Movie Review: Mad Max Fury Road – A Complete Reimagining Of The Original And It Was Beautifully Done.

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I need to be honest and admit I was never a fan of the Mad Max movies of the 80s. I actually thought they were pretty darn stupid. That was with the exception of Beyond Thunderdome, which in my opinion was the only one worth watching. So I was one of the few people who wasn’t exactly thrilled that they’d decided to continue on with the series.

To my surprise, I actually enjoyed this refueled version of Mad Max.

The story starts with Max being pursued by a bunch of crazy looking, bone wearing guzzaline addicted War Boys. They are let by the creepy leader Joe (Hugh Keyes-Byrne, who also played the villain in the original Mad Max). Of course, Max gets captured, and tortured. Then, an extremely bad ass Charlize Theron shows up a warrior Furiosa, steals Joe’s girlfriends and breaks Max out.

Both Hardy and Theron burn up the screen with their intensity. I’ve never really seen Theron as an action star, I mean, I have seen Aeon Flux, but in this movie, she shines as the torn, revenge driven leading lady. Hardy also adds something to the original Max, who was mainly known for being broody when played by Mel Gibson 30 years ago, but is so much more than that now.

The story has been revamped in a way that actually makes it worth watching. I always felt like I was watching a crappy movie filmed at a dump with the original Mad Max movies, but they flipped the script on me this time and really did some major world building. You no longer think you’re watching a bunch of acting school drop outs with bad hair argue about gas. Instead, it really captured the post-apocalyptic sense beautifully.

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The director does an amazing job, pulling away from even attempting to keep this PG-13 and instead going all in on violence and vehicular carnage. He is not afraid to go there with his filming and the action of the movie actually matches the intensity of the leads.

This is not a remake or even a reboot. It’s a complete reimagining of the original and it was beautifully done. While I’d usually only watch the movies when they were on late night cable, now I’m willing to watch them in the theater. That says something special about this film, because it’s really hard to get me off the couch.

Of course, this isn’t really one for the kids. It’s violent and rough to watch. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed from the original. The director seems to almost revel in carnage. It’s a spectacle of a film that does not rely on special effects or CGI. It’s fueled purely by good direction and excellent acting. In today’s theater filled with overblown superheroes and constant CGI, this was an amazing change of pace that kind of blew my mind.

I assumed I was going to hate this, but I really, really enjoyed this. It was extremely well done and way higher quality than the originals. Not only is this one worth the watch, but I’m awaiting the next installment eagerly.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!
four and a half stars

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Movie Review: Far from the Madding Crowd – A Choice Between Passion, Contentment and Comfort, Handled Masterfully

This is starting to feel like the year of the overblown movie. From the supercharged cars of Furious 7, to the bubbly animation of Home, all the way to epic superhero movies, every genre seems to be going to the extreme. Even the period romance is getting the steroid treatment. Far From The Madding Crowd is an adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel, filled with lavish music, beautiful scenery and romantic action.

Far from the Madding Crowd is a romantic period drama that focuses on the young Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who is a woman ahead of her time. The story follows her through three different love interests. A sheep farmer, Gabriel Oaks (Matthias Schoenaerts), a wealthy older man (Michal Sheen) and a lady killing young soldier (Tom Sturridge).

While I like is that the writers stayed true to the story, while not dragging it out too long. Far From the Madding Crowd was made once in the 60’s, and was an hour longer. As far as I’m concerned, that was an hour too much. Despite the action in the story, like most Hardy novels, it’s deeply depressing and dragging it out too long makes it nearly unbearable.

Scaling back on the length of the movie was a wise decision on the part of the film makers, as they were able to put more into the costumes, scenery and settings. Another thing to note is that this is less of a story about love, and more a story on the importance of marrying well in Victorian England.

The 1967 version doesn’t quite seem to get that, as they make it all about a lo

ve affair between a woman and three very different men. This one captures the original intent a bit better. Bathsheba wasn’t just an empty headed flirt. She was an independent woman with money of her own, who wanted to marry for love. However, when she does, it results in disaster, before she finally goes with the guy she should have the entire time.

I didn’t spoiler alert that for a reason, by the way. If you haven’t gotten around to reading a novel that was written in 1895, you don’t deserve a spoiler alert.

