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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Nowhere close to Scorsese's best
A bit of an understatement, but it definitely has it's weak spots unlike the near masterpieces of the likes of Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino. "The Wolf of Wall Street" in a way, reminded me of Goodfellas and Scarface. Both stories about a man who rises to fame and fortune, only to fall by his own graces. But that is really the only comparison I can find between them. Other than that, all "The Wolf" is about is a drugged up stock broker named Jordan Belfort who inexplicably figures out how to make millions in the stock market, along with some other guys who pretty much also come out of nowhere. After one meeting with Matthew Mcconaughey's character, Jordan suddenly becomes a genius stock broker and drug addict. Jordan and his buds seem to be doing something illegal, and are being chased by an FBI agent, but it's never fully explained what exactly how are breaking the law. Basically, the movie is just complete style over substance. Though it was funny and Dicaprio was excellent, that was about all the movie had going for it. But either his character or any of the other ones gave us a reason for the audience to care about them. All they do is snort cocaine 24/7, have aimless sex, and somehow have no consequences. It's like a fantasy world where everybody is completely comfortable with this behavior. This could only happen in the movies. Basically the movie felt like an unrated version of The Great Gatsby, which also starred Dicaprio. That's probably the best way to summarize it.
Friday Night Lights (2006)
Clear eyes, Full Hearts, Cant Lose!
I can't find a strong enough word in my vocabulary to describe how spectacular and engrossing this show is. I remember when I first heard about it eight or so years ago when the show premiered. To be honest, after seeing the movie, I thought it would be cheesy and not all that good. After Breaking Bad ended, I needed a new show to watch and while searching for the best shows available on netflix streaming, this was near the top of the list. And I can truly say even after watching something as incredible as Breaking Bad, I think this show is almost more special in it's own way.It doesn't need violence and drugs to be to be entertaining. I remember right after watching the pilot, I couldn't stop and stayed up till 7 am watching. It will pull you in that quickly, especially if you are a football fan. Not that you cant watch it if you don't like football or don't know much about it. I absolutely love football. Love watching it and played it in high school. But football is absolutely the least interesting aspect of this show. The first episode of the series goes through each day leading up to the first game of the season. After watching it I thought every episode would be that way. But after seeing the end of the pilot I realized the show is about much much more than just football. Football is just a backdrop.
The most important part of the show are the lives of the characters off the field, focusing on the head coach and his wife and their daughter, as well as the players. He is more of a father figure to these players before he is a coach. The main theme of the show is that people have dreams. It shows everyday problems that people face, which we can all relate to in one way or another. Then it shows these dreams can come true if you have someone who believes in you and is willing to help you until you reach these dreams. The show creates these characters in a pretty cliché fashion. But what makes the show so great is these characters are brought to life, making the viewer able to literally feel the emotions of these characters, even without words being spoken. For the most part, the acting is incredible by most of the cast. The way the show is shot makes you feel like you are in the room with these people. This show will move your emotions and make you laugh,cry, smile and cheer. There's not many other shows out there that can hit you with so many ranges of emotions. You really feel like you are a part of these peoples lives, and you really become connected to them. You are able to watch them change with your own eyes. You will think differently about life and football after watching it, I can guarantee that.
Breaking Bad: Felina (2013)
Best finale in television history
Whether the finale made everyone happy or not, it doesn't really matter. If this episode didn't move you're emotions, then you didn't watch the series close enough. It was a hell of a fitting ending for this series, and a spectacular one at that. If you have been watching this show for at least the last year, this episode is what all breaking bad fans could have wished for in a finale. It's not a sopranos ending when you have to make your own interpretation. Every loose end is tied up like expected. Yes, it was somewhat predictable,but the execution was marvelous and it was emotional, for me, how it ended. These guys obviously aren't getting off easy. They have been put through more heartache and disaster than just about any average human being could bear. That's what is so great about the series though. It takes two realistic, average characters and transforms them into totally different people. Just goes to show what comes with choosing a life where you are hurting others and making bad decisions. Walt and Jesse are shells of the people they once were, the unique personalities they once had, and the families and ones they loved that they lost. Whether they evade the cops or not, Walt and Jesse are dead on the inside. But there is still a little moral victory left to happen.
