Posts Tagged ‘indie’

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#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.

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#63: Up in the Air

December 20, 2009

For the record, I have now seen this movie twice.  Yes, it’s that good.

So what’s it about?: A guy spends his life traveling the country firing people and racking up an insane amount of frequent flier miles when two women enter his life and ensue chaos in his personal and professional lives.

The Good: This is one of those movies that comes around every year that is ten bajillion times better than its synopsis.  And this movie is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.  The script is heartbreaking, funny, and frankly just perfect.  The cast is perfect, from George Clooney’s best performance to date, to Anna Kendrick’s true breakout performance as an adult actress, and Vera Farmiga, who has gone by virtual unnoticed in The Departed and Orphan, shows the world why she should be a household name (no matter how hard it is to pronounce).  Not to mention a very timely story, this film is bound to hit everyone in some way or another.

The Bad: Okay, visually this movie looks like it was shot by a someone out of high school.  Not that it’s bad, it’s just no Citizen Kane.

The Verdict: And the Best Picture goes to… Up in the Air!  This film is outstanding!  And if you haven’t seen it, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

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#37: Primer

November 1, 2009

primerSo what’s it about?: A couple of friends unlock the secret to time travel in their garage.  As they experiment with new found technology, chaos ensues.

The Good: If Time Traveler’s Wife is the stupidest film about time travel, then Primer is hands down the smartest.  This was the first film that actually made me feel time travel is possible.  The script is undoubtedly genius.

The Bad: This film is a low budget indie film, and it shows.  The acting is lacking.  The camera shots are in the vein of we-have-to-make-this-interesting-so-let’s-chose-the-weirdest-angle-possible.  And the story gets to be a little confusing at times, and in places it shouldn’t be.  The characters just all begin to run together to where it becomes a major detriment.  In the end, though, this seemed like a really smart film student project.  And maybe that’s all it was.  But it really could have been a lot more.

The Verdict: I usually don’t like remakes, but this story is ripe for the taking.  Should a studio pick it up and do it right, this movie could be fan-freaking-tastic.  In the meantime, I still recommend the film for the story alone, because it’s really, really good.

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#15: Happy-Go-Lucky

September 3, 2009

happy_go_luckyI rented Happy-Go-Lucky a couple days ago from a redbox because, well, I’d heard great things and it sounded cute.  Well, I told you to expect a litmus test for my soul in the near future and the verdict is: I know longer have one.

So what’s it about?: Nothing really.  A few months in the life of a “happy-go-lucky” chick.  Who manages to allow no chaos to ensue whatsoever.

The Good: Sally Hawkins does a really good job at becoming a character that you can totally picture actually being out there in the world.  In fact, the entire cast does a great job, and the characters are very realistic.  As well as the story.  I could totally imagine this being based off of a memoir or something (but it isn’t)

The Bad: Of course it isn’t based off of a memoir though, because a memoir this boring would never be published.  And while this film is touted as being about an optimist, apparently optimists are annoying, in-your-face, and have no sense of fashion whatsoever.  Okay, we get it, she’s quirky, but seriously, can she wear something that doesn’t look like it was a curtain at some point.  This isn’t Sound of Music.  But even if she had been the most interesting, loveable character that reviews somehow saw when they viewed this film, the movie is still about NOTHING.  And, yes, I like some movies that are just about peoples lives (see Sunshine Cleaning) but they at least have cohesion and even the smallest semblence of a point.  This had random scenes hashed together that were apparently supposed to make the viewer feel optimistic and happy.  But no, it just made me feel like if that was optimism, then by all means give me pessimism.  Because the alternative is just annoying.

The Verdict: Unless you want to spend 2 hours watching what is essentially the movie equivalent of an annoying person’s diary, skip this film.