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Brad's Status (2017)
It speaks volumes
It speaks volumes that a movie like this gets a 6.6 here at IMDb while a Guardians of the Galaxy gets an 8.5.
I thought this movie was great. This movie will undoubtedly do very well in Europe, as do Woody Allen movies, and for the same reasons: this movie articulates some of our inner thoughts and re-focuses our attention on what is important in life. It is engaging and makes you think. Highly entertaining.
Many people I believe were put off by the abrupt ending and it is a bit abrupt. But the writing is just perfect and Ben Stiller has so much depth. Ben Stiller has to be commended. He can make millions and chooses from time to time movies like this one and Greenberg. Keep them coming Ben. Much appreciated.
Personal Shopper (2016)
Give me my money back
Kudos to Kristen Stewart in her struggle to do meaningful work acting and leave millions of Hollywood dollars on the table. And for what it is worth, it turns out that she has an amazing body, and when I say amazing, I mean astoundingly amazing.
That being said, I think that Kristen Stewart is going to realize, if she is not already realizing, that it is very difficult in this day and age to do meaningful work as an actor, EVEN IF you are willing to leave Hollywood's millions on the table: case in point, Personal Shopper.
Personal Shopper is an entirely forgettable (aside, again, from Kristen Stewart's body) movie. Kristen Stewart is a ghost whisperer who is trying to find some sign sent from her recently deceased brother, that there is life beyond the earth. She encounters a spirit who is a bad spirit instead of her brother, but maybe not, because at the end Kristen finds out that it is all in her head. Ghost pound once loudly on floor for yes, pound twice for no. "is it all in my head" she asks, and the ghost pounds twice. I kid you not.
Now there were a few dropped glasses along the way. Were they real? WHO CARES, give me my money back.
Preposterous and out of touch
This movie is nothing more than a Hollywood smear of Russia, the country. Apparently, people who hate Russia are now able to get Hollywood directors to smear the country in movies!
SPOILERS Russia is the bad country in this movie. Russia and China. Both countries get the usual idiotic treatment - they make bad evil decisions, they are aggressive, etc., etc. BORING Hollywood nonsense mimicking our politicians who also hate Russia (for reasons they never tell us).
SPOILERS Aside from the "bad country" "good country" nonsense, which at this point must be becoming old to anyone that is paying attention, this movie does not make any sense. There is no way to tell what is going on. I read an article which explains the ending. Unfortunately, I am certain that not one person in the audience understood this ending.
SPOILERS Here is a great example of the skill level of those making this movie: one day 12 huge pods descend on earth. The pods are inhabited by a very advanced civilization indeed. They can even time travel. And they want to give us a gift! BUT FOR SOME REASON, THEY CAN"T SPEAK OR WRITE English!!! They are advanced enough to land with pods and travel time, but not advanced enough to intercept our TV signals and decipher our language BEFOREHAND!! Can you imagine? 90% of the movie consists of Amy Adams teaching them English!
Stay away from this Hollywood drivel. I don't believe the reviews.
The Weather Man (2005)
I really enjoyed this movie
I really enjoyed this movie. It hit a lot of notes that really resonate with me. Nicolas Cage's character has so much pressure on him, so many challenges, a lack of respect from all around him, all while being in the scary position of having to raise his teenage children who encounter scary problems themselves. I loved the way Nicolas Cage played this character, the dialogue, the slow pace, the ambiance, and the heavy cloud cover in many shots. Great direction. A very enjoyable movie.
IMDb requires that I write two more lines, which I think is really ridiculous, but here goes. Watch this movie, watch it as soon as you can since it is on Netflix for free. OK, there are my two additional lines.
Le règne de la beauté (2014)
I rarely see movies without checking reviews. At a minimum, I check IMDb ratings. If I had seen a 5.5, I would've passed. Instead I found myself the third person who walked out of a rather small theater. There may have been more after me that walked out.
Spoilers: how can I stay and watch a movie where the main character sees his wife kiss another woman and doesn't say anything..., ever? Or when that same main character mentions to his wife that he has had an affair, and the only question she has for him is how many nights and then she moves on in conversation as if it was nothing. Or when the main character mentions to 6 friends in a men's shower after tennis that he has had an affair and they all move on as if nothing out of the ordinary was said?
This is contrived. I couldn't watch more than an hour of it.
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Coen Brothers lite
Like many, I am a huge Coen Brothers fan. I think that Hail Ceasar falls a little short of the best Coen Brothers.
First of all, the sharp humor is few and far between, and what little there is just isn't up to snuff. Their love of language shows here, but again comes up short. It just isn't as sharp as usual. There is no dialogue that shines like Mattie Ross and the horse trader ("are we negotiating again"?), or language such as "I kilt the wrong man is the which a why i'm here"). There is no tension like so many scenes in "Miller's Crossing" or the superb fine touches like the bounce of Marcia Gay Harden's hair bobbing up in the air after dodging a glass thrown at her hair.
It must be said that "Hail Ceasar" lacks a strong plot and is more a "day in the life" than a movie driven by a conflict. The point of the movie, or the message, if you will, is clearer than in most Coen Brothers movies. This issue that they have of "doing right" goes back quite a ways; I recall specifically pondering quite a bit about this issue in "A Serious Man" and "No Country for Old Men". You can find this issue indirectly in many of their other movies including "Fargo" and "True Grit" as well. But "Hail Ceasar" clears everything up for us in a sense and I think its actually accomplished quite beautifully.
I gave the movie a 7, but that is a Coen Brothers seven, not a seven that compares to an 8.1 for Guardians of the Galaxy, if you know what I mean.Actually, I'm changing my rating to a 9.
The Revenant (2015)
This movie suffers from a thin, predictable and uninteresting plot. One of the biggest problems I had with the movie was that it was so unrealistic, so unbelievable. For instance, at one point in the movie, a person is stabbed in the gut. As the knife is pulled out, we hear sound effects that would make Friday the 13th blush. As one critic already pointed out, the scene where about 20 men are attacked by Indians is filmed with the intensity of Saving Private Ryan's beach landing. WHERE IS ALL THE NUANCE?
It should also be said that it is absurd that DiCaprio's character survives at all. How on earth could a man be so deeply cut all over his body, with none of the deep wounds cleaned, and yet he does not get an infection, even though he be buried alive? The problem is not so much that I can't let a little go here and there or that I'm a stickler for detail, the problem is that I don't believe that the director actually thought on this level of detail and you can see evidence of that throughout the film.
Lastly, the dialogue, like all other aspects of the movie, lacks any sense of realism. The dialogue is so contrived that I expected to hear "up yonder in those fields" at any moment.
In short, the movie was a big disappointment to me. After reading so many stories about the painstaking nature of the work involved, I expect to see the commensurate nuance and realism and instead saw regular Hollywood fare, at most.