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Nim's Island 2008

A young girl inhabits an isolated island with her scientist father and communicates with a reclusive author of the novel she's reading...

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Solar rating: 7.6


Imdb rating: 6

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It's always interesting to see when a movie is appreciated by the audiences, even without the "approval" of the critics. This was a charming movie that showed a brave girl being resourceful. She had two worried adults trying to get to her and a romantic fictional character. What's not to like?
I went to see this with my 5-year old son. This is a really fun movie for kids. As an adult, I also enjoyed it. Yes, there were some problems, and there were unbelieveable elements, but it is to be expected in a kids movie.
Fantastic! Wonderful visuals, acting was fantastic, and I completely lost myself in the storyline...AND THAT IS WHAT A GOOD MOVIE SHOULD MAKE PEOPLE DO! Escape and enjoy!

And those who reviewed it primarily on the basis of realism and plausability...get a life. This is a child's book translated to the big screen, and wonderfuly done. It lacks the general gutter humor and ridiculous storylines that kids and adults these days seem to gravitate towards...and I think that's GREAT!

I can't stand those who feel that that this is "lacking in realism and plausability"...of course it is! It was never mean to be completely realistic, people...get a clue!
My son really enjoyed this movie, and it was more enjoyable for me than watching some of the junk that is out there filling our minds with potty humor and desensitizing us to violence forcing us to leave the theater dumber than we went in.
Okay, round two for today.

The Awful Truth wasn't terrible, nor was it good. Irene Dunne ("It Grows on Trees") and Cary Grant ("Walk Don't Run") have good chemistry and Grant is gorgeous as always, but I just didn't feel the repartee. The two star as a married couple who have suspicions about each other and so decide to get a divorce. Then they interfere into each other's new romantic attempts. It's a screwball comedy. And I've shown before that I don't always "get" this genre. And since it's 89% fresh here on RT, it probably is just me.

Insatiable is an After Dark film and it represents on of the worst of the bunch. A really lame guy witnesses a hot vampire chick killing a homeless man. He becomes obsessed with her and attempts to capture her and teach her to feel. Boring. Poorly acted. Ludicrous plot. Please avoid.

The Raven is a strange Roger Corman ("Searchers 2.0") film about warring wizards, starring Vincent Price ("Edward Scissorhands"). It's a B-movie in all its glory. There's overacting by Price and costars Peter Lorre ("The Patsy") and Boris Karloff ("The Fear Chamber"). The plot is silly. The dialogue too. The colors are over the top, and a very young Jack Nicholson ("The Bucket List") wanders around too. I quite enjoyed it. Plus, it has Price reading "The Raven" in that awesome voice.

Five Easy Pieces stars Jack Nicholson ("The Bucket List") as an classical pianist who abandons his upper class life and starts working on an oil-rig. When he receives word that his father is ill, he goes to visit the life he left behind. Bringing along his somewhat trashy girlfriend, Rayette (Karen Black, "One Long Night"), he confronts his old life. This is definitely a character study, and a good one. Nicholson is very revealing as he wars between his desire to rebel and his talent. I need to see this again, but enjoyed this first viewing.

I took my four-year-old nephew to see Nim's Island and he mostly enjoyed it. Though he got bored a few times, I think those were the times I was most interested. Jodie Foster ("The Brave One") plays an adventure writer afraid to leave her house. She receives a S.O.S. email from a young girl, Abigail Breslin ("Definitely, Maybe"), who thinks Foster is the hero from her books. Breslin is wounded and alone on a secluded island trying to survive storms and invading tourists. Foster tries to brave the world and save her. It was amusing, especially Foster's bits. And Breslin's interactions with the island animals were really sweet. Take the youngsters.
Nim’s Island
directed by Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin
written by Joseph Kwong, Paula Mazur, Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett
based on the novel “Nim’s Island” by Wendy Orr
starring Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler

Although this film is less than satisfying on numerous levels, it still comes off as the kind of film that we ought to see more of. It’s wholesome to a fault and perhaps too whimsical for its own good. It potentially instills an appreciation for nature in its target audience, tween and pre teen girls looking for a strong female their own age to admire and emulate. The character of Nim (Breslin) is certainly a prototypical adventurous young girl worth admiring. Nim is fully capable of taking care of her Self and protecting her best interests while living on an uncharted island far away from civilization. It’s the type of character that comes along far too infrequently these days and that is a crying shame because young girls need to see themselves writ large on screen.

