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Isn't this pretty much every Eastwood directed film? That's neither praise nor criticism from me, just how I see them.
I guess so, that's what I like about Eastwood, his sense of complete control you feel from him as a director over the storytelling.

I think it was one of the problems here though, a lot of elements were added in the second half in order to give the story a more straightforward narrative that would make sense to casual viewers, such as giving us a villain. It felt like a movie that was stronger as an idea than actually a cinematic story, but I found it very interesting and well made at the least, even though I'm not sure what to think about the real man.



Isn't this pretty much every Eastwood directed film? That's neither praise nor criticism from me, just how I see them.
I see what you mean, but I'm not sure I can back it up 100%. Furthermore, American Sniper is actually the least Eastwood-like film I have seen so far.

I actually was hoping all the way through the film that they didn't show Kyle's death at the end, it would have been easy to include that and for it to be a tear jerker for some, but I'm glad they went down the more respectful, subdued route which with the closing credits, seemed just as powerful to me.
Yeah, but as I said, you didn't have to see the actual way he died. But it just felt too abrupt to me, and honestly I think that the ending used was too easy. Just a way to make sure to end on a respectful manner without dealing to much with his unfortunate death. Each to their own though.



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
35 .......................... 31

__________________________

January 25th

Zero Day (2003)



I don't know exactly why I enjoyed this... But honestly, I genuinely thought it was a very interesting look behind the scenes of these awful events and the young minds behind it. Even when knowing that the footage is not real, it is still a provocative and rather interesting social commentary on these events and America in general. Some scenes are indeed inspired by what we knew about the two killers, so it is not just plain dumb and rude fun. Oh, and to those who don’t know and are too lazy to look it up, this film is about the two boys behind the ‘Columbine School Shooting’.

In the beginning of the film I thought the acting was pretty awful, which is quite a bad thing when you have a found footage movie on your hands – you need good acting to make it believable. Luckily though, the acting developed over time and became much better, and the characters also evolved into something that was never unbelievably insane, but still you felt their mentally twisted thought process slowly building up throughout the film. It’s a slow movie, and I think you really have to be interested in the shootings to “enjoy” this one, but I did. I think it is a pretty brave execution and definitely a smart and grounded film that keeps building up and gives its audience just the right amount of lies and reality to leave satisfied – or at least with the intended haunting emotion in their brains and guts.

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January 26th

Audition (1999)



Review from the Horror HoF thread
Here is another one of those movies I have had laying on my watchlist for a long time, but since it is already filled up with hundreds of movies, I never got around to it. I actually even remember why I put it on there in the first place… I searched for great horror movies and somehow this kept popping up. Obviously I had heard of the director before, and it holds decent ratings with both critics and audiences alike. Now, after finally watching it I must say it was nothing of what I expected. It took many turns in multiple directions and you could never quite predict it, and I liked that aspect of it.

The first hour or so is nothing like a horror film. It doesn’t even hint at it, really, and when it gets a little creepy it mostly feel like a mystery thriller. As others have said it has a varied mix-up of genres going from comedy to drama and from thriller to horror… very interesting build-up indeed. It is definitely a slower film but I was never bored with it, and I loved how the characters were fleshed out more in this one (some more than others if you know what I mean lol). But seriously though, I was more invested in the characters than your average horror flick, and it was actually a fun time to go from all the different aspects of it and finally ending up in this big nightmarish world at the end.

That brings me to the biggest change-up in the film, which is the “main attraction” so to speak: the actual horror. Miike has really gone for something far out when it comes to constructing the last act of the film. It is a bit confusing, but it leaves you with questions that you want to answer yourself, and there are plenty of different viewpoints to it. Also, the whole build-up with the protagonist loosing his wife and finally beginning to date again, and all the reflections and concern that you consider in the process, really makes for an interesting character-study. It is not as symbolic or tightly scripted as I wanted it to be, but it does the job well. You feel what is going on below the surface and you are pretty interested in all of what is happening.

I had heard the words “gross” and “macabre” often mentioned by fans of the movie and those who hated it as well. But I must say it wasn’t that bad at all. I fell upon some random critic describing the well-handled violence in the film as done by “a director who knows just when to cut” so that it stays pretty disturbing and slightly gross, but never downright sickening. And that is very true in my opinion… Overall in relation to the entire film, I wished it had an even tighter story, and that we dived further into the mind of the main characters, as well as all the backstory and general aspect of violence (and the thereto image of violence of which it creates)… but interesting and a fairly good time. I liked it more than I thought I would and less than I hoped I would.

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January 27th

WALL·E (2008)*



This was a rewatch that was long overdue. I loved this film the first time around, but I felt like there was so much more to experience with this film. It is so ambitious and not the least different in its approach and execution, and I am truly stunned by the final result. The movie looks stunning and Pixar really went in so many brave directions with this one. I honestly think this is Pixar’s greatest achievement yet. I don’t necessarily mean the best or that it is my favorite, but the amount of detail and the choice of subject matter as well as characters… it is simply amazing. Everything.

It takes the film about 40 minutes or so until we hear human dialogue for the first time, and it is really a brave choice to rely so much on the impact of its visuals and the gags and emotions happening. That brings me to the marvelous success of making two central characters robots, with very little room for big expressions (you would think). Yet we are moved by them, and feel and understand every little gesture they make. Seriously though, think about it. The robot EVE only has two digital eyes to create like 80% of the emotion, and it works so well throughout the film.

Even the visuals are absolutely stunning, and perhaps even the most detailed and cinematic animated Disney-Pixar film as of yet! But again, that is what is going to happen when you study someone as great as Roger Deakins when doing your film – you get success and a beautiful movie, and his signature yellowish look is clear in the beginning of the film. Everything is just great in this one – the detailed and relevant story, the stunning and inventive visuals, the great soundtrack and the amazing and unique characters. It is probably the most adult Pixar to date, but I don’t complain that’s for sure…

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January 28th

Bad Boys (1995)*



Here is yet another rewatch, but it wasn’t as pleasant as the one above. Not that it is straight up garbage, though I’m sure many think exactly that, but since I remember wathcing this when I was a younger movie fanatic, it kind of brings back some memories. Well, maybe not this particular entry in the series, but the indeed sequel does, which I will speak upon in my next update tomorrow.

