Deadpool – Or third time’s the charm for Ryan Reynolds

Deadpool – Or third time’s the charm for Ryan Reynolds

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Wade Wilson is a former Special Forces turned mercenary who is subjected to a series of gruesome experiments by a sadistic scientist going by the name Ajax. After one of these experiments goes wrong and Wilson is left for dead, he discovers he know posseses accelerated healing. He adopts this persona, Deadpool, an anti-hero of sorts who hunts down for the one responsible for his suffering and nearly destroying his life. The movie, based on the comic book of the same name, stars Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Ed Skrein.

That was about time, Ryan Reynolds

Finally Ryan Reynolds gets into the superhero action successfully. You all know how painful it was to watch him in this hot mess of a movie, so it is an absolute delight to see him in this irreverent, snarky, and incredibly awesome comic book adaptation! Comic book lovers already knew the magic of this character and were probably very concerned with the casting of Reynolds for obvious reasons: one we’ve already mentioned, the other how he had already had a shot a this character in this other movie. Thankfully, I don’t think fans they will be disappointed.

From the opening credits, you know you’re in for a treat

This movie is an action film with a lot of comedy that will be entertaining from beginning to end. The opening credits consist Rather funny one-line description rather than actual actors and crew names, such as “God’s perfect idiot” (reference to Reynolds himself), “A hot chick” (Morena Baccarin, Deadpool’s love interest), and “The comic relief” (funnyman T.J. Miller). These credits take place over a slow-motion action scene we get to see in full fast pace a few minutes later. The movie begins in present time with the character in full costume on the hunt for the one who wronged him. We get one big flashback to how our hero got to where he is today, and then back to our anti-hero’s foul-mouthed antics. We also get to experience the character’s typical breaking of the fourth wall. There are plenty of those moments and all hilarious!
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The veredict?

Writing this post makes me want to watch this movie again (and I probably will), and so should you! From the meta-humor and references to the incredible (and ultraviolent) action scenes, this movie will be a successful trip to the movie theater. Enjoy!

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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

The movie, based on the book by the same name, covers the life of Steve Jobs in a span of 14 years, focusing on 3 key product launches in the digital giant’s career. The movie stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels. Directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin.

Between this one and the melodrama that was the Ashton Kutcher version, you can understand why the Boyle / Sorkin version has gotten so much praise. It is a well-written, incredibly performed piece about a man who equal parts visionary and asshole. Seriously, even in the silly Ashton Kutcher version Steve Jobs never comes off as your average Mr. Nice Guy. I guess it worked out well for all of us, says the woman typing this on an iPad while her iPhone sits not too far away. But I digress….

Back to the movie: Aaron Sorkin screenplay is pretty smart and complex; yet when in the hands of the main characters it sounds real and interesting. If it weren’t this year being Leonardo Dicaprio’s year, I’d say Fassbender deserves the Oscar for his performance as Jobs. Kate Winslet’s Joanna Hoffman on the other hand, will definitely grab herself an award, most likely. She’s already nabbed the Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination.

The only donwside of the movie is that it feels a bit rushed, there is somewhat of a piece missing to make this one of those super exciting Sorkin flicks. Steve Jobs is not bad, nor boring, but it does feel at times like they took a chunk off too much in the editing room.

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Spotlight

Spotlight

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Based on a true story, Spotlight follows the Boston Globes’ investigation of several child molestation cases by Catholic priests in the Boston area and the subsequent cover-up by the Archdiocese. The movie stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schrieber, John Slattery, and Stanley Tucci. Directed by Tom McCarthy

The movie follows a pretty linear narrative: Spotlight is the investigative unit of the Boston Globe newspaper that stumbles upon a news piece about this priest accused of child molestation. From then on, the reporters dig deeper into the story to uncover a much bigger issue.

This is not going to be a pretty topic, and yet this movie handles it gracefully. The movie skips all the sordid details of the cases the reporters investigate, while sticking to the facts of this outrageous scandal. It is a riveting watch. Scene after scene you’ll be so outraged at how such horrible facts stayed hidden for such a long time. And you’ll have a small sense of justice when it’s all out in the open.

This is one of my favorite movies this award season. It’s a smart movie that skips the melodrama and yet maintains a poignancy such a story deserves.

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Creed

Creed

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

Creed follows the story of Adonis “Donnie” Johnson, an aspiring boxer and son of the late boxing heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. He travels to Philadelphia, reaching out to Rocky Balboa, his father’s old friend (and former rival), in the hopes that he would train him and help his dream of becoming a professional boxer. The film stars Anthony B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, and Phylicia Rashad.

