Posts Tagged ‘drama’


#9: Magnolia

January 14, 2011

So I pretty much spent a good part of my later childhood listening to this soundtrack, so I figured I may as well watch the movie.

So what’s it about?: That’s a good question… but I do know some chaos ensues!

The Good: The acting is great.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is up with this cast?  Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy and Tom Cruise at the best I’ve seen him (and considering this is 1 of about 3 films I can even stand him in, that’s saying a lot!)  The list goes on, but they are all great!  And the soundtrack… well, it’s what drew me to the movie, and it is probably one of the greatest.  And any movie that does a character sing a-long (which isn’t many… this and the Skins season 1 final?) is good in my book.  And being a huge fan of coincidental urban legends and whatnot, I loved the opening.  Granted, I’ve heard all three stories, but it was cool to see them again… and with reenactments!  And I love, love, LOVED the last shot of the film.

The Bad: Okay, so this film didn’t quite make sense.  Usually frame stories have a common theme.  Like Crash is very clearly about racial stereotypes and The Breakfast Club is very clearly about high school stereotypes… but this?  No clue.  For a movie that appeared to be about coincidences, it didn’t really have a lot amongst it’s eclectic conglomerate of characters (I mean, I hear about better coincidences and “It’s A Small World…” moments all the time that actually have happened).  And then there’s the thing with the frogs…

The Verdict: This movie will hands down make you think, and think, and scratch your head and go WTF?  But if someone could please explain to me what the hell it was about, that would be greatly appreciated!


#7: Blue Valentine

January 14, 2011

First film in theaters!  Followed by many more to come.

So what’s it about?: Split between their present and the much more blissful past, Blue Valentine chronicles a single couple as chaos ensues to bring them together and tear them apart.

The Good: Many films in recent times have been about couples breaking up, because movies about finding Happily Ever After just aren’t cool anymore.  But this is by far the most heartbreaking, realistic of them all, especially with the pitch perfect acting from both Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling.

The Bad: Yeah, so it’s a good film, but the problem with the sad, realistic films is that they don’t have a rewatchability factor.  Because at the end, you kind of just feel shitty and jaded and there’s no point in the film where upon exiting the theater you think to yourself “OMG, I loved that part!  I really want to see it again!”  And that’s what helps to make a good film into a great film.

The Verdict: Yes, this is the most heartbreaking break-up film I’ve ever seen, but let’s be honest, (500) Days of Summer did the break up better, and made you feel good in the end.


#2: Full Metal Jacket

January 2, 2011

Realized recently that I’ve seen a total of maybe 2 war films in my entire life, so been trying to catch up recently (finally saw the superb Saving Private Ryan blu-ray this past Christmas, which sadly will not appear on this blog.  I know, you’re crushed).

So what’s it about?: Broken up in to two parts, Full Metal Jacket shows the mental and physical chaos that ensues as men are molded into full-fledged killing machines.

The Good: This film is intense and thankfully breaking it up in to two parts helps the brain to have a mental refresh between each section.  And, yes, this is one of the most realistic war movies I’ve ever seen.  There are no heroes in this film, no over-the-top acts of courage, and even though it has the typical quality of being almost surreal as all Kubrick films tend to be, you still feel as though this really happened.

The Bad: So, not going to lie, upon first viewing this film, after the almost heartbreaking and yet terrifying first half climactic ending, the second part seemed like a huge let down.  Let’s face it, with the exception of Joker, none of the characters are actually likeable, and the ending shootout is just kind of ridiculous.

The Verdict: Frankly, this film is a must see, just be prepared because it will keep you thinking (if you just don’t get it, watch the special features on the DVD, they’re amazing).  And, yes, if you are looking for a war film with an obvious plot and an epic, emotional victory at the end, then go watch Saving Private Ryan instead.


#79: The Edge of Darkness

March 8, 2010

Sadly, this will forever be remembered as the movie my purse was stolen from…

So what’s it about?: A cop’s daughter comes to visit him only to be shot on his doorstep, ensuing a flood of secrets and chaos.

The Good: This was actually a pretty interesting movie, with moments of complete and utter thrills at the beginning and near the end.  And Mel Gibson was actually okay in this.

The Bad: The beginning and end may have had thrills, but you could have taken an hour long nap in the middle.  And sadly, they tried to make it too political near the end and it just fell flat in a way.

The Verdict: A few jumps, but in the end kind of forgettable.


#75: The Book of Eli

March 8, 2010

So what’s it about?: In a post-apocalyptic world, the ultimate bad-ass is attempting to transport the last remaining Bible to the West and to safety from the chaos its existence ensues.

The Good: Denzel Washington is a bad-ass.  And Gary Oldman equally bad-ass.  So putting them in this movie together is a winning combination.  The action sequences are awesome, the end is pretty cool, and this movie makes you want to start saving hand wipes.

The Bad: How did Mila Kunis get into this film?  That and the middle of this movie was sooooo sloooooooooow.  But at least the pay off was worth it!

The Verdict: If you’ve been spoiled on this movie, then I’m sorry to say but there really is no point waiting through the movie.  But, if you haven’t seen it, and you don’t know what happens, then go rent it!


#72: The Hurt Locker

December 30, 2009

The one that got away this summer couldn’t evade my viewing all year long!  Thankfully I managed to catch this one before 2010 rolled around.

So what’s it about?: A group of explosives disposal experts run around Iraq diffusing bombs, inter-team tension, and the ensuing chaos.

The Good: Not only is it one of the best movies of the year, but this is one of my favorite war movies of all time.  Granted, this is a genre I have very little experience with, but damn was The Hurt Locker great!  The whole movie was crazy intense.  And refreshingly this was not a war movie that preached for peace nor did it glorify war.  In fact it almost watched like a documentary on action movie steroids without the bias that comes from a documentary.  And Jeremy Renner is an official member of the badass club.  Extra props for this being directed by a woman.

The Bad: Do not watch this movie if you aren’t feeling 100%.  Like I said, it’s really intense, and I had to watch it in two sittings from feeling nauseated.

The Verdict: One of the best movies of the year, this is definitely something you gotta see!


#71: Nine

December 28, 2009

Yep, time for the token movie-turned-musical-turned-movie-musical complete with original “Best Song” contenders and all.

So what’s it about?: An Italian filmmaker has a lack of film ideas and an overabundance of women.  Musical chaos ensues!

The Good: The acting is outstanding.  Even Daniel Day Lewis, who is horribly miscast, is still great as always, and the star studded ensemble of women do wonderful jobs in their not-so-wonderful roles.  And “Cinema Italiano” is a freaking catchy song (and a surefire nominee for Best Song).

The Bad: This movie is a mess.  The story is, well, non-existent.  It’s a diluted version of a musical that is a diluted version of a film, and what’s left is nonsensical dribble.  The insertion of musical numbers seems almost forced at times, and the directing is just atrocious, as if Rob Marshall was sitting in the theater next to you screaming “It’s ARTISTIC!”  And frankly the ending was probably the worst, cheesiest, gag-me-with-a-spoon ending in the history of all endings.  And if I ever hear “Be Italian” again, I’m going to admit myself to a mental institution.

The Verdict: Pick up a copy of Fellini’s 8 1/2 and an original cast recording of Nine and play them simultaneously while running around in skimpy lingerie and smacking a tambourine and it’s just like seeing this movie.  Musical fans can just be grateful they didn’t put in “The Bells of St. Sebastian” and thoroughly butcher it.