Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Our memories can be both our best friends and our worst enemies, and Michel Gondry's kaleidoscopically bonkers but brilliant sophomore feature shows us that whatever pain our regrets may amount to mean nothing in the face of even the tiniest bit of joy. Charlie Kaufman's screenplay is an ambitious blend of surrealist sci-fi and romantic angst that comprises one of the best nonlinear narratives of the 2000's, and Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet give performances that both warm and break the heart. Also a must watch if you're into in-camera illusionary techniques
Believe it: they made a PG-13 Die Hard movie that actually works. And while the blood spurts and F-bombs are sorely missing, the essence of the series remains intact. In other words, expect plenty of spectacular stunts and jaw-dropping set pieces, and of course the character of John McClane, whose wisecracks and no-nonsense attitude haven't diminished a bit despite a decade plus of screen absence. Also noteworthy is Justin Long, who manages to be a perfectly suitable, surprisingly not-annoying sidekick, and a resonant dinosaur-in-a-digital-age theme that actually justifies the choice to bring the series back after so long
Vengeance ditches the one man, one location formula of the franchise's first two installments in favor of a more sprawling story that can be convoluted at times, but is great fun nonetheless and never fails to keep you on the edge of your seat. Willis is as wry, profane and self-deprecating as ever in his most iconic role, and is matched wonderfully with Samuel L. Jackson as his forced-to-be partner in crime. Combined with a much more charismatic villain than round two, this third film is, in my opinion, the second best of the Die Hard series
This is a formulaic action sequel where the formula works in its favor- part of its secret to success, as expected, comes from the inherent appeal and rooting interest of John McClane, who remains a dynamic and most importantly human (despite being able to delay the fuses of live grenades) hero. However, the plot does become pretty preposterous at times, and the villain pales in comparison to that of the first film. But the action and stunts don't disappoint, so in the end the status of another solid, rewarding Die Hard adventure is well earned
One of the things we as human beings tend to shut out of our lives is the task of evaluating the meaning of our own existence- can't we just live for living's sake? Akira Kurosawa challenges viewers to take on this simple-at-first but daunting challenge in his tragically beautiful, poignant and unforgettable Ikiru. Longtime Kurosawa collaborator Takashi Shimura gives a solemn and quietly devastating performance (be sure to open the tear duct floodgates when he begins to sing in a standout scene), and the script is brilliantly structured in a two-act formula that allows us to evaluate the protagonist's life- and the meaning of life in general- from both sides of the fence