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This will probably be my last review of the year or at least till December maybe.
The Giver is one of the very few books I enjoyed in school. My school curriculum was full of bad books outside of the rare ones here and there but none stuck in my mind like The Giver.
A couple months ago I heard they were going to make a movie about it and I was surprised since I figured it would have been made by now. Given how so many more books these days are getting the hollywood treatment I guess it all makes sense. The trick is whether it is true to the book.
The movie is about a future society based on total equality, int he future certain people created this area where everyone was equal, everyone had their own roles and no one stood out, there were reasons behind this that I think we could all put pieces together on what.
The story revolves around Jonas whom unlike everyone around him seems to see things a little differently, unlike everyone else he does not know what role he will have as he graduates, this is when everyone is assigned a role for the rest of their lives or till retirement.
He become assigned to be the one who must remember. Remember how things were before the system was put in place too remove dreams, feelings and etc. It is there that he meets The Giver who is the one who came before him who must transfer all of his memories that he has stored up to him.
As Jonas starts to remember and feel things he has never knew before he starts to question the society around him and wishes to rebel.
I will stop there because it would be a whole shit stain of spoilers. Quite honestly i think most people from my generations read this at some point it seems.
I barely remember it I one remembered certain things and for the most part they were int he movie and felt true. The whole graduation scene for the most part felt like exactly how I remembered it in the book, it was almost exactly how i imagined it so be props to them.
For the most part I feel like this movie is true to the book, of course with all movies it misses a awful lot of what the book had but a book is over a story told over several hours while a movie must tell the story in 90 minutes. For what it’s worth I felt it did a good job for what time it had to tell it.
You can’t argue the cast quality, you got Meryl Streep who is the best actress of all time, Jeff Bridges who is a very capable and well respected actor. Katie Holmes was always a decent actor who now seems to have bypassed being a sex symbol of her youth to playing mother roles and maybe that is a good thing because now she can just be a character actress and that way she can always find work and not be pigeonholed.
I agree with the visual look of the movie, I think that was the biggest question of what they were going to do with this movie is how it was going to look, I can’t remember how the book described it I think it was very vague but I like that this movie is for the most part starts B&W and the more Jonas learns the more colorful things become. I love it when films use everything around to tell the story.
With all that said I felt the movie was fairly bland, never did I feel really attached to these character or wished to follow them very much I think this was because as what happens with movies that adapt from books is that they miss out on all of the character development in the book, cut it out and just focus on the main parts. Enders Game did that for the most part and that is what hurt that film.
It doesn’t hurt this film quite as much but I feel that the film could have done with more character development as a whole.
Honestly I don’t think this is a bad movie I would suggest this movie over TMNT that is out right now that is for damn sure. However I just feel like this movie was just trying to get from the beginning of the book to the end as soon as it could and I think that hurt the overall value of the movie in the long run. Its still an ok movie, better than Enders Game but still meh.
Bottom line is if you are a fan of the book be rest assured it doesn’t butcher the book at least in my opinion, it is as true as it can be however if you want the full effect you are better off with just re reading the book. There isn’t much time in this movie to care about who you are following only enough to care about the message that is being sent by this movie. I give this movie CCC on the Corey Scale.
This movie I think is an example of how sometimes everything needs to go right for it to be a good movie because here is a movie that is loaded with such a good cast of character actors with such a good story yet for some reason the movie itself sort of falls flat.
The movie is about a guy named Jason who lives in int his part of Nebraska where everyone is basically football crazy. He has had a rough life and is still going through it. He has a disorder that makes him bald, his father killed himself and was responsible for killing his sister, his mother is poor and he has to support her because his idiot brother wont, he has to work at a gas station in order to support his mother and his little chance to leave, he also spends nights taking care of his other boss Gus who runs a old theater that only plays old movies.
Jason basically spends all of his time taking care of everyone else which leaves him with little else in every way. When his dad kills himself his dad sent him a present before doing (which we are left guessing to the end).
Jason also has to deal with assholes in his life like his brother whom I think may either be mentally disabled and just became this childish asshole to people to mask his problems or is a kid who was just such a spoiled brat who got his way all of the time from cradle to adulthood that he himself never grown up.
Then you got the high school burn out who still thinks he is going to go to college and play football but in reality is just a stupid pimple faced thug/drug dealer.
Things seem very depressing for Jason and how can you blame him, he has nothing. Then all of a sudden almost like a angel Frances appears and seems to just be completely in love with him. Jason at first doesn’t believe this but due to his need to be cared for a relationship builds. However things are not all peaches and cream as Frances is not a perfect lady either.
Just like most movies like this things get better for Jason till all of what was and is good around Jason is taken from him one by one to where he must decide to take a stand or take action for his own future as it seems his entire past is crumbling around him.
I wanted to like this movie I really did, it had all the intangibles to be a good diamond in a rough kind of movie but after watching it I am not surprised that I am not surprised that it is forgotten.
Is it the direction I sort of think so because this film in its core feel very very corny and I think this comes out through the acting.
Bill Paxton I think is only in 2 or 3 scenes and his very lame in this role like he only took it just to be part of the movie. Harry Dean Stanton looks bored for the most part in this movie, he has been playing these kind of characters for 20 years now and there isn’t much difference between those characters and this one. Zooey seems to be the perfect dream girl for everyone and I don’t blame anyone because the moment you look into her blue eyes how can you not fall in love with her but she too looks bored I think in this like she is sick of playing these dream girls. The only times where she doesn’t seem bored is when she is playing the screwy parts of Frances the parts that make her less of a carbon copy male fantasy character and more of a fleshed out character.
Mark Webber I think was miscast in this role but then I can say the same for the others. His character just seems to be devoid of anything. Maybe this was a directoral choice but if I had it my way I would have casted Patrick Fugit (who plays his coworker) as Jason because at least he would play off the situations more.
I think that is the main problem is I feel alot of these good actors were just miscast. I am thinking most of them came in for Bill Paxton because he is the exec producer of this movie, who knows.
The two people who really do well in this movie is Chris Klein who plays the ultra duchebag thug and Donal Logue who plays Jason’s brother. Probably the disgusting characters in the movie, these actors do such a great job and making you hate them with minimal effort and I think alot of that comes from the writing as well as the actors.
