Movie Review: The Homesman (2014)

Something something, Markus likes westerns.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Homesman”.

After three women goes mad from living very tough lives they have to be transported to Iowa. So a woman named Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) volunteers to take on this daunting task. However, she soon realizes that she might not be able to do this alone, so she employs a low-life drifter named George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) to help her out. So now we have our western-drama. And I’d say that it’s an interesting plot. It’s very serious and and at times even a bit disturbing, and overall it is very well told. My main issue with it is the first half which meanders quite a bit. I get that this is a simple road movie set during the old west, but even I feel like it doesn’t get very far plot-wise during that first half (a little less than half to be a bit more fair, but shut up). But when we get into the second half the plot picks up a bit more and I found myself really invested in the journey. And just to be clear: The first half isn’t bad… just a little bit too slow… a little bit.

The characters in this are layered and interesting. Hilary Swank is great as Mary Bee Cuddy, giving a vulnerable yet determined performance. Tommy Lee Jones is great as George Briggs, playing him as a kind of pathetic but still tough and semi-honorable man. Then we have the three crazy ladies (that is what they are, shut up), played by Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, and Sonja Richter. And they’re all great in their respective roles. They don’t say a lot, but they give great performances nonetheless. Then there are a bunch of good supporting performances throughout from people like Evan Jones, William Fichtner, John Lithgow, James Spader (his Irish accent isn’t very good), Jesse Plemons, Tim Blake Nelson, and Meryl Streep. Most of these actors aren’t in the movie for very long, but when they are… they’re good.

The score for the movie was composed by Marco Beltrami and it was really good. It was very dramatic and emotional, often adding to the quality of the various scenes in here. Sure, a lot of the music sound like stuff we’ve heard in other western-dramas, but that doesn’t make the music any worse… ’cause it’s really good.

This movie was directed by Tommy Lee Jones and I think that he did a really good job. The movie is directed with a lot of confidence which makes for an investing watch. It’s also a really good looking movie, having a bleak style that doesn’t feel too depressing and sad. I also feel like I should mention that this isn’t an action packed western. It’s a slow drama, with very few shots being fired. Just thought I’d mention that.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 81% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“The Homesman” is a really solid western-drama. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, and really good directing. My main problem with the movie is that first half which meanders a bit too much. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Homesman” is an 8,84/10. So while it is flawed I’d still say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “The Homesman” is now completed.

Sloooooow burn.

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: Interstellar (2014)

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You may not be aware of this, but I am a huge fan of Christopher Nolan. I think he is a fantastic director with a keen eye for good direction and how to make movie I wll like. Hell, his movie “Inception” is honestly in my Top 5. So when I heard he was making anotehr movie I was of course stoked. And now it has arrived…but what did I think of it? Is it worth seeing or did Nolan finally make a piece of shit? Let’s find out!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Interstellar”.

This is the story about farmer simply called Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) who lives a semi-quiet life with his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy), his son Tom (Timothée Chalament) and his father in law Donald (John Lithgow). But one day that changes when he has to go into space to find a new habitable planet since the resources on earth are dying. But he doesn’t go alone, oh no. He got the help of an elite team made up of the people Amelia (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bentley) and Romilly (David Gyasi). And out there they will use a wormhole to find a new planet to save humanity…ish. Sounds like pretty standard sci-fi stuff right? Well there is more to it since you know, it is a Christopher Nolan film. Yes the premise is simple enough but the final product is a lot more complex… and I really really liked it. I thought Nolan managed to direct the story with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting while at the same time keeping pretty straight forward…ish. To some people the story will probably get too complex and therefore they will not enjoy it as much as I did. However it is not perfect since there are a few moments (Not gonna spoil ’em) that made me call out a little convenience bullshit on them. But overall the story was good.

The characters are mostly good but not all get full backgrounds and motivations. But they are at least all consistent with one thing… they are all very well-acted! The actors in this movie all do a tremendous job in their roles and that hightens the movie quite a bit. The most interesting character in this movie is of course Matthew McConaughey. Not only does he give and Oscar worthy performance but he is also well-written and got a good motivation to why he does this job… to help his family. The character I found the least interesting (which is weird) was Anne Hathaway. Don’t worry, her performance was good but her character was simply not that interesting to me. But overall here when it comes to characters and acting in this movie I was pleased.

I don’t have to tell you that the music is great because you already knew that since it’s done by Hans Zimmer. But I guess I have to motivate a little why I liked it. The music not only felt big and epic in lack of better words but it was also very dark and eerie and really gave a sense of isolation and detachment. The music was fantastic and I loved it. I will probably try to buy the soundtrack when it comes out.

