Edge of Seventeen is the kind of teen movie that will go down in history. Much like Clueless, Juno, Easy A, and Mean Girls, Edge of Seventeen is the perfect female lead teen flick. It does help that Oscar nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld plays the lead. Edge of Seventeen is about an awkward teen named Nadine who loses her best friend and by extension her sanity. Nadine is the kind of girl I know I would be friends with. An old soul who can barely relate to their own generation (I’m a millennial by the way). Edge of Seventeen perfectly sums up how much teen life can suck. Having friends to make the experience more bearable is a must. It’s funny and dramatic in the best possible way. It also has likeable non-stereotyped asian costar in it. Plus I think the movie was some kind of pet project from the people who make The Simpsons. Edge of Seventeen is the coming of age tale of this generation.
Slumdog Millionaire is just the kind of movie I like to see win Best Picture. It’s premise is so good that I can’t believe nobody’s thought of it before. Basically the premise is this, an indian kid from the slums wins Who Wants to be a Millionaire? (Indian Edition). How you may ask? It turns out that every question he’s asked has something to do with his life experience. It’s truly a one of a kind idea. Normally I don’t watch foreign films (technically this isn’t a foreign film), but Slumdog Millionaire held my attention beginning to end. I was even surprised to know that the movie is about two brothers. I can relate, because I have a brother. I would also compare the movie to Pinocchio, in the way that it has more than one villain. Each one more despicable than the last. The most important thing however is the love story which transcends decades. I guarantee you won’t see a more uniquely different Best Picture winner. Slumdog Millionaire is a winner in every language. Jai Ho!
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is pure visual splendor. When I first found out about this movie, I had no feelings for or against it. Though I was interested. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on a French comic strip that you’ve likely never heard of. Basically two soldiers named Valerian and Laureline fight to protect the universe. The movie itself benefits from a truly imaginative universe filled with unique aliens, technology, and planets. I guarantee the first act of the movie is nothing you’ve ever seen before. Now for the flaws. The main problem is that the story can be a bit all over the place at times. The set pieces almost feel like episodes in TV show rather than a seamless movie. Which is why some parts work better than others. There’s also the question of the two main actors. Dane Dehaan does not fit the macho profile at all and Cara Delevingne is better than usual, but she’s not a redhead. That’s how the characters are in the comic, but I did think they had good chemistry together. All in all, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is worth seeing on a big screen. Whether you like it or not is up to you.
Raging Bull is either the most beautiful ugly movie or the most ugly beautiful movie ever made. Martin Scorsese once again delivers a winner. And Robert De Niro delivers his best performance in a Martin Scorsese movie. Raging Bull tells the true story middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta. In one of the harshest ways possible. As he goes through a tragic downward spiral. Something else that Martin Scorsese likes to do. So that’s what makes Raging Bull an ugly movie. What makes it beautiful is its use of black & white. Which became much more artistic as the years went on. The light and shadows are captured perfectly in this style. Making the brutal reality look great. Raging Bull is another necessary Scorsese film to watch.
The Ant Bully is definitely my third favorite computer animated ant movie. Which is really saying something. Since I won’t being reviewing those movies for quite sometime, I figure The Ant Bully will do for now. The Ant Bully is something I can relate to, because I myself was an ant bully. I used to step on, pour water on, and capture ants all the time. The Ant Bully is about what happens when ants fight back. Which means shrinking the boy to the size of an, well you know. On its own, The Ant Bully is just a harmless kids movie. It’s not deep, but there is a good moral about bullying. The Ant Bully may even change the way you look at ants.
Silver Linings Playbook is a unique mix of themes. There’s a lot going on in this movie. Which only makes its themes of mental disorder seem more poignant. Silver Linings Playbook focuses on a man who has just been released from a mental institution. Which, through a series of mishaps, leads to him meeting a woman who is just a crazy as he is (maybe more). This is the first of many movies that star Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence starring opposite on another. Jennifer Lawrence delivers her best performance yet. Playing a mentally unstable person is not easy. It’s part of the reason why it fascinates me so much. The movie also includes football statistics and a dancing competition. Which will all make sense when you see the movie. It’s funny, tragic, and surprisingly heartwarming. You’ll go crazy for Silver Linings Playbook.
Yeah, Fargo is just super duper there. Fargo is another cult favorite from the Coen Brothers that I knew I had to see. It’s based on the (mostly) true events of a salesman who has his wife kidnaped in order to pay off a debt. Being a Coen Brothers movie, things go from bad to worse when the hired thugs kill a police officer. What follows is a series of violent and disturbing events that in any other movie, would have been hard to watch. The best thing about Fargo is the setting. Every character (except the thugs) speaks in a Minnesota accent. Making the movie a lot more fun to watch. I dare you to count every time they say “yeah.” Another positive is Frances McDormand as Marge Gunderson. She’s probably the most unconventional action heroine ever. She’s a married, pregnant, well mannered, police officer. Fargo is such a interesting blend. Fully deserving of all its acclaim. Yeah.
There are no words to describe The Artist. If you were to tell me that a silent film would win “Best Picture” 84 years since the last winner, I wouldn’t have believed it. Then again, Hollywood loves old Hollywood. The Artist is so simple yet so genius. I don’t usually watch silent films, but I think I should see more. The lack of sound was not a problem for me at all. I actually followed the story by creating the dialogue in my head. Turns out I knew exactly what was going on. Like Singing in the Rain, The Artist is about the transition to sound in film. Only, The Artist takes a far more literal approach by being silent and black & white. By far the best character in the movie is the dog. He’s such a good actor. All in all, The Artist is just the kind of movie that we need sometimes. Something old fashioned that feels so fresh.
The Long Kiss Goodnight is a highly underrated gem. I’ll bet you didn’t know Geena Davis could be a badass action heroine. The Long Kiss Goodnight is about a housewife with amnesia who turns out to be a deadly government assassin. Being a Shane Black movie, it takes place during Christmas. The action is just the right blend of over the top and high stakes. I grew up watching Geena Davis in more family friendly movies, but she’s a natural as an action star. Something she should have done a lot more of. I wasn’t sure if it was a comedy or not, but there is a lot of humor (especially from Samuel L. Jackson). The Long Kiss Goodnight deserves way more attention than it has.
Gone Girl is just the kind of movie that keeps me interested. Believe it or not, if I didn’t want to be an actor, I might have considered being a psychologist. Until I realized that acting and/ or filmmaking directly involves getting into someone’s head. Gone Girl is fascinating to me. Amy Elliott Dunne is crazy, but calculating. She’s psychotic, but manipulative. That’s what really drew me in about the movie. Gone Girl is about the disappearance of this woman who goes to extreme lengths to prove her husband is responsible. Being a David Fincher movie, it has a unique color palette and a unique directing style. Which includes a non-linear storyline. It’s a very engrossing story that will keep you guessing until the end. Don’t let the cast throw you, they all do a terrific job. Tyler Perry is actually really good in this. Gone Girl is definitely on my list of favorite movies of this decade.