I don’t really care for spoiling this movie but the thing I didn’t like the most about the movie was the ending. One this that was good about the movie was that it was built up on a boiling point where Jason was finally going to do something instead of just surviving. While I understand that he doesn’t kill the thug and he decides to finally leave but I feel it was so anti climactic. Like what was the point of the gun to begin with if all he was going to do is fire it at the sky.
Made no sense, granted killing the thug would have put him jail, what is the difference since he fire a gun that would have caused a stir and two police cops are right there to detain Jason then so he would have been in trouble regardless. I think the movie could have ended with a strong message but instead decided to do what it did for most of the movie which was drag and under perform from the get go.
Bottom line is this film is well written and has very good actors in it however if you are looking for them to do well then don’t have high expectations. Only Chris Klein and Donal shine in this movie. Patrick too but he is not given much time in this movie. There are some nice moments in this movie and the over all message this movie has is a good one. It means well but it just under performs and makes you wish it had more or did. I much rather watch this movie over most other movies of this area for the cast and message/story alone but the film doesn’t go very far after that so I give it CC3/4 on the Corey Scale.
This movie is the ultimate proof of how streamlined the Marvel movie making machine (say that a hundred times fast) is. Marvel/Disney have basically created their own world and market for their movies and basically can just print money because they know if they just follow the formula they are on the nerds/geeks and fans will come. You know they will because the geek has inherited the Earth. And I love it!
It all started with Iron man, when I mean by started I mean the this machine we are talking about or the formula to which they do their films. Comic book movies exploded with X Men but I feel the formula was made with Iron Man because lets face it before Iron Man the only marketable characters Marvel had was Wolverine and Spiderman. Iron Man became a house hold name after that movie and has been ever since.
Marvel found out a way to take a general Marvel character and through the use of the right casting, director and right tone to take it made a killing out of it. They have been basically been using that same formula ever since.
Unlike DC there has been very many failures unless you count the FOX and Sony movies but they don’t count because they are not operated completely by Marvel/Disney which sucks but within Marvel/Disney the only one they have made that felt wasn’t that great was Thor and even then it was still better than X Men Origins: Wolverine or X3.
Each movie they casted perfectly, found the right director who provided the right tone the movie should take. Thinking about each movie they all are basically the same movie to me but it’s like AC/DC music, you are technically getting the same thing over and over but its the variations and the fact is it works and if it is not broke don’t fix it.
Now I don’t need to tell you this a a good movie because I am sure most of the people I know who read this already know this movie was awesome because of all the above things.
Great cast, great tone, great directing.
I am more interested in maybe dissecting the Marvel movie to see what makes it work where so many other comic books (mainly DC in my opinion) have failed.
I have contemplated this before and I am pretty sure I have talked about this before is that for the longest time I have been of the mind that there are two ways to make a comic book movie. In reality there are other ways but I feel like they are grey areas that fall inbetween these two methods.
1) Make the movie within the comic universe, good examples of this is Sin City. The film doesn’t bother making the stories realistic the film basically puts you into that world. Dick Tracy to me is the first comci book movie that I can recall who did that.
2) Make a movie where the comic is based off reality, a good example of this is Spiderman and X Men, the Fox/Sony model which has hit and miss. Christopher Nolan’s Batman is the greatest example of this.
Again there are other ways but I feel that those are all inbetween these two ways.
Some comics serve better with one and less of the other. Prior to Iron Man I think it was nearly a form of alchemy for Hollywood on whether they would be able to get the right mix or not.
Where does Marvel sit with these two methods. Personally I think they side with #1 more than #2 but each film that is sort of tweaked. I think they go #1 because Marvel comics is so embedded with their own movie company that they are able to basic take the character from comic to the screen and not have to worry about finding a writer outside their system who may not know it too well as they do or they have the ability to choose how the characters they know get portrayed. Maybe that sounds consuming but I feel like the system they found is the system DC/Warner Bros should have had to begin with because they company has almost always owned DC but it just seems to me from an observers POV that there seems to be so much BS between the comic company and the movies that they just don’t look in sync. Same goes for Sony and Fox, they are like 3rd party developers while Marvel is like Nintendo, they make their own stuff because they know how it works.
Plus I think experience plays into it, there needed to be movies like Batman & Robin, X Men Origins, X3, Punisher War Zone and all of the other horrible comic book movies to make Hollywood realize that if they want to make money of venture they have to get every detail right. At first you don’t succeed then try and try again.
But what makes all these Marvel movies unique? I am just spit balling here.
1) Light heartedness - None of the Marvel movies really take themselves too seriously.
2) Casting - Again, they have been able to cast the right people for the right roles that make sense. Not this Ben Affleck (which I have nothing against) plays Batman shit which winds up pissing more people off than causing intrigue. When they casted Robert Downey Jr as Iron man I can’t remember one person being angry about it, what it did was made people curious. Everyone knows RD Jr is a good actor but made people curious. That is mostly the same with every other choice they made except for Chris Evans only because he was typecasted mostly and everyone thought of him and Johnny Storm than they could think of him as Steve Rogers.
Music - I think only Iron Man and Guardians have used it mostly because there is no other character currently that can use it but AC/DC to Iron Man makes both synonymous, the music for Guardians makes that and music tied to it the same way. I am sure Blue Suede is thankful for allowing their song to be played with the movie.
Takes material seriously - while it is lighthearted, at the core the movies serve true to the comics where they come from I mean if Marvel can’t get their own characters right, who can?
To tell you the truth what i just said and all of the above stuff prior that I spoke of I think make what is the Marvel much and why it makes it so successful.
I just find it funny because Guardians is not what you would call a safe bt to make a movie on, I mean 10 years ago it would have been a hard sell, now because Marvel can do it I think they could probably throw any random Marvel character on a dart board and blindly throw the dart and decide what movie they can make next and it would probably be successful. Hell they are making a Antman movie!
Personally I am surprised a Doctor Strange movie hasn’t been mad yet.
So yeah this isn’t much of a review well I call it a review of a Marvel movie because in the end this is just like every other Marvel movie and that is not a bad thing because every other Marvel movie it is fun, light hearted, it takes the material seriously, well casted and further more well done. Guardians of The Galaxy is basically all of that.
