American Sniper

American Sniper

One Sentence: This should have only been an action movie.

Rated: R

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

American Sniper was announced as one of the nominees for Best Picture this morning by The Academy Of Motion Picture and Sciences.  So I guess this review is going to disagree with them a little bit.  This does feel like one of those movies that everyone loves for the sake of not wanting to say they didn’t love it in the presence of others.  It is quite the Red, White and Blue movie.

I thought this movie was a good movie.  The action and war scenes were well shot, and very scary and real.  Bradley Cooper in these scenes and as this character dealing with the PTSD through 4 tours to the Middle East, was excellent.  However the home life scenes were short, and an aside to the war scenes.  I feel like they really left out some important points about the struggle of war, and how it affects families and the men and women who served.  It implies that suddenly you will be fixed, with a single talk to a doctor.  This is where my problem lies.  It should have been left out, or dealt with more thoroughly.   It makes it feel like his struggle in the real world, wasn’t a struggle at all, just a small bump in the road, that he recovered from quickly.  Which I think is a disservice to all those who suffer with this today.

So we get these short scenes at home and with the family that are glances of a harder life than those at War.  They are brushed by and the main focus is war and sniping and his tours.  I think it would of been a stronger movie if this was balanced out or left out completely.  So because of those reasons it is not getting an amazing review from me.  It was a good movie, it was well done, but not of of the best of the year.

 

Selma

Selma Poster

One Sentence: A history lesson

Rated: R

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

This is a pretty easy review.  This movie is excellent.  David  Oyelowo is excellent.  That is all I really need to write.

The movie is a perfectly timed story for those younger than I am, who were not alive when this event occurred.  I am a under educated white male, and I had heard references to Selma, and knew it was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights movement, but I was not fully aware of what it was about or what occurred.  I am aware that this is a movie, and that there is no requirement for this movie to be accurate, but there is enough here for me to actually learn and educate myself further about this event, and I have.

The movie deals with the violence and injustices that occurred at Selma, it isn’t just a movie about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  It has a amazing cast, and is powerful and meaningful.  It feels like it is a perfect movie for the times, and it is something that will make us think about what is happening today, and remind us that history repeats itself.  It is a hard to watch movie, but that was the intention of Selma, and it is done very effectively.  I think this movie is something that everyone should see.

5 Stars for Selma

Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice Poster

One Sentence: I am not sure what is going on in this one.

Rated: R

Nudity: Yes

After Credits: None

Um…I am not sure what happened with this one.  There are all these flashy things, that are pulling in all these directions and it sounds exciting, and smart.  The kind of things that make you want to act like you know what is going on so that everyone around you doesn’t think you are an idiot, but in reality everyone is lost.  Boats, Dentists, Runaways, prostitutes, FBI, drugs, kidnappings, and this and that and the other.  It all just leads to some funny scenes that are not really going to make much sense at the end.

I would say that I liked Inherent Vice, or some of Inherent Vice.  I did think it was funny in some parts.  I did like the acting for the most part, and I did like some scenes.  I liked the relaxed feel of everybody, weaving in and out of each others lives and stories.  I thought that was well done, but with that ease came a loss of what the hell was going on.  By the end of the movie I was watching resolutions, that I understood, but I did not know how we got to those resolutions.  Since I enjoyed the scenes so much that led to these resolutions, not knowing how we got to them is I suspect bad writing.

I think this movie was saved by the actors ddeliveringthe best they could with what they had.  It fell down with delivering a full story, and makes for a less than amazing movie experience.  I think this one in a rental for those that really love anyone that worked on this movie, but I think most people can stay away from it.

2 Stars

Into The Woods

Into The Woods Poster

One Sentence: The Musical choice for the season.

Rated: PG

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

Well there are two musical choices for the 2014 Christmas Season.  Into The Woods and Annie.  One is a good movie, the other one, Into The Woods is a good movie and musical.  So if you are dying for songs that tell stories and are not horribly auto tuned, then Into The Woods is the movie to pick this year.

Into The Woods was not a musical I was familiar with or one where I had heard any of the music from.  So that led to the discovery of some amazing songs, and a very solid musical.  Comedy elements, good singers, amazing sets and costumes, and everything that Disney has been doing right lately was all bundled up into this fun fairy tale  musical.  I wasn’t weighed down by time changes and expository lyrics like I am in a lot of musicals.  It was fun, and light while carrying multiple story lines through the woods.  Even the more reflective songs felt fun, and when it was a heavier time in the movie I was still having an amazing time.

