Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oscar Movie Reviews

Tonight is the night! Pics of the party to come later...don't worry I plan to keep my feet up in my fancy dress (betcha thought I'd never get to wear that maternity bridesmaid's dress again?!) I managed to see a great deal of nominated films for the Oscars this year. Some were seen in the theater but most were seen at home....because the internet exists and therefore everything is available for free online if you have the right sources! Here's a brief rundown on my thoughts for the films I saw. (Before you see any of these though please check out their ratings for yourself. Many are rated R and if certain things offend you, then obviously take that into consideration and not just my opinion!)

Boyhood. I really enjoyed this movie, but it's also hard for me to decide if it stood alone without its unique 12 years of shooting if I'd feel the same. Maybe so, but I already knew about that going into it, so it's hard to separate the two. I'm ready for one called Girlhood now though! I vote see it!

Birdman. I think this will be a pretty strong winner in several categories. Ryan and I both enjoyed it. It's a pretty creative film with lots of messages that could be taken from it (some that mock Hollywood pretty well, which alone makes it funny to me). I think the cinematography alone is pretty impressive in this film and can't imagine how many takes they would have to do for such long shots, but I read it was around 22 which seems crazy. I vote see it if you like artistic (or weird) films.

Citizen Four. I only knew bits and pieces about all this Edward Snowden mess so this was an educational documentary for sure. I learned a lot and just cannot fathom the brains or guts or maybe even folly of this guy who is my age and is now a pretty big enemy of our country. I dunno what I would do had I been in his position, but it was definitely a fun conversation starter for me and Ryan! I vote don't see it unless you want to know more about Eddie.

Last Days in Vietnam. When it comes to historical things I basically know NOTHING about anything that happened after WWII. I don't claim to be a history whiz, but we just never made it past that topic in any history class I ever took. Maybe we touched on JFK and MLK but WWII always seemed to be the grande finale, so things like Vietnam and the Korean War are just unknown topics to me. Maybe that's why I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary or maybe it's because my boss's son was the associate producer on it (he gets to walk the red carpet!) or maybe it's because it's about people doing the right thing at the right time even when chaos is all around. It's an uplifting film---when most of these are downers---so I vote see it!

Still Alice. Not gonna lie, this movie was a pretty big downer (Good movie just really sad) and although I wanted to read the book beforehand I didn't get around to it. Julianne Moore's performance is pretty amazing and I think this would be hard to watch if your family member had gone through a similar diagnosis. I vote see it if you don't mind being a little depressed for artistry's sake.

Selma. I think this is a very important film to see although many may disagree since it wasn't nominated for much or if they think civil rights is a topic that has received enough attention....obviously recent events in our country would prove otherwise so I would disagree. It's hard to understand things sometimes from other people's viewpoints and I think this film does an incredible job of making history come to life; it might make you uncomfortable and it might make you angry or sad, but I think it's a part of history that needs to be revisited so we can understand viewpoints of others around us and live in a more compassionate and peaceful nation. I vote see it.

Gone Girl. I'm a bit shocked that it received a nomination for best actress, but whatever. We saw the movie because I'd read the book, but Ryan had not read the book and we both enjoyed it. Such a great twist in the plot and it's actually kind of a dark comedy at times. There was a very graphic murder scene though so be warned. I vote see it, but read the book first.

Whiplash. Yikes. A brilliant, but hard to watch performance by both the band leader and the drummer (anyone like verbal abuse?). A similar story has probably been told about certain athletes and coaches, but I wouldn't know because I rarely see sports films, but I thought it was interesting to see the theme played out in a musical arena instead of an athletic one. I enjoyed texting Benay and Jenna while I watched it and psychoanalyzing the narcissistic personality of the band director. I got a new phrase from this movie "That's not my tempo." I loved the ending. I vote watch it after you see some of my other favs listed.

Finding Vivian Maeir. This documentary might be my favorite just because I love a good mystery and it has a very similar story to Henry Darger that I love. Art, recluses, mystery, posthumous discoveries...it's got my name written all over it! I vote see it for sure!

Into the Woods. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it, but we couldn't even finish this one. I'd seen the musical before and remember being annoyed by the songs and I felt the same with the movie. I usually love musicals too but I don't know if I consider this a musical. There weren't realy songs...it was just "sing-talking" through the majority. We made it maybe halfway through, I feel asleep through some of it and woke up and decided life was too short to finish a movie like this. I vote don't see it.

Virunga. Nothing like a good documentary about how the oil industry is ruining natural resources, destroying civil lives in the Congo, and poaching endangered species to make me feel guilty for my first world problems as I cry for the gorillas. Aside from the guilt though, this was a beautiful look into the lives of people who care for these animals and God's beautiful creation as they risk their lives and stand up to forces more powerful than them daily. I vote see it. (It's on Netflix even!)

Foxcatcher. Steve Carell's performance made this movie totally worth it to me. After watching his incredibly creepy performance you will find yourself on youtube looking up the actual character he played and wondering how he can imitate him so well and how someone so creepy could have existed and been so famous. (well money duh) It's basically just a biopic of this sociopath, but an interesting one. I thought they did an excellent job of making me feel like I was in the 80's and early 90's while watching it! I vote watch it.

The Theory of Everything. Not gonna lie this movie was incredibly slow and I think it's kinda weird they made the movie while he is still alive, but I guess they had his blessing! The actor who plays Stephen Hawking does an amazing job though and his performance alone might be worth it. Ryan had no desire to see it since it's more about Mr. Hawkings marriages than his career. I vote you only see it if nothing else is available to you.

Wild. I had my doubts about Reese Witherspoon playing this role but I thought she did a great job. It was a good adaptation of the book, but I'm not sure it'd be as good if you hadn't read it so I vote that you see it only after reading the book.

The Imitation Game. I enjoy a historically based movie and thought this was educational and entertaining. I had to do some fact checking afterward to see what all was true vs Hollywood. The true life story is incredibly sad and although I thought "that's something legislature did in the past...." Sadly there was a news story about wanting to continue such horrible practices in my very own state for certain criminals. Anyway I got off on a tangent. I vote see it.

Grand Budapest Hotel. I really enjoyed it and think most people will if you like Wes Anderson films. His are usually hit or miss with me, but I did enjoy this one. I am a bit surprised how many awards it's nominated for but it was good. I vote see it if you like Wes Anderson.

50 Shades of Grey. HA! Kidding. I did NOT see this movie and it is NOT nominated but I am thankful that the articles bashing people for seeing it are overtaking facebook so the vaccine/measles debate can be put on the backburner for awhile! I vote don't see it, obviously.

I know, I know, I didn't see American Sniper. I probably will in the near future, but war movies are hard for me to watch so I was saving it for the right moment that never came. Anyway stay tuned for pics from the Oscar Party!!

1 comment:

Jana + Ryan said...

I love reading your reviews! Now I know what to watch considering I've only seen 4 of these.

Selma I loved. I cried like a baby through most of it & left feeling guilty for my white privilege. Haha.

I enjoyed Gone Girl but I am very confused on why it's such a big deal and how it could be up for best actress. I think I'd enjoy the book much more.

I love the stage play of Into the Woods with Bernadette Peters & I enjoyed the first third of the movie but that's it. Ryan & I were really disappointed by how slow and boring the second half of it was. I'm glad we weren't alone in that thinking.

American Sniper was not worth it to us. We left feeling so... conflicted that honestly, I probably would choose not to watch it if I could go back. It's not a BAD movie but it was just hard in a lot of ways I didn't expect.

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