Movie Review: American Made (2017)

Don’t do drugs, kids. Also, don’t sell drugs. Or be near drugs. Basically just… to hell with drugs.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gents… “American Made”.

The story follows Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), an American pilot who gets hired by the CIA to run guns for them, which eventually also leads him running cocaine for the Medellín cartel. And we follow his insane life as he tries to balance these jobs while also trying to not get arrested. And it’s actually a really interesting plot with some flaw to it. It’s interesting seeing the ins and outs of Barry’s job, the routes he takes as well as how he just runs his operations. It’s overall a really fun and well-paced plot that is really enjoyable. My flaw with the plot is that it does slow down at a point in the movie. Not in the “let’s take some time to develop the characters a lot” (though there’s a little bit of that in there), but more just starts dragging a bit. It’s not too draggy, and it doesn’t go for too long, but it’s definitely worth pointing out as it is quite noticeable.

The characters in this are enjoyable. Some get a bit more development than others, but none of them feel out of place or anything like that. Tom Cruise plays Barry Seal, the pilot who gets dragged into all this crazy shit. He’s a charismatic, funny, and cool guy who not only happens to be a damn good pilot, but also a pretty good family man. And Tom Cruise is really firing on all cylinders here, this is probably the best performance I’ve seen from him since “Tropic Thunder”. Domhnall Gleeson plays Schafer, the CIA agent that recruits Seal for this dangerous mission. He has some charm, and he does share some good chemistry with Cruise throughout. And Gleeson is really good in the role. Then we have Sarah Wright as Barry’s wife Lucy. She’s a somewhat more reasonable person than Barry and does have outbursts when the strange stuff starts seeping into their home life. And Wright is great in the role. Then we have Alejandro Edda, Fredy Yate Escobar, and Mauricio Mejía as the founders of the Medellín cartel (Jorge Ochoa, Carlos Ledher, Pablo Escobar). And I’m lumping them into the same slot because this is my review and I can do whatever I want. But they are all great in their roles… charming yet intimidating. And throughout the movie you get some really solid supporting performances from people like Jesse Plemons, Jayma Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, E. Roger Mitchell, and more. Yeah, this is a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Christophe Beck and it was really good. It was tense, fun, energized, and had a healthy dose of guitar in it to give it a cool sound that worked really well for the movie. Then there were a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, some from the era, and even one or two from around 2012. But they all fit incredibly well with the era the film was set in while also helping to give the movie it’s fun mood. So yeah, this has great music.

This movie was directed by Doug Liman and he did a great job. He gives this movie and interesting style by keeping it mostly handheld and also throwing in a lot of crash-zooms, which is very reminiscent of a documentary. And that makes this movie even more interesting since it now has a somewhat unique style. Liman (together with the production crew) also gives it a very retro vibe, which really helps sell the late 70s/early 80s era. There are also some really tense scenes here, which I didn’t really expect. The movie is also funny. Not “BWAHAHAHAHAHA!” funny, but it still got consistent chuckles/laughter out of me.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“American Made” isn’t perfect, but it’s a highly enjoyable crime movie. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/editing/cinematography. As previously mentioned, I thought it had some slight flaws, including some pacing issues at one point, and some characters not always being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “American Made” is an 8,98/10. While flawed, it’s definitely worth buying!

My review of “American Made” is now completed.

Tumm Croos.

Movie Review: Born to Be Blue (2016)

Jazz. Some like it, some don’t. Me? I like some jazz. so let’s talk about some jazzy stuff.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Born to Be Blue”.

The story here is about jazz musician Chet Baker (Ethan Hawke) as he has fallen from grace due to his drug addiction. And we follow his journey as he tries to find love, redemption, and maybe one day make a comeback. So now we have our musician story. And while the basic setup shows some familiar ideas, ultimately it has a slightly different vibe than most biopics. Most biopics do everything to make the characters and his/her story seem big and romanticized in some way, but this doesn’t do that. It feels smaller and more personal, flaws of the people intact. It’s kind of refreshing to see a biopic plot that isn’t so hagiographic.

