With outstanding performances all around, your film already has a lot… MoreWith outstanding performances all around, your film already has a lot going for it, but adding a perfect screenplay and executing a story with vigorous editing skills just makes it that much more brilliant. From beginning to end, "The Imitation Game" has quick, fast paced dialogue that will have you engaged the entire time. The story is fairly simple, yet the code is extremely complex. The film is based around the true story of how one man leads a British team into cracking an unbreakable German code to win the war. Held secret by the government for over 50 years, this story was finally allowed to be put into motion picture form. Benedict Cumberbatch delivers an Oscar-Worthy performance, but that is no surprise. This is easily one of the best and more thought-provoking films of 2014. Leaving me in awe by the end of the film, "The Imitation Game" is breathtaking. It really makes you believe the impossible, and that some people really can do things you could never imagine.
Chris Rock has always been known for his standup and his film roles… MoreChris Rock has always been known for his standup and his film roles have kind of gone downhill recently, and being self-aware, he writes and directs "Top Five" as a self-aware career reflection. Taking place over the course of one day, a reporter interviews Andre Alan about his new film that has opened as he prepares for his upcoming wedding. As he begins to fall for the reporter throughout the day, he always discovers what he lost in his standup life and that he does not need to be drunk or high to be funny. With so many levels and a few clever twists, "Top Five" is actually one of my favourite films of 2014. Hilarious all the way through and sentimental when it needs to be, this film has everything to love about comedies and dramas all meshed into one, in the best way possible. There are a few odd technical aspects that took me out at times, but aside from that, it is a near perfect comedy. Having a very "Richard-Linklater-Esque" vibe during the conversation scenes, the chemistry between Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson jumps off the screen. I loved "Top Five!"
After some horrible life choices and tragedies, Cheryl Strayed sets… MoreAfter some horrible life choices and tragedies, Cheryl Strayed sets out on a thousand mile hike to find herself. Each low point throughout her journey is a reflection on her past, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. "Wild" is the type of film that you really have to be in the mood for and prepared for uncomfortable moments, however, if you can get into the story, you may just find yourself loving the arch of this true life character. Reese Witherspoon is getting Oscar buzz and I believe she deserves the praise for this performance. There is a lingering metaphor throughout this film that the heavy backpack she carries is the literal meaning of her carrying the film on her shoulders. With a very interesting editing style and a script that feels natural, I believed every moment for the most part. It did feel it's length towards the end, even though it is not too long. Very well-shot and superbly directed, "Wild" is a very impressive feat. Overall, it's a great film that does have it's down time. This film is recommended to a mature audience who love films that explore deeper meanings. "Wild" is great!
While trying to reinvent the source material, "Exodus: Gods and Kings"… MoreWhile trying to reinvent the source material, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" may come off as disgraceful to some, and amazing to others who are not familiar with the story, but man is this film just a slap in the face. When it first began, I was sucked in and was along for the ride, but when the big events start happening, it became a little too sappy and heavy-handed for it's own good. Overblowing every moment, over-writing almost every line of dialogue, and making it seem like an extravagant war epic, this film really needed to tone it down. I will commend the incredible visuals, scope, and the score of the film, because those aspects were breathtaking, but with a script that feels like it should be taking place in 2014, I was really bouncing around the entire time. Overall, I liked looking at the him, but it left a bad taste in my mouth leaving the theatre and I really wanted to like this film too. The whole film plays out as a build to the climax, which turns out to be a pretty grand letdown. Nothing really happens and the film just ends. In the end, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" is a beautiful disaster.
Follow this link for my full thoughts:… MoreFollow this link for my full thoughts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoKLfWeyaHk
Once again, we conclude a Middle Earth trilogy, and while it is a very nice send-off and an epic tap to the franchise, it does feel a bit rushed a padded out. During my viewing of this film, I could not help but realize that everything happening throughout these three films could have easily been condensed into two features. once taking down the dragon and reclaiming their homeland, the dwarves must face a greater threat that will either destroy all hope or bring peace once again. With some great character moments, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" has a little more meaning than the previous two instalments, but it also feels the most unnecessary. Well-written to a fault, this third film is kind of comical at times, due to it's needless tie-ins, but it's emotions run rampant and work in almost every scene in the film. Every character has their moment to shine and that was great to see here, but the whole film is a lot to take in. The overwhelming CGI took me out of the film a lot, but once you are used to it, it just becomes part of the scenery. This picture is both more and less than what I wanted as a full-circle film. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" cares about it's original trilogy and it shows in the final product, but overall, it is kind of the weakest Hobbit picture.
