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Posts tagged with "film"

In Time Review

The other night I caught the Andrew NIccol science film In Time. Now Niccol has some solid credentials with his films Gattaca and Lord of War. So this film stars Justin Timberlake (J T-lake) and Amanda Seyfried, in a world where time is currency and everyone stops aging at 25. Now this is the best part of the film. The concept is brilliant it is truly works, and is fascinating in the opening bit of the film. So the plot kicks into gear when the poor J T-lake unexpectedly inherits centuries of time. The plot here is still interesting, until T-lake’s decisions on what to do with the money seem highly questionable at best (gamble it all?). The plot then takes a turn for the been-done-a-thousand times. The movie ends up being a bonnie and clyde or true romance or robin hood steal form the rich and give to the poor. This was such a disappointing direction for them to go in with such an interesting concept. That being said, the execution was still entertaining. The movie managed to be good enough to watch throughout. I was happy it never fully devolved into a full blown action movie, and was pleased enough with the results. Overall, In Time is a great concept for a movie, let down though by a thoroughly unoriginal plot.

Rating: 6.5/10

Flickchart Ranking: 613 out of 1033

Recommended for: Niccol, Seyfried, T-Lake fans/some sci-fi fans

Mystery Men Review

Ok, this review is about a week and a half overdue. So please excuse me if this one seem brief. Mystery Men is a 1999 superhero comedy film most notably starring Ben Stiller, William H. Macy,  Hank Azaria and many others (including Kel from Keenan & Kel!). The film is about a group of crappy heroes trying to be as good as the best. The world they build is pretty clever in the beginning, with things like the big heroes having sponsors and doing commercials. However, once they introduce the plot point to get the movie rolling, there pretty much isn’t any more plot to speak of. So quite simply, this movie is stupid. And I’m actually saying that’s not a bad thing. The movie just brings everything down to it’s simplest levels. It is easy and dumbed down humor (literally fart jokes), and non-complex characters. So once you understand that, this movie is pretty easy to just sit back and watch. The solid cast makes everything work enough to be quite enjoyable, and in the end you also get a decent superhero adventure. Overall, Mystery Men is humor at is most basic and simple form, and thanks to the cast, it’s kinda fun.

Rating: 7/10

Flickchart Ranking: 581 out of 1033

Recommended for: superhero comedy fans/dumbed-down humor fans

Jul 3

The French Connection Review

A few nights back I watched the 1971 Academy Award Best Picture, The French Connection. TFC was directed by William Friedkin and stars Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider. This movie is most famous for its car chase, and that is really all I knew going in, so we’ll get to that later. The movie is about two detectives (Hackman and Scheider) who go through great lengths to try and catch a drug ring. A semi generic plot that isn’t helped at all by the fact that it all starts because Hackman think someone looks suspicious in a bar. Then, basically the entire movie is the cops following and staking out the suspects. There are multiple and extensive scenes of them following the baddies around the city both in cars and on foot (oh how different). Nothing really happens in these scenes either, they follow for a while there’s no real dialogue and nothing is accomplished. I found these scenes to get a touch tedious and boring. Eventually they get closer to the baddies and some action actually happens. This is the car chase scene, which is admittedly awesome. It’s pretty crazy how well it holds up considering how most car chases since then rip it off a little bit. A little after this is the climax, which is pretty tense and action filled. However, it ends all too abruptly and hollow for the viewer. The film ends with the ever cheesy and seemingly useless what-everyone-did-after-the-movie montage. Overall, TFC has a great car chase scene, but the generic plot and uneventful scenes leave the movie sort of dull.

Rating: 6/10

Flickchart Ranking: 759 out of 1030

Recommended for: car chase fans/Gene Hackman fans

Lolita Review

The other night I watched another film from the master Stanley Kubrick’s catalogue, the 1962 film Lolita. Lolita is a movie about a middle-aged man who falls in love with a 14 year old. This is obviously a very touchy subject matter, and multiply that by the fact that it was 1962 and basically everything was still taboo. So, I give this movie a ton of credit even for just existing. On that note, this story is a pretty good one. The story starts with a scene and then backtracks four years, and brings us all the way back to the end (which we saw at the beginning). I found that to be very clever, and I enjoyed the story arc as a whole. However, it was a bit of an endurance to get there. This movie is long for a romantic drama, and basically the entirety of the plot occurs through dialogue. This makes the movie feel slow and long. Now usually Kubrick would save such an issue with his genius, but this movie lacks any semblance of Kubrickian style or flair. In fact, with out prior knowledge of such, I would have never guessed that this is part of Kubrick’s masterful filmography. Overall, Lolita has a good story, but it is lost by the slow and long nature of the film, and Kubrick does nothing to save it.

