Zero Dark Thirty
Movie Description: A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.
Pros: Okay, first off, I just want to give Jessica Chastain all the awards. She did wonderful in this movie. I think this movie was so interesting. I loved how this did not turn into a patriotic movie about how “kick ass” the United States is. Bigelow did a wonderful job of keeping the facts pretty accurate and not taking a political side. (Even though some GOP party members would argue this is a liberal movie). I think Bigelow was tasteful with the water boarding and the violence. None of it seemed unnecessary I loved the tension that built the entire movie, and how the director managed to keep the Islamophobia out of it for the most part. She showed that some of the young men who were part of 9/11 were not these disgusting people that our country makes them out to be. They honestly believed they were doing justice for their country. Just as we believe that invading their country is the right, just thing to do. I liked how they were made out to be people instead of these evil demons who are out to destroy freedom and ‘Merica. Basically, what I am trying to say, is it is refreshing to see a relatively unbiased view of modern events. The acting was wonderful, and everything in this movie was subtle. The whole movie was unnerving in the best way possible.
Cons: The movie went a little slow at some points, and I feel like there could have been some more shots of the United States showing what was happening there relative to the time in Pakistan. Besides that, a beautiful and tasteful film.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it is informative and relatively unbiased. It’s also by one of the few respectable woman directors in Hollywood.
Rating: 10 out 10
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Movie Description: It is the story of one Mr. Fox and his wild-ways of hen heckling, turkey taking and cider sipping, nocturnal, instinctive adventures. He has to put his wild days behind him and do what fathers do best: be responsible. He is too rebellious. He is too wild. He is going to try “just one more raid” on the three nastiest, meanest farmers that are Boggis, Bunce and Bean. It is a tale of crossing the line of family responsibilities and midnight adventure and the friendships and awakenings of this country life that is inhabited by Fantastic Mr. Fox and his friends.
Pros: I love Wes Anderson so damn much. I had never seen this until a few weeks ago. I expected a lot, and I was not disappointed. This movie had all of the bright colors and whimsical elements that I expected. I loved all of the characters in this movie, and the animation is beautiful. The dialogue in all of Wes Anderson’s movies are so witty and clever, and this was no less. I loved how the animals seemed so human until they ate, and then the viewer was reminded of how animal like they really are. I basically enjoyed every single thing about this movie. I just want to get inside Wes Anderson’s mind and borrow some inspiration and wit.
Cons: Ehh, I really cannot think of any. I thought this movie was well done and adorable.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s adorable and funny.
Rating: 10 out 10
The Tree of Life
Movie Description: The impressionistic story of a Texas family in the 1950s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.
Pros: The opening scene of this movie took my breath away. I have never seen a director capture nature and humans in such a natural way that felt so real. Malick captured human nature in a way that other directors could only dream of. The way the camera focused on every little detail of the fingers, toes, hair, lips, and body language. It was just phenomenal. All of the nature shots were so beautiful. I thought it was interesting how there was the choice to have opera music over all of this. It made me think of the beginning of Melancholia, where your heart ached at the overwhelming large and powerful beauty of the world. I loved the innocence of all of the characters in this movie, and how they were all captured in wonderful light and setting. Everything seemed like a storybook. There were parts that made my heart ache and tears come to my eyes because it was so overwhelming and beautiful. I loved how each of the characters were questioning and talking to God. A movie like this makes you realize how small and insignificant you really are on Earth.
Cons: The last almost hour of the movie made little sense to me. I know it was filled to the brim with symbolism, but I did not understand. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I also felt like the movie was missing a conclusion.
Would I recommend it? Well, you would have to have a deep compassion and appreciate for the greatness of the Earth for it to make at least a little bit of sense. So don’t watch this movie if you are wanting action packed and a cohesive plot.
Rating: 9.5 out 10
Movie Description: A weather man is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting “rat” (as he calls it). This is his fourth year on the story, and he makes no effort to hide his frustration. On awaking the ‘following’ day he discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and again. First he uses this to his advantage, then comes the realization that he is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people do the same thing EVERY day
Pros: I absolutely love Bill Murray. I am currently trying to get through some of his most famous films. I usually cannot stand romantic comedies, but this one has a nice story to it. Bill Murray is so perfect at playing a complete asshole. I loved his performance, and I thought he did a wonderful job throughout the entire movie making it truly believable that he did change. The scene where he confesses his love for Rita was one of the sweetest scenes in romantic movie history. It made my heart melt a little. Everything about this movie was sincere, and I think it has an aspect to it that appeals to everyone.
