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Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part Two

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After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi. (IMDb)

I watched the other ones, might as well finish out the series you know? And the thing is, this actually wasn’t bad. I could go as far to say that this is the best one in the series. Which isn’t saying a whole ton because I still perpetually rolled my eyes through a fourth of it. But that random climactic fight scene that was super exciting but then they justified it? Brilliant choice. Also loved the end where they credited everyone in the series. But yeah. This is nothing revolutionary. But, it also wasn’t horrendous. Which is saying something.

6/10

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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God Help the Girl

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As Eve begins writing songs as a way to sort through some emotional problems, she meets James and Cassie, two musicians each at crossroads of their own. (IMDb)

So I learned a new word in regards to this movie. Someone called it excessively “twee”, which means being¬†sickeningly sweet. It’s also a kind of simple pop music (think Zooey Deschanel). And yeah. That about sums this movie. I just don’t think it knew quite what it wanted to be. Some parts were really sweet and heartfelt, but then it would try and be a little more serious, which felt out of place with the rest of the movie. Unfortunately, the musical aspect of it didn’t work for me at all. All of the songs sounded the same, half of them were sung into the camera for some reason, and all they did was act out the exact words they were saying. I wasn’t digging it. This movie did have its moments though. The cast is really charming. I think Emily Browning is really talented and if there was any one else in the main role, the movie might have been unbearable. Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray are also really sweet and have good screen presence. But the three of them were not enough to completely save this for me.

3/10

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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A Late Quartet

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After working together for 25 years, members of a famous string quartet are faced with tragedy when their leader receives a grim medical diagnosis. (Netflix)

Thank god for the talented cast because I was not a fan of this script. It’s slowly paced, and uber melodramatic. The acting couldn’t even save some of the scenes, particularly the mother/daughter fight between Catherine Keener and Imogen Poots. The ladies gave it their best, and the emotion/feeling was there, but the words they were saying were ridiculous. It’s a shame because it’s such an interesting concept. I got what they were going for. Seeing the inner workings of the group and everything they went through juxtaposed with seeing them sitting on stage performing was interesting. And they all had some great moments. I didn’t love Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character, but he at least made him watchable. Now Christopher Walken, I did enjoy as the oldest member of the quartet. Also, the quartet music is beautiful. But overall, I’m still on the fence as to how I feel about this one.

5.5/10

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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This Must Be the Place

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Upon learning how a Nazi officer tortured his estranged father in WWII, a retired rock star travels to America, where the war criminal now resides. (Netflix)

This is a weird little movie. The first 20-30 minutes are really promising. Sean Penn immediately grabs you with this character, retired rocker Cheyenne. And then you meet Frances McDormand who plays his wife, and you watch their relationship and it’s interesting. But once he gets to America, the whole thing just kind of meanders from place to place, like the main character. There are some wonderful moments from Sean Penn. But they’re mostly monologues that he delivers to some random side character. I was just really hoping this was going to go somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful showcase for Penn, but the movie as a whole fell short for me.

6/10

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Cloud Atlas

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An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. (IMDb)

I thought this was absolutely fascinating. On it’s own, each of these six storylines could be its own, ¬†completely disconnected movie and for the first half hour, it feels like they are. But, as it goes on, its up to the viewer to pinpoint how everything fits together. It requires you to be a really active viewer, which I love. It’s also fun to try and spot the ensemble cast in the different time periods. On that note, the prosthetic/makeup work is fantastic. There was at least one character per actor that I had absolutely no idea it was them. Except for Tom Hanks. But I think you were supposed to recognize him every time. The visual aspect is wonderful to watch, especially the 2144 sequence. My only complaints are that it felt just a little too long, and in the last sequence (like 106 or whatever it was supposed to be) they had their own vernacular/way of speaking, and I only really caught about half-3/4 of what was really going on. Nevertheless, this is really fascinating and worth the watch if you have the time.

8.5/10

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Sessions

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A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest. (IMDb)

What was interesting and really refreshing about this movie was how grown up it was. And I mean that seriously. The movie is about sex, but it wasn’t melodramatic and it wasn’t a raunchy comedy. It was honest and frank. It was real. So nice job by writer and director Ben Lewin for keeping the story really grounded. The acting didn’t hurt either. John Hawkes and Helen Hunt are great together. I loved their scenes together. Also, Hawkes physical work was fantastic as Mark, the main character who is in an iron lung. William H. Macy is fun as the priest who actually helps him, and Moon Bloodgood (that’s a name huh) is ¬†great as Mark’s attendant. There’s not really a whole lot to say about it. It’s a simple, honest, and not flashy, which worked wonderfully in its favor.

8/10

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Magnolia

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An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley. (IMDb)

So this is one of those “you need to see this if you’re a movie person” type things. It was 11 PM the other night and I was like “ok let’s give it a shot.” I had no idea it was three hours long. And it feels three hours long. Not in the bad, dragging way, but you can feel how long it is. However, I did like the three act structure it had going on, and how each section has its own arc within the whole. Really smart writing and directing there. The way all of these interconnected people’s stories weave in and out of each other is nothing short of masterful. It’s a little scattered and confusing in the beginning, but once you get about twenty minutes in, everything starts to click, and it just keeps going from there. So, nice job from Paul Thomas Anderson on that. The ensemble cast is wonderful to watch. Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, and more. Tom Cruise? I think this is the best thing I’ve seen him in. Overall, this is one of those “I really liked it, but I don’t know if I would watch it again” type movies. You know what I mean? But. It is definitely worth that first watch.

8/10

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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