Rating: 5.5/10

Flickchart Ranking: 869 out of 1029

Recommended for: the die-hardest Kubrick fans/taboo romance fans

The Fall Review

The other night I watched the Tarsem Singh fantasy drama, The Fall. The Fall is kind of like two separate movies gently nudging each other throughout. On one had you have a a little girl in a hospital with a broken arm making friends with a man who has suffered a pretty serious back/legs injury. They bond through him telling her a fantasy story, which serves as the other part of the movie about a group of rebels seeking revenge on an evil governor. Now the hospital portions of the film plays out as a serious and emotional drama. This portion of the movie is kept semi-mysterious throughout, without too much  direct explanation given until the end. Then comes the fantasy bit, which is simply one of the most beautiful things ever filmed. They say that everything was filmed on locations and there are no special effects, which is mind boggling. The fantasy is a gorgeous array of colors and places, that you kind simply look at forever. The story here is told in a less serious tone, and it feels like a made-up tale you would tell a little kid. The fantasy is a bot predictable, and the plot of it isn’t as interesting as it’s visuals. The movie really impresses when the hospital and the fantasy reach their climaxes, and start to feed into each other a bunch. Overall, The Fall is a gorgeous movie that is strong in it’s hospital plot, but the fantasies story does hold your attention as much as it’s visuals do.

Rating: 7.5/10

Flickchart Ranking: 498 out of 1028

Recommended for: fantasy drama fans/fans of gorgeous visuals

Hard Eight Review

Last night I watched one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s first films, Hard Eight (or Sydney). The credits roll as follows; directed by PT Anderson, starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Samuel L. Jackson. Let me just say I love me some PTA, and this finished off his feature length filmography for me. This film does not disappoint, it is glowing proof that PT had the talent even from the very beginning. This film has the familiar slow and high drama feeling that comes with PT films. It gets such amazing performances from all the actors, letting them work in long drawn out scenes where the dialogue and emotion is the focus. The majority of this film’s plot occurs within only a handful of long and tension scenes. This gives the entirety of the movie a very important feel when you think that each scene is the focal point in the movie. PT uses this kind of strategy in all of his subsequent films, so if you’ve ever enjoyed a PT movie you may as well try them all. There not much else more for me to say here except that I am crazy excited for The Master now. Overall, Hard Eight is a fantastically directed and acted movie that takes its time and holds great drama throughout.

Rating: 8.5/10

Flickchart Ranking: 306 out of 1027

Recommended for: PT Anderson fans/fans of any of the actors/casino drama fans

Chronicle Review

Last night I watched the found-footage “superhero” film, Chronicle. Now, I put superhero in quotes because this is a film about three teens who acquire supernatural powers, but I would not venture to say this film takes it to the stereotypical superhero genre. Most everyone on this film is not worth an above the credits note, so no credits runoff here. This is one of those movies that I came out with a notion of some goods and some bads, so let’s start with some goods. The films plot explores pretty genuinely what would happen if teens got superpowers. How these kids explored and used their powers is pretty spot on with how you’d imagine some teenagers to handle a situation like that. The movie also does a good job starting fairly small and slowly increasing its magnitude and scope until it reaches some pretty spectacular super powered moments towards the end. Now for some bads. I felt the first person found-footage aspect of this film to be a negative. Initially it made sense and was a fairly integral part of the plot. However, as the story progressed they introduced more cameras to add more angles and it really took away from the found footage effect. Eventually they reached a point where the first person cameras became impractical and actually took away from the film (in a ‘I wish this was just filmed normally’ kind of way ). Overall, Chronicle has a solid a believable story with some good superpower moments, though the execution of the found-footage leaves more to be desired.