What I like about the characters here is that they feel real. They have flaws and layers to them, making them a bit more interesting. Ethan Hawke plays Chet Baker, the troubled musician. He’s a former addict who wants to find love and redemption. He has a lot of determination which is something I respect about him, but they also show that he is far from flawless, making him a bit more believable as a character. And Hawke is fantastic in the role. His performance is less about the big, explosive moments (though he gets one or two in the movie), but more about the subtle nuances in his faical expressions and gestures. Carmen Ejogo plays Jane, an actress that Chet meets and forms a bit of a relationship with. She wants to see Chet do well and get better, but she also wants to do her own things, making her slightly conflicted. And Ejogo is great in the role. Then we have Callum Keith Rennie as Dick, a friend/producer of Chet’s. He wants to see Chet do well, but he can also see that Chet is a troubled man. And he’s decently interesting. And Rennie is really good in the role. Those were the ones worth going more in-depth with, but let it be known that every actor does a good job in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by David Braid (with some help from Todor Kobakov & Steve London) and I think he did a great job. What we have here is a score that is rooted in jazz (which is fitting since this is about jazz). And I found that the score here often helps to elevate the emotion or overall drama of a scene. So yeah, it’s very well composed and fit the movie perfectly. The few licensed tracks used throughout are also well implemented.

This movie was written and directed by Robert Budreau and I think he did a great job. His directing is pretty chill, complementing the smooth jazz of the movie quite well. And his directing combined with Steve Cosens’ cinematography creates this great mood for the movie that I really liked experiencing. It also looks great, it’s a visually striking movie.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

“Born to Be Blue” is a damn good biopic. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Toots the trumpet*. My final score for “Born to Be Blue” is a 9,83/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Born to Be Blue” is now completed.

Holy chet, that was good.

Movie Review: The Lost City of Z (2017)

Exploration can lead to many things. From the discovery of lost civilizations to a crazy Italian man killing natives around the Caribbean in the name of Spain. So yeah, it has both upsides and downsides.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Lost City of Z”.

Percival Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) is a former military man who has decided to embark on a quest to the Amazonian jungles to try to find a lost city that he calls Z. And quickly this expedition turns into an obsession that puts a strain on his family life and his reputation. So now we have our story… and it’ a good one. It’s not a fast-paced and fun adventure like “Indiana Jones”, but more of a slowly burning exploration of a determined man’s journey. And I think that’s quite refreshing, seeing as most jungle/treasure hunts in movies/TV/games these days tend to be fast action things. Though I will admit that the pacing feels a bit too meander-y at a couple points, bordering on getting boring. But for the most part it’s an interesting and dramatic plot that mostly kept my interest.

The characters here are quite interesting and for the most part got a good amount of development. Charlie Hunnam (aside from being a handsome man) plays Percy Fawcett, our protagonist and obsessed explorer. Seeing his exploring turn from something he gets to simply do to an obsession is fascinating and it makes him quite a layered character. And Hunnam is really good in the role, this is probably his best performance since “Sons of Anarchy”. Robert Pattinson plays Henry Costin, Fawcett’s assistant during this exploration. He can seem like doesn’t exactly want to be there, but he does learn to appreciate the journey, and he’s just overall fairly entertaining. And Pattinson is great in the role. Sienna Miller plays Nina, Fawcett’s wife. And we get to see her as she goes through her husband’s obsession and her development in hte plot is fairly emotional. And Miller is great in the role. Then we have Ian McDiarmid (that’s right, Emperor Palpatine is in the house!) as one of the men funding and encouraging Fawcett’s expedition. And McDiarmid is really good in the role. Then we have some really solid supporting performance throughout from Angus Macfadyen, Edward Ashley, Tom Holland, Clive Francis, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Christopher Spelman, and it was great. What we have is an emotional, sweeping, tense, inspiring, and just overall great score that fits the movie very well and often elevated scenes throughout.