The cast was wonderful and all the singing if it was done by the actors was amazing.  Everyone carried their own weight and gave it all they could to keep this movie above the fray of witches and bakers singing about cows and giants.  The children who played Jack and Red Riding Hood were especially amazing, having the most complex songs and handling them with amazing skill.  The only song which was better than the young ones, was Chris Pine’s and Billy Magnussen’s number which was amazing in spectacle while making the audience die with laughter.

There is nothing to complain about with Into The Woods, and compared to Annie which was a musical tragedy.  Into The Woods was a pleasant surprise.   Disney live action has delieverd another family hit, that everyone will  have a fun time talking about after Christmas Dinner.

The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies

hobbit_the_battle_of_the_five_armies

 

One Sentence: This poster is a lie.

Rated: PG-13

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

This whole Hobbit thing has been a general disaster.  Taking a book that is barely 300 pages and a lot of those are filled with dwarf songs, and long names.  Turning it into 3 movies just drug it out too much.  The Hobbit Battle Of The Five Armies suffers greatly from this lack of source material.  It is an empty cold tale with no meaning.  A war with 5 stupid armies, being pig headed and stupid about everything.  Then they fight and the movie ends.  There is nothing greater to fight for than gold, and there is the very faintest clue of things to come from The Lord Of The Rings.

I just hated the whole thing.  The Smaug portions of the movie which I thought were going to be the focus of the movie, were not.  I didn’t care about who or what happened to any of these horrible people who fought over trinkets and tradition.  That sent people to die for no reason.  Also I would say the Hobbit was the least shown character in this movie. Hard to call it The Hobbit, when he has 20 minutes of screen time.  The whole thing was a phoned in, cheap version of Return Of The King, with more skewed numbers and no reason to fight.

I do not think this is even rentable.  It really felt like a complete waste of time.  I can not recommend this to anyone.  It just was a money grabbing failure that you should not support.

1 Star

Interstellar

Interstellar

One Sentence: Go see it in IMAX

Rated: PG-13

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

Space, the future, distant planets, robots, Interstellar.  I don’t think this needs to be a review of the movie.  It needs to be an argument on why you should go see it in an IMAX theater.  If you have ever been on Mission: Space at EPCOT center, then you already know why.  I do not mean a liemax theater by the way.  I mean a real IMAX.  I think this movie is worth going an hour out of your way to see it in a real IMAX.  The sound is so amazing, so powerful and tells so much of the story, that that by itself is enough to pay the higher prices and go way out of your way to see it.  This isn’t a movie.  It is a physical, and emotional experience and something that I think you should experience in the best possible way.

So I think that is all I have to say about this one.  So it is obvious what I think you should do.  Look up where your real IMAX theater is, here is a great link from our friends at slashfilm.  http://www.slashfilm.com/qa-imax-theatre-real-imax-liemax/2/ Buy tickets now, and go wait in line so you can pick out the best seats you can.  Then when it is over, spend time reflecting on your movie experience with some of your favorite chocolate and a drink, in the cool fall air, while looking up at the stars.

5 Stars

Birdman

Birdman Movie Review

One Sentence: This is not going to be the last time you hear about Birdman.

Rated: R

Nudity: None

After Credits: None

It is hard for me to put into words what I thought about Birdman without going hyperbolic.  Saying things like this is a new front in film making.  Birdman is a fixed point in film history and you will see movies change because of it.  We all deserve to see and fall in love with Birdman.  Ugh, I feel dirty just writing things like that, but it is how I feel.  Birdman is an amazing piece of art.  It is very rare that I will ever call a movie a piece of art or something that will change how we view movies in the future. Birdman has made me do that.

I don’t really want to say what the movie is about.  So find that elsewhere if you need to know.  What I want to write about and say is that this movie, has done things that have never been done before.  They effect is so amazing that people will want to keep doing it and we will see it more and more after Birdman.  The way this movie was made pulled so much out of the amazing actors in this movie.  It truly delivered powerful commanding performances that were some of the best I have ever seen.  Everyone’s name on that poster deserves all the awards and accolades they can possibly get for this movie.  It was an amazing experience.

So it is pretty clear that I think everyone that can should go see Birdman.  If you have to wait for DVD, then add it to your queue right now, so that you can get it as soon as your possibly can.  I am sure it will be out before oscar season on DVD so you won’t have to wait too long if it is not in a theater near you.

5 Stars

 




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