Movie Review: Jackie Brown (1997)

I don’t have any clever thing to put here as the intro. I just felt like watching this movie as it’s been sitting on my shelf for quite some time. So now I’m finally getting to it.

Ladies and gents… “Jackie Brown”.

The story follows Jackie Brown (Pam Grier), a stewardess who gets caught with smuggling money for an arms dealer (Samuel L. Jackson). And shortly after that she finds herself involved in a complex plot featuring said arms dealer, the ATF, a bail bonds agent (Robert Forster), and half a million dollars. So now we have our crazy crime story. And it’s good. While the plot in itself is interesting and even quite a bit of fun at times, I feel like it is a bit overstuffed sometimes. I’m not against a movie having more than one thread, I welcome that kinds of shit, but in this case it doesn’t always fully work. Again, it’s a good plot, but the threads here get a little tangled and create something that is, like I said, a bit overstuffed. It’s simple enough to follow, but it is also quite cluttered. But with that said, it’s far from bad, it’s still a highly enjoyable crime plot.

The characters in this are layered, colorful, and overall really entertaining. First up we have the titular character of Jackie Brown, played by Pam Grier. She’s a tough lady who takes no shit from anyone, but she’s not some impossible badass as she does show a more vulnerable side from time to time, giving her some extra layers. And Grier is great in the role. Next we have Samuel L. Jackson as arms dealer Ordell Robbie. He’s basically the Samuel L. Jackson archetype, easy to anger, charming when he needs to, says motherfucker at a good rate. But that character never fails to entertain. And Jackson is of course damn good in the role. Next we have Robert Forster as Max Cherry, the aforementioned bail bonds agent that gets entangled in the entire plot. He’s probably the closest we get to a good guy in this story, as most characters in this are kind of dicks. But he’s still a layered and interesting character. And Forster is great in the role. Then we have Michael Keaton as Ray Nicolette, an ATF agent that Jackie interacts with throughout the story. And I’m not gonna say too much as his entertaining self is better left experienced. And Keaton is damn good in the role. Then we get some solid supporting work from people like Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Chris Tucker, Michael Bowen, and more. Sorry that I’m keeping it vague, but this section is already getting a little too long, and I don’t wanna keep you stuck here for too long. But I do think this is a well acted movie.

There were some tracks composed for this by James Newton Howard and they worked well I guess, though it’s hard to find info on which specific ones he did. Then there were a ton of licensed music throughout from a load of different artists. And all of the music here is used very well in their respective scenes, helping sell the very unique mood that the movie and director is going for. The soundtrack is in general also catchy as all hell.

Based on a novel by Elmore Leonard, this movie was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. And of course he did a damn good job here. His dialogue is snappy, fun, and as interesting as it ever was. And his direction was really good too, always keeping me on edge with a good flow, a decent sprinkling of suspense, and all the fun Tarantinian shots that you can expect from his movies.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor (Forster).

While not Tarantino’s best, “Jackie Brown” is still a damn good crime movie. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great direction. As previously mentioned, it is brought down a bit by the plot feeling a bit overstuffed. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Jackie Brown” is an 8,84/10. So while flawed, it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Jackie Brown” is now completed.

Pam Grier really knows how to rock a suit.

Movie Review: Falling Down (1993)

Sometimes life can be fucking weird… and horrible. Just look at the guy in this movie.

Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Douglas is… “Falling Down”.

William “D-Fens” Foster (Michael Douglas) is an unemployed defense worker. And during a really hot day he is trying to get to his daughter’s birthday party. And on the way he runs into several infuriating situations which causes him to irrationally lash out at the world. So now we have our plot. And is it any good? Sort of. There are some neat ideas at play, and the final act manages to create some pretty damn solid moments, but for the most part I didn’t feel fully invested. It was interesting enough to not be called bad, and there were scenes spread throughout that had some really interesting things happening in them, but for the most part I just felt like I was simply along for the ride, not getting fully invested in it.

