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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Wristcutters: A Love Story

Depressed over his breakup with girlfriend Desiree (Leslie Bibb), Zia (Patrick Fugit) slits his wrists, only to find himself sent to a bleak corner of the afterlife reserved for those who kill themselves in Goran Dukic’s dark comic fantasy. When he learns that Desiree also commits suicide, he’s joined by a pair of fellow lost souls (Shannyn Sossamon and Shea Whigham) on a quest to find her and see if love and happiness can exist even in death.(Netflix)

I forgot how this movie was recommended to me something about quirky indies…well regardless of who actually did recommend this to me, they were right. Quite quirky haha. It was like the ultimate take on a road trip movie. I’m not even kidding. Overall, a very interesting premise. However, I wish the rules of the afterlife world were a little more defined. They explained a few rules (no smiling, no stars, it’s like here only worse) but it still left me with big questions. Where does this vast expansive purgatory end? Where are the boundaries? Why do they have to lead seemingly normal lives? What’s the point of having a job? Things like that. I will say, great acting performances were turned in by all (Fugit, Sossamon, Whigham, and Bibb) With a fun cameo by Will Arnett that was unexpected. My only other complaint was that it was slow. It took a long time to get where it was going, and although the ending had some fun twists and turns, it took awhile to get there, it either needed less time (and i was barely 90 min. to begin with) or more story. Something had to give.

6/10

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Christmas Carol

Jim Carrey morphs his voice into that of miserable miser Ebenezer Scrooge in this computer-animated adaption of Charles Dickens’s iconic holiday tale about the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. When confronted with Tiny Tim’s suffering — as well as his own mortality — Scrooge learns the power of opening his heart. Robert Zemeckis directs a star-studded cast featuring Colin Firth, Robin Wright Penn, Bob Hoskins and Gary Oldman. (Netflix)

As I have told many of my friends, I don’t acknowledge the coming of Christmas until Black Friday. Well, considering it is Black Friday, I decided to kick off the season with this classic. I have always been interested in this animation. It is so realistic yet to hauntingly animated at the same time. The wonders of motion capture eh? With that, it was so fascinating to see bits of Jim Carrey in all of Scrooge’s life (Most apparent when he is a young man) and a little bit in the ghosts and Colin Firth in the Uncle, or Robin Wright in Bella. Jim Carrey was impressive taking on all of those roles and giving them distinct voices. What was especially nice about this version was that it was the truest to the book of any of the versions I have seen. I mean, there is the random horse and carriage chase with the Ghost of Christmas Future, but that’s beside the point. Although I will say, I would not let a little kid watch this movie. Some parts of it were legitimately scary, especially the transition from Christmas Present to Christmas Future and a lot of Christmas Future. So overall, a well done version of this classic that should be intended for older fans. Start off the little ones with Mickey’s A Christmas Carol. 🙂

8.5/10

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

While Horvath (Alfred Molina) and Drake (Toby Kebbell) plot to restore Morgana Le Fay (Alice Krige) to power, master sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) makes physics student Dave Stutle (Jay Baruchel) his apprentice, teaching him enough magic to save the world from sure ruin. Also featuring Monica Bellucci and Teresa Palmer, this whimsical fantasy is a live-action update of the beloved animated short from the 1940s, “Fantasia.” (Netflix)

So, wasn’t expecting much from this one…and it was actually quite enjoyable. The premise was a lot of fun, the special effects were really good, and overall it was a lot of fun. Nic Cage wasn’t as awful as normal, so that was good. Jay Baruchel was a lot of fun and did a great job in the role, although he will most likely never play anything other than that awkward guy. I’ve really liked everything Teresa Palmer has done recently, and this was no exception. The best part was the bit inspired by the original short from Fantasia. Talk about reliving my childhood. Overall, this isn’t going to change the world or anything, but if you are forced to babysit a cousin or something over the holidays, both of you will enjoy this one.

7/10

 
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Amadeus

F. Murray Abraham earned a Best Actor Oscar for his imperious performance as Antonio Salieri, a mediocre composer whose churlish young rival, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce), wins immortality with his musical genius. Not happy to see his talent eclipsed, Salieri dons a disguise and deviously plots revenge, obsessed with muffling Mozart’s maddening laughter. Milos Forman’s masterful drama also won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. (Netflix)

