Adam Scott’s character, Caleb Sinclaire, in The Vicious Kind is one of the most complex characters I have ever seen in a film. He’s angry, he’s sad, he’s broken, he’s in an identity crisis, and he hasn’t slept in a week. All these qualities add up to a damn good movie. This film is writer/director’s Lee Toland Krieger’s sophomore attempt, and because of the acclaim this movie drew, his next film will have the star power of Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, and Emma Roberts. Adam Scott is absolutely tremendous and Brittany Snow actually seems to have some acting talent. J.K. Simmons is great as always as Caleb’s estranged father. The story is original and manages to be mostly unpredictable (which is refreshing). A sometimes sad, sometimes uplifting, always entertaining film. I definitely recommend it.
The next movie in my animated spree was Rio, a film about the last male blue macaw who is aptly named Blu. Blu is voiced by Jesse Eisenberg, so it is hard to imagine the guy who created Facebook being a bird. I think Eisenberg might struggle with that for a while until he gets another Oscar nominated role. There are many other celebrity voices in this film as well, such as George Lopez, Leslie Mann, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch, Jamie Foxx, Will.I.Am, and Anne Hathaway so the film had no shortage of recognizable voices which is always fun in animated movies. The animation was also gorgeous, animation continues to get better and better and some of the scenes in Rio de Janeiro really show off how far animation has come. This movie was somewhat a disappointment beyond that. The story was just like every other animated movie (somewhat sappy, some attempts at humor, romance, and a clear good vs. evil struggle). The romance element kind of flopped, maybe because they are birds. The humor also seemed to fall flat and it only produced a few half-hearted chuckles. I think this was an animated movie made specifically for a younger audience rather than a broad target age range like other animated gems (Up, Toy Story, Cars, etc.). A decent movie to pass the time, but nothing more.
Today I went on a slight animated kick. That just happens to me sometimes, I’m not entirely sure what triggers it. The first film I sat down to watch was Mary and Max, a claymation film about a young Australian girl with no friends and an alcoholic mother who picks a random name from a phone book and sends a letter to an obese, middle aged man living in New York City with Asperger’s Syndrome. Mary and Max send letters back and forth for twenty years and develop a close friendship. The film has its ups and downs but for the most part is a touching story (I believe at the beginning it says based on a true story) about two people who find friendship in a very strange way. The movie can be heart breaking at times, but I could not really get into it. It was interesting, but not interesting to have me hooked. The claymation was dark and dreary, possibly purposeful but it kind of dampened even the bright moments of the film. For those interested in lists and rankings, this movie is on the IMDB Top 250, but I’m not entirely sure it deserves to be. I think this was a barely above-average film.
I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t. At all. Not even in the slightest. Have any idea. What just happened. Synecdoche, New York is by far the strangest and most baffling film I have ever seen. I have seen most of the other films Charlie Kaufman has written (Eternal Sunshine, Being John Malkovich, and Adaptation.) which were all confusing as well, but they do not even come close to touching this. Synecdoche is Kaufman’s directorial debut. I can’t even begin to describe what it was about, because I still don’t know. Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars Caden Cotard, a playwright who wins a MacArthur Grant and sets out to create a massive play in a New York warehouse. He struggles with relationships (he has many of them in the film) and his fear of death haunts him throughout the film. Other than that, I’m not really sure. The film is basically about an adult who ages and then dies, with many, many other parts that are each stranger than the last. The film is either brilliant or awful, it’s really up for interpretation. I would recommend this just so someone else can tell me whether or not it was a piece of shit or a masterpiece because I really can’t tell.
Grade: A-F, I don’t really know
It should be known that I am not a very big fan of Jim Carrey. The whole facial contortion/funny sounds/being loud/arm flailing gig got old for me, very quickly. So the only movies that I really enjoy with Jim Carrey are ones that he actually tries to act in. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and, for the most part, The Truman Show were quite good. In I Love You Phillip Morris Jim Carrey just acts, and for that reason alone this movie will be added to my list of acceptable Jim Carrey movies. I Love You Phillip Morris is directed and written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the directors of Crazy, Stupid, Love which just hit theater and the writers of such smash hits as Cats & Dogs and Bad Santa. That said, the writing and directing aren’t particularly astonishing. However, this movie is based on the true story of Steven Jay Russell, a con artist who was great at escaping from prison. The true story is amazing, and worth side research after watching the film. The film does do justice to the story, and so does Jim Carrey. His performance as Steven is actually quite good. Ewan McGregor also appears in the film as the titular Phillip Morris, Steven’s gay lover. There are a lot of homosexual sex scenes in the film, so if you are the type of person who would get “offended” by that sort of thing or would be uncomfortable I’m going to tell you now you should probably avoid the film or at least maybe avert your eyes for those parts. If you aren’t a total vagina, I would recommend this film. I thought it was pretty darn enjoyable.
I know I haven’t been on top of my game this week, but I blame NFL Free Agency and how the reviews became somewhat of a monotonous routine. So, I’m going to switch things up a bit. No more formulaic reviews, I’m just going to write what I want to about the film. I think that may be more enjoyable for all. Anyway, the film I watched tonight was A Single Man, directed by Tom Ford and starring Colin Firth. Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar for his role. First off, I did not recognize the name Tom Ford so I did some research. Turns out he was actually the head designer at Gucci and had a cameo in Zoolander. This was his first film both as a writer and as a director. Interesting directorial debut certainly. It had it’s ups and downs. Some of the more metaphoric sequences seemed a bit overdone, but one thing this film does is just break your heart. Anyone who says gay marriage isn’t “real marriage,” shut up. This movie was incredibly heartbreaking and Colin Firth’s performance as a despondent English professor who lost his partner in a car accident a year ago is tremendous. I’m not a huge Julianne Moore fan, and her parts seemed a bit annoying. But beyond that the act was great. Matthew Goode (Match Point, Watchmen) and Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Skins) performed quite well. One other thing that must be said about the film is that, coming from a fashion design background, Tom Ford designed for the film was extraordinary. The 1960’s clothing, vehicles, houses, interior design, etc. were all fantastic. If nothing else, the movie looks great, but it also helps that it is backed up by solid acting and a very emotional storyline.
recommended watch fo’ sho’
Director/Writer: Edward Burns
Cast: Matt Bush, Kerry Bishe, Edward Burns
Summary: Johnny Rizzo (Matt Bush) is a nice guy, to a fault even, and he travels to New York City to leave his dream sports radio job for a boring upper management job for his fiancee. That is until he meets Brooke (Kerry Bishe) and everything in his life starts to change.
Review: This movie is perfectly adequate. The story is decent, but it is very similar to most other romantic comedies. The acting is pretty good, Matt Bush is believable as a nice guy and Edward Burns does a great job as a douche-y uncle. Kerry Bishe is beautiful and charming as Brooke, the new girl in Johnny’s life. The movie seems to fly by, so there weren’t really any slow or boring parts. The film only cost $25,000 to make, and for that low of a budget Edward Burns turned out a quality, interesting romantic comedy.
George C. Scott (Oscar award winning actor) does not like Adam Sandler’s movies. Quite frankly, neither do I. This is a completely appropriate reaction. (Apparently clips were taken from the film Hardcore (1979) and mixed with the trailer for the upcoming Sandler film Jack and Jill, George Scott passed away in 1999 but I’m sure if he were alive today this film would make him this miserable)