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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Young Adult

young adultSoon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter. (IMDb)

To start with, I love Juno, I own it, so I was looking forward to this new collaboration between Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody. For the most part, it didn’t disappoint. It had a similar feel to Juno, but with more grown up characters. Well. Then there was Charlize Theron’s character. Who is so stuck in high school she ghostwrites for a Sunset Valley-esque YA book series. She was what really made this movie. I absolutely loved her performance. She was equal parts funny and actually a little sad. Which is where the movie faltered for me unfortunately. It makes this huge shift near the end and suddenly, it’s not funny any more. It’s just really sad. Suddenly her problems are very real, like she should probably be treated for them. So I’m thinking at least she’ll learn something. But there’s only like 10 minutes left in the movie. From there, it’s very hastily and messily wrapped up and I found myself wondering what the point of any of it was. Well, all that aside, the first 3/4 of the movie are really funny and enjoyable. As for the rest of the cast, Patton Oswalt was very funny, Patrick Wilson was very good, with him, I could see how Theron’s character liked him, but it was balanced nicely with wanting to ask her what she was thinking. I also really liked Elizabeth Reaser as the wife. She was very real and funny and I felt so bad for her at the end. Overall, this is pretty funny and deserves a watch, for Charlize Theron’s performance if anything.

6.5/10

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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W.E.

w.e.The affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson, and a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard. (IMDb)

So I didn’t quite know what to expect out of this one. When I put this on my  list, I had just watched The King’s Speech, and saw this as almost a companion piece. Plus it was directed by Madonna. So there’s that. So to start with, it actually totally works as a companion piece. It was cool seeing the story from Wallis’ point of view, instead of one of the kings’ point of view, which is where we mostly hear about the story from. I also enjoyed pairing it with the modern day story. There was some really cool blending of the two worlds, but it required some major suspension of disbelief. Sometimes it was Wally (the modern day character) imaging Wallis, or a dream, and then there randomly, Wallis would just talk to Wally. So…the rules of all that were not clearly defined, which was a little confusing. Abbie Cornish and Andrea Riseborough act the crap out of this one. I enjoyed both of their performances a lot. As for Madonna’s directing, I think she may actually have something. She has a big, flashy vision, which is not surprising. But, that flashiness doesn’t always work. Regardless, she actually pulls this movie off quite nicely. So despite its inconsistencies and pitfalls, I quite enjoyed this movie.

“Bonus* for all of my BBC obsessed friends. Katie McGrath (Merlin) and Laurence Fox (Billie Piper’s husband) are in this movie. 🙂

7/10

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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I Melt With You

i melt with youWhen four 40-something college friends meet up for their annual reunion, things start to spiral out of control, and a pact they made as young men is revisited. (IMDb)

Well…this was interesting. And not really in the good way. For the first hour, it’s just a bunch of 40 year olds behaving like stupid 20 year old and bitching and moaning about how their lives did not turn out like they planned. It was boring. The only interesting part was when they partied with actual 20 somethings and their naivete was compared to the guys jaded worldview. Then, about an hour in, something finally happened, and I think thank god this is finally picking up. But unfortunately, it just kind of limps slowly to its predictable finish. It visually tries to be artsy and edgy, but it just comes off chaotic and annoying. The four guys (Richard Jane, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, and Jeremy Piven) gave it a nice try, but it was just really melodramatic. So, if you want to watch adults behaving like idiots, just go watch The Hangover.

2.5/10

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Great Gatsby

the great gatsbyA Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor. (IMDb)

