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The Danish Girl (2015)
Overwrought, overdone, overly dramatic performances...
This was basically a PBS/BBC/Lifetime Network TV movie, but due to it's content and budget it became an independent feature film.
The cinematography was not good, out of touch with the story and moments, and basically seemed a little self-indulgent. Many of the shots seemed like they were chosen because of how cool they looked, and not because it was a reflection of the moment, nor furthered the story. The wide angle lens was the worst choice out of all the lenses...were they saying it was warped?
This movie would have made a better stage play, in story, but mainly due to the over-dramatic nature of the performances that suits the theater and not the cinema.
There was no real sense of drama, and the stakes were very low. Society doesn't accept you...we get it. Most doctors think you're nuts...we get it. You aren't happy with yourself...we get it. Any conflict that was in this story was easily stepped over, and we never, not for one second, thought this guy wasn't going to go through with it. By the way, Eddie Redmayne played this character as more of an effeminate homosexual, than a trapped woman. Alicia VIkander had more balls, sexuality and femininity than Redmayne. There were a lot of woman in this movie, and Redmayne wasn't like any of them.
The more I think about this movie, the worse it seems to get. Too on the nose with every moment, too much Lifetime Network styling, too much theater sensibility. And too much piano. The Kings Speech was better, but still like a stage play.
It's no coincidence that Tom Hopper has a background in both Theater and Television...that's were he should stay. These films aren't cinema, they are filmed TV Plays, and they are better suited for those mediums.
Come to think of it, this movie seems like a parody. The ending was just plan silly (insert introspective piano melody).
Rock the Kasbah (2015)
Quietly Subversive (Spoiler Alerts)
Yeah, I basically saw it because I like the cast, but it was under-whelming, and I was so bored at some points, I almost walked out.
It was a very thin story, and they promoted the heck out of Zooey in the trailers, only to have her gone in the first 10-15 minutes. Kate Hudson's character didn't do much other than root for the home-team. Bill Murray was good, and did what he could with the material he had to work with. I actually liked Scott Caan in this film, better than anything that I've seen him in, and he had flashes of his dad in his performance, which was cool to see. Danny McBride, well, he can't go wrong anymore than Bill Murray. It was nice to see Willis with Bill Murray, but his character was all over the place, and it would actually be nice to see Willis and Murray in a better film together.
The story was a quietly subversive anti-Pashtunwali story, and therefore very liberal, and a little presumptuous.
Finding the girl in the desert was completely contrived and cringe-worthy.
The Cat Stevens song at the end was very clever.
The ending also felt false and hollow, even though this is supposedly inspired by a true story...which would have likely been better told in a more dramatic way.
It seemed to remind me of the film The Men Who Stare at Goats, and was equally as bad.
I give this film about a 5.4 out of 10.
Hollywood Vice Squad (1986)
A remake of the Paul Schrader/George C. Scott film "Hardcore" (1979}
Without seeing this film and reading the plot outline, I can see that this is clearly a rip-off of Paul Schrader's classic film entitled, "Hardcore" starring George C. Scott from 1979. Check out this plot outline from Hardcore: "A conservative Midwest businessman ventures into the sordid underworld of pornography in California to look for his runaway teenage daughter whom is making porno films in the porno pits of Los Angeles. " Sound familiar?
What a rip off of the Scrhrader/Scott classic. It is funny to note and to Carrie Fisher's delight that there are a few references to Star Wars...watch and see, you won't believe your eyes.
Before Sunset (2004)
Linklater did it again...great film, perfect title.
I never expected to see a sequel to Before Sunrise and had I heard that they would be making one, I would have simply asked why. But having seen a screening of it, I profess that Linklater has managed to capture the magic again.
Linklater, et al, have successfully brought us another wonderful and intimate film with Hawke and Delphy. Their characters have grown into adults in a way that you would have hoped and expected without being predictable. Delphy and Hawke have a unique and pleasant chemistry that keeps you rooting for them the whole time. I'm sure these two are very close in real life.
The setting and scenery are perfect and left me longing for a trip to Europe and lamenting the fact that I wasn't actually watching this in Europe.
One of the many things that impressed me the most about this film is the fact that you need not see the first one in order to understand this one. Another thing that impressed me is the perfect title, "If Not Now". I'm glad that this is the title. It would cheat the whole charm of the film if they went with something like, "Before...this", or "After...that". A title like that would only be pandering to the marketing department, not to mention the fact that it would make it sound like Ice Cube's "Friday" series.
Before I conclude I would also like to applaud the fantastic ending. Not many filmmakers can pull and ending off like that without leaving an audience feeling cheated. In this case the opposite is true and I left feeling rewarded and satisfied.