Most of the characters are just there, not having too much to do, simply filling a role. But there are a couple that I thought were good. Let’s start with our main “hero”, played by Michael Douglas. You can tell that he is a very troubled man. He seems like a nice guy, but he can be prone to bursts of rage. There’s a lot of layers to this character, and Douglas is fantastic in the role. Robert Duvall plays a soon-to-be-retired cop who is investigating these seemingly related cases, as a sort of last hurrah before retirement. He has a lot of old man charm, and Duvall is great in the role. Then the supporting cast is rounded out by people like Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin, Tuesday Weld, Frederic Forrest, and Raymond J. Barry (among others), all doing a good job.

The score for the movie was composed by James Newton Howard and it was really good. Not among his best, but definitely a good one. It helps to create a lot of tension and drama throughout, thanks to a lot of intense beats and other sounds. It does really help elevate certain scenes in the movie.

This movie was directed by Joel Schumacher (oh boy…) and I think he did a really good job here (wait, what?). Yeah, go figure that the man who directed two of the worst superhero movies ever could direct a good thriller. His shots look great and manage to create a feel of unease whenever we follow Michael Douglas throughout. And there are also some really suspenseful moments throughout the movie that actually made me tense up a little bit. There’s also an essence of dark, mildly satirical humor to it, which I thought added to the movie.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 56/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Falling Down” is not perfect, but it is a pretty damn good movie. It has a pretty good plot, pretty good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing. My flaws with it of course come from a plot that isn’t very investing, and a lack of interesting characters. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Falling Down” is an 8,72/10. While flawed, I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Falling Down” is now completed.

The summer sun, it blows my mind
Is falling down on all that I’ve ever known

Movie Review: Unbreakable (2000)

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Oh, M. Night Shyamalan. You started out so amazingly with “The Sixth Sense” and in later years everything went to shit. But it seems like he’s making a bit of a return in the last few years. Gotta say, he’s quite the interesting individual.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Unbreakable”.

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a horrible train accident. And soon he is approached by the mysterious Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) who suggests that David might have special abilities. And from this we get a slowly paced, subtle, suspenseful, and incredibly fascinating plot about self-discovery. I was invested throughout the entirety of the plot, getting sucked into the drama and getting genuinely surprised by some of the twists and turns throughout the movie. And the big twist at the end (without spoiling it) will polarize audiences. Some will love it, some will hate it. Me? I thought it was pretty great, adding a bit more weight to the already very well told story. Yeah, I think this movie has a great plot.

The characters in this movie are all layered and I thought they were interesting. Bruce Willis gave a great performance in this movie. His performance was very subtle and subdued and he was just great in the role. Samuel L. Jackson was great as Elijah Price, I felt a lot of sympathy for his character because of his disability (Osteogenesis imperfecta), and I think Jackson overall gave a great performance. Robin Wright was great as Dunn’s wife. Spencer Treat Clark played Dunn’s son and he was really good in it too. But yeah, the acting here is great.

The score for the movie was composed by James Newton Howard and wow, it was pretty fucking great. The stuff he composed was emotional, suspenseful, and even kind of thought-provoking, and absolutely helped elevate a lot of the movie’s scenes. A standout for me was the main theme, “Visions”. But like I said, the entire score is fucking great.

Like I mentioned at the start of this review, this movie was directed by the very polarizing M. Night Shyamlaman, and his direction here is terrific. What I like about it is that it lingers and let’s things sink in, unlike a lot of modern movies where there are plenty of cuts and such. Conversations often play out in one continuous shot and it really adds to the quality of it all in my opinion. His directing here is also very suspenseful, making for some pretty great scenes. I’ll also mention, Eduardo Serra’s cinematography is absolutely gorgeous.

This movie has been decently received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Unbreakable” is a great movie that gives us an interesting twist on the superhero genre. It has a great plot, really good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Unbreakable” is a 9,86/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Unbreakable” is now completed.

