Posted on 1/06/14 02:28 PM
Now Matthew McConaughey as a serious actor I usually think is really good. When he does those rom coms like Fools Gold, or How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days I think he is terrible. He is really good in this and he changed for this film. He changed physically, and he had to make himself look like a guy who has been on an island for a long time. He looked rough, dirty, and unwashed. They did a good makeup job with it too, because you could barely tell it was him. He also had the accent down perfectly, and at times I couldn't understand what he was saying because of it. I am glad he has broken out of his rom com phase and is doing stuff like this now. He broke out of that phase with Lincoln lawyer, and I think that is when he showed his skills as an actor. He tends to play a lot of lawyers, like in Lincoln lawyer, A Time to Kill, and in Bernie. So this was a completely different role for him.
The character he plays "Mud" is a fugitive hiding from the authorities on an island. He befriends two boys, and they help him try to reunite with his love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). The two boys do a lot to help him out, and he tells them his story. A lot of people warn the boys about Mud, but they think he is a nice guy. He is a nice guy, but he just made a big mistake. The film makes you question him throughout, and you really can't figure out if he is good or bad until the end. It is also a movie that is suspenseful, because you have no idea how it will end.
Now I really wish that films like this get made more often. I am tired of mindless action movies, and they are like pop music too me. I like stuff like this that is interesting, different, well acted, and that let you think about what will happen. Mud was a really good movie that I would say is probably an acquired taste for a certain audience, but is one of the best films I've seen so far this year. This movie reminded of a film that came out about a month before called "The Place Beyond the Pines." They were both really good in the same, way but different at the same time. The Place Beyond the Pines is a little bit better, but not by much. What makes them great in the same way is that they are both really well acted, and they are both indie dramas that make you think a little, and they are in obscure locations.
I like films like this, because they are more reliant on acting, an interesting plot, and style. Indie dramas are good, because the directors and screenwriters have way more freedom to do what they want, and they can show their talent more. This film is a good example. Jeff Nichols wrote and directed this film, and I felt like I could see his true vision for the film, and I didn't see any Hollywood influence in it. That is why Mud was as good as it was.
Posted on 12/20/13 10:42 PM
This is perhaps the greatest teen drama of all time. It is relatable, well acted, well written, and above all timeless. It is the kind of film that can be watched by any generation and still be loved. This and Ferris Bueller's Day Off are in my opinion the two most timeless 80's films about teen's. This is a film that I notice is talked about all the time at my school, and it really does reach people my age. It is really one of the only teen movies that I think portrays teens accurately, and seems realistic. Most of those films tend to just feel stereotypical or they exaggerate things. This felt like something that probably would happen. I am really tired of seeing teen movies or teen comedies that are really stereotypical, and as I have gotten older I have grown to like this one even more, because it has more depth. It is about a group of high school students, who are from entirely different crowds and backgrounds that have to spend their Saturday in detention, while their extremely mean teacher Mr. Vernon makes them write a paper about who they are. They all hate it and they don't like each other either. It is about how they bond and learn a lot about themselves.
Mr. Vernon is the antagonist of the story who you hate. He is almost evil if you ask me and he just hates kids for reasons that just seem to be problems within him and not the kids. He is definitely unhappy, because you almost never see him in a scene where he isn't mad. I felt like the entire time he just vented his problems on the kids. He isn't an interesting character, but he adds to the story by making them write the essay. The fact that the essay is "Who you think you are" I felt like was really symbolic in the story, because none of these people really did no that much, but by the end of the day it seemed like they figure out a lot. Though they pretty much ignore everything that he asked them to do the one thing he assigned him is what pretty much summed up everything that they learned.
The kids are for the most part very interesting. I only say for the most part, because Claire is kind of boring and she seemed kind of whiny. Her problems were almost annoying, and I felt like they should have spent more time focusing on the interesting characters like Allison (Ally Sheedy). I say her because I felt like they didn't give that many exact details about her, and they mostly gave details that made you have to use your imagination more. They gave us details like she is a compulsive liar, and her parents ignore her, but I wanted to hear more about her. I question how much we learned about her is actually true because she said she is a compulsive liar, but however there was something about her that made her more intriguing then everybody else to me. Her character was definitely a weird one though, but is also what made her interesting. She felt slightly underdeveloped, or maybe I felt that way because she was the most interesting character to me, and I wanted to know more about her.
