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My DVDs: http://unborn-dreams.dvdaf.com/owned
Go. Watch. Laugh. Love.
Nationality: Caucasian. Irish, English & German mainly. Scottish and Welsh are kinda abundant as well.
Aspiring Writer & Film Director
Caution: I am awesome.
Some Of My Favorite Film Quotes:
I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore! - Howard Beale in Network
Together we will live forever. - Isabel in The Fountain
All these years, all these memories, there was you. You pull me through time. - Tom Verde in The Fountain
You were the one, you were the only one, and you were amazing. - Gia Carangi in Gia
There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there. - Patrick Bateman in American Psycho
I'm sweating like a f-cking rapist. - Bateman in London
You're aware you're having a conversation with a decapitated dead, right? - Ben in The Signal
This calls for a radical reassesment of all the facts. - Lewis Denton in The Signal
Julien Jeanvier: You know... there were lots of things I was game for that you never said. Sophie Kowalski: Like? Julien Jeanvier: Eating ants... insulting the unemployed... loving you like crazy. in Jeux D' Enfants (Love Me If You Dare)
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows. Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide. And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart... I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart. - Dan in Candy
If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw- There it is, that's a straw, you see- my straw reaches across the room, and starts to drink your milkshake, I drink your... milkshake! I drink it up! - Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood
What's the most you've ever lost on a coin toss? - Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men
I'm a pimp... and pimps don't commit suicide. - Boxer Santaros in Southland Tales
These days, they want to be criminals more than they want to commit crime. - Mr. Longbaugh in The Way Of The Gun
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone. - Oh Dae-su in Oldboy
You're money, baby! - Trent in Swingers
People call me the Bry man; I'm the stylish one of the group. I know what you're asking yourself and the answer is yes. I have a nick name for my penis. It's called the Octagon, but I also nick named my testes - my left one is James Westfall and my right one is Doctor Kenneth Noisewater. You ladies play your cards right you just might get to meet the whole gang. - Brain Fantana in Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burguny
I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat. Perry Smith in Capote
Some Of My Favorite Scenes:
I'm Gonna Die - The Fountain
Why Wont You Work For NASA? - Good Will Hunting
Bar Scene - Good Will Hunting
The Dare Of Dares - Jeux D' Enfants(Love Me If You Dare)
Those We Don't Speak Of - The Village
Do You Bite Your Thumb At Us, Sir? - William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet
Sales Motivation - Glengarry Glen Ross
Group Interview - Boiler Room
*beep* You - 25th Hour
Once Upon A Time... - Candy
All These Things That I've Done - Southland Tales
A Dance Of Defiance - Billy Elliot
Corridor Fight - Oldboy
The Orange Man - Unbreakable
Top Ten Of Each Decade:
1. A Clockwork Orange (1971, Kubrick)
2. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975, Forman)
3. Network (1976, Lumet)
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, Hooper)
5. Alien (1979, Scott)
6. Star Wars (1977, Lucas)
7. Lenny (1974, Fosse)
8. Rocky (1976, Avildsen)
9. Jaws (1975, Spielberg)
10. Halloween (1978, Carpenter)
1. Raging Bull (1980, Scorsese)
2. The Shining (1980, Kubrick
3. Star Wars - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Kershner)
4. The Color Of Money (1986, Scorsese)
5. The Princess Bride (1987, Reiner)
6. Full Metal Jacket (1987, Kubrick)
7. Aliens (1986, Cameron)
8. The King Of Comedy (1983, Scorsese)
9. Akira (1988, Ohtomo)
10. The Goonies (1985, Donner)
1. Pulp Fiction (1994, Tarantino)
2. Reservoir Dogs (1992, Tarantino)
3. Before Sunset (1995, Linklater)
4. Good Will Hunting (1997, Van Sant)
5. Swingers (1996, Liman)
6. William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996, Luhrmann)
7. Fight Club (1999, Fincher)
8. Clean, Shaven (1995, Kerrigan)
- 9. Gia (1998, Cristofer) (TV) -
10. Leon: The Professional (1994, Besson)
1. The Fountain (2006, Aronofsky)
2. Jeux d' enfants/Love Me If You Dare (2003, Samuell)
3. The Departed (2006, Scorsese)
4. Black Swan (2010, Aronofsky)
5. Oldboy (2005, Park)
6. There Will Be Blood (2007, Anderson)
7. Before Sunset (2004, Linklater)
8. The Dark Knight (2008, Nolan)
9. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007, Dominik)
10. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy (2004, McKay)
Top 10 Current Favorite TV Shows:
1. The Newsroom
2. Game Of Thrones
5. The Walking Dead
6. Happy Endings
9. The Office (US)
10. Parks And Recreation
Top 10 Favorite TV Shows All Time:
4. The Office (US)
5. Arrested Development
8. Game Of Thrones
9. Saturday Night Live
10. X-Men: The Animated Series
Robert De Niro
Benicio Del Toro
Evan Rachel Wood
Rachel Leigh Cook
One through five being the nominees with number one being the winner, and six through ten just rounding out the Top Ten.
One through five being the nominees with number one being the winner, and six through ten just rounding out the Top Ten and the Top Twenty after that.
One through five being the nominees with number one being the winner.
Camelot Does Not Go On Forever
Jackie is not your average biographical film. Pablo Larrain's moving cinematic ode to the Kennedys is a truly gripping affair. We follow Jackie Kennedy in the wake of the assassination of her husband the President of the United States John F. Kennedy. How does one deal with such a violent act and tragic time? How does one deal with such a situation while trying to balance being a mother, the First Lady of the United States, and ensuring the legacy of your now former husband and President is cemented? This is the situation we are present with. This is the ordeal Jackie has to endure. The whole world is watching. Your every move is being scrutinized, lambasted, and studied ever so closely. Not only are you dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, but you are expected to be strong and soldier on for the people. This would require a very brave and determined person and that is exactly who Jackie Kennedy is.
Jackie is a debutante who is used to a very lavish lifestyle, but it would be wrong to assume that is who she is. She possesses a strong will, and a uniqueness of character and perspective to know who she is and how she is perceived. She realizes that perception is power. She understands that the history books do not always tell the truth, but what is written in those pages is often all that matters. The lasting impression is almost always the last one we are left with. A legacy is too often judged and remembered for how it ended, and for the feeling it last left in us, but not for its duration. Camelot does not go on forever, but a piece of it will be remembered. She knows she has the opportunity to choose which piece that is. To show the world her husband was a man of importance. One worth celebrating and cherishing.
Natalie Portman' portrayal of Jackie Kennedy is a storm of conflicting emotions. She elicits passion. From the moment she appears on screen she is as captivating as she has ever been. She plays every emotion with the fullness of eyes. She remains reserved yet able to aptly convey a river full of sorrow, yearning, fear, confusion, and vast determination flowing in harmony at all times just underneath the surface. This is a feat few are capable of and even fewer have ever achieved. Her performance here is a landmark of cinema. The culmination of an already great career. The showing of a true artist who understands her craft and the person she is portraying.
Pablo Larrain commands this unique vision with a keen eye. He carries a wave of sadness in every frame. He puts Jackie in the center of his shots to remind us this is first and foremost a story about her. A story about a grieving woman who refuses to let the legacy of the Kennedy administration be forgotten or remembered for anything less than special. This is her journey and we are simply following along. A sentiment he shows with shots following behind Jackie several times throughout. The most haunting being as Jackie walks through the graveyard searching for a place to bury her husband. He faithfully captures the early 1960s look and feel through a grainy view. His melding of real footage of the White House tour with his own is seamless. He paints a poignant and beautiful picture. He keeps a subtle unnerving vibe throughout. The feeling of pressure mounting with no release in sight. There is a sequence towards the end of the funeral procession intercut with the assassination that is deeply moving and almost cryptic. His close-ups of Jackie are often brutal and show the grim reality she is struggling with. There is one of her in shock desperately trying to wash her husband's blood from her face that is especially devastating. In other hands this film could have come off as self pandering, but Larrain manages to bring a certain sympathy to Jackie. He makes us care deeply about this tragedy and how it affects her. The mark of a true talent.