Another thing I probably don’t have to tell you about is the fact that the visual effects in this movie are fucking spectacular. I really got the feeling like I was part of the movie in those scenes (Even though I didn’t see the movie in 3D). And this is something I have to admit everytime it happens… I cried about two times during this movie. No not from the beautiful effects, no not from the surprising comedic moments in the movie but from things that made me simply cry. Ya know, things that were kinda sad. Of course I will not spoil them here but I still felt like telling you. Also, don’t look up anything about it since you might get a few spoilers about plot and certain characters.

I know this movie just came out but I can still tell you how it’s reception is (At the time of this review). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 72% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And finally on imdb.com it has a 9,2/10 and is ranked #22 on the “Top 250” list.

This movie got a good story (With a few conveniences), good characters with great acting, a fantastic score by Hans Zimmer, fantastic visual effects, surprisingly good humor and a good sense of how to keep me interested… keep it complex and dramatic. And yes, making me cry is an achievment of it’s own. So now I am ready to hand out my final score. Sooooo, my final score for “Interstellar” is a 9,78/10. This movie is terrific and therefore deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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My most anticipated movie of the year, “Interstellar” is now reviewed.

Matthew McConaughSpace to the rescue!

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise_of_the_Planet_of_the_Apes_movie_wallpaper_1366x768 Don’t we all love reboots!? No? Good, because varying opinions are great. There are a few decent enough reboots out there…like “The Bourne Identity (2002)”. Yeah, bet ya didn’t think that was a reboot/remake! Well it is! But enough about that. Reboots/remakes are usually a hit-or-miss situations. Like I said “The Bourne Identity” is a good one. “Robocop (2014)” wasn’t really the best. But what about the franchise that got a reboot a few years back and it completely flopped, and had…human on ape kissing…ugh. And then, a few years later it got rebooted AGAIN! But how did it turn out? Did this guy like it? Will it be as great or will it flop like Tim Burton’s try at it.

Apes and Chimps…”Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (That’s a mouthful).

Will Rodman (James Franco) is currently on the verge of a scientific breakthrough. He thinks he has created the cure for alzheimer’s disease. He mostly worked on it becasue his father Charles (John Lithgow) has it. Unfortunately science is not the best thing ever. As always the new drug/cure/virus/thing is being tested on animals. And in this case it is chimps who are the chosen ones. But the fun thing is the drug/cure/virus/thing actually kind works and makes one of the chimps smarter. The one called bright eyes. But when something goes wrong and she escapes, she gets shot and killed, leaving the boss to tell chimp handler Robert Franklin (Tyler Labine) to put the rest down. Only thing is he finds a tiny and adorable chimp baby whom he hands over to Will to take care of. So of course Will brings him home and starts raising him. He also finds out the chimp had inherited the drug/cure/virus/thing’s effects from his mom. So he both studies him and raises him…hmmm. He also names him Caesar (And is mo-capped by Andy Serkis). But as you may have guessed by the title of the movie, shit gets fucked up. The plot in a non-detailed fashion is kinda predictable. But what is so interesting is the execution. It is made in such a way that the plot becomes fantastic. Also, this isn’t just an action film with an ape twist…it is also a character driven drama. I was very surprised with the plot and I just love it.

Characters are not too shabby I guess. You basically wanna punch most characters on the throat at least once in the movie. The only ones you maybe don’t wanna punch are Will, his father and Caesar.  They are the only ones you understand why they are like that without them being dicks about it. But the corporate people are not really justified (Because corporations conducting animal tests are not justified).

The music is epic. That is all I can say. The soundtrack by Patrick Doyle is amazing. Fits every big and little thing that happens in this movie and just makes you wanna be there and go on an adventure. MMMMMM YEAH!

This movie is beautifully filmed in every way. Not only the camerawork, but also the CGI is magnificent. They really bring the apes to life here. Also, where is Andy Serkis’ Oscar!? I don’t care that motion capture is not really the same as regular acting, but give him an Oscar already! He was great in the “Lord of The Rings” movies and he is great here. He deserves one, god damn it!

Reception for “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was just great. Rotten Tomatoes has an 82% positive score and a “Fresh” rating. Metacritic is as always the lowest and gave this a 68/100. Roger Ebert gave this movie 3/4 stars and really praised Andy Serkis as Caesar in this. He even said:

“one never knows exactly where the human ends and the effects begin, but Serkis and/or Caesar gives the best performance in the movie.”

imdb.com has 7,6/10 as score for the movie.

I have given a few opinions on this movie and I am ready to hand out a score. I am giving “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” a 9,70/10 and in other words not just a recommendation to buy it…but also the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (still a mouthful) is now reviewed.

To be honest, I am hyped for the sequel.