 

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Mulligan is a charming flirt, Schoenaerts is a supportive friend, Sheen is a manipulative rich man, and Sturridge is the torn romantic you love to hate. Not one single actor in this film laid down on the job and they all brought their characters to life in an effortless way.

The storyline is one of the most standard tropes in romance. A choice between passion, contentment and comfort, and it was handled masterfully in this edition. The lush landscape, powerful score, and intelligent dialog all serve to underscore one of Thomas Hardy’s most successful books.

This is an epically done period drama that currently only has limited release, which is a shame. If you’re a fan of the period drama, then this is one to see. It was done with intelligence and respect towards the original author’s work.

Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!
four and a half stars

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Movie Review: The Water Diviner – An Unforgettable Movie Made with Skill and Focus.

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I was kind of dreading the second period drama of the week, The Water Diviner, as the first left a bad taste in my mouth. Add in the fact that I just don’t like Russel Crowe and I expected to be miserable. But really, this was actually pretty well done.

The Water Diviner stars Russel Crowe as Joshua Connor, an Australian farmer with a special skill. He’s great at being able to find water deep underground, using only a stick and his instincts. He’s living a lonely life, as his three sons went off to war in Turkey and never came home. So Connor decides to use his gift for finding things to see if he can find the remains of his sons and bring them home.

Crowe is breaking into directing with this movie and I have to say, he has a gift for it. This is a complicated movie, with multiple venues and several underlying plotlines. But Crowe has a natural gift for pacing and manages to make it all work together to tell a seamless story.

Particularly impressive is that this was filmed on a limited budget, but still manages to look epic and big budget. That might have been due to getting gifted cinematographer Andrew Lesnue, who shot “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” on board for the filming. He managed to catch the endless blue skies of Australia, all the way to the claustrophobic battle scenes of Gallipoli, with the unique ability to capture all the moving parts while presenting a full picture at the same time.

Crowe was buyable as an Australian Farmer, on a quest that defies reason. He’s particularly poignant in his scenes with Turkish Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan), a Major from the opposite side who’s been tasked with identifying countless remains. The dynamic between the two of them is incredible. They are one part adversaries and one part compatriots at the same time. Both of them play their parts as multifaceted, fully realized individuals and you can hate nor like neither one. They both have their reason for behaving the ways they do.

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This is an unforgettable movie made with skill and focus. While the storyline is simple, the complexity of the scenery, direction and characters themselves make it a cut above most of the movies out there right now.

The only problem I see with this film is getting it to appeal to a wider audience. It’s a fantastic film that has been crippled with limited release. What Crowe was able to do on a limited budget is amazing, but I only wish he’d put a little money aside for marketing. This is a gem that could easily be missed because of the lack of distribution.

There’s very little I can say was poorly done in this movie. Even Crowe’s sometimes stagnant stoicism seems to work. The minor characters are all fleshed out and the war is viewed from realistic point of view, rather than as simple hell, or over the top patriotism. It’s a film that strikes the right balance and is easily worth the watch.

Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!
four and a half stars

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Movie Review: Unfriended – They Pulled off the Laptop Filming Angle Perfectly, Let’s Hope There are No Copycats.

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I think the gimmick that came from the Unfriended movie was inventive. After all, directors have been complaining for years that most of their work is lost when people insist on viewing their films on laptops. So now comes a movie that was filmed entirely on a laptop. Honestly, I expected to hate it. I expected to hate it in the same way that I hate found footage, and I do hate found footage. I hate it with a passion.

Then I remembered at one time, I enjoyed found footage. It was one of the first found footage movies, Cloverleaf, that sucked me in. But a bit like a hit new song that the radio plays to death, the gimmick has been done to death, to the point where it is just not enjoyable anymore.

So while I enjoyed Unfriended, let’s call it cautious enjoyment, because deep down, I know we are going to see 400 more movies filmed in this gimmicky way by year’s end.