Everything for Jackie comes together full circle to give us an experience quite unlike any other from 2016. The costume design and production design are faithful to it's time while remaining striking. The score compliments every scene and helps invoke a constant feeling of grief. A tragedy isn't coming it has already happened. This feeling stays true throughout. The cinematography washes the background in bland hues of blue, white, and green while Jackie stands in the forefront coated in pink, red, and black. Always standing out yet never overshadowing her surroundings. The film editing is crisp. Every scene flows flawless into the next. We remain so focused on Jackie we often times take a few seconds to realize the scene has even changed. Remarkable work from all involved.
La La Land (2016)
Two Hours Of Pure Ecstasy.
Here's to the ones who dream. From childhood everyone has a dream. Something they fantasize about doing when they are older. There is some sort of magical feeling that resides in us all that expresses itself in the form of a yearning. When we are younger we are overtaken by it. Life appears so fantastical and beautiful. Truly anything is possible. You can do anything you put your mind to. You can be anything you want to be. This magical dream can become a reality. La La Land succeeds in reminding us what is was like to dream. To be so caught up in a yearning. To want one thing so badly above all others. For some that is a profession, for others is it a family, an accomplishment, or simply to fall head over heels madly wrapped up in the love of another. It's not often that a film is able to encapsulate a feeling that is so universally felt.
La La Land shines from it's first beat. It hits the screen teeming with joy. Gleaming and bursting blissfully with excitement. We follow the ever charming Mia a struggling actress in her search for that big break. She works a menial job as a barista right off the Warner Brothers studio lot. Though she is an adult she hasn't lost that childlike innocent yearning for a dream. She faces the cruel reality of rejection and being looked over yet still she continues to keep her dream alive. Emma Stone conveys a wealth of feeling and emotion in a single glance. In La La Land she puts on display some of the best body language and expressive acting we have seen yet. Emma Stone's Mia is filled with hope and love. She will not give up. She is determined time and time again to keep her dream alive. It is the hopeful journey of fulfilling this dream that La La Land gifts to us.
Ryan Gosling's Sebastian is a jazz purist. He is deeply rooted in it's history and longs for nothing more than to see it's glory days return in full force. He is enthusiastic and fanatical in his love of jazz to a fault. It's difficult for him to accept the path current music is taking. He feels as though we as a whole are leaving behind a gorgeous part of our history. He, just as Mia, is a dreamer. One that refuses to relent.
The first walk Mia and Sebastian share together is a wondrous moment. Such is the basis for their relationship. Two dreamers who don't know any better other than to chase what are seemingly fleeting goals. The dynamic between these two is pure and the spark their interactions illicit feels honest. The only word that truly encapsulates Mia and Sebastian's relationship is magical. As tired as it may be already it rings as the only word worthy of defining these two star gazing spirits.
Following up the masterful Whiplash Damien Chazelle delivers yet again another stroke of genius with La La Land. A poignant and often contemplative look at what it means to really follow your heart. The art direction, score, and cinematography paint a whimsical portrait of beauty and grace. La La Land is bright and colorful dreamlike and surreal. An astonishing piece of art that resonates deeply and is crafted meticulously with the love and care of a dreamer. Each frame exudes confidence while extracting wonder and amazement from deep within it's audience. It is absolutely two hours of pure ecstasy.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
Intense and uncomfortable. A must see.
