has some really great acting chops. He did a great job at Benvolio even if it was just a supporting role.

Romeo and Juliet 2013

The Capulets are much more individual but also has a lot more screen time. We have Tybalt, played by Ed Westwick who is incredibly known to me as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl and I loved his character there. Ed Westwick does have some good acting and in the right roles, he can do quite a bit. As Tybalt, he really just does the cocky guy with a ton of anger issues who has incredible hate for Montagues who can barely keep his actions in control. Plus, he does a whole lot of odd grunting angry voices and always has a grimace, which I get is in character but something about his character felt a little overacted perhaps. I can’t say that its his best performance in my book. The other part of the Capulets is Damien Lewis as Lord Capulet. I honestly haven’t had much contact with Damien Lewis but he seems like a really powerful actor because Lord Capulet’s role really carried especially when he was having the whole scene with Juliet and making his point clear of her marrying Count Paris. That was a fantastic scene.

Overall, Romeo and Juliet in this 2013 adaptation was okay. It probably won’t be memorable but its not horrible either. The pacing of the script could probably use some work to help make us care more about Romeo and Juliet especially when everyone already knows how this all works out and pretty much knows what to expect. There are some decent performances that I haven’t even mentioned other than Hailee Steinfeld, Damien Lewis and Kodi Smit-McPhee but also we have Paul Giamatti who plays as the Friar and as always, he does a nice job in the supporting role. Its hard to not compare Romeo and Juliet adaptations to each other especially since there’s already been so many but here’s my shot at it.

Have you seen this adaptation of Romeo and Juliet? Which adaptation is your favorite?

Halloween Marathon: Let Me In (2010)

I forgot to do that Halloween Marathon title for the previous movie…but I guess, I could go back and fix it.

Moving on, next up, I’ve been thinking of giving Let Me In a viewing for a really long time.  For those who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of Chloe Grace Moretz. Why? Because she does that good girl thing well and then she can do badass really well also and when she does badass, she can pull this batshit crazy thing in an awesome way.  So yeah, she’s creepy and seeing as Carrie is coming out right around the corner, why not visit this?

let me in posterDirector: Matt Reeves

Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas, Dylan Minnette, Cara Buono

12 year old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) lives with his mom(Cara Buono) in an apartment complex.  At school, he is always bullied at school.  One night, a mysterious girl, Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) moves in next door with his father (Richard Jenkins).  She starts hanging out with him in the playground and as he starts to like her more as she teaches him how to fight back to his bullies, he starts realizing that she is awkward at times.  Until her father dies in an accident,  people are murdered around and the police (Elias Koteas) get involved, he starts thinking that maybe there’s something more to Abby.

LET ME IN

I was so tempted to write “The Right Way to start a Halloween marathon” in the title.  I have no idea why Let Me In is rated R but they did have some creepy segments. Still, I loved it! It was totally awesome! It accentuates the garbage level of Area 407 (which I have come to terms with). Let Me In is a mystery horror drama flick.  Its not as much mystery as it is a very good balance of horror and drama mixed  together. For the record, I’ve never seen the original Let the Right One In but I have been wanting to, so I can’t compare at all.

let me in abby

One of the main reasons that I love this flick was that on one hand it had this very innocent vibe between Abby and Owen.  There’s a bit of mystery but the relationship is quite pure as they are kids even if Abby is more than that.  Plus, the second reason is of course Chloe Grace Moretz as Abby.  She does a really outstanding job at grasping her role.  She may have been obscure about what she was but she was always honest.  The character itself was a mix of a lot of stuff and it felt like at the same time, there was a lot of things she couldn’t control and it made her helpless in a way. Aside from her, there was a pretty decent supporting cast that helped deliver convincing roles that shaped the movie to what it became.

I don’t think I need to be all secretive but you all know that its a vampire movie, right?  I love vampire movies..so that makes it the third reason.I watch a lot of vampire related movies and TV.  Far from everything, but I’ve seen a fair share and consider me impressed.  That was the scary parts of this one.  The visuals of how Abby looked in vampire looked and moved was super scary in an awesome way. That was probably what earned the R-rating because it was out of the world creepy.  I had a moment of checking behind me just to make sure nothing was there. Plus, it had this creepy silent music to match with it.

LET ME IN

Point is, I loved Let Me In. It had a very awesome Chloe Grace Moretz who I see as a potentially great actress.  She was matched with a great supporting cast, especially her vibe with Kodi Smit-McPhee.  The young romance matched with a creepy vampire story really has a great vibe going.  Plus, the vampire is designed is a scary way that makes this fit right into the horror genre well. I’m building up the horror without even knowing it 🙂 I recommend this movie for sure!

Did you see Let the Right One In before? Is this a good remake? What do you think of Chloe Grace Moretz?

Paranorman (2012)

I’ve been working hard on watching all those unseen movies..but I did end up getting this one at a decent price recently at Walmart.  This one had a lot of positive reviews last year and being made from the same company as one of my favorite animations, I had to check it out right away!

paranorman posterDirector: Chris Butler & Sam Fell

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin

Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) lives in a little town called Blithe Hollow.  He is a bit of an outcast and everyone thinks his weird because he talks to empty space.  However, the real deal is that he can see and talk to ghosts.  Some ghosts stay around because they have unresolved business and he can talk to them and get along with them even better than with live people around him.  At home, his parents especially dad (Jeff Garlin) doesn’t believe these things and just wants him to normal and cut out all the pretending that grandma is still alive. At school, he gets bullied by  a guy called Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse).  As much as he learns to ignore everyone and just be alone, a little chubby boy, Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), who also gets bullied wants to be his friend.  He gets approached by his uncle’s ghost to go look for a book to read the story in order to stop the witch from rising from the dead, however, he is too late. Along with his sister Courtney, Neil and his brother Mitch(Casey Affleck)and Alvin, Norman goes to find a way to stop the witch and the undead from destroying his town.  To do this, he has to figure out where the witch was buried and the get the whole story.

paranormangroup car

Paranorman is a stop motion comedy thriller animation with zombies and ghosts.  However, its not very scary.  Its done by the same company who put out Coraline.  Coraline is one of my absolute favorite animations.  It was creepy but fun to watch, mixed with a bit of humor.  I really looked forward to Paranorman for those exact reasons.  This one was pretty fun.  It was suitable for kids because the ghosts and the undead aren’t too scary looking but then it got the message around.  Maybe a few jumps here and there.  It was some fun witty humor matched with a pretty well-written story.  I loved it! Maybe not as much as Coraline, but this one is less tense, its much  more awesome family fun.

paranorman ghosts

This whole animation was done very beautifully.  The visuals were outstanding from the backgrounds to the ghosts, the animated sceneries.  The characters were designed very well.  It focused on not only the adventure and mystery of saving the town from ghosts and zombies, but featured the family element of bond, understand, and support for each other, brings in hints of friendship and of course, the biggest issue was about bullying.

paranorman neil

Norman was a pretty cool character.  I loved how he was stubborn about his own beliefs.  I may never have met any kid that can talk to ghosts but he has some believable aspects.  One of my favorite characters has to be Neil.  He was hilarious. He had some of the best dialogue that would just crack me up. The voices were done very well and it was just an extremely entertaining movie in general.

Wonderfully animated, funny characters, some ghosts and zombies with an evil witch, this movie had it all for me to pull it out at Halloween (or even before that) to watch again. I definitely recommend it 🙂