Rating: 7/10

Flickchart Ranking: 504 out of 1026

Recommended for: found-footage fans/superpowers fans/teen drama fans

Your Sister’s Sister Review

It is finally time for the last review from my time at FFF2012. This one is important though, because it will be coming to a theater near you this summer; the romantic dramedy Your Sister’s Sister. The notable credits for this film are the three main actors, Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt, and Rosemarie DeWitt. They are most notable to this film because they are essentially it. This is a very intimate film, almost entirely taking place in a secluded cabin with only these three characters. I felt this worked very well for this film. Most of the movie is simply conversations between these characters, with only a couple scenes where the actions are more notable than the words. My biggest impression of this movie was that I found it to be very charming. These characters are good friends and they are having playful and fun conversations throughout the film. The charm of the movie also leads to some really good humor; some of it low key chuckles, and some of it all out laughs. I was also very impressed with the story. Knowing nothing about the film going in, I was very amused at the turns it was taking. I will also say that I thought the ending of this film was perfect. Some people will probably complain about it, but it works. The only real negatives with this film would be if it’s not the right type of movie for you. Some people may get bored by the long windedness of the conversations and the indie nature of the film. Overall, YSS is a very original and charming romantic dramedy, although it may not be for everyone.

Rating: 8/10

Flickchart Ranking: 512 out of 1025

Recommended for: romantic dramedy fans/Duplass, Blunt, DeWitt fans

Prometheus Review

The other day I ventured out into the world and shelled out some of my own money to go see Prometheus. Prometheus is the Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi, and notably stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, and Charlize Theron. This was the pseudo-prequel to the Alien franchise, although not too much at all really. Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, where to start with this film? This is a movie that is quiet good at times and in certain aspects. In particular, I really loved the performances from Fassbender and Theron. Fassbender’s David is truly worthy to stand up against the original androids Ash and Bishop. He was undoubtedly the driving force of the film and seemingly the focal point of the goings ons (even if Rapace was the real lead). Also, Theron thoroughly embodied her evil and mysterious human antagonist. The movie was also great to look at and entertainingly directed. Now is the part where most people are expected me to shit on the plot, but first let me say some good things about it. I liked the philosophical direct it decided to go in, rather than pushing the Alien prequel angle. Knowing what they were going for after the fact makes me think better of it in retrospect. I don’t mind how not everything was explained, leaving some things to mythology and mystery. However, there were quite a few things the needed explaining for the characters actions to make sense. You can find many of those questions on other reviews and videos, so I won’t go into it. I also would have preferred to be more shocking in a horror film sense (the surgery scene was the best IMO), there were good ones, I wished there were more (but maybe I’m comparing to the Alien films too much). Overall, Prometheus is well acted and well directed, but can fall short when attempting to explain everyone’s actions.

Rating: 7/10

Flickchart Ranking: 503 out of 1025

Recommended for: Fassbender and Theron fans/mysterious sci-fi fans

Jun 9

A Few Good Men Review

Last night I finally got around to watching the 1992 film A Few Good Men. Now, there are a lot of credits to dish out for this one: written by Aaron Sorkin (yessss), directed by Rob Reiner, and starring Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and Jack Nicholson (you on board yet?). I have no idea what took me so long to see this film considering my adoration of Sorkin and Nicholson, and viewing everyone else involved as above average. Nevertheless, I got around to watching it, and now it is time for my ranting review. AFGM is a great movie. It exudes Sorkin from tip to toe, and that is a very good thing. For me, this was a top 5 or better performance in Tom Cruise’s career, as well as for Demi, and Jack was amazing as always. Almost every scene in the movie was enjoyable and worthwhile for one reason or another (either dramatic or humorous). I mostly attribute this to the stellar performances and the snappy Sorkin dialogue. I personally enjoyed the cliche-off between Cruise and the newspaper vendor in a couple scenes. The story was engaging throughout, and led to a satisfying courtroom finale, and a memorable climax between Cruise and Jack. I will say that there was a small portion of the film that I felt dragged, but it was mostly forgotten when the trial kicked into gear. I also found the movie to get overly cheesy a couple times, with things like the score going over the top or hacky rain scenes or thunder crashing dramatically. Overall, AFGM is a great film, highlighted by a Sorkin script and some great performances.

Rating: 9/10

Flickchart Ranking: 245 out of 1024

Recommended for: courtroom drama fans/Sorkin fans/Cruise, Moore, Nicholson fans