movie reviews

American Sniper

by Cap'n Carrot on January 16, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Adapted from the autobiographical story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Clint Eastwood offers an old fashioned character study with strong patriotic leanings and not as much introspection as one might ultimately like. Bradley Cooper is terrific in the starring role of a soldier obsessed with serving his country and protecting his brothers-in-arms overseas while struggling with even the idea of life back home with his wife (Sienna Miller). The result is an engaging, if incomplete, story as Eastwood careful cuts away anything that doesn’t quite fit Kyle’s heroic narrative including an ending that leaves much unsaid.

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Inherent Vice

by Cap'n Carrot on January 9, 2015 · 0 comments

in Film

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Is hippie noir a thing? Set in 1970 Los Angeles writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s novel of the same name follows the misadventures of pothead private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix). Doc is hired by his former girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston), whom he has never gotten over, to foil a plot involving the forced incarceration of her current married boyfriend (Eric Roberts) into a mental institution in his family’s attempt to grab his millions.

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The Imitation Game

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Code breaking is an art as much as a science and never was it needed, or more artfully accomplished, than by the British during World War II. Set during the middle of Second World War, The Imitation Game follows an unlikely group of scholars, mathematicians, linguists, chess champions, and intelligence officers who were thrown together with the singular goal of breaking Germany’s unbreakable code known as Enigma. Enter Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) who might have been the biggest hero of the war if every advancement he made in cryptology (including the creation of the first computer) hadn’t been state secrets until well after his death.

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Unbroken

by Cap'n Carrot on December 25, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Mash-up The Bridge on the River Kwai and Rescue Dawn, while oversimplifying it for mainstream audiences, and you’ve got something that looks quite a bit like Angelina Jolie‘s directorial debut. Unbroken isn’t a bad film, but unwilling to color outside the lines Jolie takes a remarkable story and offers us a paint-by-number hero tale that only marginally entertains while struggling to celebrate a man’s inspirational journey as a prisoner of war during World War II.

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Into the Woods

by Cap'n Carrot on December 24, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Based on Cheryl Strayed‘s real-life experience of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, Wild stars Reese Witherspoon as the troubled new divorcee with no real hiking experience who latches onto the unlikely project of a 1,100-mile solo-hike as a means to deal with the mistakes of her past.

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Peter Jackson returns to give us the third (and thankfully final) installment of his bloated adaptation of a 300-page children’s book. As with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the best things about the final entry to the franchise are Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Benedict Cumberbatch providing the voice of Smaug. However, Smaug’s story ends fairly quickly (despite what the movie posters would have you believe he’s on-screen for all of 20 minutes) and the series by this point is so packed with characters (five separate armies worth) Lilly gets far-less screentime than you’d want from the movie’s most interesting character.

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Exodus: Gods and Kings

by Cap'n Carrot on December 12, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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The tale of Moses is hardly new ground for Hollywood. Director Ridley Scott‘s version of the story is a mishmash of disaster porn and drama casting a mostly pale-white cast in the role of Egyptians and their Jewish slaves which, when not not off-putting, is occasionally unintentionally hilarious such as Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton (reminding me of crazy Marlon Brando from The Island of Dr. Moreau) as Egyptian royalty.

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The Theory of Everything

by Cap'n Carrot on December 4, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is undeniably one of the brightest minds of our time, a fact that The Theory of Everything struggles to prove while being far more interested in the man’s personal life than his professional breakthroughs. The result is a strong romantic drama between Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) that is far less insightful of the man’s work.

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Laggies

by Cap'n Carrot on November 7, 2014 · 0 comments

in Film

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Director Lynn Shelton‘s Laggies is an odd film that attempts to blend character study with rom-com tropes. It lacks the satiric wit and humorous mean-spiritedness of Young Adult but plays on similar themes of a protagonist struggling to grow-up. Andrea Seigel‘s script is kept afloat in its weaker moments thanks to an engaging performance by its star and a clear message about the struggles of finding oneself as an adult and the odd paths we take to get there.

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