Winter Movie Preview: December 2014

Posted in Movies, Previews with tags , , , on December 5, 2014 by Sarah

December 5

Life Partners

Co-dependent friendship threatened by a dude. I mean…really?

Limited/VOD

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Interstellar is…okay

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2014 by Sarah

HERE BE SPOILERS, YE BE WARNED

interstellar-posterHistorically, I like Christopher Nolan. I consider him one of the few true auteurs in modern cinema—auteurship being defined as more than just a distinctive visual style, but as having a unifying philosophy or narrative principle uniting a filmmaker’s work; in Nolan’s case, it’s identity and the various ways in which we shape and reveal them. But The Dark Knight Rises was a mixed bag and Inception is a case of diminishing returns—once you know how the plot works, sitting through all the exposition in that movie is an exercise in tedium. And it seems like, the bigger his movies and budgets have gotten, Nolan is maybe losing something of himself in the process, that in telling BIG stories, he’s forgetting to tell GOOD stories. Continue reading

Fall Movie Preview: November 2014

Posted in Movies, Previews with tags , , , , on November 6, 2014 by Sarah

November 7

Big Hero 6

Disney Animation dipped into Marvel’s well for an obscure comic book title that they’ve turned into this animated insta-classic about a boy, Hiro, and his robot companion, Baymax. Early reviews have been strong and advanced buzz is so good this might actually upset Interstellar at the box office.

The real story, though, is that Big Hero 6 was made without much participation from Marvel Studios—allegedly the top creatives didn’t want Disney producing anything outside the MCU—which has led to some ill will between Marvel and its parent company.

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Nightcrawler: A gold medal in the Weirdo Olympics

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , on November 5, 2014 by Sarah

nightcrawler-posterWhen actors lose a bunch of weight for a role it feels gimmicky, more often than not. It’s such an easy ploy and too often used as a launching pad for an Oscar campaign that it’s become kind of a joke. If Tropic Thunder were made today, the “full retard” speech would undoubtedly include a line about weight loss. So when Jake Gyllenhaal started showing up places looking gaunt, I felt a thread of dismay. Oh no, I thought, not him. He’s not THAT kind of actor. He lost the weight for Nightcrawler, the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy), a movie about a creepy guy, Lou Bloom, who works as a freelance videographer, recording gruesome crash footage and crime stories for the local news. And Gyllenhaal’s physical transformation is an essential part of what is a career-best performance. Continue reading

Kill The Messenger falls short of Jeremy Renner’s stellar performance

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , on October 29, 2014 by Sarah

Kill the Messenger posterAfter breaking out with The Hurt Locker, Jeremy Renner took on a series of action roles that saw him join some big-ass franchises, including Mission: Impossible and The Avengers. Over the last couple years, though, he’s been going back to his character-actor roots in projects like The Immigrant, American Hustle, and a not-nearly-lauded-enough guest starring stint on Louie. Now, in Kill The Messenger, he is once again the leading man. I just wish the final effort was more worthy of his talent. Continue reading

Gone Girl: Garbage people doing garbage things

Posted in Movies, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2014 by Sarah

SPOILERS

gone-girl-posterI didn’t really like Gone Girl as a book. I thought the premise was interesting, and I appreciated the antagonistic ending, but I found the alternating narrators to be a gimmick, and I got bored—I skipped over a hundred pages in the middle of the book and never missed a beat—and I didn’t understand why author Gillian Flynn devoted so much ink to Nick Dunne when his deranged, vindictive wife Amy was so much more interesting. It’s not that I think that Flynn is a bad writer—she’s not—or that I was offended somehow by the ending (which I gather many people were), I just thought Gone Girl was a helluva story bogged down by its own gimmicky conceit. Not coincidentally, this is also exactly how I feel about David Fincher’s film adaptation. Continue reading

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