Movie Review: Danny Collins (2015)

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It’s interesting how there are so many ways musicians can become. Will they become the typical coked out and washed up piece of shit we see in a lot of cases or will they actually have a great career and never succumb to the drugs, alcohol, sex and other stupid bullshit? It’s always interesting to see that, at least in my opinion.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Danny Collins”.

In this movie we follow aging rock star Danny Collins (Al pacino, also roll credits). On his birthday, his manager Frank (Christopher Plummer) gives him a 40 year old letter from John Lennon that had suddenly popped up. So now Danny sets out to change his life thanks to the letter. And while it is interesting to see, I had one problem with the plot. And by that I don’t mean I had a problem with the plot itself, but I was taken out of it because of it being a little too predictable. I could figure out pretty well what was gonna happen next which is a little sad because I never like that to happen. Fortunately I still enjoyed it thanks to good execution and good writing.

While this movie lacks is original and unpredictable plot, it made up for in characters. They are all consistently well-written and entertaining as hell. I gotta say, this is the best performance Pacino has given us in recent years. I don’t think he has been this great since “Insomnia” in 2002. He is also the most charming I have ever seen him. Christopher Plummer is also great as his manager. Annette Bening plays his love interest in the movie and I think she did a great job. I also think she didn’t feel forced like almost every love interest does. Bobby Cannavale played Pacino’s son in the movie and he was great too. Everybody was great, even the annoying little kid who actually kind of had a reason to be annoying.

The soundtrack to this movie is one of the best I’ve heard in a while. Let’s start with the original tracks… there are two of them. One is supposed to be the main character’s “big hit” song that he plays at every concert, the song that he never gets away from. The second one is a song he writes over the course of the movie and that tracks is beautiful and awesome. The rest of the soundtrack are licensed tracks, but in a good way. What do I mean by that? It’s fucking John Lennon, how could it not be good? That’s right, they paid a lot of money for John Lennon songs and they used them perfectly.

Let’s see here, this movie was directed by… Dan Fogelman. And before this he had directed… nothing. Yeah, that’s the truth, this guy had not directed anything prior to this movie and yet he did it perfectly. The shots look great and everything is very well-done. Also, I don’t think I mentioned that this movie is really funny… because it is. The jokes in it are really good and I think Pacino delivered them perfectly.

This movie has been pretty-well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 77% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritification. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

“Danny Collins” is a pretty good movie. It has a good (but predictable) story, great characters/performances, an awesome soundtrack, really good directing and great writing. Time for my final score. *Pacino Growl*. My final score for “Danny Collins” is a 9,12/10. I think it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

“Danny Collins” is now reviewed.

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Movie Review: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

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HIV is a scary disease. People get it, it evolves into AIDS and then they die… well that is how it used to be. Now you can get treatment, maybe not to cure it (because that shit is impossible) but at least make sure you get a whole lot of years that you wouldn’t have gotten without the treatment. But the fact that the disease still exists and at large is still scary as all hell. But as long as you stay away from used needles, having unprotected sex with people who have the disease and make sure the doctors get GOOD blood for you if needed then you should be fine!

Buyers… “Dallas Buyers Club”.

Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is a womanizing, drug loving, homophobic cowboy-esque man. But one day he finds out he has full-blown HIV/AIDS and only has 30 days to live. So of course he tries to do everything to stay alive with different kinds of medication… some not approved by the FDA. What also happens is that he together with his new friend Rayon (Jared Leto) he starts a “Buyers Club” where people pay for a membership for all the AIDS medication they need. And with that we got ourselves an interesting and somewhat heartbreaking story. Seeing this dickhead (Yes, that is what I am calling him) start helping people he’d never associate himself normally was really interesting. It was also really interesting seeing him fight the system and get this unauthorized medication to people who need it. I really enjoyed the story.

The characters all feel like real people in this movie. Yes, I know they are based on real people, but that is not the point. What I mean is that they are shown in such a way that even if they never existed from the start, they still would have felt very real in this movie. Let’s get the obvious out of the way, Matthew McConaughey was fantastic in this movie. I barely recognized him in the movie… except his very recognizable voice. And Jared Leto… holy shit! He was fantastic in this movie. Now of course I already knew he had some acting chops with movies like “Fight Club” and “Requiem for a Dream”, but none of those performances reach up to the level of this one. It was fantastic! Overall, every single character and performance in this movie was great.

The strange thing about the music for the movie is that there were no original tracks by any composer. It had a lot of tracks by some different bands/musicians, including Jared Leto’s band 30 Second to Mars. Not to complain, the tracks were all great and were used to great effect in their respective scenes. I just kind of miss having any composer to credit. But I still enjoyed the soundtrack.

While the direction and shot composition of the movie was good I feel like it could have been a bit more steady and les hand-held. I know I just threw that at you, but that is something I had to get out. The movie would have been slightly improved if it had a more steady camera. That is all I wanted to say here… NEXT!

This movie was very well-received when it came out in late 2013. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic the movie has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. “Dallas Buyers Club” also won 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor (McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Leto) and Best makeup and hairstyling. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best editing and Best Original Screenplay. 

“Dallas Buyers Club” is a movie with a great story, terrific performances, great writing, good direction and good music. However it could use a slightly steadier direction/camera. Now it’s time for my final score. JEFF! ENVELOPE! What? The FDA does not approve? Get it here anyway! Thank you, asshole! My final score for “Dallas Buyers Club” is a 9,59/10. It does get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“Dallas Buyers Club” is now reviewed.

Maybe I should start my own buyers club, but instead of medication it would be… I don’t fucking know!