Rarely have I seen such a simply dreadful movie with such a monumental waste of talent. The film's narrative is close to incomprehensible; the acting frighteningly stilted; the editing a disaster. I'm not sure that this director should ever be allowed to direct again. I can enjoy a high quality ;interesting film that moves this slowly -- this lacked quality and interest. You'd better off reading about Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla at Wikipedia.
Supposedly the "Director's Cut" is supposed to be a better film than the original release two years ago. I cannot fathom how bad the original studio release must have been. Do not waste your time or money on this glossy piece of film making incompetence.
It was even better than the trailer suggested. I shouldn't have been so surprised given its pedigree of being directed by the director of the similarly loving and sweet film "Bend It Like Beckham" that introduced filmgoers to the likes of Keira Knightly, Parminder Kaur Nagra (ER), Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Archie Penjabi (The Good Wife).
Tempting as it is to focus on the Springsteen theme and music, this film is more about finding oneself (without all the cliches most films of this genre mire themselves in) and your relationship with your family, esepcially your father. It also effectively addresses the racial bigotry toward Pakistanis in the 1980s U.K. (all too similar to the racial bigotry expressed toward African Americans throughout our U.S. history that's been stoked by Trump). In some senses it's a lot like "Field of Dreams" in terms of the father-son relationship (and yes, Cat Stevens' most beloved song, "Father & Son" would have fit in beautifully, but the film makers prudently avoided cluttering the flick with that gem).
You will be moved by the stories in this film. While I sported a huge grin during most of the film, a few scenes brought on tears among most of the audience.
And let us not foget the music -- or even more importantly the poetry and lyricism of Bruce Springsteen's songs. Using a savvy screen technique often showing the lyrics on screen (you see this in the trailer, so this isn't a spoiler), and listening to them, you cannot help but recognize that his poetic lyrics are every bit as worthy of a Nobel Prize as Bob Dylan's.
The directing warrants Oscar and BAFTA nomination's. The acting is superb throughout. And when a film as sweet as this also includes Marvel's Agent Carter in the cast as our protaganist's teacher, you just can't lose. The only thing that would have made this a better film would have been including the rarely heard Springsteen gem "Brothers Under the Bridges (83)" from his 3-CD "Tracks" collection, recorded in the mid-1980s but apparently never played in concert.
See this flim and bring the teenagers.
Yes the acting was generally pretty darned good. Yes, the camera work was dazzling. But the film just seemed superficial and artificial.
I realize there are plenty of folks who just adored the film and concluded it was innovative and clever beyond belief. I fear those conclusions are as superficial as this film.
So if you're a fan of Tarrantino films, this could go either way for you. If you don't buy into the hype, you very well may enjoy it. But iIf you're not a fan of his films, this one isn't likely to turn you into a fan. Better you should rent "Reservoir Dogs."
It starts out weak and never recovers. My wife and I kept watching (over her frequent objection) in the hope that it might find its feet. It never does. Poorly directed with a frighteningly bad script, it tries in vain to achieve a film noire atmosphere. The concluding episode turned into one of the more ludicrous hours of television we've ever seen. When Fauna Hodel finally confronts her dastardly father, the words that spew from her lips do not sound remotely like anything her character could ever say -- totally unbelievable. The final scene is a hoot -- only from the perspective of absurdity. Even if you really enjoy Chris Pine, even if you are intrigued by India Eisle's beauty, do not waste mroe than 7 hours watching this exercise in mediocre television. You will regret it.
Sadly, it's hard to care about any of the characters as the movie meanders along.
But it is beautifully filmed. On a scale of 1 to 10, the cinematography is a 12. And while the film is technically well done, it lacks any soul, anything to really move the viewer. I'd venture that about 30 minutes are actually interesting or gripping. I would very much discourage anybody from seeing this opus unless they really love great cinematrography and technical expertise.
But while "La La Land" was generally fun, it lacked memorable tunes and outside of the two leads and J.K. Simmons, I'm having trouble remembering any of the other characters. While the "alternative universe" section near the end was very moving, the rest of the film just lacked soul.
I think it's so successful due, in part, to the hype and the mental depression more than half the voters are in following the monster's election Nov. 8. It's escapism that is badly needed. And its success also comes in part from the dumbing down of the American people (which accounts in large part for the results of Nov 8) most of whom wouldn't recognize a high quality musical.
I suspect the film will do well in the awards season, but if it garners the Oscar for "Best Picture," it will be another miscarriage of justice like "The Artist" winning over "Hugo" and "Gandhi" and "Chariots of Fire" winning at all.
(1) The plot is close to incomprehensible (2) The directing is mediocre (okay, that is a characteristic in common with the original series) (3) The audience manipulation is palpable (4) The action is overblown (5) And did I mention the plot is close to incomprehensible?