As the seventh part of the Rocky franchise, this movie follows a tried and tested formula like its predecessors: underdog with incredible emotional conflict finds his vocation and a wise old sage to help him through the journey to the top. While true to the franchise, the movie manages to inject a fresh perspective, with an exciting story to follow and new characters to love.

Even if you don’t like boxing, you’ll be rooting for our hero in every training session and every fight. You can sympathize with his struggle and celebrate his success. It’s also an enjoyable experience to see Jordan’s character form meaningful relationships throughout the film, especially with Stallone’s Rocky.

The latter got a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination (so far – he might win it) for his role. Why no one else from the cast was nominated is a mystery to me. They were great! In any case, Creed is going to be on of the most entertaining films you’ll see this award season!

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The Revenant – Or give Leonardo Dicaprio his Oscar already!

The Revenant – Or give Leonardo Dicaprio his Oscar already!

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

The Revenant tells the survival tale of Hugh Glass, a 1820s frontiersman in the fur trade who gets mauled by a bear and left for dead by his expedition team. The film, based patially on Michael Punke’s book of the same name, is directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu and stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhall Gleeson, and Will Poulter.

Members of the Academy, it’s time. Yes, you’ve had stellar performances by leading actors over the past few years, so we can all understand why you’ve deferred this one. Is Dicaprio’s Hugh Glass the best performance he’s ever delivered? Probably not, but it’s a damn good one worth an Oscar. Seriously, the man plays a character who’s been almost shredded to pieces, dealt with unfathomable loss, and is still trying to get back to his camp (to ennact his revenge no less). The pure, raw emotion is undeniable. Don’t even read the nominees, presenters at the show, JUST GIVE HIM THE OSCAR ALREADY!

The movie begins with a heavy battle scene where the trappers are collecting their pelts and get ambushed by Arikara native Americans. In one of the moments after they escape, Dicaprio’s Glass accidentally stumbles upon a grizzly bear with cubs and is thus attacked. For the rest of the movie, we follow the journey of Glass through the wintery wilderness of Montana and South Dakota trying to get to Fort Kiowa (his base). The pace remains fairly slow, with a very large part of screen time devoted to Dicaprio’s injured character. Sometimes the present timeline gets interrupted by character’s flashbacks and the ocassional “unfortunate” encounter that’ll make you think “this had to be the unluckiest man in the world!” Although slow, you could not say the plot is boring at all. The film succeeds in create a feeling of anticipation of what’ll happen next.

The industry has already responded to this movie with a few Golden Globe wins and 12 Academy Award nominations, particularly in the big categories: Actor in a Leading role for Dicaprio, Actor in a Supporting role for Tom Hardy, Directing for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, and Best Movie. This a visually stunning movie (guess what, it’s got a nomination for Cinematography, too!) that combined with it’s compelling plot makes it the best choice for this year coveted awards. Compared to previous year’s nominees, it may seem like an overrated choice, but in the pool of nominees, it works!

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Carol

Carol

Synopsis: Read on IMDB

An adaptation from the 1952 book The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith; Carol is the love story between Therese Belivent, a young aspiring photographer, and Carol Aird, a soon to be divorced mother of one. The tale unfolds with the backdrop of 1950s America, a time of intolerance for anyone being gay.

Starring Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as Therese, the film strength is in the powerful performances of these two wonderful actresses. Blanchett’s Carol is a woman who is well aware of how society views homosexuality and yet she is very comfortable with who she is and what she wants. She plays this character with sophistication and subtlety, a great contrast to Mara’s character, a young, inexperienced, and innocent Therese. Putting the latter performance in context with her other, usually darker roles, it does add a power to this one. Both of them have received accolades, including Oscar nominations in leading and supporting actress categories.

The film also includes performances by Kyle Chandler as Carol’s husband Harge and the always amazing Sarah Paulson as Carol’s confident and former paramour Abby Gerhard. However, the large majority of screentime is devoted to Carol and Therese. Performances aside, the movie’s pace is incredibly slow. Some parts felt extremely monotonous and for an almost 2-hour film, it is a big deal. This is definitely not a movie for the masses, for sure. The themes are very important and the love story very beautifully told, I personally felt there was an element of emotion / passion missing. I don’t mean in the form of more intimate scenes between the couple, but something that would make us care more about these characters.

What is strange to me is when looking at the individual elements it’s been nominated for (costume design, adapted screenplay, original score, cinematography, and of course, the acting ones) you can see it’s a truly deserved recognition, yet as a whole, it misses a certain wow factor. In many ways, the subtleties may have not worked in the movie’s favor

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