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Rating History

Blue Jasmine
Blue Jasmine (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Woody Allen directs good, but not great. He writes well, but not superb. He acts with charm, but not with emotion. The thing about Woody Allen is he's got all the positive qualities: just not the amazing ones. His movies always fall short of great, let alone sometimes good. He makes lovely films but none the audience feels fully immersed in, for Allen does it all for hobby rather than for art and entertainment. Sure, Allen made Annie Hall and Manhattan, but he makes stink fests, too (movies every other year). He's definitely lost his touch as a director, but I can tell you, he hasn't lost his passion. While I am not the biggest Woody Allen fan, if word is good, I'll watch his movie. And now and then, I might even enjoy it.
Blue Jasmine came out in 2013 and Woody Allen directed and wrote it. It starred Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Canavale and Alec Baldwin. Cate Blanchett acted very well in this film. Not a such a strong force it made the film amazing, but she still performed her very best. Sally Hawkins also acted herself into this role. She cried, Cate cried, she cried, Cate cried, Bobby Canavale cried. Hot off his emmy win, Canavale brought real emotion to his character and while his screen time was limited, I think he deserved a Best Suppoting Oscar nomination. Baldwin played a jerk, and while not a very memorable jerk, he played a jerk well. The entire ensemble, while small, played off each other well with superb chemistry. The acting hands down carried a lot of the movie, even if the writing and directing did not. And as always in Allen flms, they usually do not.
Now Allen makes good movies. He's not utter crap, but he isn't spectacular either. He's always been "meh", not superb, but he works it out pretty well in this movie. The direction works well, and he puts his own slow, boring Woody Allen burn on the movie. But as I watch this, I begin to realize I actually like the slow Woody Allen burn more and more. Not necessarily fun to watch, but it still provides a sort of style that's simple and enjoying. That said, the film falters in a lot of it's use of music, it's use of cinematography and it's use of location. All of it needed to be put together better and put together with more care, not how Allen does most of his movies. Still, I enjoyed the direction in total and liked how it worked in the movie. Not the greatest direction, and sometimes not even good direction, Allen still uses his direction to tell a story, and sometimes that's all you need.
Allen's writing in this film was very strong. It was good, but it was also a deterrence at times. The writing was funny at times, but definitely never laugh out loud funny. His strong point was in his ability to bring out emotions. Neurotic emotions, yes, but great emotions. The writing simply lacked humor it could've used and was at times lacking of character relatibility to the audience. Allen in total had strong writing but with few jokes, something a comedy needs. But now a days you see the trend with emotional comedies that use dark, relationship humor such as The Kids Are All Right do well. But I don't like those movies. But I really did like this one, simply the writing could've been a bit better. Allen still does a nice job making the movie.
In the end, I did enjoy Blue Jasmine, but Allen could've made it better as he could always with his movies: by improving the directing and writing. That will be the best, but still, a good movie with good performances. 7/10.

The Apartment
The Apartment (1960)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Many great actors are on this earth. Many of them in TV, many of them in film, many on the stage. So out of all these actors, it's hard to choose one that's the best. Many of us choose a single actor as our favorite, my personal favorite being Dustin Hoffman. But I also have a wide variety of actors that I am excited to watch any and every movie by them, including Leonardo DiCalrio, Kevin Spacey, James Stewart, Jack Nicholsan and a few more. One of the actors that belong in this group for me is a new favorite of mine: Jack Lemmon. I grist saw Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot, and his performance in that movie was great. I began to enjoy him as an actor and researched more movies he had done. His character in Some Like It Hot was an outlandish, silly, comedic supporting character, acting in a way that made me seem he could never play anything else. His performance in Some like It Hot also seemed like he was acting a bit and not in character sometimes, trying a bit too hard to be funny when he wasn't. This only happened very little in Some Like It Hot, and overall his performance was grand. But then he acted in The Apartment. An amazing, amazing performance, Jack Lemmon's brilliance in The Apartment mixed all the ideas of tenderness, comedy, innocence, reality and honesty. He was such a good actor in that movie, giving one of the best lead performance I've seen by an actor in a long time. After The Apartment, I needed to see more Jack Lemmon. This was the same sort of stuff that happens to me when I watch Kevin Spacey in a movie. Every time he shows up on screen I shout "hooray" and love to watch them. Lemmon is the same way for me, and whenever I hear his name I get real excited. What it is these actors do, whether it bet heir quirky faces, their amazing personalities, their flaw here and there and their ability to take on roles in such different fashion makes me love Jack Lemmon and a lot of other actors. Every day I find more actors like this, and as I type Mark Ruffalo, Bryan Cranston, and Jason Bateman pop into my mind as actors like this. So good, and so varied, there is a gigantic group of actors out there, lead make actors, who can not only carry and act in a movie, but make audiences entranced and love them every time they show up on screen. And for me, there are a lot more to discover.