Breaking Bad (2008)
Extremely realistic and clever
My brother recommended this show to me a year ago or so because he said it was the best show he had ever seen. I got lucky and saw they were playing the re-runs starting from the first episode on AMC and playing them in order. After the first three episodes I was completely hooked. Best three episodes of TV I have ever seen. And it only gets more gripping from there. Watching this show is like watching something that could take place in real life in the third person. It is 100% realistic and makes you believe your neighbor or someone you know could be doing the same thing. The writers in the show are just so amazingly clever and unpredictable. Absolutely no clichés and magnificent story telling. Some of these so clever events I guarantee will make your jaw drop in awe. Of course the main character has two years to live so it is no mystery that he will die eventually. So you pretty you have a guy who decides, as the title suggests, to 'Break Bad'. Which pretty much means get as much money as possible manufacturing and selling crystal meth to support his wife, teenage son (who has cerebral palsy), and soon to-be daughter. His brother in-law works for the DEA also and is always one step away from catching Walt, which only adds to the tension.
So he teams up with a former low life student who has connections to get their product on the market. The relationship between him and this student is by far the most electric in the show. They are both EXCELLENT in this show and even more in their scenes together. There chemistry, no pun intended, is just perfect. The acting from the rest of the cast is just terrific also. Anyway, this show is one of the best, if not best shows EVER to air on television. Definitely my favorite. If you are looking for a show that will keep you engaged for the full 40 minutes, with few laughs, some top-notch drama, acting, scenarios, and unpredictability, this one is for you. Definitely give it a try if you have not seen it. You will be glad you did.
The Shining (1980)
Quite a classic
What does the Shining mean? You have to watch the movie yourself to really know, but once you do it will blow you away. This is quite simply the best horror films of all time. If not, it is the best movie i have ever seen in my life. From the beginning, the plot is pretty simple. Jack Torrance (Nicholson) becomes the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel for the winter. The owner of the hotel says that the previous owner went crazy and killed his entire family. Torrance disregards these facts and says that he will be perfectly capable of being the caretaker.
The great thing about the movie is the events that play out when Torrance and his wife and son become completely alone in the hotel. It is pretty obvious, since it is classified as a horror, that some serious disturbing events are going to take place. The way that it happens is really what makes the movie work. Kubrick uses his spectacular ways to make this movie into a classic. I don't care if it is totally different than the book. A book is not a movie, that is just a plain and simple fact. This movie will still scare the crap out of you whether you read the book or not. Even scenes with just one word will make you jump. If you watch, do watch it with someone else, because you will be talking about it forever.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Best movie of all time, in my opinion.
I can't figure out why I love this movie so much. I have seen it more times than I can count and still it never gets old. It is a very unique movie. I particularly love the ending, and think it is the best scene in cinema history (some great acting by Samuel L. Jackson). The movie isn't meant to have a moral, which is indicated from the "pulp" part of the title. But in not trying to teach us a lesson, the film hits even harder with one . I believe the movie is actually very deep with themes such as forgiveness and redemption. One moment Butch is about to kill Marcellus, the next he is saving him. Jules is wrapped up in the life of crime and suddenly he sees a sign from god that he is a terrible person and he acts on this. From Jules passage he has an epiphany that what he has being doing is wrong and realizes he needs to help someone else to start his journey towards redemption. Everyone has something they want to change in their life, something they want improved. This was just the beginning of Jules transformation. Though he isn't just stopping and forgetting all he has done wrong, he feels he owes a favor to the world and that was just the beginning transformation. If you have seen the movie you will understand.