The dialogue is funny, and it's style is highly original. Scott… MoreThe dialogue is funny, and it's style is highly original. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World doesn't take itself very seriously: this was especially evident when Scott Pilgrim (played by the always awkward but welcome Michael Cera) and his band open the concert by yelling "We are Sex Bob-Omb and we are here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff!" The soundtrack is great, and the movie has a teenage punk-rock type of vibe going on. The only problem here is the plot. Scott Pilgrim has to fight seven of his love interest's evil ex-boyfriends before he can claim her as his own. Although I'm aware the movie isn't supposed to be taken seriously, it's hard to ignore the extremely video game-like fight scenes; and there are six of them. It doesn't cripple the movie, but it was a little distracting for me. The title of the film is an analogy for the film's simple but inviting theme: believe in yourself, and fight for your desires.
From the very first time J.K. Simmons is on-screen to the very last… MoreFrom the very first time J.K. Simmons is on-screen to the very last moment, your heart rate will be higher than it should be. Every passing scene is more balls-to-the-wall intense than the last thanks to an intricate script, masterful cinematography/editing, and brilliant directing. The chemistry shared between actors Miles Teller, as an aspiring drummer, and his teacher, J.K. Simmons as his teacher, is an extremely rare treat. It's the kind of chemistry that is volatile, and hazardous; yet gripping, electrifying, and ultimately rewarding. Both actors turn in performances that will not be forgotten in the near future, if ever. Fletcher (Simmons) abuses Andrew Neyman (Teller) in every way imaginable, and the product is something that needs to be seen in order to be heard. Whiplash is the best movie of 2014, and is a perfect motion picture.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: A man of many talents. He's been named as Mr.… MoreArnold Schwarzenegger: A man of many talents. He's been named as Mr. Universe, the Governor of the State of California, but above all, a movie star. The Last Action hero is a celebration of not only movies, but of Arnold and his symbol as an action star. A young kid named Danny is given a magic movie ticket by a hermit movie theater projectionist. Danny adores the action movies he watches and is engrossed in them. The ticket, however, quite literally engrosses him inside the world of the action movie. While he's in the world of the narrative, he meets Jack Slater (played by Arnold). Danny confuses Jack by calling him Arnold Schwarzenegger, and from there on, the movie's writing is surprsingly thoughtful. Charles Dance is the villain in the world of the narrative, and he's his usual badass self. Between Arnold's signature one-liners and a cool concept, the movie is precisely that: cool, like the rest of Arnold's flicks.
I had high faith that Boogie Nights would be a great film, given Paul… MoreI had high faith that Boogie Nights would be a great film, given Paul Thomas Anderson's impressive filmography: and I was not disappointed. He exposes the what goes on behind the camera in the porn industry which a majority of people who watch it are ignorant of. Anderson's knack for writing great characters is evident in Boogie Nights: from main protagonist and pornstar Dirk Diggler (Mark Whalberg), to Julianne Moore's preformance as an expiring actress to the loose canon drug dealer who comes into play towards the end (played by Alfred Molina). Between the interesting characters, the previously unexplored subject matter, and the gripping subplots weaving in seamlessly together makes for a well-written, memorable, and ultimately timeless film.
The first time I saw American Sniper, I thought it was great. Starring… MoreThe first time I saw American Sniper, I thought it was great. Starring Bradley Cooper in his second best role (behind playing as Pat in Silver Linings Playbook), he not only packed on 40 pounds to prepare for this role, but he also never went out of character while filming. His performance in American Sniper is one of the main reasons it excels. It's intense, graphic, and shocking; this is not for the faint of heart. The raw war violence depicted here is high up in the ranks along with Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down. After seeing it once, I began to read up on who exactly Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in American history (the man Cooper portrays) really is. There are quite a few inaccuracies I discovered which were a little hard to shake while viewing it my second time around. Fictional drama, reality, it doesn't make much of a difference; the fact of the matter is that Chris Kyle was a true legend, and that idea is capitalized in the film with the power of Clint Eastwood's direction, making for a very well-rounded and compelling film.
I went into this movie knowing it would be a fun spy-thriller. What I… MoreI went into this movie knowing it would be a fun spy-thriller. What I found it to be was immensely better than I had thought: Kingsman: The Secret Service has a truly funny sense of humor, highly stylized action, edge-of-your-seat moments, but above all: a perfect degree of self-awareness. In fact, a convesation between protagonist Harry Hart (played by the great Colin Firth, who handles his fighting sequences with grace) and the obnoxious and highly satirized villain, Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson, who is hard to take seriously due to his lisp, which only adds to the absurdity and self-parody concept of the film) directly addresses what the film is: a less serious version of a 007 film. The plot gets a little confusing towards the end, involving a micro-chip that Valentine plants in a select-group of important public figures and a free-for-everyone SIM card that he delivers to the public (both of which contribute to his "evil" plan). These two plot elements had a collateral effect, making it overly-confusing for a movie that isn't serious to begin with. Ultimately, this is a minor complaint for what makes up to be one hell of a good time. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun at the movies: Kingsman delivered, and then some.
The ambitious concept of director Richard Linklater's Boyhood is… MoreThe ambitious concept of director Richard Linklater's Boyhood is undoubtedly profound. It was filmed over the course of twelve years (it feels like a documentation as much as it feels a fictional drama), the actors noticeably age as the dichotomy of chaos and beauty known as adolecence gradually unfold before us. The characters are relatable, and the acting is spot-on, particularly from Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as the parents of Mason, the center and anchor of the narrative. While it is a spectacle to see these actors and characters develop both physically and characteristically, the film just didn't feel particularly satisfying. This was likely because of a combination of the slightly overlong running time (2 hours and 45 minutes) and the low amount of entertainment value. Given the Oscar buzz and critical acclaim surrounding Boyhood, I found it relatively underwhelming. Boyhood is not a bad film by any means: in fact, it truly is an excellent depiction of growing up- I just couldn't find the spark that I was looking for in a film so grand.
One of Wes Anderson's older films is also one of his strongest. The… MoreOne of Wes Anderson's older films is also one of his strongest. The Tenenbaum family begins with a promising future and eventually descends into separation and dysfunction. The cast is well rounded as a whole, with Gene Hackman, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Luke Wilson (in one of his strongest roles I've seen so far) striving in particular excellence. Accompanied by a great soundtrack, Wes Anderson's signature style is prominent here. The vibe of what seems to be a highly stylized New York is one of the many factors that will make The Royal Tenenbaums a particularly memorably film. It addresses the idea of families who are out of touch are often brought back together via tragedy, which can, in the end, make them stronger than ever.