Movie Review: Gattaca (1997)

Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. There’s no “destiny”, you make up your own story. You have control over your own path.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Gattaca”.

Ever since he was a kid, Vincent (Ethan Hawke) has wanted to go to space. But due to his inferior genes he has been ineligible for the longest time to even take part in the program. But he finds a way to potentially achieve his dream when he gets to assume the identity of a genetically superior man (Jude Law) to get into the program. So now we have our sci-fi plot. And it is honestly pretty damn great. It explores the themes of humanity and ethics. It’s an engaging drama with a slight science fiction twist. The type of sci-fi here feels fairly believable, as if it could possibly happen in the future. But it’s mainly an inspiring drama about a man trying to achieve his dreams despite what some have told him, and I have huge respect for that. It’s a truly great plot.

The characters are fleshed out and quite interesting. Vincent has, despite his shortcomings, always hoped that his dreams of space travel will come true. And seeing his determination to make his dream a reality is kind of inspiring. And Ethan Hawke is great in the role. Uma Thurman plays one of Vincent’s co-workers that we get to know a bit throughout the movie. And Thurman is great in the role. Jude Law plays the “genetically superior” man whose identity Vincent assumes to make it into the space program. He’s a charming and fun guy with some okay dramatic stuff going for him throughout. And Law is great in the role. Then the cast is rounded out by actors like Ernest Borgnine, Xander Berkeley, Gore Vidal, Alan Arkin, Loren Dean, Tony Shalhoub, Jayne Brook, and Elias Koteas (and more), all doing very well here.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Nyman and it was fantastic. It strikes a perfect balance of tense, inspiring, and emotional. It’s mainly based around strings which gives it a very beautiful sound. And it all works very well for the movie, elevating the already great scenes.

The movie was written and directed by Andrew Niccol (who also made the great “Lord of War”) and I think he did a fantastic job here. The way he manages to create a world that is familiar yet different is excellent, and he manages to keep a surprising amount of tension going throughout. I don’t mean edge-of-your-seat type of tension, but rather a tense feel of unease as Vincent tries to keep his real identity a secret throughout. The movie is also very well shot, it’s definitely what I would call visually arresting. And there are a couple of clever little details in certain shots throughout that I thought were nice touches.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Gattaca” is pretty fucking great. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Gattaca” is a 9,86/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Gattaca” is now completed.

I’m gonna say it once again… Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Write your own story.

Movie Review: The Truman Show (1998)

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Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s… “The Truman Show”!

Insurance salesman Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) lives a pretty normal life with his wife Meryl (Laura Linney). But he soon discovers something very odd about himself and the world around him. And that odd thing is that his entire life is one big television show, running 24/7, thanks to the mysterious Christof (Ed Harris). And from that we get one of the most original plots every put to film. Sure, these days we have seen several different versions of the very same plot. Hell, even “Codename: Kids Next Door” did a parody of it. But back in 1998, this was some pretty revolutionary shit. But the twists and turns throughout are clever, and the ways that Truman puzzles all of this together is really engaging and interesting. It’s a pretty philosophical story too if you think about it, which makes it so much more interesting and great.

The characters in the movie are all very interesting and have a whole bunch of layers to them. Jim Carrey is honestly fantastic as the character of Truman. This is probably the best performance I have ever seen from him (Sidenote: As of the writing of this review, I have not yet seen “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, which people tend to call Carrey’s best movie). I honestly think he was the perfect pick for this movie, since he’s such a likable actor, playing someone who never chose to be the subject of this show. Laura Linney as his “wife” is great in her role. Noah Emmerich plays Truman’s best friend, Marlon, and he’s really good in the movie. And then we have Ed Harris as the ever watching Christof… and he’s great. Nothing else to say really, he’s Ed fucking Harris, he’s always great. Everybody’s great!

The score for “The Truman Show” was composed by Burkhard Dallwitz, with some help from Philip Glass. And let me tell ya… it’s some good stuff. It’s a mix of dramatic, whimsical, and surprisingly tense tracks. All of them perfectly fitting the scenes they were meant for. Often the tracks elevated the scenes they were used in to perfection.

This movie was directed by Peter Weir, a director who I haven’t really seen much from. The one movie of his I had seen prior to this was “Fearless”, and I loved that one a lot. But I gotta say that “Truman Show” is a very well directed movie. And the writing by Andrew Niccol was really good too. This movie isn’t a straight-up comedy, there’s a lot of dramatic stuff in it. But it is also a movie with plenty of funny moments, and a lot of feelgood stuff too, with a pinch of sad moments thrown in there. What I’m trying to say is that the writing gives us a bit of everything in regards to emotion.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a score of 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 90/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #209 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting actor (Harris), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

“The Truman Show” was quite the awesome movie. It has an original and awesome story, really good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and great writing. Time for my final score. AAAAAHHHHH! My final score for “The Truman Show” is a 9,90/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Truman Show” is now completed.

Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

Movie Review: Lord of War (2005)

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I have a weird interest in illegal business practices. And before you call every safety organization on me, I don’t mean it like that. I don’t have an interest in conducting illegal business, but I am really interested in reading about it. Have I calmed your tits now? Excellent! But these kinds of illegal businesses can range from drugs to murder, but today we are taking a look at something less… mainstream, in lack of a better word. Of course it occurs a lot in our big world, but not as many people look into it as the other ones I mentioned.

Ladies and gentlemen, load your guns, aim and fire, because this is “Lord of War”!

This movie is about illegal arms-trader Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) and his rise to become the best at his craft. And with him (for the most part) is his brother Vitaly (Jared Leto). But it isn’t easy supplying guns for our “heroes” as they have problems with a rivaling arms-dealer (Ian Holm) and a tenacious Interpol agent (Ethan Hawke). And that is interesting in itself of course, but the plot gets even more interesting since Yuri through the plot starts questioning the morality of his work more and more. And to be completely honest, I find the plot really interesting and engaging. There wasn’t one minute of the plot that wasn’t interesting to me. It was so well-written and suspenseful that I just didn’t find anything uninteresting in it.

The characters were all really well-written and never felt out of place or even unrealistic. And I am so happy to see Nicolas Cage give a really good performance. Now to be fair, I have for the most part only seen over-the-top performances from him and the only legitimately good I have seen from him prior to this was “Joe” where he was amazing. But I know he got it in him to be great and here he proved it. Jared Leto was also great in the movie as his brother. And Ethan Hawke as Interpol agent Jack Valentine was also really good.

The score for the movie was done by Anthony Pinto and was in my opinion really good. There was a lot of use of piano and acoustic guitar which helped build a lot of suspense and emotion which is exactly what was needed. The music was also part of helping hold up the thought-provoking plot and characters by having that type of vibe (if that makes any sense).

The movie was both written and directed by Andrew Niccol and he shows that he got a knack for both. The writing (Both plot and dialogue) is excellent and the camera work/direction of the movie is really good. The movie is visually impressive, especially during the movie’s amazing opening credits which follows the life of a single bullet, featuring the excellent song “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. Watch it here!

This was movie generally well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 61% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. Roger Ebert gave it a score of 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Lord of War” got a well-written and thought-provoking plot, terrific performances, a great soundtrack/score, great direction/camera work and one of the best opening credit sequences I have ever seen. Time for my final score. Holy crap, Jeff… you’re actually on time for once. Envelope? Thank you! You can go now. My final score for “Lord of War” is a 9,82/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Lord of War” is completed.

There’s something happening here, for what it is ain’t exactly clear…