You know that uneasy feeling you get when driving alone at night? Particularly down a street you're not familiar with or through a neighborhood that is foreign to you? Something just feels off. Usually it's all in your head. You're just getting a bit paranoid for no reason. Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? The hair on your arms stands up, the slow churning queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach suddenly becomes apparent, you have to keep looking behind you even though there is never anything there you just have to because what if? Those feelings are 10 Cloverfield Lane.
10 Cloverfield Lane is about the end of the world, or so that is the perception John Goodman's Howard gives us. He has built a doomsday bunker stockpiled with enough supplies to last for years. After Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Michelle is involved in an automobile accident he brings her to his bunker. This is all you need to know plot wise. Do yourself a favor and see this with knowing as little as possible about it.
10 Cloverfield Lane takes it's viewers on an uneasy and wholly uncomfortable journey. It slithers along at a rather brisk pace while getting darker, grimmer, and more unnerving with each passing moment. Every time you think you have it figured out it throws a new seedy wrench into your theory. John Goodman's Howard conspiracy theorist who doesn't seem right in the head. You know the term a few screws loose? This guy never had those screws to begin with. Goodman's remarkable turn as Howard is another excellent proof of his immense talent. He's paranoid, terrifying, likable, and completely unsettling. This is not a man you would ever want to meet.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead follows up her unbelievable all-time level performance in Faults with yet another simply brilliant performance here. With those two along with Smashed and Alex Of Venice she is quickly becoming one of the most versatile young actresses around. She plays Michelle with a fierce tenderness. Two descriptions that should not go hand in hand, but she accomplishes this feat in outstanding fashion. She creates a fully realized person here. At times it is easy to forget she is even playing a character. Her pain, sorrow, fear, conviction are all expressed amazingly and easily believed. She lives in this film and this film breathes life because of her.
John Gallagher Jr. delivers quite the beauty of a performance himself, however I'm not going to speak much on his character. I feel it's better that way.
Dan Trachtenberg has already shown is technical prowess with his Portal short. Here he expands himself to glorious results. There is no doubt he was the right man for this job. He lets his actors grow, and he aptly builds a very intense and very horrifying world around them. He keeps the pace smooth while keeping a frantic feel to it all. The mood he constructs here is an edge of your seat, close your eyes, and don't look down thrill. I am already eagerly anticipating his next work.
2016 has it's first must see of the year. This taut and mysterious thriller manages to keep the tension at an all time high and it's viewers guessing for it's duration. Even despite the obvious alluding it's title lends this film will keep your mind turning. The final 15 minutes are guaranteed to lead to very different feelings, but for me they couldn't have been done better. It is those last moments that truly solidified this as an absolute masterwork. Do not miss this one.
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2014)
Bizarre, haunting, darkly comedic, and powerful.
Kumiko is a droll and often disengaged work. Taking it's central idea from a media misstep on a true story Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter takes a path of solitude and contemplation. It's not often that a film is so rudimentary in it's storytelling while being so proficient in setting it's world and reeling you into it. Kumiko is anchored by a great performance from Rinko Kikuchi. One that often treads the line of stoicism while being peppered with flashes of perfect comedic timing and emotional unrest. A difficult performance to hold down, and Kikuchi does so, at times, masterfully.
In Kumiko we are shown time and time again how mundane and unfulfilled her life has become. Kumiko needs something. Some sense of purpose. An adventure. She finds this in her belief that she can recover the buried money, or treasure, from the film Fargo. A truly preposterous starting off point for a story and one that could only be from a misunderstood quote from a real life event. Yes, the basis for this film is indeed rooted in reality. Albeit a misconstrued footnote from the tragic life of Takako Konishi.
Director David Zellner leads this film with great aplomb. His pacing is painstakingly slow though it is very much so deliberate. He lulls the viewer into a state of near boredom to drive home the mundane life Kumiko is enduring. His pairing with cinematographer Sean Porter could very well result in a masterwork in the near future. The two of them lens this film to perfection. Every shot is a gorgeous wonder to look at. Kumiko is often center frame on full display for all to see. This is important as she is a nobody in her life, yet here on this journey of her's she is the subject of interest. Their positioning of her here is quite brilliant. The snow riddled landscapes of Minnesota and North Dakota are beautifully majestic as the backdrop of Kumiko's treasure hunt.