This movie was written and directed by James Gray and I think he did a great job. His direction is very confident and sweeping, feeling very old school in that way. It also brings out a decent sense of tension whenever it needs to, making you feat for the characters’ well-being. And I have to talk about Darius Khondji’s cinematography… because it’s fucking gorgeous. Lighting looks natural and he really makes the jungle look both eerie and beautiful. Seriously, this is gorgeous.

This movie has been decently well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 78/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“The Lost City of Z” isn’t perfect, but it’s still a damn good movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. As previously mentioned, the pace can get a bit too meander-y at times, which is a bit of a problem. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Lost City of Z” is an 8,87/10. While flawed, I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “The Lost City of Z” is now completed.

“Zed” makes more sense than “Zee”, silly Americans.

Movie Review: Flame & Citron (2008)

Vive la resistance? I don’t fucking know.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Flame & Citron”.

The story follows two Danish resistance fighters known as Flame (Thure Lindhardt) and Citron (Mads Mikkelsen) as they battle nazis in Denmark during the second world war. But as they do their mission(s) of taking out nazi targets, they soon find themselves doubting their mission and who their allies/enemies might be. So now we have a pseudo-spy-drama set in WW2 Denmark. And it’s actually quite an enthralling plot, taking several interesting twists and turns while still keeping it fairly simple and straightforward. My only flaw with the plot is that the pacing drags a little bit at times. It’s not often it happens and it’s not a total deal-breaker, but it does bring it down a little bit. But overall it is a really good plot.

The characters here are flawed, layered, and quite interesting. Thure Lindhardt plays Flame, the titular resistance fighter whose mission it is to kill nazis. He goes through a lot of shit in this movie, portraying all kinds of emotions. And Lindhardt is great in the role. Mads Mikkelsen plays the other title character, Citron (AKA Lemon, but shut up), and as you would expect, he’s great in the role… he’s Mads Mikkelsen, he’s always great. Stine Stengade plays a woman that Flame meets and gets to know throughout the movie, and she’s great in the role. Christian Berkel plays a very important nazi here, and he’s great in the role. Overall it is a very well acted movie filled with solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Karsten Fundal and it is great. It’s dramatic, tense, slightly haunting, and just really beautiful. It really helped elevate a lot of scenes in the movie, whether it was adding tension or making something a little more emotional. Truly great stuff.

This movie was directed by Ole Christian Madsen and I think he did a great job here. His direction is surprisingly stylish for this type of movie, but it never takes away from more quiet and serious moments. And it does look really good, showing that there’s a good eye behind the camera. The movie also has a couple of action scenes throughout, and while they’re stylized in some ways, they aren’t the overly flashy things that you often see in Hollywood movies. They’re really exciting and badass, with the final big action scene being especially riveting.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“Flame & Citron” is a pretty damn good historical thriller. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Like I said earlier, my only flaw with it is that the pacing slightly drags at one or two points. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Flame & Citron” is a 9,33/10. So while slightly flawed, it is still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Flame & Citron” is now completed.

We’re going to be doing one thing, and one thing only… killing nazis!

Movie Review: Captain Phillips (2013)

Yo-ho yo-ho, a pirate’s life is not for me, that shit sounds fucking dangerous. Think I’ll stick to land… or at least stick to waters that don’t have pirates.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Captain Phillips”.

Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is the captain of an American freighter ship going outside the coast of Africa. During one such trip the ship gets boarded and taken over by a group of Somali pirates. So now Phillips and his crew has to do everything they can to survive this horrible situation. So now we have our hostage-drama-thriller. And I must say that the plot here is pretty great. This is an incredibly tense plot. From the moment that Phillips sets his foot on the ship, a feeling of unease started to set in. Then when the pirates are put into the mix, getting close to the boat, that’s where the plot starts getting truly intense. And that tension never really lets up throughout the plot. It’s also handled pretty realistically, very little about this feels Hollywood-y. It brings the tension, it brings the drama, it’s just a damn good plot.

