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BradWesley123's Movie Journal- February 2015
Movie list created by BradWesley123
Sort by: Showing 34 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
The Last Samurai (2003)
DVD- 2hrs. 34min.
The Last Samurai is a big, old-school Hollywood epic that works largely do to the film's scope and beautiful visuals. We've seen this story done a thousand times before; a white man is taken in by a foreign group and becomes one of their own, and a moral man. The cast is pretty good though, especially Wantanabe, and the movie is suitably thrilling. A strong story might've made this more than just a solid feature but, as is, it's a solid movie.
Netflix- 1hr. 29min.
Not my favorite of Mel Brooks comedies, but still an extremely funny movie. A great cast, excellent writing, and the funniest song to ever grace the big screen.
You Can Count on Me (2000)
DVD- 1hr. 51min.
A story that we've seen a dozen times before is made fresh in You Can Count on Me thanks to subtle and tender filmmaking and excellent performances from Linney and Ruffalo.
The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
DVD- 1hr. 56min.
For the most part, it's a solid motion picture about the importance of free speech and artistic freed, but there are several moments where the film is suffocated by bombast and melodrama that was typical of films in the 1930s and 1940s; many could shake them, this doesn't
Netflix- 2hrs. 1min.
A genuinely sweet and funny romantic comedy that actually crafts strong characters and moments instead of hopping onto ever rom-com cliche it can find (though it go for a couple here and there). As strong as the writing and direction are, it's Tautou's performance that sells every fantastical element the film throws at her, crafting an incredibly unique character. Also of note is Bruno Delbonnel's brilliant cinematography, possibly the finest of the 2000s, that keeps the movie's strange, quirky energy from faltering.
The Apartment (1960)
The Aviator (2004)
All About Eve (1950)
Netflix- 2hrs. 18min.
Possibly Hollywood's seminal picture on fame, and the toll it takes to keep and get it, All About Eve lags about in the middle, but is nevertheless a smartly cynical film about the nature of celebrity. Much of this is sold by a witty script, and one of the best acting ensembles in all of cinema.
Netflix- 2hrs. 11min.
The acting is great, and the story occasionally contains some blistering, genuine emotion, but too much of the movie felt unfocused and melodramatic for me to be truly taken with it. The screenplay is smart and quite witty, but the tone of it (lighter comedy one scene shifts to hard drama the next) gave me whiplash. Still, it's pretty solid; the most that you can ask of an 80s movie.
DVD- 1hr. 50min.
While In the Heat of the Night does hit a lot of the expected beat, it does so with a great deal of power and thought. Much of this is do a smartly observant script, subdued direction, and powerhouse performances from Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger.
The Artist (2011)
My Fair Lady (1964)
VHS- 2hrs. 50min.
My Fair Lady is a bit overlong, but it's also one of the most fun movie musicals ever made (and this is coming from someone who is not a huge fan of the genre). The technical aspects are first rate, as well as the performances from Hepburn and Harrison.
DVD- 3hrs. 4min.
The Deer Hunter is a searing Vietnam War epic with some all-time great work in every department (especially acting and cinematography).
The Theory of Everything (2014)
M-GO- 2hrs. 4min.
A bland biopic that checks all the boxes for "important" drama. It's only watchable thanks to an excellent performance from Felicity Jones and a pretty good impression from Eddie Redmayne.
On the Waterfront (1954)
Crackle- 1hr. 47min.
A strong film carried by it's authentic emotion and an excellent performance from Brando.
Note: My experience may have been dulled by Crackle's obtrusive commercial breaks, which happened about every five or so minutes, then would cut out and last about five minutes.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
DVD- 2hrs. 42min.
A technical marvel, with a strong cast to boot, but The Bridge on the River Kwai goes on way too long and stretches itself way too thin. It's epic in scope, but could've benefited from a good trim here and there.
Rain Man (1988)
American Beauty (1999)
Blood Diamond (2006)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
The Two Faces of January (2014)
Netflix- 1hr. 37min.
It takes a few disappointing detours, and the end is a bit too anticlimactic, but The Two Faces of January is a thrilling, Hitchcockian game of cat and mouse (or cat and cat, really) with genuine intrigue and emotion. Mortensen and Isaac are both excellent here, with Amini finding the right balance between mystery and melodrama.
Netflix- 1hr. 35min.
Smart, quirky movie with an excellent cast. Warning though; don't go in expecting a flat-out comedy. Frank, while hilarious in some spots, is an incredibly bittersweet film, with a surprisingly sad ending. Tonally, the movie gets a bit mixed up every now and again, and the movie loses a fair amount of its steam in the final act, but the movie is ultimately worthwhile, with subtle writing/direction, and superb acting from the whole cast (especially Gleeson and Fassbender).
Netflix- 2hrs. 3min.
Thief is quite slow and incredibly cold, but it's never less than intriguing, and thrilling in several spots. Mann's direction and style do a solid portion of the heavy lifting, but the movie just doesn't work without Caan; he's commanding in every scene, and does a hell of a lot with little dialogue (though he kills the diner monologue that he's given). Still though, it's a movie I respect more than I truly like.
The Heart Machine (2014)
Netflix- 1hr. 25min.
The Heart Machine does get tedious at times (mainly towards the end), but it's also a well-observed drama/mystery about romance in the digital age, featuring a pair of strong performances from John Gallagher Jr. and Kate Lyn Sheil.
Number of Movies Watched: 34
Time Spent: 70hrs. 2min.
Best New View: The Deer Hunter
Worst New View: The Theory of Everything
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