Not gonna lie… I think I might like this a little bit more than “The Sixth Sense”…

 

Movie Review: The Bourne Legacy (2012)

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We are now here, at the fourth part in my series of reviews leading up to “Jason Bourne” this July. For anybody new here: Over the past few months I have been watching and reviewing all of the “Bourne” movies. And at long last we have gotten to the fourth one. So let’s just get into it and see what happens!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Bourne Legacy”.

So in this film we don’t follow the character of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), oh no. Instead we have a new guy named Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) who is on the run because of reasons triggered by the previous three films. And he teams up with a female doctor (Rachel Weisz) because there needs to be a female lead. Look, I had trouble following the plot because it makes no damn sense and it’s not even really there. I’m being one-hundred percent serious guys… the plot is not good or compelling or memorable and let’s just move this shit along so I don’t start rambling too much.

Where the story happens to be lacking (a lot!), the actors kind of make up for it. Jeremy Renner does a really good job in his role as Not-Bourne. Rachel Weisz is good in her role too. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like Stacy Keach, Edward Norton, Joan Allen and Oscar Isaac. Sure, the characters aren’t that interesting overall, but the acting I think makes up for that pretty well.

The music for the movie was composed by James Newton Howard, who is a composer that I’m a fan of. And how was his score in this movie? Meh. It was fine for what it was trying to do, which was to be music for an action movie. But there’s no piece here that I would even dare call memorable. In the previous three films I could listen to the music and go “Ooo, that was a great tune! Oo, THAT was a great tune!”, but I never had any such moment here. It wasn’t bad, just not that great. And how was this film’s version of Moby’s “Extreme Ways”? Meh. It isn’t a bad version, but it’s not that great either.

So this movie wasn’t directed by Paul Greengrass… or Doug Liman for that matter. No, for this one they got Tony Gilroy, the screenwriter for the previous three films. And did he do a god job directing the movie? Yeah, I’d say so. It’s a pretty smooth movie, filled with a lot of really good shots. Sure, it doesn’t have the shaky intensity of Greengrass’ “Bourne” films, but it at least looks good. And the action in the movie was actually pretty good. Sure, there was never any tension in the action taking place in front of our eyes, but it was entertaining to look at. I can’t say that I found it boring at all. The word I would use though is… toothless. Like I said, there was no tension in it at all. But it was pretty fun. Don’t expect too much action though, because there isn’t too much. This is a more dialogue-driven film… although, the dialogue is pretty mediocre if you ask me… so I’m conflicted.

This movie hasn’t been that well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 55% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 61/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“The Bourne Legacy” is a bit of a mixed bag for me. While the story isn’t that compeliing or interesting, there is still some good stuff, including good acting, decent music, and good directing/action, even if it lacks tension. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Bourne Legacy” is a 7,25/10. While not that great of a movie, it’s still worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “The Bourne Legacy” is now completed.

“Jason Bourne” is finally out in a month… what will I do until then?

Movie Review: The Sixth Sense (1999)

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Don’t worry, I have seen this “essential” movie before so you don’t have to lose your shit. It’s just that I haven’t seen this movie in a few years and thought it could be good to give it a little rewatch to refresh my memory of it. So now I’ve seen it (again) and now I will review it (for the first time).

Ladies and gentlemen, do you have… “The Sixth Sense”?

In this movie we follow child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) as he after getting shot, takes on a new patient. This patient is nine year old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) who apparently can see dead people… who don’t know they’re dead! From that you might expect “Oh, it’s a horror movie then!”. But I wouldn’t really call “The Sixth Sense” a horror movie per se. I would say that it is a drama with thriller elements. Sure, there are parts that you could argue are straight up horror-related, but I counter with the fact that this movie never really tries to full on scare you, it just wants to get udner your skin and make you feel a little bit uneasy. Kind of like a thriller. But if you analyze the plot, it is really a drama-thriller, not a horror movie. Anyway, with all of that bullshit out of the way, I loved the plot. It built up a lot of suspense, it showed excellent drama and it was just overall really great. And despite knowing the final twist, I still think it is one of the greatest twists ever. I’m not gonna spoil it if you somehow haven’t seen this movie at all.