Bottom line is if you are a fan of any other kind of Marvel movie, looking for a flat out fun science fiction adventure movie that you can turn your brain off to and enjoy then this is the ticket. You WILL have Hooked on a Feeling stuck in your head. I had a lot of fun watching this movie, more fun than I expected to and I like movies that exceed my expectations. I give this movie CCCC1/4 on the Corey Scale.
I thought about reviewing Guardians of The Galaxy but decided that this one could do more with what little publicity this blog would give. I think we all know GotG is a good movie but not many know about Snowpiercer, not even me up until recently.
Even though thinking about it both are very very similar to each other int hat both are very simple stories, while one is serious and one is lighthearted both are so well casted and brilliantly directed and both are a delight in their own ways to watch.
I took up a public recommendation to watch this movie because I was looking for something new and unknown to watch one night and decided on this one. Didn’t know what it was about or anything about the cast and found myself entertained.
The movie is set in the future, world is getting to hot after the ozone layer is basically nil that scientist attempt to use this thing that would protect everyone from the sun.
What ends up happening is it freezes the entire world and puts everything back into the stone age. However humans survived, all the lucky ones boarded a train that spans around the world and over again.
In this train there are classes and a whole system much like there was before it, only more prevalent and within short quarters. There are the rich people at the front of the train and there are the poor people at the very back of the train.
Of course there are middle end people but they merely are there to serve both ends but mainly the rich as protection, guards, cooks, you know think middle class.
Curtis is the basically the leader of the people in the back of the train. After many years of mistreatment, nourishment and the front of the bush stealing children by the front of the bus he devises a rebellion in order to get to the front of the train and basically take control of the train.
The trouble is getting there and meeting adversity at every turn. He finds out that an security person was just arrested basically put in a box for life who may be able to help him named Namgoong. We find out that Nam has a daughter as well who is a clairvoyant. They will basically help Curtis and his army get through every area for drugs (both dad and daughter are junkies).
That is the crux of the movie basically is Chris Evans/Curtis and his army must get from one end of the train to the other.
What makes this movie so good if it is so simple?
First of all the cast, Chris Evans keeps surprisingly lately and I love it. A couple of years ago I found him to be an annoying and flat actor because he seemed to only ever play pompous muscle bound teenage jerks in Push and Fantastic Four. Then he played Steve Rogers in Captain America and changed my opinion of him then I watched the Iceman where he was completely out of typecast and did well. Now there where make no mistake he is still a action hero in this movie but he played it brilliantly with the chops he has. Its hard to play that kind of reluctant hero without looking like a cry baby or just plain blant but he does it very well. He has went from being type cast as the arrogant SOB I couldn’t care less to relate to the every man I can relate to.
Tilda Swinton however steals the show, she is it for 2 thirds of the film but each and every time she is in it she makes it extremely easy for you to hate her guts.
While this is very much a star studded cast you nearly forget that John Hurt is the leader of the poor people to a degree or that Jamie Bell is a feisty side kick of Evans/Curtis.
One good thing I like about the movie is its visuals, this movie seems to find a great balance between being very showy in itself SFX and when it needs to be real and gritty. It’s pretty simple actually because the only really showy special effect is the train and the surroundings outside, everything else is kept for the most part on a real level and that is what makes it work.
While the plot in of itself is very simple I feel this is a character driven story. The movie takes most of its time having you get to know these characters in any way it can and casting really helps on this front that when things happen tot hem or when they are feeling certain things you are feeling them right with them and that is a sign of a good movie. I got pretty emotionally invested in this movie, most invested I’ve been since Bellflower though it didn’t come close as that movie did.
The ending surprised me in a good way but I wont spoil it. It’s one of those anti climactic ends that doesn’t really sow up everything but it makes sense and you can put the pieces together.
Bottom line is that this is a well done character driven action movie, well its sort of a half action and half drama and like everything else with the movie mixes all of it so well that by 20 minutes you will be fully engaged with everything that is going on. If you are a fan of Chris Evans or any of the other cast members then you will enjoy this one. I was fully engaged in this movie from beginning to end and believe this movie is well worth watching. While Guardians is a have fun and turn your brain off movie I believe this is a keep your brain on and enjoy the ride kind of movie. I give it CCCC1/4 on the Corey Scale.
This is just to let anyone who follows me know that I will be gone for a couple months starting at August 26th as I will be going on a long time planned Euro trip for the first time. you can still following me on the link below if you wish.
That is where I am planning on documenting my travels whenever I find myself able to use free wifi.
I might be able to put in one or two reviews before the 26th but who knows as I am spending most of my time these days with family visiting and preparing for the trip.
Only Lars Von Trier could make a movie and if you know anything about this director it should not surprise you that he would make something like this.
I got into his work by accident when I was in Edmonton a couple years ago and found Anti Christ. When I got home and watched it on the floor (didn’t have furniture at my apartment at the time yet) I was completely shocked. Like he was purposely trying to do whatever he could to desensitize me in a very very subtle way yet keep me intrigued. Couldn’t help that I had/have a crush on Charlotte Gainsbourg for a long time because he looks like someone I used to seriously be attracted to years back, who knows.
When Melancholia came out I was fairly disappointed but then I seen it at the theater and learned that his movies are not theater friendly and are better at your home.
Enter Nymphomaniac which seems to be his 4 hour epic, all centered around the life of one.
This movie is about the lady above named Joe, we find her beaten and battered in a alley way. She is found and brought to shelter by a old man named Seligman. He is interested in how this woman got to how she is. Joe then would go on to pretty much tell him her life story for the most part through her sex addiction. Or int his case how her need for sexual fulfillment is very much part of her body and less of an escape like drug/booze abuse is.
I will stop there because there is just so much to cover and much of it is fairly important plot points but be safe to say it’s vintage LVT.
I needed a few days to digest this movie and even still I feel like I need more time. So what can I say about.
I like the message or at least what I think is the message. One thing must be said is this is not a porn or at least I don’t see it as a porn. Because unlike porn the sexual acts are not glorified.
I look at porn as a fiction documentary of the sexual act each time its performed therefore has to be glorified to see everything.
With this movie the sex is sex, nothing is focused, you just see them do it but not for very long. Only enough for you to get the idea of things. That being said it is very graphic sexually especially for a theatrical movie like this.