While the characters here aren’t the deepest out there, they’re still really interesting and I found myself caring about them. I think it’s safe to say that Tom Hanks is good in everything he does, and this is no exception. As a matter of fact, this might be one of his best (though “Philadelphia” is still his best in my opinion) performances ever. The character is likable, but he is also brave and clearly terrified for what might happen. And Hanks just portrays all that flawlessly. The men playing the pirates here are all terrific, which makes it extra interesting when you find out that none of them had really acted before. They really nailed the ruthless and intense pirate roles perfectly, with Barkhad Abdi being an absolute standout among them. Then you get various other actors in the movie all doing well for themselves, including Michael Chernus, David Warshofsky, Corey Johnson, Max Martini, Chris Mulkey, and a few more. So yeah, it’s a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Henry Jackman and it was great. His score is intense, dramatic, and just overall well composed. It often helped raise the tension throughout. It really added a lot to the movie.

The movie was directed by Paul Greengrass, and he brings his signature handheld style to this movie. And while handheld shaky-cam tends to be really annoying and awful, he knows how to do it right (though “Bourne Supremacy” had some problems with that). His directing here is intense, with the handheld shakiness actually adding to the overall intensity of the movie, really making me feel like I was there with them. And again, nothing about the directing here felt Hollywood-y, it felt pretty realistic.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 8,3/10. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10. The movie was also nominated for 6 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actor (Abdi), Best film editing, Best sound editing, Best sound mixing, and Best adapted screenplay. 

“Captain Phillips” is a great drama-thriller. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Captain Phillips” is a 9,88/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Captain Phillips” is now completed.

Look at me… I’m the captain now.

Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle (2016)

I would give you a clever intro that somehow relates to the movie in some way, probably something about sports. But I can’t think of anything good for it… that tagline on the picture is pretty awesome though.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen, he is… “Eddie the Eagle”.

Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton) is a young man who’s been determined his entire life to become an olympic athlete, despite constantly messing up. And his latest olympic obesession is ski jumping, which he is determined to learn and also compete in during the winter olympics. However, he faces a bunch of obstacles as he tries his hands at it. But then he meets former ski jumping champion Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman) who more or less starts taking Eddie under his drunken wing. And now we have our underdog story. And while the story treads a lot of familiar ground and plays it very safe, it still manages to be a fun and really inspiring. Like I said, Eddie’s athletic life has so far been a series of fuckups, but he is determined to keep on going, not caring about the overall outcome, as long as he makes it to the winter olympics… and I respect that. It’s a heartwarming and inspiring plot that had me rooting for Eddie the entire way. But like I said, this plot plays it very safe, using most of the clichés that were familiar with from other sports movies, and these are very noticeable, so I can’t give the plot a perfect score. But it’s still heartwarming, fun, and inspiring enough to get a really good score from me.

The characters in this are all entertaining and interesting. Taron Egerton plays Eddie, the young man determined to get into the olympics, damn it! Despite constant failures and people telling him he can’t do it, he powers through. And Egerton is great in the role, giving a really likable performance. Hugh Jackman plays Eddie’s coach, Bronson, a former ski jumper who is now a drunken loser. And Jackman is great in the role. We got Keith Allen as Eddie’s dad who always judges Eddie for his olympic ambitions, and while his character is a dick, Allen is great in the role. We also got Jo Hartley playing Eddie’s mom (or mum for you British people), and her character is the parent that always believes in Eddie. And Hartley is great in the role. Plenty of solid performances in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Matthew Margeson and it was really good. It was about as fun and inspiring as the character of Eddie, giving us a solid mix of fun tracks for lighter moments and dramatic tracks for the more dramatic moments. It also perfectly fits the 1980s setting of the movie, giving us a good amount of synth. There are also a bunch of 80s songs in here, and they all fit perfectly.

