Saw Zero Dark Thirty yesterday. It's getting a ton of backlash, but I'm not really getting it. I thought it was excellent. It's completely plot driven, so there's almost no character development. That definitely hurt it in spots. The only character they really push is Jessica Chastain's Mya, and with her it's nothing but obsession. And by the time it's over, she's wholly unlikable. They really lost an opportunity because the blowing up of the other chick wound up feeling like a lost opportunity. A newscast saying she was the mother of three is like 10 dollars short and 2 weeks too late.
The other missed opportunity was Jason Clarke's Dan. He jumped out early as a fascinating introduction into this world, serving to teach our character, and in the process the audience. We got tons of set up into him cracking, but never really got to see the payoff, and then they just sort of dropped him out of the second act altogether. He was good enough in his limited role I wouldn't have been opposed to a best supporting nod if he got it, but in the end there probably wasn't enough there.
All that said, the thing was really tense. And seeing as I already knew much of the story, or at least bits of the story, if not entirely how those bits tied together, that was a real achievement in direction. A lot of shock value imagery early on. The constant tracking of dead leads and the pressure it was building. A couple of gorgeous set pieces, like the take down at the garden, and obviously that closing infultration was incredibly well done.
At 2 and half hours, I actually thought it didn't have a ton of dead spots. Even if a little too much of it was layered tension of people arguing. But all in all it was really good. I'm really surprised she didn't get a directing nod, because I really felt like she did a great job piecing together a disjointed narrative while maintaining some sense of secrecy as it went, and built a ton of tension, all while doing it in a story the entire audience knew the ending too. It's not my favorite movie of the year, but I thought it was probably more well assembled than anything else. And that isn't something I expected, especially considering The Hurt Locker is really a sequence of set pieces with less cohesive narrative than this.
Overall I'd give it a high 80s.
Really fun movie with some great acting. De Niro finally found something that works in his old age, Lawerence is starting to become one of my favorite actresses but despite all the hoola and praise these guys got for the movie, I thought the star was Bradley Cooper. Didn't know he could act like this. Very impressed and he was pretty funny
Django Unchained and Les Miserables the week before...I don't rate out of 10, just out of 4stars. Les Miserables gets between 2 1/2 and 3. Decent, but overwrought. It's the most singy musical I've ever seen. All the dialogue and too many times far too unnecessary. Quality work from the actors. Crowe can sing, tho he's not a singer the way Jackman or Hathaway are. But he's good. Jackman is great and Hathaway is great in a role that ends real early.
But the move just doesn't stop. It doesn't even open and is too relentless in what it's trying to do. It jumps years and then drowns in single scenes and in days that feel like months. The love story is rushed and not worth the attention.
Django Unchained is between 3 and 3 1/2 stars. But it's more likely 3. In fact, it is. It's obviously interesting and it's funny, with some quality work by the actors. But the last half hour is a waste. Some of the music is stupid and it's especially stupid when I hear what I hear towards the end. The violence in the end is just stupid.
Originally Posted by Stuckey
awesome and powerful. second time seeing it and I appreciate it so much more
may be I'm just bias towards Spike Lee but I thought the cast did a great job
It's one of his 3 best films. I saw it three times in 8 days (I got free entry twice) and the the second and third times are something else. I've seen it since, on video. I think it's a masterpiece.
Originally Posted by Patrick Chewing
Just one failed, miserable attempt after attempt to be the film Leaving Las Vegas.
Leaving Las Vegas? I can't see any kind of similarity, outside of alcoholism.
Originally Posted by KevinNYC
If you've seen Drive and have Netflix streaming, check out the beginning of this old James Caan movie called Thief.
I've had that DVR'd from TCM for quite a while now. Time to watch it.
Saw Zero Dark Thirty yesterday. It's getting a ton of backlash, but I'm not really getting it. I thought it was excellent. It's completely plot driven, so there's almost no character development. That definitely hurt it in spots...
Overall I'd give it a high 80s.
agreed with most of this. nice review.
it felt like an episode of law and order. unemotional, yet gripping.
Silver Linings Playbook - 7/10
This movie was carried by the great chemistry between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. The scenes they had together were almost perfect. But then the movie almost lost me with the stupid side plot involving Pat's father's gambling and superstition. The entire scene after he loses the bet and everyone gets back from the Eagles game was frustratingly bad. I could've done without most of that part of the story. Thankfully it was redeemed with the charming dance competition and ending. Oh and as a sports fan, it frustrated the hell out of me seeing an Asomugha Eagles jersey given when this stroy was supposed to be set. COME ON! Still a good movie overall. And since it seems like the Oscar is going to come down to either Jennifer Lawrence or Jessica Chastain, between the two performances, Lawrence should win in a landslide.
Also out of recent ones I saw:
Zero Dark Thirty - 7/10
Bernie - 7/10
Dredd - 5/10
Skyfall - 9/10
Killing Them Softly - 8/10
This is 40 - 6/10
John Dies at the End - WTF/10 (or a 6)
The cinematography and score are outstanding and deserve Oscars. Naomi Watts was very good but I'll be honest, her performance is overhyped. 75% of it is looking in dire straits due to GREAT makeup. The person that deserves the acting praise is Tom Holland, the kid that plays Lucas. He's the actual lead, gets the majority of the screen time (for good reason), and absolutely destroys it, at 16 years old.
There're things I had problems with, the extreme contrivance of the reunion scene, the lack of scope of the tsunami other than wide landscape shots. It just felt very centered on the white victims, of which there were many in reality. Which is fine, I'm not going to lay racist claims at the film's feet like a lot of detractors are, I understand you've got to play to your audience, but it still felt wrong. I don't know how they could've done it differently, I don't make movies, but some semblance of appreciation for the complete and utter disaster that happened to tens of thousands of Thai people would've been appreciated. There a LOT of magical Thais in the movie. Maybe it would've made it overly long, I don't know, it just felt entirely too centered and focused.
Anyway, problems stated, it's still a very good movie and you should watch it for Tom Holland, if nothing else.
Not sure really. I mean I am sure that it's very, very good, but I don't know if it's great, per se. Some very memorable dialogue, some excellent characters (Samuel L Jackson!), but I don't know if it's just that I'm not a Jamie Foxx fan or what, but from the second Christoph Waltz's character was shot, and Foxx became the unquestionable lead and the bloodbath ensued, the movie went downhill at an alarming rate. The last half an hour was completely predictable and devoid of the style and out-of-left-field turns that QT is famous for.
So I don't know whether it's just that I don't think that Foxx's character was interesting or compelling enough to carry the film, or just that it decided to fulfill every predictable revenge film convention in the last half hour, but it just was like a different movie to me, it was so weak.
That said, it shouldn't negate all the positive aspects, such as its visceral portrayal of the South during that time period (which actually feels like satire/surrealism - great job by Tarantino capturing the absurdity of it all. It is almost funny until you realize that it's not made up, it's very real). Especially Big Daddy's speech to the woman about how to treat Django, and basically every word that came out of DiCaprio's mouth.
I also felt that Walton Goggins' character had sooo much more potential. Reducing him to a quaternary villain that you know is going to get waxed was a criminal misuse of him.