I liked ‘Bad Boys’ less this time around, unfortunately. It feels too uncomfortable with what it wants to be and is just all over the place. It feels the most as a buddy cop comedy flick, but sometimes goes for the straight up horrifying drama anyways, and that is quite off-putting to me. It simply doesn’t fit, at least not to that extent and with that execution. Many of the jokes are also driven too far out and the scenes sometimes go on for too long. Most of the time it feels like your typical 90’s action flick all the way from the visuals, to the music, to the characters and so on... I had a pretty fun time, but it is fairly forgettable and ultimately didn’t hold my attention enough of its runtime.

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By the way, if you haven't yet be sure to check out
MY FULL REVIEW OF BIRDMAN (2014)






MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
35 .......................... 31

__________________________

January 29th

Up (2009)*



By this rewatch I think I have seen this flick quite a few times now. And just like WALL·E, it is one of those I really like but still have been in doubt of how to really grasp everything and getting my head around it. Not that it is a complicated film, it really is far from it actually, but I’m just not sure how I feel about it. But by now I’m pretty sure where I stand and this is definitely a great film and I like it just a little bit more every time I watch it.

It is so weird when I see certain people comment on whether or not it would be possible to lift a house with balloons, when there is a bunch of talking dogs in the film. And furthermore, they eventually end up flying in freaking airplanes. So how and why do you end up worrying about a freaking house being lifted by some freaking balloons?!? Also, the very core of the movie is also the power and importance of dreams and adventures as well as believing in the unbelievable and so on. It is simply a fun and exciting joy to experience, and although I do agree that it is somewhat better in the beginning, I have begun to like what it develops into more and more every time. Yes that montage in the beginning is stunning and extremely well made, but honestly there is plenty of stuff to enjoy later on, even though it is very different from how the film opens… The visual style is great and fun to look at, the voice acting is amazing and I absolutely love the soundtrack! Simply a great and original Pixar film.

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January 29th

Bad Boys II (2003)*
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As I mentioned in my review of the first film I have always liked the sequel more… and surprisingly enough I still do. Yes, it is completely mindless fun and there is plenty of Bayhem and offensiveness to enjoy in this one. But I also feel that it is more comfortable with what it is than the first one was. This is more fun, more outrageous, more action-packed and that is exactly how it should be. Critics pretty much sabotaged this film back when it was released, but I think they totally missed the point of it, if you can put it like that. Honestly, I think it was a bit ahead of its time when it was released. Now hear me out, I’m not referring to how great it potentially is, but more of the fact that it was offensive and wrong on so many levels, but critics seemed to hate that expect back then. Nowadays, we see plenty of offensive and outrageous films and critics tend to praise them. Either way I will continue to love this film for what it is…

Seriously though, how can you forget what is possibly the best scene in the film – the big and action-packed highway chase scene? Or, who can forget the completely insane and extreme downhill shack-smacking Humvee chase? I think this film is full of fun stuff but on its own terms of course. I also think that it is quite clear that Michael Bay knew exactly what kind of movie he was making and he went all the way with every aspect of the film. I actually enjoy a lot of the shots he pulled off in this one as well, some of which he unfortunately ended up completely overusing in future films. I feel like this is where he aimed the highest before slowly turning to complete sh*t. I know it sort of sounds like I am completely praising the f*ck out of this film, but for what it is I really enjoy it. I don’t care what anybody else think.

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January 30th

Nightcrawler (2014)*



Once again I don't feel like writing a completely new review for a film I have already seen and review in full... I stand by what I said in my full detailed review, so if you haven't read that one please go check it out in my Cinema Review Thread. I would greatly appreciate it!






It's been a few years but I used to love Bad Boys. I'm not to keen on mixing action and comedy but I think it's one of the best, along with Midnight Run and Beverly Hills Cop. I thought the sequel was just ok.



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
40 .......................... 35

__________________________

January 31st

The Haunting (1963)



Review from the Horror HoF thread
This was one of the nominations I was really looking forward to in this Hall of Fame. I have heard of this before quite a few times, and generally it just seemed like my type of horror. I like horror in almost all of its forms, but there is something about the drama-centered and smooth horrors, diving in and out of genre-typical elements without showing too much but undoubtedly making its presence known. This seemed like that type of horror film and it also kind of was. I must admit I expected more from it though, but overall it was a fine watch.

The film opened in this weird way that made it seem like the movie was, in some way, one long prologue. I have experienced this only once before, and that was with Citizen Kane. It is like when a movie opens with a decent beginning, but has this voiceover hovering over it like an introduction to story, which oddly enough ends up being present all the way throughout the film. In the beginning I thought it was just a way to introduce this creepy house and all of its unsettling stories and mysteries, but sadly it just kept going. I want to say I actually love voiceovers in film, but here it didn’t work for me. I guess it really didn’t bring much to the story and it wasn’t as interestingly written as it could have been. Also, the main character was pretty boring and quite annoying and I would have preferred the main focus to be on another character or just leave the voiceover out entirely.

Overall I quite enjoyed a few things in the film. I especially loved the elements of reality and mystery. Like when the professor constantly tried to figure out what was going on and it led up to some really interesting discussions on the phenomenon of haunted houses, and ghosts and spirits in general. I do think these discussions could have been held together by a tighter story with more control, although I do understand that the supernatural kind of just happens, and you aren’t really suppose to “control” it. But I’m also mostly referring to the fact that the story itself just couldn’t hold my attention and it didn’t build up as well as it could have, and didn’t utilize its characters, setting, atmosphere and ideas as well either.

The weirdest thing about this movie, to me, is that it is from 1963. It seriously feels like a film from the 40s or 50s at the latest. My first thought was that it might be intentional to try and capture a certain feel of old school classic horror, but as the movie progressed it kept on feeling too “dated” and low-budget for its own good. I mean, just think of Psycho three years earlier or Rosemary’s Baby five years later. Too hugely acclaimed classics, I know, but still it is only a simple comparison. Both of those films hold up extremely well today and don’t at all feel the same as this movie did. Maybe it just hasn’t aged that well I guess... But as I said, it was often a fun watch and I mostly enjoyed it, but I do think it could have been much better and overall it is just pretty forgettable to me.

