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Marjorie Prime (2017)
Great Science Fiction concept, but with all the great talent I thought it would be less boring.
I'm think Black Mirror had an episode just like this (in fact I'm sure of it). If you have not seen Black Mirror you should see it before you watch this film (or just watch Black Mirror instead)
So Basically,in the future, technology has gotten to the point that an old woman can own technology that can make a hologram that replicates her dead husband.
It's a lot like Black Mirror in two ways: Rather than create a hologram that reflected who her husband was when he died, she created one to reflect the man who asked her hand in marriage 30 years ago (played by Jon Hamm). Apparently her husband did not age well (Due to a large age gap between them) , so she picked the man she met in the turning of the century. It does not help that she is coming down with Alzheimer's so she might not (but more like chose not to) remember the older version, but those around her did, like her daughter,played by Gena Davis who hates the technology and how it allows her mother to live in a lie of her own fragile mind, and her husband, played by Tim Robbins, who sees the advantages of using the tech to make her feel better, to the point that he feeds information to the hologram to make it a better version of her late husband.
The other way it's like Black Mirror is how flawed the advance technology is. The more you talk to the hologram the more like the person it mimics it becomes. The Hologram hits a snag when you come across three different people who have different memories of the man being mimicked and it does not help when one is not a fan of the tech in the first place, and the other is feeding it info she's not even sure about. In this case, Marjorie Prime contemplate using tech to replace the void left by those who pass, but not much a fan of how it's done.
Marjorie Prime gives out good ideas in this slightly Sci-Fi concept based on a play, which they try to replicate on the big screen.
In reality, I wish that this was an episode of Black Mirror. It feels like a good attempt to mimic the show, but it's not the best. The large amount of well known actors does not do anything to make the movie give you any sort of feelings.
La fille inconnue (2016)
Not your typical murder mystery.
Simple yet effective, The Unknown Girl starts out as a typical day in the life of Jenny Davin, a doctor running a private clinic who feels guilty not answering a late night door bell ring at the office that oddly ends up costing a young woman her life. Feeling guilty, when Davin discovers that this woman's identity is unknown she makes an effort to find out who she is so that she won't have to lie in an unmarked grave.
It's a well done movie, I'm very impressed with what they did with so little. Some what like a Dogme 95 movie in the sense that they do nothing to enhance the story, which is so basic. No music, no flashy cuts or cinematography. Nothing to make it sparkle, Yet it does. It could have been so dull but it wasn't at all, was interesting and really pulls you into the story. worth seeing.
Vengeance: A Love Story (2017)
It's a strong story delivered with a little cheese (called Nicholas Cage)
So when I discovered in the opening credits that the movie is adapted from a book called Rape: a love story, I was a little taken off as the movie makes it too easy to see what's coming next, and it was hard to digest. Ironically Nicholas Cage's over the top cheese help to slide the discomfort down. It's important to state that I'm not saying Cage has never pulled an Oscar worthy performance, I'm just saying this is not it, No matter how descent his hair is looking in the film (which is usually a sign that Cage is going to pull a descent performance).
Taking him out of the equation, the film is a great story about three generations of women. One was sexually assaulted and the other two need to help her cope with the situation so that she would be fit enough to put her attackers away in a court trail. Most impressed by the little girl who played Bethie, the 12 year old daughter of a beautiful young single woman, who has to grow up a little too fast thanks to the whole ordeal. It's a performance that draws you in.
Putting Nicholas Cage back into the equation, he plays a hero cop who befriends the mother and goes the limit to see justice done for those who really need it. My whole self was a little conflicted as I saw Cage use his status as a cop to make sure rapist pay for their crimes in a Death Wish like fashion, the same way Cops have been using their status to kill black men and still roam free. Otherwise, his performance as a supporting actor (despite his billing and poster appearance) is not too shabby. However, his character feels a little incomplete at times, almost as if they added the idea of cage after the fact, and there are moments that it feels like I'm watching a cheesy b-action thriller (Does not help that Cage makes his first appearance in the film with a weak action scene)
Should also add Don Johnson's small role as a lawyer defending the attackers in the equation. His role actually proved that the movie has potential as he was an arc in the story about the attackers prospective of the story. There could have been more depth to it, but it comes off a little flat just because of the amount of fluff in it.
