I was thinking about it yesterday, while watching a movie together with a friend of mine, why is it that I like movies as much as I do? For some reason I take for granted that the medium is a source of entertainment. But then I know a couple of friends who don’t like it at all. I wonder why it is that I’ve grown so fond of it. I guess for most everyone it’s a way of escaping from reality for a while and be someone else or someplace else. In any case, I thought I’d share a couple of words about a few movies I’ve seen during the past months.
The Best Offer
Here’s an odd one. Definitely slow paced and quiet. I tend to like movies that differ from the norm when I eventually get around to actually watch them. This one is about an old guy who works as an auctioneer. You know, those live auctions. Do I have 50? 60? 70? Sold to the man in green trousers and a mustache! He leads a life of routine and is obsessed with paintings of women. But he has no woman in his own life. Then one day he gets a call from a woman who insists that he has to help her value her house and eventually sell it. From here on begins their peculiar relationship. This one definitely starts out slow but the pace picks up and ends with a boom. Geoffrey Rush plays a magnificent main part and Jim Sturgees is good as his sidekick.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is everywhere these days. In Don Jon he makes his directorial debut, and he has also written it and plays the main part. What can be said about this movie apart from the fact that Joseph is smug having casted Scarlett Johansson as the lead actress? I think more men can relate to this than maybe they’d dare to admit. I for sure felt that I could relate to the character of Jon on at least some levels. If one takes the quite sensitive topic of sex addiction aside for a moment it’s actually a pretty funny movie and while it’s not heavy-hitting it surely sends an important message. For one it’s safe to say that media does affect how we view our opposite gender, whether we like it or not. We really are victims when it comes to this.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Runner, Runner feels like The Social Network gone mobster. It’s good looking, it’s stylish and it has Justin Timberlake in it. Justin plays a guy who finance by running some kind of advertising for online poker. It wasn’t really made clear enough, at least not to me. Eventually this gets through to the school board and they don’t at all approve of this. They demand he stop or he’ll get expelled. In desperation he decides to bet all his remaining money on playing poker himself but in the process gets played by someone who cheats on the site. Having lost all his money he decides to seek out the creator of the site and tell him about his experience and hopefully get his money back. Turns out he ends up working for the guy and likes his new position. After a while we learn that not all is as good as it looks and shit hits the fan.
Apart from the good-looking Gemma Arterton and a generally good photo this is actually a boring movie where you can’t feel for any of the characters and it doesn’t get very exciting either. Plus it’s messy as well, it’s not told in a good way at all.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Sometimes I hang out with my friend Alex. Sometimes we decide that we need a good laugh. Sometimes that comes in the way of a properly bad movie. In this case it was Stranded. You know that the movie is going to be bad when the lead role is played by Christian Slater who honestly has seen better acting days. All in all the movie consists of four characters and some sort of villain who are all stranded on the Moon. The non-existent CGI is replaced by horrible scale model shots. Another funny thing is that the oxygen masks the characters use all fog up because they’re obviously fakes so they run around seeing nothing. The only thing that’s in worse condition than this movie is Christian’s receding hairline.
Rating: 1 out of 5
The Hobbit 2
Being a fantasy nerd I of course had to see the sequel to The Hobbit. Many who viewed the first movie thought that it was a bit boring at times and was too long. This certainly isn’t true for the The Desolation of Smaug. The second installment has a wider variety of scenes and environments, good pacing and never feels boring. It’s a true adventure! The only bad thing about it is that we have to wait another year to see how it all ends. It also has one of the best title themes of any movie, ever.
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Spectacular Now
This one was a recommendation from a friend who shares my taste when it comes to movies. It’s a coming of age movie served in slices of life. It all starts out when Sutter breaks up with his girlfriend Cassidy. They’ve been together to and from and often the center of attention since they’re both quite adventurous. Sutter’s life slowly spins out of control when he drinks more and more alcohol. He can’t really let go of his old girlfriend while he tries to act all normal and like everything’s good. After a tough night out he wakes up on a random lawn, his car gone and with few memories of the night before. There’s this girl Aimee standing above him asking him if he’s good and what he does sleeping out in the open on this early morning. This is a good question as he really doesn’t have any clue and where the fuck is his car anyway?! He decides to help Aimee out with delivering newspapers in the neighborhood in hope of finding his truck and whilst doing this he starts to get to know this unique girl.
