Hesher Review

There are a lot of different reasons to see a movie. Most of the time it’s because you want to be entertained, maybe it’s because you want escape, maybe you want to appreciate the art or maybe you like the director whose making the film. I hadn’t heard much about Hesher, but I did know Joseph Gordon-Levitt was starring as the title character in a role that was completely different from any he had ever taken before. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he was the reason I saw this movie.

This was a very unique film to say the least. In terms of the messages it tried to establish, sure there was nothing new here, but what made this film so innovative was in the dark ways it established the themes. It was also a film that never failed to make you laugh on occasion. It was certainly what you’d call a black comedy, but it also had a lot of heartfelt moments and none of it felt forced. I could certainly see how this film might not be able to grip everyone, but Hesher truly captivated me through out.

Hesher follows the story of a young boy, TJ (played very well by Devin Brochu), and his father (Rainn Wilson who is cast out of character and pulls a lot out of the smaller part he was given) who have both just lost someone very dear to them in a car accident. TJ finds a new quasi-friend in the rebellious and anarchic Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who may very well be the tough and unusual push to get this father and son living their lives again.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is just astounding as one of my favorite characters to come out of cinema this year. He swears, he lights stuff on fire, he’s vulgar, he’s intimidating, he’s threatening, he does not give a shit, but when the time calls for it he doesn’t hesitate to get out of his tough exterior and show that he does have a beating heart. The character is defined so well in the writing and Levitt plays him flawlessly. The film is worth seeing if only for his performance. The rest of the cast was pretty great as well and that includes Piper Laurie as the lovable Grandma and Natalie Portman as the store clerk TJ falls for.

Hesher was just an extremely entertaining film through and through. Was it some kind of perfect film? No, but any slight flaws it had I found myself forgiving because I couldn’t stop rooting for these characters and some kind of satisfying ending. Well, you can’t really expect much from someone who is so apathetic, but Hesher delivers.

Grade: A-

The Dark Knight Rises Prologue Review

In the true brush stroke of brilliance, The Dark Knight Rises Prologue does exactly what a movie opening should do. If done right the beginning of a truly incredible film should introduce a bit of story  while getting you excited of the rest of the film. The Dark Knight Rises dances circles around this idea by simply teasing you a little bit and finally introducing the world to the character and voice of the mysterious Bane.

I won’t give a way every detail because this is certainly something you want to experience, but I will say that most of the scene takes place on an airplane. There has been a lot floating around regarding Bane’s voice and I won’t lie and say that I understood every word, but I absolutely loved his voice. It’s almost somewhat eloquent and it reminds me of Darth Vader, but more menacing and british. It’s so completely different from what you’d expect from such a brute, but now that I’ve heard his voice I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If the score is as good or better in the rest of the movie as it was in the first six minutes than this final film might very well have the best music in a series filled with amazing music. The music cues are awesome and correlate right along with the beautiful action and dialogue on the screen. Christopher Nolan has a habit of upping the ante when it comes to action scenes (i.e. hallway scene in Inception, truck flipping scene in The Dark Knight, etc.) and this opening scene of The Dark Knight Rises is an action sequence that you just come to expect from this masterful director.

Then after the beautiful opening six minutes a short montage of shots follow that get you pumped for the film you’ll be sitting and watching next July. We finally get a shot of Catwoman in full costume, we get to see the bat wing, more shots of Bane and then the resonating last shot of Bane discarding a broken piece of Batman’s mask. I don’t think I’ll ever be as excited for another movie as I am for The Dark Knight Rises and watching this prologue, a long with the recently released second trailer, is exactly what I needed to hold me over before next July when my favorite series of film is concluded.

Grade: A+

The Dark Knight Rises Countdown

There are absolutely no words to express exactly how badly I want to see the film, The Dark Knight Rises. I could write a best-selling book series on all the reasons that make me completely ecstatic about seeing this movie, but for now I’ll just give you the two most important reasons: The Dark Knight Rises is the sequel to my favorite movie and it is the final film in what could very well be the greatest series of films ever created.