So this movie had a lot a potential as the main story it seems to center on was a strong drama, but a lot of elements that may have been used to sell the movie (Cage, wink wink) kinda cheapens it a little.
Brad's Status (2017)
Not for everyone, and what makes it good is that it points out that it's not for everyone.
Very interesting composition by Mike White, wrote and directed it.
Not as good as when he wrote School of Rock but I enjoined it for what it was
The movie points out the bubble of white privilege, which I think was brilliant considering the movie itself is a bubble of white privilege.
Ben Stiller plays a middle age hetero white man (it's important to note that for the story as it turns out) whose going through a bit of a crisis as he tours his son around prospective colleges and overthinks where he is in his life in comparison to those he went to college with.
It's a good role for Stiller who pin points that point in life where we all overthink the moments of our lives and ponder what could have been, based on superficial info and forget how good life is where you are.
At times it can be annoying watching as Stiller narrates his characters voice, which complains about a life I don't really see a problem with but then the movie points out the concept of how someone always has it better than you like you always have something better than others, and gives it a balance. The movie had this low tone that made for some brilliant short yet effective conversations with Stiller and other cast members, a lot of good dialog. And I'm happy that the movie was not as predicable as I was expecting.
It does seem like a certain movie for a certain crowd that I'm not a part of, but I did get something out of it, and enjoyed what I got.
Tulip Fever (2017)
That was strangely done comedy?
If it was one. The movie was fun and entertaining and a joy to watch. It feels like a comedy, despite its dark drama tone, or rather style. It made me fell like I should not laugh, so I didn't, which was hard not to do.
A great tale taking place during an era in history when everyone was going wild over what was a new and rare flower. Didn't fully understand or grasp the entire Tulip Fever joust but luckily that was more of a sub plot despite the title. The movie is a strange Shakespeare-like love affair between a painter and a woman who was practically sold to a well meaning man to be his wife.
How perfect was it that Christoph Waltz plays this well meaning man. It's one of his best attributes, playing a bad guy that you can't help to like. Though not as evil as his charter in Tim Burton's Big Eyes ( I mention this movie because they are closer in comparison), he just acts as the antagonist in the plot that centers around two people who should not and cannot be together in a somewhat Romeo and Juliet style of fate. Also give a shout out to Zach Galifianakis. There were some pretty big names in this film (As far as acting. I mean with three Oscar winners in it), and Zachary had to stomp it with the big dogs. Though his role was very small, it was important as it really points out that this is a dark comedy.
It reads like a sex romp comedy too cultured and sophisticated for my taste (Prefer other Galifianakis works like The Hangover ), but it's done well, so I really enjoy it.
What ! This was off the hook!
Dave Bautista is great in this film, and Britney Snow was great in this film, and the two really work well together, in this film.
The film has the whole Birdman cinematic style as Bautista and Snow have to battle though the Brooklyn neighborhood after the place seems to get randomly attacked by a military force.
Bautista is really showing off his acting skills, man, trying to be like the Rock. I never scene the man actually wrestle but I see little glimpses of it when he does action moves in these movies.
The complete tracking shot that the movie does to make it look like the movie was not cut, that makes it feel like the movie Birdman, makes for the films great war scenes.
Peter Dinklage is worth the watch.
I don't know if this is the first time Peter Dinklage leads his own movie, but hopefully it will not be his last, cause he really made this film. He just had me so into what was going on all the way to the big revealed in this murder mystery.
In it, Dinklage plays a man who lost his brother in a car accident, and can't remember the last words he said before dying. It messes him up badly, until he discovers a man who invented a machine that can recall and playback your memories and while he attempts to get a hold of this machine, the inventor mysteriously dies and he gets caught up in trying to find out how he died.
