Movie Review: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

I honestly don’t know what the fuck to start with. Usually when reviewing a movie I can come up with some clever(ish) intro that somehow relates back to the movie. But in this case it’s fucking impossible. So let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Nocturnal Animals”.

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) is a wealthy art gallery owner living in New York City. And one day she gets package form her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) containing a novel that he’s written. So Susan of course starts reading it and becomes obsessed with this dark and twisted story. We also get to follow along as the story in the novel gets visualized for us. So now we have our dark, weird, and complex story. And yeah, those are really my thoughts: It’s dark, weird, and complex. Because it’s not just about a really beautiful woman reading a book, because there are plenty of metaphors that get drawn between the story that Susan’s reading, and her own life. We also get a look into her past and then that stuff somehow relates back to the book and Jesus fucking Christ, this movie has more layers than a “Scooby-Doo” sandwich. But I don’t fault it for that because I appreciated the complexity of it all, and I thought about it and I never felt lost. So we have a complex and layered story that is also tense, eerie, fascinating, and at one point heart-wrenching. So yeah… it’s pretty damn good.

The characters in this are like the story… complex and layered. Amy Adams is fantastic as Susan Morrow. A lot of times she doesn’t even need to say anything to show how good her performance is, as a lot of it is portrayed through her eyes and her mannerisms. There are so many subtleties to her performance that help make it as great as it is. Jake Gyllenhaal puts on a bit of a double role in the movie as he plays both Susan’s ex-husband, Edward, and the novel’s main character, Tony. And he is fantastic in this, with one of the roles having him give an intense and emotionally charged performance, and the other one just being generally great. Michael Shannon plays Booby Andes, a cop within the novel that Susan’s reading. And he’s basically just a tough guy who doesn’t give a shit and he’s just a blast to watch… yeah, he’s awesome. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays a guy named Ray Marcus, an asshole who was kind of creepy and really unpleasant, and he really got under my skin. So kudos to Aaron Taylor-Johnson… great job. Really, this movie is filled to the brim with great performances/actors, so I won’t go on for too long about each and every one because we’d be here all fucking week. But to be somewhat fair, here are some of them listed: Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Karl Glusman, Laura Linney, Michael Sheen, and Andrea Riseborough.

The score for the movie was composed by Abel Korzeniowski and I do have to say that it was fucking amazing. As could be expected from Korzeniowski (at least if you watch “Penny Dreadful”, like I do), his music is heavily based in string instruments, which helps to create an eerie, dramatic, and emotional sound that complements the movie perfectly. Out of all the original scores of movies that came out last year, this might be my personal favorite.

This movie was directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, and he did a great job here. His directing is very tight and suspenseful. And his direction combined with Seamus McGarvey’s cinematography makes this one of the most visually arresting movies of the last few years. There were a whole bunch of shots in this movie that actually made me go “Woaw”, and that isn’t very common for me. I do also have to mention that there are a few disturbing visuals throughout this movie too, so don’t expect this to be just pretty people captured in pretty cinematography, because there’s some fucked up and weird stuff here… so don’t bring grandma.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in teh category of Best supporting actor (Shannon). 

“Nocturnal Animals” is a movie that I thought was pretty fucking great, but that I am aware have and will divide audiences. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Nocturnal Animals” is a 9,89/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Nocturnal Animals” is now completed.

Now that I think about it, this movie could almost have been called “Behind Blue Eyes”. Because most of the main actors have blue eyes and are troubled in some way…

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

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As the Marvel cinematic universe moves on, they have to figure out what the hell they should do next. Of course they can always look back on the comics/graphic novels for inspiration, but they need to know which ones to go by. And with that said, IN YOUR FACE, AMERICA! Sorry, I wanted to be a jerk about the fact that we got the movie before you.

Ladies and gents… “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

So in this movie we see how Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) tries to start up a new peacekeeping program to help keep the world safe. But that seems to go to shit as the program takes a robotic body and turns on it’s creator. So now it is up to Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to go out and stop the villainous robot Ultron (James Spader). And with that we get a deep story filled with action, drama, emotion and a lot of narrative strengths. This is a movie with a constantly moving story that never feels dull or boring at any point. I loved it!

At this point we are all familiar with the main players of the movie and we know they are amazingly awesome, so in this part of the “characters/acting” segment we will focus more on the newcomers. First up, James Spader as Ultron… holy shit! If the phrase “perfect casting” could ever be put on something it could be put right here. Spader is fantastic as this 8ft tall robot. Not only does he deliver his lines perfectly, but his voice is just fantastic for Ultron. It is deep, smooth and villainous. I also felt like there was a bit of a Raymond Reddington vibe going on (Sidenote: For those of you who don’t know, Reddington is Spader’s character in the TV-show “The Blacklist”). And it was just great. Next up is Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver. I had my doubts, not because of Johnson, I now he is a really good actor, I just doubted if this Quicksilver could be awesome. And he was awesome, frankly great. He had funny lines and a cool personality which I felt like Johnson captured perfectly. Finally we have Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Sidenote: Johnson and Olsen played husband and wife in 2014’s “Godzilla” and here they play siblings… weird). And she was great, playing her with a lot of confidence and power. She was great. Overall I think all actors were great and the writing for them was also great.