The premise is an effective one for this particular gimmick. It’s a story of vengeance, played out through one computer screen. It starts with Blaire (Shelley Hennig) as she guiltily clicks on pages about Lara Barns, a classmate of hers who committed suicide just one year earlier. Then, her teen heartthrob boyfriend Mitch (Moses Strom) starts a flirty conversation with her on Skype, right before three more friends Jess (Renee Olstead) Adam (Will Peltz) and Ken (Jacob Wysocki) join in. But there’s a mysterious 6th person online, and over the next hour, slowly reveals herself to be the dead Lara, who killed herself after the group posted an embarrassing YouTube clip.

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On paper, it doesn’t sound good, but excellent timing and strange coincidences have never been so chilling. I’ve never been so disturbed to see the unfriend option missing from a Facebook drop down menu, or a lack of forwarding options on Gmail. The slow realization that this isn’t a glitch, it’s a girl out for revenge, creates a great amount of tension.

The movie unfolds in real time, which really seems like it would work only for a short, but the writing and the execution makes the time fly by. It’s the same kind of formula that made the first Paranormal Activity work. The slow, weird events, building up to the final dramatic conclusion.

One thing to note, however, is that there is no room left for a sequel, so please Hollywood, do not turn this into the new gravy train. I will admit, this one worked the first time, but it is not a sustainable movie model. A well written story and web cam reaction shots that were better than even the most hilarious “Two Girls One Cup” reaction videos made this movie. It was very well done, and the whole one computer screen gimmick is what made it.

But it does not mean it needs to be made again. It’s like one of those jump scare videos. It might get you the first time, but it won’t the second.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  (Which is great for a Horror Movie!)

Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

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Movie Review: Fast 7 (2015) – Utterly Ridiculous, Ridiculously fun!

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Furious 7 is managing an 80%+ approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Is it pity points for Paul Walker’s untimely death? Or is it more related to the fact that this one feels a lot like a final Bromance letter from Vin Diesel to Paul Walker. I choose to believe the latter.

This one occurs shortly after the events of Tokyo Drift. Paul Walker is back as Brian, the now married partner in crime to Dom (Vin Diesel). The team is on another mission, with the help of martial arts expert Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), who is Dom’s wife; the class clown Roman (Tyrese Gibson); and the tech wiz Tej (Ludacris)—to combat a double-barreled assault. Deckard Shaw (Jason Stratham) is up to no good, planning to kill them all with the help of kidnapped hacker Ramsey (Nathalie Emmanuel). Ramsey has built a little gismo that allows him to be able to track the team across the globe, whether they be driving through a prince’s party in Abu Dhabi, or zipping through the Caucasus Mountains.

The action is just as powerful as the original, with cars spending so much time airborne that they might as well be planes. The sheer audacity of the ridiculous car chases and battle sequences put this film purely in the ridiculous realm.

Ridiculously fun, I mean.

This is a series that’s more than willing to make fun of itself and the audience is in on the joke. The action might be over the top, but that’s what makes it work. The movie is almost a cartoon in its insanity, but it’s a fun cartoon, with well choreographed fight scenes, bright bold colors and cars that will have most grease monkeys drooling like they’re looking at a centerfold.

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The script is clichéd. The bad guy’s motivation is the old “I’m avenging my brother” trope, despite the fact that said dead brother was a complete ‘rhymes with mickhead’ that kind of deserved to die. Everyone fits into the same old stereotype that they did in other movies. But regardless of the fact that this movie recycles plotlines, and characters, it’s a fun, exciting film to watch as long as you remember to not take it too seriously.

The direction is well done and there’s no ‘fighting in the dark’. Everything is filmed in full color, in all its over the top glory. There are different venues and exciting locales and some well done CGI trickery. As an action movie, it wins.

My biggest gripe was that this one was way too long. It feels like they allowed the director to put out the director’s cut, simply because this was Walker’s last film. While I appreciate the respect they showed his character, my numb backside didn’t. By the time the movie was over, I couldn’t feel my legs.

Despite that, this was a fun exciting movie that was definitely worth the watch. I didn’t expect much, considering it was sequel 7, but I underestimated the power of ridiculous. If you’re in the mood for some pure entertainment, then Furious 7 is absolutely worth the watch.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

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Movie Review: While We’re Young (2015) – A Charming Woody Allen-esque Indie Gem

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While We’re Young is a new indie movie with limited release, possibly aimed at aging hipsters. Despite the fact that its release was limited to a small amount of theaters, this one could wind up being a sleeper hit.

Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play a 40-something couple who is more than content with their decision to not have children. In fact, they mention it so much that you start to think they’re protesting too much. Conflict comes in when they meet a spirited 20 something couple (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). There’s some generational culture clash and much self-deprecation on Ben Stiller’s part. While the premise isn’t exactly exciting, I found myself incredibly intrigued by this charming indie gem.

The culture clash is powerful. The younger couple is part of the entitlement generation that kind of just expects everything to work out. The older couple is part of Generation X, which is marked with an almost constant sense of impending doom. Ben Stiller’s character especially, is a man on the edge. He’s tried his entire life to earn a name for himself as a respected documentary maker, but to date, everyone has failed to recognize his genius. Being in his mid forties, he’s at an age where he’s starting to wonder if his dreams will ever come true, of if he’s doomed to mediocrity. As a 30 something, I know the feeling.

The movie has an almost Woody Allen feel, in the way it makes fun of the New York Hipster subculture. The older couple especially, seems to be clinging to the culture in an effort to cling to their youth. The characters are brilliant, but completely immature, and their interactions make the movie work.

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It’s a movie that really focuses on that blurry line of middle age, when it’s too late to do some things, and feels too late to change direction. Because there’s nothing we can do about it, we spend the majority of our time trying to convince ourselves that our choices were right. It’s the perfect recipe for a midlife crisis and people who might fall into this middle of the road age bracket will be able to easily understand.

When you get about two thirds of the way in, the movie drops its breezy atmosphere and starts to get very heavy. It feels like one person wrote the first half of the movie, while a manic depressive wrote the rest, because out of nowhere the movie gets really dark.

Regardless of that, this is still a good movie. People who remember Woody Allen movies will be reminded of them, while the hipster vibe will resonate with younger crowds, at least the ones that are ok with laughing at themselves. The dialog is well done, the conflicts, at least for the first two thirds, are believable, and the characters are well rounded. Chances are you know someone who is very much like one of the characters in this movie. They did a good job of writing them funny, without going awkward.

It’s a good movie for adults who are looking for something breezy and indie and is easily worth the watch, despite a somewhat heavy ending.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

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Movie Review: Into the Woods (2014) – a surprisingly well done film!

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Into the Woods is one of the highest budget fantasy movies of the winter and it’s already grossed about $31 million, while holding the number 2 spot at the box office. In addition to that, it’s also pleasing critics and is certified fresh on the popular movie site Rotten Tomatoes, which is high praise indeed.

Into the Woods is a retelling and modernization of multiple fairy tales. This heartfelt musical follows Cinderella (Anna Kendrick) Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone) and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy) as they help a baker and his wife fight an evil witch played by Meryl Streep.

I’m not usually one for musicals. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only musical I’ve ever liked is The Book of Mormon and that hardly counts. Regardless, I decided to give this one a shot and I have to say I was more than pleased.

The acting was first-class. There is literally no one in this movie that didn’t pull their weight and really drag watchers into the story. Little Red Riding Hood is precocious, Cinderella is idealistic and Meryl Streep is delightfully evil and quirky. It’s Johnny Depp’s Wolf that’s the real scene stealer in this one though.

As for the music, let’s admit that the majority of this cast is not known for their musical talents. While everyone gets an A for effort, there was clearly a lot of auto tune needed to make a few of the musical numbers work. For the most part, it isn’t the singing that shines, but the delivery of the music that makes it stay with you.

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The score was well done and quirky, though I doubt we’ll be seeing a lot of number 1 hits come out of this. The musical numbers were still foot tapping good though, despite the fact that there really isn’t anything you haven’t heard before in it.

The scenery, costumes and backdrops were all beautiful and stunning to look at. They really did a good job of world building and creating a fairy tale worthy land. Streep’s makeup alone must have taken hours, but was well worth the effort. For much of the movie, she was completely unrecognizable.

It was a well-written film. Despite that fact that there are multiple storylines going on, they are all interwoven seamlessly and you will never find yourself wondering what is going on. It’s a fast paced move and none of the 2 hour run time is wasted. Usually, that’s something I can’t say, as only the most epic movies can take up two hours and not drag at some point. This is clearly an epic movie and despite the fact that it is a musical, did not feel padded with music.