The movie is a little above average. It was an interesting mystery, mostly because of the cleaver plot device that centers around it (The machine that can record your memories, giving it a bit of a Sci-Fi appeal) but the real reason to see the movie is Dinklage who gives a fine performance to focus on rather than any loop holes you might find.
I think this movie took so long to get into theaters because of Anton Yelchin's death. They may have had to do some reediting or reshoots to accommodate his passing. It does not seem to effect the movie any, but who knows how good the film could have been if his passing actually did delay it's release. Plus, he's the other reason I went to see the movie.
I also enjoined Julia Ormond in the film, who played the inventor's widow. The parts she shared with Dinklage especially really pop out at you. I did not go into this to see her, but it was an extra added surprise.
Definitely something great to watch. A decent murder mystery with a cool plot point made really better with the help of Dinklage, Ormond and Anton Yelchin (RIP).
Rebel in the Rye (2017)
The making of a notorious icon.
Some of Nicholas Hoult 's best work. He really gets into character, becoming someone I've never seen him be before. I've seen him take the lead in Warm Bodies, and Kill Your Friends both excellent movies (Also Jack the Giant Slayer which is OK) but this felt slightly more unique. Helping in this transformation, is Kevin Spacey who does a great job of electrifying the screen playing a man truly passionate about what he does, and a mentor to J.D. Salinger. Also like Hope Davis as Salinger's mom and wanted to point that out (and the fact that it feels like the same role she did in Captain America: Civil War)
What I love most about this movie is how it made me interested in Catcher in the Rye. I am familiar with the book and how notorious it is among literature, but I never read it myself. Not much of a book worm. The movies portrait of the man is truly rebellious. Rebel in the Rye gives the impression that his fame comes from the idea that he was bold enough to do it first like the Ramones or Prince (More of a music geek) and in his boldness touched a generation that had not really been spoken to before. A generation that would put him on a pedestal that made the war vet uncomfortable. His choice not to publish any more I was slightly aware of, but the movie does make me very intrigued about what else may be accurate (or inaccurate) .
Nicholas Hoult has done a great job driving this spectacular vehicle.
Home Again (2017)
A sweet one, but it did not touch me like I thought it would.
Reese Witherspoon stars as a 40 year old recently divorced woman trying to keep the boat afloat after the recent life change shakes it up a lot, which is the simple joust of the main plot, but I did like the sub plot of three filmmakers who need a place to stay moving into to her house and eventually into her life, buy I'm definitely biased as I'm a fan of movies about Hollywood, which is the backdrop of the film.
I found the movie so-so. I'm not the biggest fan of Witherspoon (Although at the same time I don't dislike her), she did not make me want to see the movie or care what happens to her and her family. I did like Candice Bergen in the movie and I wish she has more screen time as Witherspoon's mom
The movie does have heart as they say and does give some pretty good laughs, but I'm not feeling as warm inside as I would expect. The whole thing reads more like a pilot for a new sitcom than a movie. Probability would have like it better in that format.
You're hoping for better (casue of the title and what it means), but you don't get it. However, it's still an OK film.
I just realized the movie came out on the weekend before 9/11's 16th anniversary, but first and foremost, this movie is about people. It's a compelling story about how strangers from all walks of life, can just so happen in an elevator, set to the background of 9/11. These people start to bond as they attempt to survive.
It's trilling, suspenseful and very dramatic, especially the performance of Charlie Sheen, proving he is still capable of playing a character that's just not himself in a way (Don't even know the last time he played someone who was not named Charlie)
The whole movie feels like a play, and then I find out in the end credits that that's exactly what it was adapted from, a play called Elevator, a title I must admit I'd prefer over 9/11.
Though I understand why they called in 9/11, what's good about this character driven piece is the fact that it's about the characters and the story happens to be set on 9/11. I just love the good life lessons the story tells as these strangers get to know each other past the stereotypes we put on people on our first impressions. Very human.
Overall, it's not the best movie but I am impressed by the adaption. It really touches on the right emotions.