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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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The Master

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A heavy-drinking loner finds some semblance of a family when he stumbles onto the ship of Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a new “religion.” (Netflix)

This was interesting. This is one of those movies that just drops you in on something and doesn’t explain a whole lot about the world. Normally, I don’t like that. I think it distances the audience. But for some reason, I didn’t mind as much with this. Yeah, there were things I still don’t quite get, the pace is a little slow, and there was terminology that the characters knew but we didn’t, but I was much more focused on the people. These are some insanely fascinating characters. Having them well-acted doesn’t hurt either. Philip Seymour Hoffman is so engaging, always has been. You can’t help but get on his character’s side throughout this. Joaquin Phoenix was also fascinating to watch, his character was so complex it was hard to wrap my head around it. I also really liked Amy Adams as Hoffman’s wife. One of my favorite moments of the whole movie was this part where she’s saying this mini-monologue about being accepted by people in the city, and it’s underscored by Hoffman typing and some music. I don’t know what it was, but it was so incredibly engaging. This is one I think needs multiple viewings to even begin to fully understand everything that’s going on, and I think it deserves those repeat watches.

8/10

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

the hunger games catching fireKatniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem. (IMDb)

I am a big fan of the series, as well as the first movie. And to put this in two words, this movie is on. point. I actually think it was better than the first. The switching of directors was actually a blessing in disguise. There was no shaky cam! The cinematography is beautiful. I can’t get over it. But for me, the cast really elevates it. Jennifer Lawrence proves once again why she is an Academy Award winning actress. She was brilliant. The returning cast is also on it. Especially Elizabeth Banks. She shows a complete transformation from the last movie. The addition of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, and Sam Claflin is perfect. I’m in love. Something I also enjoyed was the switch of focus to a more politically fueled Games. They could have fallen into the trap of doing the Games back to back and them being the same. But this succeeded, as the book did, in making the Games just as interesting. Yes, it’s long, but honestly, I barely noticed. This is a brilliant sequel and it makes me super excited for Mockingjay.

9.5/10

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Moneyball

moneyballOakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players. (IMDb)

I’ve made a decision. This is my new favorite baseball movie. It’s just all around really good. Quickly paced, which is a feat considering they are getting through an entire baseball season in two hours. I loved the direction and editing in this one. The way the real life action with the actors switches seamlessly with actual footage from the games is impressive and really well done. I really liked Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill portraying characters that were a little different than their normal work. They worked really well together as well. Philip Seymour Hoffman had the baseball coach thing down perfectly. Then there was Chris Pratt as Scott Hatteberg. I don’t know what it was, but he almost stole this one for me. I thought he was perfect for the role. Something else I really liked was how it took something so specific and a little confusing and made it accessible for the most part. I was still a little confused over the number thing, but I managed to catch up and figure it out. Overall though, this is a great movie to watch, whether you’re a baseball fan or not.

8.5/10

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Pirate Radio

pirate radioA period comedy about an illegal radio station in the North Sea in the 1960s. (IMDb)

I enjoyed this one. I’m not head over heels in love with it, but I really liked watching it. This is mostly thanks to the impressive ensemble cast that was assembled. They are all hilarious and bounce off each other really well. But honestly, you can’t really go wrong with people like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, and more. I will say, the guys that made me laugh out loud were Kenneth Branagh and Jack Davenport as the uptight government guys trying to shut station down. They were completely hilarious because of how gravely serious they were. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t absolutely love this is the plot itself. This is a really long movie, and it doesn’t lag necessarily, but it feels like a two hour movie. Also, it’s fairly episodic and somewhere in the 45 minute mark, I found myself asking where this movie was going, because things were happening, but nothing was really going on, if that makes sense. So, this is one to watch like once to appreciate the comedy and the actors, but I don’t know if I could just sit and watch the whole thing again.

6/10

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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