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  • Big Hero 6 2014

    Watched 12 Dec, 2014

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 2014

    Watched 12 Dec, 2014 2

    Mockingjay-Part I is worse than a bad film. It is a boring one, and a film that treats it audience like cattle knowing that they are already lined up for the next one.

    What was the last film to end with a cliffhanger that the audience genuinely cared about what happens next? Here is a film that insists on doing nothing, again, for two whole hours, and then choke the audience into having to wait another year for the ending…

  • The One I Love 2014

    Watched 01 Dec, 2014

    Film #1 of the December Challenge

    The one I only kind of like.

    This is one of those films that falls apart due to its misguided approach. The One I Love works best when it's observing its characters and understanding of their humanity. Duplass and Moss are great together, and they're really in tune with not just their characters, but each other. The main problem comes when this film insists on being incredibly plot driven, and it starts to feel…

  • Jerry Maguire 1996

    Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    One of the lead examples of successful romantic comedies. It's probably even one of the most parodied, with multiple iconic lines and scenes that were already amusing from the beginning.

    I can't tell if Crowe's constantly moving and constantly evolving screenplay is beneficial to the film, but it does make for one of the more unique standard romantic comedies in which the chemistry is for the most part assumed and therefore understated. Besides, its mammoth box office success doesn't lie.

  • It Felt Like Love 2013

    Watched 17 Nov, 2014 1

    Realism is a tricky thing to get right. One wrong step in the narrative, and the whole thing comes crumbling down and poisons whatever emotional truths you do come to communicate.

    I was doing fine with It Felt Like Love up until its last half where it does some crazy things that ultimately contrive the otherwise "real" story being told here. It's insane enough that I believe it might have actually happened in director Eliza Hittman's actual life, but here…

  • Shine 1996

    Watched 13 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Yeah well you see it's got Geoffrey Rush in it ha he's a bit of schizo lad but what you don't know Shirley is that he's suffered for his art, Rush has, you see Shirley, and he's got an imposing Armin Muehller Stahl over him, father he is, you follow Shirley, and the film Shine that depicts Rush's real life character, that's still Geoffrey, Shirley, is entirely based on the strength of his performance…

  • Secrets & Lies 1996

    Watched 12 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Mike Leigh is a storytelling genius and I don't know how he pulls tight masterpieces like this out of his ass considering his method of improvisation. Leigh's films feel built into the real world, not just in his visual approach (THIS is how you shoot realism, not that faux documentary crap approach), but his narrative one as well. There's a grounded sense of society and culture here, and a well established history that we're…

  • Braveheart 1995

    Watched 09 Oct, 2014 1

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Yeah it's overlong, considerably melodramatic, and in love with its hero way too much. But I wish half of Hollywood had as much passion for filmmaking the way Mel Gibson does. Gibson's sensibilities are as Catholic as they can be, and the love he has for his metaphorical Jesus Christ is seen not just by his playing him, but on the glory of his suffering. Does it overplay its hand? Undoubtedly. Is it successful in making you feel that glorious catharsis of "Fuck yeah, William Wallace!"? It did for me.

  • In the Time of the Butterflies 2001

    Watched 08 Oct, 2014

    One of the worst TV movies I have ever seen. The acting is subpar, the directing is even worse, and the writing here features some pretty awful dialogue stinkers. Trujillo probably would have been justified in killing the people involved with this, but then again they embarrass themselves enough.

  • Apollo 13 1995

    Watched 07 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Ron Howard isn't a great director, but at best he's slightly above competent, and with Apollo 13, the spiritual predecessor to Gravity, this is him at one of his better moments. It's a tad overlong, but when it gets going it gets going.

  • The Postman 1994

    Watched 06 Oct, 2014

    **Part of the Best Picture Project**

    Il Postino belongs to that family of 90s foreign films (particularly of the Italian variety) that were US family friendly. Yet Il Postino doesn't really sacrifice story nuance for its ready made lack of subtlety. The implications of the story, ultimately about how only the established voices survive while new ones get silenced by history, are rather harsh, and made all the more tragic by the fact that star/writer Massimo Troisi, who made this film his passion project, died shortly after filming was finished.