There’s lot to like in this movie really but by far my two favorite aspects of it was Sutter’s honesty towards others even though he has issues himself, as well as his relationships with Cassidy and Aimee. One of my favorite scenes from the entire movie was towards the end when they’re all graduating and Cassidy comes up to Sutter. It’s a bit awkward since neither know how to behave given their situation, but they feel they have to say something to each other since they share so much history together. When they realize they will probably never see each other again she hugs him with a sigh of feelings, smiles and says: you’ll always be my favorite ex-boyfriend. And this, my friends, is bittersweet when at its best. That is so me.
I love slice of life movies that have a twist to them and that I can relate to. In this movie I can relate to lots and while I haven’t really gone through the hardships that some of the characters we meet in this movie have, I recognize and relate to some of their feelings. It’s about both the good and the bad. It’s about trying hard and also about giving up too early. It’s about being happy and about being sad. It’s about being drunk and it’s about being sharp. It’s about feeling like you’re not good enough. It’s about being pleasantly surprised and about being thoroughly disappointed. It’s about being honest and deceiving. It’s about the people you love right now and about the people you used to love. About the people who are in your life right now and about the people who you’ve lost touch with. It’s about holding onto what’s important and letting go of what’s not meant to be. And most definitely it’s about the spectacular now. I loved it and hopefully you will too!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Short Term 12
Much like The Spectacular Now, this is an independent movie about everyday life. The main characters Grace and Mason are both persons who was once taken in by foster parents and are now working together in a short term facility. Here we meet people with various personalities and various issues and it’s obvious how tough it is to be working with something like this. You have to be a strong person and don’t doubt yourself for one second. Despite this they both have their issues of course and when Grace gets pregnant her world is starting to rumble. When a new girl comes to stay with them at the short term, a girl whose problem she can definitely relate to, she finally has to deal with her own demons.
This movie isn’t exactly what you’d call cheerful but it’s definitely hopeful. It shows that together you can pull through. It also shows how important it is to open up and let other people in. You can’t do everything on your own. You have to let others carry your burdens from time to time.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Stephen King is a legendary writer but I’m sad to say that I haven’t actually read anything from him. What I have done is seen a couple of movies based on his books and they haven’t been what you would call good. They’ve actually been pretty laughable. Carrie is a remake of the movie from 1976 and has Chloë Grace Moretz starring in the main role. It’s about a girl who has had a weird time growing up with a mother who’s not your average loving mother. In school she is the outcast and she doesn’t have any friends. When some of the girls at school start to bully her she realize that she’s telekinetic and with this knowledge she becomes a bit more secure. After various events she also gets taken to prom by the school hunk number one. Are things turning out good for Carrie? Sadly not.
The problem with this movie is that it’s too predictable and Chloë overplays the role at times as well. Plus it never really gets any scary. Julianne Moore’s character is the only good part and the only thing that breathes old school horror flicks.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Side Effects (The Bitter Pill)
This one’s a movie that I’ve been wanting to see for long but haven’t gotten around to do. I was hoping it’d be a bit like The Perfect Sense. I tend to end up watching easy to digest movies because I’m too tired to dig into something that demands you think. Now this wasn’t as puzzling as I originally thought but it was worth the time for sure. I like Jude Law. In this movie he plays a persistent psychologist whose life is taken apart by a turn of events that are hard to predict. What you originally thought had to do with depression turns into deceit. It’s funny that our society has come to become so dependent on medication to take care of our symptoms instead of actually dealing with the root of the problem.
I have a hard time deciding what I think about this flick. On one hand it has good writing and is hard to predict. On the other hand it’s also pretty slow and you never really care for the characters, maybe with the exception of Rooney’s character Emily, who you originally root for. I would say though that it’s better than your average drama/thriller and like I said, Jude Law plays well and Rooney is hauntingly pretty and well-suited to play the depressed and lost Emily.
Rating: 3 out of 5