Upside Down (2012)

I’m not totally sure if it considers as a recommendations BUT to me, Terrence at The Focused Filmographer totally sold this movie, Upside Down, to me.  I ended up going to the store to pick it up that following weekend and never got around to watching it so decided to watch it this weekend 🙂 Lets check it out!

upside down posterDirector: Juan Solanas

Cast: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall, Blu Mankuma, Kate Trotter, Larry Day

In a world where there is double gravity pulling in opposite directions, Up Top is ruled by the rich whereas Down Below is filled with the poor and less fortunate.  The two sides of the world is connected through a tower between that riches both sides, however, due to the gravity, there are serious consequences to attempting to cross to the other gravity force.  As young teens, Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst) fall in love despite their gravity differences however, in the attempt to see each other, they are found and Eden crash lands back onto her world. Assuming that Eden had died, the authorities took away his family as a consequence.  Ten years later, as he slaves away to find the anti-aging serum, he sees on television that Eden is still alive.  Fully convinced that he needed to reconnect with her, he gets a job at Level 0 research labs and launches his own plan to penetrate to the other side to see her and regain the love that he had lost for so long.

upside down scene

Upside Down is a fantasy romance drama. With that said (and the picture above), this movie is full of computer graphics or VFX, whatever the term is.  I’m not a ever technical person so I’m not well-versed in those terms, but you get that idea.  But guys, c’mon, just look at that picture and tell me you don’t think this movie is visually stunning! Upside Down has a beautiful concept behind it all and the love story is quite good, granted I figured out the ending 15 minutes before it actually happened.  Still, I buy it! Its cute and sweet and just so romantic.

upside down jim sturgess

Adam is played by Jim Sturgess.  I don’t know about you but I first saw Jim Sturgess in Across the Universe and I can’t seem to remember if I’ve seen him in anything else.  My impression of him is that he’s great at playing a hopeless romantic and if you take the vibe and stick it into his role, he was totally awesome! The model star-crossed lovesick romantic whose determination to see the one he loves is just unstoppable.  You can give me some more of his sweet charisma any day! He was fun and adorable for the most part and very convincing, I think I almost fell in love with him.

upside down kirsten dunst

Quite opposite of Jim Sturgess, I’ve only seen adult Kirsten Dunst in Spiderman trilogy or at least in a role that I remember off the top of my head.  I’ve never been really impressed with her, not that she’s not pretty or something but she has something that doesn’t really connect with the characters she plays.  In Upside Down, living Up Top, Kirsten Dunst plays a very charming and beautiful Eden.  The character she had to act was beautiful and deep as she had to deal with the aftermath of the accident and she did a decent job portraying all that.

upside down office level 0

The character that really impressed me a lot was Timothy Spall though.  He plays Bob, a coworker from Up Top of Adam’s.  I think his character was the best in the movie with inspiring dialogue and the whole nine yards.  As much as this movie was filled with a wonderful and talented cast, it did have a bit of flaws.  You know what I felt was that this movie never really had a climax, nothing really hit a peak and intense part.  We just landed there BOOM really quickly and then 5 minutes later, it was the end of that scene and it tried to do a little twist effect that actually made me realize they were going to do that ending.  Thinking about it, the ending didn’t completely make that much sense but then the characters didn’t really know that much about the boundaries of the double gravity atmosphere to start with.

Overall, like any other movie (especially fantasy), you just have to buy the premise of it and for the most part, I did and this really worked for me.  Sure it had its flaws but what movie doesn’t? Upside Down has a lot of positives: captivating visuals, talented cast for its great characters, a beautiful love story and an original premise.  The whole interaction upside down was hard to adapt to at first but you get to used to it.  Its really a charming little movie.  I would definitely recommend it!

A huge thanks to Terrence at The Focused Filmographer.  Please go check out his blog! He features lots of fun stuff like news, polls, trailers and of course reviews.  He’s covering the White Sands International Film Festival so maybe that will interest you as well.

Are you a fan of fantasy films?

