Movie Review: We Are What We Are (2013)

And the Month of Spooks continues with another review! So let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “We Are What We Are”.

The Parkers are a reclusive family who follow some ye olde customs. However, when the mother in the family dies the daughters (Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner) have to start taking more responsibilities at home, and they soon find their lives taking a turn for the worse It’s difficult talking about the plot of this without accidentally spoiling stuff, so I’m not gonna say anything more about the plot itself. I will however say that I thought it was great. It’s a slow burn, which might put some people off. But the movie rewards patient viewers with an engrossing, tense, and disturbing plot filled with twists and turns. It’s a very well handled plot and I thought it was great.

The characters in this are all flawed, damaged, and interesting. Ambyr Childers plays Iris, the older of the two Parker sisters. And while she is a fairly soft-spoken character that doesn’t speak too much, you can still tell a lot about her by just looking at her eyes. You can see the sadness and pain behind them, you can see that she wants something more out of life than what she has. And Childers is great in the role. Julia Garner (AKA Ruth Langmore from “Ozark”) plays Rose, the younger of the Parker sisters. As with Childers she acts a lot with her eyes, and you can tell that she isn’t as comfortable with their situation as her sister. And Garner is great in the role. Bill Sage plays Frank, the father of the Parker family. He is more often than not a very soft-spoken man, but can explode when things don’t go as planned. And like with the two ladies playing his daughters, he acts with his eyes quite a bit. And there are several other subtleties in his performance that I won’t get into here, but they do add layers to the performance. And Sage is great in the role. We also get Wyatt Russell as a police deputy that has some history with one of the Parker sisters, and he’s really good in the role. We also have Jack Gore as Rory, the youngest child in the Parker family. And while it isn’t one of the best child performances ever, I’d still say that it’s good (which is great to see). We also have Michael Parks (may he rest in peace) as a coroner that looks into the dead Parker mom. And he’s great in the role. We also have Nick Damici in a small role as a Sheriff. And he’s good… not much else to say for such a limited role. And we have Kelly McGillis as the Parkers’ neighbor, and she’s good in the role. Overall it’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Jeff Grace, Philip Mossman, and Darren Morris. And it was fantastic. It is tense, dramatic, eerie, and even emotional. It really helped elevate a lot of the scenes, adding so many layers to those scenes. Then there were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout and they were used well in their respective scenes.

This movie was directed by Jim Mickle (a man who has popped up on this blog several times before), and written by Nick Damici & Jim Mickle. And I have to say that he did a terrific job with his directing here. It is slow and methodical, with no shots feeling out of place or dull. He manages to build a lot of tension throughout the movie and even had me feeling uneasy from start to finish thanks to the eerie atmosphere of it. And I have to mention that Ryan Samul’s cinematography is fantastic. There’s also some gore in this, so if you’re slightly squeamish… you have now been warned. And as a final little mention here, this is apparently a remake of a Mexican film of the same name. I haven’t seen it… just thought I’d mention it’s existence.

This movie has gotten some slightly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

“We Are What We Are” is a damn good little horror-drama. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “We Are What We Are” is a 9,86/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “We Are What We Are” is now completed.

Another win for Mr. Mickle.

Movie Review: The Master (2012)

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Back on the drama platform again. Some dramas get universal praise, while some get hated and some are just somewhere inbetween. And no, this is not one of the inbetween movies…at all. This is a movie that got recognized as a great movie pretty damn quick. But is it something that this guy can get behind and love as much as the critics did?

Ladies and gentlemen…”The Master”.

The story of the movie is set in 1950 and follows a man named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix). Freddie isn’t really a completely stable person. First he was kind of traumatized by being in war and then he ended up a bit of a drunk. One night when he is on one of his drunken escapades he ends up one a boat filled with people led by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Dodd is someone who the people pn the boat call “Master” (Roll credits). Basically it is like a cult or organization that Freddie ends up joining. And then he struggles to be in the organization but also having the disadvantage of having the bottle as his best friend. And that is it realyl considering how difficult it is to explain this movie without spoilers. But the premise is kind of interesting and the execution isn’t too shabby. It is just that strangely enough…the story of this movie doesn’t appeal to me. Not saying it’s bad, it just isn’t that kind of super awesome to me. It is kind of good, but not perfect.

The characters are kind of like the story…odd. Okay, I never mentioned odd in the story segment, but it is kind of odd. But the way these characters are is diffcult to say. I could say they are portrayed very realistically, but I am not sure on if what they do is realistic or not. I can at least say that the acting is really good…I mean REALLY GOOD. Joaquin Phoenix is pretty much unrecognizable as this drunken mess of a man. This guy pulls off the role perfectly! I honestly think it is one of the best performances I have seen from any actor. Philip Seymour Hoffman was also great as this leader of the organization. Still, Philip Seymour Hoffman is good in everything. But with characters/acting I was pleased.

The music is fantastic. A good mix of orchestral tracks, both bombastic and calm. Composer Jonny Greenwood did an excellent job making the soundtrack for this movie.

This movie looks better than most movies I have ever seen. Paul Thomas Anderson really shows here that he knows how the camera works and how to make a really good looking scene! Also, when I looked in the cast list for this movie I was surprised to see Swedish actress Lena Endre in there. Not saying seeing here there was a bad thing, just surprising.

The reception for “The Master” was good. On Rotten Tomatoes this movie has a 85% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has 86/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars and said this;

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air. It has rich material and isn’t clear what it thinks about it. It has two performances of Oscar caliber, but do they connect? Its title character is transparently inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, but it sidesteps any firm vision of the cult religion itself — or what it grew into.

On imdb.com this movie has a score 0f 7,1/10. This movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars. Best actor in a leading role (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Actor in a supporting role (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best actress in a supporting role (Amy Adams).

I have given this movie some good words and some less good words. So now I am ready to give it my score. This movie gets my personal 8,43/10 and a recommendation to rent it. This movie has a lot of things going for it, but is still not really worth buying (In my opinion).

“The Master” is now reviewed.

While Philip Seymour Hoffman is cool, he is not as cool as the Master from Doctor Who.