(500) Days of Summer Review

I just got the chance to watch (500) Days of Summer recently and I was very glad I did. I was also a little sad that it took me this long. I whole-heartedly enjoyed this film. I loved (500) Days of Summer because it was a romantic comedy that didn’t follow the annoying cliches that almost all romantic comdies follow. It was able to keep the same fun and light-hearted mood and spirit while being pretty unpredictable.

(500) Days of Summer told the very real story of boy meets girl, but boy is more in love than girl. This obviously leads to strains in the relationship. The story is a classic one, yet told in unconventional ways. I won’t go into detail because it gives away some of the genius behind the film, suffice to say rarely is there a time when you aren’t having fun.

When it comes to the acting, of course there’s nothing amazing here, but everyone certainly fit into their parts. It was nice to see Angels in the Outfield’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt all grown up and I’ve always liked Zooey Deschanel. Sure she’s not a very versatile actress if you’ve seen any of her movies, but I do think she does a good job.

(500) Days of Summer is a movie that you’ll watch and you’ll enjoy very much. Its not a film you’ll have to take in and think of for a long time. That’s not to say this film is mindless. No, Its just well made entertainment. Its nice to see movies like this once in a while. Their not life changing, their just a lot of fun.

Grade: A-

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Invictus Review

From a far, Invictus looked like a movie with a lot of potential. On the one had you have Clint Eastwood in the directors chair and on the other you have Morgan Freeman in a role he was born to play, Nelson Mandella. ¬†Unfortunately, Invictus wasn’t able to follow through as well as I hoped.

Invictus told the uplifting tale of a rugby team bent on winning the world cup in South Africa in order to bring the country together. It’s a very inspirational tale, but it just feels as though its all been done before and much better for that matter. Clint Eastwood is one of my favorite directors, but with this movie it really just felt like he was trying to make a good-feeling best picture contender. He’s just done so much better with masterpieces like Mystic River and Unforgiven under his belt. It was a little disappointing.

To shed some light on this movie, I must say I absolutely loved Morgan Freeman. He was fantastic, a performance certainly worthy of the nomination it will get. As I said before, he was born to play this role and I’m actually surprised he hadn’t played Mandella sooner. He was phenomenal. Matt Damon on the other, I wasn’t a huge fan of in this film. I’ve never been a huge Damon fan, but he has surprised me in the past. This film was one of those cases.

Overall, with Eastwood’s directing and Freeman’s performance, Invictus made for a decent movie, while it could’ve been great. After watching Invictus, I came to realize I would’ve much rather seen a movie centered around Nelson Mandella’s life and election. I believe that would’ve made for a much better movie.

Grade: C+

The Lovely Bones Review

I went into The Lovely Bones with high expectations, very high expectations. I hadn’t read the book, but I was quite interested by the plot. I was also very excited to see Stanley Tucci in the role of the twisted serial killer, but most of all I was excited to see another masterpiece by the fantastic director Peter Jackson. His name assured me that I would love this movie. He is the man behind The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, he is at a point in his career where he can make anything he chooses. There is no possible way this movie can’t be great. Well, I was wrong. It is possible, very possible unfortunately.

The Lovely Bones was huge disappointment. I did not enjoy this movie nearly as much as I hoped I would. I was disappointed pretty much by every aspect this film had to offer except one, Stanley Tucci’s performance. He did a fantastic job, he fully embodied the life of this menacing and lonely serial killer. It was legitimately disturbing at times to watch. He was nothing short of perfect. He chewed up every moment he was on screen, which wasn’t nearly enough. Other than Tucci’s performance and the scenes he his character were involved in, I can’t name a single thing I enjoyed about the movie.

The acting in this film was pretty awful and that’s putting it lightly. It’s not even that everyone else was just being overshadowed by an amazing performance they were truly doing bad. It just didn’t make sense to me. It really seemed as though every scene with Stanley Tucci was directed by the great director Peter Jackson and the rest was directed by some amateur they picked off the street. It really saddens me to say that too, it doesn’t make a bit of sense to me that this movie was created by the same mind behind The Lord of the Rings.

The effects felt extremely corny and flashy, he was able to do a much better job with the CGI in King Kong and that was made four years earlier. The effects truly felt like they were from the 90s and I usually don’t care about effects… at all in fact, but this seemed like a movie that was attempting to pride itself on its effects. I don’t doubt for a second that Peter Jackson will redeem himself soon, but unfortunately at this point in time, this is his most recent movie and I did not enjoy it.