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February 1st

Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
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Only my second Buster Keaton movie, the first one being The General, and I loved this almost as much. Well, I actually give this pretty much the same rating but I think I prefer The General just a little more. I think the story is better in the former, but Sherlock Jr. has many of the signature Keaton gags and visual wonders that you just can’t help but being amused by. There is so many inventive stunts, which must have been both tough and dangerous to pull off, and everything just keeps on building on top of the other and I loved that.

I must say many of the technical efforts seem quite revolutionary for a film of that date as well. I’m especially thinking of the cinema screen gag with constantly changing backgrounds, or even some of those gags that happen so quick that you can’t even manage to see them all. He is almost like a movie star wizard at times; it must really have been impressive back in its time.

I also forgot to mention how awesome the score was back when I reviewed The General, but I can comfortably put it in here, since this film has a score just as great. Many old movies, both silent and sound, often sound the same when it comes to their score. Keaton’s films seem to sound both different and inventive, and they are constantly changing throughout. He really puts effort everywhere possible in his films and the payoff is simply amazing – another lovely film from Buster Keaton!

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February 2nd

Cars (2006)*



I remember watching this way back in the day, right about when it came out I think, and I remember mostly enjoying it. I recall that it wasn’t really up to par with many of the other Pixar films, but still that it was pretty good. But this rewatch really changed my mind… it simply wasn’t good at all. Well, if it hadn’t been for the last 20-30 minutes this would get a rating that was even lower… It was mostly boring, poorly executed and way too cartoonish for the animation we usually see from Pixar. And I’m not talking simplistic or minimalistic, because they pulled that off extraordinarily well with the WALL·E characters, which worked both emotionally and the way that they evolved over time. ‘Cars’ had some decent themes and morals but I don’t think they explored them enough, at least not in the best way, and for being the longest Pixar film to date it really didn’t say much in my opinion.

Also, I was just bored most of the time to be honest. The characters are probably the weakest of any Pixar or even Disney movie for that matter. They are so cliché and many of them extremely stereotypical for what they are supposed to represent. You know, there is the hippie, there is the hillbilly, there’s the Mexican and so on... It seems as if they kind of realized how bad an idea it was to make all the characters freaking automobiles, that they then had to turn to overblown stereotypes to get some (forced) variation and recognition into their film. But I wasn’t taken by it. I wasn’t sitting there like “Ohhh I know what they are referring to here! How funny!” It was forced, uninventive and stupid. Movies usually don’t offend me when they do this, and Disney has done it many times before, just not to this extent. It felt so pathetic. Offended might be the wrong word to use here, but I guess the word can mean many things in relation to this so I will just leave it at that…

As I said the movie was saved by the last 20-30 minutes, and that is where things finally started to happen and evolve, and while I obviously expect a movie to make introductions and build-ups before turning to a big finale, I just think that everything before the finale was awfully handled. The only Pixar film I still have yet to see is Cars 2 and I’m not looking forward to it at all, as it got a lot of mediocre and bad reviews, while this one actually got a few good ones… oddly enough. Thankfully, Cars is widely known as the weaker Pixar outing so I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking it is a bad film…






MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
43 .......................... 39

__________________________

February 3rd

Adam's Apples // Adams Æbler (2005)*



I thought about nominating this for the 6th Hall of Fame at one point, before I ultimately decided to not participate. I wanted something unusual, far out and a little strange. Definitely not something that would be too obvious. So I went through Danish cinema, which is why I fell upon this and the one review following this one. It is a great and fun story, but with very dark and Danish-like humor. I have no idea how others would react to this, but I love the film…

The movie is an iconic Danish comedy and it was, until recently, acclaimed director and writer Anders Thomas Jensen’s last directed feature (but he is back now after 10 years a new film). He has written many scripts and actually led Susanne Bier to her Oscar with Hævnen, or A Better World, which he wrote. But honestly, he is at his best when he does comedy, especially using his signature style with violence, obscure stories and dark humor. This is no exception. Everything is far out, but still so elegantly controlled. The movie holds many A-list actors and everyone does a great job with their respective characters. I honestly don’t know what to say about this film or how to review it, because it is so different and far out that you just have to see it to believe it.

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February 4th

Klown // Klovn: The Movie (2010)*



This film develops further upon the Danish sitcom called Klovn, which is sort of a Danish version of Curb Your Enthusiasm, or at least some say it is. I have always loved the series though it didn’t hold its level at its highest all the way through its six seasons. But now with a movie they can do pretty much anything, though they already broke a few boundaries with the television series if you ask me. It is very funny and at times truly cringe-worthy, but I love it and it is surely my type of humor, but if the movie would be as good as the series I wasn’t sure of…

Thank God, it is indeed a great follow-up to the series. I think they took the correct approach to the bigger scope of film, and went ahead and kept every little detail intact that made the series great, while also developing on the characters and trying to give fans as much as they could hope for. Most importantly the story is one that can keep a whole movie going, and it touches upon very sensitive subjects and handles them bravely and at times childishly – as expected. But honestly though, this is the most grown-up the show has ever been. The characters are how we know them, but the story this time around actually hides something much deeper underneath the surface. In my opinion, the creators, Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam, understand how to make a funny and outrageous movie in the spirit of the series, and still come out on the other side with a complete and stand-alone film.

I would recommend this film to everyone, really, if they dare to experience something a little more far out and explicit than what you usually see in American comedy cinema. You can easily watch this even if you don’t know and have never seen the series, but of course it is a bit funnier when you know the universe and the various celebrity cameos and so on. Cricket, you like outrageous stuff right? I recommend you this then! And everyone else too, because at one point I actually thought about nominating this for the 6th Hall of Fame, partly because I wanted to choose something very unusual. I haven’t got a clue though what people would think of this though, if they saw it haha.



I'm doing another update tomorrow with the rest of the films I'm missing...





