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    March 13, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEWS IN BRIEF: BLACK SWAN, TRUE GRIT

    BLACK SWAN (18)

    Genre: Action/Science Fiction
    Release Date: 24 February 2011
    Running Time: 108 minutes
    Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
    Director: Darren Aronofsky
    Screenplay: Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, John McLaughlin
    Starring: Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey

    Plot: Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dancing. She lives with her retired ballerina mother, Erica (Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter's ambitions. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Wynona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition in a new dancer, Lily ( Mila Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, as well as the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

    Short Reviews: Objectively sound and embraceable, Black Swan is a plausible but worrying psychological derangement thriller that takes audience into a different ride of wild melodrama, passions and sensuality. Natalie Portman shows the world what a delusional ballerina looks like with an engaging performance. Probably my only two complaints are that the movie takes thing too seriously horror, while at time straying away from the real deal of thrill just to scare you. The other complaint is that it is over-rated. The movie makes me feel uncomfortable at times.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 3.0
    Casts: 4.5
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 3.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 14.5/20.0
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    TURE GRIT (18)

    Genre: Drama/Western
    Release Date: 24 February 2011
    Running Time: 110 minutes
    Distributor: Paramount Pictures
    Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
    Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, based on the 'True Grit' by Charles Portis
    Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin

    Plot: An adaptation of the Charles Portis novel, 14-year-old girl Mattie Ross joins an ageing U.S. marshal (Jeff Bridges) and another lawman (Matt Damon) in tracking her father's killer into hostile Indian territory. Sticking more closely to the source material than the 1969 feature adaptation starring Western icon John Wayne, the Coens' "True Grit" tells the story from the young girl's perspective, and re-teams the celebrated filmmaking duo with their "No Country for Old Men" screenwriting partner Scott Rudin. Josh Brolin co-stars.

    Short Reviews: Western movies are boring. Now, before you jump into some wild conclusions that this one is too, sweeps off what I've said and get your feet sink into this one. It is magnificent and gloriously crafted by the talented directors - the Coen Brothers who choose to adapt the movie as faithful to the book as possible, leaving it untouched and a worthy film to watch. Then, there is some strong performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld (she looks way prettier in real life). One of the best movie I have seen in 2011.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 4.0
    Casts: 4.5
    Cinematography: 4.5
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 16.9
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