I am highly aware that I'll be in the minority when it comes to this movie, Boyhood. I have alot to say negitively about this movie, but at the same time, I do recognize this film's values. This movie is impressive with the visuals and consistency. To watch a child grow into an adult, with the same actor, is well executed by this film. Although the acting is all over the place, the main parents easily are the most interesting and well-acted in this movie. And it's also interesting to watch the very same evolution in the film and camera techniques from the 2000's to 2012. I recognize that this movie is a labor of love from it's director...
...But I still hate it. Boyhood is incredibly boring. But not because it isn't entertaining, I think Boyhood is boring because the movie is about nothing that makes me, someone who spent his entire childhood during this era, feel nothing. The Boy in this movie is highly aimless and vividly emotionless, not to show that he constantly in thought, but he feels like a plank throughout the movie. His character evolves into an indie cliché of a "tortured artist," not helped by the fact that his acting gets worse when he gets older. In fact, almost everyone in this movie is incredibly one-dimensional and cliched (there are literally two instances where the abusive, drunk stepfather is used for two different characters). And all of these problems are exaggerated significantly by a pretentious script where the dialogue feels stilted and clumsy.
Boyhood claims that "this is a movie about living a childhood in the previous decade." But all in all, the movie's exploration of the boy's childhood is shockingly shallow. Especially when the concept of growing up is done better in movies like "Lady Bird." These movies say something about what it is to grow up and remanence about the past. But Boyhood ultimately says nothing about growing up. I just don't understand this movie.
I've only seen this movie once... and it's already my favorite movie of all time. That is an indication of how masterful Night of the Hunter really is. The story is a delicious blend of bleak reality and childlike fantasy; the cinematography is gorgeous in the surreal homage to German expressionism; the way light and darkness are handled visually and narratively is inspiring. Mitcham's performance as a heartless, almost inhuman monster of hateful misogyny and delusional religious extremism makes Harry Powell this terrifying specter not by scare or gore tactics, but by presence alone. This is perfectly contrasted by Lillian Gish's hardnosed, yet kind-hearted hermit named Rachel Cooper, whose feeble physique is made up by her strong conviction against the powerful Powell. Even the child actors, usually the weakest part in any movie, is really good (albeit uneven). This film is truly a masterpiece. Everything in this movie is so ahead of its time, and has reached my definition of perfect.
Chris Nolan is one of my favorite directors that I not only love, but also respect. All of the films he has made always has been a puzzle, an exploration of interesting and complex ideas, or both. Every film I have seen of his has always been a home run for me. Tenet still hits, but it is no home run.
Tenet is an odd movie. It has some really good performances from Washington and Paterson, but the characters they play are flat, uninteresting and one-dimensional. The film has interesting scenes, surrounding action scenes in increasingly elaborate use around the idea of inversion in time, but as a whole, Tenet is insufferably shallow.
The ideas are complex, but the story is too simple. One thing that could've brought those two elements together would've been the dialogue, and that ironically is the worst thing about this movie. At some places, important bits of dialogue gets muffled by sound effects, music, or both. But when you actually can hear the dialogue, it's mostly flowery and impossibly non-contextual nonsense.
As a movie, Tenet is meh. But as a Nolan film, it's his weakest.
Leon the Professional sets itself apart as one of the most unique action movies. This movie is a beautiful tragedy. Instead of focusing on moments of masculinity and testosterone, Leon focuses on the vulnerability of their protagonists with depth, heart and a sense of love and decency, a rarity explored in the action genre. Natalie Portman has a fantastic debut as a vengeful orphan; Jean Reno plays a surprisingly vulnerable and lonely assassin; but Gary Oldman is utterly brilliant in his performance as one of my favorite villains as a chaotic evil disguised as an orderly evil. The action is top-notched and gritty, with an emphasis on more of how the main character, Leon, acts as a contrast as a cold assassin on the job than in his quiet life. But it all comes ahead in a third act that is emotionally gut-runching when those two lives cross perpendicular. Leon the Professional is an awesome movie that is worth a watch.