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BradWesley123's Movie Journal- May 2017
Movie list created by BradWesley123
Sort by: Showing 33 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
Small Crimes (2017)
Netflix- 1hr. 35min.
A bit too derivative of better crime films, here and there; Small Crime is, nevertheless, and immersive black comedy about people's blind willingness to forgive. The script wisely unfurls its points throughout the film, making the film frequently unpredictable. It does take a bit for the film to find a groove, but it excels when it does. The ensemble cast is quite strong, but the film wouldn't work without Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's performance; the character is a total narcissist, possibly even sociopathic, but he almost makes you want to root for the guy (at least at first).
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Actor- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Best Original Screenplay- Macon Blair & E.L. Katz
DVD- 1hr. 35min.
There's a pretty great b-movie hidden within the frequent blandness of Sleepless. Dirty cops, families in peril, financial desperation, etc.; it's all here. Despite it's problems though, I actually enjoyed various parts of the film. There are a couple of decent action scenes, and the camerawork is pretty solid (for a movie of this ilk, at least). If there had been a decent script, or one that understood what it had here, this could've been an exceptional film.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
In & Out (1997)
Starz- 1hr. 30min.
In & Out is a fairly fun movie, despite playing into many of the gay stereotypes that it's trying to upend. It falls more in line with gay entertainment like Will & Grace; it touches on some issues, but only grazes the surface. Much of the film's success stems from an exceptional cast that brings some humanity to these caricatures. Not great, but decent enough.
DVD- 2hrs. 1min.
Gold is one of those Goodfellas knockoffs; the editing, storytelling, style, etc. all feels like it was Scorsese-inspired. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just means that a film really has to tell an inventive story, or find a new spin on an old one. Gold, somewhat, splits the difference there; its not about gangsters, and it frequently judges its characters (unlike the previous film), but keeps the energy. It's all a bit too controlled to achieve a frenzied, rollicking feel, but it's often pretty fun. The cast is very good and the script is solid. It doesn't really stick the landing though, as the ending feels a bit tonally off.
The Light Between Oceans (2016)
DVD- 2hrs. 13min.
Its all too abstract to really connect, but its hard to deny the craft that's gone into The Light Between Oceans. The film is exceptionally made, with outstanding cinematography and strong sets/costumes and another grand Desplat-score, but too withdrawn to connect. The director chooses a more restrained filmmaking style that keeps the viewer at a distance; that is, except for when Vikander is on screen. She brings a rawness to the film that is often heartbreaking, giving the film a well of emotion. If the film was more like her performance, then it would've worked better.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Actress- Alicia Vikander
Best Cinematography- Adam Arkapaw
Best Score- Alexandre Desplat
The American Side (2016)
Netflix- 1hr. 43min.
There's an interesting, modern-day noir that's laying on someone's cutting room floor, because The American Side has a lot of potential, and an interesting story, but very little materializes from it. The central mystery is handled almost like Inherent Vice, were things just keep getting thrown in and the plot is meaningless. Unfortunately, this film doesn't have that film's absurdity and control. This is just an occasionally entertaining mess.
Monthly Wesley AwardWorst Picture
Miami Vice (2006)
Showtime- 2hrs. 12min.
Its a fairly muddled affair, and the plotting is quite off-center, but Miami Vice is a surprisingly effective action-film, with a bit of a soul to boot. The leads are okay, though both feel a bit miscast at times (Farrell gets more time to work with his character), and the script is essentially just a blueprint, but the mood and feel of sweaty Miami nightlife gives the film a lot of energy. When the film attempts to be more contemplative, it goes somewhat flat, but when it sticks to the basics of these characters simply doing their jobs, it works quite well.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Editing- William Goldenberg and Paul Rubell
King Arthur (2004)
Netflix- 1hr. 32min.
The story is a bit cliched; it does get better as it goes on, but the obscurity in the beginning hinders it from really hitting with the force it intends. Lavender is, however, surprisingly well-made, with a strong sense for style and performances, and some excellent cinematography. A very mixed bag, to be sure.
The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
DVD- 1hr. 51min.
An original, to an extent, zombie film in an era that has scene some pretty by-the-numbers ones. The Girl with All the Gifts is an effective independent thriller with solid storytelling, quality direction, and a set of strong performers doing excellent work. Newcomer Sennia Nanua, in particular, really lights-up the screen in a breakout role. It does lose steam towards the end, but not enough to deflate the picture.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Supporting Actress- Gemma Arterton
Best Adapted Screenplay- Mike Carey
The Abyss (1989)
VHS- 2hrs. 20min.
James Cameron's story for the The Abyss is more interesting that the script allows it to be. The script doesn't really come together; producing solid scenes rather than a complete film. Technically, however, the film is exceptional for it's time (or any time, really). The visual effects, production design, sound, cinematography, etc.; Cameron certainly knows his way around making a film. If only he'd taken the time to write a better script for this one.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Sound
Best Visual Effects
Dark City (1998)
There's a great story in Dark City, and it's immaculately made, but it didn't quite thrill me. My main issue, the editing is just too much, was just too much for me to get past; I'm sure that I've seen movies with more cuts, but few were as distracting and pace-disrupting as the one in this film. Granted, there is a strong story here, with a great cast and a unique look. Maybe this'll be one that takes a couple of views for me to fully appreciate (or, this is as good as it gets).
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Picture
Best Director- Alex Proyas
Best Supporting Actor- William Hurt
Best Costume Design- Liz Keogh
Best Production Design- George Liddle & Patrick Tatopoulos
Top Gun (1986)
War of the Worlds (2005)
Enemy of the State (1998)
Netflix- 2hrs. 12min.
It's all too bombastic and frenzied, but that's kind of the point of Enemy of the State; it's all about a crazed, bombastic surveillance society. That doesn't forgive the, often, messy plotting and thin characterizations, but it does, possibly, help accentuate the story. Maybe I'm giving the film too much credit though; it's a 90s Jerry Bruckheimer production with a big cast and a big budget. It's pretty fun, and exceedingly over-the-top. Maybe absurdity was just a byproduct of the era.
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)
DVD- 1hr. 46min.
xXx is, surprisingly, not too bad. The first half is astoundingly stupid, and not in a good way, but the last half, after they get to Detroit, is actually quite fun; it understands just how dumb all of this is and plays into it, not down to it. A lopsided affair that could've used some more dumb fun, and less dumb.
Netflix- 1hr. 37min.
While the initial setup works, Detour quickly becomes an exceptionally contrived affair. The cast is solid and there's an inherent interest generated by the story's basics, but the movie just can't reconcile all of the storytelling choices that it makes, adding unnecessary touches to an already wobbly foundation.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Number of Movies Watched: 33
Newly Watched: 14
Time Spent: 65hrs. 43min.
Best New View: Dark City
Worst New View: The American Side
7 votesThe Complete Wesley: 2017 Movie Journal (13 lists)
list by BradWesley123
Published 2 years, 1 month ago
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