Winter Break Movies Round-Up: Sherlock Holmes, Drive, Jackie Brown, The Adventures of Tintin, Hugo

Since break, I’ve had the chance to catch up on some movie-watching, with a good mix of films both old and new. I’ll share some of the standouts with you guys, and I’ll try to update the blog with more reviews if I watch other movies in the next few weeks.

On a side note, I’m pretty sure this is the longest blog post title I’ve ever written.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011): Holmes and Watson have finally met their match in Professor Moriarty, the most evil and intelligent villain yet. Although I was expecting a re-hashed plot and the same-old action, I was pleasantly surprised by the effort the producers made in keeping the series fresh. Especially enjoyed the action sequences – the escape scene in the forest is totally epic – and Professor Moriarty is the first villain who can actually outsmart and out-power Holmes, which makes the story that much more interesting.

Drive (2011): This action movie came out earlier in the year, and unlike your typical big-budget Hollywood action explode-a-thons, is paced a lot more slowly and pays homage to old-school action flicks and film noir. Really loved the subtle actions, deliberate pacing, and minimal dialogue in the movie, and Ryan Gosling does an excellent job as the Driver. From what I’ve heard and read, this is a love-it or hate-it kind of film, and the gory scenes can be a turn-off. But all in all, the film is beautifully done, with a dark feel and a “hero” character people look for in these kinds of movies.

Jackie Brown (1997): I’m a huge fan of Tarantino, and as usual, he doesn’t disappoint. Jackie Brown is a crime drama that pays homage to blaxploitation films of the 70s. With excellent actors and actresses (Samuel Jackson as a ruthless arms dealer, Pam Grier as the flight attendant which the story revolves around), typical smart dialogue, and a fast-paced story of betrayal, there’s a lot going for this movie. Plus, this has definitely got to be one of the least gory Tarantino movies, so if you’ve wanted to see Tarantino’s film-making genius but have been turned off by the gore, this is the one to try out.

The Adventures of Tintin (2011): A 3-D motion-capture flick directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson? This movie screams legit. Based on the popular (and classic) comic books by Herge, The Adventures of Tintin is filled with action, around-the-world travels, and gives off a Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe. A very entertaining movie overall, with good use of 3-D effects, although I felt that the story could have been even better, given the film giants behind this movie.

Hugo (2011): My favorite of the winter break movies so far. Martin Scorsese works his magic and pays homage to his love of film by weaving a mystery with a cast of compelling characters who connect with the audience. The result is a story that not only entertains and captures the audience’s imagination, but also educates and inspires. The world that Hugo inhabits is fascinating, but it’s when he ventures outside this world that he makes an impact in others’ lives.

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