MM, I haven't seen all the movies you've reviewed but I'm digging the thread and I was really jazzed to see The Night Stalker get quite a bit of love, and not just from you. It may be somewhat forgotten now, but I remember seeing the premiere on television and the rave critical
reception it got back then. Someone mentioned The Night Strangler, the sequel, also. Yes, that one was great as well. The series that followed was fun but nowhere near as good or serious. Still, TNS started my appreciation of Darren McGavin. Keep up the good work, MM!
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"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
43 .......................... 39

__________________________

February 3rd

Adam's Apples // Adams Æbler (2005)*



I thought about nominating this for the 6th Hall of Fame at one point, before I ultimately decided to not participate. I wanted something unusual, far out and a little strange. Defiantly not something that would be too obvious. So I went through Danish cinema, which is why I fell upon this and the one review following this one. It is a great and fun story, but with very dark and Danish-like humor. I have no idea how others would react to this, but I love the film…

The movie is an iconic Danish comedy and it was, until recently, acclaimed director and writer Anders Thomas Jensen’s last directed feature (but he is back now after 10 years a new film). He has written many scripts and actually led Susanne Bier to her Oscar with Hævnen, or A Better World, which he wrote. But honestly, he is at his best when he does comedy, especially using his signature style with violence, obscure stories and dark humor. This is no exception. Everything is far out, but still so elegantly controlled. The movie holds many A-list actors and everyone does a great job with their respective characters. I honestly don’t know what to say about this film or how to review it, because it is so different and far out that you just have to see it to believe it.


You know this is one of my favorite comedies.. I hate American comedy films but Danish comedy rocks!! Plus it has Mads in it!! and Ulrich Thomsen, which is amazing actor as well...



You know this is one of my favorite comedies.. I hate American comedy films but Danish comedy rocks!! Plus it has Mads in it!! and Ulrich Thomsen, which is amazing actor as well...
Oh yes I definitely know that you love this one hah. I also wrote in the 6th HoF that you would be happy about my nomination if I nominated the one I had in mind - which was this.

Thanks for checking in MG and meditating with me!



More great write-ups, MM.

I especially enjoyed reading your Pixar retrospective. Our opinions on those films are very similar. Like you, I haven't been able to muster up the desire to watch Cars 2, which is the only Pixar movie I haven't seen.

So far I've only watched three Keaton films: The General, Sherlock Jr. and Steamboat Bill Jr.. I think The General is his greatest technical accomplishment, but Sherlock Jr. is the one I enjoyed the most.

I think Bad Boys II is better than the first one, but I'm not a fan of either film.

Never heard of Zero Day, but it sounds interesting. I have a morbid curiosity about the subject matter (as I imagine many people do, especially those who were still in school when such shootings became commonplace). If the movie successfully probes the mindsets of the characters, as your write-up seems to suggest, then I'm willing to check it out despite my general dislike for found-footage style films.

Just out of curiosity, have you seen Elephant?
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More great write-ups, MM.

I especially enjoyed reading your Pixar retrospective. Our opinions on those films are very similar. Like you, I haven't been able to muster up the desire to watch Cars 2, which is the only Pixar movie I haven't seen.

So far I've only watched three Keaton films: The General, Sherlock Jr. and Steamboat Bill Jr.. I think The General is his greatest technical accomplishment, but Sherlock Jr. is the one I enjoyed the most.

I think Bad Boys II is better than the first one, but I'm not a fan of either film.

Never heard of Zero Day, but it sounds interesting. I have a morbid curiosity about the subject matter (as I imagine many people do, especially those who were still in school when such shootings became commonplace). If the movie successfully probes the mindsets of the characters, as your write-up seems to suggest, then I'm willing to check it out despite my general dislike for found-footage style films.

Just out of curiosity, have you seen Elephant?
I have seen Elephant, yes, but that was a long time ago when I didn't get some of those artsy fartsy films. I may give it a rewatch some time... But yeah, Zero Day is interesting.

And yeah looks like we have a lot in common, I have also only watched three Keaton's, and that is exactly those mentioned. And I agree with everything you said there.

And finally someone who prefer Bad Boys II. I understand if you aren't a fan though, they aren't really masterpieces now are they?

THANKS FOR MEDITATING!



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
43 .......................... 39

__________________________

February 5th

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
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This is my third Buster Keaton picture and I have had a tremendous time watching his creative, inventive and hilarious style so far. I really loved The General, which was a fun and adventurous (train) ride of a film, with a great and satirical story centered on war, with the obvious and obligatory love story at its core. Just such a great technical and practical achievement and probably also my favorite Keaton thus far. Then shortly after I watched Sherlock, Jr. – another one, which I was also blown away by. The story wasn’t as tight or well done as it could have been, definitely not as well handled overall as The General, in my opinion, but the visual gags and revolutionary technical achievements were somewhat even better this time around. It was a ride that was even more energetic and full of amazing gags than previously seen.

So obviously, I was really pumped for what Steamboat Bill, Jr. had to offer me. But unfortunately, I was rather disappointed with it. Not that it was straight up bad, but it was a lot slower than the other two of his films, and the story itself wasn’t strong enough on its own when the gags were at its minimum. I just didn’t think it was as funny or as touching as what I have seen by Keaton beforehand, and it wasn’t until the impressive final act with the stormy and windy spectacle that I was once again amused and impressed. This film has the classic and memorable falling house gag, but apart from that, and all of the storm sequences there isn’t really a lot to remember this by. It also seems as if Keaton was on autopilot most of the time, although he was still what kept me watching, since the story and the other characters weren’t nearly as strong. The soundtrack was once again great as in every Keaton film I have seen, and there were small hints of greatness here and there in the overall film. When it comes down to it though, it was a rather dull experience to be honest. But I’m definitely up for more Keaton in the future!

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February 6th

Taken 3 (2014)



The first Taken film I actually enjoyed, and I honestly didn’t mind the second one as much as some did. Although I must admit it has been a long time since I watch either of those films. I love Liam Neeson as an action heroic bad-ass and the image fits him perfectly, and he is one of the few people who could make a TV commercial for “fruity coconut flower power juices”, while wearing a pink skirt and red lipstick, and still make it sound extremely serious, dangerous and not the least believable. He is just that awesome simple as it is... But unfortunately though, this outing in the Taken-franchise couldn’t be saved by anything. Not even Liam Neeson being awesome. And yes, it sucked quite a lot…

I did think I would hate it even more than I did, like if my rating isn’t low enough as it is already, but seriously I thought I would give it an absolutely pathetic rating… like half a popcorn or something. Anyways, I did really hate this film though, but I could somewhat sit through it without a too great desire to leave the room. Though it must be said, that the hectic, spontaneous and epileptic editing did make me think twice on several occasions… For example, when Liam Neeson jumps from a window down on a container 10 feet below, and the editors then decide that 5 edits is suitable for such a “two-second scene”. Then you just know it is bad. And when you see Liam Neeson open a door and enter a room, in a setting which is completely calm and forgettable and has nothing to do with anything, but the editors/director also decide to do that scene in 5 edits as well. Then you know it is not only bad, but also really awful. It simply cannot be saved.

