Film

Elle

by Cap'n Carrot on January 13, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

elle-movie-reviewIsabelle Huppert is marvelous as the sixty-something head of a successful video game company who is raped in her apartment by a stranger in a ski mask. Refusing to tell the police, Michèle instead continues on as if nothing happened even as she begins to suspect that one of her resentful employees may be her attacker. Filled with mostly depressed and confused characters, somehow the film is never as bleak as its subject matter might lead you to believe.

Despite being raped in the movie’s opening scene, Michèle is anything but a victim; she’s smart, successful, and in complete control of both her company and libido. Elle isn’t a revenge fantasy or a drama focused on our protagonist coming to terms with the attack. Director Paul Verhoeven, no stranger to erotic or psychological thrillers, has something much different in mind in screenwriter David Birke‘s adaptation of Philippe Djian‘s novel. And Michèle is no angel, sleeping with the husband (Christian Berkel) of her best friend (Anne Consigny), and lusting after her neighbor (Laurent Lafitte) despite their age difference and his wife (Virginie Efira).

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Oh look, another TV show turned into a movie. How original. Michael Peña and Dax Shepard star as Ponch and Jon in this theatrical remake of the late 70s television show. Jessica McNamee, Adam Brody, and Vincent D’Onofrio also star. CHiPs opens in theaters on March 24th.

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A Monster Calls

by Cap'n Carrot on January 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

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Reminiscent of other movies about a kid losing himself in his imagination rather than deal with the difficulties of his life, A Monster Calls is a visually impressive adaptation of the book of the same name. The story may not offer a darkness as palpable as “The Nothing” (points for all who get that reference), but there’s plenty of real emotion beyond Conor’s (Lewis MacDougall) struggle to hide from both the constant bullying at school and his mother’s (Felicity Jones) deteriorating health.

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2016 may have lacked the one knockout film to top my list, but as a whole the year produced a number of quality movies adding a depth that made it difficult to cut down the list to a meager ten. Honorable mentions include animated features Kubo and the Two Strings and Finding Dory, Mel Gibson‘s divisive Hacksaw Ridge, and the bizarrely fascinating indie gems The Eyes of My Mother, Swiss Army Man, and The Neon Demon. Enough of what didn’t make the list, on to the Best Movies of 2016!

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For the Love of Spock

by Cap'n Carrot on January 4, 2017 · 0 comments

in Film

for-love-of-spock-dvdBegun before his father’s death as part of Star Trek‘s 50th Anniversary, Adam Nimoy takes a look at Leonard Nimoy‘s life and career, most notably his role as Spock. Including interviews from a wide swath of new and classic Trek actors, Nimoy interviews William Shatner, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, and Zoe Saldana, along with famous fans of Star Trek including Jim Parsons, Jason Alexander, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Although it doesn’t go into much depth about Nimoy’s life or his career, there are some nice anecdotes here and some fun classic stills and footage from his early career. Fans of Star Trek should enjoy themselves.

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If I’m ranking the movies I love but never want to see a sequel for, Blade Runner ranks at or near the top of the list. That said, here’s the first look at next year’s Blade Runner 2049 in which Harrison Ford reprises his role as Deckard and teams up with Ryan Gosling. The sequel opens in theaters on October 6th.

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13th

by Cap'n Carrot on December 30, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

13th-posterTaking its name from the 13th Amendment, the documentary from writer/director Ava DuVernay examines the role race plays in the criminal justice system of the United States and how it is used to continue the subjugation of African Americans following the end of slavery. DuVernay makes a compelling case with his film, documenting the racial inequality within the United States with statistics and facts while examining the self-enforcing logistics of the problem.

Connecting Jim Crow laws with higher arrests and convictions of African Americans, DuVernay attacks the system which was designed to continue to view those with a darker skin color as worth only three-fifths of a white man. Along the way he also touches on Southern propaganda and political maneuverings which turned racism into a war on crime.

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Based on a true story, and adapted from David Grann’s historical novel, the first trailer for The Lost City of Z teases us with experiences of Col. Percival Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) searching for the legendary City of Z in the Amazon Rainforest. Tom Holland, Sienna Miller, and Robert Pattinson also star. The film will open in theaters on April 21st.

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Fences

by Cap'n Carrot on December 28, 2016 · 0 comments

in Film

fences-posterAdapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name, Fences is notable more for its impressive performances than plot. Denzel Washington, who does double-duty as both lead actor and director, does all that he can to make the stage play fit the big screen but there’s little doubt what venue the story is best suited. As a film the story certainly works, but I wonder how much better it may have appeared on stage.

The talky script, adapted from the stage by playwright August Wilson, offers a slice of Americana in a low income area of Pittsburgh where former Negro League baseball player turned criminal turned garbage man attempts to make the best of the life he’s carved out for himself. The small cast focuses on Troy’s (Washington) relationships with close friends and family including his wife Rose (Viola Davis), son Cory (Jovan Adepo), troubled brother Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson), and best-friend Bono (Stephen Henderson). The more we learn about the outwardly charming Troy the less we like him. Troy is a bully, alcoholic, adulterer, and an all-around son of a bitch. The film’s first hour is a slow boil under the which pressure continues to rise until it boils over when the conflict between Troy and his family comes to a head.

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Lessons from the Screenplay examines my favorite movie of 2015.

Ex Machina — The Control of Information

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