The story involves Nim’s dad, Jack, (Butler), a world renowned scientist who leaves on a expedition to capture something he calls Nim plankton. Unfortunately, he is met with a horrific storm and becomes stranded. Meanwhile, Nim is communicating with a woman named Alexandra Rover, the author of the wildly successful Alex Rover adventure novels, who happens to be unable to leave her home due to acute agoraphobia. Ms. Rover carries on long conversations with her male alter ego (Butler) and finds herself in a creative bind. She’s learned that Jack lives near a volcano and she needs specific information about it to infuse into her story. Nim receives her message and they begin corresponding. Soon, it becomes apparent to Alexandra that Nim is in trouble. Nim writes Alexandra and says she needs her to come to the island. After much trepidation and several false starts, Alexandra takes a monumental step and manages to actually leave her apartment.

The film is really about Alexandra’s awakening more than anything else. Watching Jodie Foster looking flummoxed, terrified, confused, beleaguered, and blitzkrieged is certainly a delight. Foster is a holocaust of nerves throughout the film; she is pathologically unable to relax long enough to enjoy even a modicum of her journey. It’s interesting that the film spends so much time on Alexandra getting to the island because when she finally arrives she’s there for a night and then the movie ends. The film is about the journey, not the destination, although this seems to conflict with the idyll life shared by Nim and Jack. For them it’s all about destination and remaining where they have made their home.

At one point, a cruise ship shows up packed with enough grotesquerie to choke both Harry Crewes and John Waters. The tourists are hideous Flannery O’ Connor concoctions with absolutely no love of the natural beauty of the island and its creatures. So, naturally, watching Nim drive them off their “exotic” hidden paradise is quite lovely. They are gross, negligent and wholly unappealing in every way. However, there is a boy named Edmund (Maddison Joyce), with corpulent, obnoxious parents, who wanders off and meets Nim. He becomes a necessary link between Nim and Alexandra and essentially enables them to finally connect.

There is actually a bit of tension in this film, primarily when Jack is out on his boat with the wind and waves tormenting him nearly to oblivion. Still, he’s in his element so we know nothing untoward is going to happen to him.

Despite the aforementioned merits of the film, it’s ultimately too sentimental and a bit cloying. The characters aren’t particularly developed, their outward affectations not withstanding. At times, the cuteness of the film overwhelms the story, capsizing the viewer momentarily, as if we too were trapped in the middle of a cruel ocean with no bearings and no food or water. It’s essentially impossible to get into the spirit of the thing and it becomes a matter of pretty scenery that becomes the most substantial character in the film. The Australian islands are certainly photographed with care and precision; everything looks pretty and unadorned. There is an energy about the island that is unmistakable and it certainly feels as if one is viewing a strange and new place for the first time. However, that’s about as far as it goes. We are left to enjoy the lovely scenery without wanting to worry ourselves about the silliness of the plot.

The performances in this film are adequate if not unspectacular. Jodie Foster plays Alexandra like she’s got a loaded gun pointed at her head throughout the film. Alexandra is an exaggeration of the type of person who is so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to see what is right there in front of their eyes. She has completely lost touch with the world outside her apartment and has to force herself, against her better judgement, to leave the comfort and relative safety of her codified world in order to help someone else in distress. Gerard Butler has a solidity that comes off quite frequently. As both the character Alex Rover and Jack, he simply appears to be a man who firmly knows what he is about and what his place is in the world. Abigail Breslin is all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as the film opens. Nim has connected throughly with her environs and seems fully engaged in every aspect of the island. She doesn’t appear to be overburdened by the loss of her mother and carries herself as essentially innocent of any real strife. However, this is quickly tarnished when Jack disappears and she is left with the very real possibility she will lose him as well. Breslin manages the shift in Nim’s mood effortlessly and with a substantial amount of grace.

Overall, this film’s strengths are also its weaknesses. The plot is rife with moments that sink into a morass of gooey, syrupy sludge where it becomes akin to a duck trying to shake off oil from it’s feathers. The characters are decently worked out by the actors, who appear to know how to exaggerate their reactions as this is a family film designed to appeal to the very young. At times, there is a cartoonish quality to the proceedings as the film attempts to work humor into the story. Occasionally, this works, but mostly it falls flat. Watching trick seals and CG lizards flying at unsavory tourists do have their charming qualities, however. There just isn’t quite enough, in the end, that helps this story to reach a level beyond mere entertainment. Again, it’s cute and silly and quite fun. It’s just not deep or particularly adventurous.
will return later with review
I don't think there are very few people out there that can relate so completely to this movie like I can. I loved it. Alexandra Rover is so much like me that it's crazy. I understood her ALL TOO well, and I didn't think that was bad at all. I loved it! I loved being able to see my mind translated in some form into a film.

Such a great film. One that I not only relate to but LOVE to watch.

