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Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
A Very Pleasant Surprise
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one, but it is a wonderful characterization of people and life. One of the first from the Coen Brothers that I have seen that didn't have anything to do with stealing money, a robbery, killing, etc. This movie is one of the best from the Coen brothers, very well done.
Oscar Isaac is a true talent, I had seen him before but sometimes it takes a role like this to see the untapped talent brought out of such a great and brilliant actor, which Oscar Isaac is proving to be. I look forward to seeing him in more now. Of course Carey Mulligan is always fantastic. This movie is a modern day musical really. No dancing, but lot's of folk singing, some really good songs too. You will not be disappointed with this movie.
A true look at how it is for a struggling artist. This is how it is for about 80 percent of artists out there. The other 18 percent hope to get to where the other 2 percent are, that 2 percent being Tom Cruise, Bob Dylan, Picasso, etc.
One Hour Photo (2002)
Williams at His Best
Robin Williams was a fantastic actor. Very sad how things turned out for this great man. He played many parts that made us laugh and smile. He played very few that showed another side of his acting, parts that were dark and disturbed.
Perhaps watching a movie like this shows how sad and alone Robin Williams may/or may not have been, as he went deep with this performance, and channeled a deeply sad and disturbing individual in this film. Most acting comes from at least 'some' part of the actor as they are the one acting the part. Just saying on that note.
But this was truly a great film, one of Williams' best performances for the sheer fact that he never showed this side of his acting very often, but also just because it was a terrific performance. There is a twist at the end of the film, not so much a twist to the story, but a twist to the character and how we view him after learning the twist. Everything about this movie rides on the twist at the end. Any lesser film and the twist would have been contrived/forced, and basically phony.
But the subtle way the twist unfolds with the great writing and the top level of acting William's gives in the moment, the twist unfolds very naturally. The scene also where Williams is running down the hotel parking structure, brilliant, just brilliant. Williams will be very missed.
The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
The concept of this film is very appealing. Thinking about time travel in general is appealing and this film does a pretty okay job in discussing certain aspects of what it 'could' be like. Although I'm curious, his young daughter always needs clothes then too right? (Like no one ever having to go to the bathroom in the film Speed, something never addressed in the film, but assumably obvious).
The acting is pretty good in this film. One thing though, certain actors/actress are very good in each part they play whether they just play themselves in different circumstances or play a completely different transformed character. However, some actors/actresses are really great in certain movies and aren't so great in others. I say this because after I saw Rachel McAdams in The Notebook, I thought she was the best things since sliced bread. I felt she would be one of the main leading ladies for the next 20 years. And don't get me wrong, she has done some good work since, but you here less and less of her every year and I had wondered why until I saw a few more movies with her.
McAdams is terrific in The Notebook, awesome in Red Eye, The Hot Chick, Mean Girls and she's pretty okay in the Sherlock Holmes movie. But there are certain parts she doesn't connect well with. In State of Play she was okay, but not great. And in this film, she's okay, but not great either. She just can't connect to this role in The Time Traveler's Wife for whatever reason. She has the technique and the emotions going throughout this film, but there's really no connection. She's a pretty good actress for the most part, but some films she's not that great in, and I see why she doesn't work as much as I felt she should have before.
Questions that Arise in all of us
Wow, one really can't put into words what I saw in this documentary, as it takes your breathe away, but I will try. What a horrid day that was on Sept. 11th, 2001. This documentary raises the questions about faith and doubt. Good and evil. This documentary shows a wide array of views on religion, faith, love and connection based off of what happened on Sept. 11th, 2001.
It raises the questions about evil, about religion and if religion can or cannot ever be subjective to the eye of the beholder. A beautiful moment in the documentary is where it shows how art is subjective and the beauty of just looking at a piece of art and never truly knowing the answer of what the artist's meaning was behind it, as we all will have different opinions about that piece of art. As we will probably never truly know the answers we want to know, that's probably the way it's meant to be and maybe, the way it should be.
I'm sure if we did know certain answers from God, that there would be arguments if those answers were true or not. We're humans and we'll always disagree on everything and anything. But looking at how people helped out weeks or months later at ground zero, and how people had a love and connection with each other there was truly a sight to see. That love and connection is truly how it should always be. The same feeling you get after seeing Joel O'Steen live which is everyone is more happy, more kind to each other, and everyone is in this transcendent euphoric state. It should always be that way.
This documentary will leave you feeling better about yourself, and leave you in a state of mind of peace and tranquility, like you've transcended above and beyond. Everyone should see this documentary. A beautiful piece of art it is.
Guys and Dolls (1955)
I love it!
I love this movie. I never realized all of the songs I recognized and sang in school were from this movie. A fantastic mix of singing, dancing and acting. Rich characters that you love from beginning to end. Of course there are better singers than Brando but Brando did hold his own with every tune, and he was the best one for the part with his usual magnificent acting and likability.