Cons: The movie seemed dated at times, but that’s expected because it came out in the 90’s. And the story was repeated so many times that it got old at some points. But besides that, an overall sweet and touching movie that was very clever and witty.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’ll make your heart feel good.
Rating: 9 out 10
Movie Description: Brit, Candy, Cotty, and Faith have been best friends since grade school. They live together in a boring college dorm and are hungry for adventure. All they have to do is save enough money for spring break to get their shot at having some real fun. A serendipitous encounter with rapper “Alien” promises to provide the girls with all the thrill and excitement they could hope for. With the encouragement of their new friend, it soon becomes unclear how far the girls are willing to go to experience a spring break they will never forget.
Pros: This movie was a colorful, overly sexualized, violent explosion. I loved all of the slow motion of teenagers getting wasted, and the monologue of Selena Gomez discussing how deep Florida was and how they were all “finding themselves”. The sad part about that is most teenagers could probably relate exactly to what she is saying. They can’t have any sort of fun without having to have alcohol and drugs. If you just looked at this movie from the surface level, it looks incredibly shallow and dumb. I think it was meant to be. It painted a perfect picture of how our society has this insane view in our minds of a fun and free person. One of my favorite scenes was when James Franco was showing off all of his material things and money and he kept saying “This is the American Dream!”. Also, all of the visual things about this movie were wonderful. I loved the contrast of these beach blond girls with unicorn ski masks on and neon swim suits carrying machine guns. The sex and violence in this movie were so perfectly balanced. The incredibly cheesy scene where James is playing his piano by the beach and decides to play Britney Spears was amazing. I honestly think that was one of my favorite scenes in movie history. The visual of these teenage girls in swimsuits and ski masks, shooting people while looking like a piece of cake or bubblegum, while Britney Spears plays in the background. It was so sugary sweet with a bloody undertone. I just think this movie is smarter than it seems.
Cons: What happens to Selena Gomez and the one girl with the pink hair? They just kinda leave it open, and never close that. The dialogue was pretty awful, and some scenes were just too much. Also, I loved how Selena Gomez’s character enjoyed having fun with all of the rich white kids on the beach, but when she had to hang out in the “ghetto”, all of a sudden she’s like “guys, I don’t like this *ugly cries* I wanna go home guysssssss!!” I don’t know, it came off as like..kinda racist to me.
Would I recommend it? Yes, but expect violence, sex, and stupidity. That is what it’s all about.
Rating: 7 out 10
Movie Description: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Pros: Well, where to start? The opening credits of this movie were some of the most creative credits ever. And I liked how the beginning comes off a certain way, and then at the end it feels totally different. That probably doesn’t make much sense. But if you do see this movie, it will. I liked the sense of coherence from start to end. There were a lot of things that did not get explained, but for once that didn’t bother me. I think I could have watched this movie all day, it looked beautiful, it sounded beautiful. Everything about it was wonderful. I love a movie that can make me laugh and feel uncomfortable at the same time. This movie was so incredibly creepy. I had goose bumps almost the entire time. Matthew Goode just made me feel so uncomfortable the entire movie. This is also one of those movies that unpredictable. I did not see most of the things that were gonna happen. It ultimately left me feeling incredibly creeped out and amazed. Overall, a wonderfully creepy and refreshing movie!
Cons: A lot of the awkward scenes. Just a lot going on with Mr. Creepy Uncle, Matthew Goode. Piano orgasms are awkward..
Would I recommend it? Yes, for some odd reason it had the same kind of screwed up story line as Blue Velvet. That was what it made me think of. I may just be imagining that though.
