Seven Psychopaths Review

Seven Psychopaths offers an entirely memorable experience involving guns, blood, the written word, a dog and people one can only describe as psychotic. There was never a moment in the film where I wasn’t either laughing or completely engrossed in the story at hand.  With the extraordinary Seven Psychopaths, Martin McDonagh has written and directed a film about a screenwriter named Martin who is attempting to write a movie called Seven Psychopaths.

Martin McDonagh is the writer and director responsible for another fantastic film entitled, In Bruges. It’s been four years since he’s made his last and first movie. In Bruges was a brilliant film that was not only funny, but odd, dark and deep. Seven Psychopaths is his second film and not only is it better than his first film, but I don’t see him being able to top this masterpiece any time soon. Through a story that is both insightful and beautiful, Seven Psychopaths conquers the task of being completely hilarious and endlessly entertaining all while examining and commenting on itself as a film and the medium as a whole.

Seven Psychopaths tells an insane and imaginative tale about a screenwriter’s attempts to finish latest work and the friends helping him accomplish just that as they all have to hide from a crazy mobster, but loving pet owner, who wants the dog back from the screenwriter’s friends who just kidnapped it. The story is simple enough, which makes room for the layers and layers of prominent meaning underneath the surface.

The acting is simply phenomenal. And I mean by every performer. Colin Farrell proves himself as a leading man, while Woody Harrelson is great as the so called “chief villain”. The best performances come out of the secondary and best two characters in Seven Psychopaths. Sam Rockwell performs as brilliantly as ever as Martin’s chaotic best friend. On top of that, the real talent comes out of the restraint, confidence and artistry exemplified in Christopher Walken’s performance of the wise and gentle, Hans.

Whereas Seven Psychopaths is at times derivative, it is a completely unique and enthralling film because there is a point to the few stereotypes. The film is witty and poetic. One scene may be absolutely hysterical, while another is intense and dramatic. Seven Psychopaths is a vast and eloquent movie about stories and the people and experiences that inspire those stories. It’s a masterpiece and one I plan on enjoying over and over and over again.

Grade: A+

Fright Night Review

Fright Night was probably the biggest surprise of the year so far. I was not expecting much at all from this film, I honestly went and saw it because of pure boredom and no idea of what else to do. Maybe the reason I had liked the film as much as I did because it was such a surprise, but that can never be proven and where it stands right now, I had one hell of a time at the movies when I saw Fright Night.

Let me preface the rest of this review by saying that no I have not seen the original Fright Night. I’ve heard mixed reviews based around the idea that this new one is actually better or ten times worse so I guess I’ll just have to see for myself one day. This film is about a high school student with a good mom, an attractive girlfriend and rising popularity. This new found happiness and his life are put in danger when a vampire moves next door.

Corny right? I know. Who cares? That’s what I say. Fright Night was a blast from start to finish. Fright Night is not some brilliant modern horror film, it wasn’t even that great of a movie. I will however gladly own this movie when it comes out and watch it over and over again. It’s nice to just sit back, relax and have fun once in a while. In Fright Night, you get a great blend of comedy, horror and action making it a whole lot of fun.

Where this movie about a vampire who lives next door has its fair share of camp, it actually does have its fair share of surprisingly intense scenes. Anton Yelchin played his part, David Tennant was extremely enjoyable every moment he was on screen, but the biggest positive here was Colin Farrell as the awesome vampire, Jerry. I’ve really grown to like him since In Bruges and he’s fantastic in this. You can really tell he’s just having a blast.

It really could nitpick all day, but I won’t because I had a great time. The biggest negative here would probably be in the part that Christopher Mintz-Plasse played. I just wasn’t entertained by his character, the way it was played and the scenes he was in. Hey, who cares? At the end of the day, Fright was a great time at the theater.

Grade: B+

Horrible Bosses Review

It is always refreshing to see a comedy in this age of comedy we live in that has laughs that aren’t solely based on sex or the word “fuck”. Horrible Bosses is a film that exemplifies that very idea. This is not to say the film exemplifies this idea perfectly because it most certainly doesn’t. Horrible Bosses was however very entertaining and made me laugh out loud through out.

When a film has such a fun premise and great actors playing very comedic characters, its hard to fail and this film doesn’t. The film follows three average joes whose bosses fit the build of “horrible”. When they can’t take it any longer the three friends device a plan in order to take care of the situation. Hilarity in ensues. And I’m being serious, the movie was rather hilarious. Some of the plot devices used were generic and almost too easy, but they get the characters from point A to point B and at the end of the day, its the comedy that matters and this was a well made comedy.

Of the employees, my favorite was by far Charlie Day’s character who was playing virtually the same character he plays on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, but what are you going to do, the character is funny and I laughed a lot. Jason Sudeikis definitely played his part making for some great moments. Bateman had his moments, but I’ve just never found him that funny to begin with. His delivery just doesn’t do it for me.

My favorite boss is a doozy. Kevin Spacey is with out a doubt the greatest actor working in this film, but this is a question of who was funnier. Even though Kevin Spacey was fabulous as the worst boss, but for me Jennifer Aniston was absolutely hilarious. You’ll find yourself dumb founded at times wondering to yourself if she actually just said that. It was completely out of character and I loved it. Colin Ferrell was also fun as the drugged up boss of Sudeikis, unfortunately he just didn’t get the chance to show anything off because he wasn’t in it as much.

