This is the tale of a tantalized office worker who jumps from his tenement in a terrible tragedy. Or so I had interpreted. Richard Ayoade's (Submarine) new film is outstanding. With a haunting atmosphere, ambitious characters, and a compelling story it will definitely leave you contemplating it as the credits roll and long after. My thoughts have led me to a conclusion of sheer madness in which James Simon is a figment of imagination led to drive Simon James to breaking free from the barriers he built up in his life. Though, that's just what I'm thinking. Probably not a spoiler.
I'll never forget rapidly reading 'Catching Fire' one weekend, with my adolescent palms sweating the whole time. Suzanne Collin's series was exactly what my young mind needed and now, re-watching through the films, I have no guilt loving this story. The movies may be flawed but this one is definitely the best of the bunch. Successfully building off it's predecessor, 'Catching Fire' opens the door to many new ideas and colorful characters, who mostly stick around for the next two sequels. Visually, I think it did the best job capturing the books energy. The opening of the Quarter Quell is a scene you'll never forget. The performances also excel with Jennifer Lawrence significantly improving Katniss, which the writers also deserve kudos for. The adaptation from book to screen is done wonderfully, even if the trilogy never quite captures the vivid world from the books. It's done best in 'Catching Fire.'
Empathy is considered very human though is not a normal part of the human mentality, at least not in today's world. While all humans are capable of empathy, being an empath is something that develops in people. Relating back to Short Term 12, and Grace (Brie Larson), the main protagonist of this film, who is an empath. Because of her personality we can assume she's either went through something traumatizing, or grew up in surroundings that have developed her strong will and sense of empathy, which we slowly learn about as the film progresses. Grace and her boyfriend Mason work in a home for at-risk teens. These teens star a bunch of talented youngsters but most notably a young Kaitlyn Dever and Lakeith Stanfield. Through their stories we begin to understand Grace's world more and more. Her story unfolds amidst the uncontrollable nature of this at-risk center into a overwhelming tornado of emotions. This is a simple film about people and the struggles people face at home. And thanks to an all-star cast and a visceral script, it gets people just right.
Edgar Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy ended for me in a fitting manor. I managed to miss the end of this trilogy until an old buddy of mine showed up and randomly recommended we watch The World's End. We were two bowls of fruity pebbles in and said why the hell not! I completely forgot all the spoilers I had heard throughout the years and was honestly took by surprise with this one. It's a fun film with both smart and stupid comedy to meet any standard. The gang seems like they're having a great time and it's hard not to feed into their energy. Edgar Wright continues to impress me.
"I keep dreaming I'm lost in a maze."
Prisoners is like a game of tug-of-war. It's chilling grip loosens only to present broken characters, who tug back with their emotional and fallacious actions. Creating this mystery and tension between the audience and the dark, somber story about child abduction. Director Villeneuve and masterful cinematographer Roger Deakins have created a beautiful movie that visually tells a scary, stunningly hypnotic story about sorrow, empathy, and madness. Jackman and Gyllenhaal share important moments together as talented actors both delivering powerful performances. I don't think people should have favorite kidnapping movies but if I did this would be mine. It's a thrilling and emotionally triumphant film that demands to be watched.
The Wolf of Wall Street is three hours of DiCaprio snorting and its as effective as the last 30 minutes of Goodfellas. It's a special something for those with a loose grasp on morality. Scorsese is the only person who can make this film. It's the old mans take on Caligula with his gangster start up spin. But who would've guessed that Jonah Hill would get an Oscar nomination for getting high off Quaaludes? This is effective debauchery and couldn't be more fun- which makes the guilt all the more poignant. Scorsese has been reeling us through the minds of mad men for as long as he's been making movies and Jordan Belfort's mostly successful attempt to rip off the working class is well worth his time and ours. Oddly enough, it's a film that's gotten better each time I've seen it. Most recently I noticed how certain shots of Straton's office make the people look like animals. At one point Jordan even calls them animals while we're seeing from that wide angel perspective. Scorsese always keeps morality on the audiences side. Just like in Casino, Goodfellas, and The Departed, we're getting a sneak preview of how the other side functions.