The Darkest Hour
Directed by Chris Gorak
Starring Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, Max Minghella
WELL, the storyline certainly looks promising, and the film is great until its ending, where the story ends abruptly.
The Darkest Hour takes place in Moscow, where five people try to survive an alien invasion, which spreads via the power supply.
The first sight of the alien is a visual wonder but the humans should at least show more shock on their faces when they come upon it. The cinematography for that scene also could’ve been better.
The aliens take out humans in a brilliant fashion, leaving nothing but ashes behind. The fact that they can’t be seen makes them even more deadly.
Being invisible adds a high level of mystery to the alien for both the characters and the audience. Everyone is left wondering where it is and when it may attack and what it may do.
If it stayed that way, the film would have been more interesting but Gorak decided to reveal its true form, which was a mistake because the result wasn’t that exciting.
Ben (Minghella), Sean (Hirsch), Anne, Natalie and Skyler try to figure out what kind of beings the aliens are, and in this scene they babble about some scientific explanation. Although it makes sense to them, it doesn’t for the viewers.
In this dreadful apocalyptic film, the setting was excellently conjured. Moscow, which is usually swarmed with people, looks vastly different.
The use of CGI on the aliens is minimal but it gives an impressive view of the world in its dire state.
However, the film leaves viewers with a unsatisfactory ending, so we have to assume what happens next.
The DVD includes deleted scenes and one extended scene.
Directed by Alexander Payne
Starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
GEORGE Clooney is the poster boy for sexy middle-aged men but in The Descendants, he is one scruffy father who wants to patch things up with his children.
He plays Matt King, a land baron in Hawaii who is looking to reconnect with his daughters, Alexandra (Woodley) and Scottie (Miller), now that his wife Elizabeth is in a comatose state as a result of a boating accident.
He also finds out that Elizabeth had an affair before the accident, so he takes Alexandra and Scottie on a trip to confront her lover.
Clooney, who usually gives off an air of confidence, leaves it behind to take on a more emotionally-wrecked role, which suits him. This change, although strange at first, is welcoming.
The Descendants requires a lot from its cast, and as the lead actors, Clooney and Woodley delivered perfectly.
Woodley, who is known for The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, appears at home in displaying various emotions in The Descendants.
Matt and Alexandra try to figure out their relationship as father and daughter, and Clooney and Woodley portray it impressively.
Although the story is not entirely something that is unheard of, the film totally deserves the Oscar win. It touches on family drama that some can relate to.
Although Hawaii is a paradise, director Payne made sure not to let its beauty overshadow the plot. In a way, the setting — the weather included — mirrors the emotions of the characters.
There are three interesting DVD featurettes, namely Everybody Loves George, Working With Alexander and Casting.