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Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting

(1997)
4 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

An original story concerning a janitor (Matt Damon) who works at MIT, before he is discovered by an arrogant professor (Stellan Skarsgard) after he solves a theorem only a handful of people in the world can figure out. This leads to an unstable but always interesting partnership of the two, which eventually develops into a raw relationship between the young man and the professor's former roommate (Robin Williams), who is a psychiatrist. This is a very well done film, due in large part to the screenplay, which is simply sensational, as well as the overall solid acting, led by Damon, Driver, and the always versatile Williams. Van Sant does an outstanding job capturing the atmosphere of Boston, and implements this backdrop into a tale of human emotion and uncovering brilliance in the most unlikely of situations.

Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin

(2014)
11 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A quietly devastating and brutal picture about a mysterious figure named Dwight (Macon Blair) who journeys home to Virginia after hearing someone he knows is being released from jail. Director Jeremy Saulnier does a simply outstanding job developing an atmosphere that is full of absolute dread and shrouded in uncertainty. At the helms of the story is the little-known Blair, and the work he turns in is phenomenal stuff. The movie sometimes seems like it is pushing its violent storyline a bit too far at times to continue to shock its audience, but outside of that, this is a really-well done movie. It is full of gore, violence, and distasteful subject matter, but deserves a ton of credit in how it tackles the subject of revenge and how one mistake by two people can cripple so many around them.

The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans

(1992)
11 days ago via Movies on iPhone

One of the best motion pictures ever made. An emotional, rich journey full of plenty of twists and turns, with the perfect hero to root for in Day-Lewis. The most impressive aspect of the entire film is director Michael Mann's eye for scenery - as this movie contains some of the most breathtaking in cinematic history. The love story between Lewis and Stowe is constructed beautifully, and the plot is paced to utter perfection. In addition, Wes Studi turns in a frightening, unforgettable performance as a man stripped of basic human emotions, whose thirst for revenge is what makes him so terrifying, since that is about all that drives him. The ending of the film is simply magnificent, and I have to say out of all the movies I've seen, this one features the best finale to a film that I can recall. It is intense, beautiful, stirring, and ultimately tragic but perfectly executed - I'm moved everytime I see it, and that's a testimony to the movie's ability to harness its power even after all the times I've viewed it. The score is also the best of the films I've seen - what a soaring soundtrack. Without question Michael Mann's best film, and one of my all-time favorite movies.

The Way Way Back

The Way Way Back

(2013)
13 days ago via Movies on iPhone

A likeable enough coming of age story concerning an insecure, troubled teenager (Liam James) who is forced to go to his mother's boyfriend's (Steve Carell) beach house with them for the summer despite wanting to be with his real father. Once there, he stumbles into a summer job at a local water park, and makes friends with a 40's something staff member (Sam Rockwell) still attempting to live in his early days, and strikes up a potential romantic relationship with the cute girl next door (Annasophia Robb). While it is largely predictable and it has some moments of being absolutely corny, including the finale at the water park, it is still likable enough. It is an average movie with great performances, especially Rockwell, and it definitely has its heart in the right place. Not an outstanding movie by any stretch of the imagination, but far from bad.

Dog Pound

Dog Pound

(2013)
17 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A well-meaning but ultimately disappointing and hollow take on a juvenile center focused around the lives of three boys recently put into the system, and what they experience during their time there. For the first half of the film, it is surprisingly gripping and realistically filmed and plotted. However, in the second half of the movie it veers left into "melodrama" territory, where you hardly start to believe anything that is happening and the story takes its lenses off of the boys in the facility and instead makes a hail-mary middle-finger attempt at the correctional officers. The acting is pretty good, about what you would expect for an indie film. In the end though, there are just too many scenes that feel fake and forced, not to mention pretty predictable, and the film never seems to decide what it wants to be truly about anyways.

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