Frank Sinatra is in top form and I always love watching the great and stunning actress Jean Simmons. You are in for a great time with this enriching musical. Fun for everyone. Will leave you falling in love with musicals all over again. A Must see!
Real Steel (2011)
Great Movie Until The End
From beginning to mostly end this movie has a subtle way of getting to the punch and then it delivers time and time again with the fight scenes. Real Steel delivers in the same way/formula as any Rocky movie, any underdog movie, and it's exciting to watch. It leaves you smiling as you root for the father and son underdogs. But then the ending comes and the word of the day becomes C for Cheese. Real Steel does not deliver the goods with the ending. It becomes too forced/contrived and cheesy as heck. This movie was about a 9 for me until the ending. However, overall, it's a pretty good movie and worth the watch. Also, you can never go wrong watching the beautiful and stunning Evangeline Lilly either.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Not Bad but...
Some truly great films I see, I'm not sure what I think of them at the time during and right after I've watched them. It takes it's time to settle in my system whether that be days, weeks, months or years, but when it does settle in my system I end up liking the film a lot better in the long run rather than during the time of watching it or right after watching the film. However, with Kick-Ass 2,the opposite is the truth here. I liked Kick-Ass 2 during the time and right after the viewing of it. I liked it a lot, but then the film kind of settled into my system after a day or 2, and I didn't quite like it as much as I initially did.
Kick-Ass 2 is entertaining, the characters are fun, and I would have loved to have seen more of Jim Carrey's character, Col. Stars and Stripes. Jim Carrey is fantastic in the part of Col. Stars and Stripes and the film is worth seeing just for his performance alone.
Overall though, the film falls a bit flat(as sequels tend to do). Kick-Ass 2 doesn't have the same magic as the first one. The story isn't as good nor is it as well written as the first, and so it just falls flat in the end. But still worth the watch for Carrey's performance.
Entertainment on All Levels
Some TV series' start out real strong and then die off quickly i.e. the first 3 seasons of The Shield were the best out there, but then that show started going down the downward spiral from there on out. And most shows do that. They run out of material and they have nowhere to go. Some shows start off slow, and and then become great as the series progresses and they stay great or some start off slow, and then become great as the series progresses and then decline downward after awhile.
With Nip/Tuck, it starts off strong and stays strong throughout the entire series and with many risks taken as well. A show that always reinvents itself. First season is dramatically intense and comedic at times. The 2nd and 3rd Seasons are scary with one of the best creepy villains of all time in The Carver.
Then the show goes a different way as they move to a different state. It becomes more comical, the situations are still dramatic, but it takes a more comical turn. And then the next season it gets serious again but then the next season it gets more comical again. And each situation that the two leads run into with each other or by themselves becomes more ridiculous/comical as the seasons/years go by.
But that's what makes it fantastic, the fact that Nip/Tucks creators know they are out of material so why not just make the most ridiculous situations you can with these crazy characters. The brilliance of it is, the characters in the show take it so serious, yet there is an underlying feel that the viewer can sense that the actors aren't taking the situations serious. The creators aren't even taking it serious anymore because they have proved with all of their main characters, that all the main characters are likable in their own vain and despicable manner, that you can throw them into any situation and crack up as you watch how that character deals with the situation and absolutely love every minute of what you are watching.
That's the true brilliance of the show. Always reinventing itself to the very end. A very versatile and brilliant show. One of the few shows that really switched it up throughout all of it's seasons. One of the few programs that took many risks as well.
Green Dragon (2001)
A must see film in my opinion. The Asian people have definitely suffered much as it shows in this film and many other films and documentaries. The Asian people do endure though as the Second Wife says in this film(which she's absolutely stunning to look at by the way). Patrick Swazye holds his own with some good acting and to prove even more that he was a very good actor, and very much an icon with his magnificent presence.
The three that really steal the movie though are Duong Don who plays the Uncle and then Forest Whitaker as the Cook and Trung Nguyen as little Minh. Whitaker and Minh steal the movie with every scene they are in together, and a pre-showcase at showing what a fantastic actor Forest Whitaker is as he's being recognized for his acting now. Lot's of different story lines going on, and all very true to the people, circumstance, culture and time. See this film for it's everything that it is.
What a Great Actor!
John C. Reilly really creates a fun, interesting, creepy and very disturbing character in Steve Brule. Some is laugh out loud funny and some is just plain sad. Great stuff with Tim and Eric as well. About 7 episodes are laugh out loud funny. About 3 are half funny and half not. And then about 2 are not funny at all. Overall though, I give this one an 8. You can't stop watching it. You will love this one if you love the Tim and Eric humor. If you do not love their humor, you may not appreciate this type of comedy.
I always like seeing John C. Reilly though no matter what, but I really did enjoy this one. Worth the watch very much so in my opinion. You'll also get a good kick out of the phrases Steve Brule uses as well as how he pronounces peoples last names.