I feel the message is that women should be as sexually free as men are, while Joe does this and feels bad for it she should feel proud (this is sort of a spoiler but not really if you are a forward thinker) for being a woman who has for the most part taken control of her sexuality and has no problem using it. While he methods of using many men wrongfully are bad but I mean men do it too. In the end both genders use each other for sex deep down.
Which brings me to the critiques I have for it.
I don’t like the ending, well I mean after thinking about it more I understand why he chose that ending but in the end I feel like it could have been done better or there could have been a better choice. it just felt I spent 4 hours in this and all you give me is Joe gunning down Seligman because he basically used her the same way she would use other men.
I mean I understand that the message is that women and men are equally horny and equally misuse each other to feel like they can get what they want but I dunno, just seemed so stupid that here is this guy Seligman who seemed to be this one way for 4 hours then suddenly be no better than a 15 year old boy who realized what his erection is for.
*BACK TO READING*
First thing I have to talk about is the length of the movie, personally I think 4 hours is way to long for a movie like this, the first half of this movie is full of important stuff but I felt much of Vol 2 was full of dragging BS that could have been trimmed at least to make this a 3 hour movie. Maybe it is just me. I am interested in seeing if a Criterion version is ever made and how much deleted scenes are in this movie, likely it would be a 5 hour movie.
LVT often likes to drag things to his pace but funny enough for as long the movie is it does movie very quickly so I guess he switches things up in that respect. A very long movie filled with a sped up amount of narrative.
Next is the acting, he always seems to get the most out of people you wouldn’t expect, or he uses people you wouldn’t expect him to use. You got Kristen Dunst in Melancholia; while I never considered her to be a bad actress I never thought she would do something like she did. Then you have Uma Thurman who only has one scene but that one scene she nearly steals the show. Then you have Christian Slater who seems to be acting for once, mind you it is still him but for once you can tell like he is really trying and puts in a very impressive performance.
There is Shia, now don’t get me wrong I am not one of those bashers but there is nothing he ever did up to this point that really stood out for me. He actually sort of impressed me int his movie, mind you i think another actor could have been better for this movie. A younger Colin Farrell would have ruled this role but Shia is best.
To me the biggest star of this movie is the younger version of Joe played by Stacy Martin who is perfect in her role and I think should be considered for more awards than she probably is because I think she did most of the heavy lifting of this 4 hour movie. She really impressed me in the movie honestly and my god she is gorgeous. Already makes me fantasize about sitting in a train and hoping she would come around asking where the bathroom is.
Then there is the technical star of the movie Charlotte, I can’t say much because for some reason she just seems like the natural choice or face of LVT’s movies, she just seems so right each time.
Outside of the ending there is only really one more thing I don’t like about this movie and that is how they string the narrative along, just felt so generic and corny I think even the director knew it and made it as quick and painless as possible because it was often very quick but still enough to cringe at what it was.
Bottom line though is if you are a fan of LVT then you are basically getting two movies in one, everything that makes him the insane artist he is is in this in flying colors and in it’s glory. If you are a fan of art films that really make you think and talk at the end of it then this is a must see. If you are a fan of the cast then definitely see this because you will see different sides to them that will make you appreciate them more. I enjoyed this movie for what it was and its short comings, this is probably my favorite LVT movie. I still can’t figure out why any need to watch it again. I give it CCC3/4 on the Corey Scale.
I am a big fan of Michael Keaton, I always have for as long as I could remember. Probably because much of the movies I have grown up watching even up to this point has been littered with him in it.
He is one guy who has broken one pigeon hole made of him to create another only to sort of break that to where he is where I think he should be and I think even he would agree suits him better, being a character actor.
To understand this movie properly is to understand when this was made. This was made when he was considered a funny man in the 80s. One good comedy after another and he was considered a funny man that everyone felt he probably couldn’t do comedy. However I think we have all grown enough now to know that comedy men and women can do drama just as well as comedy but this was when people didn’t believe it could be done. Keaton did it with this movie and Batman.
This movie is sadly under rated, I would dare say it’s one of the most under rated movies I have ever seen which has so much in it that would surprise people. Michael Keaton in a serious role which would open up the serious roles he would undertake in the 90s, Morgan Freeman before he became……well…….Morgan Freeman. Not that that is a bad thing but there was a time where he was just considered a good character actor and not some sort other thing that he is now which I feel is more of a light hearted joke but I am sure he doesn’t care, VISA pays him very well and he has the stroke to do what he wants to do and good on him.
I find this entire movie is filled with characters at the top of their game taking aim at subject matter few movies do a good job at without going overboard which is substance abuse.
Been raised in Fort McMurray I seen addiction, not as hard as some but grew up with people who had to deal with being isolated 5 hours away from civilization with nothing to do but work yourself to the bone and make lots of money yet there was nothing or nowhere to spend it. Fort Mac only really had liquor stores and pizza parlors. As for drugs, who knows where they got it but with much money you can get what you want.
I am reminded of this movie because I just finished reading A Million Little Pieces which I felt had the same tone as this movie.
Make no mistake this movie doesn’t glamorize anything about the process of getting sober, in all ways the road to do that is much harder than the road to being a junkie and often if you can complete the journey you become 10 times stronger than you ever were probably were before you went down the wrong road. Maybe I am completely wrong because I never did any of that shit but I would like to think I get it in my own way.
The movie is about a guy named Glenn; a real estate business man who lives a very fast life. We first meet him waking up after night of heavy drugs, booze and sex. Wakes up, does a line on a woman’s bum to find out the woman he spent the night with is dead, she OD’d.
When the cops come around there really isn’t anything he can do to escape the fact that everyone now knows he is a addict, except him. The cops want to take him in because he is responsible for the most part of this lady’s death.
At first Glenn admits himself into rehab in order to dodge getting arrested and losing everything. However the only time you can learn to help yourself is when you finally realize you have a problem. It doesn’t take long after that for him to realize he has a problem.
His first and second time in rehab he meets a man who runs the facility named Craig who you can tell has seen this shit ten times over and from both sides. Craig attempts to help him as well as a large group of others through this process.
He also meets two other people who will become major players in his journey, one named Richard (played by a brilliant character actor Emment Walsh) who becomes his sponsor and the other named Charlie who is a addict just like Glenn and someone he falls in love with.
At first Glenn falls for Charlie basically because he is just horny and figures if he just goes with a woman like him and just has a fuck buddy they could get sober together but of course things don’t work out that way.
