Movie Review: She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

Oh shit, a 2020 release? Yeeeaaaah. Thank god for VOD.

Ladies and gents… “She Dies Tomorrow”.

Amy’s (Kate Lyn Sheil) life seems to be looking up, having bought a house recently. However things may not be all sunshine and rainbows, because Amy believes that she is going to die tomorrow. And while her friend (Jane Adams) dismisses it as nothing but humbug at first, soon the fears start mounting in her head too. This story is an intriguing one. It’s not necessarily about a typical narrative. There’s no antagonist, there’s no typical conflict, it’s really just a somber, at times darkly comical examination of people’s minds being in a weird spot. And I thought it certainly was an intriguing story… after a while. At the very start it was more “Good idea, mediocre execution”, I wasn’t fully invested at first in what was going on. Then we got to a certain point and it all started getting way better. I’m not gonna say that it becomes one of the best stories I’ve ever experienced, but it certainly improves quite a bit after that one certain point.

The characters in this don’t always have the most nuance, I must admit. They are more there to serve the theme(s) of the story, and I think they work quite well like that. I must say though, I do think all the actors give really solid work. Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams, Chris Messina, and the rest of the cast are all great in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by the Mondo Boys, and I think they did a good job. Their music is often very dreamlike but also quite intense, all without really using any heavy instrumentation. It adds a lot to the underlying dread of the story, creating a really engaging vibe throughout that I highly enjoy.

“She Dies Tomorrow” was written and directed by Amy Seimetz, and I think she did a good job with that. It’s clear that she has a vision all her own that wonderfully comes through in her confident and visually clear direction. And when combined with Jay Keitel’s really pretty cinematography, you get a movie that manages to stand out in terms of its craft.

This movie has gotten some mixed recepton. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5.2/10.

While it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I found “She Dies Tomorrow” to be an intriguing and mostly engaging little movie (bar the opening act). It has a good story, okay characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “She Dies Tomorrow” is a 7,88/10. So while quite flawed, I’d still say it’s worth renting.

My review of “She Dies Tomorrow” is now completed.

She dies tomorrow, but I live today.

Movie Review: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

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As much as I love thrillers, I have never been the biggest fan of courtroom thrillers. I don’t know, maybe I have never seen that many great ones. I’m not saying I hate every courtroom thing, I mean, I really liked “Primal Fear” and I do really like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, but I haven’t seen that many things that has kept my interest. But today we are taking a look at a courtroom thriller that people apparently liked. So let’s find out what my opinion is!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Lincoln Lawyer”.

This movie follows defense attorney Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) as he is tasked to represent young rich man Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe) in a case where Roulet has been accused of raping and beating a young woman up. But as Mick digs deeper into the case things stop looking so straight forward. Sound like a pretty straight forward legal drama, right? Well with that assumption you are correct, but at the same time you’re wrong. The plot has a few pretty decent twists to it that makes it even deeper and better than what it looked like. Of course none of the twists to it are as great as the ones in “Primal Fear”, but they are still really good. It was entertaining seeing Haller go through the case and figure stuff out together with his friend/investigator Frank (William H. Macy). I can also mention that there were a few moments throughout the plot that actually kept me a bit on edge, good job movie!

The characters were all well-written and well-acted. The character of Mick Haller was slick, witty, clever, really smart and just slimy enough to stay entertaining. And Matthew McConaughey played him perfectly. To be completely honest, this is probably the best I have seen from Ryan Philippe. To be fair, I have only seen him in pretty mediocre and even terrible things, so it was nice seeing him take on a more serious and well-written role. And I do think every actor gave good performances in this movie.

The score by Cliff Martinez is a score that I thought was great. It helped build suspense in a lot of scenes by being very sort of sneaky and not blast out at you and be stupid. There were also a lot of licensed tracks used in the soundtrack to help fit the style of the movie but also help set the mood for the Los Angeles environment the movie was set in. It also helps that the music used in the movie was for thee most part in my tastes and therefore helped keep my attention throughout with music that I could enjoy.