This movie was directed by Dexter Fletcher and I think he did a really good job. The shots look really good and there’s a nice, joyous energy to his directing. And I don’t mean energy in a Guy Ritchie kind of way, but that this just has some energy to it making it interesting and not dull. I don’t know how to properly explain it, you just have to try to take my word for it. Anyway, there’s also a lot of humor in this movie and it’s quite funny, I found myself laughing a good amount here.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 54/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Eddie the Eagle” doesn’t really do anything terribly original, but it’s still a fun and inspiring movie that left a huge grin on my face. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing. The only problem I have with it is that it plays it very safe, going through a lot of the motions of a lot of sports movies. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Eddie the Eagle” is a 9,23/10. While not perfect, I’d still say that it’s worth buying!

My review of “Eddie the Eagle” is now completed.

That was a nice movie. Fun and easy to get through.

Movie Review: The Big Short (2015)

Finances. While they are important for society (somehow), I find it hard to give a shit about them. They’re not interesting, they’re not fun, and they often make little to no sense.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Big Short”.

In 2007, some people working within various sectors of the financial world predict that the global economy is gonna collapse in a very near future. So we follow these men as they either try to do something about it or try to earn a profit from it. And this gives us all a deep look into the world of banking, finances, and the people behind all of that shit. And while it’s an interesting enough idea for a plot, I was never really invested in it. It does a pretty good job of trying to explain things in a way that an idiot like me can kind of understand, I felt like this plot wasn’t that strong. It felt a bit unfocused and the tone was a bit inconsistent. It went from comedic to really serious at times. And while that can work in a movie (See “Up in the Air”), here it felt a bit off. I wouldn’t necessarily call it bad, overall it is an interesting plot and I was never bored… but the clashing tones and the amount of plots going on makes it a little messy.

What this movie lacks in plot, it makes up for in characters. While none of them are heroes in any way. they were all fleshed out, entertaining, and interesting to watch. Christian Bale plays Michael Burry, a really smart but kind of socially awkward guy who is the first person to kind of predict the financial crisis, and Bale is great in the role. Steve Carell plays Mark Baum, a man who’s part of all of this who also happens to be kind of prone to anger. And Carell gives a great performance. Ryan Gosling plays Jared Vennett, a wall street man who more or less acts as our narrator, and Gosling was good in the role. Brad Pitt plays Ben Rickert, a veteran within the business, and while he wasn’t in the movie much, he was really good in the role. Then we also got a whole bunch of great supporting performances from people like Hamish Linklater, Melissa Leo, John Magaro, Finn Wittrock, Marisa Tomei, and a whole bunch of other people.

The score for the movie was composed by Nicholas Britell and it was really good. What I especially enjoyed about it was how it played around with a whole bunch of different styles. From more serious and gloomy piano pieces to fun and energetic tracks. And it worked very well for the movie, often elevating scenes. There were also a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout the movie, and not only were they often overall good songs, but they also worked very well in the scenes they were used in.

This movie was directed by Adam McKay and he did an okay job. His direction takes on a very documentary-esque style, containing a lot of quick zooms and feeling very amateur-ish. And while that can work for certain movies, I don’t think it worked too well for this one. Especially with some of the weird fourth wall breaks that the movie has. Again, it’s not necessarily bad directing, but I feel like it wasn’t the best choice for this story.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best adapted screenplay. It also got an additional 4 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best supporting actor (Bale), Best director, and Best film editing.

“The Big Short” is a movie the critics loved, but I thought was only fine. It features an okay plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and okay directing. My problems with the movie (as previously stated) come from the story being kind of messy and the directing being a little too amateur-ish for the subject matter/story. Time for my final score. *Gulp*. My final score for “The Big Short” is a 8,50/10. While quite flawed I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “The Big Short” is now completed.