Even though it doesn't break new ground in it's own franchise, "The… MoreEven though it doesn't break new ground in it's own franchise, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is a great adventure film that is filled with tons and tons of emotion and action. This film takes you on a bigger ride than the first, but I really did enjoy the slow pacing of the first film as well. Both films have much different substance, and in their own respects, they work wonderfully. We finally get to the Mountain in this film and Smaug is really something else to look at, along with stellar voice acting and motion-capture from Benedict Cumberbatch. The story really is built upon and seeing more familiar faces and new characters was definitely a breath of fresh air, and it is something that the movie version of this story needed. It may not be an incredible film, but it breaks the fun scale in half and leaves you with one of the biggest cliffhangers ever. I enjoyed "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" just as must as the first film, no more, no less. It's great fun all around, and I cannot wait for the conclusion!
There is so much to love about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,"… MoreThere is so much to love about "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and sometimes that particular fact overshadows what are a few minor problems with the film. It is a simple story, told in a very grand scale, about Dwarfs, accompanied by a Hobbit, who are on a quest to reclaim the Dwarfs homeland. Along the way, he comes across as mysterious ring, and the climax unfolds. This film has a very dark tone to it, with very excessive images, but the things that truly bugs me is the fact that it shifts back and forth from dark to comical too quickly, taking away some of the mood. Still, I highly enjoyed watching this film and the cliffhanger is incredible. I cannot wait for part 2 of this trilogy. It is no match for "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but on it's own, it really has something going for it. It was also nice to seem some pretty awesome cameos from familiar faces. Overall, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is far from perfect, but definitely earns it's welcome.
Never once did I imagine an interenet meme becoming a film, but then… MoreNever once did I imagine an interenet meme becoming a film, but then again, ideas are few to none these days, so here it is. I will admit, I felt obligated to view this film, but I am glad I did. Is "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas" ever the worst movie ever? No, but it is not very good either. The film begins ver self-aware and continues on that notion throughout, but the film becomes a little repetitive and annoying. Having about a million fourth wall jokes get's a little old, even if you are trying to be aware. There are films out there with the smarts to do it right, and althoug this makes a slight attempt, it still comes off as a ham-fisted sloppy comedy. I really loved Aubrey Plaza's voice, and here monotone voiceover acting is what made this so enjoyable. With some very bland writing, a cliched plot, and characters that children may not even care about, "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever" tries really hard, and while it does have it's clever moments, it ultimately falls short. Underwhelming, but not unexpected.
Short films can be very subjective, and "Toy Story" has always been… MoreShort films can be very subjective, and "Toy Story" has always been notorious for impressing it's audiences, and once again, I feel like they have succeeded. Although it strays away from it's main characters, we are introduced to some new faces here, and some of the characters introduced in "Toy Story 3" get some very solid screen time. Woody, Buzz and Rex really are the only recurring characters here, but that is okay, because this story only needed that. Going back to some original storytelling roots, the gang meets a new group of dinos/toys who believe themselves to be warriors, much like Buzz believed himself to once be a space ranger. This film is ultimately a realization that toys are just toys, and that kids should be still drawn to them. It shows that video games can warp a childs brain, but there is a happy medium between toys and video games. It also has a very sweet little christmas fairytale undetone that I admired. "Toy Story That Time Forgot" is a very well made film, even if it does feel a little distant from the rest.
Extremely well-acted and extremely well-directed, "Foxcatcher" is one… MoreExtremely well-acted and extremely well-directed, "Foxcatcher" is one of the slowest films of the year, but still technically one of the best. Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo devote themselves to their roles, and it shows. There are times when this film makes you want to fall asleep, but not due to the fact that it is a boring film, but because it's drab look and feel is so overwhelmingly well-done. There is almost no score at times, and for that reason alone, I felt like I was sitting in each room with them, sharing in each conversation they were having. There are not really many flaws with this film, however, the pacing and length could have been improved. It does not ever lose your attention, which is why I loved watching it so much and was kind of fascinated. Overall, "Foxcatcher" is very well-made all around, but could have used a bit of trimming here and there on the editing floor. Fantastic film!