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BradWesley123's Movie Journal- March 2015
Movie list created by BradWesley123
Sort by: Showing 27 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
High Anxiety (1977)
The Drop (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 46min.
The movie ends on a decent note, and the twist (if you would call it one) pulls off the task of giving more shading to a main character, but so much of the movie is typical and uninspired, also quite slow, that it never comes together. The cast is fine, but the film's lurching nature robs them of anything great. It's okay.
The Homesman (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 46min.
The movie hits often, but it's too scattered and episodic to have them come together in any meaningful way. The technical aspects are quite strong (cinematography, designs, etc.) and the cast is solid too, especially Swank, but the film ultimately rings hollow.
Love Is Strange (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 35min.
A little too quiet and leisurely paced for my liking, Love is Strange is nevertheless heartfelt, and somewhat heartbreaking, look at aging love with superbly lived-in performances and sensitive filmmaking.
Inherent Vice (2014) (2015)
M-GO- 2hrs. 28min.
Inherent Vice is a rambling, often incoherent narrative mess, but's such a fun and engrossing one that I was willing to forgive it and just go with the flow. The cast is excellent, the costume/production design immaculate, and the cinematography striking (I mostly enjoyed the grainy-ness but it, like the film itself, will be divisive). It is a mess though, and the plot rarely ever matters; you'll likely not catch all of it (I know I didn't). Still, it's such a weird, frequently beautiful oddity that it deserves to be seen.
The Long Goodbye (1973)
DVD- 1hr. 52min.
If you enjoy Inherent Vice, you'll likely be as pleased with The Long Goodbye. They both have the same indifference to their own mystery, though I'd argue that Goodbye has more narrative cohesion (just barely). On it's own the movie is a satisfying quasi-noir/comedic mystery that benefits from strong direction and a towering performance by Elliott Gould.
DVD- 1hr. 47min.
There are a lot of words that I could use to describe Whiplash, but few would do it justice. Simply; it's a thrilling, complex portrait of the dark side of talent. The film excels in every department, especially Chazelle's brilliant direction and near-perfect (Oscar Winning) editing by Tom Cross. It also helps that the weight of the film is left to its two leads; Teller does some excellent work, balancing his character's vulnerability and ambition, and Simmons give a truly powerhouse performance, arguably the finest of the decade.
Romancing the Stone (1984)
Netflix- 1hr. 45min.
Romancing the Stone is a relatively fun adventure-romance with a well matched pair of leads, but it never really breaks through as anything other than "diverting". Not particularly memorable.
DVD- 2hrs. 14min.
Foxcatcher isn't the most enjoyable of movies to sit through; it's long, dark, and quiet. It doesn't always work (there's a lot of tedium to weed through) but when it does, it's an incredibly thought-provoking film about fractured psyches and their need for glory. The final leans heavily on it's three leads, and they don't disappoint; Carrel is unbelievably unnerving, Ruffalo is grounded and human, and Tatum is raw and vulnerable in what's easily the best performance of his career.
DVD- 1hr. 21min.
Alexander has a tendency to mistake loud for funny and the story is just piled on top of contrivance after contrivance but, if you go in with low expectations, it's a relatively fun, silly ride.
DVD- 1hr. 41min.
Calvary is an incredibly smart drama/mystery that raises some smart points on faith and religion, but is intelligent enough not to take a side. It also serves as a showcase for Brendan Gleeson, who is outstanding in a conflicted, yet not humorless, performance.
The Guest (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 40min.
The tone fluctuates a lot (family drama to mystery to horror), and the ending is disappointing (it's a winking homage, but still) but The Guest is a lot of fun, and benefits heavily from a deeply creepy performance from Dan Stevens.
Dracula Untold (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 32min.
Dracula Untold is just so unimaginative in nearly every department. From story to action (though a couple of them are okay) to visuals, we've seen it all before, and most of them done better. The actors are okay, but aren't given much of anything to do.
The Rainmaker (1997)
DVD- 2hrs. 15min.
The Rainmaker is essentially cinematic comfort food; it's not at all original, but it does everything so well that you can't help but be entertained. The cast is great, the story is strong, and the direction crisp.
Me during most of this movie.
Netflix- 2hrs. 34min.
Amistad is a imminently respectable movie; the story is deserving of the big scream and the film takes great strides to depict it accurately and humanely. It's just that it's so slow and so long. The story doesn't really lag, but so few of the characters make an impression, despite an excellent cast (Hopkins and Hounsou are, in particular, superb), and the film spends too much time on minute details that, while give it authenticity, just drag the film down.
DVD- 1hr. 39min.
There's not much to say about this one; it's your typical arrested development/coming of age story. It's pretty watchable though, thanks in large part to the work of the three leads who are able to give the movie a (minor) note of realism.
DVD- 1hr. 43min.
Rosewater is obviously well-intentioned, and that takes the movie surprisingly far, but there's not a whole lot new or inventive here. It's solidly made with a great deal of empathy, but it's just missing an urgency that would've made it vital viewing.
What If (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 38min.
What If is virtually the same romantic comedy that we've seen hundreds of times before, despite it's protestations to the contrary. There's not much new here and yet, I found myself enjoying quite a lot. The story is solid, the humor works, and the leads have great chemistry with each other (not to mention the strong supporting cast). It doesn't reinvent the genre, but stands as one of the finest modern examples of it.
The Station Agent (2003)
Netflix- 1hr. 30min.
The Station Agent is a tenderly observed dramedy about three loners trying to find some sort of comfort with each other. This is an immensely heartfelt and touching film with an excellent cast and a near-perfect script.
The Book of Life (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 35min.
The Book of Life is witty and dynamically animated, but a little too slight in the story department (both in plot and ideas) to transcend to the upper echelon of modern animated film. Still, it's a fun little diversion with a pleasantly surprising amount of sincerity and heart.
The Maze Runner (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 53min.
The plot is rote, the cast simply okay, and the script is full of cliches and uninspired characterizations but, somehow, The Maze Runner is reasonably fun. I'll give most of the credit to Wes Ball, who brings more energy and, occasionally, artistry than the movie probably deserved.
Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 32min.
There's an utter lack of surprises in Before I Go to Sleep, but a couple of the twists, while not surprising, give the film some solid momentum, and the cast is quite strong. Still, there's not enough here to give the film a total endorsement.
I Origins (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 47min.
I Origins deeply interesting yet, unfortunately, hugely disappointing. The movie moves at such a leisure pace that when the real plot twists come and the sci-fi elements surface, it doesn't connect as much as it should; too much build up. What makes it so disappointing is that the last act of this movie is legitimately excellent, with so much ambition and intellect that had the whole movie been that good, this would've (maybe) been an all time great/
White Bird in a Blizzard (2014)
Netflix- 1hr. 31min.
The cast is great here, and the mystery and it's resolution are surprising and involving, the plot was just too meandering to make much of an impact with me. The movie looks good though.
Fast Five (2011)
Song One (2015)
DVD- 1hr. 27min.
Just a boring movie. Hathaway is solid, and the music is okay, but the story is pretty much exactly what you'd expect and it does nothing to change things up.
Beyond the Lights (2014)
DVD- 1hr. 56min.
The story is your typical drawbacks-of-fame/star-crossed romance narrative, but writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood injects the movie with such sincerity that it's easily forgivable. The main reason that the film succeeds though, is the powerful performances from leads Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker, who keep you invested in the plot even at it's most unoriginal. Solid effort.
Number of Movies Watched: 27
Time Spent: 48hrs. 12min.
Best New View: Whiplash
Worst New View: Song One
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