We learn Charlie has her own reasons for being a junkie which are far more understandable than Glenn and it’s through her journey that he realizes his problems.
I wont spoil this movie however what makes this movie good to me is not the resolution but the journey to it.
There isn’t much surprising about this movie, only that is pretty much states things very honestly, while still holding back to a degree because it is hollywood but still doesn’t shy away from it. What makes this movie a gem to me is the performances from everyone. You rarely go wrong when you cast a movie with nothing but character actors. You quickly forget that Mr. Mom is playing Glenn and you forget and don’t care who is playing him only that you are engulfed in the performance and believe Glenn is this jerk addict who cares about no one but himself.
I especially like the beginning and ending of this movie as it wraps things up very nicely. We begin with Richard who gives you a interesting perspective on addiction at a AA to when Glenn finally does it at the end when he is a changed man.
Bottom line is if you are a fan of Keaton and/or Freeman this is a film you should check out. Even if you are not it is worth taking a look at if you are looking for a well made character drama that doesn’t pull very many punches and tries to be as honest as it can while still being a Hollywood movie. I watched this movie not too long after coming out of film school and I got alot out of it and feel it sucks that movies like this get forgotten. I give this movie CCCC on the Corey Scale.
Reading books have become part of my cardio routine, in fact it’s a perfect marriage between forcing myself to put 40 min a day into riding the stationary bike 3 to 5 times a week.
I have a hard time doing cardio because I get bored, I dont like staying in one place for a long period of time and I get lost in my thoughts too much. Reading a book allows me to focus on something mentally while doing something physically.
My friend Rae has been my guide into getting into books, through her I have become a fan of the Ender series. I still feel like I am a beginner with books but I have talked about all this before. Either way I appreciate her help with her picks in books. I am not really looking for reading the books everyone else I know reads I am more interested in reading books that are different but still engaging. This book is one of those kinds of books.
This is a semi fictional autobiography of James during his time as a addict trying to get clean, it his journey to sobriety.
We find James like we often find most addicts who are finally ready to change as we often we have to truly be at our lowest to finally realize that things need to change. We basically find him barely alive and basically at his lowest point.
His parents then decide to throw him into what is considered the best rehab facility they know of in Chicago. This is where he must remain clean. If he leaves he can’t come back, he must not talk to women (who are in a separate area) and he must basically want to get better without rambling on.
We don’t really need to guess what a rehab place is, I’ve seen enough movies to know what it may look like even though it’s just movies. This book actually reminds me of a movie I may just wind up reviewing today because this book refreshes my mind on that movie because they are very similar. The movie is called Clean & Sober which is a sadly forgotten character drama that had a great cast and has awesome performance from Michael Keaton breaking out his comedic pigeonhole.
It’s funny how it’s been 2 weeks since I read this and I am having a hard time remembering a lot of the characters, i think because there are quite a few characters in this one that I found it hard to keep track.
Thinking about what I liked about the book firstly was the structure, mind you I know nothing about most books but reading this it wake nothing I had seen before and you know what I felt it refreshing and more easier for me to digest through than I think if I was done as regular text.
Next was the characters, all were good and bad and there were no real bad guys because in the end they are all flawed people in there, even the strongest ones. I think the villains for the book at some point is the establishment though you can understand why the rules are there and people usually don’t know what they want.
I am probably just a sucker for it but I found the relationship between James and Lily, the author did a good job of branching them out enough to force me to wait that you could understand why James wants to be around her all of them, maybe its just me being a hopeless romantic who goes gaga over such things.
The book is fairly straight forward though, man goes into rehab, forces himself to get sober and often falls in love and finds a reason to stay sober and clean and rises above. Mind you it’s a spoiler saying there is a happy ending but there are many pitfalls in this book and parts that may shock you.
Either way it’s basically one man’s journey of self hatred, loneliness where he spent most of his life filling the empty spaces in his life with drugs and booze to a guy who winds up having a new direction in his life and there is hope, A feel good story disguised as a rigid tale of rebellion within a rehabilitation center.
Bottom line is I found this to be a good read, the characters are very identifiable and easy to get with, I am not a addict of any kind and I could understand and connect with most of the people, I especially connect with one page in this book which describes how I feel about something but I wont get into it. I just found it to be a good read. I don’t think I would reread it but I got something out of it and glad that I got to read it. I give it CCCC on the Corey Scale.
This is another one of those movies I found at HMV and for some reason felt drawn to, it was either the title being so random or the fact that Emily Blunt is in it and I am developing a huge celeb crush on her ever seen Edge of Tomorrow (realistic bad ass ladies turn me on what can I say). Plus Ewan is in it and he is usually good as well as Kristen. The plot also seemed fairly original even though has all the trimmings of a typical rom com. I decided to give it a shot.
Movie is about two people basically; there is Alfred who is a agriculture guy and fishing expert, Harriet is a assistant/financial adviser to a rich oil baron from Yemen. This Oil baron I will call him is a avid fisher and wishes to bring salmon to n which is nearly a desert. Sounds impossible right?
Well this entire movie about them making it impossible, while they are doing this Alfred and Harriet get to know each other and well…..you get the idea.
It really is as simple as that when it comes to a rom com, throw some simple plot moving device to bring two people together and you got a rom com but that doesn’t mean its a bad movie.
What keeps this from being a carbon copy rom com that we have all seen a hundred times before is the writing. I really found this movie to have very snappy dialogue that seemed realistic and made sense.
On top of that the acting was pretty much top notch from everyone but in all honesty it was Kristen Scott Thomas who steals the show, she seems to be incredible at playing a bitch and revels in it.
There really isn’t much left to say about this movie, there isn’t anything special with it, its a rom com that has very good dialogue and a premise that is a little original and it’s heart is in the right place.
Bottom line is if you are a fan of Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, KST and rom coms that while are very much cookie cutter but adds a little bit of new to it then you will enjoy watching this one night but this is one of those kooky date night movies you watch. I don’t think people who normally go to the regular rom coms that have the regular rom com cats would dig this one I think this is one for kooky couples, I guess because it is a kooky kind of rom com. I did mind it and I watched it alone so that makes me double kooky, I give it CCC on the Corey Scale.