John Bender (Judd Nelson) is a rebel and a total punk. I really didn't like him at first, but by the end of it he turns out to be a really good character, and I thought he and Allison were the two most interesting people. I disliked him at first because of how rude and obnoxious he was towards everybody. He just seemed like he was starved for attention, and like a jerk. But when he reveals what his home life is like you learn that he is just an angry young man. He lives by his own rules, and does and says whatever he wants to. He isn't afraid to get in trouble, and that is showed when he talks back to Mr. Vernon and by several other scenes. I think his character is an example of how you shouldn't judge somebody, because you don't know their background or where they come from.
The film had several interesting characters, and a very interesting plot. It shows how much you can do in only one setting. For pretty much the whole movie they were in detention, and they still made it really interesting. It broke many stereotypes about teens, and brought more depth to them. It showed how different kids from completely different backgrounds and click's can still get along. I feel like that is the message of the story. That no matter how different people are we can all get along, and connect. This film did a great job of showing that. This is a timeless classic that will be passed on from generation to generation.
Posted on 12/20/13 09:58 AM
The Wolfman is a very bad remake of an old horror movie classic. The idea to remake it wasn't a bad one you could say because the old one is definitely dated now that it is over seventy years old, or you could think that it would be a bad idea to remake it considering that the old one was such a horror masterpiece of its time that it should be left alone. However I definitely feel like it was a bad idea to remake it in the way it was done. This film was hated by pretty much by all critics and audience members like myself, so I think it is safe to say it didn't do justice to the original. Some reviewers on this site say it's underrated which I could understand, but still I definitely agree with the user and critics score on this site.
There are many reasons why I dislike this movie, but the main one would be how everything just felt stupid or pointless. I didn't really feel like there was a reason why this was made. I didn't think there was a lot of character development, or suspense. Certain things felt predictable, and for a while I was just waiting for these things to happen. For the most part it didn't really seem like there was a lot going on. At the beginning they took it slow, to most likely build suspense, but I didn't feel like it was there. I felt like they were just prolonging the inevitable things in the movie that turned out to be the worst parts of the movie if you ask me. While the film kept me waiting for exciting things to happen I found I was slightly bored. Maybe I need immediate gratification, but the beginning is not interesting at all in my opinion, and it barely was able to keep my attention.
However the boring parts of the movie were the best parts, which is weird. They were the best parts, because they didn't seem really stupid or cheesy to me. The exciting parts were of course the scenes where he becomes the Wolfman and starts attacking people, but it seemed so pointless though. What did the beast gain out of killing? Why did he do it? I'm tired of these killing machines in horror films. After a while that idea got stupid for me, and it was something that only worked in the older horror films, but now I feel like there should be some sort of motive. I think that is why these old horror films where there was some monster or murderer who killed for no reason are dated now. They seem pointless now. This film is a modern film with old school horror film cheesiness. Plus the scenes where the monster ran around killing people were gross, cheesy, or stupid. Like there is one part where a guy is shooting the beats, but not doing any damage. Then once he realizes he is done he tries to shoot himself but he is out of bullets. Then the beast whacks him in the head taking his head clean off. That was the part where I started feeling like this was really stupid. The film had a big budget, which is part of the reason why it was overdone, compared to the original, which had a small budget. But the budget was spent mostly on things like bad effects and gore, and a great cast that couldn't save this mess.
It is always sad to me when remakes ruin classics, and this is one of the worst remakes of all time if you ask me. Horror remakes in general I think are a mistake, because when you look at them they tend to all get bad reviews from critics and audiences. But this is one of the worst ones of all time if you ask me. The film had a bad script, bad director, but a good cast that couldn't' make up for all the flaws that surrounded them. It was a pointless movie with some good, but mostly bad drama, bad suspense, and no scares at all. It was either dull and boring, or entertaining and stupid. Some horror films are so bad that they are funny, but this isn't even funny. It was entertaining enough for the most part, but overall I feel like I could have done better things with the time I spent watching this film.
Posted on 12/17/13 04:41 PM
Every time a film is remade it is remade for a reason, and that is to make it better. If you ask me they remade this one, because the old one is dated. When you watch the original it is more of a comedy if you ask me. I laughed throughout the whole experience of seeing that film. It is dated, because it literally has no plot or character background, all that happens is that people get possessed by spirits and become demonic zombies. Also the effects look pretty atrocious now. The gore in it looks so cheesy, and even the makeup on the people who are possessed looks pretty bad too. So I can see why you would want to remake that. With todays technology you could make things look much more realistic, and plus today we tend to be more critical of films that don't have plots so it only makes sense that a remake could potentially improve the original.
