Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Jesse Bradford, Karen Allen, Adrian Brody, and Amber Benson
Sometimes, there’s a movie that comes along that’s nice and made very well that keeps me entertained for the most part but doesn’t give me much to say about it. That’s this movie. It’s a pleasant little flick about a scrappy little kid having to come of age in the 30s, realizing his parents are just human and will fail him at points. Seeing how grownups are and how awful life is. It’s done in a chipper way so as not to be too unbearable to watch. It feels like Soderbergh is doing a Spielberg movie in his own way, with the loner kid at the center. Soderbergh knows how to put a movie together so it’s very gorgeous to look at. Well put together. And this is the most human film of his that I’ve seen, less interested in stylistic quirks than other movies. But it just doesn’t hit me in the way I wish it did. Maybe I’m not as into movies about kids like this, learning that life is hard. It just doesn’t do it for me. It’s a good flick though and one I’d suggest seeing, cause it will probably work on others more than it would with me.
Director: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, and Phylicia Rashad
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Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Michael Gambon
You never knew we would want it till we saw it. That’s the general feeling towards Wes Anderson moving into the animation field, specifically stop motion animation. For the decade plus he’d been making movies, it didn’t really dawn on anyone that he would be perfect in animation. But his quirky sense of humor and cutesy style mixed in with his colorful visual palette inside the super precise framing of his movies just screams animation in hindsight. And he takes the leap into animation with a Roald Dahl story, making an even more perfect leap into the field. Now while it’s not his best movie as a whole, the technical aspects of the movie are so on point as to be unbelievable. This is easily one of the best looking animated movies I’ve ever seen, and it’s thanks to Wes’ style colliding with great animators. The movie itself has a charm to it thanks to the animation, but it doesn’t really connect with me too deeply. The story is a bit too slight, featuring a pretty cliched “con man going straight for his family but falls back into old ways” plot that is a bit kiddied down to be a family movie. And there’s the anthropomorphic animals with some cute little details to make it feel like they have a society like us. One of the weakest elements, to me, that doesn’t sell the movie as strongly is Clooney. He voices the titular fox and it doesn’t really feel like he’s well suited for the animation game. His delivery is kinda samey the whole time and I just didn’t buy him as the smooth talking dopey con he’s supposed to be. But that’s just me. Aside from Clooney, the rest of the voice cast is great though. I do like the movie a bit, even if it doesn’t hit the highs of Moonrise Kingdom or The Royal Tenenbaums. It’s funny but not too funny. Charming but not too charming. It’s more focused on the tech aspects, but the rest of the foundation is strong enough too to not be a complete waste.
Where Eagles Dare (November 28th, 2015)
Director: Brian G Hutton
Starring: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, and Patrick Wymark
I’ve never seen a Clint Eastwood movie that ever made me feel like I was lost in the woods. His movies, even in his youth, were very straight forward for the most part. But this movie made me feel very stupid for a good deal, making me question what the hell was happening. The movie starts out pretty simple enough, with a secret rescue mission regarding the UK sending a team into the Alps to rescue a US General captured by the Nazis. Burton is the head of the team, with Eastwood joining along as a US liaison for the job. But there are moments throughout, regarding Burton meeting Ure in secret away from the team, that makes one feel like there’s more going on. That’s the first time I feel like I’m missing something. Then there’s a scene in the middle there where things get so convoluted, regarding double and triple crosses on so many different fronts that it left me boggled. After that though it becomes a simple escape movie, with the remains of the team having to escape the compound without being captured or killed. The technical aspects are real good for 68, and the movie has a good amount of thrills to make it an entertaining flick for the most part. But aside from the convoluted nature of the story, the run time is way too long. The pacing of the movie suffers because the length is not justified at all. Lots of shots of Eastwood and Burton slowly setting bombs and such. It’s kinda crazy how slack this movie can be. Overall it’s a good flick but one that might test some peoples patience, as it’s over 150 minutes. As an Eastwood fan I’m fine with it, even though this is really Burtons movie and Clint is a real supporting role.
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
3. Where Eagles Dare
4. King of The Hill