Movie Review: Mystic River (2003)

I had no real reason to review this movie. It was on tv last night, and that rewatch made me wanna talk about it. So no proper reason. I mean, I could tie it into Eastwood’s new movie “The Mule”, but… nah.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mystic River”.

After one of them suffers a horrific family tragedy, three childhood friends (Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon) find their lives change in some dark, shattering ways. So now we have our crime-drama. And I loved the story here. It’s a slowly burning, somber, and contemplative drama, focusing more on showing what happens within people’s minds after they experience something horrific, rather than a typical murder mystery. This is what I meant with the somber and contemplative. Yes, you do have the murder investigation, but it’s really more of a character drama than a police procedural. And I find it all extremely engaging, gut-wrenching, and incredibly well done.

The characters in this are flawed, layered, damaged, and just overall really interesting. First up we have Sean Penn as Jimmy Markum, a former criminal turned legit businessman. He’s the man who suffered the family tragedy that kicks the plot into gear, and to see him try to deal with it, especially as a former criminal, is quite an interesting journey. And Penn is fantastic in the role. Next we have Tim Robbins as Dave Boyle, the second of the main trio. As a boy, something happened to him that changed his life forever. And recent events put some of those memories back into his mind, which really gives him some interesting character development. And Robbins is fantastic in the role. And then we have Kevin Bacon as Sean Devine, a cop and the third of the childhood friends. He’s the one investigating the death of Markum’s family member, while also kind of dealing with a personal thing in the background. He probably has the least interesting arc of all the characters, but I still find him to be quite interesting. And Bacon is great in the role. We also get supporting turns from people like Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Kevin Chapman, Spencer Treat Clark, John Doman, Tom Guiry, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by… Clint Eastwood. And I think he did a good job with it. It’s emotional, it’s a little eerie, and it just works very well within the various scenes that it can be heard. Yeah, it’s good.

Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (AKA my favorite author), this movie was directed by Clint Eastwood. And I think he did a fantastic job on that front, directing it with an emotional intimacy that brings us close to the characters, while still allowing for a sense of scale to capture every element of this sweeping tale of personal tragedy. He also brings a decent bit of suspense to it, especially at a certain point in the movie which had me fully locked to the screen.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10. The movie won two Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Penn) and best supporting actor (Robbins). It also got an additional four nominations in the categories of Best picture, best director, best supporting actress (Harden), and best adapted screenplay.

“Mystic River” is a fantastic crime-drama. It has a great plot, really good characters, fantastic performances, really good music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mystic River” is a 9,89/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mystic River” is now completed.

Tragedy hits us all in different ways. Hug your loved ones while you can.

Series Review: Ozark – Season 1 (2017)

Netflix seems to be taking over the entertainment world. Sure, Amazon and Hulu aren’t doing too poorly either, and HBO gets all the viewers thanks to “Game of Thrones”, but it really feels like Netflix is the ruler of the watchable media.

Ladies and gents, welcome to… “Ozark”.

Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) seems like your average man. He has a wife (Laura Linney), two kids (Sofia Hublitz & Skylar Gaertner), and a steady job as a financial advisor. However, he has secretly been laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. And when his dealings with them goes to hell, Marty decides to quickly move him and his family out to the Missouri Ozarks to try to try to sort this shit out. So now we have our crime-drama plot. And is it any good? Yeah, I’d say so. It’s very serious and surprisingly deep. Not deep in a mindfuck kind of way, but it just has layers to it. My only problem with it is that the pacing at times can get a little too slow. I have no problem with a slow burn, and for the most part this show’s slow burn is just fine, but there are times where it drags it’s feet a little bit too much. Mainly in a couple of episodes near the middle of the season. But like I said, for the most part it’s fine. And the overall plot is solid enough that the occasional pacing problem doesn’t hurt it too much.

The characters here are all troubled, layered, and just overall interesting. Jason Bateman is great as Marty Byrde, this highly intelligent and cunning man who just wants to protect his family (and his life). He can at times seem like a dick, but then I remember “Oh yeah, Mexican gangsters might kill him and his family”, so it can be accepted. And like I said, Bateman is great in the role. Laura Linney plays Marty’s wife, Wendy, a woman who has secrets of her own as she’s trying to accept this situations with Marty and moving and all that. And Linney is great in the role. Sofia Hublitz and Skylar Gaertner as Marty’s kids are really good in the roles, going through some interesting situations/arcs of their own throughout the season. Julia Garner plays Ruth Langmore, a local girl who is clever and constantly conniving, and she was probably my favorite character in the show. And Garner was great in the role. We also get Jason Butler Harner as Roy Petty, an FBI agent investigating Marty’s activities. He’s quite the interesting dude, and Harner is great in the role. I also want to mention Esai Morales who shows up at a few points in the season as Del, the main gangster that wants Marty’s money. The dude is a great mix of charming and intimidating, with Morales giving a great performance. Every actor in this show does a good job.

