Physicist Stephen Hawking falls in love as his body slowly degrades… MorePhysicist Stephen Hawking falls in love as his body slowly degrades from ALS.
Eddie Redmayne undergoes a phenomenal physical transformation to convincingly portray the disease-ravaged Hawking, and Felicity Jones acts in silence very well, but the script is full of flaws. This film is essentially a story that could last an hour and fifteen minutes, but the movie lasts a full two hours. The second act drags without many compelling plot events. More importantly, by the end of the film I can't say that I know Stephen Hawking's character any better than I did before I saw it. And the third act climax is difficult to interpret: is he doing this as an act of mercy for his wife, or is this a selfish act driven by attraction? The film shouldn't make such an important elements of the story so mysterious.
Overall, while Eddie Redmayne gives a convincing performance, the film's story leaves much to be desired.
A young boy grows up amid gang violence in Rio.
More of a chronicle… MoreA young boy grows up amid gang violence in Rio.
More of a chronicle of disparate gangs than a cohesive plot, City of God is frenetic filmmaking at its finest. Quick camera pans, storylines that stop and start, and bloodletting violence fill this film with the type of energy that is reminiscent of Tarantino and Scorsese. Based on true stories, the film is more about environment than plot, and the feeling is both harrowing and shocking.
There's no one central performance that strikes me as remarkable because all of the performances ring with authenticity.
Overall, this is one of the finest portraits of gang violence produced outside of America.
In amoral videographer rises to fame.
Jake Gyllenhaal gives a… MoreIn amoral videographer rises to fame.
Jake Gyllenhaal gives a transformative performance in this obvious but thrilling satire. The satire is focused on two aspects of our culture. First,´┐ 1/4 Lou's news-chasing and Nina's power-hungry thirst for sensationalism highlight our culture's obsession with the macabre. Second, Lou's patois is lifted directly from corporate motivational speakers who talk about "action items" that are "Value Ô" adding." The film is cross hairs are well-placed, but my the end both Gyllenhaal's characterization and the pressing of the satire weighed on me to the point where I couldn't wait for the story to reach its obvious conclusion.
Overall, while the performances good and the ideais good, the films story doesn't carry it through.
Edward Snowden reveals the extent of the US government's surveillance… MoreEdward Snowden reveals the extent of the US government's surveillance on its citizens.
There's something both chilling and interesting about seeing Snowden. He is a charming and articulate man, and he carries about as much gravitas as a character in The Big Bang Theory, but there can be no doubt that's his role in history is important and remarkable.
The film is thesis-driven in its belf that the governments's programs over-extend its authority, but there is enough of both sides that it works as an important debate about the argument between security and freedom, responsibility and rights.
Overall, this is a fascinating and thrilling documentary that represents a giant leap forward for itsgenre.
A former action film star attempts to make a come back with a Broadway… MoreA former action film star attempts to make a come back with a Broadway production.
There is no doubt that this film features some of the finest work in Michael Keaton's and Edward Norton's careers, and the almost constant cinematography directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is captivating and frenetic eye candy. However, the story is a hodgepodge of dangling the plot threads and missed opportunities. While it is true that Keaton's protagonist carries the film, The subplots with his daughter, the lesbian affair, and the failing marriage never tie into Riggin's journey, and these sections of the film leave me with more questions than answers. Also, the last shot of the film seems to change the rules established by the first hour and fifty-eight minutes.
Overall, while the films performances are a joy to watch, the story fails to have any cohesion.
A teenager is caught between life and death after a tragic car… MoreA teenager is caught between life and death after a tragic car accident.
Chloe Grace Moretz's virtuoso performance is the highlight of this film. For example, there is one scene in which the object of her affections is close to flirting with another woman, and the camera cuts to reaction shot. Rather than displaying any kind of the Moretz is passive, allowing the situation to convey the story.
The film as a whole, however, is slow, clich├ (C), and mostly predictable. Even the titular decision is predictable from the start, but that doesn't change the fact that the journey is filled with many "aww" moments that can't fail to charm even the most cynical viewer.
Overall, Chloe Grace Moretz continues to be one of the most exciting young actresses working today.