This is a film that is worth the watch. If you’re looking for something unique and interesting to bring the family to this winter, then it might be worth heading Into the Woods.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

 

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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies – An excellent end to the Series

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As a massive nerd, I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out for years. I literally have been in line, dressed as a hobbit, since 2011. Ok, well that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I wanted to see if the final installment of the Hobbit trilogy was as good as the first.

In this final installment, we meet up with Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves shortly after they reclaimed their land from the Dragon Smaug. Of course, as it’s never a good idea to peeve off a fire breathing dragon, this has had some totally foreseen consequences. Smaug is taking his anger out on the innocent villagers of Laketown. On top of that, Thorin is going just a bit nutty and obsessed with his treasure, which drives a wedge between Bilbo and him. Toss in some Gandalf, a whole bunch of Orcs and Elves, and you get to end with a bang.

The movie was extremely well done and an excellent end to the series. They lost none of the power of the original. In fact, I think this might be the best installment yet. CGI, good makeup and fantastic settings created a mystical, beautiful world with heart pounding action and breathtaking scenery.

Martin Freeman plays Bilbo Baggins with the same humor and honor, creating a multifaceted conflicted character that we want to see win. His Everyman character is one that most people can relate to, even though they know hobbits don’t exist.

The battle scenes are impressive and well choreographed, and director Peter Jackson clearly found his forte in filming battles. The scenes are convincing without being overtly gory and the strategies involved are a bit more realistic than in the first two films.

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What this movie could have used was a bit of comic relief. Compare the Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings, and you’ll always find the Hobbit lacking. That’s probably because in this installment, we don’t really get to know the characters as well. The scenes are a bit more battle heavy and there is less humor or emotional connection to the characters.

Not to say that it’s bad. In fact, it might be one of the best fantasies I’ve seen, aside from Lord of the Rings. I think that’s the problem with this franchise entirely. The Hobbit would have been groundbreaking if they hadn’t already raised the bar with The Lord of the Rings. It kind of makes me wonder what would have happened if they’d started with the Hobbit and done Lord of the Rings afterwards. Would the franchise have gotten the same momentum?

Of course, as with the Lord of the Rings, I did have some problems with the under-representation of female characters. Yes, I know Tolkien didn’t write it like that, but he also didn’t write much about the Battle of Five Armies in the books either, and they’ve turned that into the focal point of this entire movie. Would it have hurt to throw in a decent Liv Tyler elf or something like that?

Again, I have to say, this is worth the watch. Heck, I might even watch it twice. I’ve barely gotten any wear out of my hobbit costume.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

 

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Movie Review: Top Five (2014) – An all star cast delivers the very definition of comedic drama

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Chris Rock has a gift for comic realism. In his third turn in the director’s chair, he releases the wonderful comedy/drama Top Five.

In this movie, we see a realistic portrayal of an ageing comic looking to move into more serious lines of work. Andre Allen (Chris Rock) is a comic who made his money from playing campy character Hammy the Bear. Tired of his comedy roots, he chooses to make a dramatization of the 1791 Haitian Revolution. Of course, the New York Times pans the movie. Then, on the opening day, Andre gets the opportunity to spend time with Times writer Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson) thanks to pressure from his agent (Kevin Hart.)

This is an extremely well-cast, star studded movie. For once, when the casting agent blew their budget on big name stars, they knew what they were doing. No part is underplayed, from Gabriel Union’s reality show diva role, to Kevin Hart’s flustered manager, all the stars in this one, whether appearing as themselves on someone else, got a fair amount of funny screen time. It’s a veritable who’s who of iconic comedians.

While funny, the movie is also surprisingly realistic. In fact, many of the stars in this film have gone through the same issue that Andre is dealing with. They were previously joke or gag comics who want to be taken seriously by the world. For everyone who manages to make it, there are ten more who’s first efforts flop, much like Andre’s movie “Uprize!”

Of course, this movie isn’t 1000 percent perfect. In several instances, it becomes a bit disjointed and confusing. It’s a loud movie with a lot going on. But even in all that confusion, you want to see Andre succeed. And you want to know why Chelsea would bother to spend all day with a man who her newspaper had already thoroughly panned.

