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The Great Wall (2016)
Terrible but great
This movie is by no means winning any awards this year, but it is one of those great movies i'm glad i saw. I viewed this in an almost empty theater with a couple friends and we laughed our asses off. The unintentional comedy and Matt Daemons terrible appearing and disappearing accent made this movie hilarious. Toss in the fact that Willem Dafoe is in this movie and this should be mandated viewing. This movie is literally so bad that it was good.
Why this movie is great, but i still remained a bit reserved
As a fan of quality cinema and science I am a sucker for Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey". This was the first movie to ever depict realistic space conditions; addressing problems such as zero gravity and noticing the silence of space. Gravity attempted to recreate this atmosphere but instead of addressing the silence of space with actual silence the viewer heard blasting music and Sandra Bullock's loud breathing as well as a very memorable instance in which they misinterpreted how physics work in space. In my mind I expected a lot from Christopher Nolan's depiction of space considering how he has stated that he admires Kubrick's masterpiece. In short I wasn't disappointed. The moment the first scene in space took place i couldn't help but smile. Though Nolan did have music to set the tone in some space sequences, Nolan did take the time to show the silence of space. A particularly good instance of this is that in which (Spoiler) the airlock is opened and Matt Daemon's character is imploded along with a good chunk of the space station. This was done is spectacular fashion going from mid-sentence in a character's speech to a sudden then muted explosion. This along with all other space physics and ideas triumphed as the center peace of the film and as a beautiful testament to movies of space. The only reason for not giving this movie a higher rating is a very emotional script witch in my opinion drew away from the science and breathtaking space sequences and then also the heavy symmetry to 2001. As for the emotion carried through the film, it was strong at first with the depiction of the stress felt by McConaughey's character watching the lives of his loved ones pass in front of him in mere moments, but felt as though it were laid on a bit too thick by the end of the film. The similarities to 2001 however were a larger problem for me. With the different dimensional travel, the supposed higher beings guiding them, and other similarities, I became too reminiscent of 2001. For a movie Nolan created so well with so many great things incorporated, I wish he had made a film that was more his own than a tribute to the work of another filmmaker that he admired. In all however Interstellar is a movie I genuinely enjoyed and definitely earned at least a rating of 9/10.
A Most Wanted Man (2014)
Best movie I've seen in a long time
I would have presumed that the exceptional critical acclaim for this movie was due in part to this film being one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's last; however i was mistaken. This film, which i had to essentially scour a couple states to see was without a doubt fantastic. After i finally tracked this movie down to the only theater in Branson or Springfield Missouri that was showing it (I live in Texas by the way) I eagerly awaited the movie. This film blew me away in terms of the intensity in which it grips the viewer. It legitimately kept me on the edge of my seat and legitimately nervous about the outcome of certain situations. The stand out scene of the film in my opinion is that in which Günther Bachmann (Hoffman's character) and his team await to see Abdullah transfer funds to the shipping company through which he funds Al-Qaeda. The scene is extremely tense and makes the viewer nervously await the outcome of the situation in a way that one rarely experiences from watching a movie. Yet even better is the extremely sudden conclusion to the movie in which the CIA in conjunction with the Hamburg police force leader, both of whom Bachmann had abraded earlier in the film, swiftly come and steel both Abdullah and Issa(or more accurately make disappear). In the blink of an eye they come and just as quickly vanish with the two betraying Bachmann ,similar to the event mention earlier in the film which resulted in his transfer to Hamburg, and setting back his plans to square one and reaping undeserved and unripened benefits that Bachmann had gained from the two. In conclusion this film was extraordinary and definitely deserved more public acclaim and accessibility. Plainly, I give this film such an excellent rating, not because it was one of Hoffman's last films, or because it wasn't a main stream hit, but because it flat out deserves a 10 out of 10.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
A Good Representation of non-Shakespearean Tragedy
"The man who would be king" is yet another addition to the numbers of films that fall into the genera of tragedy. From the beginning of you story the viewer feels the set up to a tragedy seeing as a clearly distressed and pained second party to the main character recites the story. As typical of a tragedy the flaw in Dravot is either that he takes pure coincidence for fate or that he neglects the existence of a real god. Regardless of which view you as the viewer take this flaw leads him to abandon the advice of his friend and refuse twice his pleas to escape as planned. Dravot dooms himself when he remains in his place as a god when he is not a god. All in all the movie is very good, however i had never heard of it, and would never have if it had not been given to me as a present. This is a film which deserves a wider recognition and is in all a very good addition to works of tragedy.
A Surprising Delight
As I first viewed the commercials for this film I was unimpressed. It seemed to me like it would turn out to be an unrealistic, poorly filmed, cheaply done movie. However when I took the opportunity to watch it to actually see how bad it was I was amazed at how opposite it was from my original ideas about it. This version blows Stallone's out of the water as well as most of the other recent additions to the dystopian future category. Dredd gives a gritty and raw updated interpretation of the comics all while staying true to the source material. If you have not seen it it is definitely worth the watch. In addition as of February 25 Karl Urban announced at a Star Trek event that there has been talk of a possible sequel. This was originally thought to be out of the question when the 50 million dollar budgeted movie only grossed 35 million world wide, but due to the massive number of home copies purchased it has reentered the realm of possibility. I personally hope to see this franchise take off and show the other franchises like hunger games and harry potter what a real movie is.
Recognition and Praise of Editing and Film as a Whole.
Before watching this film I was aware that it was shown in reverse chronological order. I was not keen on this also knowing that it was coming from the director of the Dark Knight and Inception, which while they are good films I do not hold them in as high regard as others that i have watched seeing as most of his more recent works aim towards purely entertainment instead of the art of cinema. However I was left in awe of this movie and realized how perfect the choice of showing the film in reverse actually was. Leonard's condition leaves him chronically unaware of how he gets places and what he's doing. By presenting the film starting with Teddy's death at Leonard's hand Nolan is able to leave the audience with the same feeling because they are unaware of what Leonard is doing at the beginning of each scene as well as how he has gotten there. I'm not sure where in the planning process that this decision was made, but it without a doubt changed the chemistry of this movie and took it from what would have been your run of the mill neo- noir crime film to an icon for future films to aspire.