RSS feed for Nick
  • Stripped 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Apr, 2014

    As an illustrator, Stripped is, to me, sometimes inspirational, sometimes scary, and sometimes a groan-worthy doc.

    Stripped does its best to cover a huge amount of history in its hour and a half run time (fifteen of which is the credits). Although there is usually a preference for documentaries that feature more than just talking heads, the "fun" sequences where Stripped tried to mimic "old timey" movies and retro games came off more as belittling, rather than endearing, to time…

  • In the Realms of the Unreal 2005

    ★★★ Watched 11 Apr, 2014

    While it doesn't provide much more information on the subject than one can find on his Wikipedia page or most books that cover him, seeing Henry Darger's unique vision brought to life through narration and animation definitely makes In the Realms of the Unreal worth a look. The film tells portions of the story of the Vivian Girls, the stars of Darger's fifteen-thousand plus page fantasy epic, alongside Darger's troubled childhood and adulthood creating a sense of understanding for his…

  • The Descendants 2011

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 14 Mar, 2014

    In a recent review I wrote for Nebraska I compared it to The Descendants and deemed Nebraska much more sincere and heartfelt.

    I don't know what I was thinking because tonight I remembered just how poignant The Descendants was. Not to go back on what I said, but The Descendants is feels just as powerful as Nebraska.

    Alexander Payne has proven throughout his filmography that he has a talent for blending comedy and sorrow, The Descendants probably being the best…

  • Manhunter 1986

    ★★★ Watched 09 Mar, 2014

    Strangely, Manhunter reminds me of the giallo films of the 70s and 80s. The synth score, the bright pastel lights and sets, and, unfortunately, the hammy acting. The whole mix really works its best when the impeccable Tom Noonan is on screen. Even when he isn't, Michael Mann's trademark colors and eye for composition sated me until Noonan's Dollarhyde would eventually return to the screen. I should stress how beautiful and composed some scenes are as they are capable of…

  • Nebraska 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 08 Mar, 2014

    Perhaps one of the most overlooked films of 86th Academy Awards. Nebraska is much more quiet and contemplative than (from what I've seen of) the rest of the Oscar contenders.

    Bruce Dern and Will Forte brilliantly play a father and a son team who venture to Lincoln, Nebraska in hopes of make a change in their grey, repetitive, under-appreciated lives. Bruce Dern's Woody Grant comes off so much more sympathetic and relatable than the senile old koot one would expect…

  • Jane Eyre 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 03 Mar, 2014

    Just as one would expect of the work of Cary Joji Fukunaga, Jane Eyre is a beautifully lit and shot film. From the windy fields to the dark rooms, Jane Eyre is graceful and artful. The film would be nothing without Mia Wasikowska's introverted and introspective performance as the eponymous lead and Michael Fassbender's cruel and brooding Mr. Rochester as their very presence on screen has resonance. The chemistry between the two leads was unbelievable. Jane Eyre is a period-piece romance that I had very high expectations for, but with such elegant visuals, gothic storytelling, and two spectacular performances, Jane Eyre met and exceeded all expectations.

  • Drive 2011

    ★★★★½ Added

    In typical film noir fashion, Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film, Drive, begins with the driver giving a monologue in a dark room. He is almost completely silhouetted and is looking out a window at the city of Los Angeles at night.

    While Drive is clearly nostalgic of the 1980s, it also appears to draw influences from a much earlier source. Drive is a beautiful example of contemporary noir as it displays the visual motifs, tropes, and stylistic effects of classic…

  • Titus 1999

    ★★★★★ Watched 20 Feb, 2014

    A post-modern masterpiece. Somehow no Shakespearean tragedy ever felt as tragic as Titus. A true Roman betrayed by the only thing he believed in, his own country. Julie Taymor's collage of imagery is as mesmerizing as Anthony Hopkins in the eponymous role of Titus Andronicus. Breathtaking as it is tragic, Titus is satisfying in almost every way.

    Basically I just love this movie.

  • You're Next 2011

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 15 Feb, 2014

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

  • Killer Joe 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Feb, 2014

    Killer Joe is just about as dark and disgusting as a crime film can get. Matthew McConaughey, who I've become a fast fan of because of Dallas Buyer's Club and the new HBO show True Detective, is the highlight of Killer Joe. It's difficult to think of anyone besides McConaughey as the titular Killer Joe considering how effectively cold and disturbed he plays him. Gina Gershon is rather impressive as the what could have otherwise been a pretty shallow caricature…

  • Klute 1971

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Feb, 2014

    With an effectively foreboding atmosphere caused by a terrific soundtrack, coldly played characters, and incredible and gloomy visuals, Klute makes for an intellectually stimulating and thrilling mystery. Sutherland and Fonda play Klute and Bree so internally and so effectively that its mesmerizing. Somehow Klute, visually, looks like nothing I've seen before, yet it feels like I've seen shades of it in other films. The shots of near complete darkness, the voyeuristic shots, and the extreme angles (all of which were exquisite) show that Klute owes a lot to film noir. It doesn't feel entirely derivative, but instead feels entirely fresh and appropriate.

  • Short Term 12 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 08 Feb, 2014