My wife and I both pretty much wept during this movie. Our oldest son's only a little older than Jacob Tremblay's character, which made it all a little more real for us, but just knowing that things like this have happened in real life just drives home how heartbreaking the story is. Brie Larson definitely deserved her Oscar, Tremblay probably should've gotten a nomination, too, I haven't seen many performances of that caliber from a kid that young. And it just got a lot of things right, in terms of the performances and how far to play out the story, what to show and what not to show.
This is a horror flick about some guys who decide to rob a woman's house while she's at her brother's funeral, except she has extreme agoraphobia and is unable to leave the house, so she's still in the house when they get there and it becomes a Panic Room-style cat and mouse home invasion thing. I thought the story had potential, and Beth Riesgraf gives a pretty commanding performance, but I also feel like the use of agoraphobia as a narrative device wound up being really contrived and exaggerated, and the story had probably more twists than it needed.
I watched this for the same reason I recently watched The Walk, because I wanted to feel schadenfreude about an American actor trying to play a non-American character and winding up with an infamously bad accent. It's a shame, though, I was initially excited about the idea that a big movie about CTE with a major star would open up the conversation about what the hell is going on in the NFL but it kinda seemed like this movie had no real impact. It's not terrible outside of Will Smith's accent but it is kind of bland, I think the only thing I'll remember from it is Albert Brooks saying "I don't care. I'm tired. My balls are low."
I kinda put this movie on in the background one day when I was writing, sad story but I didn't really pay it much attention.
I think Guy Ritchie is on some very fundamental level just an incompetent filmmaker who has no sense of how to pace a film or make people behave like people. It was less of an issue with his Sherlock Holmes movies, because he didn't write those screenplays, and there was a strong cast to drive things forward. But The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, two of the most unconvincing placebo movie stars that Hollywood has ever tried to force on the public, and a scattered Ritchie screenplay. I'm being mean, though, it's kind of jaunty and fun, Hammer and Alicia Vikander have good chemistry.
f) Ex Machina
This was pretty good. I liked the way the script played with your expectations of what the story would be, essentially by manipulating a character's emotions and the audience's at the same time, it was very cleverly laid out. There are a few intense scenes where the score drowns out the actual sound of what's going on and it's really a pretty gripping device. Oscar Isaac gives such a great charismatic, occasionally comic performance that really keeps the whole thing from being a little too somber and intellectual.
g) True Story
Jonah Hill has done a fair share of dramatic films by now, and so has James Franco, but I feel like it was kind of a misfire to make them the two leads of a movie like this. And I think it's more because they can't carry the movie than because I think Seth Rogen's gonna come around the corner with a bong and turn it into a comedy. Also this story is kind of ridiculous, I mean it really happened and it's plausible but I think the way they tell it is kind of pompous.
I feel like the people who made this movie just loved Shaun Of The Dead and wanted to remake it with vampires instead of zombies and an American office building instead of a British town. But I do enjoy a good horror comedy, and this was well done even if it did feel derivative, there was a lot of loopy fun to be had with the premise and the cast was pretty good.
This was on TV recently and I watched it a bit with my son, I need to see the whole thing at some point, I love Ardman Studios cartoons so much.