Thursday, March 26, 2015

Unbroken

This movie is the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic athlete who experienced more trauma and hardship than anyone should ever have to endure.  After surviving a plane crash during World War II, he and two other survivors spend 47 days on a raft in the ocean before being captured by the Japanese and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp until the war is over.  Any of these experiences are enough to break a person, but “Louie” is remarkably resilient and is able to survive the ordeal.  I almost found it hard to even watch the scenes in the POW camp – the humiliation, the beatings and just seeing their spirit fade away the more they were subjected to over time.  I also wasn’t expecting to be so moved by the story of what has happened since the war ended and how he was able to eventually make peace with everything and even meet with the very people who held him captive.  As the movie said before the credits rolled, “Louie came to see that the way forward was not revenge, but forgiveness.”  And that is exactly what I was feeling after watching this very powerful movie.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Theory of Everything


Eddie Redmayne who plays Stephen Hawking won best lead actor for his portrayal of Mr. Hawking and after seeing this movie – there is no doubt that he deserved to win!  The film is based on the true story between Stephen and Jane Hawking.  It starts off in Cambridge in 1963, where they both meet and fall in love with each other.  Shortly after that, Stephen is diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and told he has 2 years to live.  The story revolves around their lives and what it was like to be one of the smartest minds and trapped in a failing body but yet have your mind be so clear.  It’s about their love and their fight to keep their marriage together through the hardest times in both of their lives.  He broke all the rules by surviving this disease, and by doing so, gave great insight to the scientific world.  I admire Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Mr. Hawking.  He gave a very personal, heartfelt, and saddening look into the life of an ALS patient and their family.  For not knowing much about Mr. Hawking, I enjoyed the film immensely.

Guardians of the Galaxy

I wasn’t sure if I was even going to watch this movie, but had quite a few people tell me how good it was, so gave it a shot.  I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed it!  I’d say it was a sci-fi film that didn’t take itself too seriously, but wasn’t “silly” either.  Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, an unlikely “hero” that was taken from Earth when he was young, and has grown up in space in other worlds.  When he gains access to an orb that is worth millions and that everyone seems to be trying to get, his latest adventure begins.  Through trying to fight off anyone that wants the orb, he meets and teams up with four other characters that are all kind of misfits like himself, forming a great team with each person bringing their own unique qualities to their group.  It was funny, had a nice story, and great characters each with their own back story that made it all a very fun movie!

Nightcrawler

This was quite a movie!  Jake Gyllenhaal plays an unemployed person who stops at an accident scene and sees a man filming footage to sell to TV stations for their news broadcasts.  This trips something in his mind that he could do this, too – and possibly make some money in the process.  And he does.  The more experience he gets and the better quality his recordings are, the more it all works out for him with contacts and demanding more money for his work.  When it all came together for me was when he started manipulating scenes to make a better “story” or picture and started arriving to crime scenes before the police were even there.  Where is the line on what you can/should legally film, especially when doors are already open or a crime is in the process of happening?  This movie was kind of fun, but got very creepy the longer it went on and the more risks he was willing to take.  I’m still thinking a lot about all the different angles you can look at this story.  Toward the end, he was definitely crossing the line, but it’s also the world we live in…

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Foxcatcher

This movie is based on a true story.  Steve Carell plays multimillionaire John du Pont and he sponsors two wrestling brothers, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, as they train for the 1988 Olympics.  I found it interesting watching the movie because all of the main characters played parts that are very different from roles I’ve seen them have in other films.  When du Pont calls and wants the brothers to move to Pennsylvania to train with him, it’s hard to know exactly what his motives are, but they do eventually move into his estate where they can all work out together.  du Pont seems to be trying to live out some unfulfilled dreams through these “students” of his, even though he doesn’t really know very much about the finer points of wrestling and starts to take credit for their success whenever he can.  Eventually, jealousy comes out in many different forms and from different characters, showing how messed up everyone can be, no matter how much money or fame they might have.  It’s sad seeing everything end the way it does, especially knowing it’s a true story…     

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Whiplash

I think of this movie and my heart starts racing – it was that intense!  J.K. Simmons was amazing as an over-the-top instructor at a music school who will stop at nothing to bring out the full potential of any student in which he can see “greatness.”  His methods were VERY extreme, but I can see where he was coming from and what he was trying to accomplish with the students.  The story revolves around the teacher, Fletcher, and a young drummer named Andrew that wants to be one of the best ever, and becomes one of the chosen few to be allowed into an elite band conducted by Fletcher.  It becomes a battle of wills and you’re never quite sure where either one stands with the other, which I really enjoyed!  Maybe it’s because I related to the parts of being in a band so much, but I lost myself completely in the story and it made me want to strive for more in my own life and see what I’m capable of, too!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Horrible Bosses 2

This was one of those movies that didn’t really need a sequel.  At all.  Nick, Kurt, and Dale are back and have decided to go into business for themselves and be their own bosses.  But, of course their plan doesn’t go well, and they end up getting caught up in a kidnapping scheme they’ve come up with to get money back from an unscrupulous investor.  In some ways, this movie was a lot like the first one, but even more silly, stupid, and moronic in carrying out their plans.  It did have funny lines and humorous parts, but was also more rude and crude with a LOT of language, too.  I didn’t “hate” it, but wasn’t very impressed, either.