My 100th post on this site was a The Dark Knight Countdown and I was planning on this being my 300th, but I’ve been posting a lot of reviews and just lost track so in honor of 303 posts here’s the countdown for my second most anticipated movie of all time (first of course being The Dark Knight), The Dark Knight Rises.


50/50 Review

I’m finding it hard to get started here without making this just like any other review of a great movie, but I suppose I can start with the facts. 50/50 is a touching film about a young man’s diagnosis with cancer and how his life and lives of the people around him are affected. It may be common knowledge at this point, but the reason this film was created was because the screenwriter, Will Reiser, dealt with similar issues when  he was diagnosed with cancer. In this way, it’s hard not to find honest and true moments making 50/50 an excellent movie through and through.

In a film that combines heartfelt drama with laugh-out-loud comedy, you’ll find in 50/50 a truly compelling and enjoyable story. Seth Rogen is hilarious as always delivering his signature blend of comedy, Anna Kendrick is always enjoyable, but the true star here is of course Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is a young actor confident in his ability and rightfully so because he really is an incredible actor, his performance in 50/50 is nothing short of breath taking.

Every single moment, story arc or plot point in this film had the potential to fall apart and seem forced or even stereotypical. Instead, 50/50 is a breath of fresh air. It’s a difficult task to put your finger on exactly why that is because it’s honestly a combination of everything. Take most of the fundamental reasons dramas can be great and the fundamental reasons comedies can be great, put them in a blender and the delicious beverage that results is 50/50.

In a film with a simple story about fighting cancer, 50/50 tells a timeless tale about playing the cards you are dealt. At times you find yourself looking at your own situation and asking what you’d do in this situation. You draw similarities between your own friends and family. It’s somewhat ridiculous how much a single film can make you feel from time to time. This film is able to accomplish so much due to its subject matter and because it is a very well made film on all accounts.

Just about everything in this movie works. When the characters are sad, you are sad, when the characters are happy, you are happy, when the characters are laughing, you laugh and best of all the film isn’t forcing or tricking your emotions. It’s just that these characters are so honest and relatable that it’s hard not to feel real emotion. There’s not much else that can really be said here, 50/50 was an awesome film and I can’t wait to own it and watch it over and over again.

Grade: A

Inception Review

After watching Inception, I had a thought. This thought comes to me occasionally when watching a movie, but it’s actually quite rare. Its a thought you have to work towards, one you have to earn as a filmmaker. Because its a thought that I’m sure many have had after watching a movie, but it may not occur as often as you’d like so you really have to savor it. My thought was this: “Wow, now that’s a movie.”

Inception is the story of a man named Dom Cobb who is able to tap into people’s dreams so he can extract secrets, but the movie turns to masterpiece when asked to perform the seemingly impossible task of Inception. Instead of extracting an idea, Cobb and his team must instead plant one in. It’s a tale that is fascinating, memorable and some what beautiful.

On top of that, it’s cast so exceptionally well. DiCaprio, never ceases to amaze me anymore, Marion Cotillard was fantastic, and Joseph Gordan-Levitt was such a thrill to watch. He’s certainly got a career ahead of him. Honeslty though, every actor is fantastic in his or her role. Everyone just fits so perfectly, it doesn’t even seem like you’re watching a performance, you’re just watching that character and the story around them unfold.

Christopher Nolan has never let me down, I love, with a passion every single movie he’s made so far. Especially The Dark Knight and Inception. A year ago, when Inception teasers were being released, people had absolutely no clue what was going on. Neither did I. I didn’t care, I knew that in a year I’d be watching another Nolan masterpiece. Guess what happened… I was right!

I love all of his movies, but not since Memento has he ever been this original. It was inspiring really to watch such a perfect movie that wasn’t a sequel or remake or based on a book, cause so often movies are. No, Inception came from an idea of the director and was put on screen exactly the way the director saw fit, but this isn’t just any old director. This is one of the greatest directors of all time. Making Inception undoubtedly one of the greatest movies I’ve ever seen. Every single ounce of me is in love with this movie, no other word can describe it best other than, masterpiece.

Grade: A+

(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-