This movie is based on the first book in a series of books by author Michael Connelly. To be honest, I have never read the original “Lincoln Lawyer” book… I have actually never read anything by Connelly… maybe I should. But I can however say that this movie looks really good. It uses a lot of swift direction and camera work. I also enjoyed the direction of the movie with how stylized it is. I would even say that it is about as sylized as “Drive”. Now I am not comparing the two (Sidenote: I do however think “Drive” is the better movie of the two), it was just fun. It got even more fun when I found a few more things that connected the two and that is what I am gonna do now (Sidenote: My review, I can do whatever I want). Both movies are set in Los Angeles, both came out in 2011, both are stylized as fuck, both the character of Mick Haller and the character of the Driver have some kind of connection to car(s), both movies feature Bryan Cranston in some way and both movies have the song “Nightcall” by Kavinsky in the soundtrack. Enough of that, let’s move on.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert seemes to really like the movie as he gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a 7,3/10.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” is a courtroom thriller with a good and suspenseful plot, great performances, a great soundtrack, stylish and swift direction and some good twists. Time for my final score. And here we go. My final score for “The Lincoln Lawyer” is a 9,74/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “The Lincoln Lawyer” is now completed.

For the ladies out there… Yes, Matthew McConaughey does take off his shirt in this movie.

 

Movie Review: A Beautiful Mind (2001)

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Biographical movies are not easy to make. You have to not only have a good director, but you also need a good cast (and of course a lot of other people who know what the hell they’re doing). I am one who likes to watch a good biography every now and then. Last time I watched such a film was when I watched “Dead Man Walking”. Today we are taking a look at a biographical movie that tackles something else than a guy on death row or a gangster…this movie is about a teacher.

Ladies and gentlemen…”A Beautiful Mind”.

The movie follows the real life (with a few slightly more fictional aspects) story of mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe). While he is a genius mathematician, he is also incredibly asocial. He is not one of those you see interacting and having fun with a bunch of friends a friday night. His only real friend is a man named Charles (Paul Bettany). But soon Nash will be pulled into some top secret cryptography work with the government. He at that point works for/with agent William Parcher (Ed Harris). This job is so top secret that he will have to keep it secret from his wife Alicia (Jennifer Connelly). Thing is…this job will turn his life around in some very strange ways. And that is all I am gonna say, becuase this movie and it’s story is magnificent. It is both dramatic, complex and somewhat tragic…which is something I adore. If I was a teacher and the story was my student, I’d give it an A+!

The characters are complex. For example, John like I said is an asocial genius…which makes him a lot more interesting. But honestly, even though he and most characters are interesting and fantastically acted, Paul Bettany steals the show. He is one who just oozes charisma and is highly entertaining to watch. He is a little bit like Sam Rockwell in “Seven Psychopaths”. But in general to the entire situation, every character is complex, interesting and…realistic. Also, the actors are doing an amazing job in this movie…especially Russell Crowe.

The music in this movie is amazing. Sure, a lot of it is the type of music you’d expect from a drama…but that is not a bad thing. The soundtrack by James Horner is beautiful (mind). And what I mean by my first statement about it being what you’d expect is that there are a lot of orchestral tracks, but also a few relaxing, calm tracks that use the piano a fair amount. There is also a little voice…thingy (can’t really call it singing, because singing requires lyrics) in a good amount of the tracks…and that is one of the things that makes it beautiful. I love it.

While the camera work offers nothing new or innovative, it still looks really good. Ron Howard knows how to make a great looking movie (Even though I already knew that thanks to “Apollo 13”, “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons”). And again…Paul Bettany stole the show…I’m sorry I repeat myself, but the truth needs to get out there. Also, this movie almost made me cry a little bit during the second half (not saying how, just saying that it happened).

The reception for “A Beautiful Mind” was good. Rotten Tomatoes has a 76% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. Metacritic has 72/100 as score. Roger Ebert gave this movie a perfect 4/4 stars. imdb.com has the score of 8,2/10 and has the movie ranked #161 on the Top 250 list.
This movie was also nominated for a total of 8 Oscars (Holy shit). And it won on 4 of them (Best Picture, Best supporting actress, Best director, best screenplay based on previously published material). The other 4 nominations were for Best Leading Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, Best original score.

The acting is fantastic, the story is complex and fantastic, music is fantastic and…FUCK IT! This entire movie is fantastic. My final score is a 9,71/10 and a recommendation to buy it…and also the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “A Beautiful Mind” is finished.

Why didn’t Russell Crowe win the Oscar for this movie!? HE SHOULD’VE WON IT!