James Townsend's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Catfight (2017)
4 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

(4 out of 5 stars) -- Hysterical from start to finish in a way that is downright brutal at times. Yet, there is a lot of heart to be found within these warped characters that reflect so much of what is wrong with today's society personally and politically. Heche and Oh hit hard being as nasty as they can be one minute and heartbreaking the next. Loved it! (Oh, and Alicia Silverstone is even "good" again!). This would make an excellent stage-play-- think "CARNAGE" but a lot more black & blue!!!

Jackie (2016)
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

(4 out of 5 stars) It has now been a few days since I have watched "JACKIE" and it still lingers with me. For some reason, I keep going back to this film in my mind. All in all, I suppose it is safe to say, I loved it. Natalie Portman is terrific. The cinematography and score deliver a truly haunting experience in this intimate portrayal of the few days between Kennedy's assassination and the funeral itself. Natalie taps into a layer of JACKIE that is beautiful, broken, strong and at times downright disturbing. There is a strong sense of dark intensity in this quiet telling. You feel as if the entire thing can crack open at any moment. I admit, there were times I thought Portman was being a bit "cartoony" in her portrayal of JACKIE during the White House tours and in front of the press. But, then I looked up some actual interviews and footage from the time and was left in awe. Portman was delivering every quirk, whisper, forced confidence and allure JACKIE possessed. The assassination scenes are finally horrific. For the film being so subdued, when the moment of history finally comes, it is shocking in a way no other film on the subject matter has tackled. For once, a film seemed to capture the absolute surprise, chaos, terror and emotion of the moment. The shots of JACKIE realizing what had just happened, as the car races past the crowds hit hard! It is an unexpected emotional punch that leads to a fever-like dream in the days after...

Manchester by the Sea
6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

(3.5 of 5 stars) Here is a film that captured me with the trailers and I felt that I was sure to love. I was wrong. I only wound up liking it. That comes as quite a difference when so many award nominations have been plastered on. While there are moments of great writing, comedic relief that does bring the chuckles, and some nice establishing shots of the sea (many, many establishing shots of the sea!) the film never quite manages to hit the utter heartbreak that I anticipated and heard rave reviews about. In the end, what we have is a dreary, slice of life, reminder that everyone carries baggage and that life, as harsh as it may be, simply moves on with or without us. Michelle Williams is brilliant in practically everything she is in. She is again good here. Yet, has very little to work with for screen time. So much, that her major breakdown, you may have seen in the trailers, is that one moment you wait for... and wait for... then finally get and are left with, as I said, "Hell, she did better emotion in DAWSON'S CREEK!". It is true. Jen Lindley left me a blubbering mess of tears many times. Her series finale scenes still rank as some of the saddest, tear-jerking, work I have viewed. Here, in MANCHESTER, as Randi... I didn't feel much connection. The audience simply does not get enough time with her to truly feel the life-shattering tragedy she has endured. How the Academy has nominated her for Best Supporting Actress for such minuscule screen time, is beyond me. Casey Affleck has some high moments in the film. But, overall, he did not deliver anything groundbreaking. His delivery was made up of a lot of "safe" choices. His persona of a "stoic" and "broken man" with a favoritism for the "F" word (an easy joke worked in a bit too many times) was presented, quite often, through a lot of empty stares. Where was the utter rage, antics of depression, and overall experience of the grief process? The lack of exploring these layers made me feel as if the guy pretty much didn't quite care about his own loss or that Affleck simply wasn't brave enough to tackle the elements presented in the story to full capacity. Lucas Hedges could have easily been replaced by another young actor for the same effect. I kept thinking how if this were made just a few years earlier, Logan Lerman could have slid into the role quite easily. And, again-- this is yet another character that is suffering through a major loss and yet he is more focused on losing his virginity and being an utter spoiled brat in the midst of everything. His teenage acts of deflecting emotion and occupying the time with distractions rang true. But, melting down over frozen poultry just left me shaking my head. And the rest of the cast. Matthew Broderick? Why? what was the purpose? He just was "there" all of a sudden. The teenage girls were irritating as hell, as they usually are! But these are girls you wanted to slap upside the head just because the urge exists. Therefore, I guess they served their purpose. But, is it really that hard to depict a "nice girl" or a "smart girl" rather than falling into the trash-mouth, slutty, bimbo, Boston-stereotype? MANCHESTER is not a bad movie. It is not the "drink coaster" a few screener recipients claimed it to be. It is indeed a good film. It just is not the "Masterpiece", "Heartbreaking and heartwarming emotional wallop" of a film critics label it as. For me, it is not "Best Picture" quality. Yet, it is a film that will probably grow on me down the road once all of the hype finally settles.