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BradWesley123's Movie Journal- October 2017
Movie list created by BradWesley123
Sort by: Showing 23 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
My Blind Brother (2016)
Starz- 1hr. 25min.
The leads are all quite strong, and the premise promising, but My Blind Brother is too tonally and thematically uneven to allow much to breathe. There are a few scenes that are so broad that they distract from, what is otherwise, are rather melancholy film; had the film leaned into that, embracing it, then it would've lead to a fuller and more successful film. It also doesn't help that it doesn't add anything new to the sibling-rivalry genre, with only a couple of decently made points that are enlivened by the performers.
47 Meters Down (2017)
DVD- 1hr. 29min.
Isn't the most original film, but 47 Meters Down has a enough solid thrills and a gutsy enough ending to make it a worthwhile watch. The ending isn't the most surprising, but is pretty abrupt, and is exceptionally uneven. It works in an odd, "can you believe this?" kind of way; it should be seen. Up to that point, it's a pretty solid b-movie that isn't the most flavorful, but get's the job done.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Sound
Showtime- 1hr. 50min.
Its hindered a bit by a somewhat bland lead character/cipher, but Breach is an otherwise strong spy-drama that leans into moral ambiguity by accentuating religion and faith in the world of convert espionage, leading to a surprisingly complete dramatic story. It also benefits greatly from an excellent performance from Chris Cooper, that's so nuanced that it creates the majority of the ambiguity that makes the movie so fulfilling.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Actor- Chris Cooper
DVD- 1hr. 54min.
Think of the dullest possible episode of Homeland, add a few more explosions to it and blow-up it's level of self-importance, and you'll have Traitor. The movie never really pauses to give you any sense story of characters, it just chugs along with a plot that is repetitive and obvious, without any real spark of wit or creativity. It just goes along on its ho-hum journey, and ends with a whimper.
Monthly Wesley AwardWorst Picture
The Wolfman (2010)
A Ghost Story (2017)
DVD- 1hr. 32min.
While there are several scenes that just meander, including an audacious one that respectable but a bit dull, A Ghost Story is such an original, powerful piece of work that that meandering often aids in its beauty. It can be weirdly funny one moment, melancholic the next, meandering, then just outright beautiful. There really aren't characters in the film (there are, but their more ciphers for the audience), so Lowery and his ambitions are the stars of the film, taking us through life and the afterlife in sad and, surprisingly, reaffirming ways. Its a spellbinding film made with great intellect and care, guiding its audience through a cycle of love and loss, and illustrating their place in the universe.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Picture
Best Director- David Lowery
Best Original Screenplay- David Lowery
Best Cinematography- Andrew Droz Palermo
Best Score- Daniel Hart
Netflix- 1hr. 24min.
The plot strains as it goes along (it's pretty bare to begin with, but is excessively fractured in the last act), but Sun Choke works due to its stirring dramatization of a fractured psyche, and a powerful lead performance from Sarah Hagan. If the film is successful in any facet, it's that of putting the viewer in the headspace of its protagonist; the shot selections, editing, and Hagan's performance all illustrate the slipping mental capacity Janie (protaganist) in often terrifying ways. This leads to several story problems though; this continual heightening makes for a slow start and a strained finish. Throughout it all though, Hagan sells the hell out of the film, and there are enough startling scenes to merit a passing grade/
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Actress- Sarah Hagan
The House (2017) (2017)
DVD- 1hr. 28min.
The House is a disappointing film; it has a pretty fantastic premise, but can never really conceive of a cohesive plot to go along with it. It is a collection of absurd scenes, most of which have been featured in other films (and often used more effectively as well). If there's an issue with the comedy, its that its often to tame; sure, it's all over-the-top, but rarely does it go to extremes. When it does, as it does as the characters become more entrenched in the world they've entered, it's pretty funny (especially a character death that is comically gruesome). There are some funny scenes, and its never abhorrently terrible; its not good, but the fact that its barely 80 minutes helps (there are worse ways to spend that amount of time).
Netflix- 1hr. 52min.
The film tells a simple story about a disconnected, and/or too interconnected, family, but does so in a perceptive enough way that it breaks through the genre's inherent familiarity. The cast is exceptional, with Sandler showing off what he can do with a strong director and Stiller doing some subtle work that is the finest of his career, and they've got a superb script to work with, with Baumbach nailing both the awkwardness and warmth of a differing family. It's a simple story told exceptionally.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Supporting Actor- Ben Stiller
Wonder Woman (2017)
Baby Driver (2017)
Wish Upon (2017)
DVD- 1hr. 30min.
There a couple of okay-ish moments, and the cast is pretty good, but Wish Upon is just another derivative "horror" movie that takes pieces from other, better, movies and adds nothing fresh or inventive to them. Honestly, it's just pretty dull; not an embarrassing affair per se, though there are a few unintentionally funny moments and inexplicable plot points (like, how do the lead lives in a pretty nice house when her father is just picking things out of the trash). It's just a wasted effort more than anything else.