Hah! I have done it! I have had time to watch a movie! Funny story actually, I had an hour to kill before a group meeting and said, hey I’ll just start a movie and finish it after the meeting. The next movie on my list was this one, and I knew it was on Netflix, so I went for it. I’m about an hour in, it’s starting to get really good, and I have to go to my meeting, look at the bottom, and there are still two hours left. So, this is a long ass movie. However, it was worth every minute of it. The acting is fantastic, the cinematography is amazing, and well, of course the music is nothing short of brilliant, for obvious reasons. That was one of my favorite aspects of the movie actually, was the use of Mozart’s music. It was not only used effectively as background music, but was used well in other bits. Like when Salieri was looking at the compositions Mozart’s wife brought and was hearing all of them as he flipped through. Little things like that made Mozart’s music really come alive throughout the movie. Also, the huge vastness and decadence of the highborn in 18th century Austria was displayed very well. But for obvious reasons, the standing ovation goes to F. Murray Abraham (Salieri) and Tom Hulce (Mozart). Both of them turn in fantastic performances, with while both characters having positive and negative qualities, neither was demonized. Favorite moment: the scene near the end where Mozart is dictating the requiem mass to Salieri. It was just extremely well done and a lot of fun to watch. And we’re not even going to talk about Mozart’s laugh, which will probably never leave my head it was so obnoxious haha. I also really enjoyed Elizabeth Barridge’s performance as Mozart’s wife. She completely held her own against Abraham and Hulce. My only complaint has to do with the length, because although it mostly kept my attention, there were moments in this three hour epic where I was slipping. So overall, a movie that any lover of the arts should see.

9/10

 
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Gangs of New York

Amid the savage Irish and Italian rivalry that dominated New York City in the mid-1800s, Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) hunts down his father’s hateful murderer, Bill “the Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis). Along the way, Vallon falls for the charms of a streetwise pickpocket (Cameron Diaz). Director Martin Scorsese’s riveting epic — nominated for 10 Oscars — also stars Jim Broadbent, Liam Neeson, John C. Reilly and Henry Thomas. (Netflix)

So I’ve been meaning to see this movie for some time now. I saw like five minutes of a censored version for TV and was hooked, but decided to see the real version when I had the chance. And it was worth the wait. Fantastic visuals, great fight scenes, solid storyline and acting, overall a great movie. Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis of course make this movie, both turning in fantastic performances. Cameron Diaz has quite possibly the best performance of her career. With great supporting role performances from John C. Reilly, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, and more, this is a well rounded movie. Now, as much as I enjoyed it, this was not a perfect movie, and not Scorese’s best. Daniel Day-Lewis’s “fake” eye was roaming all over the place-obviously a contact, the three leads accents were fading in and out the entire movie, and random scars, cuts, and bruises change positions and/or disappear altogether. Amidst these little blips, that does not overall detract from how good overall this movie is. A definite must see.

8/10

 
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Midnight in Paris

In this bittersweet dramatic comedy, legendary director Woody Allen focuses his lens on a young engaged couple whose experiences traveling together in Paris make them begin to question the kind of life they want to live as a couple. (Netflix)

Let me just say right off of the bat-I was not expecting how fantastic this movie ended up being. If the trailer didn’t give it away, Gil (Owen Wilson) a writer is visiting Paris with his fiancee (Rachel McAdams) and at midnight, he is magically swept into the world of 1920s Paris. He drinks with the Fitzgeralds and Ernest Hemingway, has a life talk with Salvador Dali, discusses his newest book with Gertrude Stein. It is just fantastic. Throw in the actors playing these famous people-Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein, Adrien Brody as Salvador Dali, Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Marion Cotillard as Pablo Picasso’s lover, and we have a fantastic movie. The imagery in this movie is great, the smoke filled houses, the 20s era costumes-juxtaposed sharply with current day. Owen Wilson holds his own as the bumbling writer who was born in the wrong time. All the people I mentioned earlier as the 20s people were a lot of fun to watch, especially Adrien Brody. Lastly, Michael Sheen, as the Gil and Inez’s friend (current day) is hilarious. He plays pedantic pompous asshole quite well. Overall, a fantastic movie that should not only be on any Woody Allen’s lovers list, but everyone else’s as well.

8.5/10

 
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Just Go With It

When plastic surgeon Danny Maccabee lies to his girlfriend that he is a divorced family man, he recruits his office manager and her children to role-play as his ex-wife and kids — generating a flood of farcical results and unintended consequences. (Netflix)

So, I really wasn’t expecting much from this. See one Adam Sandler movie, see them all right? Well, thankfully, this one was a little bit different. Still had the crude humor that we are all used to, but was just a tad more mature. A tad. As for the storyline itself, I just don’t understand how the character’s thought it was going to work, there were way too many holes in his plan to get the girl. Which, actually, was ok for how this movie ended up. The movie did wrap itself up quite neatly, minus the end of the Danny (Adam Sandler) and Palmer (Brooklyn Decker) storyline, which was just explained and never actually shown, leaving a few questions. Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston had great chemistry together, and were a lot of fun to watch. The kids, Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck, were absolutely adorable. Nick Swardson stole the show (as he normally does) as Danny’s loser cousin. Seriously, that guy can do no wrong. Throw in a side plot involving Nicole Kidman as a bitchy college frenemy of Jennifer Aniston, and we have ourselves a movie. As I said, this was actually pretty cute, and a little better than Sandler’s usual fare. Worth a shot.

6.5/10

 
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