So they added more realistic looking gore, effects, and most importantly this one had a bit of a story behind it that gave some background to the main characters. In the original they just go up to the cabin, but in this one they were there for a reason. A girl named Mia (Jane Levy), who is recovering from a heroin addiction goes out to the cabin with her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) to start her recovery. David left home after their mother was committed to an asylum, which left Mia alone to take care of her, likely causing her addiction. He estranged from her now. That is the background they added to this. It isn't a lot, but the premise of this movie isn't one that you can really do that much with. So really what they added a lot more to the film was gore. It was way gorier and way more gruesome.
To tell you the truth I hated the film for that reason, and I don't think they improved the original at all. It was rarely ever scary at all, but it was always gross and disturbing. I am really tired of how Hollywood feels like they have to be gross and disturbing all the time to be scary. To make a film scary you don't have to be disgusting. This film is literally a bloodbath. There are things like people having blood squirt or pour out of them, from either losing an arm, cutting of their cheek with a piece of glass, and at one point Mia throws up a waterfall of blood on her friend when she gets possessed. When I see stuff like that I lose interest, and I feel more disgusted then scared.
I think I would have rationalized it a little bit if the film scared me, but it really didn't. I found it all predictable due to many horror film clichés like people being stupid, and they even do the stupid thing during the chase thing at the end that they do in every Halloween or Friday the 13th movie where the girl is being chased and things keep getting in her way or she trips on something delaying her. They always have to make the girl being chased in the end really stupid, slow, or unlucky to keep so she can't get away easily, so the scene can be scary. At the end of it the film felt more like a slasher film from the 80's. The whole thing felt kind of cliché, or overly gross. Even that whole background that they gave Mia and David felt really cliché. I can't really explain why I felt that way, but for some reason I felt like I had seen stories like that before. Overall it was just not interesting or scary for me.
I feel like you have to be careful with what films you remake, because you can ruin the original. I wouldn't say that this ruined the original, because a good amount of people seemed to like it, I just hated it, but still I would say the original is better. The original although it is a really stupid, cheesy, and pointless movie it still pretty fun. It is fun because the gore and stuff that is meant to be scary is just really cheesy and funny to look at now. I feel like the idea of remaking old horror films is almost a mistake, because they are pretty much always bad. Some of the worst movies I have seen have been remakes of classic horror films. This was just a classic remake of a horror film if you ask me.
A typical horror remake to me is just a much more over the top version of the original, with some changes to the story to make it seem more original. They add more gore, and make it more gruesome to try to make it seem scarier. However the changes never really add anything to the original. They ruin the originals by changing what made them classics. That is my overall review on horror film remakes. I feel like for the most part they are a waste of time and money to make, and a waste of time to watch. That is true for remakes of a lot of films, but horror especially though. That is just my opinion though. Overall I just thought that this was a really bad movie that added nothing good to the original.
Posted on 12/17/13 04:02 PM
Raising Arizona is such an awesome movie. It is definitely my favorite Coen brother's film, and I loved every minute of it. The film was so entertaining, and it was so funny. Joel and Ethan Coen did a good job with their debut film "Blood Simple," but they hadn't perfected their filmmaking skills yet. With this film they became truly amazing filmmakers, and screenwriters. They went on to make so many other great ones after this. This film truly does show the creativity, and the style of humor that makes the Coen Brothers so good. They have a very unusual style of comedy, which is probably an acquired taste. This film however some people think is terrible, because they don't know that it is a comedy. I don't get that because the film is so funny that it is hard for me to see how you could take it as a serious movie, but for some reason some people do take it seriously. So if you haven't seen it you should know that it is a comedy going into it.
This was back when Nicholas Cage was making good movies. For some reason he can't make a good movie anymore. He was actually really good in this movie. I find that he always plays himself in everything that he does, except for Raising Arizona. This is the one film where he showed any range at all. He plays kind of a dumb stereotypical southern redneck in this, and he is really funny in it. He narrates the story too, which I think is good because I think he has a good actors voice, but however he has an accent for this though so it makes his narrating interesting. Holly Hunter was in Blood Simple and she played Ed in this story. The wife of H.I. (Nicholas Cage), and she also plays kind of a stereotypical southern redneck character. This film is mostly just stereotypical southern rednecks in my opinion, and that is what the humor is based off of. There are a lot of lines that are made funny by their accents, or because of the stupidity of the character. Coen Brothers films allow the cast to show their acting skills in my opinion, and this is a great example of a film that allows the actors/actresses to show their talent.
