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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Clouds of Sils Maria

MV5BMjAwMTg3MDE0NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQ1ODQyNTE@._V1_SX214_AL_A veteran actress comes face-to-face with an uncomfortable reflection of herself when she agrees to take part in a revival of the play that launched her career 20 years earlier. (IMDb)

This is an absolutely fascinating movie. It’s well written, well acted, overall just really well done. The trio of ladies at the helm of this all give fantastic performances. Juliette Binoche takes this movie by the reins and doesn’t let go. Maria (her character) is facing an uncertain point in her career. She’s getting older, movies are changing, the man who helped launch her career passes away, and now she takes on the older character in the play that made her famous. She’s faced with a lot, and Maria hides behind the text of the play instead of really confronting her fears. She blames the play and says she can’t connect to the character when really she doesn’t want to. And Binoche lets us see all of that. Kristen Stewart as her personal assistant makes an excellent scene partner for Binoche. The scenes where the two of them are running lines form the play are fascinating to watch. The line between them running lines and talking normally blurs constantly. Stewart’s Val constantly tries to push Maria into seeing new ways of looking at not only the acting world, but the world in general. Throw in Chloe Grace Moretz as the young superstar that’s going to be playing Maria’s old part, and we have ourselves a movie. It meanders a long a little bit, but the conversations are almost too fascinating to care. I really enjoyed this, and I think not only is it a great movie for theatre people to watch, but also in general as a really interesting character study.

8.5/10

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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

MV5BMTg3NDgwMjU4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTExOTc0MTE@._V1_SY317_CR175,0,214,317_AL_The author Michel Houellebecq is abducted by three amateur kidnappers. (IMDb)

So the gimmick with this French movie is that not only is the story completely true, but everyone is playing themselves, including the kidnappers. Weird right? But unfortunately, this movie is as eventful as the actual kidnapping. I could have read a news article about the whole thing and would have gotten just as much out of it. There are some humorous moments, especially conversations between Michel and his kidnappers, but overall it just plods along way too slowly to be truly enjoyable. You almost wished they actually dramatized it a little bit.

3/10

 

The Girl Is In Trouble

MV5BMTg2NDA3OTY2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIyOTQ3NDE@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_A Lower East Side bartender becomes entangled in a murder mystery involving a desperate woman, a missing drug dealer and the scion of a powerful investment firm. (IMDb)

So, this indie has things going for it. The story is interesting with some nice twists and turns and the acting is good. The thing that is suffers from is that it tries way too hard to be “interesting”. By doing cutaways, text over the picture, insightful voice over monologues, etc. Honestly, it really just needed to tell the story. Some of the interesting stuff was fun to look at, but it didn’t contribute a whole lot to the story as a whole. Like I said though, the acting is good. This is a far cry from Fez and Handy Manny for Wilmer Valderrama and he does a really nice job. Columbus Short (from Scandal), Jesse Spencer (from House), and Alicja Bachleda round out the cast well. It also has a fun remix of My Moon My Man by Feist, which is a great song. But overall, it just tries to hard.

5.5/10

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

52 Tuesdays

MV5BMTk4NTcxNjY4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTIyMzI3MTE@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_16 year old Billie’s reluctant path to independence is accelerated when her mother reveals plans to gender transition and their time together becomes limited to Tuesday afternoons. (IMDb)

So. Here’s the thing. Fascinating concept, Decent script, good actors, but this fell just a little bit short for me. The whole year in one movie thing is always hard to pull off, and they almost do it here. But, the plot becomes really meandering about halfway through, and you just don’t know where the whole thing is going. Also, you can tell the characters are very complex, but because we only see this snapshot, we don’t understand them. We see parents that actually aren’t that great at parenting, and a whiny teen who is using the whole situation as an excuse to go through her rebellious phase. But, there is some heart behind this, and it does put into perspective how much can change in a year. So, this was interesting, but not fabulous.

6/10

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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