Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Film Releases

I love movies.

As a humanities major in college and grad school, I had the opportunity to take several film classes. 

They ruined me.

I can't watch movies anymore without analyzing every scene, every line, every angle, every use of lighting.  It's a blessing and a curse. 

But I still love movies.  All kinds of movies.  I enjoy artistic, independent movies and romantic comedies alike. 

My favorite movies?  That's hard to say, but I am particularly fond of Fight Club and A Clockwork Orange (or anything from Kubrick, really) and other films like them.  And there have been lots of great films released lately. 

Have you seen the movie Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal?  Oh Jake Gyllenhaal.  He has been one of my favorites ever since I happened upon Donnie Darko with it's strange DVD cover - a young Gyllenhaal brandishing an axe with a man in a creepy rabbit suit in the background (it sounds crazy, but seriously, it's a great film). 

My husband and I watched Nightcrawler together and we both loved it.  Gyllenhaal's performance was amazing and the film offers a fresh plot and dialogue.  I've certainly never heard of people making money from filming crimes after hours and selling them to news stations, and I'm still not sure that it actually happens, but this plot in the film seems secondary to the true social commentary it portrays - that humans are selfish and will make attempts to get ahead no matter the costs.  Gyllenhaal's character, while strange and probably somewhere on the autism spectrum, gains momentum throughout the film as a sociopathic videographer, losing all sense of morality and (SPOILER ALERT) even going as far as to kill his partner in the end because he wasn't obedient enough and wanted too much money.  The film definitely struck me as a social commentary about humanity's treatment of humanity, and while I think Gyllenhaal's character was a bit of stretch in attempting to accurately portray this concept in society, it was overall a fresh, unique film with great performances from Gyllenhaal and his co-stars. 

Now after all of the Oscar wins, I just HAD to see Birdman.  I watched it tonight and was actually very impressed.  First off, the film reached some amazing technical feats with the extremely long shots and, secondly, I loved the performances by Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, and, of course, Edward Norton (who plays the "real" Tyler Durden in Fight Club).  The film is both strange and unique (which is right up my alley) and blurs the line between what is real and what isn't.  I think it definitely deserved the wins it received at the Oscars.

Justin and I also saw Theory of Everything last weekend and I was so excited when I found out Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his performance in the film as Stephen Hawking.  I thought the film was a beautiful tribute to the Hawking family and did a lovely job of portraying the relationship between Hawking and his wife and the struggles they experienced because of his ALS diagnosis.  I definitely recommend this film.  You will not be disappointed by Redmayne's performance.

Other films I've seen recently and enjoyed:

The Skeleton Twins with Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as twin brother and sister both dealing with some crazy life circumstances (that they brought on themselves).

What If with the wonderful Daniel Radcliffe and (my FAVORITE) Adam Driver.

Horns, another movie with Daniel Radcliffe based on the novel written by Stephen King's novelist son, Joe Hill.  (This movie is creepy and confusing at times, but worth watching).

Under the Skin with Scarlett Johansson.  If you want to watch a confusing movie about an alien disguised as a human seduce and capture human men, this one is for you.  (In all seriousness, I actually really liked this film). 

Men, Women, and Children with Adam Sandler.  This movie didn't get great reviews, but I thought it was a refreshing look into what teenagers (and adults) have to deal with in this day and age. 

So these are my thoughts on some recent films.  Now get out there and support the art world!  (And let me know what your thoughts are on these films!)


I just had two more poems picked up for publication at NEAT Mag, a really cool literary publication that only showcases poetry and fiction from Midwestern writers.  Look for my work in the upcoming issue!

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