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Personal Shopper (2016)
A film about Kristen Stewart texting iMessages on an iPhone.
If you would LOVE to watch Kristen Stewart spend an entire film sending and receiving boring anonymous text messages (which have zero relativity to the plot and character development), then boy ahoy you are in for a real treat here!
I can't bring myself to waste much time on writing a review for this. The biggest takeaway from this film is that Kristen Stewart sends and receives a lot of text messages with an anonymous person on the other end. That's it. There's really nothing else in this film. It's not scary, it's not mysterious, it's not adventurous, it's not thrilling, it's not dramatic, it's nothing.
Hopefully this helps you make your decision if you're considering whether to watch or not to watch.
The Discovery (2017)
The most fascinating concept of the afterlife that I've ever seen in a movie.
No spoilers here, and the title pretty much sums up my sentiment towards this film.
I have always been interested in the concept of things like afterlife and reincarnation (or the exploration of a lack thereof), but rarely do I find a film that creatively and honestly explores this subject. This is an absolutely marvelous film if you're interested in these concepts.
However, if you're the god-fearing type or a hardcore fanatic of any western religion, this film might not be for you. This seems to be a film for people who try to look beyond what their religion explains to them, or perhaps people who do not follow a religion at all.
I rated this a 10 out of 10. Does that mean that this is equivalent to the best films I've ever seen in my life? No it does not. But because it explores such a magnificent concept that many of us tend to ignore while being surrounded by our material lives, it is well-deserving of a 10/10.
Side notes: The acting was superb, and Rooney Mara is adorable!
Bonus: If you enjoy this film, I would highly suggest that you watch "I Origins" (2014), as it explores the same type of topic.
Mean Dreams (2016)
Well-acted indie thriller with an amazing landscape.
As a low-budget thriller/drama, I came into this film with modest expectations. I was very delighted to be treated to a well-acted film with an incredible landscape (filmed in Ontario).
The acting was perfect. Sophie Nelisse has the makings of a world-famous box office smasher someday. Josh Wiggins was superb in his lead role. And the late great Bill Paxton played his role flawlessly.
I will not include any spoilers as to why I'm "only" giving it an 8 out of 10, but I will say that this indie thriller is definitely worth watching.
Rest in peace, Bill Paxton.
Wow, this is what cinema is all about!
I came into this film with moderate expectations and was completely blown away by the quality of the cinematography. The unorthodox yet ingenious order of the character development, the magnificent scene settings and backdrop, the sound and scoring, and the superb acting by EVERY actor (including the children)- it all paved the way for a spectacular cinematic experience.
**SPOILERS | DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM**
I really wanted to give this film a 10 out of 10, and at one point I was sure that I would give it a 10/10.
The reason why I only gave it a 9 out of 10 is simple: the screenplay writing was flawed and lent itself towards some annoying moments where the characters made excruciatingly dumb and illogical decisions that either got them killed or at least resulted in extreme consequences.
-Example 1: Liz (Dakota Fanning) should have shot The Reverend dead while she was outside on the porch with the Winchester Repeating Rifle aimed at his chest. Instead, she stupidly chose to put down the rifle and run inside to check on her daughter. Thus she got tied up and her daughter got whipped.
-Example 2: Matthew (the son) stopped the horse carriage and then proceeds to be killed by The Reverend's perfect sniper fire ambush in zero-visibility snowstorm conditions. It was very hard to accept that this was written into the screenplay.
-Example 3: Samuel (Kit Harington) has a chance to free Joanna in the church, and points the pig-killing pistol at The Reverend but walks right up next to him at point blank range, and then turns away briefly only to have The Reverend wrestle the gun back at him, thus resulting in Samuel's death.
Aside from these screen writing flaws, the film was marvelous and represents everything that cinematography is supposed to be.
Acting: 10/10 Cinematography: 10/10 Sound/Scoring: 10/10 Scenery/Setup: 10/10 Screen writing/Character Decisions: 6/10
Movie Overall: 9/10
Thank you for such a great film.