I discovered this movie the way I prefer or desire to discover them, at a video store. When I mean video store I mean a rental store but they don’t exist anymore. Closest I can with that is at librarys but I often don’t have time to go which seems like a hypocrite statement since i have more time to go to HMV instead. Don’t ask. When DVDs were the main format and reasonably cheap to find when you knew how to look (bargain bin) I was more willing to take a chance but with bluray now being the new format and it’s a tad more pricey the chances of me taking chances with movies is lower.
I was looking to buy a movie and I noticed this one and seen that it was directed by the guy who did The Last King of Scotland, that immediately intrigued me and made me wonder where did the guy go. Often when a movie wins that many awards the director is often going to find able employment somewhere so I was surprised I didn’t hear of him since.
Read up about it, about a anti social person….check, post apocalyptic….check, good director…check ok I am in.
Decided to take a chance on it.
The movie is about a girl named Daisy who suffers from anorexia as well as depression and anxiety. She comes to see her passed away mother’s side of the family or should say her aunt’s family.
She is sort of bitch however this film does do a good job of having you see her side of her bitchiness. While she is a bitch to people you can see how she is thinking and her thought processes behind it, the trick they use I am definitely approve of. We never really know why she has the problems she does, you better get used to that because this is a sort of film that wont bother telling you, it is what it is.
When she arrives we learn something bad is going on, bombings happening all over Europe and be never really know what is going on (again get used to it) all we know is that a war is coming.
Daisy meets her aunt’s family all of whom are completely different to her, all are farm folk, nice, level headed and down to earth, think of the Weasleys, inf act exactly like them.
The more she lives with them the more comfortable she becomes with them but as soon as things seem to get better with her all hell breaks loose. London is under strike of a unknown military force as martial law is taken. What happens is basically what would happen if your country is at world and you are basically caught in the cross fire.
It’s really hard to explain it any other way without royally spoiling the movie.
What this movie is is basically a movie about a woman whom changes for the better despite all the bad things that happen to her, sort of a what does not kill you makes you stronger. Adverstiy doesn’t build character it reveals it….well that is what I believe but this movie is more adversity builds character in terms of her. In the beginning of the movie she is a total bitch that despite knowing her inner turmoil have a hard time connecting with her but as she develops a way to become better by the end of the you are with her and totally understand her.
I don’t know but there is something about the director of this film that makes this film as well as the other seem so dreamy yet real. He seems to have that effect with his films, at times things feel dreamy and surreal and then all of a sudden things are very vividly real. His style seems to swerve from surreal to brutality which really works in his favor just like Last King of Scotland did.
I have a hard time really pinpointing a weakness in this film, i think it starts a bit slow, well not slow just not well where you wonder why you should follow this main character but as the film develops you are right there with her and you are in it.
I actually like that this film purposely tells you very little of the background however that is often a double edged sword. Sometimes it works sometimes as I learn yesterday watching a show that seemed to be all about showing you stuff but telling you nothing that it doesn’t always work. I think there needs to be direction or particular reason to not explain, this film I think tells you enough just to get by and just expects you to roll with it, I rolled with it and got it because I think explaining certain things too much would not have served the film as well as not saying. Best to leave some things to the audience to put their own beliefs.
Bottom line however if you are looking for a original post apocalyptic movie that goes in places you don’t expect as well as sort of expect then you can get your fill with this one. It’s not the best one out there but if you are a fan of Last King of Scotland and style of that film this film feels like its from the same vein. I give it CCCC on the Corey Scale.
I thought about the top 5 coming of age stories that I liked and realized that this has to be done with two lists. One being a list of movies of this genre I liked as a kid while I was growing up and the other of movies I like now as a adult. I wont get into what i have on either list but I will say Jack The Bear is on the one I liked as a kid.
There is only three movies that have ever made me cry in my life and this one was one of them. What made me cry about this movie as a kid was the part where the main character remembers how he lost his mother. I didn’t care much or remembered much of the movie then as a kid but that particular scene made me cry and want to hold my mom (I was 8 years old at the time). Don’t know why but the scene made the thought of me losing my mom the worst thing ever. I connected with the scene.
Child, teen or adult if you can get me connect to the point where I evoke some sort of emotion then you are doing something only maybe 3% of movies have ever done, that is a good thing.
The thing is Jack the Bear isn’t even that special of a movie, it’s just I will always remember that movie for the fact that as a 8 year old it made me ball. And that is enough.
The movie is about a kid named Jack who lives with his younger brother Dylan and his widowed father John. They are your average family for the most part, at least normal in my opinion. John is a horror movie host on a local television channel and is sort of a local celebrity. They are all basically grieving in their own way the loss of Elizabeth who is John’s wife and Jack and Dylan’s mother.
John is basically a man committed to his work but not exactly committed to his parents, that is rough to say but i mean is a father figure who is missing the mother figure in the household and he is forced to do both jobs.
They try and get by and as they do events as well as life events come around to challenge them. John tries to deal with loss as well as alcoholism to a degree while Jack deals with….well growing up and becoming a man.
A man named Norman comes into the neighbourhood or maybe I should say was already there who plays a negative part in the household’s life. He assumes care of Dexter who is Jack’s friend. Norman is basically a nazi who basically puts everyone at harm.
I wont say anything else because I will spoil it but there really isn’t much new with this coming of age movie. This movie basically has most of everything you would expect from a coming of age movie, so it’s not that special. I feel what makes it’s special is the cast. I think this movie displays a very under rated acting job by Danny Devito. I think just about everyone does a decent job on this movie though I think at times the kid stretch it to corny levels but if I recall they never cross that line.
You will even be surprised to find Reese Witherspoon in this as a young girl playing the puppy love interest for Jack.
So why do I give it a good rating, well evokes emotion from me, not now as a adult but I can definitely see and remember how it did as a kid. Watching it now I still find it enjoyable and I connect with the movie. If anything it more reflects my childhood than the other movies, with that it only reflects it by 20%. I don’t connect with much coming of age movies, I enjoy them and find pieces but not entirely.
This movie really doesn’t do anything special honestly but I found within all the cliche things around it it is a very original story. The movie doesn’t glorify anyone, everyone feels very real like you know these people from down the road and that is all you can ask for with these kinds of movies.