That 8,5 I gave it was on the edge of not being worth buying (8,5 is minimum for “Worth Buying”). So I ask y’all out there, what is a movie the critics loved that you didn’t think was that great?

Movie Review: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

*Insert repetitive comment about Markus loving westerns here*.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”!

The story of this movie follows the outlaws known as Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman, R.I.P) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) as they travel around, rob trains and banks, and generally outwit the law. And while that is a very basic plot that we’ve seen in many other movies, “Butch Cassidy” does it much better by focusing on the bond between our two heroes as they go through all kinds of shit. It’s actually quite an interesting plot that manages to be fun and exciting without sacrificing any drama. By drama I don’t mean that it’s super serious and overly dramatic, but when it needs to have some good drama, it nails it.

The characters in this movie and interesting, entertaining, and pretty fleshed out. Paul Newman is great as Butch Cassidy, playing him as this charming and confident bandit. He’s endlessly likable and fun to watch. Robert Redford is great as the Sundance Kid, playing the slightly more serious one of the two. Katharine Ross plays Etta, a woman that our two heroes knows/socializes with, and she’s great in the role. Really, there are no weak performances in this movie. Not saying that all are great, but none stood out as bad.

The score for the movie was composed by Burt Bacharach and it was good. It was fun, delightful, and overall worked very well in the scenes that tracks were featured. And I guess I should talk about the one “song” in the movie. It’s called “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” and it was sung by B.J. Thomas, and it’s quite good. Like the score it is fairly lighthearted and it’s pretty delightful. I like it.

This movie was directed by George Roy Hill and I think he did a really good job. The shots look great and everything flows very well. And when bullets start flying, it’s fun, badass, and exciting. What I was also kind of surprised about was that there was comedy in this movie. Not saying that it’s the typical “This is a comedy, now laugh!”, but this movie has a sense of humor. And it’s funny, I laughed at the jokes in the movie. Some might think that blending this humor with some of the more serious moments in the movie could end up poorly, but this movie did this very well.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #201 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 4 Oscars in the categories of Best original screenplay, Best cinematography, Best original song, and Best original score. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best picture, Best director, and Best sound.

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is an incredibly fun movie and most definitely a classic. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is a 9,87/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is now completed.

This is one of those movies where I was just smiling for most of it. It’s such a delightful movie.

Movie Review: Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Bank robbery. Doesn’t matter what cause you are doing it for, it’s always a bad idea. No matter how desperately a person might need the money, he or she should not attempt to rob a bank… EVER! It’s a bad idea that has so much more risk than reward.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Dog Day Afternoon”.

Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale, RIP) and two men who walk into a bank during a hot summer afternoon to rob it. And what was supposed to be a simple bank robbery soon turns into a tense and complicated hostage situation. The plot in “Dog Day Afternoon” is pretty great, not just because of my love for heist films, but because it doesn’t just present it in the typical black and white cops vs. robbers way. The situation and the motivations behind it are much more grey than in other movies, and that’s what I loved about the plot. You see every little angle of it. It’s rare to see such a nuanced plot in bank robbery/heist movies that I found it quite refreshing. The plotis really a tense drama that managed to hold my interest from start to finish.

The characters, like the plot, are very layered and have plenty of nuance to them which makes them really interesting to watch. Al Pacino is fantastic as Sonny. And what I really like about his character is that he osn’t jsut your typical asshole bank robber, he’s just a man who does this for “good reasons”. By “good reasons” I don’t mean that bank robbery is okay (read the intro again), but that his motivations isn’t just to get rich, but he has a clear motivation that I can understand/get behind. John Cazale is great as Sal, the man that is helping Pacino rob the bank. We also get James Broderick (RIP) as an FBI agent that is there to negotiate with Pacino/Cazale, and he’s great. We have Chalres Durning (RIP) as a cop that tries to negotiate with Pacino/Cazale, and he’s great. We get Chris Sarandon as someone that is close to Pacino’s character, and he’s great. We even get a brief, but still welcome, appearance from Lance Henriksen who plays anotehr FBI agent and he is really good here. The entire cast is great in this movie, and all the characters are great.