The Apartment is a 1960 romantic drama written by IAL Diamond and Billy Wilder. It stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, and Jack Kruschenk. It's about a man named C.C. Baxter who is an employee of a major business, and he lends his apartment to the executives of the business. IAL Diamond and Billy Eilder first wrote Some Like It Hot together, and the dialogue there was very funny. While this film is a bit lighter on the comedy side, I still wouldn't completely call it a drama, for it fits in a category that is mellow, light-hearted but also with realistic characters in a realistic setting. Diamond and Wilder wrote the characters very well, fully explaining their personalities and styles. Jack Lemmon's character, for example, is extremely kind and honest and caring, but he also has a strong side in which he will do whatever he needs to so he can help someone. His character is very selfless, and while it may seem every other film protagonist is perfect, this man does not have perfect qualities but still seems like the perfect man. Diamond and Wilder made you root for him no matter what, even though his character may seem generic (Lemmon saves the character from becoming like that). Fred MacMurray's character as well may seem like an antagonist, but he is written to a point where he is not evil and simply a man who makes mistakes and has a guilty conscience. I was a little annoyed by Shirley MacLaine's character and her timid performance at first, but slowly her character became stronger, and while she was not all that great of a character at the end, the movie still couldn't be done without her. Diamond and Wilder also wrote amazing dialogue, with such memorable quotes as "That's the way it crumbles" and "Shut up and deal". Thinking back on the movie, they had amazing, real engrossing dialogue that hasn't aged a bit and seems amazing. But Diamond and Wilder's true triumph is not in story, dialogue, or characters, but in the way they make a film that lacks any conventional genre. It's not comedy, not drama, not romance, although it has blends of each. It beats all these genres and uses them to perfection in a movie that makes the film industry wonder how such a sweet, tender and amazing movie defies all cinematic boundaries of genre, and rather pulls all those boundaries in. all around, IAL Diamond and Billy Wilder do not disappoint when it comes to writing a story that truly is unlike anything ever made.

Jack Lemmon surely was a lead actor in this movie, but the thing is that he was a lead actor, but the film felt as if he was equal to everyone else. His importance was just the same as all the characters and his development was just as good. The real beauty in this ensemble cast is the chemistry between everyone. Really perfect chemistry that allowed everyone to have what seemed like equal screen time, but they didn't. They didn't but it seems like they did and that's because they all worked together so well. Shirley MacLane, although a bit annoying and pointless at start, was a decent character. Her performance was fine, but I felt almost anyone could've played her. Still, she worked well with Jack Lemmon, and Jack Lemmon's performance helped the audience to believe he would actually love her. Fred MacMurray was also great, and was deserving of a nomination in my opinion. He was kind of an antagonist, but he helped the audience to feel he wasn't evil as well as mistaken and had a tendency to fall into need. He played the character very well, though. One actor that was nominated for this film was Jack Kruscheck, who gave a good performance, but he was not very memorable. Jack Lemmon, though, in total, was amazing. His tender acting, his kind face and happy demeanor makes anyone who watches the film seem happy. He deserved an Oscar for this film, and he didn't get one. Unlike many other performances out there, Jack Lemmon is fantastic. One of my new favorite actors, and I've only seen two films by him. In total, the whole cast of The Apartment does really well, and they deserve all the recognition they can get, with Lemmon at the front.

Billy Wilder, though. All I can say about him is amazing things. Some Like It Hot was a great, great film, with direction way ahead of it's time, but Billy fully understood his direction and his style of making film in this movie. His fluidity in his characters, and his ability to make everyone on screen look so good was amazing. Fantastic lighting and cinematography, Wilder directed his scenes amazingly. The camera angles were very memorable and the way he brought emotions to the audience was very good. There was a problem in one scene though where it actually looked like a set or a stage, and the movie didn't immerse me that much. But soon I was brought out of it. But the one thing that impressed me so much about this movie's direction is the way it looked subtle, shot subtle, and used subtle music made the music scream with class and style. The Apartment should be Billy Wilder's signature movie when it comes to showing his direction, and his direction should be showcased wherever it can be. The look of the movie and the feeling I get whenever I think of the film is pure honesty and simplicity, and also great precision and great heart. Billy Wilder directs films for people to enjoy, for people to rush to the theater to watch opening day. And every second of Billy Wilder is amazing filmmaking, and some that I would love to see more of.