The story is a bout a man named H.I. McDonnough (Nicholas Cage) who has been imprisoned a few times, and after the third time he decides to change his life, and he asks Ed (Holly Hunter) the lady who takes the mug shots to marry him. They eventually decide to have a baby, but the learn that she can't have one, because she is infertile. They can't adopt one because H.I. has a criminal record, but they learn of "Arizona Quints," and they kidnap one of the five children from the house that they take care of the babies. After that they are visited by H.I.'s prison buddies Gale (John Goodman) and Avella (William Forsythe) who have escaped from prison. From that point on it is all a bunch of very funny, and weird stuff that influences H.I. to go back to being a criminal.
This was a classic film, and definitely my favorite of the Coen Brothers films. It was hilarious, witty, clever, and pretty creative. I would recommend this to everybody.
Posted on 12/14/13 08:05 AM
There are many films that I think are overrated, and many films that I think are underrated, but more that I think are overrated. I often feel like films that are visual masterpieces can be really overrated, because people will only look at how amazing the film looks, and they will overlook that it has flaws, or that the rest of the film isn't that great. Some films are more focused on visuals then an interesting story, or having great performances from the cast. People tend to feel that way about films like Avatar, Space Odyssey, and Inception, but nobody on this site seems to think that about this movie, but a lot of people I know personally tend to feel that way about this film.
I thought that this was one of the most overrated films I have seen in a long time. I really just thought that it looked amazing, and that everything else was just ok. It wasn't bad, but overall I found this film very disappointing. I really felt like it wasn't a very suspenseful, thrilling or well written film. It is incredibly well done, and directed, but the script is mediocre of you ask me. The director just makes up for it, and that is probably the reason why all the reviews are great if you ask me. If Alfonso Cuarón didn't do such a phenomenal job as a director I think that this film would have gotten more bad reviews. Some films they do everything right except for the script, and then it is bad due to the fact that they had a bad source material to work with. This is a film that isn't bad at all, but I wouldn't have felt like it was as overrated as I think it is, if there was more of a script.
There really isn't that much dialogue at all, and when they do talk they don't really say anything that interesting, or anything that tells us that much about the characters. They give little hints about the characters backgrounds, but leave the rest to our imaginations, which I didn't really like. I feel like it would have been better to tell us more about them so that way we could have grown to like certain characters, or dislike them. The beauty of dialogue is that it really develops the plot and characters. Some films do a good job with not using a lot of it, but I really felt like this one needed more of it. They need to at least use enough of it so we can develop opinions of characters, or even get attached to them. I didn't really feel any connection to anybody in the movie, and I walked out of the theater with no opinions of them. I feel like the script was written mostly just so they could show off the visuals, which were probably some of the greatest I have ever seen, but I really wish they did more to make the film seem more developed story and character wise.
Also dialogue allows good actors to act more. This film definitely had some good actors like Clooney, and Sandra bullock, but I really felt like their performances were only decent because the film didn't really demand that much of their acting talents. Sandra Bullock was decent, but Clooney was Clooney. The performance he gave I felt like I had seen in many other films. I like him, but I tend to get bored when I see him play the character he played in this film. Even though he is a good actor, I feel like he can be overrated at times. His performance in this film was nothing to talk about because he is barely in it, and when he is he isn't that impressive. Sandra however was good, but could have been better if they gave her more words to say. She had all this potential to give an amazing performance, but not enough lines to do it if you ask me.
What actually happened was that they were in space on a mission, and they get hit by a cloud of debris destroying the shuttle, and now giving them the challenge of getting home alive. It wasn't a very thrilling film, which I expected it to be going into it, and by the time it ended I really just felt like "That was it." It was an okay movie that I honestly feel like needs to stop being praised. Every year I feel like there is probably going to be one overrated movie, and for me Gravity is without a doubt the most overrated film I have seen this year.
Posted on 12/14/13 05:07 AM
"Everyone is blessed with one special thing." - Eddie Adams
Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is a high school drop out, who is discovered by a famous porn director named Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). After his mother kicks him out of the house he goes to work for Jack. He grows to like the world he is in, once he enters it. When he is asked to come up with a name for himself to be used in the porno's that he will be casted in, he comes up with the name "Dirk Diggler." Once he comes up with that he insists on being called that, and he is never called Eddie again for the rest of the film. Dirk becomes a huge star in the world of pornography, but eventually gets into drugs and goes downhill.