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

I’ve been a Jim Carrey fan since the days of Ace Ventura or is it Mask? Whichever came first.  Not really good at the whole timeline with movies.  I picked this one up at during Boxing Day in the (extra) bargain bin for super cheap, and I had only watched  a little portion a few years ago at a party.  It looked entertaining enough.  Since then this is the second time, I’ve seen it.

lemony snicket posterDirector: Brad Silberling

Cast: Jim Carrey, Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Jude Law, Kara/Shelby Hoffman, Timothy Spall, Billy Connelly, Meryl Streep, Catherine O’Hara

When a huge unknown fire tears the Baudelaire mansion down and perishing the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Baudelaire, their three children are suddenly turned to orphans.  The eldest is Violet (Emily Browning) who is an impeccable 14 year old inventor. Second is Klaus (Liam Aiken) who has read more books (and remembers every single one) than any adult would read in a lifetime and youngest is Sunny (Kara/Shelby Hoffman) who is merely an infant but has razor sharp teeth and loves to bite absolutely anything. When this unfortunate event happens, their fortune caretaker, Mr. Poe (Timothy Spall) has the responsibility of sending them to their closest relative listed and that person is Count Olaf (Jim Carrey).  Count Olaf is an actor who has his own troupe and misleads Mr. Poe in believing that he is out for the children’s good when all he wants is to get their huge fortune.  For him, the law gets in the way with its rules and formalities.  While the children try to escape his evil plans, he tries everything possible to get the fortune back.

unfortunate events count olaf

Jim Carrey has changed from when I first saw him in The Mask or Ace Ventura.  However, the one thing he hasn’t changes is his ability to freely change his voice around and assume someone else’s identity.  That proves to be the highlight of this adventure flick.  As I watched the special features on how they designed his Count Olaf character, there is so much to his abilities that change this flick to add a bit of dark humor to it.  I say dark because this is A Series of Unfortunate Events and being the cause of the situation, he becomes the Baudelaire orphans’ darkness as they try to seek some light. Or as Violet Baudelaire says, “There is always something”.

unfortunate events violet

On the topic, the kids are played the Baudelaire orphans are pretty decent.  The little baby who played Sunny was just pure cuteness.  They used the cute way of giving her little baby shrieks into dialogues on screen.  That was a lot of time adding a lot of the fun element in.  Emily Browning played Violet Baudelaire and she is quite pretty and quick witted.  Last time I saw her was in Sucker Punch (which was made after this) but I hated that movie…not her maybe but just the movie itself.  Both Emily Browning and Liam Aiken fit their roles really well.  I found it rather enjoyable as the focus was on them, their characters had wit and knowledge (and cuteness).

unfortunate events aunt jo

On top of that, there were lots of popular actors and actresses added to the movie to make it even better. For one, we have the elegant Meryl Streep who plays Aunt Josephine, a woman who is scared of everything and is obsessed with perfecting grammar. Billy Connolly is rather new to me but he played a great role as Uncle Monty, a connoisseur of snakes.  On top of that, there was one of my favorite actors, Jude Law playing the role of Lemony Snicket and he narrates the movie with a little appearance. Catherine O’Hara makes an appearance as Count Olaf’s neighbor Justice Strauss as well and she’s a decent actress.  There was even a cameo for Dustin Hoffman.

unfortunate events 1

This movie is based on a series of books for children of 9-12 (according to Indigo Books).  I’ve never read them but every time I finish this movie, I always want to check it out but have never had the chance to.  Its an attractive movie with beautiful backdrops and intriguing adventures adding in a lot of very good acting from a lot of the supporting cast and Jim Carrey in one of the lead roles.  Its a fun family adventure. I would recommend it for sure! Its enjoyable and entertaining 🙂

Let’s end on sharing one of my favorite quotes in the movie is this and also shows that between all the negative unfortunate events, there is always something positive that comes out of it:

One day, when you’re older, you will learn all about the people we have befriended and the dangers we have faced. At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.