Grade: C

Up in the Air Review

Its actually rather difficult to put down into words exactly how much I enjoyed Up in the Air. I think the biggest reason I fell in love with this movie was because I went in there not expecting much. It just didn’t look very interesting. And George Clooney is on and off for me. I love him in movies like O Brother, Where Art Thou?, From Dusk Till Dawn and Michael Clayton, but than I’m not a big fan of him in movies like the Ocean’s trilogy and the Perfect Storm.

Then when it came to the director Jason Reitman, I loved Thank You for Smoking and I really liked JUno, but didn’t find it to be the masterpiece most did. So I went in not expecting much. I wasn’t thinking it would be a bad movie, I was thinking it would be an ok a movie. I was wrong, my expectations were exceeded with flying colors, I loved Up in the Air.

Up in the Air tells the story of a loner who flies daily to different companies in order to fire people whose bosses are too scared to. Ryan Bingham prides himself on independence and the many miles he’s acquired in the air. Than an unexpected thing happens, scratch that. Many expect things happen, but you’ll just have to find out what they are for yourself.

This is one of the movies I did enjoy Clooney in. He really hasn’t been disappointing as of late. He gave a great performance here, not oscar worthy, but great. Farmiga and Kendrick as the supporting women also were scene stealers. Everyone was on top of their game, especially behind the camera. I shall never doubt Reitman’s work again, I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next.

Up in the Air tells a story that feels real and heartfelt. A movie that deserves to be experienced multiple times. Like life, Up in the Air doesn’t follow a certain formula, you don’t know what to expect. The events that follow are simply… up in the air.

Grade: A+

The White Ribbon Review

The White Ribbon has certainly been getting an incredble amount of praise. As most know, it won the prestigious Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was just nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes. Not to mention the numerous reviews praising it as one of the greatest films this year’s had to offer. The White Ribbon was a great movie, but it was not an amazing movie.

I’m probably just saying this because my expectations were too high, but I just didn’t find it as perfect a movie as many are saying. There are many movies that came out this year alone that I found were better movies. This isn’t to say I didn’t like the movie because I did, a lot. I just don’t believe it can be held to the caliber of other movies that have been released this year.

Getting past all that, The White Ribbon was a fantastically well-made movie made in stark brisk black and white that truly brought you to Germany before WWI. The story was incredibly well directed and acted. It was a tense look at morals in a small town during a time of deceit, strange occurances and no answers. It told a simple tale with relentless meaning.

That’s all well in good, but throughout the movie it seemed that The White Ribbon was concerned less with involving and entertaining me as a viewer and more concerned with award winning and as a result, The White Ribbon seemed a bit dry and even boring at times. Overall, The White Ribbon was a really good movie, but didn’t offer as much entertainment value as I would have hoped.

Grade: B+

Tetro Review

I heard about Tetro a while ago and the idea of it really appealed to me. For some reason I was highly excited to see this movie. It was probably due to the combination of the fantastic trailer and the fact that at the helm of this film was the great Francis Ford Coppola. So I was certainly not surprised that by the reel’s end I came to the conclusion that I absolutely loved every moment of the film.

The beauty of the film was in its simplicity. Bennie, a young man working on a cruise ship that just brook down in Buenos Aires, gets a chance to reconcile with his older brother who ran away when he was very young. The film throughout was very mellow and as a result felt very real, while at the same time I found myself very entertained where the tone of the movie could be considered boring by some, but I think it completely works here.

The film was made in crisp black and white and would be a completely different film without it. The black and white was a perfect choice. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The film looked fantastic and the shots were chosen perfectly. Everything just added onto the realism of the film, especially the performances.

I’ve never seen these actors in other movies and that made the movie all the better because I knew these actors only b their characters and everyone was doing fantastic. Alden Ehrenreich was fantastic as Bennie and Vincent Gallo gave one of the best performances of the year as the title character Tetro.

Tetro was a fantastic movie worthy of the many views I shall be giving it. At times I felt myself enjoying this film just as much, if not more than Coppola’s classics. Need I remind you that this is the same man who made The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. It was difficult to find and the movie was highly anticipated for me, but the wait was worth it.

Grade: A