The characters in this movie (despite the unusual situation) all feel like real people, none of them simply felt like characters in a movie. And I think a lot of that comes from a combination of excellent writing and some pretty great performances, three in particular. First off we have Bruce Willis who is actually acting and playing a character not just being Mr. Grumpy action dude. Jokes aside, Bruce Willis is great in this movie, playing a very human character who you’d just wanna be friends with. Next up is Haley Joel Osment who gives possibly the greatest performance by a child-actor ever. And if not THE best, at least one of the best. The final performance I wanted to mention was that of Toni Collette who plays Osment’s mom. She was excellent in the movie, portraying every emotion you could ever mention. Yeah, she was great. Everybody was great.

The score for the movie was done by James Newton Howard who managed to create an atmospheric, creepy, suspense-building and beautiful score that has lingered in my mind ever since the movie wrapped up, it is that great.

This movie was directed by M. Night Shyama-Lama-Ding-Dong, sorry… Shyamalan. And he did a great job with it, perfectly building tension and never revealing too much of anything in the movie. He did a fantastic job directing the movie. He also did the writing for the movie which I also thought was pretty great.

This movie has been very well-received over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #161 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 6 Oscars in the categories of Best PIcture, Best Supporting Actor (Osment), Best Supporting Actress (Collette), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

Guys, “The Sixth Sense” is an awesome movie with a tense and beautiful story, great characters/acting, excellent music, great direction, great writing and one of the best twists in cinema. Time for my final score. AH! Dead person! Oh, it’s just Jeff. Envelope. Thank you. My final score for “The Sixth Sense” is a 9,88/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “The Sixth Sense” is completed.

Shyama-Lama-Ding-Dong…

Movie Review: Nightcrawler (2014)

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No, I will not do a joke again like the one I did with my “Birdman” review. I can however say that the title got me a little confused the first time I saw it. I was like “A movie about the X-men character? What the fuck?”. Then I saw the trailer and it wasn’t about the “X-men” character. So now I am finally here to talk about it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Nightcrawler”.

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a dedicated young man looking for a job. Then one night he finds out about this  rather unknown and probably illegal profession where you go with a camera to a crime scene as soon as possible and get footage that you sell to news stations. And from that point on I was intrigued and interested in the story. Sure, the premise is different but simple, but that’s not all. It is also a deep character study into the mind of a (possible) psychopath. The study of Louis, his interaction with people and situations and the look into this world of crime-reporter-thing makes for one of the most clever and compelling stories of modern days.

The characters all have some kind of arc that they follow and it all works out well. And I have to get it out of the way, Louis Bloom is probably the creepiest fucking character I have seen in a movie since the Dementors from “Harry Potter”. And Jake Gyllenhaal plays him so well that I didn’t see anything but this creepy and loathsome guy who will do anything to get the footage and the perfect shots. Rene Russo is also in this movie as the sort of news station director he sells the footage to and she is also great in this movie. Also, Bill Paxton is in this movie and he is as entertaining (and kind of dick-y) as always. I mean, he’s Bill Paxton, that’s how it is. Overall I think all the characters and performances in this movie are great.

The score by James Newton Howard is fantastic! He uses a lot of synth and a fair amount of electric guitar in this movie to really help capture the feel of the Los Angeles night life. The music was sometimes creepy, sometimes suspenseful, sometimes action-y but always great and euphoric. I absolutely adored the score for the movie.

This movie is directed by Dan Gilroy, a first time director… but you would never guess it in how well this movie was directed. I got pretty much the same reaction as when I saw “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” for the first time and found out it was Shane Black’s directorial debut. Would I say this movie is perfectly directed? Not really, no. But here is the thing, it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be great and it was. I also have to mention one thing about Gyllenhaal again… fuck he got one creepy smile in this movie. It is really noticeable especially since he lost a pretty good amount of weight to play this character. But that smile is creepy any way you look at it… jeez!
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This movie was very well-received when it came out. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has an 8,0/10. “Nightcrawler” was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best original screenplay.