The score for the show was composed by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans amd it was great. Dark, chilling, eerie, and overall well composed, it often helps elevate the suspense in a lot of scenes. There’s also a good amount of licensed tracks used throughout the show that help set certain moods too, which I liked.

This show was created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams (not the Mr. Weasley one, totally different Mark Williams). And it was directed by a whole bunch of other people, including Jason Bateman who did a few. And the show is tightly directed, with as muc hsuspense as possible being squeezed out of a lot of scenes. It’s also a good looking show, with an often cool blue hue that gives the show a cold and eerie feel. There’s also a little bit of dark humor to it which I thought added a little bit to it.

This show came out fairly recently, but it has still been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 65% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,8/10 and is ranked #166 on the “Top 250 TV” list (as of writing this, as I refuse to update this in case of change).

“Ozark” is another solid show from Netflix. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. The only problem is the previously mentioned pacing issues. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ozark” season 1 is a 9,21/10. So while it has a few flaws, I’d say that you should still watch it!

Season 1 of “Ozark” is now completed.

If you’re still in denial about Jason Bateman’s dramatic talents, go watch “The Gift”. He’s great in that.

Movie Review: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

I honestly don’t know what the fuck to start with. Usually when reviewing a movie I can come up with some clever(ish) intro that somehow relates back to the movie. But in this case it’s fucking impossible. So let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Nocturnal Animals”.

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) is a wealthy art gallery owner living in New York City. And one day she gets package form her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) containing a novel that he’s written. So Susan of course starts reading it and becomes obsessed with this dark and twisted story. We also get to follow along as the story in the novel gets visualized for us. So now we have our dark, weird, and complex story. And yeah, those are really my thoughts: It’s dark, weird, and complex. Because it’s not just about a really beautiful woman reading a book, because there are plenty of metaphors that get drawn between the story that Susan’s reading, and her own life. We also get a look into her past and then that stuff somehow relates back to the book and Jesus fucking Christ, this movie has more layers than a “Scooby-Doo” sandwich. But I don’t fault it for that because I appreciated the complexity of it all, and I thought about it and I never felt lost. So we have a complex and layered story that is also tense, eerie, fascinating, and at one point heart-wrenching. So yeah… it’s pretty damn good.

The characters in this are like the story… complex and layered. Amy Adams is fantastic as Susan Morrow. A lot of times she doesn’t even need to say anything to show how good her performance is, as a lot of it is portrayed through her eyes and her mannerisms. There are so many subtleties to her performance that help make it as great as it is. Jake Gyllenhaal puts on a bit of a double role in the movie as he plays both Susan’s ex-husband, Edward, and the novel’s main character, Tony. And he is fantastic in this, with one of the roles having him give an intense and emotionally charged performance, and the other one just being generally great. Michael Shannon plays Booby Andes, a cop within the novel that Susan’s reading. And he’s basically just a tough guy who doesn’t give a shit and he’s just a blast to watch… yeah, he’s awesome. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays a guy named Ray Marcus, an asshole who was kind of creepy and really unpleasant, and he really got under my skin. So kudos to Aaron Taylor-Johnson… great job. Really, this movie is filled to the brim with great performances/actors, so I won’t go on for too long about each and every one because we’d be here all fucking week. But to be somewhat fair, here are some of them listed: Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Karl Glusman, Laura Linney, Michael Sheen, and Andrea Riseborough.

The score for the movie was composed by Abel Korzeniowski and I do have to say that it was fucking amazing. As could be expected from Korzeniowski (at least if you watch “Penny Dreadful”, like I do), his music is heavily based in string instruments, which helps to create an eerie, dramatic, and emotional sound that complements the movie perfectly. Out of all the original scores of movies that came out last year, this might be my personal favorite.

This movie was directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, and he did a great job here. His directing is very tight and suspenseful. And his direction combined with Seamus McGarvey’s cinematography makes this one of the most visually arresting movies of the last few years. There were a whole bunch of shots in this movie that actually made me go “Woaw”, and that isn’t very common for me. I do also have to mention that there are a few disturbing visuals throughout this movie too, so don’t expect this to be just pretty people captured in pretty cinematography, because there’s some fucked up and weird stuff here… so don’t bring grandma.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in teh category of Best supporting actor (Shannon). 