The score for the movie was done by Brian Tyler and by this point we know he is great. He has done the music for most modern Marvel movies (4 M’s in a row, damn). The score is just as large, epic and amazing as it has been for the past however many years Brian Tyler has been along for the ride. And for those of you who wonder, the song “I’ve got no strings” is actually in this movie.

This movie was really well-directed. The shots looked great and nothing lingered for too long. And the action scenes in this movie were amazing, some of the best any superhero movie has ever seen. They were fast, flowing, energetic and badass. And the visual effects were spectacular! Everything looked great, especially Ultron, he looked so real! And the writing in the movie was also really great. Not only were there a lot of funny lines like you would expect but there were some genuinely deep and dramatic lines in there that really worked for the movie. And there was also one moment in the movie that I have to admit (Don’t worry, no spoilers on my blog) that made me almost tear up, well done Marvel.

As this movie hasn’t been out that long in the world (not at all in the U.S.) there aren’t that many things to go by. But so far I can mention that Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,6/10. Reminder: All scores that I present here are always what I find at the time of the review, scores on sites may alter afterwards.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is another badass addition to the MCU with a great plot, great characters/acting, a great score, amazing action and visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem* My final score for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a 9,87/10. This is a great movie that of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is now completed.

If you wonder about my thoughts on the first “Avengers”, I liked it. But I think this is the superior movie.

Recent Purchases: Episode 5

Hey there, my friends! How are you doing? Today it is time again for the “series” nobody asked for! That’s right! RECENT PURCHASES! Ya know, the “series” where I tell you what kind of stuff (not edible/drinkable). So shall we get started? You bet your ass we are about to get started! Let’s go!

DVD’s: I, Robot (2004)
Catch me if You Can (2002)
Spirited Away (2001)
Godzilla (2014)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Prometheus (2012)
Fight Club (1999)

Aaaaaand that was it for this installment of Recent Purchases. I doubt you enjoyed reading this, but I could always hope! Hope you’ll return to this blog for more bullshit like this! And if you feel generous then maybe you can leave a like and follow me.

See ya!

Movie Review: The Illusionist (2006)

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Mysteries, they are so…mysterious! I always love a good mystery, often in combination with supernatural elements. If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of TV-shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel” and “Supernatural”. All those contain mystery in one way or another and also have supernatural elements (Especially “Supernatural”). But what happens if you take a supernatural-based mystery but trade a lot of the horror/thriller elements for romance? You get this one movie that was kind of an odd choice for me.

Ladies and gentlemen…silence please…today TheMarckoguy presents; “The Illusionist”!

In the turn of the century (19th – 20th) we follow a young illusionist (roll credits) called Eisenheim (Edward Norton). At a young age (Flashbacks featuring a younger version played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) he was shown some great magic tricks and got very interested by it. So he started practicing and got really, really good. He met a young girl named Sophie (Eleanor Tomlinson) whom he falls in love with and she falls for him. But their love is not accepted considering she comes from a higher social standing (Her guards/family calling him a “peasant”). The young Eisenheim runs away and travels the world to show off his magic tricks. Several years later he comes back to Vienna (forgot to mention it was set in Vienna…sorry) to have a show. In this show the crown prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) is attending…and so is a now grown up Sophie (Now played by Jessica Biel). She and Eisenheim meets eachother again afterwards and begin a little bit of a secret romance. But that is not all of the plot, a lot of it also involves Eisenheim’s shows and inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) trying to figure out how his tricks work. And that is the story in a nutshell I suppose. To be honest I really liked it. I am not one to choose a romantic movie first-hand since they are for the most part not my cup of tea. But this storyline intrigued me (Maybe because of Edward Norton being in it, I don’t know). But it might be because of the magic-based twist this movie got. Or maybe it is because of the next segment…

The characters…sure, they are not always the most likeable, but they are portrayed so well by their respective actors that I don’t mind. I was especially impressed with Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell…DAMN THEY CAN ACT! I really liked their performances, and that is one of the highlights of this movie. And of course we have to give a few points to Edward Norton for being…Edward Norton, really. He is always good (He just acts in bad movies sometimes). But everyone on the acting side did a great job. Maybe Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a bit…not too good but remember, this is one of his earlier movies.

The music was FANTASTIC! The score by Philip Glass was just perfect. It not only works with the time period, but also works for the different situations in this movie. It is just beautiful and I think you should listen to it. NOW!

This movie looks beautiful! It is shot in such a way that I just love looking at it. Not only based on the lighting, but in general, the camera work is excellent! So I am not surprised that it was Oscar Nominated for best Cinematography.

