Winter flicks

10 Feb

A Most Violent Year

violent year

This slow burn drama follows the Abel, the owner of a growing oil business during the 1980’s. His delivery drivers are getting hijacked and thousands of dollars of fuel are being stolen. Abel wants to try to resolve the matter peacefully and logically, but pressure from his wife and mounting legal troubles force him into a tight corner. You have to have patience with this film, and it really serves as more of a character study, but Oscar Issac’s performance is truly great. There was early buzz about an Oscar nomination and I’m sad to see that didn’t come through for him.

American Sniper

american sniper

This film follows the life of Chris Kyle, a NAVY Seal who served four tours of duty in the Middle East. I thought it was a great film with plenty of suspense and drama but many have taken the message as “Americans are good and killing evil muslims is justified”. I thought the narrative that the movie was trying to explore was what happens to a man who signs up for the military for love of his country and but takes on this savior role; he feels as though he is personally responsible for every man he couldn’t save. Because of this guilt and revenge tunnel vision, he signs up for three more tours; essentially abandoning his family. And the end is this most tragic part he never really gets to see his family grow up because he could never mentally leave the battlefield. This movie is the personal journey of one man, and the effects war had on him. Honestly I think people are just trying to stir up controversy by reading into a racism narrative. Bradley Cooper’s performance was terrific and its extraordinary how he physically changed to look like Kyle. Frankly, the worst thing about the movie was that fake baby.

Into The Woods

into the woods

This was hands down the worst movie I have seen since Maze Runner. It looked so interesting from the trailer; a movie that subverts fairy tales, maybe cleverly makes fun of them a little bit with some good musical numbers. And a great cast! Oh my god, it was absolute garbage. The plot was completely nonsensical, the characters poorly drawn and behaving in a way which was totally absurd, and frankly the music was forgettable at best. Don’t bother ever seeing this poor excuse for a musical. I was tempted to walk out at least four times and it’s only because I respect you, my reader, so very much I was convinced to see it to the bitter (and stupid) end.

Paddington

paddington-bear-mo_3058736k

What an absolutely heart warming, charming and hilarious movie! An explorer travels to Peru and finds a new, intelligent species of bear. After befriending them he heads home, telling them polite and well mannered bears will be welcome in London any time. Years later a young bear decides to take him up on that offer and travels to London to find a family. He ends up with Henry and Mary Brown, and their two kids Jonathan and Judy. Henry is eager to move Paddington along as quickly as possibly, but his wife and children think Paddington is sweet and funny. Although the destruction he produces is astronomical, he is very charming and brings out the best in people. The CGI here is incredible the film could not work without it (obviously.) Nicole Kidman is stylish and fun as the villain, though her role is mainly to add a little more diabolical interest to the plot. This film has something like 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and its well deserved. I would encourage kids, parents, grandparents and everyone in between to see it.

On a side note, 2015 should be a great year for films and it’s off to a good start with films like Kingsmen: Secret Service already piquing my interest in what is usually a dull February. Obviously I will see 50 Shades of Grey, not matter how much flack it catches. I’m trying to see all the Best Picture Nominees and just have Selma, Whiplash and Boyhood left to see. I’m especially looking forward to Whiplash, although it looks like either Birdman or Boyhood may be a favourite to win, instead of my beloved Imitation Game.

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