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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mad Max: Fury Road

MV5BMTUyMTE0ODcxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODE4NDQzNTE@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in postapocalyptic Australia in search for her home-land with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshipper, and a drifter named Max. (IMDb)

Nominations: Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing (George Miller), Film Editing, Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects

So, to preface, I have never seen a Mad Max movie. And everyone was telling me that I have to watch this, I would love it so on and so forth. And I’ll be honest, in the first 15 minutes, I had no clue what I had gotten myself into. It was a little overwhelming. The types of movies that just throw you into a world with no explanation always throw me for a minute. But, what I will say is that once I’m in, I am sucked in 100%. And this I was sucked in 1000%. What is this society? Why is almost everyone from it sick? How did Furiosa become the only woman in power? Why is there a flame throwing guitar? Now, these are all questions that are still swirling around my brain, but in the moment, I could have cared less. I was simply along for the ride. The visuals are absolutely stunning (that sandstorm at the beginning. Holy hell.) The acting from the main characters is on point. (Charlize Theron is my queen.) The chase scene in the last half hour had me incredibly stressed out in the best way possible. The storyline was deeper than a typical action movie. I could honestly keep going. I would love to watch this again, now that I understand everything, and just dive in and go along for the ride.

9/10

 

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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2016 Oscar Nominations Are In!

Oscar Season. One of my most favorite times of the year. It’s my personal excuse to binge on this past year’s best movies.

Although I have some thoughts, as I’m sure everyone does…

First. All of the best actor nominees, every. single. one. is white. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some of these performances, and they are brilliant. But you mean to tell me that not a single person of any other color gave an equal performance to any of those actors? It’s kind of a shame actually. Fifty Shades of Grey can get an Oscar nomination though? Not cool Oscar voters. Not cool.

Also, some better surprises. I assumed Mad Max was going to get some nominations, but being near the head of the pack with 10? Good for them.

Also, I haven’t seen Hateful Eight yet, but no screenwriting nom for Tarantino? That was a bit of a surprise. And none for Aaron Sorkin, who just won the Golden Globe for Steve Jobs?

But, I’m excited to dig into this year’s group of nominees. It’s definitely an interesting year that has a nice mix of vets and newcomers (rooting for you Brie Larson).

Anyway, here are the reviews of the ones I’ve already seen:

The Revenant: Best Picture, Leading Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Cinematography, Directing (Alejandro G. Iñárritu), Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy), Costume Design, Sound Editing, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Visual Effects

https://jeleff11.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/the-revenant/

 

Steve Jobs: Leading Actor (Michael Fassbender) and Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet)

https://jeleff11.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/steve-jobs/

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Film Editing, Original Score (John Williams), Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, and Sound Editing

https://jeleff11.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/star-wars-the-force-awakens-no-spoilers/

 

Happy binging!

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Tangerine

MV5BMjEzNzY2NjYwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTY1MDU1NTE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart. (IMDb)

I have so many thoughts. First of all, director Sean Baker needs way more credit than he is getting for this. This movie is entirely shot on iPhones. And you would honestly never know it. This is a testament not only to where technology is advancing, but also to Baker’s talent. The movie itself is hilarious, heartbreaking, eye opening, fascinating, and a million other adjectives. There’s a whole world that exists on only a couple of LA blocks and this movie opens up that world to us. It’s also naturalism at its finest. It really does feel like someone turned their cameras on and followed these ladies (and another important character, a cab driver named Razmik) around. The music, which switches around, using hip-hop one scene and opera the next, fits every scene perfectly. The climactic scene at Donut Time (not kidding) just keeps going and building up and is the epitome of a car crash; you don’t want to watch but you can’t tear your eyes away. It does get lost in its messiness sometimes, but this movie’s heart is there, and I think this may be a sneaky surprise come awards time.

8/10

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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The Revenant

MV5BMjU4NDExNDM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIyMTgxNzE@._V1_SX214_AL_A frontiersman named Hugh Glass on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s is on a quest for survival after being brutally mauled by a bear. (IMDb)

I don’t know about you guys, but if you would have told me that the same director (Alejandro González Iñárritu) did both this and Birdman, I wouldn’t have believed you. Where Birdman had characters talking a lot at a rapid pace, this had whole spans of time where not a single word was spoken. Where Birdman was known for its one shot technique, this will become known for switching back and forth from shots so wide (and beautiful) you could see whole mountain ranges to shots so close that breath, water, and blood got onto the camera lens. But damn, this is a beautifully shot movie. And even with those long wide shots, and whole scenes without dialogue, I was never bored. This is a feat considering this is a two and a half hour movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is really captivating as Hugh Glass. His singular goal is so clear throughout this and it’s just as much of a struggle to watch as it was for him to do it. Tom Hardy is unrecognizable as Fitzgerald. This isn’t a surprise considering he’s such a transformative actor, but it was still a wonderful performance regardless. I also really enjoyed Domhnall Gleeson (who is having a hell of a year) as the Captain, Will Poulter as Bridger, one of the other members of the company, and Forrest Goodluck as Glass’s son. I did get a tad worried that the various storylines and subplots weren’t going to get wrapped up, but they did, quite nicely in fact. All while witnessing the most brutal final fight I think I’ve ever seen in a movie. All in all, a riveting movie. 

8.5/10

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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