Boogie Nights is a very good Paul Thomas Anderson film that isn't his best, but it is one of them. It is different, because it isn't as deep, or as quirky as his other films are. I feel like it doesn't have the usual Paul Thomas Anderson style that films like Magnolia have. It has his style, but films like magnolia to me are like Paul Thomas Anderson to the max. This film seems different for him. At the same time all of his films are different, but this is one of the more unique ones for him if you ask me. What felt different about this one was that I didn't find myself thinking a ton when I watched it. It wasn't nearly as thoughts provoking for me at least as a few of his later films were.
I felt like it showed me another world that is very different, but one that is real. It made me feel like the business of pornography, which this film focuses on, isn't very different from the regular film business, except it is all revolved around sex, and people that are really messed up, but it functions the same way. It is one of these films where they made the world look like a lot of fun at first, but awful at the same time. The people in the world seemed to be really enjoying what they were doing, and passionate about it. The director Jack Horner always had these visions for his films, and he seemed so passionate and into them. He talked about it like it was great art, and I kept thinking "Come on man what you are doing isn't art, don't take it so seriously." It shows how ridiculous it all is. I feel like Paul Thomas Anderson made the film to look that way. If that was his intention he did a fantastic job. I always felt like pornography is ridiculous, and total garbage, and this film made it all look that way if you ask me.
The film also took place during the drugs, sex and rock and roll era. There was a lot of sex, and a lot of drugs. The only thing to me that was missing for most of the film was rock and roll. The sex was extremely graphic, and it got uncomfortable to be honest. They spoke about it very graphically too. Overall I felt like it was wild. The drug aspect of the film made all the characters go downhill, and ruin their lives. It eventually got violent too. Overall the film was based off of really negative things in the world so it wasn't very happy. But it did give me perspective to how messed up that world was.
This was a very interesting Paul Thomas Anderson film that showed me what I felt like was a different world. The world of pornography is pretty messed up, and this film shows that. It is also a really bizarre world, and I have a feeling that the film depicted it very accurately. Though at times the film was very uncomfortable due to the graphic sex, and the language it was very enjoyable and entertaining. It had good performances from everybody, and it was well shot.
Posted on 12/12/13 01:42 PM
The first time I watched this I absolutely hated it, and I thought it was the most overrated thing I had ever seen, and I detested every minute of it. I posted a really bad review for it saying that it was one of the worst films I had ever seen. To be perfectly honest I haven't seen enough bad films to come up with a good list of the worst films of all time, so it may not be fair for me to say that, but it was still one of the films that I hated the most. After posting my review for it, I got some comments that made me think that I should give it another try, and see if I appreciate it more the 2nd time.
But did I appreciate more the 2nd time? No I hated it just as much, and if not as much probably more the 2nd time. During my 2nd try of the film I had to stop about forty-five minutes in because I noticed myself reacting to the film the same way I did the first time, and I knew that I probably don't have it in me to watch the whole thing again. All I can say is that I just hate this movie, and it annoys me. I also find that it tries to be funny, but I don't really think it is. So overall I just don't get the fuss that is made over this film on this site or by the people I know personally. Also everybody thinks the film is so cute, which I really don't get at all. I can see where there are certain moments where it would be considered cute, but there are way more annoying ones in my opinion. The film doesn't even entertain me, and I got bored right off the bat. When I first watched it I kept waiting for the film to get better, and it didn't. It starts off kind of okay, and then just slowly gets worse and worse, and I was just glad it ended.
This guy named Tom (Joseph Gordon Levitt) meets a girl named Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), and falls for her at first sight. He thought he would never be happy until she entered his life. At first he heard that she wasn't very nice, but after he learns that she loves "The Smiths" like he does he forms a huge crush on her. He begins to obsess over her, and starts getting advice from a 12-year-old girl named Rachel Hansen (Chloe Grace Moretz), which is another part of the story that I don't like. The whole idea of a grown man getting advice on love from a twelve year old seemed kind of weird to me. I will admit though that I think that Chloe Grace Moretz is a pretty good child actress. I think she may become a big star in the future.