What is interesting about the music in this movie is that there is none. Okay, I kind of lied there, there is a song at the beginning of the movie to sort of establish the city and such. But other than that there is nothing. No score, no other licensed tracks… jack fucking shit. And while I do love me some good music in a movie, I think that the lack of it here actually kind of works to it’s advantage. I try to imagine the scenes in my head with music, and I can’t… does not compute. This movie has no music in it, and I really liked that about it.

This movie was directed by Sidney Lumet (RIP) and I think he did a pretty damn great job. The framing is great and his direction here is very tense and engaging.  I felt like I was stuck in this shitshow with the characters, and that is proof of great directing. What makes that even mroe interesting is that there is barely any violence in the movie. As a matter of fact, there is almost no violence in it at all. Kind of refreshing to see that in a crime movie for once.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist (how dareth thou, Metacritic?). Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10 and is ranked #243 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best original screenplay. It also got an additional 5 nominations in the categories of Best picture, Best actor (Pacino), Best supporting actor (Sarandon), Best director, and Best film editing. 

“Dog Day Afternoon” is an incredibly nuanced bank robber drama that engaged me from start to finish. It has a great plot, great performances, no music (which works for the movie), and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Dog Day Afternoon” is a 9,89/10. This means that is gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Dog Day Afternoon” is now completed.

They don’t make movies like this anymore… quite sad, really.

Movie Review: Lone Survivor (2013)

lone-survivor-trailer-2-feat

*Ron Perlman voice activated*. War… war never changes. *Ron Perlman voice deactivated*. That was fun. Now, onto the review!

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Lone Survivor”.

A group of American soldiers (Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch) get sent on a mission in Afghanistan to take out a Taliban leader. And soon they find themselves pinned down in an intense battle with the Taliban. And the plot here, while simple in idea and execution is very intense and exciting. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the runtime and it was overall very tense. What I also appreciate is that they show how grey this entire situation is. It’s not just like “‘murica good, Afghans bad”. The Americans ar shown pondering a difficult decision where one option is a big dick move, and the other is not really a dick move. It also shows how there are both good and bad people among the Afghan people (Civilians and Taliban). So there’s a surprising amount of nuance to the plot here, which I appreciated a lot.

The characters in this movie are all somewhat interesting and they have good chemistry with each other. However, I never truly cared about them when things started happening to them. Mark Wahlberg is great, Ben foster is great, Emile Hirsch is great, Taylor Kitsch is great, Eric Bana is great… all the actors in the movie did a great job.

The score for the movie was composed by rock band Explosions in the Sky and composer Steve Jablonsky, and it was really good. It was intense, emotional, and overall fit the movie very well. And while we’re on the theme of sounds, the sound design in this movie is pretty great. I very rarely pick up on sound design in movies, but here I did and it was actually kind of impressive.

This movie was directed by Peter Berg and he did a great job. His directing here is very intense, making the action scenes in this movie pretty fucking heart pounding. Speaking of the action, this movie is very violent. You see people get shot and blood blasts out. Not in a Tarantino-esque way, but in a very realistic way. With that said I also have to give major props to the makeup crew that worked on this movie, because the makeup in this movie looks incredible and actually made me a bit queasy at times. And I can usually stomach gore in movies very well. Good job, makeup crew… you bastards.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 75% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best sound mixing and Best sound editing.

“Lone Survivor” is a really good action-drama. It has a really good plot, pretty good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great makeup. However I am bringing it down a little bit because I didn’t care too much for the characters. Time for my final score. *Bang bang bang*. My final score for “Lone Survivor” is an 8,99/10. While not perfect, I’d still say it’s worth buying.
worth-buying

My review for “Lone Survivor” is now completed.

Full disclosure: I am not talking smack about the actual people that this movie was about. I’m just judging the movie versions of them.