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The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
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Margaret: I painted every single one of em'; every 'big eye'; me. And no one will ever know but you...
The chance to see a director switch gears and focus on something far separated from their previous work can be exciting. As a Tim Burton fan, I do not fault him for making a lot of films that seem right up his alley. That the recent output has not been as compelling as the films in his past is unfortunate, but now we have Big Eyes, which reteams Burton with the writers of Ed Wood, arguably Tim Burton's best feature film. The resulting product is a smaller scale, more personal story than anything Burton has been involved with in quite some time, featuring two strong, lead performances. It is not an over-the-top fantasy, but a drama that delves into the worth of one's identity.
Gandalf: You have but one question to answer: How shall this day end?
The second cinematic Middle-Earth trilogy has ended and now we are back where we started in 2002. I am happy for those who are excited to rewatch The Lord of the Rings trilogy, following this 'defining chapter,' but I am left with other curiosities. Having never read J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit, I am curious about whether or not audiences who enjoyed what I am aware is a reasonably amusing book for a younger crowd were hoping to see a blood-thirsty final film to close this three-film adaptation. My impression, after first learning of the films that we would be getting was that of an understanding that we'd be dealing with more light-hearted Middle-Earth adventures. I did not get much of that in the previous Hobbit films and certainly not with The Battle of the Five Armies, but that would be less of an issue, if the movie was still good, regardless. Well, it's not bad, but as much as I like seeing lots of action on display, there is a point where enough is enough, and with this film...well I'm just happy "One Last Time" is part of its mantra.
I had fun with this film. There is more to read, but how much do I really need to say about the third film in a series about Ben Stiller interacting with museum exhibits that come to life at night, thanks to the power of a magic tablet? Okay, so maybe that sentence alone can be deconstructed plenty, given how absurd it may sound, but with that in mind, I cannot say the Night at the Museum franchise has been one I have been overly enthusiastic about, but I can say I've enjoyed the sequels more than the original film. They are simple enough family comedies, featuring enough supporting performances going over-the-top in ways that make me smile to recommend them for what they are: harmless fun. Given the sense of finality in this installment, a little extra something is added, but for the most part, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb may not be the sequel everyone has been pining for, but it is an easy watch for the intended audience.
Former flames, big time real estate moguls, something called the Golden Fang, and of course, lots of drugs; it looks like Doc might be getting in over his head. Following There Will Be Blood and The Master it is nice to see writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson lighten up with Inherent Vice, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's comedic detective novel of the same name, which places Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role of a private investigator looking into a missing person's case. While there certainly is a lot of plotting that develops, the film puts itself in the intriguing position of not really using that as a focus. True to Anderson's style, the film is much happier to explore the world and characters deposited into it, making for a bizarre, yet very entertaining feature.
Moses: Remember this. I am prepared to fight. For eternity.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is an epic. There is no way around that. Regardless of my thoughts on the film as a whole, director Ridley Scott has made a film that is grand in scale, fully realized in its depiction of an ancient time, and littered with extras, sets, props, and obvious visual effects in an effort to tell the story of Moses in ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, despite clear effort being put forth, the film is lacking in much emotional heft and, despite its runtime, the film feels rushed in execution, based on the straightforward telling of the narrative. It did not end up feeling like a drag, given the way the grand theatricality matched up with the fairly rote storytelling, but at the same time, Exodus does not capture the weight of this story in the way I am sure many would have hoped.