The story itself is messy, unnecessarily stupid and incoherent, and not the least full of idiotic sequences and laughable directorial decisions – which doesn’t just sucks on their own terms – but also expands from a “story trigger-point”, which is completely and absolute nonsense. There is basically no need for the entire film to even take place, and especially not in the way that it does. The “villain(s)” are pathetic and cliché, and not even Liam Neeson seem to take this film very serious… By the way, I always saw it as a joke by Neeson when he said he would only do another Taken movie “if no one got taken”. He thought something like, “Yes! Now they won’t get me to do another” and out of nowhere comes this crap that has nothing to do with Taken – unless you talk about the money that it pulls out of peoples pockets. But then again, if you actually pay for this film you only have yourself to blame...

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February 7th

The Theory of Everything (2014)



There really isn’t much to hate about this film even though not everyone are all that happy with it. You could easily criticize a few elements of the film and its execution, you could also slam the movie for what it simply isn’t, but to me this was a fine film that does exactly what it should do and nothing more. Yes, there was a lot of room for exploring, especially because of the great genius of this man, but the film decided to focus on the more personal life of Stephen Hawking and so be it. I agree it goes from point A to point B without daring to be too different or too experimental, but as I said, you can’t really hate the movie for it.

What it does it does fairly well in my opinion, and it is definitely a textbook example of how to make a biopic, but it isn’t offensive or rude against the real life characters of which it portrays and it is beautiful and touching to look at and listen to. It is not overly sentimental either, but of course it does go for the heart and feelings from time to time. And yes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Eddie Redmayne is absolutely stunning and completely out of this world in his performance as Stephen Hawking. If nothing else does it for you, at least his performance will make the movie worth your time. A great film but not this year’s best, and not a masterpiece by any means either, but enjoyable and well done it definitely is if you ask me.







MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
50 .......................... 45

__________________________

February 8th

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)*



I have been meaning to rewatch this ever since it came out. I did like it the first time around, but my judgment was honestly too clouded by the enormous hype it received at its release. But now I can finally focus more on the details and I think I’m pretty sure where I stand.

The opening with how he left earth and how his mother died, and so on, was a bit too clichéd and typical for its genre. But then short after, the amazingly groovy and tone-setting scene came on, with Chris Pratt entering in grand style to put it lightly. It was fun, inventive, original and brave. And most importantly, it sets the mood for the whole movie. The best films are honestly those who know what they are from within the first 10 minutes or so… those who know how to introduce characters and storyline in a “simple” yet extremely effective way. And this film did that. All the way from the music, the title introduction, the action and the wickedness.

The film actually holds itself up most of the way through, with plenty of great characters that all receives equally great introductions. The villain(s) are a bit cliché though, and not really interesting, the main storyline is so overused and you know what to expect in the finale but don’t really care. BUT what you do care for is the way there, and how we get there… The characters are so fun to follow, and when accompanied by music and visuals that are spot-on, then you got yourself an entertaining and well-made film. Unfortunately, it does dive straight into the what-you-have-come-to-expect scenario of superhero and action flicks: an ending that blows every smaller and more effective moment out the way, and replaces it (them) with an overload of CGI-crap and completely stupid and shake-your-head-ish scenes. BUT when we land on earth and Pratt does his little dance we kind of know what the movie still wants to be, and what it mostly are, thankfully. Overall this is a solid superhero film that dared to spice things up a bit, and it worked, most of the times tremendously. It is really a lot of fun! Oh, and the 3D is for once amazing for this one…

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February 9th

Inherent Vice (2014)
N/A



Full review for this film is coming up, and will be in my Cinema Review thread soon...
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February 10th

Dances with Wolves, Extended (1990)



I’m not sure if I have seen the original cut, but if I have, it is such a long time ago that I don’t remember anything. It is a long movie indeed, clocking in at 3 hours for the original cut, and the extended director’s cut is a whopping 4 hours long – and I had to watch it in one day, or else it wouldn’t count for my one-film-per-day habit, and I did almost in one sitting. And damn was it long…

But if I have to be quite honest with you, I was really never what you would call ‘bored’ during the 4 hours, nor do I think it was necessarily ‘dragging’. It is one of those movies where you definitely feel the running time getting to your body and mind, but it doesn’t really hurt the film nor the actual experience you have with it. I thought it was a solid piece of filmmaking from Costner and co. It took some time to get going, but once Costner was at that abandoned house and when the Indians started to come and all that, it really became interesting. It is a great and epic film with plenty of heart and soul, and a decent portrayal of the Indian culture – or just a dying culture in general. I don’t know what more to say, this is a classic film and I personally think it has a deserved spot in the category of great epics. I think it felt kind of like Braveheart in its execution and approach, though I do think that Braveheart is a better film. That's not entirely relevant to this discussion though, so I will just leave it at that. Dances with Wolves is great, and I could see myself watching it again, but next time it will probably be the “short” version, and it won’t be any time soon either.

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February 11th

Crank (2006)*



This is a film where I really feel like I have to justify my rating, because it could easily be dismissed as nonsensical senselessness by others. To many, this is probably just another film that is too stupid for its own good and too much for anyone to care for. There is brains getting blown to pieces in this film indeed, but it is definitely not the directors’ brains – despite of whatever crap film they might have produced beyond this one. ‘Crank’ is one of the best movies of its kind, and here is why…

I have always said that the following is one of the most important aspects of a film, and that is more than true in connection to this one - a film has to be comfortable a d proud with what it is. Then, it will most likely succeed. And in no place whatsoever does this film try to be anything but badass. I’m writing this review extremely late, so I will try to keep it short and simple, and hopefully not loose you all, on what I mean by all this… The film is far-out, far-fetched and completely ridiculous, but it does it all in a way, that is both controlled and totally out of control at the same time... It is basically controlled chaos, so to speak. One would probably write this off as nothing but mindless action. But if you pay attention there is so many details in it. Some are thoughtful, others seem just thrown in there… but both work equally as well. It is visual extravaganza of the highest caliber, and when some movies are expertly made in the drama or thriller genre, this is expertly made at being visually impactful and heartpumpingly awesome!