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The direction was impressive, with the main focus being New York City, and the wide panning style makes the city breathtaking, while at the same time unflinchingly showing the more humble parts as well. In a way, it reminds me of an old Woody Allen movie. It doesn’t seem deep at first, with two characters running around New York doing silly things. But the longer you watch, the more you realize this is a deep movie. It gives you a lot to think about.

Despite the fact that this is a drama, there are still a lot of breaks from it due to the right kind of comedic timing. Chris Rock never stops being funny, but that hilarity becomes more of a self defense mechanism than it is part of him. Andre is probably one of the best comic characters I’ve seen in a long time.

One thing I like is that they made it clear that Andre’s movie was joke worthy, just by showing the poster; Chris Rock looking violent and brandishing a machete. Despite the serious nature of the film, it’s easy to see why people would laugh at it.

All in all, Top 5 is worth the watch. It is the very definition of comedic drama and is worth seeing just for the excellent ensemble cast. If it had the right distributor, this easily would have been a box office hit.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

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Top five Official Movie Poster

Movie Review: Foxcatcher (2014) – An excellent psychological exploration of Du Pont.

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Steve Carrell seems to have a gift for picking the right movies. Whether he’s doing a romantic comedy, a drama, or a straight out quirky comedy, he seems to know what films work. When I saw that he’d recently starred in a dark drama, I had my misgivings. I mean, he’s an excellent comedic actor, but that doesn’t always carry over to straight drama. I have to say though; he knew what he was doing when he picked this script.

Foxcatcher is based on true events from a criminal case in the late 1990s. It circles around the story of John E DuPont (Steve Carrell) and his mother Jean (Vanessa Redgrave) and their complex, codependent relationship. Two ambitious pro-wrestler brothers Mark and Dave (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) catch DuPont’s eye and he attempts to ride their coattails to glory. When DuPont offers Mark $25,000 to train at his facility, Mark readily agrees while brother Dave elects to stay at home. This drives a wedge between the two brothers that leads to a tragic outcome.

The movie is well set up and this is no inspirational sports story. Please note that this next paragraph is a spoiler if you weren’t paying attention to the news in 1996.  (Since it’s based on a true story then it should be no surprise but I figured I would warn you anyway)

[toggle title=”Spoiler Alert”]In 1996, the real John DuPont shot and killed Dave Shultz, for reasons that are still unknown, in full view of three witnesses. He was initially found incompetent to stand trial, but was later convicted of murder, though his sentence was commuted due to the fact that he was also considered mentally ill and not fully responsible for his actions.[/toggle]

One of the things that makes this movie so well done is the way Steve Carrel managed to completely embody the character he was playing. Du Pont was known to be awkward and uncomfortable in social situations. His initial friendship with Mark is painful to watch, as the two speak in almost stilted dialog with lots of awkward silences.

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Carrel also makes du Pont’s motivations for ‘adopting’ the wrestling brothers sketchy and a bit sinister. In a way, he views these brothers in the same way his overbearing mother views her horses. They’re a way to buy prestige without having to work for it.

Another excellent note on the movie is the way they allude to the possibility that du Pont had some homosexual leanings, without actually admitting to them or him making any kind of pass. For much of the movie, you’re torn over why du Pont is drawn to the young, handsome Mark. Is he in love with him, or is it because he thinks he can ride on Mark’s championship coattails?

While the movie tries to stay true to the events leading up to the major headlines of 1996, it’s not to be considered a crime story. It’s more a look into a man that is “slightly off”, extremely insecure and his journey to be taken seriously; A root for the underdog movie that  goes wrong.

I think this movie is an excellent psychological exploration of du Pont’s character and motives. It’s clear the producers did their homework. While the movie is not very fast moving and gets a bit sluggish at times, it’s still incredibly well done.

This is not a sports movie for people who are desperate for edge of your seat, beating the odds, stories. This is more of a psychological drama along the lines of Bull Durham. The movie is more about the characters than it is the sport and at the top of our list on the Oscar’s watch.

WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!  Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below.

four and a half stars

 

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