“Nocturnal Animals” is a movie that I thought was pretty fucking great, but that I am aware have and will divide audiences. It has a great plot, great characters, fantastic performances, fantastic music, and fantastic directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Nocturnal Animals” is a 9,89/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Nocturnal Animals” is now completed.

Now that I think about it, this movie could almost have been called “Behind Blue Eyes”. Because most of the main actors have blue eyes and are troubled in some way…

Movie Review: The Truman Show (1998)

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Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s… “The Truman Show”!

Insurance salesman Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) lives a pretty normal life with his wife Meryl (Laura Linney). But he soon discovers something very odd about himself and the world around him. And that odd thing is that his entire life is one big television show, running 24/7, thanks to the mysterious Christof (Ed Harris). And from that we get one of the most original plots every put to film. Sure, these days we have seen several different versions of the very same plot. Hell, even “Codename: Kids Next Door” did a parody of it. But back in 1998, this was some pretty revolutionary shit. But the twists and turns throughout are clever, and the ways that Truman puzzles all of this together is really engaging and interesting. It’s a pretty philosophical story too if you think about it, which makes it so much more interesting and great.

The characters in the movie are all very interesting and have a whole bunch of layers to them. Jim Carrey is honestly fantastic as the character of Truman. This is probably the best performance I have ever seen from him (Sidenote: As of the writing of this review, I have not yet seen “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, which people tend to call Carrey’s best movie). I honestly think he was the perfect pick for this movie, since he’s such a likable actor, playing someone who never chose to be the subject of this show. Laura Linney as his “wife” is great in her role. Noah Emmerich plays Truman’s best friend, Marlon, and he’s really good in the movie. And then we have Ed Harris as the ever watching Christof… and he’s great. Nothing else to say really, he’s Ed fucking Harris, he’s always great. Everybody’s great!

The score for “The Truman Show” was composed by Burkhard Dallwitz, with some help from Philip Glass. And let me tell ya… it’s some good stuff. It’s a mix of dramatic, whimsical, and surprisingly tense tracks. All of them perfectly fitting the scenes they were meant for. Often the tracks elevated the scenes they were used in to perfection.

This movie was directed by Peter Weir, a director who I haven’t really seen much from. The one movie of his I had seen prior to this was “Fearless”, and I loved that one a lot. But I gotta say that “Truman Show” is a very well directed movie. And the writing by Andrew Niccol was really good too. This movie isn’t a straight-up comedy, there’s a lot of dramatic stuff in it. But it is also a movie with plenty of funny moments, and a lot of feelgood stuff too, with a pinch of sad moments thrown in there. What I’m trying to say is that the writing gives us a bit of everything in regards to emotion.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a score of 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 90/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #209 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting actor (Harris), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

“The Truman Show” was quite the awesome movie. It has an original and awesome story, really good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and great writing. Time for my final score. AAAAAHHHHH! My final score for “The Truman Show” is a 9,90/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Truman Show” is now completed.

Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

“Sully” trailer

Well, hello there. So we’re here, writing about a new(ish) trailer… again. And this time it is the trailer for the upcoming movie “Sully”. So let’s do this.

Like I said, this is the trailer for the upcoming movie “Sully”, which is a biographical drama about a pilot who managed to pull off an emergency landing on the Hudson river with all the passengers surviving it. But we also get to follow the life after as our main character gets questioned by pretty much everyone about this dangerous thing that he did. Not gonna lie to you, this is a movie that I have kept forgetting about until it popped up in one way or another. So it seems like I might not have any interest in this movie… but that’s where we are all wrong. I am actually quite interested in this thing. First off, the story seems pretty interesting. Secondly, the trailer is pretyt cool, looks intense and very dramatic. Third, this movie makes up one of the greatest pairings in cinematic history. In the starring role we have Tom Hanks, a man who I love in pretty much everything. And then we have Clint fucking Eastwood as director… uhm yeah, this seems like it might turn out to be pretty great. Sure, some of Eastwood’s more recent directorial efforts haven’t been the best… but if he is involved in a movie, I am definitely interested in it. Also, looking at the imdb credits for this movie it seems like we get a really good cast overall, with supporting roles form Aaron Eckhart, Anna Gunn, Sam Huntington, and Laura Linney. Yeah… I am pretty stoked about this. “Sully” is set to come out in September.

So what do you guys think? Are you interested in this movie? And what is your favorite movie directed by Clint Eastwood? Be sure to leave any and all answers in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

 

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!?”