A sorrowful tale about the implications of being a runaway from life,… MoreA sorrowful tale about the implications of being a runaway from life, Jack Nicholson gives a stellar performance as Robert, a former piano prodigy. Robert is a very interesting character, a man who runs from everything in the world, just so he can be alone and selfish. He runs off from his wealth and his family because he can't deal with his father's disapproval. He runs from his girlfriend, his job, from everything that dissatisfies him only because he wants his life to be purposeful, for something to come out of nothing. He doesn't want to feel trapped by money, and yet he resents anyone who believes he's as lowdown as they are. His selfishness becomes his undoing, and his tendency to run forces him to choose between doing the right thing and the wrong. A stellar supporting cast, amazing premise, and a powerful performance from Nicholson makes this character study an exercise in the contention of human error.
Relationships degrade and diminish in their returns, over a long… MoreRelationships degrade and diminish in their returns, over a long period of time. No one knows that better than married couple Meg (Duncan) and Nick (Broadbent). Married for thirty years, in debt, anchored by a druggie son, and about to begin retirement, their marriage needs a bit of work. On vacation in Paris the pair explore the city and learn from one another what it really means to love and be loved. They are both over-the-top in love with one another, and also contemptuous of each other, in a very strange portrayal of a dysfunctional relationship. They are also very adolescent in their escapades, including hitting each other, having petty fights, and running after one another in chase more than once. They become alive in the city of light, and re-learn what it is to care for another person. Bold in its execution as well as its inception, this film is not only important for its truthfulness, but playfulness.
Though this film isn't actually all that funny, some of the characters… MoreThough this film isn't actually all that funny, some of the characters are flat, and there are many stereotypes and clichés in the script, there's something very likable and real about this film. Henry (Klein), our lead character, wants to be a great writer, and so he reads and quotes and lauds the craft of writing, but doesn't do the work, and therefore has nothing to show for it. Hannah (Cuoco) doesn't read a lot but she does the work and good things happen for her. This parallel makes up the entirety of the film and inspires a lot of the character driven action, which is really well thought out. Some of the other characters didn't feel all too realistic, including the Mooney's (Walsh and Polo), who were played too over the top and flighty. William (Bennett) was a great stereotype of the pretentious writer who doesn't write, and Farina as Butzin shows the gritty writers who still exist but can't hack it among the top dogs. The main reason this film is loathed, besides that's it's not ever funny, is because it's a mockumentary that looks like a regular movie. It's not shot like a documentary, the editing is polished, the crew is somehow everywhere they are and shoot everything perfectly. It's really off-putting when other characters apparently see the cameras and ask about them, and you as the audience have forgotten they exist in the first place. Though there are some great ideas and characters, this was just too convoluted to work.
A very strange and unabashed tale of the eccentric, John Irving's… MoreA very strange and unabashed tale of the eccentric, John Irving's novel of the same name has been adapted into the story of T.S. Garp, a man whose life has never been normal. Raised by a nurse who raped a dying soldier, and works in a boys' dormitory, Garp finds his footing amongst writers, falls in love, and has an entire lifetime of adventures along the way. This film is bigger than life and contains strange incidents that make up Garp's life, including marital stress, death, assassination, heartbreak, and a gaggle of Ellen James' admirers. Supported in his life is his professor wife (Hurt), children, transsexual friend Roberta (Lithgow), mother, and other friends. The story is very strange, and by the end you will think so too, and yet it's also exquisite in its weirdness, its ability to shift and change as it adapts to new characters, new challenges, and new ways of thinking. It's simply a beautiful film that feels like a novel in poetic repose.
It's commendable that this film tried to shed light on the horrifying… MoreIt's commendable that this film tried to shed light on the horrifying influence of conservative Christian values on Uganda. I think a lot of what this film showcases needed to be seen and speaks a lot about the political affiliation that these religions push on countries that don't have the same rights and freedoms as those protected in other countries. The interviews were solid, and following the IHOP missionaries was intriguing, but the correlation between these people and Uganda needed to be made clearer. There is legislation in Uganda against homosexuality, but there was nothing about the violence enacted against these people, the discrimination, and the countless deaths. The funeral scene was a good start and showed human kindness exists in Uganda, but it didn't show the true impact of these people and their heinous causes. A very beautiful film overall, it still showed the Ugandan societal landscape, and what has changed its features in the past thirty years.