The American President (1995)
Netflix- 1hr. 42min.
The last act does get a bit strained, and is too obvious, but 1922 continues the trend of strong 2017 Stephen King adaptations (sans The Dark Tower) with controlled, evocative storytelling, strong performances and top-notch filmmaking. The story is inherently intriguing, and pitch-black, but its handled with a certain calm detachment that only adds to that, often making resulting in stomach-churning paranoia. Its also aided by Thomas Jane's best performance in ages, and immaculate period-detailing. The story starts off exceptionally strong, though the last act does lose some of the momentum. Its still strong, but it doesn't hit the way that that rest of the film did. Otherwise, its a surprisingly deft, moody picture that is well worth the runtime.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Costume Design- Claudia Da Ponte
DVD- 1hr. 39min.
There's an interesting core idea at the heart of 2:22, but it's one that the movie doesn't really come close to touching. It all feels too calculated; too much emphasis on the convoluted plot, and plot mechanics, and not enough on creating interesting and believable characters. I don't that necessarily makes the film truly bad, its consistently watchable, but it hinders it from being anything other than that too. Had the characters and story been further developed, then it would've been more that blandly amiable (the art gallery scenes are pretty well-done, though).
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Visual Effects
Great Expectations (1998)
DVD- 1hr. 52min.
Its certainly an ambitious film, and I do give it credit for that, but Great Expectations has a difficult time adapting Charles Dickens' classic novel for modern times. The cast is fine, and the production value is exception, but the story feels too strained; the beginning is solid, but falters once it gets to New York. Where they get away with it in the beginning, you can feel the classicism clash with the film's modernism, and the tone feels wobbly at best. It's certainly a worthwhile viewing, but I just didn't feel that the film came together well-enough.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Production Design- Tony Burrough and Susan Bode
Girls Trip (2017)
DVD- 2hrs. 2min.
While it's nice to see African-American women getting some representation in the recent spate crazy R-rated group comedies, I couldn't help but wish for a better film to highlight them in. Girls Trip has a few very funny scenes, and the cast is quite good (Tiffany Haddish will likely be propelled to bigger and better things after her breakout turn in this), but the material is often rote, and the film just tries way too hard to make it work. Comedy is certainly subjective though, so I would say that what I saw was at least worthy of a view; your mileage may vary with the material.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Certain Women (2017)
DVD- 1hr. 47min.
While the stories differ in quality (to be fair though, each builds off of the other), Certain Women carries a quiet power that hits in the smallest and human moments. The middle story is the weakest of the three; while its, respectably, the most mundane, it doesn't offer the storytelling of the other two, though Michelle Williams is excellent. The first one is the most cinematic of the group, but Reichardt smartly underplays it, allowing for the performances of Laura Dern and Jared Harris to shine. The last act is, however, easily the finest of the three; a beautiful and heartbreaking story of love and loneliness that features an outstanding breakthrough performance from Lily Gladstone, who conveys more emotion in facial expressions than most actors can in 150-page, dialogue-heavy scripts. It's the films heart and soul, and propels the film to heights the previous two couldn't dream of. With this, Reichardt shows off her skills as a filmmaker, and throws her hat in the ring as one of cinema's most humanist directors.
Monthly Wesley AwardsBest Supporting Actress- Lily Gladstone
Best Adapted Screenplay- Kelly Reichardt
Strange Weather (2016)
Netflix- 1hr. 31min.
The story loses steam as it heads to its conclusion, convoluted threads mount to the point that it loses its potency, but Strange Weather is ultimately held together by a great performance from Holly Hunter. It's a film built around a performance (though other actors, especially Carrie Coon, do fine work), and Hunter brings enough weight to the role that it carries the film through it's story doldrums. It's not particularly subtle in its early goings, but there's a strong central premise; a mother trying to figure out the death of her son. The story throws too many needless curveballs into the mix; they don't kill the film, but they certainly take energy from the main drama. Overall, it's a worthy film that has an intriguing story and an excellent lead performance.
Hulu- 1hr. 35min.
It's not exactly the most thought-provoking documentary, but Too Funny to Fail is an exceptionally funny look back on a show that was too ahead of its time to survive. The interviews give some great material, and add some necessary context, and the editor expertly selects clips from the series that give you a real sense of the series. It, more than anything, is just a fun film that doesn't demand much from the viewer.
Monthly Wesley AwardBest Editing- Billy McMillin
Number of Movies Watched: 23
Newly Watched: 16
Time Spent: 41hrs. 13min.
Best New View: A Ghost Story
Worst New View: Traitor
7 votesThe Complete Wesley: 2017 Movie Journal (13 lists)
list by BradWesley123
Published 2 years, 6 months ago
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