There's so much more I wanted to say about this film, but I'll start to close it here: The Apartment is American filmmaking at a level that's so good it doesn't even fit in a genre. Such a simple sorry, such a captivating group of characters and such amazing dialogue and writing make this film a classic. IAL Diamond and Billy Wilder defied genre and made a film that could be almost anything, and affected the human emotions like no other. While the movie could be a little slow at times, it was still fantastic to watch. Diamond and Wilder wrote true chemistry between characters and provided a plot climax and ending that was not climactic or a true conclusion, but was rather realistic and hones to the heart. Lemmon and the rest of the cast acted fantastically throughout, with MacLane, MacMurray, and Krushen playing supporting performances all deserving of nods. Billy Wilder perfected his directing style in this film, with many people saying it was his last great film. He made the simple look complicated and the complicated look simple, making the entire film a joy to the eyes and emotionally captivating. But with people like Jack Lemmon at the helm, it's hard not to love the film in total. So strong and yet so quiet, his performance is what male actors should all strive to try for. Characters like his make us love the characters and the movie, and actors like him go through our minds because we do. Without excellent actors like Jack Lemmon, not many good films could be made. But this film was as best as it could be made, and Lemmon made
It possible. It's just one of my favorites... movie-wise. 9/10.

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12 Years a Slave
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The 2013 Oscar race was a tight race. A very, very tight race. My personal favorite to win was Gravity, and American Hustle was deep in the talks for a shot to beat out all the other films. To be honest, though, there was always one thought out clear front runner in the race: 12 Years A Slave. Throughout the Best Picture race, 12 Years A Slave was always thought to take the win. Gravity, maybe, could beat it out, but it was still pretty far behind. 12 Years A Slave's profound message is clear simply through the title itself, and a movie hasn't been this powerful since Schindler's List. It was obvious it would sin the Best Picture, even with Lupita N'yongo grounded to win her Oscar and Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor the frontrunners at one point in their categories. So clearly, 12 Years A Slave was big and won Best Picture at the Oscars. Now, it's time to understand if it was deserved of Best Picture or not. It definitely was.

12 Years A Slave was a 2013 drama film directed by Steve McQueen and written by John Ridley based on the book of the same name written by Solomon Northrup. It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita N'yongo, Michael Fassbender, Bryan Batt, Brad Pitt, and many more. Steve McQueen's direction is what made the film strong and hard to watch. It's also what made it the best movie of 2013 according to many critics. His direction was unique, excellent to watch and used a beautiful score and great cinematography. In total, his direction was great and he perfectly portrayed this story like no other.

The acting was also very good in the movie. Chiwetel Ejiofor was a bit off as Solomon Northrup, looking as if he conveyed only one emotion throughout and nothing else. I wish his character could convey more diversity in emotion, but other than that it was a real good performance. Michael Fassbender was my favorite in the movie, for he played a ruthless villain like no other. He was intimidating, hateful, and pure evil. He was amazing in his performance, and every emotion he conveyed was spot on. In my opinion, it was the best performance of 2013. Lupita N'yongo also gave a stellar performance, being a very broken slave who is heavily abused by Michael Fassbender. The best female performance of 2013 as well, I definitely thought she deserved the Oscar over Jennifer Lawrence. All the other actors did great in the film, and in total, I thought it was one of the best acting ensembles I've seen in a while.

The writing by John Ridley was also very good. It perfectly portrayed the horror of America's darkest time, and he wrote Solomon Northrup's life without any holding back. I felt the only problem with the film though was the utter lack of humor. I wish at least one piece of dialogue in this movie was funny, at least adding a bit of lightheartedness. The problem was, the darkness throughout the film got a bit annoying, rather than horrifying to watch each time. Other than that, though, Ridley adapts a great film and provides for one of the greatest stories of the past decade.

12 Years A Slave in the end is a masterful film. Only Chiwetel Ejiofor's lack of emotions but sadness and the utter devoid of any lightheartedness in the film. The acting though was great from everyone and the direction from Steve McQueen stellar. The writing completely carried a lot of the film, and helped viewers understand the horror and pain in this time of America. In total, 12 Years A Slave is brilliant and a great film, and the best film about America's darkest time in history. And it deserved so much more then Best Picture. 9/10.