Can't wait to own this one!
Myself, just turning 13, thought the movie was totally boring. Although, my brother, 10, and my cousin, 6, thought the movie was the shizznit. I did think Jodie Foster was funny.
It isn't often that you get to see Jodie Foster play a role for laughs - her prodigious skill as a dramatic actress has more or less pigeonholed her as the go-to girl for tough-minded broads who are more likely to gun you down in your tracks than play the part of the sweet, limpwristed heroine in a romantic comedy. So if there was one thing I was looking forward to with slight kiddie adventure movie Nim's Island, it was the opportunity to see Foster play outright kooky rather than intense or conflicted with a soupcon of sardonic, biting humour. For once, NI promised to provide Foster with a simple, uncomplicated role that she could play for huge laughs and to a mainstream audience - and she certainly rises to the occasion and more, to almost singlehandedly make an otherwise mediocre movie something worth a watch.

The precocious, immensely resourceful Nim (Abigail Breslin) is a little girl who lives with her scientist father Jack (Gerard Butler) on an unnamed remote island awash in unnamed oceans. She has grown up communing with nature and worshipping the fictional Alex Rover (rakishly played by Butler as well), a professional adventurer in the style of Indiana Jones who is brave, a great lover of the outdoors, and not afraid of anything - nothing at all like his creator, the severely agoraphobic Alexandra Rover (Foster). When Jack is lost at sea one day, Nim grows increasingly despondent and reaches out to the real-life Alex Rover for help... even as Nim's island comes under threat from a gaggle of determinedly colonialist tourists. Fearing for Nim's life and safety, Alexandra plucks up the courage to venture out of her home and into a world of germs and people that has always terrified her...

Intriguing premise, yes? Not to mention a great cast - Breslin, in particular, continues to demonstrate an uncanny ability to avert the common pitfalls of being a child actor and manages to be cute and sassy at the same time without also coming across as desperately annoying. Which goes a considerable way towards making NI a pleasant watch for everyone concerned: Breslin bears much of the movie on her slim shoulders, especially as she and Foster spend far too much time apart instead of sharing the same screen as they really should. Ultimately, that's probably one of my biggest problems with this film: it spends far too long getting to what should be its point - by the time Alexandra and Nim actually meet, there isn't much film left to tell the story of Nim's island. The interaction and emotional sparks between the characters, by then, feels rushed through and forced rather than organic, largely because the movie has barrelled on with three almost separate plot strands (Nim defending her island on her own, Alexandra trying to get to the island, Jack trying to survive the deadly seas and get back to his daughter) that are all related but barely cross paths until the final fifth of the film.

Still, NI is a perfectly enjoyable film - there are some delightful touches and really smart ideas littered throughout the script, which make it an entertaining enough experience for adults as well as kids. Making the swashbucklingly swoonworthy Alex Rover a character in the movie - a figment of Alexandra's imagination and the manifestation of all she wishes she could and dared do out in the real world - was a stroke of genius. Some of the exchanges between the two Alexes offer, of course, broad comedy (especially when the perspective switches away from Alexandra to any innocent bystander happening to witness her internal debate with the patently invisible Alex), but there are also moments of genuine insight into Alexandra's fear of the unknown and unfamiliar as she bickers with Alex, or when she scoffs at him over his threat to leave his creator to fend for herself.

And if you're paying to see Foster, you won't be disappointed: she is ridiculously fun to watch, immersing herself as she does in the bundle of tics and minor freak-outs that is her character. It's clear that Foster is having the time of her life playing the quirky side of Alexandra's character: whether this involves falling off a treadmill, obsessively rubbing her hands together in an attempt to keep them clean, or just freaking out at the prospect of stepping out from the warm cocoon of her house onto the front porch. But Foster, because she's Foster, also introduces layers of regret and depth into Alexandra that make the film watchable beyond its glossy family movie surface. She has a nice, easy chemistry with Butler as Jack, and her moments with Breslin, though few and far in between, are wonderfully played - bristly and difficult and awkward and true... which is unusual for a film of this genre.

The movie doesn't end half as well as it starts out, with its dramatic resolution quickly and perfunctorily shoved into the audience's faces - the last third of NI feels forced and a bit tedious, and perhaps it's no coincidence that this is the point when the three plot threads come together and the delightfully sarcastic Alex makes an exit as Alexandra has to find her own courage. It's arguably pretty terrible for a film to fumble in quite this way at what should be its climax, but its excellent cast just about holds the entire enterprise together - yes, including sentient and loving creatures of the animal kingdom devoted to the adorable Nim - and is good enough to provide you with a legitimate reason for finding things to appreciate about the movie, even at the very end.
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