So, I have been looking forward to this movie since I first heard murmurings about it. Thankfully, it lived up to my expectations. The cast was great, it was visually mesmerizing to watch, and really faithful to the book. In fact, I loved how faithful it was to the book, down to exact passages. I really enjoyed the cast. Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan were a perfect Gatsby and Daisy. They came off as a disillusioned man chasing after an empty shallow woman, which is how it should be. I loved the pair of them. I also really enjoyed newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan. She has a commanding presence and is great to watch. Tobey Maguire disappears amongst this cast of larger than life characters, but I guess it kind of works for Nick, the outsider who works his way in. But I guess I would have liked a little more of a presence from him. As I said earlier, visually, the grand scope of it all was massively impressive. But if Baz Luhrmann can do anything, it’s grand scope. I also enjoyed the modern music fused with the movie. I thought it worked really well. The only thing I wish was better was the tonal shift that happens in the latter half of the movie. In the book, once reality is shattered and everything starts going bad, there is a huge shift in tone. I wish that shift would have been as dramatic in the movie. Instead, it remained big, whimsical, melodramatic, even the deaths. I think the story would have been better served if the party went away, both literally and visually. Overall though, this a very faithful adaptation that I thoroughly enjoyed.

8.5/10

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Sleeping Beauty

sleeping beautyA haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires. (IMDb)

Well. If anyone thought that Sucker Punch was a big departure from Emily Browning’s Series of Unfortunate Events image, they should see this. Actually, don’t see this. It was an hour and a half out of my life. It’s basically a shock film and a test in how much a movie can get away with before being rated NC-17. The plot is all over the place, the cinematography is stagnant, and I don’t really feel like watching naked old men all over a 20-something for an hour and a half. There are random subplots, jobs she has just to fulfill other plot points, a random character called Birdman who is dying of something yet why or who he even is to the main character is never really explained. While I do commend Emily Browning for trying to push the envelope, this movie really does nothing for her career. So, go watch Sucker Punch instead, it’s much more interesting.

1/10

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Coriolanus

coriolanusA banished hero of Rome allies with a sworn enemy to take his revenge on the city. (IMDb)

I was looking forward to watching this one because it’s one of Shakespeare’s that I haven’t read. For the most part, I enjoyed it. The modern update works for the most part. There were a few times when I thought they were trying a little too hard. Like there was a subtitle saying that this took place in “A Place Calling Itself Rome” and other instances when I was like “ok I get it, this is an update”. The acting was very good. It was kind of the Ralph Fiennes show, which I guess makes sense. I mean, he was very good, so I’m not complaining too much. For as much as Gerard Butler was advertised about being in this movie, he wasn’t in it a whole lot, but I liked him as well. For me, it was the women I wanted to see more. Jessica Chastain played Coriolanus’ wife, and she was great to watch. Equal parts strong and vulnerable. A loyal wife who just wants her husband home. Then there is the powerhouse that is Vanessa Redgrave as his mother. Wow was she amazing. She had some of the most powerful scenes in the movie, I mean she had to, she is the character that has the most sway over her son’s actions. I was excited about going into this one blind, because I wanted to see how much of the story I actually got. I would say I got 70% of it. There were a few political things that I did not understand at all, but I followed everything for the most part, so that’s good script cutting there. Overall, this is a decent adaptation that deserved more attention than it got.

7/10

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Artist

the artistA silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions. (IMDb)

I’ve been wanting to watch this one forever, but never had a chance to. Saw it last night on Netflix, and done hit play. Anyway, I absolutely loved this. Back when it first came out, I didn’t know how the silent movie thing would work. But it totally works for this movie. You get everything you need from the cinematography and the actors faces and bodies. Yeah, they do the classic screenshot captions every once in awhile, but only when actually needed in order to understand what was going on. I loved the pair of Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. They worked so well together. Dujardin totally deserved the Oscar. He had to pull the inception of being a silent movie actor in a silent movie, and you could totally see the difference between the character acting in the movies and the character just going through his life, and I thought he as fabulous. Bejo is absolutely gorgeous, you can’t stop looking at her when she’s on screen.  I loved her transition from extra to movie star, basically, I thought she was awesome. John Goodman and James Cromwell were also great to watch. Then there was Uggie the Dog. Who was the cutest thing ever, and practically stole the movie. Acting aside, I love how this movie was shot. There were some incredible shots in there, and I loved the fusion of today’s technology with the classic silent movie style. I also loved the small ways they played with the rules of silent movies using dream sequences, background music with lyrics, and more. In the end, I loved this, and is a movie every film lover should see.

9.5/10

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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