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THE JUNGLE BOOK
(2016)


This was truly an incredible movie experience. Even though the film is a remake of the classic animated film, the fact it's live action makes it stand alone.



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ďLet me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!Ē ~ Rocky Balboa



Me and Earl and the Dying Girl-

A well crafted film that isn't very likable. It's really about a whiny introverted high schooler who becomes a real person with the help of his Magical Negro friend and Manic Pixie Dream Dying Girl. And the film still has the nerve to pat itself on the back for not using YA tropes. Great filmmaking and some fantastic scenes, though.

Infinitely Polar Bear-

A great Mark Ruffalo performance in a movie that gets no reaction out of me otherwise. Totally okay. The story moves in circles and cannot justify its already short runtime.

Oblivion-

I know I like it, but I have no idea how much I like it. Good performances, amazing visual effects, one of the best soundtracks of the 2010's, and an engaging enough plot to keep me invested in the twists. It's also very slow and talky and kind of boring for a Tom Cruise sci-fi movie, with clunky execution of the plot and a lack of original ideas. Not everyone will enjoy this.



Greatest reviewer alive
Midnight Special

I've yet to see Mud, or Shotgun Stories for that matter, but Take Shelter I found to be extremely well taut, showing signs of an independent filmmaker taking bold chances with a story about a man that sincerely wants to prove he isn't suffering from schizophrenia. It's a beautiful story, with an ending that vindicates his beliefs. As for Midnight Special, Jeff Nichols is aiming for the stars.

The story revolves around a family hell bent on getting their son, who seemingly has supernatural powers, to a location that I won't spoil. It's partially a chase film, with the family trying to evade the FBI and a cult, killing whoever comes in their way. Surprises come and linger and ask you whether you know what's gonna happen next. I dare you to try and guess. Chances are it'll be the complete opposite of what you believe to be happening.

One thing that should be mentioned is not only Michael Shannon's performance, which is as good as a Michael Shannon performance gets, the young Jaeden Lieberher puts in a heart-rendering performance as Alton, the young boy with much more going on than what's led to believe at first. Joel Edgerton is great as an ex-state trooper helping his bestfriend get his son to a certain destination, and Kirsten Dunst finds her footing towards the end.

All In All, what I think Midnight Special lacks is what it ultimately doesn't care about, which is a coherent all-answering story. It doesn't leave many answers available but then again maybe that's the entire point. B






The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)




This is known as one of the worst ever best picture winners, and it's IMDb rating of 6.7 would seem to back that up. Despite my opinion that this movie fell way short of it's potential, I still think it has a lot to offer. It's a very lavish production, with the circus being the backdrop for the drama between various characters. It's got a nice cast with Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart, Cornel Wilde, and Betty Hutton giving solid performances. There's plenty going on for it's 2 1/2 hour runtime, but it could have been even better in just about every regard. I mean this could have been really great, but at the same time I would say it's a little underrated.



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A Woman Under The Influence - 10/10

I watched it with my cousin, had to pause every minute to answer a question, explain something. It was fun.



The King of Comedy (1982)

Fine Martin Scorsese film that is rare in that it's a black comedy from the maestro of the dark drama and it totally works. Robert de Niro shines as Rupert Pupkin, an unsuccessful comic who covets his favorite star, talk-show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis, satirizing his own image, or basically playing himself, you decide). Pupkin wants to get on Langford's show and is constantly given the runaround by everyone involved with the show. This forces Pupkin to go to extreme measures. Pupkin's friend, Masha (Sandra Bernhard), is on hand, and she is also extremely enamored of Langford. While not a laugh-a-minute type of movie, I had a smile on my face all the way through. One of my favorite scenes has Jerry hurrying down the street, being met at a busy crosswalk by an older lady fan who wants an autograph, only to refuse her because he's late for an appointment. The lady, who had professed to be a huge fan then tells Jerry, "I hope you die of cancer!" I saw an interview with Jerry Lewis where he said that, although in a different setting, this story was true. Funny stuff. Excellent movie.





Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953 re-watch)

The A&B movies are kind of 50/50 in their hilarity value for me, although I'm still a big fan of theirs. This one, although I hadn't seen it since I was a kid, is pretty dang funny. It's fast-paced and that helps a lot. Bud and Lou are "on loan" as bobbies to the London police (how this came about, we're not told) in the late 1800's and of course muck things up royally. They're fired and have time to hunt down the local serial killer, in the form of Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll is played by Boris Karloff, who is clearly having a lot of fun. He doesn't play the Mr. Hyde character, who is played by an uncredited actor named Eddie Parker. Lots of great A&B gags and earnest acting by Karloff and support by Craig Stevens who played Detective Peter Gunn in late 1950's television. A must-see for fans of Abbott and Costello.





West of Zanzibar (1928)

Excellent Lon Chaney silent flick with Chaney as a magician who thinks his wife is cheating on him with Lionel Barrymore. Barrymore becomes responsible for Chaney getting crippled and Chaney sets out for revenge. In the ensuing years, Chaney moves to Africa and practically becomes a king over a local tribe. He learns that Barrymore is in the ivory trade and he sets up a plan to sell him ivory while really waiting to get his vengeance. Meanwhile, he has had the daughter that Barrymore and Chaney's late wife apparently had put in a brothel for almost twenty years. Chaney is really angry! One of his assistants doesn't approve of his methods and sets out to stop him. The natives are restless and Chaney must keep them in line while he plots and plans. The daughter, all grown up now, shows up. Barrymore shows up and the heat is on. Everyone does a fine job here, but Chaney is the star, sometimes in a wheelchair, sometimes dragging himself around on his dead legs. He was the ultimate performer, giving his all with makeup, stunts, and sometimes people forget he could really act. Fine stuff.



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Brooklyn (2015)

+


There wouldn't seem to be much here for me that suits my taste. Combine that with a slow moving and fairly subtle style, and the odds were long against me enjoying it. In the beginning, I was kept in it by how extremely well made and finely acted it is, and then it won me over with it's warmth. I thought the lead actress was fantastic.



Brooklyn (2015)

+


There wouldn't seem to be much here for me that suits my taste. Combine that with a slow moving and fairly subtle style, and the odds were long against me enjoying it. In the beginning, I was kept in it by how extremely well made and finely acted it is, and then it won me over with it's warmth. I thought the lead actress was fantastic.
That seems to be a lot of our experience with Brooklyn. Shows that anything can be a strong movie in the right hands. Glad you enjoyed it Cricket, mofo keeping the Brooklyn train rolling
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My Best Friend's Wedding (1997)