This movie had really good reception. On Rotten Tomaotes it not only has a 74% positive rating, but also a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has 68/100. Roger Ebert gave this a 3,5/4 star rating (couldn’t find a good quote). 7,6/10 is the score on imdb.com.

I have said my opinions on this movie and I am now gonna amaze you with my magic trick of conjuring up a score! Yes, there it is. It is a 9,59/10 which tells me you should go buy it now. And it also tells me it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”. 49920178

“The Illusionist” is now reviewed.

If life is an illusion, then what the hell are hallucinations?

Movie Review : Godzilla (2014)

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Monster movies…they are…usually a hit-or-miss type of movie. It’s kind of like Russian Roulette, if you understand how I mean. Either it clicks and survives, or it will go bang and die. That is what happened back in 1998 when Roland Emmerich tried his hands at making his own “Godzilla” movie. The revolver went bang. But 16 years later we get a new “Godzilla” movie. And how is it? Will it be as shit as its 1998 counterpart or will it be the “Godzilla” movie we have all been waiting for? Let’s find out.

Monsters and monserettes…”Godzilla”!

Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) works at a nuclear plant in Japan. He lives in Japan with his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) and his son Ford (CJ Adams). One day when he goes to work they get some unusual readings. His wife goes down with a team of science-y people to take a closer look. Suddenly there is a bit of an earthquake (which it had been earllier as well). But Joe doesn’t really think it are earthquakes mentioning that earthquakes are “random” and these were not. But something goes wrong and a toxic gas thing leaks out, almost even chasing Sandra and her team. Before she and her team arrive at the big heavy metal door, the gas almost reaches the door and Joe has to close it…with his wife still inside that tunnel. Then after he had closed it on time…she arrives at the door. Her suit can’t keep her from the gas and she will die. And she does. Joe of course cries about it. Then the entire plant crumbles together. Sure, Joe gets out…but his wife fucking died in front of him…ON HIS BIRTHDAY! His son, with the rest of his class gets away from school since a nuclear plant crumbling together will cause a new Chernobyl-ish.
Cut to 15 years later. Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is coming home to his family (Elizabeth Olsen & Carson Bolde) after serving in the army. But his happiness doesn’t last too long since he gets a phone call regarding his dad Joe getting his ass arrested for going somewhere he should not have. So of course Ford goes to Japan to help bail his poor old man out of jail. After that situation they go and do the same thing again because…why not? And of course they get captured, but this time taken to a military base. Where the people there tries to kill off a…thing in a cocoon. But they only wake it up and will come to KILL US ALL. And it feasts on radiation. So the story is very well set up. And it goes on and it never gets me bored. Something is always going on! Even if it’s something as small/simple as two people talking to eachother, this movie makes that interesting. Maybe it’s because Ken Watanabe does a good amount of talking in this movie…who knows. The only complaint I have with the plot was that there was not enough Godzilla. When Godzilla had any story stuff in the movie it was very interesting and entertaining, but it was not enough. But still, very good story.

The characters…they are very good for a monster movie. Ususally when I watch a monster movie I don’t give a shit about the characters. Seriously. But here I actually kinda felt for them…especially Godzilla. Call me a fanboy if you want, I don’t give a shit. But if we count away Godzilla for a second…major prasie to Bryan Fucking Cranston as Joe Brody…so much emotion and just good ol’ great acting coming from his way. Too bad he doesn’t get nearly enough screen time. He was fantastic in it. The only character complaint I have is for teh character of Ford. They could have fleshed him out a little more. Otherwise, good characters and fantastic acting in this movie. And Godzilla is the best character no matter what all people consider “characters”.

The music is just…perfect. The score by Alexandre Desplat is just fucking magnificent! It is perfectly orchestrated and just fits the movie so damn well! It just shows how epic everything is! Not kidding, just listen if you watch the movie.

This movie looks…fucking amazing. It is so well filmed. This movie looks beautiful. Not just in its CGI, but how it is filmed. Gareth Edward knows what the hell he does behind a camera! Also, if you look closely/pay attention, you will notice many easter eggs that refer to old “Godzilla” movies. This movie is full of them. Go look for ’em. Here is a clue for ya…glass cage with a type of bug.

Reception for “Godzilla” was overall pretty good. Rotten Tomatoes holds the rating of 73% on it and have certified it fresh. Metacritic has given it a 61/100 score. And no Roger Ebert thing (since he passed away over a year ago).
imdb.com currently holds the rating of 7,9 on the movie.

So I have given some fairly good opinions on different aspects. Here is my score: 9,76/10. This movie is worth watching on the cinema…and the 3D isn’t actually that bad. Also, when this movie comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray, it is a must buy for not only monster film fans, but also people who just like movies. This movie gets the “Seal of Approval”.Image

 

Review of “Godzilla” is now done. And for once I reviewed something that just came out.

Oh no, they say he’s got to go, Go Go Godzilla!