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter is a bizarre, haunting, darkly comedic, and powerful journey of a troubled individual looking to up the ante on the flop out of a poor hand having been dealt by life. Gorgeously shot and brilliantly performed by it's lead this sure to be polarizing film is an experience to behold. It's creeping pace will offset some, but ultimately there is more than enough here to make it's duration worth your while. 8/10.
A visual beauty with equally beautiful performances.
Playing with tropes and flirting with genres Spring dances around the edges of it's own definition. Blending elements of mystery, thriller, horror, coming-of-age, and romance Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead weave a fantastical tale of love and the mysteries in life. Giving the viewer just enough to hook us in they slowly reveal a beautiful and oddly charming relationship while keeping a brooding and sinister undertone throughout. Gorgeously shot Spring pops with vibrance showcasing it's alluring location in the sun. When the light dims in the night Spring comes alive. In these darkened morbid hours the central relationship of the story comes through.
Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker own the screen with ease. If you were to tell me that they were a real life couple I would believe it. Their chemistry is electric and they play as if they have known each other their whole lives. Spring lives and dies by their relationship and they do not disappoint. Pucci plays Evan with a reserved edge. A man who is suffering, but has no one to confide in. His internal pain is easily felt and aptly conveyed through Pucci's eyes. He embodies the role of a wounded man seeking comfort. Hilker's mysterious and enticing Louise, seemingly, a dream woman. Striking beauty met with excellent wit and high intelligence made all the more enchanting by the mystery that surrounds her. Hilker makes it very easy for the view to quickly fall for Louise just as Pucci's Evan does. Just as much as he wants to experience more of her, we do as well. Louise is likewise intrigued by Evan and his apparent impulsiveness to up and leave his own country on a moments notice. Just as she wants to find out what it is he is seeking, we do as well.
The special effects fit the tone of Spring well. Creative and original while still being a bit of a throwback to classic horror. By being used only sporadically their effectiveness is even stronger. Spring's is edited brilliantly. While flowing along at a rather slow pace Spring never feels as though it wanders or strays. Rather it takes a second to watch the beauty of the story as it unfolds. Benson and Moorhead crafted quite the film in Spring. A mesmerizing and haunting portrait.
Tension. Mystery. Intrigue. Confusion.
Tension. Mystery. Intrigue. Confusion.
That would be an apt tagline for Faults. Riley Stearns has crafted an ambiguous and effective low-key thriller that will be sure to turn a few heads. I will say right off the bat that this film will be divisive, and I understand why. I see this more-so joining the ranks of a Sound Of My Voice/Martha Marcy May Marlene as an oft-misjudged work than a Spring Breakers/Under The Skin love it or hate it experiment. I found a similar feel to all of those films and that feeling resides in Faults for me. This film makes you feel some sort of way. There is something there underneath the surface that is almost inexplicable. The question is whether it is off putting or not.
Leland Orser's Ansel Roth is a pathetic shell of a person. It isn't entirely clear the kind of man he used to be, but it is clear that he is no longer that person. He struggles within himself to live with his past, but he is unable to leave it there. Something grinds on his every thought. Pushing him down further and further into his own abyss. He is not a good man. He is a bottom feeder. A lowlife scavenger looking out only for himself. His failures in life control him. Is there any redemption left for him or his is ulterior motive his only concern? Leland Orser lends a sympathetic air to Ansel making the viewer want to see him be able to piece himself back together. He shines in his moments of weakness and really pulls at the strings of your heart. This is a character that could've easily been unlikeable, but Orser straddles the line marvelously giving us a fully rounded person who may not have been the best he could be, but there may still be hope for him yet.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is stellar. From top to bottom she is in top form. This is a performance that is not to be missed this year. I suspect she will near the top of quite a few year end lists. Winstead's Claire is a mysterious subject. She is fragile, clearly conflicted, yet strong and seemingly in control of herself. Winstead brilliantly portrays all of these traits simultaneously putting the viewer through a whirlwind of emotions. She reels you in and never lets go. He presence is captivating and impossible to look away from. There is something dark unsaid in her past. Lurking just behind her eyes. She intrigues with her philosophies, but confuses with her actions. An utterly compelling and fascinating character. Winstead deserves recognition for this towering achievement.