Maybe I give it a good rating because of the memories and you are probably right but I don’t really care. I do think this is a forgotten gem from the 90s. It’s no Perks of Being a Wallflower but I think it deserves to be seen and talked of more.
Bottom line is if you are a fan of the genre and Danny Devito then I think you should check this one out some time, while it is very generic there are some things in it that make it stand out from others. Sadly it’s a very forgotten movie from the 90s, however i haven’t forgotten it and I doubt I ever will, therefore I give it CCC2/3 on the Corey Scale.
I felt like I had time for one more movie review today and tried to figure out what movie it should be, I thought the new X Men movie but over the past while my desire to review hollywood movies is almost nil.
I do these reviews for myself first and foremost but I figure if people do get anything out of them I much rather talk about movies that I feel need to be talked more about. Movies that most people probably haven’t heard about. If i can get anyone to watch these kinds of movies over lets say the new X Men movie then I will do that. I have more to say about these films than those. Don’t get me wrong I love X Men but I mean…..you know. Nothing i say is really going stop you from seeing that movie. I have a better chance of getting someone to see this movie than getting people not to watch whatever hollywood movie out there.
So while taking a leak I tried to think of what movie can I do that off the top of my head I can voice my opinion on and for some reason this movie came to mind. Maybe because of Gordon Pinsent and just recently watched The Grand Seduction and being amazed at how he is still a good actor. He was also good in Away From Her.
I also have some personal connections to this movie that I wont get into but this movie is a perfect example of good Canadian film an dhow i hope Sarah Polley continues to direct films because both this and Take This Waltz are both beautiful movies in terms of story and well everything about them.
Away From Her is about an old couple; Fiona and Grant. Both live in a cottage away from the world though it’s obviously in Canada set in the beautiful winter. Both retired and while both are very up in age both are still very much in love.
However a problem arises, Fiona starts developing Alzheimer’s disease, at first she keeps it from him but of course he figures it out, they try to live with it but it’s obvious that neither of them can really deal with it themselves. It’s Fiona who wants to go to a retirement home for people with that illness in order to keep from Grant getting hurt as well as her for losing her memory of him.
It’s a movie about losing someone methodically and over time.
As charming and lovely as the film is it is also very sad and dark. You see all the wrinkles (no pun intended) their relationship, the good and the bad.
Where the film does center around them dividing it also about the two accepting that they now must be away from each other.
Reminds me of my Aunt Audrey and Uncle Boyd. I always felt like they were my grand parents even though they were just my aunt and uncle, I spent more time with them than my actual grandparents. My Aunt Audrey ended up with with something very similar, I usually know the name but for some reason it escapes me right now. I didn’t get to see Boyd much after that but I always known that those two were always in love and hearing their story reminded me of this movie and vice versa.
It’s a lovely and realistic love story but also a break up story too.
Bottom line is if you are a fan of the cast, Sarah Polley and Love stories that are well done and outside of convention would enjoy this movie. I look at this movie as probably on the top 5 of my favorite Canadian movies list. I give it CCCC1/4
This is one of those movies I went in blind with and didn’t expect to get what I ended up seeing and was surprised in a good way.
All I knew about the movie was just the read up on it which was brief and didn’t really explain the movie very well. If I seen this movie poster I would have thought this movie was mostly differently going in.
It’s weird ho much of a stigma there is with animation as a whole that so many do not believe it is a valid way of story telling maybe I just took in way too much of it when I was in film school that I was a big anime fan and how every time I used an anime reference or which ever they would drop it as if it was invalid. I wont go into it, too tired and too much of a crabby mood to really want to. Only reviewing this because I don’t have time to go to the gym today.
The Congress is about the actress Robin Wright playing herself. Of course this is fiction but it’s very strange that she would do this.
Robin is at the tail end of her career, having had so much potential after The Princess Bridge and Forrest Gump apparently she thrown away her career due to bad choices. Her agent gives her an opportunity to save her career. To do that she must record her entire likeliness onto computer, every emotion, everything. After she does that must no longer be an actress or performer for the rest of her life.
This isn’t much of a choice on that she is ‘forced’ into it due to her circumstances, she winds up doing it.
Fast forward a couple of years and she is much older and she enters this party where everyone is celebrating the likeness of her in a staring in a highly successful movie series. This party however…..well how do I explain it, if full of everyone in cartoon form.
During this whole time technology has gotten advanced to where people can change their likeliness to whatever they want but it is within a animated. Robin seems to be the only one fairly happy with her likeness while everyone around her seems to want to and does look like some one else, many look just like her (younger of course).
Once this whole thing becomes mass produced she tries to fight back.
I wont go any further because I would spoil it but that is the gist of the movie however there is other things with it. It is also about the relationship she has with her children, more in particular her son. Her son is sick and is losing his hearing when we first see him and is getting worse physically.
First half of the movie is about her coming to terms with time and technology and the second half of the movie is her trying to find her children/son when everyone seems to have turned over to change themselves.
The movie is very much an open form experience that doesn’t follow a basic 3 act structure and that is what works in it’s favor. From the moment that Robin goes animated that this movie wont be running of a typical formula and where ever we are going is basically up to the director who is telling you the story.
I liked the animation and live action cross over though in a way they never cross over, 60% of the movie is animated while the other is live action but it is a neat take on animation and it’s great to seem someone attempting to make animation that isn’t catered to kids or fart jokes and not ripping off anime. It is an adult story told with Western animation.
The acting is perfect for the most part, with the cast of this film it’s really hard to drop the ball you basically let these horses run and they will give you want you need.
Story is probably the most original story I seen in awhile so that speaks for itself but I found it way too confusing for it’s own good sometimes. Where it would just go off on tangents for the sake of it and I don’t like that in films. I like everything that is done to be done for a reason. That isn’t really a good thing some times but if it is not done for a ‘reason’ I would at least like to be able to see it and try to figure out the reason behind it. In this case I felt like I didn’t know the reason and I didn’t get it sometimes.
The other thing I didn’t like about the film was the lack of cross over. I am very much a big fan of Ralph Bakshi films and the animation style of this film screams his style. I was very much expecting a cross over but there never was. Maybe this was a budget thing but I felt it hurt the film quite a bit to me.
