12 Films of Christmas (Final Part)

We’re finally here, guys. The final part of this silly series of mine. We’ve talked about all kinds of christmas cheer. From the obnoxiously sweet “Elf”, to the not very cheerful “Bad Santa”, to the commercialism-critiquing “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, to the explosive and and violent “Die Hard”. It’s really been fun doing this.

This whole thing started with “The Grinch”, so it will end with “The Grinch”. It’s christmastime in Whoville, and everyone in town is overly excited for the holiday. Except for little Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) who just doesn’t get what the point of it all is. Oh, and the Grinch (Jim Carrey) hates it too. So he cooks up a vile plan to steal christmas from the people of Whoville. And is this any good? It’s… okay. I’m not gonna sit here and pretend like it’s one of the greatest christmas movies of all time, but I don’t think it’s one of the worst either. The biggest problem is that it takes a classic 25-minute long story and extend the runtime while also “modernizing” it. From 25, to 140. From simple humor about stealing christmas, to weird, early 2000s humor. Ron Howard directed this, but that’s quite difficult to tell. You could’ve told me that this was directed by Jerry Generic, and I would’ve believed you. It’s more concerned with weird late 90s/early 2000s filmmaking tricks rather than being interesting or making sense. Anyway, is there anything I like about this. Jim Carrey as the Grinch. Not only is the makeup/costume amazing, but his shtick works surprisingly well… even though it’s just Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey while wearing a Grinch costume. But he’s still enjoyable in the role. Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who is adorable, and her performance is good… so that’s a plus. And there are some jokes here that land. Also, I like Anthony Hopkins’ narration. Not because it’s “inspiring” or “entertaining”, but more because I imagine it being Hannibal Lecter reading the story to one of his victims, and that makes this entire ordeal a bit more fun. So yeah, “The Grinch”… it’s average.

What are your thoughts on “The Grinch”? And what’s your favorite Jim Carrey movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Merry christmas, happy holidays, and have a good one.

Movie Review: The Accountant (2016)

Mental health. While not always the easiest thing to discuss, it’s something that NEEDS to be talked about. There are all kinds of mental health issues out there and I feel like we need to find ways understand them and help the people with them get through it. They’re people… so they deserve all the respect and support they can get.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Accountant”.

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is an autistic accountant who cooks the books for some really bad people. And when an accounting clerk named Dana (Anna Kendrick) discovers a discrepancy involving millions of dollars, Christian has to uncook those books and see what the hell all of that is about. And as Christian is uncooking these books he starts discovering what’s up with those numbers and shit starts getting real. We also get a good look into Christian’s past, which helps develop the plot further, giving it more depth. So now we have a thriller with a really intriguing mystery and some surprising drama. Seeing Christian through various stages of his life was really fascinating, with him having autism and also having been through some shit, now doing his job and such as an adult, it’s all quite interesting. It’s slow-paced, but it’s not boring… it is simply a really interesting plot.

What I appreciate about this movie is that it takes it’s time to develop the characters. Most modern action-thrillers don’t really do that, so it was qutie refreshing to see it here. Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, the titular accountant. Like I said earlier, Christian is autistic, but he’s also gone through some shit that has given him a very particular set of skills. And Affleck gives a terrific performance, really dedicating himself to the role. Anna Kendrick plays Dana, the young woman who notices the discrepency in the numbers, and she was really good in the role. J.K. Simmons plays Ray King, an agent from the Treasury Department, and he’s great in the role. Jon Bernthal plays a hitman in the movie and he is great. We also get a bit of John Lithgow in the movie, and he’s really good. Really, there are no bad performances in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Isham and it wass pretty damn good. It was tense, exciting, and just overall fit the scenes very well. There were also a few songs in there. Like song-songs, not score-songs. Anyhow, they worked very well in the scenes they were in.

This movie was directed by Gavin O’Connor and I think he did a really good job. The shots overall look really good and he manages to create a lot of tension and drama with his directing. And while the action isn’t the main focus of the movie, it is still here and we should talk about it… so how is the action here? Pretty damn good. Sure, there is a short bit where the camera shakes a lot. But it’s just for a very short bit, so it doesn’t really take away from the movie. Now for the rest of the action here, it is badass, tense, and really exciting. Like “Bourne”, but not shaky. You can clearly see the violence, and I love that.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 52% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Accountant” is not only an exciting thriller, but also a surprisingly solid character study. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Accountant” is a 9,65/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Accountant” is now completed.

I’m not saying that the depiction of autism is 100% accurate, but it’s definitely better than in most Hollywood movies.

Movie Review: Girl, Interrupted (1999)

czzpwvdxeaazksm

Hello there, guys! The “Mangoldathon” continues! What, you thought I forgot about it? Pfff… no. Anyhow, let’s get into it!

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… “Girl, Interrupted”.

Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) is a troubled young woman who in the 1960s gets put in a mental hospital. And we follow her as she gets to know her fellow inmates and also maybe learn a bit more about herself. While the plot itself was good, I never found myself fully invested in it. I mean, it wasn’t bad at all, and I was never bored… but I also never felt “Yeah, this is really immersive and investing”. And that’s a bit of a shame, really. Because like I said, the plot in itself isn’t bad, and it is clearly aimed to be dramatically investing… however I was never really invested in it. So it’s overall.. okay.

The characters in this movie are all very interesting. Winona Ryder is great as Susanna Kaysen, perfectly portraying the troubled young woman. Angelina Jolie plays Susanna’s fellow inmate, Lisa, and she is fantastic. Her performance is believable and also a million flavors of fun. Then we also get a whole bunch of great supporting performances from people like Brittany Murphy (R.I.P), Whoopi Goldberg, Jeffrey Tambor, Vanessa Redgrave, Jared Leto, and Elizabeth Moss. It’s a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Mychael Danna, and I think it’s really good. It was dramatic, it had some good energy to it, and it overall just fit the movie very well. There was also some really good use of licensed track in the movie, most notably “Downtown” by Petula Clark. The music in this movie is really good… not much else I can say about that.

As you probably picked up on through the intro of the review, this movie was directed by James Mangold. And he did a great job here. His directing is confident and it makes scenes flow very well which helps make the pace much better. It’s also a very good looking movie, with smooth camera movements and such.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best supporting actress (Jolie).

“Girl, Interrupted” is a flawed but still pretty solid drama. It has a pretty good plot, good characters, great acting, really good music, and great directing. However the plot isn’t as engaging as it should be. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Girl, Interrupted” is an 8,88/10. While flawed, it’s still worth buying.
worth-buying

My review of “Girl, Interrupted” is now completed.

I might review one more movie for the “Mangoldathon”. Not entirely sure yet.