Faults slithers along with a seedy and deplorable undercurrent. Something is not right here. Every scene aches with a darkness. A dirty feeling creeps into your bones. Riley Stearns frames this with the expertise of a well seasoned director. He proper laces each scene with tension. Giving the viewer more and more as each minute passes all while keeping a mysterious vibe in the air. Questions seem to be unanswered, but upon pondering for a few moments once the madness ends the answers do become present. Faults is a thriller for the thinking-man and for this viewer it delivered in every way.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Experience the journey on your own.
This one is a little more difficult to write about. I don't want to say too much, I don't want to say anything really, because going through the journey with Swinton's Eva is what it's all about. A visceral drama that teeters on being a psychological thriller with the tones of a horror film. Everything about it feels so surreal but at once so honest. It's not an easy experience, but one that should definitely be had. Swinton deserves all of the praise she's gotten so far and so much more. It will be a travesty if the Academy passes on this. It ended almost an hour ago and it's still flooding my mind. One that stays with you for sure. Just watch it, then we'll talk.
A remake worth watching.
I sat down to write a review about this film and I couldn't. Even as I sit here now, hours later, I still can't. I could write up six paragraphs gushing over the film but that's all it would be. No matter what angle I try to come at the review at all I can think about is just how amazing the film was. I've written plenty of reviews for films I consider masterpieces wherein the only thing I do is praise the film, but for some reason it's not happening. I mean, I just can't. That's how good this film is. It's so good, and I loved it so much, that I can't put it into words. 2011 is the first year where I want to have my number one of the year be a tie. I didn't think anything could touch Drive, but this does. I loved everything about it. When I first watched the Swedish version all I could think after it was over was that David Fincher would've been the perfect man to direct it. Low and behold my wish was granted and did he ever deliver. It's not just him either everyone delivers. From the acting to the screenplay to the editing to the score to the sound mixing to the art direction to the cinematography everything. Just everything is exactly how it should be. The best part though? Rooney Mara. She gives what is my favorite performance of the year. Like it or not this one will be iconic.
The story of a down trodden boxer, Rocky, who gets a shot at the Champion, Apollo Creed, due to his original challenger going down with an injury. We open with a gritty shot of a boxing match in a worn down arena. Rocky is getting battered and doesn't seem to much care or even be trying. The crowd heckles and berates him with jeers and shouts about him being a bum. Rocky takes a good hit and then unloads on his opponent in an instant knocking him out. This is Rocky. A man who has the tools and the capabilities to be somebody, but is content with doing just enough to get by until he really has to bring it.
We go from this to seeing Rocky around town conversing with people, trying to give advice and just generally being a good human being. He works as muscle on the side for a local big shot. Even when trying to collect money from a local lowlife Rocky doesn't have it in him to hurt the guy in order to get the message across. Rocky is a good person. Yes, we get it. The film spends the better part of it's first hour shoving this point down the viewer's throat. It all feels so very forced. Rocky stops by a pet store every day to tell a joke to a woman, Adrian, he is infatuated with who doesn't seem to be giving him the time of day. He is confused by this and by her. All he knows is that there is something about her. Something more to her and he is drawn to her.
