The first very good film of the new decade. Scorsese has done it yet… MoreThe first very good film of the new decade. Scorsese has done it yet again, taking aspects from horror films of Hitchcock and Kubrick (so many times I thought of "The Shining" while watching this film) and mixing it into one devilishly wicked and weird movie. It also helps when you have two of the best working actors today (Leonard DiCaprio and the heavily underrated and underused Sir Ben Kingsley) as your leads. This is not just a good film, it's a great one. It is consistently interesting, thought-provoking, and ultimately soul-crushing considering the final twists that occur in the last twenty minutes or so. Do we need any more evidence to say that Martin Scorsese is without a doubt one of the best film directors ever (the last scene of this film is crucial to understanding it - I can't stress that enough)? Leo especially gives a fine performance, narrowly beating out his one in "Blood Diamond" - he's never been better.
An average though completely predictable comedy concerning a couple… MoreAn average though completely predictable comedy concerning a couple (Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne) attempting to leave their youth behind and start adulthood with a new child, only to have their lives disrupted when a noisy fraternity led by a charismatic leader (Zac Efron) move in next door to them. It has a few good laughs, especially Rogen who delivers some good one-liners that he probably came up with on the spot, but the movie basically runs its course after the first hour. It is nothing bad, but it is definitely derivative of the 'Jump Street" films in terms of its style, as Nicholas Stoller tries to harness that crazy creative energy and put together his own uniquely constructed comedy. He almost pulls it off, but if it's between seeing this or the 'Jump Street' films, I would probably take the latter.
A worthy addition to the X-Men franchise which successfully mixes in… MoreA worthy addition to the X-Men franchise which successfully mixes in time travel into its plot in an attempt to link the old X-Men movies to the current ones, something it pulls off marvelously. The heart of the characters, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) returns here as the last hope for the mutants to maintain their existence, a feat that involves him going back to the 1970's and changing the past in order to improve the future for his kind. The special effects are fantastic, and the story remains entertaining and beautifully links the old with the new so well. The cast (notably Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and James McAvoy) holds the story together well, and if you are a fan of the comics you can't miss this movie.
An intricately put-together and expertly acted spy thriller concerning… MoreAn intricately put-together and expertly acted spy thriller concerning a tortured immigrant (Grigoriy Dobrygin) who arrives on shore in Hamburg, and how both US and German agencies take focus on tracking him down and abstracting as much information as they can from him concerning his Islamic routes in an attempt to make in-roads on a professor with possible Al-Quada ties. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers one of his finest turns, as he creates a tired, conflicted character that is incredibly interesting due to how little he says. The story is based off the famed John Le Carre and it does not disappoint, with an ending that packs a punch and leaves you devastated. A solid film worthy of many re-watches.
An average offering in the vein of "Groundhog Day" concerning a… MoreAn average offering in the vein of "Groundhog Day" concerning a cowardly soldier (Tom Cruise) who is forced to fight in a war against machines, where he has the rare ability to live the day of his first battle over and over again until he knows how he can help win the war. Cruise brings his regular solid stuff, with help from the always fantastic Emily Blunt, and the sense of humor it possesses is a nice touch, but ultimately it just loses steam in the end and cannot really sustain its energy throughout its running time. It is pretty fun while it lasts, but the ending is largely predictable and plays it safe and conservative. Still probably worth watching, if largely forgettable.
A well-done "Goodfellas"-esque take on the porn industry during its… MoreA well-done "Goodfellas"-esque take on the porn industry during its heyday and a naive young man (Mark Wahlberg) with a special "talent" who goes from waiter to adult film star after being plucked by a wealthy titan (Burt Reynolds) of the business. Not only is this movie a serious, saddening take on those involved in the industry who wreck their lives seemingly without trying, it is also a successful satire whose dark sense of humor is much needed to a film full of such despair, loneliness, and depravity. It does suffer from over-population from a character standpoint (especially William H. Macy in a thankless, pointless role that does not utilize his talents properly), but its ability to possess a certain sweetness is a phenomenal feat for director Paul Thomas Anderson to pull off. It has style, laughs, a riveting lead performance from Wahlberg, some excellent supporting turns, memorable scenes (hello Alfred Molina cameo!), and an ending that doesn't leave you as depressed as many of its characters become. Not a film for everyone, certainly a graphic portrayal of a seedy business, but still a fascinating take on those involved in it.
An exceptionally crafted and absolutely thrilling sci-fi adventure… MoreAn exceptionally crafted and absolutely thrilling sci-fi adventure concerning an apocalyptic future where most of mankind is extinct and the survivors of a nuclear strike reside on a moving train, which is broken down into compartment based on the classes of society. However, when one mysterious figure (Chris Evans) plans a revolution and to make his way to the front of the train in order to overthrow the corrupt upper-class, led by a charismatic leading lady (Tilda Swinton), there appears to be hope on the horizon. This film is everything "Elysium" tried to be but failed. Where "Elysium" had a moral code of "all rich are evil and uncaring", this film instead acknowledges that there are selfish and corrupt parts of the upper class, but if you put your head down and fight your way up the ladder, you can find success along the way. Evans is once again phenomenal in the leading man role, with a bunch of supporting characters played by Swinton, John Hurt, and Ed Harris, that are incredibly arresting. The last hour especially is pedal to the medal action, and the way this film is shot and handled throughout is admirable.
One of the most ambitious and enthralling films ever assembled of a… MoreOne of the most ambitious and enthralling films ever assembled of a dying Earth and humanity's one last try in attempting to start life in another galaxy led by a solemn pilot (Matthew McConaughey) who chooses to leave his family behind in order to jumpstart our society. To put it simply, while the movie might have occasional cheesy dialogue and some stretches in key parts of the plot, this is one of the biggest, grandest, most epic pictures we have ever seen given the scope of the story. The characters are given a good enough back story to make us care for them, and the images of space and the haunting silence and various planets they encounter are absolutely riveting. The performances are all great and the way director Christopher Nolan continues to push the boundaries with the topics of space and time is both refreshing and daring. This movie wants to be viewed as a brother of "2001: A Space Odyssey", and it actually pulls it off because of its direction, incredible music score, and the final journey McConaughey's character embarks upon. This is just a special kind of movie, and one that should be seen if you love the movie watching experience.
An intriguing documentary on the ongoing struggle in Afghanistan and… MoreAn intriguing documentary on the ongoing struggle in Afghanistan and the day to day operations our troops go through, captured through the lenses of a father and son who are both journalists. While there is not as much back story on the soldiers as there should be, this is still a riveting documentary that shows the hardship our military goes through ever y day fighting a war that will seemingly never end. The ending will tear your heart out, with an emotional final scene that should stick in your mind for a long time.
One of the most powerful films I've ever seen, with an incredible lead… MoreOne of the most powerful films I've ever seen, with an incredible lead performance from Edward Norton. The overall message of the movie is extremely important - that even the most heinous and hateful of people can change, as seen by the slow-burn approach of Norton's friendship with a black man in prison. The ending always gets me, it's a heart-wrenching finale that is hard to watch but extremely appropriate. This is a film everyone should see.