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The Model (2016)
Dangerous depth. Really
I really loved this film.
That's quite an accomplishment for a story that is dark, and characters who are unsympathetic. But it raises important issues that need to be examined and discussed.
Very well acted, well directed, written and edited.
I can understand why some people might not like a film that poses controversial questions, and fearlessly goes where most dare not tread. But I appreciated that it dared to go to those places.
It's a great film to discuss if you have open minded, intelligent friends who appreciate that victimization isn't always as clear cut as we would like it to be.
Or, you may just end up losing friends afterwards. #NOTaMEtooStory
Chernobyl is the most important and consequential film I've ever seen.
Regardless of any theatrical liberties taken; Regardless what your politics are; Regardless of what you think of Nuclear Energy; This film is ultimately a story about the importance of pursuing the Truth.
The Russian people are portrayed as immensely heroic, and also as bumbling fools. Why is that so hard to accept? Don't all societies have both?
The "elites" (scientists) are portrayed positively, but at times are put in their place by the common - truly heroic - man (coal miners).
The politicians are portrayed as practical idealists, and at times ignorant, selfish corrupt bureaucrats. Sounds about right to me.
The thing I love the most about this film was the balance that was so artfully weaved.
It's far from a political propaganda piece. In fact, it's just the opposite. It points out how we are all looking for a simple hero and villain tale when in fact the truth is often more complicated than we would like it to be.
A tasteful artistic story of one of the most tragic man-made disasters. Should be required content for all students. Globally.
Eye on Juliet (2017)
Very well acted and directed
I must admit that I'm extremely surprised this film was ever made. If someone pitched the idea to me I doubt I would have went for it.
Perhaps that's why I was so impressed. If I had to narrow down all the things I loved about this story, I would have to start with the exceptional acting. This easily could have flopped with any other cast. Even though I didn't recognize a single actor from previous roles they all came off as seasoned pros. Perhaps that is due to exceptional directing, writing and editing. I can't say. All I can say is that I was unexpectedly drawn into this story and the very convincing characters.
Mission Implausible - Cashout
Don't watch it in 3D. In fact, don't watch it at all.
I couldn't believe the low quality grainy 3D cinematography. Did Tom Cruise get a deal on some Chinese 3D cameras. I saw it in a VIP theatre and it looked like this thing was shot on a consumer 3D handycam.
The storyline was predictable and overly simplistic. I don't demand a lot from an action movie, but Michelle Monaghan's reintroduction was confusing, unnecessary and appeared to be written in as an afterthought.
And all this talk about them doing their own stunts for added authenticity. Well, I for one would like them to go back to using professional stunt persons. This whole do your own stunts thing came off an an ego driven attempt to impress other cast members, that fell flat. Very flat.
Finally, the writing was absolutely terrible. I couldn't help but wonder through the entire predictable movie if Tom Cruise also wrote and directed this himself. It was that bad.
When I see the ridiculously high ratings on IMDB it makes me think that writing fake positive reviews is now just part of the industry.
I really enjoyed the first few films in the MI franchise, but now it's just the same old rehashed storyline. I really wanted to like it. But instead I now feel obligated to expose this cash grab for what it really is.
I'm confident that the truth will slowly come out and today's 8.5 rating on IMDB will eventually drop down to a 4.5 - which is still much higher than it deserves.
No spoilers on the plot here. Just imagine a bunch of overpaid aged friends getting together to travel around the world to show off their fitness level. Even Baldwin dropped a few pounds.
Come on guys. Speak up next time you see such a weak script. I'm sure some of you still have standards.
Dear Nicolas Cage...
Why? I understand this desire to do low budget independent films with the hope that perhaps, just perhaps, it will be the next pulp fiction - not that this low level script would lead anyone to that conclusion. Yet, there you are, accepting that horrible make-up and rediculous costume. And you didn't walk off the set. You took the inept direction of Steven C. Miller, and just went along with it. Why? Why would a talented actor agree to participate in such nonsense. The other actors all had reasonable characters, with ressonsble accents, and then there was you, Nicolas cage with a rubber nose, waning accent, rediculous wardrobe and hair.
I'm sorry, it just begs the question, Why? Did Bernie Madoff take all of your money? Are you now addicted to drugs? Is it just plain greed? I need to understand why. How did they convince you to stay once you witnessed the truth?
Please help us all understand.
Drinking Buddies (2013)
Great film to reflect upon
I didn't want to see Drinking Buddies - but I'm glad I did. It's now on NetFlix.
I had no idea what to expect going into this movie. I probably wouldn't have given it a second look if Olivia Wilde wasn't in it. Not because she is beautiful (which she is) but because I think she is a very intelligent, talented actor.
I wasn't disappointed.
The film was slow to draw me in. But it did. By the end, some interesting questions were raised about relationships, fidelity, friendships, and marriage. Some of these questions aren't immediately apparent, and may even take a day or two to mull them over. But they - along with some great performances - definitely made Drinking Buddies a film worth watching. It's the kind of movie that you'll find yourself reflecting upon days later.
If you are an intelligent person who likes to sit around with friends discussing the film you just watched, then Drinking Buddies is the film for you. I highly recommend it.
Donovan's Echo (2011)
A retired nuclear physicist involved in the Manhattan project searches for meaning surrounding a personal tragedy that altered the direction of his life.
Outstanding performances by Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood ground this interesting introspective investigation into déjà vu., time, and personal loss.
Well directed by Jim Cliffe, we see Glover's character Donovan slowly emerge from the fog of alcoholism, fighting to solve a mystery surrounding haunting déjà vu experiences. The viewer is drawn through this well constructed story at a very comfortable pace, with a sprinkle of humour that makes this drama extremely entertaining.
Donovan's Echo is multi-layered yet suitable for family viewing. It is bound to stimulate some interesting discussion afterwards.
Special mention must also be made of the very strong performance by Natasha Calis who plays Maggie.
With elements of an art-house film, Donovan's Echo will be remembered as THE sleeper indie success of 2011.