But back to the story, they eventually start hanging out. However they look like they are in a romance, but Summer refuses to call it a relationship. It gets annoying, because they do all the things that people do with each other when they are relationships such as having sex, handholding, sleeping together, and many other things, and she is so commitment phobic, that she will only call him her friend. It hurts him too, and when they finally start dating she ignores him at parties, and doesn't treat him like a boyfriend. She dumps him for no good reason, and after she does she just goes about eating her meal as if she didn't dump him. She is completely unsympathetic, and I feel like she would make a terrible girlfriend. The reason's why Tom can't get over her, and why he thinks she is so wonderful is beyond me. I am surprised that only few people agree with why I hated her. It felt unrealistic how she would not even acknowledge the fact that they are in a relationship. People say that this is a really realistic romantic comedy, but I don't see that at all. I am also not a fan of Zooey Deschanel. I don't think that she is that good of an actress, and I feel like she plays the same personality in everything she does. She is a talented singer, but I don't think she has any talent as an actress. Joseph Gordon Levitt I think is a pretty good actor, but I just didn't like the character he played in this film. I found him to be kind of shallow, and I felt like he only liked Summer because she is pretty and interested in him. I also get annoyed when I feel like guys I know personally fall for girls because they are attractive or interested in them. I also don't like girls that are like Summer. Part of my distaste for this movie is that it is all characters that I don't like.
I also found it annoying how they did the film in a weird timeline. It felt like a really unnecessary thing to do just to make the film more artsy or interesting. The only thing in this film that I liked was the cinematography. The film looked really good, and apparently they made it look they way it looks so it would bring out Zooey Deschanels blue eyes. It was a good effect and it did do that, but it is the only part of this film that was interesting to me.
Everything else was annoying or weird to me. Usually when I dislike a film that most people like everybody else loves I can appreciate it, but for this film I have no idea why it is so popular, and I just don't even appreciate it. The first time I reviewed this film I was hoping that people would explain to me why they like it, because I was thinking of giving it another chance. I got some explanations, and I started watching it again with a different expectation, and I didn't see the points that they gave me. I think it is just fair to say that I hate this film. It is one of the movies I dislike the most. You can disagree with me all you want, but I don't see myself ever changing my opinions on this film. I anticipate even more comments of people disagreeing with me and not liking my review, because I am even more critical of the film now then when I first saw it. Though I don't get why people like this at all I will at least respect the fact that people like it, because it is popular, and I am the minority. But I will never give this film another chance.
Posted on 12/07/13 03:34 PM
After Alfred Hitchcock did his most famous movie "Psycho (1960)" it looked like it would be hard to do anything that measured up to that. 3 years later he released the birds, which didn't reach the level of masterpiece that Psycho was, but was still one of his best films. It is the most well done film of the 60's, in terms of making things look real given the lack of technology. This is a total masterpiece and just another film that manifests Hitchcock's genius.
This like most of his other films devotes a big chunk of the movie to developing relationships, and building suspense. About 1/3 of the way through the film birds attack a little kids birthday part, marking the first of many attacks to come. The film is disturbing at times when the birds attack people because they attack kids at times. After that first attack birds of all kinds just go on attack leaving everybody scared, and paranoid. This was his scariest film for sure. The fact that it was so slow at first makes it feel even more intense later on, because one it starts to get going you feel like "woah!"
Whoever trained the birds did an incredible job. The birds really do attack people. At certain moments birds are really biting at people's faces. I think Hitchcock used a reverse green screen. I think he would film the birds flying around, and the people trying to fight them off was the green screen. For the most part everything looked really real. It is just another brilliant Hitchcock technique that probably was used many times after this.
The only flaws with the film were that some of the acting was bad, and the people were pretty stupid. Other then that the film was great.
It felt like Jaws but with birds. In jaws people were scared to go in the water, in this film people wouldn't go outside. Also the town in Jaws looked like the town in this film. Jaws came after this and it is my favorite film. I feel like you can compare the two, and they both had genius directors. Fantastic classic. One of Hitch's best.
Posted on 12/05/13 11:44 AM
"I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me. But it's hard o stay mad when there is so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I am seeing it all at once, and it is too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that is about to burst. And then I remember to relax. And stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me like rain. And I can feel anything but gratitude for every moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about do you? But don't worry you will someday." - Lester Burnham
American Beauty was the directorial debut of Sam Mendes. He won best director for this, and the movie won best picture for the year of 1999. Kevin Spacey got the award for best actor for the 2nd time in his career. The film won a total of 5 Oscars, and it is truly won of the greatest films ever made.
It is one of my favorite movies as well. I have seen this 2 and a half times, and I never watch a movie twice so that says a lot coming from me. I have a love hate thing with it however, because the characters in this movie are all really flawed and kind of nasty. There are a few characters that you really like, but even they have some really huge flaws in them. The American dream is to have a job, and a house so you can raise a family. However that dream in reality is very flawed and this movie shows that. Nobody in this movie is happy so it is a very depressing movie that bothers you at times. I found it to be a very dark black comedy. I also found it to be thought provoking, and interesting.