This film really makes you think which is something art films should do. So much of the time we see a world judging Robin for making bad decisions for being a failure, fr being nothing yet that seems like a hypocrite statement. She is basically just her own woman, she has made mistakes yes but she is human. In the end she is the only person who is for the most part comfortable in his own skin whether it be drawn or flesh and blood while everyone else whether it be the ones who judge or become in love with her are unable to be comfortable with themselves.
Topics of being comfortable with yourself, life choices, age and time and how you and others chance, self perception. Also makes you think what if this drug was out there.
I would not be surprised if most women who took it would be Marylin Munroe or Audrey Hepburn. Me I would probably be no better though I would do it but haven’t had any time to really think about who I would be…… maybe a young Harrison Ford or James Stewart. Don’t really know to tell you the truth, not really worth thinking about in my eyes.
Bottom line is if you are looking for a film that is out there then this is a film worth trying out. It’s as dry as most art films, while it is not a talking head either it is a visually stimulating movie that makes you think about what it’s showing you. If you are a fan of Robin Wright then this is a must see because this movie is all her playing herself though fictionalized. I don’t think I will watch this movie again but I got decent entertainment value out of watching it, I give it CCC1/3 on the Corey Scale.
I am a mongrel in every sense of the word; since I am adopted the only things I know (and want to know) about my blood parents was my mom was German and my ad was French. All I want to know is that I was born and raised in Alberta by Newfoundlanders, or Newfies for short.
To understand this movie is to understand Newfoundland though I feel in a way this movie is very much a movie that shows you that as well as a love letter to Newfoundland (a long over due and needed one).
Newfoundland is very much my second home as Alberta is my true home. 90% of my family lives in Newfoundland thus why I am always there on Christmas since 0% of my family lives in BC.
I am amazed that BC people know very little about Newfies but then it’s no surprising due to the fact they are on opposite ends of the country and that if Newfies go anywhere in Canada it is Alberta because that is where the well paying jobs are.
Again to know about Newfoundland you have to start with when they joined Canada and like every other province that joined Quebec and Ontario, how they got fucked over by those two provinces.
Newfoundland is a province of fisherman, I mean Newfoundland is on a island. When you are often the last to get anything from anyone yet you once had an abundance of fish things tend to work that way. You boat to get there, you boat to make your living there, it makes sense that he area is of fishermen.
I never understood the whole fishing shortage that killed Newfoundland’s economy and made them much like Indians where they basically live off of well fare cheques (not all but many) because outside of fishing they know nothing else and either two poor or stubborn to leave.
One day watching news about it i made a remark about it which really pissed off my dad (who while born in Quebec was very much raised in Newfoundland). My dad is not a angry kind of guy usually but when I made my un informed remark basically saying serves Newfoundland right for over fishing he basically verbally ripped me deservingly.
Telling me about how the reason for it was that Canada didn’t protect Newfoundland’s waters/fishing industry from other countries basically sailing over to their waters and basically fishing for cod on top of Newfoundland (which is NFLD main source of economy at that time). By the 90s it got out of control and nearly killed all of the cod that was there in Newfoundland forcing the Canada to basically shut down the fishing industry in NFLD. Basically meant that killed the economy of Newfoundland left a good portion of the province unemployed. Think Michigan when all of the car building plants shut down.
Newfoundlanders often don’t get angry about much but if you ever want to piss them off, talk about how Ontario and Quebec didn’t support Newfoundland. However when do they really support any part of Canada if it doesn’t benefit themselves first. Not a separatist but I hate how unfair our country is designed from a political standpoint.
So why have I been ranting and talking about this. You sort of have to know this to know The Grand Seduction. Because it is a movie of Newfoundland.
The Grand Seduction is about this little harbor called Tickle Head, a town once a proud fishing harbor now a place that lives off of well fare cheques from the government. The movie is told through the eyes of Murray who is one of these Newfies who used to fish but not just lives life taking whatever advantage he can get.
He finds out that that the mayor was trying to get a oil company to build a environmental plant in their harbor in order provide jobs for their town. However all the requirements they need they don’t have, one in particular being a full time doctor, thus the mayor quit and goes to St. Johns to work.
Enter Dr. Lewis, whom coming back from a Cricket game is caught by a former Tickle Head person (the mayor) who now works as a customs officer for having coke on him. In order to let that slide the doctor agrees to do community work at Tickle Head.
It is here where Murray becoming the new mayor decides to devise a plan in order to seduce Lewis into staying there and signing on full time. There is nothing they don’t do in order to persuade him.
The entire movie is built on an entire harbor town trying to seduce and lie to one doctor to stay there on top of lying to the bank as well as the oil company in order to get them to stay.
With that this movie is filled to the brim with Newfiedom right down to Gordon Pinsent who is Newfoundland most famous actor who steals the show without even trying for the sheer fact that he knows Newfiedom better than anyone because I mean….come on he is a Newfie.
So what about this movie, I look at this movie as a visual tourism promotion for NFLD and I have no problem with that. Newfoundland is a profoundly beautiful province both in summer and winter time but gets no recognition because it’s a poor province and it’s so out of the way for everyone.
This is the first movie based on Newfoundland though made by other Canadians that actually gets Newfoundland right. What by that is the accents. The Shipping News is a better movie but most of the cast outside of……..Gordon Pinsent (obviously) did it properly. It’s hard to do the Newfie accent because it’s so easy for it to be Scottish or Irish, I consider it to be Scottish with a French Canadian twist.
With that said I thought of all the Hollywood actors I have seen try to do it Brendan Gleeson got it the most right which sort of makes sense since he is Scottish so all he really needed to do is tweak it plus I am sure he got the culture more than anyone.
Again i thought this movie was very much a love letter to a place that needs it and that is what i liked about it. Watching it made me miss being there in the summer time.
Those are the good points, the bad points, to tell you the truth there is not very many really bad points. It is your standard issue comedy, it doesn’t do very much else but be what it is. With that being said I thought there was much more room for comedy and for more points to be put that would have made this movie better. I left the movie feeling like while it was alright there could have been more this movie could have done to really make this movie not just a love letter to NFLD and a monument to it showing that Newfoundland is more and better than what people thinks it is.
Bottom line is if you are a fan of Canadian movies you wont go wrong with checking this one out, it’s worth a night’s fun indoors. You will laugh but there isn’t much replay factor in it. If you from Newfoundland be res assured that this movie gets it right. I give this movie CCC on the Corey Scale.