Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
Repeatedly Fell Asleep...
... so maybe some brilliance occurred during the moments when I was nodded off, but I doubt it. The writing is bad enough that I can't really take too much fault with the actors. They were given a dreadful script to work with and this was clearly just a payday for several of them. Samuel Jackson's character as the sidekick comic relief was dreadful, especially when they repeatedly tried to change gears and make him the moral standard bearer. Was horribly disappointed with Christopher Waltz's role. I think he's a fine, fine actor, but again, not much to work with here. As for 'Tarzan' and 'Jane'... meh. Nice to look at, but zero depth, despite the ham handed efforts of the screenplay to provide them with some. I will say that it's a gorgeous movie in terms of sets and costuming, but the CGI got to be way too much. Wait for video. If you have kids, they'll probably get a kick out of it.
O.J.: Made in America (2016)
The In Depth Story That Needed To Be Told
I have been very impressed with the scope and quality of this much anticipated documentary. While I enjoyed the inaugural season of American Crime Story with O.J. Simpson as its subject, it was a) a dramatization, and b) solely focused on the infamous murder case. This documentary, on the other hand takes us back to OJ's junior college days and examines, as its title suggests, what made O.J. Simpson the man he became. Seeing the rise of Simpson's football stardom put in context of the turbulent times during his days at USC was eye- opening. Using a bounty of old footage and interviews, we are shown the single-mindedness and sense of purpose that drove O.J. from the earliest days of his career and his complete disconnect from the racial tensions and the equal rights movement going on around him - perhaps, tellingly so. The filmmakers also do an amazing job of examining the people, the events and circumstances in the Los Angeles community which led an atmosphere in the city that undeniably had an impact on the investigation, the trial and the verdict in what has rightly been called the trial of the century.
Birdman is Brilliant.
Brilliance wrapped in bacon and more brilliance. While I have yet to see a couple of the big contenders - 'Selma' and 'Theory of Everything', namely - this is far and away the best film of the ones I have seen and I don't see that changing. It garnered seven Globe nominations for good reason (the most of any film) and it should pick up even more nominations for the Oscars (I'm betting on 10) in categories the Globes don't give awards for. The problem for offbeat, dark comedies like this one, come Golden Globes time, is that it blurs the line between drama and comedy so effectively that it loses out to more straightforward dramas and comedies like this years winners, 'Boyhood' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel', respectively. The Academy does not make this distinction and, while the odds-makers are saying otherwise, I have a gut feeling that they're going to get it right and Birdman is going to take home the Oscar for Best Picture. As it did for the Globes, it should win for Best Original Screenplay, but I'm not sure if Keaton is going to take home another win for Best Actor. I'm very much hoping it wins for two of the things that made this movie magical for me - Cinematography and Best Original Score. Chances are that the Oscar for the Best Score will go to something a little more traditional, but the jazz percussion score of Birdman not only served as a brilliant tempo track, but felt like another character at times. If it doesn't win for Best Cinematography it will be a clear sign to me that there is no god, all humans are stupid and the end times are nigh. The lighting design was amazing for its contributions towards moving between, confusing and combining the dual world of stage and screen in this flick and oh
the entire film was, essentially, a tracking shot (albeit carried out with effects and hidden cuts for some of the transitions) but that is why it should at least get a nomination for Visual Effects and maybe even the win. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Emma Stone and Edward Norton for the much deserved nominations they'll probably receive for their supporting roles, although they likely won't win. All in all, I predict that Birdman will receive the most nominations at this year's Academy Awards, but will only walk away with two or three statues. I hope I'm wrong and it runs the table, but it's just not the kind of film that the Academy tends to fawn over. All good, though
this flick is WAY up on my list of favorites and I look forward to regular, repeated viewings over the years to come. Absolutely phenomenal film. I can't wait for the day's responsibilities and obligations to be done with so I can watch it again.