A dead man narrates the story. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is dead, and he is narrating the story of the last year of his life. He has less then a year before he dies, but he doesn't know it, but he pretty much already is. He is a walking cliché. He is depressed, he has been working in the same job for years, and his family thinks he is a loser. His wife Caroline (Annette Bening) is miserable, and she hates herself. She is a total fake, and she does the worst job trying to hide the fact that she is miserable. She is a bully to Lester and to their daughter Jane (Thorah Birch). I hated her completely. I thought Annette Bening did a great acting job, because I hated her character so much, and you were supposed to so she gets props for that. Jane is a typical teenage girl. She is angry, confused, and she has bad self-esteem. It doesn't help her that her friend Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari) is beautiful, and all she cares about is her looks. Angela is the most arrogant person I have ever seen. She and Caroline are the two characters that I couldn't stand. Angela is the American beauty in the story. However in the end I think that they tried to make you think that Jane is the American beauty. Because they make her look better and better as the film goes along, and they make Angela look like a really ugly person.
Lester develops a crush on her, and it is very creepy, because she is his daughter's best friend. He fantasizes about her naked in a bed of roses. The fantasies can be funny, because his facial expressions when he is in the middle of them are hilarious. I think Kevin Spacey won the Oscar for this film, because of how funny he was in the film. He eventually starts to change his life, and begins to stand up for himself, and that is when the movie gets really good. My favorite scene is when he has a fight with his wife in the middle of the night, and then he just stands up for himself and leaves her stunned. Also the scene at dinner when he starts saying how he gets treated like he doesn't exist, and he throws the plate at the wall. That scene really bothered me, but I loved it. Lester is one of the few characters who you cheer for in this film. I found that I could relate to him, because at times I want to change like he did, and basically say the hell with this. I wouldn't go as far as he did, because he did start doing weed, and blackmailed his boss. His story is another breaking bad story that you see in a lot of things. However he really starts to cause stress with his family once he starts to stand up for himself.
The next-door neighbor Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley) just moved in. He is a pot dealer, and user. He films everything that goes on around him, including Jane. It is very creepy, but he films her because he thinks she is beautiful, and because he finds her interesting. When Angela is around he ignores her, and he just films Jane. He eventually begins a relationship with her, and a friendship with Lester. He is abused by his father Colonel Fitts (Chris Cooper). Colonel Fitts is homophobic, and just a nasty person. He beats his son up a few times in the film.
The film takes you through a wide range of emotions. That is why I like it so much. You feel, sad, happy, angry, and bad for people at times. All of the characters that you hated you feel bad for in the end. The ending although you may think is sad because you can tell that Lester was happy when he died. That is not a spoiler because you know he is dead at the beginning.
Lester gets killed by Colonel Fitts because Fitts kissed him, and that brought out the fact that Colonel Fitts was a in the closet gay man. The fact that he had it in him was why he hated it so much, and it was something that made me think. You know that Lester is happy because when you see his head on the counter dead, he is smiling. Ricky walks in and is stunned by it, but then he smiles when he can tell that Lester is happy. The film started with him asking Jane is she wanted him to kill her father, and it is ironic because she got her wish.
-----End of Spoiler Alert-----
This is a film that was better the 2nd time, because I picked up on things I hadn't noticed before. I never noticed that Colonel Fitts saw a lot of things that made him suspect that his son and Lester were both gay and together. I didn't pick up on those signs the first time. Also when he shoots Lester I never noticed that when the blood hit the wall that it looked like a rose. I could never figure out the symbolism of the rose throughout the movie the first time I watched it, but I noticed it the 2nd time.
-----Comparisons to The Great Gatsby-----
Although the Great Gatsby and the movie American beauty take place 80 years apart with very different plots, there are many striking similarities between the flawed lead characters and these flaws create much drama and pain for the other characters, and often for the viewer. The flaws lead to the downfall of several characters, including the death of Gatsby and Lester, and leave most of the others scarred and damaged. The Great Gatsby and American Beauty both contain elements of class; people presenting a false image, cruelty, bullying, bigotry and dishonesty. Both stories are missing the most important elements of life including real love, good marriages, integrity, positive self-images, and treating people well. These stories involve people mostly with the opposite traits. No one should want to live the kind of lives shown in these stories.
