#14 – Up – by Nick Andersen

Up-pic-review

Up is a 2009 animated film directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Bob Peterson. Both of them along with Tom McCarthy wrote the story. Before Inside Out, Up was Pixar’s best movie and even won the award for Best Picture. It tells the story about an elderly man fulfilling a promise to his late wife with the company of a young scout explorer, a house tethered to thousands of balloons, a long-lost explorer, some “talking” dogs and a giant bird named Kevin. It is a beautiful, funny and touching film. Pixar always knows how to make us emotional and in Up, you will most likely cry.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#13 – Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – by Nick Andersen

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Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is an R-rated 2014 comedy and drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The film’s script was written by the director himself along with Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo. It stars Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough and Amy Ryan. It is the story about a faded Hollywood actor, who once was famous for his iconic role as Birdman, now struggling not to lose his career by adapting, directing and starring in a Broadway play written by Raymond Carver. The film is quite extraordinary. Iñárritu’s one-take illusion is mesmerizingly unbelievable! Michael Keaton’s performance is the winner in this one; truly one of his best. Edward Norton’s was excellent as usual. Whatever is shown to us in movies, whether relevant or not at the time, it is important to keep those things in mind, for if we ignore them, we won’t be able to come up with more than one interpretation in the end and this movie definitely has more than just one!

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#12 – This Is England – by Nick Andersen

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This Is England is an R rated 2006 crime and drama film directed and written by Shane Meadows based off of his own experiences. The film
centers during a 1983 summer in England in the times of Margaret Thatcher as first Prime Minister and the Falklands War. Shaun, a
fatherless 12-year old loner, becomes part of a friendly Skinhead group but things get more dramatic when dangerous neo-nazi Combo returns from prison. It’s an interesting change of scenery if you’re used to American-made films. The film deals with the times of mass unemployment and the xenophobia of the group of these Skinheads. We see how things are through the eyes of young impressionable Shaun. This film is not for everyone. Some love it and others dislike it. My opinion is right in the middle.

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#11 – Mr. Nobody – by Nick Andersen

Mr Nobody-pic-review

Mr. Nobody is an R-rated 2009 sci-fi, drama and romance film directed by Jaco Van Dormael starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger and Linh Dan Pham. In short, Mr. Nobody is a gem. It’s wonderfully unique. It’s fantastic and complex. Not a lot people will like it, much less understand it. But for those who did understand it, wow, what a story! The theme in this film is about our actions and their repercusions. Cause and effect. It is visually stunning with beautiful close-up shots. Its soundtrack is beautiful and sets the mood just right. From lead singer of 30 Seconds To Mars to his Oscar-winning role in Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto is unique in all his activities and does a good job in this one. I was asked by someone if this film was better than n (whichever). I told that person that you cannot compare this to any film. It is however one where you have to pay close attention to, so if you enjoy those kinds, then you’re in for a very interesting ride with this one.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#10 – Kingsman: The Secret Service – by Nick Andersen

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Kingsman: The Secret Service is a 2014 R-rated comedy film directed and written — alongside Jane Goldman — by Matthew Vaughn based on the comic books The Secret Service. It stars a wide known cast, but the main actors in this story are Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson and Taron Egerton. To get an idea of Vaughn’s directing, think of films Layer Cake (2004), Kick-Ass (2010) and X-men: First Class (2011). If you haven’t seen Layer Cake or Kick-Ass you cannot appreciate this movie for what it is. Kingsman is its own film genre. It’s satirical, bloody, ridiculously funny, foul mouthed and action filled. It’s almost like watching a Tarantino film. I mean, Samuel L. Jackson is even in it!

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#9 – Deja Vu – by Nick Andersen

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Deja Vu is a 2006 film directed by the late Tony Scott (1944-2012) starring Denzel Washington, Paula Patton and Jim Caviezel. It is based on a story by writers Bill Marsilii and Terri Rossio. You can never go wrong with a movie if Denzel is in it. You are almost always guaranteed an entertaining one or two hours with his performance and he always delivers the best he can be to the particular role of each film. This was Tony Scott’s second Denzel Washington movie (first being Man On Fire – 2004) and went on to direct two more with him (Taking of Pelham 123 and Unstopabble). For a movie before 2010, and from the many others we’ve seen after, Deja Vu stands out with great action and edge-of-the-seat suspense. Throw in a little Sci-Fi and you’ve got a box office hit.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#8 – Chronicle – by Nick Andersen

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Chronicle is a 2012 film directed by Josh Trank starring Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan. It is based on a story by both Josh Trank and writer Max Landis. This is the type of film that is mostly recorded as a first person with old model cameras (2004) and camcorders rather than the professional cinematic cameras that weigh a lot and are highly expensive. The movie is not exactly a superhero one but it deals with superpowers and that is always exciting! Don’t let the first person view throw you off! This independent film really succeeded in creating an enjoyable story with the theme of superpowers.

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#7 – Enemy – by Nick Andersen

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Enemy is a 2014 film directed by Denis Villeneuve starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, and Sarah Gadon. It is an adaptation of the book El Hombre Duplicado by José Saramago. My goodness, what a mind-boggling film! I watched this movie last week, but had to watch it again today to understand it well enough to make a review. For me, this is truly a brilliant work of art. I highly recommend people to watch it before reading on with all the major spoilers. It is one of the best I have seen so far this year. Amazing.

SO MANY SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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#5 – Oldboy (2003) – by Nick Andersen

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Oldboy is an R-rated 2003 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook. It stars Choi Min-sik, Yu Ji-tae and Kang Hye-jung. This is my first watching a Park Chan-wook film. I had added this one to my list a while ago because of the 8.4/10 score it has on IMDB. From the sypnosis, I had somewhat an idea of what I was about to watch: A man is released after being imprisoned for 15 years by an unknown captor. This is his story of revenge…

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#3 – Runaway Jury – by Nick Andersen

Runaway-Jury

 

Runaway Jury is a 2003 film and a really good one! I wasn’t sure in the beginning of this film if I was going to like it, since the short summary on the back of the dvd case didn’t reveal too much; but I chose it because of the four main actors that star in it, two of them being big time actors: Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman.

!!! SPOILERS AHEAD !!!

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