There were some blatant flubs that you’d find resemble the kind you’d find in plenty of other namable comedies. There were a fair share of those laugh out loud moments that comedies aspire to have and there were some dull moments. So no Horrible Bosses wasn’t some kind of comedic gem, but it was a very funny movie that I would certainly laugh at again.

Grade: B

Crazy Heart Review

There are always rare points in cinema where an actor will get a script and due to their performance and good directing, a movie will feel so immensely real that almost every moment, good and bad, is pleasing to watch. That’s what you get in the movie Crazy Heart. With Crazy Heart you have Jeff Bridges, a phenomenal actor, in what might be the performance of his career and with his prior accomplishments, that is saying something.

Crazy Heart tells the tale of an old alcoholic country star far past his prime. Known only to his fans as Bad Blake. Blake’s routine usually consists of waking up hung over, drinking, driving to his next gig in the middle of nowhere, which is usually some bowling alley or bar, drinking some more, sleeping with an old groupie, drinking, oh and did I mention the occasional drink here and there. Blake is considered lucky if he gets the chance to open for his once prodigy and now big time country star, Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) , Blake considers it a kick in the head. One day a reporter (Maggie Gyllenhall in a fantastic performance) comes along looking for an interview from the washed up country star.

Crazy Heart is very comparable to the movie The Wrestler. Both are fantastic movies that required outstanding performances. They are a bit different though. In Crazy Heart, I think you’ll find a light hearted take on  this similar story. It all depends on you which you enjoy more. I lean a little more towards The Wrestler as a whole, but performance wise I think I’d lean toward Bridges, but only slightly.

Crazy Heart is one you won’t want to miss if only to see one of the greatest actors of our time in one of his greatest performances. The movie would not and could not have been the same with out the powerhouse performance that Bridges gave. He really threw his all into the character and its always a pleasure to see a performer do just that.

Grade: A-

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Review

The greatest word to describe The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is interesting. I did find myself enjoying the movie very much at times, but it just seemed rushed and forced at times. Its actually a bit hard to describe, but it just didn’t feel well-made. The effects were fun to look at, a avery wonderland-esgue world has been created here and I love that, but I times the whole movie felt a bit under-payed and too flashy.

Also, I didn’t really understand the casting at all here, what you got here is a bunch of amateurs who are difficult to watch act at times surrounded by two great actors (Plummer and Waits) and one of the greatest actors I’ve seen, who also happens to be a cultural icon (Ledger, of course). But then you are saddened because it turns out that the amateurs are the good guys in the story and the cultural icon I mentioned before is actually a terrible person whose character you basically hate from the get go. And I don’t mean his character is the comelling villain, no that role went to Tom Waits and he totally owned that part, he’s the saving grace of the film. I’m saying his character was just a dick. He wasn’t enjoyable to watch.

Don’t get me wrong, Heath Ledger pulled it off perfectly. He was fantastic and I would expect nothing less, but his character was just unentertaining. The entertainment value of this film came from the the idea of the film and the battle between its antagonist and protagonist. This film was essentially a complex look at the devil and angel on your shoulder. It’s a great depiction of choice, I just wish it was made more professionally.

It may seem like I’m trashing this movie to no end, but the best way to descibe my feelings is disappointment. It just wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. They’re were certainly a lot of pros to this movie. I did enjoy Heath Ledger going into the Imaginarium and becoming a different person (Depp, Law and Farrell) it really worked. The biggest pro to this movie was its antagonist though. I loved Tom Waits in the role as the gambling, and almost charming devil, or as the movie named him, Mr. Nick. I was highly entertained each time he was on screen which wasn’t enough in my opinion. Christopher Plummer also did a good job as well.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was a film with a fantastic idea behind it, only it wasn’t able to completely follow through as well as I would’ve hoped. Heath Ledger did an incredible job, but I hated his character, while Tom Waits did a great job and I loved his character. Other than that, things were pretty sub-par. There was no consistency here. Oh well, I’ll have to deal with what I got. I was entertained and I see myself re-watching it a couple times in the future.

Grade: B-

In Bruges Review

Unfortunately I was not able to catch this movie when it came out in February. I wanted to, but never got around to it. When I saw the trailer, apart from it starring Colin Farrell I was pretty excited because from the looks of the trailer, it felt a lot like a Guy Ritchie movie and also had a great actor, Ralph Fiennes, as a villain. The movie looked like it had a fair amount of action with good dialogue and characters. Well, the movie wasn’t great, but it was pretty darn good.  

First off, it wasn’t nearly as fast paced as I was hoping it to be, but in the end I couldn’t complain that much because a movie can be extremely slowly paced and still be good and I can’t punish this movie because of my expectations. The acting was great, especially from Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleeson. Farrell actually surprised me too, but the best was by far Fiennes in role that you could just tell he had a blast playing. The movie was actually funnier than I expected. Unlike a Guy Ritchie movie, In Bruges wasn’t as fast-paced and it surprisingly enough had dumber characters, which is strange because Guy Ritchie movies are usually filled to the brim with stupidity.

The stupidity angle was forced at times and hilarious at others. One of the really funny parts involves Fiennes and Farrell near the end during a sort of final shoot out in a hotel. I don’t want to give it a way, but you’ll see exactly what I mean if you view the movie. Overall, this was no Ritchie movie, but it was a lot better than some of the movies that try to be Ritchie movies nowadays, which is actually saying something because there’s a lot of them out there. Smokin Aces for one.

Grade: A-