Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Unknown Girl

Plot:
Dr. Jenny Davin (Adèle Haenel) becomes obsessed with the case of an unknown dead woman after learning that the woman died shortly after ringing her doorbell for help. 

Pros:
•Interesting story about guilt and how, even if something wasn’t your fault or you didn’t know what would happen, it can still eat away at you. 
•Really good performance by Adèle Harnel, who a lot of the time is acting simply with her eyes or facial expressions (although she does have plenty of dialogue too). She remind me a lot of a young Kate Winslet. Looks exactly like her too. 

Cons:
•Became a little dull at times. There were long stretches where all the main character was doing was making house calls to her patients (we get get, she’s a doctor) or driving around in her car with somber expression on her face. It felt like a waste of time. Time that could’ve been put to better use. 
•It’s an interesting story as I just said, but I feel like they could’ve done more with it. 

My Rating: 7/10

Friday, October 13, 2017

Marshall

Plot:
Focuses on a young Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman), who at the time was working as a lawyer for the NAACP. He teams up with Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) to take on the case of a black chauffeur who stands accused of raping Connecticut socialite Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson). 

Pros:
•If you’re going into this expecting a full on biopic of Thurgood Marshall you’re going to be a little disappointed. However, you do get a very compelling courtroom drama. The film focuses instead on this one specific case he worked on early in his career. I of course knew who Marshall was but I had never heard of this case. It’s interesting they chose to go in this direction. 
•While Chadwick Boseman doesn’t look like the real Marshall at all, he really embodies who he was. Had me convinced. He has a commanding presence on screen. Very charming as well. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. 
•Josh Gad was great in this as well. It’s weird because the only things I’ve really seen him in lately are Disney movies. I’d love to see him take on more roles like this. He and Chadwick Boseman‘s relationship in this is probably my favorite things about the movie. They work well together plus there’s a surprising amount of humor. 
•Some nice cinematography. I liked the warm color tones they chose here. 
•We need more movies like this, especially with everything going on lately. 
•God damn it Dan Stevens! I love you and all but you’re such an asshole in this. Played the part well though. 

Cons:
•Felt very rushed in the beginning. 
•A few of the scenes were so awkwardly shot. They were suppose to be serious and dramatic but instead they turned out unintentionally funny. Maybe in the hands of a slightly more competent director they would’ve been fine. 

My Rating: 8/10

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Fencer

Plot:
After fleeing from the Russian secret police years earlier, a young fencer named Endel (Märt Avandi) is forced to return to his homeland. Eventually, his past catches up with him. 

Pros:
•Outstanding performance by Märt Avandi. Had it been a lesser actor the movie might not have worked. 
•Going into this I had no idea it was based on a true story. It makes me want to look up more information about the real Endel. 
•I’m not a fan of fencing at all but this movie made it interesting.
•Supporting cast, especially the kids, were for the most part really good. 
•Beautifully shot and directed. 

Cons:
•Follows many of the same tropes you see in these types of movies. 
•The principal of the school where Endel teaches and is suppose to be what you would call a villain, is kind of one dimensional. But not in a cartoonish way or anything. 
•While they paint a good picture, I would’ve liked to have seen them delve further into the story of what it was like like living in Estonia under Soviet rule. 

My Rating: 8/10

Friday, October 6, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 (3D)

Plot:
30 years after the events of the first film, young blade runner K (Ryan Gosling) discovers a long buried secret that leads him to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing this whole time. 

Pros:
•I was kind of skeptical when they first announced they were making this movie but they thankfully proved me wrong. Wow!! You can tell all of the people working on this love this material. It’s a very worthy successor to the 1982 classic. 
•Denis Villeneuve was the perfect choice to direct. He’s so good at directing these very slow burning, smart sci fi movies that don’t need to rely on big fight scenes and blow em up action. Make no mistake, there’s fights and action and it’s totally bad ass, but it’s not overkill they way a lot of movies are these days. 
•Very fascinating and (for the most part) well written characters. The story was as well. 
•Wasn’t as predictable as you might expect. I thought I knew how things were going to go and then BAM! It took me by surprise. 
•Good god is this movie gorgeous! Not only the world that they’ve created but little things as well. Like the way they cast shadows or filters on characters in certain scenes. 
•Ryan Gosling was really good but I have to say Harrison Ford gives his best performance in years. 
•Don’t be afraid of the nearly three hour run time. It flys by! When it cut to the credits I was like, “What?!?! That’s it? NOOOO! Keep going damn it.” I was so in love with this world that I never wanted the movie to end. 

Cons:
•These are just very minor nitpicks that I decided aren’t worth lowering my rating but felt I should tell you about. Mainly, I wouldn’t  suggest seeing this in 3D. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad 3D but the movie is already dark enough and this only makes it darker and makes things hard to make out in certain scenes. 
•I wasn’t crazy about Jared Leto’s performance. Thankfully he’s not in the movie that much. 

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Marjorie Prime

Plot:
Takes place in the near future. 86 year old Marjorie (Lois Smith) has a new companion- a holographic  recreation of the younger version of her deceased husband Walter (Jon Hamm). It tells the story of her life back to her. 

Pros:
•Some very interesting ideas about memory, loss, and love. 
•Good performances, especially by Jon Hamm, Lois Smith, and Tim Robbins. 

Cons:
•While the movie had some good ideas, they weren’t executed very well. If only the had gone just a little more in depth, especially about the primes. 
•There were time jumps that were so abrupt that I thought I had somehow fallen asleep and missed a good chunk of the movie. 
•Very dry and at times dull. 
•Felt more like a stage play than a movie. 
•Trailer was a little misleading. 
•While it’s not a bad movie by any means (believe me I’ve seen way worse this year), I can’t say that I recommend it. Not even as a Netflix watch. My suggestion is if you’re looking for a movie with similar themes go and watch Her (if you haven’t already done so). It’s amazing. 

My Rating: 6/10

Friday, September 29, 2017

Battle of the Sexes

Plot:
Based on the true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). 

Pros:
•Emma Stone & Steve Carell were absolutely amazing. I hope they make more movies together in the future. I know it’s still a little early, but depending on how things go I could see Emma Stone getting another Oscar nomination. 
•Such a fascinating story that, while I had heard about it and knew the outcome, I didn’t know too many details. It seems like they stayed true to what really happened. 
•Such a strong, positive message. Especially for women. 
•Really nailed down the look of the time period. 
•I am not a tennis fan at all. But damn if I wasn’t glued to the edge of my seat during that last match. Kudos to the directors. 

Cons:
•While I thought the movie was very good, it didn’t really pick up for me until it actually got to the Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs match and the events leading up to it. 
•A few very brief Hollywood moments typical in a movie like this. 

My Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Polina

Plot:
A young woman named Polina (Anastasia Shevtsova) has studied classic ballet for many years and ends up being accepted into the prestigious Bolchoi. Once there, however, she turns to modern dancing. 

Pros:
•If you’re a fan of dancing wether it be ballet or more modern dancing, I think you’ll really like this movie. There’s so many beautiful dance sequences. Whoever did the choreography did an amazing job. 
•Wonderful performance by Anastasia Shevtsova, especially considering this is her first role. I look forward to seeing more of her in the future. 
•I liked the message it was giving. Usually with these types of movies all of the main character’s dreams magically come true. Here it shows that sometimes, despite how hard you work, things don’t turn out the way you want them to. 

Cons:
•Very abrupt editing in a couple of scenes. Also, there were a few moments where the director used some weird angles to get a shot. 
•Some of the minor characters were a little too one dimensional. 

My Rating: 7.5/10