Rating: 10 out 10
Farewell, My Queen (Les adieux à la reine)
Movie Description: In July 1789, the French Revolution is rumbling. Far from the turmoil, at the Château de Versailles, King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette and their courtiers keep on living their usual carefree lives. But when the news of the storming of the Bastille reaches them, panic sets in and most of the aristocrats and their servants desert the sinking ship, leaving the Royal Family practically alone. Which is not the case of Sidonie Laborde, the Queen’s reader, a young woman, entirely devoted to her mistress; she will not give her up under any circumstances. What Sidonie does not know yet is that these are the last three days she will spend in the company of her beloved Queen…
Pros: The scenery in this movie was absolutely beautiful. I felt like I was in a dream. I already love this time period with a passion. I thought Diane did a wonderful job as Marie. She gave her so much depth and emotion. I love these movies that show that Marie Antoinette was a human just like everyone else. I also liked how it didn’t just turn into a lesbian porn movie too. So many people I talked to just expected it to be sexually graphic because the movie discusses her rumored relationship with Duchess of Polignac. Their relationship in the movie was actually extremely beautiful. The scene where Marie tells her goodbye is so emotionally packed. They had such tender feeling of love and support for each other, and that had to stop. I thought all of the actors did a wonderful job. It was just an incredibly smooth and beautiful historical piece. I mean besides the rumored relationship with Duchess of Polignac, I thought the movie was very historically accurate (as far as I’ve read). It was beautifully done.
Cons: Everything built and built, but it had no real resolution. I was very unhappy with the ending. I felt like there could have been a little bit more. It was like how I felt with Lawless. Like half of the movie was missing or something. I wish there would have been more of clear conclusion.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s beautiful and heartfelt
Rating: 8 out 10
Movie Description: Emily Taylor, despite being reunited with her husband from prison, becomes severely depressed with emotional episodes and suicide attempts. Her psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks, after conferring with her previous doctor, eventually prescribes an experimental new medication called Ablixa. The plot thickens when the side effects of the drug lead to Emily killing her husband in a “sleepwalking” state. With Emily plea-bargained into mental hospital confinement and Dr. Banks’ practice crumbling around him, the case seems closed. However, Dr. Banks cannot accept full responsibility and investigates to clear his name. What follows is a dark quest that threatens to tear what’s left of his life apart even as he discovers the diabolical truth of this tragedy.
Pros: I can’t even decide who did the best job in this movie. Rooney Mara is wonderful as usual. Jude Law did a wonderful job, I went from feeling bad for his character, to hating him, to feeling bad for him again. Actually I had the same feelings for almost all of the characters. Channing died earlier than I expected, but he did better than I thought he would. What I loved about this movie was how I literally did not expect half of the things that happened. I love going to a movie where my jaw drops at least once. The suspense in this movie was insane. I also enjoyed the nice little stab this movie took at pharmaceutical companies. I think it painted a wonderful picture at how greedy those companies are and how they have an extremely utilitarian approach to medical treatment. Yeah, a person may go insane from the side effects, but hey, it helps millions of other people. I think that shows a picture of how our country thinks about everything. As long as the majority is getting pleasure or happiness from something, it doesn’t matter that it’s hurting or killing a smaller number. “The greatest good, for the greatest number”
Cons: I love Catherine Zeta Jones, but she was overacting in most of this movie. I enjoyed the nice little twist at the end though. She definitely got justice for being greedy. Besides that, I really did not have much complaints. This movie was pretty flawless.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it had some amazing performances.
Rating: 9 out 10
Movie Description: Returning from Navy service in World War II, Freddie Quell drifts through a series of PTSD-driven breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear emotions and he becomes deeply involved with them.
Pros: Almost everything about this movie was wonderful. Joaquin
Phoenix has a rare quality that’s hard to come by with actors. I feel like his role in this movie was so sincere and unique. First off, all of the colors were so vivid and bright in this movie. Anderson also has a knack for catching people in really unique views. I also liked the way this movie went about portraying cults. It creeps up on you. I didn’t honestly think anything was wrong until the scene where everyone was dancing around naked. I think this movie may have also been really intriguing to me because it was the first Blu-Ray I’ve played on my new player. So I was practically drooling over the colors and details. Besides the surfaces details, Joaquin’s character had such a curiosity about him, and he said such simple things that had a lot of meaning behind them. I felt so awful for him the whole time, I kept thinking he would start to get better, and then he would fail again. I think my favorite scene in the movie was the last talk that Freddie had with the Master. It brought tears to my eyes, and will forever haunt me. Freddie’s eyes and face during that scene just stick out in my mind. He looked so unwell, but at the same time like he had just realized what his life was meant for. It was so beautiful.
Cons: The sexuality was a little too blatant for my liking. I understand it was necessary to the plot, but I could have done without a lot of it. And the part where Joaquin farts and then laughs about it for like five minutes.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it is such an odd watch though, so be prepared for nudity, sex and a lot of awkwardness.
Rating: 9 out 10
I’ll have movie reviews for The Master and Side Effects in a few days! I have a lot to say about both of them!