“Nightcrawler” is an excellent thriller with a great plot, a creepy/fantastic performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and great performances from all the other actors, a great score, great direction and one of the most suspenseful third acts I have ever seen. Time for my final score. Oh there you are Lou, do you have the footage? Great! Thank you! My final score for “Nightcrawler” is a 9,83/10. This is an excellent movie that of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Nightcrawler” is now completed.

Creepiest. Son of a bitch. Ever.

Movie Review: Primal Fear (1996)

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I love crime-based movies. The fun thing about it is how wide it can actually be. Crime/drama, crime-trhiller, crime-comedy, the list goes on. I even like the thing that relates to the crime genre simply known as “Legal Dramas”. I know those are not for everyone, but I can enjoy them (If they’re good). And then I find this legal drama starring Richard Gere and my favorite actor Edward Norton. So indeed I was kind of interested… even though this was quite a while before I realized Ed Norton was my favorite actor. I think I heard about this movie in like January of 2013, and it’s been on my watchlist even since. But now I finally sat down to watch it. So what did I think about the movie? Well stay to find out!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Primal Fear”

This movie is based on the book with the same name by William Diehl and is about defense attorney Martin Vail (Richard Gere) who takes on the job to be the attorney of altar boy Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) who has been accused of murdering archbishop Rushman (Stanley Anderson). But this movie is a bit more deep than that and doesn’t simply rely on CSI techniques and legal bullshit, oh no. There is so much more to this story than meets the eye… problem is I can’t talk about them since I don’t spoil in my reviews. But while the story in premise was pretty straight forward, the execution and general final product was pretty cool. Not saying it was without it’s flaws however. There are a few things in a sort of side-plot with Martin and one of his personal vendettas that didn’t really interest me too much, but that is not the important stuff. But the story was overall good.

I am going to be completely honest… I did not like all the characters too much. Sure the main protagonist Martin was kind of likeable but he was still a not too interesting jerk. But I was on the other hand intrigued as hell by the character of Aaron Stampler (Norton). Not only was it hightened by Norton’s great performance, but I always felt something was up with him… especially as you get deeper into the plot and further into the movie. I am not saying why if you haven’t seen, but I promise you will also be pretty intrigued. Overall the characters were good but forgettable, except for Aaron.

The music, while nothing special, was pretty good. As you may expect from this type of movie there were a few licensed tracks in it, but there was also an original score by James Newton Howard. And the original score was pretty good, if a little generic. But I did think all the music worked for the movie as a whole.

The camera work in this movie is nothing special, that is the truth. Not saying it was bad, just saying it wasn’t revolutionary or even great to be honest. And speaking of great stuff (not too clever segue, I know), I fucking loved the ending. I thought it was pretty clever how it was set up and delivered, good job movie. I am of course not gonna spoil the edning for you guys because that would be so incredibly rude. But I can at least mention that how it concluded left a small amount to interpretation in what would happen next, and I really liked that about the movie. Great job, movie!

So how was this movie when it comes to the reception? Well as far as I could find out, people enjoyed it. The main factor that people were praising was Edward Norton’s performance (I don’t blame them). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating. On Metacritic it has the fairly low score of 47/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars and had this little thing to say;

“the plot is as good as crime procedurals get, but the movie is really better than its plot because of the three-dimensional characters,”

On imdb.com this movie has a score of 7,7/10. It was also nominated for One Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton). The nomination does not surprise me to be completely honest… just saying.

This movie has a good plot, decent characters, good music, a really cool ending and a phenomenal perforamnce by Edward Norton. So it is time for the final score. And my final score for “Primal Fear” is an 8,78/10. So I think this movie is worth buying (But it’s not mandatory).
betala-kassa-butik

Review for “Primal Fear” is now done.

“Well how the fuck should I know!?”