Don't get me wrong. The film is generally fun. But it lacked the heart and soul present in all five television series (ain't counting no cartoons). The "Spock Prime" character is about as confusing as it gets. And while the homages to Leonard Nimoy were touching, they were a bit heavy handed.
But worst of all was the loss of any subtlety and heart. This reboot increasing seems to be solely about the money.
And the negative reaction to Zulu being gay -- which was handled with taste and, unlike the rest of the film, subtlety -- was just plain crazy. I would think that fans would have been a lot more upset about the Uhura-Spock romantic relationship given the nature of Vulcans, even half-human, half-Vulcan ones -- now that's moving away from the Roddenberry playbook far more than making Zulu gay.
All in all, Star Trek Beyond is a pleasant, but not very satisfying addition to the Star Trek compendium.
I don't know how the Disney people did it, but Zootopia is a brilliant political allegory (and sadly I don't think I was able to satisfactorily define the term for my 7 year old grandson who just loved the sloths in the film). Somehow they anticipated today's politics with the government initiated outcasting of predator animals, losing their government jobs, being shifted to positions where they'd have no contact with the public. Somehow they anticipated a "new" politician ready, willing, and able to do to some animals pretty much what that monster Mr. Trump wishes to do to all Muslims. Somehow they anticipated the rampant stereotyping in which Mr. Trump engages.
The political allegory enables this film to transcend its genre and make it a pretty important film given the sorry state of American politics today -- a state made all the more sorry by the GOP's race baiting, stereotyping, and general hatred of anybody who disagrees with it.
I wish I could be more positive about this movie, given the pedigree of its cast and director. But sadly there's no escaping the undeniable mediocrity of what could, in the right hands, have been a film nearly as exciting as "The Great Escape." I know that is is not easy to make a good film -- and "The Monuments Men" is the poster child for a simply bad, unentertaining motion picture.
That said, the acting was simply top notch. And the script -- there are not adequate words to praise the script enough. I was amazed at how the actors spoke in the manner of the day and never slipped into current styles of speech. You don't see that very often. While I think the film deserves the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Screen writing, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, I strongly suspect that like "The Color Purple" before it, the Academy will shut it out because we Caucasian folk just cannot deal with this stain on our nation. It would be a shame because this is a film that all Americans should see, especially those radical right wingers who continue to deny the horrors of American slavery.
Some performances, though, were simply outstanding. Ann Hathaway and Samantha Barks, both sang with aplomb and really acted while they sang. They went beyond mere singing to give a clinic in how to perform a song in a musical production.
At the opposite end of the spectrum were the badly miscast Russell Crowe who not only sings poorly, but did not act. He was stiff as a board throughout. Even worse were Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the villainous Thénardiers -- badly miscast and poorly sung. I can't understand why the producers didn't cast a pair of Thénardiers from the stage production. Nobody bought a ticket to the movie to see Cohen or Carter. In their hands, "Master of the House" lost all of its devilish charm. Their casting leaves me very apprehensive about the all-star casting of Tracy Lett's Steppenwolf Theater blockbuster "August: Osage County." My wife and I were privileged to see the original production at Steppenwolf in Chicago and we have great difficulty picturing Julia Roberts and even Meryl Streep (who will probably do quite well) in key roles in that play. When will producers realize that some stage actors really do own their roles and should be cast in the film? Director Tom Hooper really fouled up the entire film by shooting nearly all of it in close up. It didn't work. While his direction was generally fluid and professional, the close-up conceit he maintained throughout just got in the way of the scenes, detracting from them.
Equally troubling are many events in the story line. The way in which Cosette and Marius fall in deep love was simply absurd. And the way in which so many characters turned ill and quickly died was ridiculous. In the years since I saw the superb production of the play in Chicago I had forgotten some of the more absurd turns of events in Les Miserables. To really enjoy this movie, you've got to focus on the 70% of the music that made Les Miserables such a great theater-going experience.
Instead we get a needlessly long film short on everything but action. While Mark Ruffalo is excellent as Bruce Banner / The Hulk, the rest of the cast is pretty much cardboard. Frankly, it's just a dumb film and just because it's popular does not mean it's a good film.
So if you like lots of action, wooden dialog, dumb plots, and, well a lot of noise, you'll love this mess of a film. But if you expect to see a film that's better than the best episodes of Josh Whedon's "Buffy" or want more from a film, be prepared to be disappointed.
But "There's Something About Mary" is a real eye opener. The script, acting, and directing are really top notch, especially the script. The brothers Farley have matured and produced a genuinely hilarious movie that I will admit I've seen 4 times and would see again, preferably in a theater. Outside of one or two superfluous scenes, nothing is wasted in the film. And the use of Jonathan Richmond as the "Cat Balloo" style singing narrator (okay, he ain't no Nat King Cole or Stubby Kaye) is inspired. Everything clicks, unlike the Farleys' earlier films which, as best I can tell, appealed only to the dumbest and dumberest (such words) among us.