The black humor and tongue-in-cheek style is just perfect, and Statham delivers a stunning performance. This film is just great in my opinion, and all of the crazy visual gags and weird scenes honestly just lift the movie for me. I don’t see it as stupid or unnecessary but the exact and complete opposite. I can rewatch this in eternity, it is a milestone in the action genre and the abilities of visual style, editing, picture composition and ****-the-system attitude. This film is badass, just ****ing badass. Simply **** **** **** **** **** awesome, that's how awesome it is!

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February 12th

Cars 2 (2011)



This film doesn’t even deserve a review… It is much worse than the first film and pretty much overdo everything of which sucked in the first one; the characters, the stereotypes, the quirkiness and so on... And it makes the classic mistake of making a “famous” side character the main character. Ew. The original is still the worst though, in some way, since it started all this… with a sequel, spin-offs, and countless of shorts and animated shows. This film is just bad, and I can’t believe Pixar has this film in its catalog of an amazingly high standard. This is straight-to-dvd material. And worst of all, it is directed by John Lasseter – the man who brought us the first and original Toy Story, which was also the first Pixar feature film ever. That man is gone now, he has tossed his Hawaiian shirt in the ring and bowed under for the mediocrity and easy escapes… I am already getting ready to hang myself when he comes out with his next film… the fourth Toy Story film, yes he is indeed attached as a director to that one. He can’t see him ever reaching the same highs as he did for the original, I simply can’t. The amazing and talented John Lasseter is gone.


Reviews for The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Kramer vs. Kramer coming up tomorrow...




More good stuff, MM.

I enjoy watching Liam Neeson enact his "particular set of skills" in Taken, but the sequel was terrible and the third entry looks just as bad.

I was unsure about Guardians of the Galaxy when I first saw trailers for it, but everyone seems to love it.

I own Dances With Wolves, but I rarely revisit it due to its length. It's a great movie, though.

You make me want to give Crank another chance. I disliked it the one and only time I watched it. I actually preferred the sequel, which elevated things to such a ridiculous level that I found myself laughing and having a good time despite myself.

I haven't seen Cars 2, but your write-up confirms my preconceptions. I had no idea they were making another Toy Story movie. I'm not happy about that. Even though Toy Story 3 was the weakest of the trilogy, I felt that it was a perfect swan song for the characters.

Looking forward to your review for Inherent Vice!



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
56 .......................... 50

__________________________

February 12th

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
-



A little too campy and weird for my usual likings, but I do enjoy such things once in a while… Mostly though, I just think the story could have been executed, much better than it was. I liked the way it handled the story of revenge and love for this twisted human being, and I liked the fact that they wanted to interplay it with a crime atmosphere as well. But personally I thought the movie was pretty uneven throughout. Sometimes it was (trying to be) funny, other times it was really serious, and the pacing shifted a bit too much for it all to feel coherent and pleasing. Overall there were too much that didn’t work for me, but the idea of the film was pretty great and some aspects I enjoyed. A shame I didn’t like it more than I did, because it really did have potential to be a classic romantic horror story of its own league…
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February 13th

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)



There will be spoilers in this review… I have wanted to watch this for so long, especially because of my growing interest of the great Dustin Hoffman, and the fact that it won Best Picture and also because it is a fairly beloved film all over the cinematic world. But to be honest, I feel like I ended up with two movies in my hands; one was decent but clichéd, the other was daring and heartfelt. I had a hard time seeing any form of originality and true greatness in the beginning of this, as everything just felt overdone, typical, too obvious or simply too safely played. We got the father who works too hard and therefore isn’t there for his child nor his wife and the relationship with both of these people. He is suddenly put to the test when he looses his wife, in which he discovers how much he has lost by not being there with his son, while also realizing how bad his relationship was with his wife and how he cannot change that now, though he is now more than ever willing to change, and so on… Not much new there, and not that well executed either. I especially hated the pancake scene, as it felt so forced, but I did see the point and contrast of this scene, when we were introduced to the "same scene" later on, with the same subject and a much more down-toned atmosphere...

Anyways, even the courtroom scene didn’t really get to me, nor did I really care for it, or the characters' positions. It wasn't until Hoffman went into the bar and said he had lost the custody of his child, and when he had to tell his son why he must leave to be with his mother instead. The boy was now completely in focus, and his innocence and confusion was clear as ever. That also brings me to the phenomenal performance by the boy in this film. He was so believable in the role and outshined both Hoffman and Streep in my opinion. And please don’t say the classic argument that children of a young age don’t “act” - because that is bullsh*t… Anyways, decent film but the originality and its will to actually be different and go all the way came too late in the film. I was hoping for the film to go on for a longer time than it did, since it just started to be great, but that ending is extremely perfect though.

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February 14th

A Few Good Men (1992)
-



I don’t think I have ever watched this though I know how well-known it is, mostly for that classic line which I think I have heard a thousand times… Anyways, this film was pretty good, nothing that amazing but it was acceptable. The writing was extremely great as expected by such a talented writer, and the directing was decent though I couldn’t really feel any “personal fingerprints” that made it his own. The story was, in my opinion, a little too much going from point A to point B, though I do see the point of climbing up the courtroom ladder and finally getting to the “main target” of their case. I love courtroom dramas, but this didn’t really rise to greatness until the last 30 minutes or so. But it is obvious why it became good, since those scenes was what you were waiting for the whole time through. The acting was good, especially from Nicholson but he is always great. The soundtrack I really didn’t like. It felt like something from a horror film, and intentional or not, it just didn’t work for me. Overall this movie is one of those that you watch, you kind of like, and that’s pretty much it… At least that is how I felt.
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February 15th

The Tree of Life (2011)*



I was really fascinated when I watched this the first time. I liked the way it looked, the overall feel of it, and how it was executed. But still, it kind of felt too hollow, it felt overly ambitious and pretentious, and it just distanced me too much from the film. But this time I knew what were going to happen, I knew what kind of film this was, and this time I was blown away…

The easiest way to explain the feeling that it gave me, and in what way others should approach this, is; this is an experience, not a film. And if that doesn’t make sense I will elaborate. This film relies so much on visual storytelling and metaphoric and incoherent storylines. It jumps in time, in space, in life, and it can be hard to get your head around it. I’m not saying you shouldn't make thoughts while watching this, but you shouldn’t try too much to figure it all out at once, you should just let yourself flow weightless into this amazing experience of a film, which touches upon all of your senses at once, and twist them around. This film simply has to be seen with a great screen and great sound system if you want to be fully captivated by it. This time I had the opportunity to turn my sound system way up and watch it on a rather large screen, and I just disappeared into Malick’s beautiful world – or simply, our world. That 20-minute long sequence in which Malick tells the story of how the universe was created, how life came to be and how it evolved; that was one of the best sequences I have ever seen. The music the visuals are set to lifts it all up to a much higher level, and the breathtaking visuals are out of this world. If you really pay attention you can see just how much focus there is on detail and how one frame goes into the next. It is crazy, as is the whole visual aspect of the film, and personally I think it is my personal pick for the most beautiful film ever made. It balances natural lightning, handheld and steady-cam, practical and special effects, long takes and short takes, and so on...

