Showing posts from February, 2017

Lost in Translation Review

Lost in Translation is a 2003 romantic dramady written and directed by Sophia Coppola. The film has received high critical acclaim, earning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2004.

Two people in Tokyo, former actor Bob (Bill Murray) and house wife Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), are just two lost souls looking for direction in their lives. They find solace in one another in the strange, hostile environments of Tokyo and their own lives.

There isn't much plot to the film, with it mostly focussing on the relationship between Bob and Charlotte. It's a slow burn, but that's what makes it work; by moving at a slow pace, it allows the relationship between them to blossom naturally. It's just nice to see these two people have a conversation with each other, since their personalities bounce off of the other so naturally.

The drastic location shift helps convey the feeling of being lost. Coppola uses the strange culture and unfamiliar location to make the audience f…

Creed Review

Creed is a 2015 boxing drama written by Aaron Covington and co-written/directed by Ryan Coogler. The film is the seventh installment in the iconic Rocky film series after a nine year long hiatus.

Adonis Johnson (Michael B Jordan), the bastard son of legendary fighter Apollo Creed, is determined to create a legacy separate from his father's in the boxing world. To do this, he seeks the help of retired boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to train him. That's the simplest explanation of the plot I can give without giving away the film's emotional punches. The story is mainly about Adonis' growing friendship and bond with Rocky and his battle against his father's legacy. The carries this story on the shoulders of a meta narrative; this is a movie tied to the Rocky films but is trying to be its own, unique movie at the same time, kind of like what Adonis is trying to do. The emotions really hit home, especially in the turning point between the 2nd and 3rd acts.

If Batman: Arkham Knight Was Good

Two years after it came out I'm still sore from the crushing disappointment that was Batman: Arkham Knight. After one awesome game with Asylum, one of my favorite games of all time with City and a decent prequel with Origins I don't know why I expected a game to live up to that kind of legacy. It was a Dark Knight Rises situation all over again; how can they possibly follow up The Dark Knight with anything that could match it? Well, Rocksteady Studios unfortunately didn't and I'm still plenty butthurt over it. Therefore, in order to cleanse my own soul, and hopefully give similar catharsis to like-minded individuals, I'm going to go over my version on the Arkham Knight.

Main Story
First of all: no tanks. Tanks are boring.

We start out with the diner scene like in the original (because that was the only indisputably well-done element of the original game), except Scarecrow doesn't announce it to the whole world. Batman is brought on the scene and he discovers a s…

Tokyo Story Review

Tokyo Story is a 1953 Japanese drama written/directed by Yasujirô Ozu and co-written by Kôgo Noda. The film has received critical praise in the past half century, with 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a perfect score from film critic Roger Ebert and was voted the best movie of all time by a poll of directors in 2012's issue of Sight and Sound Magazine.

An aging couple visits their children in Tokyo to reacquaint and bond. However, the visit is a disappointment, since both their children and grandchildren are either too busy to spend time with them or have grown distant after so many years apart.

The themes of family and estrangement go hand in hand as this broken family tries to find a way to put itself back together and not really succeeding.

Estrangement is also linked to the more prominent theme of the film; generational differences. At its core the movie is about the division between the new generations and the ones that came before it; the children are estranged from t…

The Wolf of Wall Street Review

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 dark comedy/crime drama written by Terrence Winter and directed by Martin Scorsese. The film was one of the most controversial movies in recent memory, being chatted up by critics and audiences for its absurd amount of sex, profane language and drug use and being slammed for apparently glorifying said elements.

Based on the life of Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), Wolf centers around the titular anti-hero as he starts his own business selling bad penny stocks to naive cliental. Eventually, he builds a stock company so successful even his lowest paid worker is making gobs of money hand over fist. As Jordan continues to gain more and more money and indulges in an increasingly extravagant lifestyle of debauchery he and his employees must deal with the consequences of their actions, though not right away.

The film is a story of declining morality and how love for money truly is the root of all evil. However, the message will alm…

Sexy Beast Review

Sexy Beast is a 2000 crime drama written by Louis Mellis/David Scinto and directed by Jonathan Glazer. The film has been received generally well by critics, with an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm unaware of what kind of audience the film has among consumers, but my guess would be that it has a small cult following.

Retired vault cracker "Gal" Dove (Ray Winstone) is called upon by an old friend, Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), who tries to persuade him to take a job over in London. Gal refuses, however, and most of the rest of the film is the unstable Don trying to force Gal to take the job while disrupting his quiet home life and the relations among his friends.

The film is well paced, for the most part; even though you're watching an hour and a half long movie it's so intense that half the movie goes by before you even realize that you're only in the second act.

Gal is just sort of the everyman and the audience's vessel through the story. He's fine, but …

The Social Network Review

The Social Network is a 2010 biopic drama written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher. The film was critically acclaimed upon its release and earned the Academy Award for Best Original Score, Best Editing and Best Original Screenplay.

Story The film tells a fictionalized account of the founding of Facebook, following founders Mark Zuckerberg (Jessie Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) through the entire creative process and the aftermath of the site's launch.
The story is well paced, intercutting the main plot with the lawsuits that happened in the aftermath of the launch of Facebook. This works really well for a few different reasons, the first of which is that by cutting back and forth between the past and present we see how starkly the relationship between Mark and Eduardo has changed between then and now. That way we're intrigued to find out what could've happened to shatter this relationship so badly. The second way it works is that it evens out …

Her Review

Her is a 2013 romantic sci-fi written, produced and directed by Spike Jonze. Though the film hasn't been widely recognized, it nevertheless earned an Academy Award for best original screenplay.

Story The story takes place in a vaguely futuristic America and follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), an emotionally closed off man looking for companionship. He finds his answer in Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), an artificial intelligence designed to adapt to Theodore's personality and wants. Their relationship grows and evolves in all the ways you'd expect and at the same time in ways you wouldn't expect...
The premise for this film is admittedly extremely weird; a man falls in love with a computer. I think that might've been the reason people weren't very interested in seeing it. However, the way it's presented and paced you actually buy the relationship between them. That's mostly because the characters are so likable. Theodore is very sympathetic because he'…

The Searchers Review

The Searchers is a 1956 Western-drama written by Frank Nuget and directed by John Ford. It was based on a book of the same name by Alan Le May. The film is considered to be one of the best Western films of all time, named the Greatest American Western by the American Film Instituted and chosen for preservation in the Library of Congress.
Story In the aftermath of the American Civil War Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) comes back to his brother's home dejected and tired of life. However, when his niece is kidnapped by a tribe of Comanche Natives, he and his adopted nephew Martin (Jeffrey Hunter) set out on a years-long quest to rescue her and take her home.
If you're expecting something fast paced like I was going into this film you'll probably be disappointed. There's a lot of adventure, but the characters don't really make much progress in finding the niece until the very end. It's like a road trip movie; there is an end goal in mind, but it's mostly about the jo…