Sunday, October 29, 2017

Movie Tips Volume 3

Blade Runner 2049 ****1/2
(2017) Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford
Oh wow. It’s rare to find a sequel so legitimate and responsible. Add a lot of spectacular visuals and moral and emotional depths worthy of the original masterpiece. Significant achievement which I know a lot of people don’t get for some reason. Loved it.

The Nice Guys ***1/2
(2016) Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe
Almost took a pass on this and glad I didn’t. Very decent performances raised a competent script to a very amusing level. Let’s give them a mulligan on the cringe-worthy Abbot and Costello homage scene; shall we?

Blazing Saddles **
(1974) Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder
Eyebrow-raising experiment with the undisguised aim to offend every possible population segment as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Achievement unlocked.

Cloudburst ****
(2011) Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker
Cute story with a very amusing Dukakis performance.

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things ***
(2015) Dan Harris, Joshua Beck
Worthwhile look at one of the many lifelines for mankind’s tenuous future, all of which must come together and soon. And almost certainly won’t. (Netflix)

For Ellen****
(2012) Paul Dano, Margarita Levieva
Loved this simple, sensitive little Paul Dano gem. Don’t be disappointed in the ending. It’s perfect!

Rogue One****
(2016) Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk
As a kid, nothing could, or would ever, beat the magic of Star Wars epics A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back. But as a flawed adult who just may have lost too much innocence: This was easily the most amusing and competent Star Wars flick yet; magic falling no longer on the radar.

Blue is the Warmest Colour ****
(2013)  Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos
Brilliant vertical movie. Simple plot. An exploration of human fallibility as rich, textural, sensual and intimate as you can find. Very special. Try not to view the sizzling lesbian sex as pornography! I thought it far more sincere than that, and perfectly appropriate to the rare goal for which this film strives.

The Crucible ****
(1996) Daniel Day Lewis, Winona Ryder
There’s an alarming and dated feel to this witchy Salem thriller packed with dynamite Lewis scenes. I’ll even give Ryder the thumbs up for surviving the horrendous task of having to dance so dangerously close to the line of satire without stepping over.

Oz the Great and Powerful **
(2013) James Franco, Michelle Williams
Oh dear. This looked to me like an aimless and pointless pile of doo-doo. Did I miss some irony somewhere? I fear it may indeed have been an aimless and pointless pile of doo-doo. Let’s hope I’m somehow wrong.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind ****
(1984) animated film by Hayao Miyazaki
Such a strange and sober quality to this wide-eyed tragic anime genre whose waters I dip my toe in so infrequently. This one is a classic and I can see why. I wish Earth Writer would view it. I felt all along it was the kind of story she would write.

The King of Comedy ***
(1982) Robert De Niro
Dark unsettling material in drag as light comedy: The flick mimics the mind of the hero, or anti-hero, played perfectly off-kilter in that subtly dangerous manner that is classic De Niro.

A Brilliant Young Mind **
(2014) Asa Butterfield
The monotonous main character performance was probably not Butterfield’s fault but more the director’s. Nor is he to blame for the sadly contrived ending. Give this a pass.

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