Many say the whispering is what really makes this film pretentious, but I don’t think they listen to what is said, or what the point is. Without going into analyze-mode here, the film deals with God and belief, and how and why we are here on this earth, what our purpose is, and I think it is a great way of presenting us with the characters’ thought-process, how they pray, and how they show both trust and distrust toward a higher power… Anyways, if there is anybody who wants to give this film another chance, or have never seen it but really wants to, I can just say this: know that that this film is very visual, very ambitious and very hard to figure out at times – but don’t try to decipher too much, make some thoughts about how a given scene can be interpreted, but just try to let your senses get captured by the perfect blend of music, visuals, framing, editing and so on... Personally, I will continue to love this film for eternity!

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February 16th

Alyce Kills (2011)



There will be spoilers in this review… I hoped to like this, but I kind of expected not to, so I wasn’t that surprised or let down by the end of it. It pretty much played out how I expected, which was a shallow and empty piece of muddled filmmaking. I thought the development of the main character was extremely poor, and I don’t think the film dived deep enough into her mind, and her reasons for becoming the kind of person that she became. She was weird indeed, but not much more, really, at least not according to the film. That is a weak move in my opinion, to just choose not to actually develop your character or make reasons for her behavior.

The story was also pretty much non-existent. It relied mostly on coincident and wherever our main character felt like going and what she felt like doing. I didn’t feel like it progressed greatly enough, or most of what she did felt like an excuse for a bad writing. And those Alice in Wonderland references… seriously? A great idea that could have been fun and could have helped make a great story and, if used properly, it could have helped explain her character more. The way it was handled just felt unnecessary and like a last minute adding to get some laughs or whatever. I liked ONE SCENE quite a lot though, which was the very last scene of the film where she comes through her apartment door, dragging body bags and looking like a complete lunatic, and simply say “what?” That was pretty funny I must admit, and I wish it went more in that direction, honestly, since the story was so poor. If it had been totally over-the-top and completely outrageous and funny, then you would have forgot about the story.





MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... current day count
62 .......................... 56

__________________________

February 17th - 19th

The Jackass Movies (2002-2010)*
ratings are beneath


Jackass: The Movie (2002)*
Basically this is the perfect extended episode of an already entertaining TV show, and it is definitely dumb fun and all, but still enjoyable on its own low standards. It doesn’t try to do much else than what got it famous in the first place, and I respect that. Therefore, fans of the show’s stupidity and home-video-style filmmaking will be pleased, while others better stay far away. It is crude humor, brainless stunts, and childish fun – and personally, I have a great time with it! If you can get past all the overly gross stuff and overplayed idiocy you will have fun with it, but not everybody will enjoy this kind of humor, and that is most definitely understandable.


-
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Jackass Number Two (2006)*
In an attempt of, verbally, being just as crude and insulting as the show is physically, I will stand comfortably alongside the movie critic who called this “the Godfather Part 2 of tasteless prank films”. This tops the first film in every way, and it is a natural extension of what we already know the Jackass-crew for. It is basically a bunch of Jackasses acting dumb and rude – but with a bigger pile of money! The great thing is, though, that the film never feels overly ambitious or forced, because you never truly feel that the Jackass guys are any less themselves.

They don’t give a f*ck if there is a studio depending on them or not, or if people will get even more offended this time around – they are just having fun and the audience are just as entertained! They want to lift the bar, not only for the audience, but for themselves as well. And c’mon, is there any better way than opening your film with a scene of furious bulls chasing the crew down a street – in slow motion – accompanied by Ennio Morricone’s legendary masterpiece ‘Ecstasy of Gold’. And right after that, the audience is introduced to the very first prank of the film, which doesn’t hold anything back!

This sequel is just amazing for fans of the series and film, and of crude and dumb fun in general. Everything is just bigger, more rude, more insane, and every bit funnier than the first film. It is the perfect balance between a bigger budget and a stronger film, with more control of the uncontrollable madness – if that even makes sense. It is definitely the best Jackass-film in my opinion!


-
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Jackass 3D (2010)*
With the third Jackass entry in the film series, this is where things ultimately went downhill. As a fan, it is still nice to see all the guys back again for more insane stuff, but unfortunately, they kind of appear too old to still be fooling around like this. And there is a big sense of forced humor and a much lesser feel of unpredictability throughout the film. While the second Jackass movie had a bigger budget than the first, the Jackass crew was still at their best; having fun and doing whatever they wanted.

In this film, it is like they used more time setting things up instead of just doing it. Most of that comes from the decision of doing the film in 3D, carrying around heavy equipment, and the “point and shoot”-factor got a bit lost. Also because of their fame, they had to do almost the entire film on closed sets, away from fans and other interested individuals, which lead to a sense of dullness and emptiness when filming. The atmosphere really gets lost when there isn’t people around them shouting and having a laugh. Instead we get a few one-punch jokes, which then quickly gets laughed to the ground in a manner that feels so forced it could very well be a sitcom.

There is some really great laughs to be found in Jackass 3D, and a good sense of nostalgia that especially stands strong at the end credits. It does, at times, feel like a nice ending to the Jackasses that some of us have enjoyed following since day one, but as a stand-alone film, there just isn’t enough to make this a fantastic farewell… On the other hand, the “leftover footage” found in the accompany piece, Jackass 3.5, is actually a much better film that is much truer to the vision of Jackass. Back again is the feel of home video shooting and fun and stupidity, though, you can’t help but feel like they are definitely too old and worn out to pull this one home in grand style.


