Toy Story 4
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An old and silly, Peter Jackson film where Michael J. Fox plays a guy that can communicate with ghosts. He tricks people as he makes the ghosts haunt houses, then he makes them go away after getting fairly payed.
Fox is doing a great role here - often he is all alone in the scenes, as the ghosts are put in by effects. It reminds me a bit of "Ghostbusters" but even more "Beetlejuice" - another big film that I never really liked.
The film's biggest problem for me is the way it tries to be both serious, scary and funny at the same time. Non of it really works as it's to silly. The story is OK but it fail to engage me. The film is also too long. I fell out of it several times, and never really got into it. The music, the acting and the pretty OK effects saves it a bit, but it's not a good film for me.
4.5 out of 10 garden gnomes.
Cool face Paul Dano's first directorial feature and he brings along a good friend in Jake Gyllenhaal. He is the father of the family. He works hard, he is good at what he does, but when the boss makes a mistake of letting him go he clearly make sure that he does not want back.
He wants to go on to bigger jobs, more exciting ones, even if this means to leave his family for several weeks. Jeanette is not cool with it. She offers to work more, so he doesn't have to, but no - Jerry must follow this through. She find's it hard to cope alone. The only one finding it harder is the son of the house, Joe.
Joe is 14 and a good boy. He works hard at school, he got a sparetime job and he always does what he's told. The rather fighty break in his parent's relationships is bugging him plenty. For me he is the protagonist here, while to more known actors like Carey Mulligan and Jake are strong pieces of the puzzle.
It has a good look, a strong pace and solid imagery. It's not sad or dramatic, it's not lifted or fun, but it's slack drama that is not overdone at all. It's sat in the 60's or something and it surely got that look. A good effort and a very descent film debut.
7 out of 10 family portraits.
Barbara Loden's only film is a quiet and sad one. The earlier pin-up model plays a useless girl that breaks up with her husband and leave him with her young kids in one of the earlier scenes. She is up to no good. Poor and lounging around without friends she teams up with the first man to fetch her some beers at cheap bars.
She hooks up with a crook. A really mean guy treating her really bad. She accepts it - she know she's nothing.
This is presented in a quiet and subtle way. It feels very real and you feel sorry for the poor girl. It got re-released recently with a facelift. It looks fresh, still got that old look. It's a great portrayal and the type of film that hits you even after it's done.
7.5 out of 10 hair rollers.
Chiwetel Ejiofor's debut and he also does one of the main characters here.
A young boy in Malawi is struggling a bit at school. He is smart, but the teachers does not like his ways at times. This is does not stop the young man as he wants to build a windmill that can pump water to make sure the small Malawian village survives the dry summer. He get parts from a nearby dump. Some old batteries, some cables and an old pump and he is almost ready to go.
This is the true story of how William Kamkwamba put up his windmill but there's also plenty of more stuff going on here. That's the negative aspect for me here. The entire thing seem like a subplot among all the other things. His sister that's dating the teacher, the father that stresses out to do right, and the mother that cries for the lack of food.
It should be a good film, and it partly is, but with such a story I was hoping for way more.
6 out of 10 bikes.
A bouncer-like Italian in New York is out of jobs. A nice, but simple fella and a true family man. He got a lovely wife and some kids and need a new steady income and luckily for Tony a very gifted pianist is in need of a tour driver.
Dr. Donald Shirley is quite the opposite. A loner, that's got a way with both words and manners as well as his piano skills. Back in the 1960's color was still a big matter in the US, and on this journey the two differently colored men get a taste of that.
This is a layered but extremely well directed and superbly written film. It's about differences, loneliness, hate, love, fried chicken, standing up for eachother and change, but most importantly it's about friendship.
It's cast is brilliant ant the performances are ace. This is a ride that never brings dull or unneeded moments and it's got that bright comedy tones all over and manage to never get silly or dumb. Sure, it's a bit oversentimental and easy to predict, but it works. Think of "The Intouchables" meeting "Driving Miss Daisy" or something. This is fun, this is safe, this is entertaining.
I don't get the hate here. Sure, it's a bit controversial with the racial matter stuff, but I find it both important and pretty believeable. One of the better Oscar winners or Oscar nominated films of the year for me. It caught my interest fast and kept me glued, with smiles, laughs and tears all over my face.
8.5 out of 10 gemstones.