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Movies | TV seasons
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

(2014)
7 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It's hard to even imagine that the sequel to Rise, a good movie, was taken on with this team of filmmakers to make THIS. It's a visual miracle of effects and cinematography, with a lot of social and political commentary as well as emotion and humanity. In other words, it has absolutely everything you could ever want from it.
The film looks absolutely amazing. I was impressed with the atmospheric look and luscious color palates of each frame as well as the attention to detail, all enhanced under Reeves's spacious direction. Even though it may not happen, it truly deserves a cinematography nomination from the Oscars. The 3D is some of the best I've ever seen, as the images don't look layered, but deep and seamless, adding to the overall experience. The apes look incredible and real, with emotionally captivating motion capture performances from Andy Serkis and the rest of the ape crew. The creation of these apes along with all other visual effects in the film amounts to what is one of the great visual achievements of the decade.
The writers have clearly realized the full potential of the franchise, incorporating social and political themes into an already compelling story of good and evil. The apes and humans are both given equal weight here. At best they want peace, family, and security, and at their worst they are power-hungry, ignorant, and biased. This is a war caused by misunderstanding that's truth is difficult for the humans and apes to see underneath the hatred. It's a smart and layered war tale that resonates beyond the surface.
Not a wrong step taken, not a moment out of place, everything here feels authentic and right. Some may complain of a lack of character development but the film is more concerned with painting a broad picture of societies than with characters and this feels right. The end is simultaneously tragic and hopeful, at once revealing the best and worst of humanity (and apemanity for that matter). You'll be eagerly anticipating the future of the franchise, especially since Matt Reeves still looks to be on board for directing, and I think Reeves is on track to be someone pretty great. I hope it ends in a definitive trilogy because that's all it needs otherwise it will simply be episodes. Andy Serkis for Oscar? I wouldn't be against it. This franchise has become much more than it started out as and will hopefully continue that way. You have to see this movie. It's WAAAY better than it needs to be, and proves what a blockbuster can be to make everybody very happy.

Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer

(2014)
8 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A riveting sci-fi spectacle that also nails it as a detailed and well thought out allegory. It just keeps getting better, constantly adding on pieces that feed the brain while remaining inventive in its entertaining entertainment value. Not feeling a 5/5 but nonetheless a highlight of the year. I'd tell anyone to seek it out.

Enemy

Enemy

(2014)
22 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

You'll watch Enemy thrilled by the mystery of it all and the suspenseful pacing, and then the ending will make you go "AAH scawy spidow! Wait, whaaat?" and then you'll be confused and have a decent time trying to piece it together a bit, even cheating on the internet a bit. Maybe that was just me, but it seems like that's how it's supposed to happen.
Anyway, like I mentioned, it is a suspenseful and gripping experience, and a psychological one for the characters, making it even more of a mystery for the audience to figure out exactly what is effecting these characters on that level. The cinematography is carefully composed and lit to beauty, and the pacing is slow burning, letting you soak it in. The experience watching the film is different from the one I had after it ended, however. The ending throws you off and pretty much leaves it to you to forget it or to look into it. I liked the movie enough to look into it a bit and it is quite the puzzle, with many details and interpretations allowing the audience to rethink the whole film and what it's really about. However, this wasn't totally rewarding. The film still seems quite mysterious and I'm not sure what I discovered holds up all that deep. It explains the surface and the psychological emotion of the film, but doesn't say all that much. I don't claim to know the puzzle, but I have enough for myself to be satisfied with.
Overall, it's an enjoyably tense and sometimes spooky mystery that's puzzle isn't over when the movie is. That leaves the film a bit unsatisfying but also allows it to linger, and the lingering doesn't quite make up for the unsatisfaction. Enough stays with me that I would say I certainly liked Enemy, such as the visual metaphors, mysterious details, and psychological suspense of it all.

The Double

The Double

(2014)
26 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

What's so compelling to me about The Double is that it is always engaging and existing on deeper levels that deal with identity, ego, and the desire to be noticed and unique. On top of these is some eccentric and joyfully stylish direction with humor and surrealism to spare.
From the start, it's strange and other-worldly in a way that made me wonder if the rest of the movie was going to make any sense, but the story makes perfect sense and I adjusted to the perplexing little details and oddities, as they became part of the surreal style and fit in with how confounding the whole thing is in a very enjoyable way.
I was very much able to latch onto a whole other layer to the story. It's about a Jesse Eisenberg who is practically invisible to the world and another Jesse Eisenberg that is everything the real one wants to be. Both actually exist (there's no twist here) and no one seems to notice because the first one practically doesn't exist to them. Simultaneously, though, it's obvious that these two are metaphorically the same person, and that practically plays out on the surface, even though the film doesn't say it. It's about the struggle between a man and his own alter ego, although it's not actually his own in the film. What I think this film achieves so well is that so much seems to exist in this story without actually existing.
I loved that it was always dealing with themes and ideas that I was able to connect with (mentioned above). The film's conclusion certainly feels right, but doesn't conclude a whole lot more than what we already had, which was a lot to begin with. It is quite a rewarding ride, and a ride indeed. Many people might find the style off-putting, since it is so prominent and surreal, but I found it exhilarating and was very impressed with Ayoade's storytelling abilities. I also need to mention that Jesse Eisenberg was great, creating two characters that we are able to tell apart without any visual cues. I don't know how to end this but I'm done so its over.

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Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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