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February 20th

Crank 2: High Voltage (2009)*



I got encouaged to give this one another chance, after The Good Spaulding said he enjoyed the sequel more than the first film, and also because the reviews, surprisingly, wasn't that bad. As you probably saw earlier in the thread, I am a huge fan of the original, and I think it does all that it aims to do to absolute perfection! But that film was a "lucky bullseye", as the film really shouldn't have worked as great as it did. The directors felt like they had control of much more than you would think, and although some things seemed thrown in there for whatever reason, much of it felt smart and witty...

The sequel, however, is just one big stupid mess. You physically get a headache from the even shakier shaky-cam and the even quicker quick-cuts. It is basically the actual execution that I hate, because I really don't mind the idea of this follow-up. We know how dumb and far-out the first one took us, so obvious I'm all ready for Chev Chellios with a artificial heart that needs to be electrocuted once in a while. That is a great way of keeping the same adrenaline-fueled style of the first film. But unfortunately it is all so chaotic. They wanted to up every element of the first but gets completely lost in their own mess. I didn't love the first one just because it was stupid and over-the-top, and the directors seem to think that was the only reason the first film worked.

They even duplicate many of the same scenes of the first film, and just makes them dumber and more insane. I'd rather want to just see the first film then, instead of a copycat like this. Statham is still awesome, and the first 15-20 minutes are not bad, but it just goes downhill from every minute... And the soundtrack is awful as well, and that is also one of the main reasons for that headache I was talking about. Anyways, it is a shame this is so bad compared to the first. I will never grow to like this, but at least I gave it another shot.

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February 20th

The Fast and the Furious (2001)*
-



My rating for this film is pretty high considering the fact that it is just a dumb and reckless car wreck in many people's eyes. But I read a few critics stating that this is "a film that shouldn't work as great as it does" and that is extremely true. It isn't really because it brings anything all that new to the table, neither is it too special in any other area. But what it wins us over with, in my opinion, is what also drives the entire Fast-franchis: family. And with countless of rewatches and being the first film in a seven-part franchise, seeing the characters meet and bond is very nostalgic, but still well-handled even fore a first-time watcher. It has always been family, friendship and overall togetherness that has driven this franchise...

With this rewatch, I was honestly surprised over how good the dialogue was. I know, I know, that doesn't sound right considering which kind of movie this is, but when you think about it, it is a perfect portrayal of a group of people with gasoline in the veins and a heart as strong as a V8. Many of their dialogues and life understanding pours from the overall concept of racing and winning and loosing. If you can look deeper into a film like this, it actually is much greater than what it appears to be. It is flashy and straight forward when it wants to be, but it can easily shift down to a much more calmer pace that even suits the movie surprisingly well. This film just gets better and better with each viewing for me.

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February 21st

Fargo (1996)*
+



I know that this may seem like a low rating for some, and I know how respected this film is. But I can calm you all down by saying, that this received an even lower score from me the first time around. I had no idea what to expect, and all of what it tried to be kind of failed with me. I was really annoyed by the constant outbreaks of "yah" and the very very dark humor that at times seemed too dark for its own good. It was like it tried to be funny, but it didn't work at all...

This time though, I liked it a lot more. I knew what to expect now, and I wasn't at all annoyed by the humor. In fact, there were a lot of jokes I didn't even catch the first time around, which hit me perfectly this time around. The humor is still, at times, very dark and sometimes I am doubting myself on whether or not I should laugh. But overall this is great; I love the atmosphere and especially the soundtrack is fitting and really amazing. Pretty much all the characters are smartly written and have their own unique presentation, so to speak. This is the type of film I can see myself falling in love with more and more as I watch it. It is mainly the atmosphere that you fall in love with, and therefore the rewatches will be a very pleasant revisit back at the crazy spectacle happening in Fargo.

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February 22nd

Big Hero 6 (2014)



I really thought I'd hate this, considering the fact that I have heard a lot of negative stuff about it - mainly that it was too action-orientated, and too cliché... But every single Disney film as of late has dealt with a lot of the same subjects, and so does movies in general. What worked here for me, was simply that it was your typical Disney flick, but one that was a whole lot of fun. I like the approach to the story and the themes as well - even if they have been seen before. The plot wasn't the best, but the characters were pretty fun - especially Baymax! That robot is simply the best thing about this flick! And together with Disney's signature emotional touch this is a great film and a whole lot of fun!
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February 23rd

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)*



Unfortunately, for all the praise I gave the first film in the franchise, this does the exact opposite and isn't at all comfortable being "just a racing film". This dives right into the clichés that the first one elegantly drove past, and ends up being your typical buddy-comedy action film with a "plot" centering around money and with a stupid villain. Furthermore, this entry in the series is all too flashy for its own good, looking like a rap music video a lot of the time. The first one had a slight rap soundtrack and stuff, but this is just a straight up hood movie with cars. Not to be racist, but it is clear to see that the director is black.

The dialogue, which I just sort of praised in the first one, is absolutely cringe-worhy in this. So stupid and stiff that it hurts the ears. The only good thing is the chemistry between the characters of Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson. When you can accept this movie for what it wants to be, then you can have a fairly good time with those two characters. But the plot is definitely pushed to the side in favor of flashy visuals, rap music, over the top action, and cliché tension and characters. It is average entertainment at best.

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February 24th

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)*



This was a film that I somehow of knew I would completely fall in love with on a second viewing, but still, this film surprised me even more than what I could have hoped for and it could easily end up being an all time favourite of mine. The Coen brothers are very much hit or miss for me... 'No Country for Old Men', for example, is one of my aboslute favourite films of all time - as many of you probably already know - while 'O Brother Where Are Thou' is a film that I have never been able to get through, even considering the fact that it is shot beautifully and has great actors in it.

But The Coens are a lot about a certain atmosphere in their films, which is probably why I love some and hate others; either you like the spend time in the atmosphere and specific world that they are creating, or maybe you just want to get out of there... But with this film, that specific element of atmosphere was a winner for me. I love the gloomy and greyish visuals combined with the amazing folk song soundtrack. The story is very down to earth but it has a lot more to it than what meets the eye (for example the thing about the cat). It is a fun film to study, a great film to listen to, and overall it is just an amazing joy to experience this period in time, perfectly executed by the Coen brothers. I'm already looking forward to a third watch!