Posts Tagged ‘sandra bullock’

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Schizophrenia

November 18, 2013

My posts have always been so organized. I think I’ve come to realize that organization is one of the reasons I struggle to update my blog on a regular basis. Rather than just come in here and talk about recent stuff or what I’m feeling, I feel compelled to write out a complete movie review and well, quite frequently, it just doesn’t get done. So here’s to a new strategy.

This past week I watched The Heat starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. My biggest takeaways from the film were that a) Sandra Bullock was really fucking good in Gravity and b) Melissa McCarthy is extremely funny but this might as well be a continuation of her character in Bridesmaids as a police officer. I can’t say I’m a big fan of Bullock’s work and this is more of the same, which is why her performance in Gravity is so special; it’s completely unlike anything she’s ever done–or, in other words: good. The Heat is funny though, thanks to McCarthy carrying the film, but she’s obviously being typecast (as many rising comedic actors are) and one has to wonder how long before fans start tiring of her schtick. Overall, The Heat was funny and enjoyable, and ranks amongst 2013’s funniest films in a year of mostly unremarkable comedies. 6/10

I also had a long overdue viewing of Derek Cianfrance’s (Blue Valentine) The Place Beyond The Pines starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes. One of the more highly acclaimed films prior to awards season, I actually found Pines to be quite disappointing. Mostly it just didn’t live up to the hype built from one of my friends constantly praising it and urging me to watch it. It’s a three part story that stretches over a roughly 17 year time period and certainly has the running time of an epic, clocking in at nearly two and a half hours. Naturally, it’s quite boring at times and the pacing makes it difficult to watch. Ryan Gosling is great, as usual, and Bradley Cooper appears to be turning into a pretty respectable actor. I wasn’t a huge fan of the story though. I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit contrived, especially the third act when everything ties together in a way that isn’t all that believable. Pines isn’t a bad film, but it’s an overly ambitious one, with a story that doesn’t quite deserve its epic running time. Definitely not the must see film people are claiming it to be. 5.5/10

I revisited Man Of Steel last night and I have to say my opinion of the film has dropped somewhat. I initially gave it a 7/10, which is a must see on my scale, and I can’t say it’s that strong of a film. That’s what’s difficult about reviewing films. I can’t imagine that people that criticize movies for a living can really get a full grasp on a film after one viewing. For me, Man Of Steel was a bit overwrought. The aspects I liked in my earlier review remain the same, but some parts of the film are increasingly tedious upon a second viewing. The Smallville battle is still epic. I mean seriously awesome. But the next part of the climax is a big WTF. I’m talking about when Zod is creating Krypton on earth and Superman is battling some ship over the Indian Ocean. I mean, what the hell is really going on here? For some reason, I remembered the finale being incredibly epic, but really there’s the Smallville battle and the final battle with Zod and a huge gap in between that just sucks. Also, now that Superman vs Batman has been announced for a 2015 release, you have to think watching this movie that the filmmakers really had no idea what they were going to do next. After seeing Superman go toe-to-toe with Zod and other Kryptonians–and all the property destruction those fights caused–it’s difficult to imagine a human–even one as resourceful as Batman–being a formidable opponent for Superman. The writers seriously have their work cut out for them.

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Gravity (2013)

October 12, 2013

Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men, Harry Potter & The Prison Of Azkaban, Y Tu Mama Tambien)

Astounding. Incredible. Those were my initial thoughts upon leaving the theater after watching Gravity, one of those groundbreaking films that will be mentioned for years to come as a visual effects pioneer. In fact, visually, Gravity just might be the most incredible accomplishment in cinematic history. It’s that good; and there’s never been anything like it. The film feels more like a 95 minute attraction you’d find at a high level amusement park. The only things missing are the seat belts and simulated movement. Otherwise, you might as well be in space with Ryan Stone, the rookie astronaut played by Sandra Bullock in the best performance I’ve ever seen from her. There are no moments in this film where you’re taken out of the experience. Everything is so wonderfully, beautifully, and accurately shot that you never question that these people are operating in zero gravity. Little touches like chess pieces and tear drops floating out of the screen towards you only add to the authentic, weightless movements of the human characters. The 3D seriously adds to the experience and I can’t imagine that seeing it without 3D is even remotely as satisfying.

The story here isn’t particularly profound. As one of my friends who walked out after an hour so eloquently put it: “one hour of running out of oxygen.” It really makes me wonder if we were watching the same movie. The visuals are so stunning, earth looks so magnificent in the background, and the film is so intense, that one hardly even notices how little plot there actually is here. And honestly, in a film like Gravity, it’s not that important. The overall themes of dealing with loss, lack of self worth, and so on, take a back seat to the real show: the terrifying experience of being lost in space with absolutely no human contact and no solid game plan for survival. Could you imagine being so utterly alone? In Gravity you barely have to. It looks so real and the experience is so personal, it might as well be your own.

Gravity should be showered with nominations come award season and should be a shoo in for most of the visual awards. Alfonso Cuaron has directed the closest thing to a masterpiece that I’ve seen in a long while. The amount of care put into the shooting of this film and the attention to detail is so tediously given, the final product is astonishing. A true feat. For a film that’s essentially about getting from point A to point B without dying, I’ve never felt so personally invested in reaching that final destination. An extremely impressive film and an absolute must see in 3D in the theaters.

Replay Value: The lack of replay value might keep Gravity from becoming a true classic, but with 3D televisions more and more common these days, maybe that’s not true.
Sequel Potential: None.
Oscar Potential: Gravity will be heavily nominated, probably in most categories, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director. I doubt the script will get a nomination and I don’t think George Clooney is deserving, but this film should be a cinch for the Cinematography, Visual Effects, and Film Editing statues.
Nudity: None.

Grade: 9.5/10 (Phenomenal/Instant Classic)