Daisy and Carolyn have the most similarities among the main characters. Both are very miserable but they try to present an image of success, happiness and perfection to the world. Both were happy at one time in their lives, Daisy during her years in Memphis and Carolyn when she was early in her marriage and her daughter was young. Now both their marriages are farces. Daisy's husband Tom is cheating on her. Lester is fantasizing about other women and openly hostile towards Carolyn, standing up to her for the first time. Neither loves their husband. In Chapter 2 Myrtle's sister says to Nick "Neither of them can stand the person they are married to" referring to Tom Buchanan's marriage to Daisy and Myrtle's to George Wilson. Lester's hatred of Carolyn is apparent in everything he says to her and how he looks at her. And both show glimpses of how unhappy they are. Carolyn breaks down in tears and anger several times and decides to kill her husband but gets beat to it by the next-door neighbor. And you see that Daisy knows how bad her life is when she tells Nick about what she said when her daughter was born in Chapter 1, "All right, I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she will be a fool-that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool." She seems to be saying that she can't be anything better than a fool and she knows it, which makes it worse. In the end she chooses to stay with Tom despite her obvious hatred of him and the fact that Gatsby is willing to do anything for her, including take the fall for killing Myrtle. This shows how awful she is. And Angela is on her way to kill her husband but somebody beats her to it.
It seems that Jay Gatsby and Lester are very different. Gatsby is a millionaire and a man that has had many successes. Lester is working at a burger joint, smoking pot all the time and fantasizes about his daughter's friend. No one looks up to Lester like they do Gatsby. But they are both flawed in similar ways. They are both guys who want to change their lives even if what they do is illegal or hurts others. Both men want women that seem to be awful women. Lester fantasizes about his daughter's best friend Angela who he thinks is beautiful, but she is actually a terribly flawed person. Angela is arrogant, nasty, and conceited as you can possibly be, and she hurts everyone around her. Gatsby wants Daisy, who he builds up to represent perfection and him achieving what he wants in life, but she is actually a shallow terrible person. They both waste their time fantasizing on women that aren't good for them or worth them. Both are delusional about these women too. Lester lifts weights so he can be more attractive to Angela. In Chapter 4 Jordan tells Nick "Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay." This could be like Lester lifting weights to impress Angela, except he is using his fantastic mansion to impress Daisy even though she already chose someone else. Both men don't get what they want in the end, Gatsby loses Daisy and Lester does not take the opportunity Angela offers him. By the end you have sympathy and some admiration for both yet at the end they are hated by others and this leads to their ultimate downfall. Both men are shot and killed by men who accused them of doing something they didn't do-Gatsby of killing Myrtle and Lester of having sex with his killer's son leading to the father revealing his own repressed homosexuality.
There is bullying in both stories as well. Angela, Carolyn and the Colonel all bully throughout American Beauty. Angela makes fun of and demeans anyone that disagrees or interferes with what she wants. She constantly demeans Ricky because he feels he is taking her friend away. The Colonel bullies his son and wife. And Carolyn bullies her husband and daughter. She demeans her husband by reminding him the moneymaker in the family. In Gatsby Tom Buchanan and Myrtle Wilson bully and demean others. Tom demeans and bullies Wilson throughout the story and bullies Myrtle. Gatsby in the scene in the hotel room in Chapter 7 when he says "I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife." He is trying to make Gatsby seem worthless since he was poor without a prominent family name. In Chapter II Myrtle demeans her husband when she says "the only crazy I was when I married him. I knew right away I made a mistake. He borrowed someone's best suit to get married in, and never even told me about it, and the man came after it one day when he was out." She is demeaning him for being poor. She demeans and bullies him to his face as well. Myrtle always tries to act like she is someone she is not like both Angela and Carolyn in American Beauty. And all three women are very unhappy and insecure underneath.
There are huge differences between the stories and I liked American Beauty much more. Nothing gets resolved in Gatsby. I felt the same way about everyone all the way through. None of the characters were reformed or redeemed in any way. In American Beauty there are several stories of redemption. The main one is Lester standing up for himself and becoming happy. He even dies happy. Ricky stands up to his father. And Jane stands up to her bullying friend Angela and becomes happy with Ricky. She becomes the American Beauty. You even feel sympathy for the characters you hate in American Beauty like the Colonel and Carolyn. In the Great Gatsby the only person that generates any sympathy is Gatsby, but not much, since he is as delusional as ever. Wilson is a sympathetic figure until the end when he kills Gatsby and himself. I feel that readers and viewers want stories where there is a mix of good and bad characters as well as stories of redemption and felt that the Great Gatsby portrayed only bad character so Fitzgerald could convey his feelings for that time.
-----End of Comparison-----
This is an amazing movie that demands to be re-watched. The acting is awesome, and so is the story. Perfect movie.