There are have been many independent films coming out that feature a… MoreThere are have been many independent films coming out that feature a rag-tag group of friends hashing out their issues in an enclosed space, a la bottle episodes of TV shows. Unlike those films, this film correctly edges humor in its characters, and also explores really interesting and thoughtful issues. The characters are unexpectedly fun to watch and their reactions to the end of the world are exceptional and downright laughable. Cross entertains throughout, but especially at the end, Ferrara is perky but negative towards the outcome, Hayes and Miller have superb chemistry as a separated married couple, and Stiles' remains shamelessly self-serving, a radical idea to the other characters. It's possible that the adorable ending also pushed me into liking this film, as it was unexpected. It's great to see a film be okay with not resolving everything, not tying up its character development into a little bow and yelling, "Done!" Of all the indies I've watched lately, this one actually surprised me, which is hard to do.
It's understandable that this is an actual psychological fear, as dogs… MoreIt's understandable that this is an actual psychological fear, as dogs are large and prone to sometimes bite. On the other side of the spectrum dogs are friendly and lovable, making it even more startling to see them terrorize a mother and son locked in a hot car for several days. So goes the premise of Stephen King's "Cujo" a film about a rabid dog throwing himself against a dead car, and out in the middle of nowhere, with a mother and son locked inside for protection. It's really more a film about survival of the elements and waiting for help, than in fighting off the dog. The film itself is not well structured, as most of the first hour of the film is devoted to building up flimsy characters and showing setting. When we finally get to the action, it's underwhelming and not very scary. This is probably the least thought out and overly complicated of the King film adaptations, relying more on overwriting than in scares.
This is the most depressing, and definitely most realistic portrayal… MoreThis is the most depressing, and definitely most realistic portrayal of romance, of the Linklater trilogy. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke return as Celine and Jesse, now married with twins, living in Europe and enjoying a family vacation with friends. While the first two films were romantic because of what could be, this one is romantic for what they are, who they've become, and what's in store for them. Addressing the problems of the last film, Jesse worries about the distance between him and his son, about how much his ex-wife loathes him, and his own shortcomings as a father and a writer. Celine works constantly and worries about their life in Europe and how they adjusted to their marital woes. They argue, bicker, and yet love each other unequivocally, showing the audience that yes things get rough, and sometimes you want to quit, but in the end love is malleable and never-ending in its simplicity. This is by far the most beautiful of the three films and the best written of the three as well.
The premise of the film isn't all that hilarious as it's about a shoe… MoreThe premise of the film isn't all that hilarious as it's about a shoe factory in England that's restructuring. Sure, the adage of a drag queen business partner and emissary doesn't hurt, especially when they're played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. Ejiofor can sing, he can dance, and he really pulls off the character of Lola, a smart, funny, and lovable queen from London who helps a down and out shoe factory owner start making heels for men. The best parts have Lola in them, and without her this film would not be interesting. All the supporting characters are droll, as well as our lead character Charlie (Edgerton). Charlie's0 life seems inconsequential to the rest of the film, including his entire romantic relationship with Lauren (Potts), not helped by his slack jawed expression. When there are heels and divas onscreen it's a good time, which is why this film prompted a Broadway musical to boot.
This is a very early look into the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger.… MoreThis is a very early look into the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before becoming a big name action star and the Governor of California, Arnold was a very popular bodybuilder, who won worldwide championships some six years in a row. This documentary follows him and several other contenders who are gearing up for the Mr. Universe contest in South Africa. Arnold is a very interesting subject, very open and forthcoming about much of his life, his expectations, and his confidence. He even discusses the merits of working out, and makes a parallel to sexual satisfaction in an unforgettable interview. Another subject of the film is a pre-Hulk Lou Ferrigno, who constantly trains just to beat the Austrian wonder. It shows a lot about Arnold's personality and the way his confidence and charisma builds, and remains telling of his future.