It isn't until Rocky goes on a date with Adrian that we are finally able to connect with the kindness Rocky has residing in him. After taking her out to the ice rink they go back to Rocky's place. He convinces her to come inside. Once inside they share a very sweet and tender moment. Rocky's vulnerability shows through as does his love for Adrian and it is a beautiful moment. This is followed by Rocky going to gym he frequents to find out someone is waiting for him. Here Rocky has quite an intense confrontation with the gym's owner Mickey. Rocky catches flak from everybody and doesn't seem to get why. Mickey is more than willing to let Rocky in on the fact that he has the tools to be a Champion, to be somebody but instead of trying and reaching for that goal he just floats around and lives day to day doing what is necessary to survive. For someone with so much potential it's quite aggravating to see them waste it.
Rocky is a simpleton. An average minded guy who isn't as smart as the average person. A man who doesn't expect opportunities in life to just present themselves. A man who, even though talented, doesn't fully believe in himself. During a meeting in which Rocky thinks he's going to be asked to spar with the Champion he finds out they want him to fight the Champion. When he is offered the chance at the title, the opportunity Rocky has been waiting his whole life for, at first Rocky declines. On the surface Rocky once again seems content to just be. Though it is something deeper. He's nervous. He is afraid of losing in front of the whole world. He's afraid of getting that one shot and failing, of really being a bum.
Talia Shire's Adrian is a shy and awkward woman, but one that loves and accepts Rocky for who he is. She is the crutch that holds him up and the foundation of his motivation. Shire plays her with an intricate vulnerability. She makes her connectable to the audience. Burgess Meredith's Mickey is a manager who, in Rocky, has his one last chance at the big time. Something he was never able to capitalize on. Meredith portrayals Mickey with such anguish and regret that it breaks down the viewer. He truly makes the character come to life. Burt Young's Paulie is a conflicted drunk who just can't get his act together. He loves Rocky as he is and doesn't know how to deal with the sudden attention and popularity he receives. It hurts him that Rocky seems to shun him and he shows his hurt in the only way he knows how by lashing out and pushing Rocky and his sister, Adrian, away. Young's performance is a heartbreaking one.
Rocky's problem lies in it's pacing which is the fault of the editing. The first hour doesn't contain enough to fill the hour and the second hour contains too much. About 15 minutes could've easily been trimmed from the first hour. It's strengths are it's performances and screenplay. Stallone, Shire, Meredith and Young all shine and were deserving of awards recognition. Rocky is a film that starts off slow, but finishes with a bang. The direction is nice, but nothing to drool over. Rocky is a good film and is deserving of it's Best Picture nomination. But Rocky has the disadvantage of being released in a year that featured Network. A film that is considered by many to be one of the best ever made. Because of that Rocky will never be fully accepted as a deserving BP winner and over Network it's not.
At first glance Rocky is the story of an underdog boxer, but when looked at deeper Rocky is the examination of a man who never had anything, was never taken seriously and was never given any opportunities and how he deals with finally getting that one shot. Sylvester Stallone gives a career best performance. One that was very worthy of the nomination he received.
The fomula pays off.
Sometimes the formula pays off. This is one of those times. A true story of two struggling attorneys set out to change the medical world. Gripping until the final moments. Despite being a bit predictable I found myself sitting up right in my recliner for it's duration. At it's core it is a powerful story of greed and corruption. One that should not be missed.
Chris Evans delivers what is his most moving performance to date. He stars as Mike Weiss a high performing drug addict. Despite his flaws I found myself smiling during his drug fueled rants and rooting for him as he fell deeper into his addictions. He lights up the screen every time he's on it and I never once wanted him to be in the background. Thankfully, he is not there often. Being someone who grew up around drugs and that sort of lifestyle I found his representation to be quite accurate of a driven man who just can't kick the habit. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Chris Evans has it.
Everything about this film, from top to bottom, excelled for me. The direction and screenplay are both tight, but make no mistake about it this is the Chris Evans show and he delivers in a major way.