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The Wolf of Wall Street
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The most fun movie I have ever watched. And Leonardo DiCaprio's performance is stellar beyond comparison. Without a doubt, this is DiCaprio's best character and best performance ever. From Jack, to Howard Hughes, to Calvin Candie to anyone he has ever played, no performance of his can touch the brilliance and debauchery such as the one in this movie. DiCaprio's sense of craziness and humor makes this film hilarious to watch. One scene, DiCaprio goes full retard, but pulls it off. His physical movements and his face are all so funny, and with Scorcese's pairing and direction, the film pulls it off very well. From start to end, DiCaprio always has your attention, and he very well stands out to me as 2013's best lead male performance, and the funniest male performance I've ever seen. Leonardo DiCaprio has proven himself with drama, with romance, and now with comedy. Definitely one of my favorite actors now, his diversity is ever changing as he continues to act on. Brilliant, fun, and over the top, DiCaprio gives one of the best performances I've seen in a while, all the whole adding to the best movie of 2013.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 comedy drama written by Terrence Winter and directed by Martin Scorsese. It stars the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio, stellar Jonah Hill, Jon Berenthal, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin and much more. Terrence Winter's writing is very good in this movie. While at times I thought the use of the f-word in every sentence was used only for comedy sake and for lack of clever writing, I still enjoyed it. The language is so frequent I didn't even notice it about forty-five minutes into it, and I enjoyed it very much. The plot is one heck of a thrill ride, a non-stop drug, sex, and hilarity filled joy ride that goes through Jordan's life as the most despicable guy on Wall Street. I never got tired of it and I think about the insanity almost every day. The three-hour long length of the movie might seem strenuous, but it wasn't for me and I always wish there was more to watch in this movie. It's the perfect guy movie second only to Fight Club, but I will definitely show this movie over Fight Club in my house any day now. Terrence Winter writes a movie that's long, insane, stupid, and crazy, and every second of it is engrossing and enjoyable to watch.

As I've said in previous reviews, I'm not the biggest Martin Scorsese fan. I enjoy a lot of his work, and I think most of it is good, rather than great. His editing style can get a tad bit (and when I mean tad, I mean very) annoying, and his lack of consistency or reason for a lot of his directing choices make his films very awkward to watch sometimes. But it makes me very happy to say that Scorsese knocked this film out of the park, and finally made a really great film. He channeled his awkwardness, random editing, and insanity into this film, maybe putting some weird direction here and there but it was not noticeable because it fit with the film. The atmosphere of
the film was always a bit crazy, and at times it also didn't take it self seriously, and when it wasn't making fun of itself, the script was making fun of the characters and everything else. Scorcese did have his touch of annoying, unexplained bad editing, and it was very noticeable in one scene, but at other times I didn't notice it in the film. Scorcese had a full grasp on the insanity in this film, and his comedic timing and cinematography were well used. Scorcese directs this film like no other, and every single second of the three hours was a joy to watch, and while wt times when the film was supposed to be serious, it lacked in the seriousness of it, but other than that excellent direction. It makes me very happy that Scorsese made a film like this, and in total it has become my favorite film of his, even beating out greats such as Raging Bull and Goodfellas.

The acting in this film was also very, very good. From Jonah Hill to Rob Reiner, all of the characters had a moment to shine and all of them had mastered comedic timing other than Margot Robbie, who was mostly in the film for Jordan Belfort's morality checks. As previously stated, DiCaprio is a monster who knows how to use over the top acting and make it work. I loved his accent, I loved his narration, I loved his facial expressions and I loved his step away from drama. He's an anti-hero who you should hate, but you can't help but root for him and love him. Jonah Hill plays his right-hand man, and he received an Oscar nomination for his role in this film. He is also very hilarious, but surprisingly, not as good as DiCaprio, but still excellent. Other actors such as Jean Dujardin had funny moments in the film, and Belfort's gang of loathsome stock brokers are all a blast to watch throughout. Spike Jonze also makes an appearance in the film, and I really liked him in it, too. In total, the acting in The Wolf of Wall Street is full-blown, overdone, rambunctious and completely perfect for this film.

From Scorsese's direction to Terrence Winter's writing, everything in this film is only one thing: insane. While the writing could have used less language for comedy, and the direction could've been a bit more serious when needed, not much is wrong with this film. Winter writes hilarious, smart dialogue, encompassing a man who doesn't deserve to be happy in a very joyful movie. Marty's direction also adds craziness to the film, telling Jordan Belfort's story as detailed as possible, which called for a lot of mad sequences and over the top film. The entire cast is great, and with Jonah Hill leading the supporting cast, I expected nothing less than comedic gold. Leonardo DiCaprio is the main man of the film, and without him, the film would not be the same. From start to end Leo leads the movie and pulls the audience along in through his shenanigans, and I needed more and more. I've seen Leo in almost all his major films, but nothing like this has ever come up from him on screen. I really did love this film, and I have to give cograts to the entire cast and crew, for it is my favorite film of 2013 without a doubt. And one of my favorite films of all tims. 10/10.

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Midnight Cowboy
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Dark, eerie, bleak, and engrossing, Midnight Cowboy boasts excellent performances, great direction, and solid characters, all under the ideas of friendship and survival.