Annie (2014): A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.
What's sad is that Annie will absolutely be up for some awards, like the song categories, so I can't just forget about this movie. Sigh....
Mr. Turner (2014): An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.
Without a doubt one of the deeper views of 2014, Mr. Turner is a biopic in its truest form. The immersion factor of Mr. Turner is just about the best I’ve seen from a movie all year. I must commend the filmmakers for going into such detail on every scene and every setting to truly make you feel like you are observing a 19th century Britain. While it may not be nominated for anything because of its lesser-known status, Mr. Turner is without a doubt the best set design I’ve scene from a movie in 2014 thus far. However, this immersion factor did hurt the film at times sadly. The British/Scottish accents were very heavy, and thus often times my “uncultured” ears could not hear and understand what was being said. But, as far as 2014 biopics go, there is little denying that this is the best of the year.
As for acting, a biopic is only as good as its lead. Fortunately, to say Timothy Spall delivered a fantastic performance would be something of an understatement. He was phenomenal as J.M.W. Turner. The once Harry Potter villain actor was completely unrecognizable to the point that, despite knowing he was from Harry Potter I even began to question myself. The rest of the cast of UK stars are also superb, as the entire 150 minute movie felt like a play with insane production value. No screen hogging. No overacting. Just…. everyone doing their part to ensure the best possible experience for the viewer.
I also loved the story. In an era where movies do so much handholding to the viewer, it is fantastic to see a movie just show you the events on screen and expect you to interpret them yourself. While personally I welcomed this, it, combined with the heavy accents, did make this movie a very dense watch. I actually had to take a break at one point in order to get through it, so I do not recommend watching it in a social gathering, however if you are interested in art and enjoy landscape paintings, you absolutely must see this movie. One other thing to mention is that the direction of filmmaker Mike Leigh was incredible. His use of wideshots in a room really made me feel like I was watching a play. It also made me feel very small compared to Mr. Turner, which I believe is exactly what Leigh was going for.
My only major gripe against the film is that I never really truly cared about Turner. While I do not believe Leigh was intending for you to do so and that the movie is more an investigation into the last 25 years of Turner’s life, the lack of emotion really downplays the replayability aspect of the movie. Additionally, because of the thick accents, there were several things I missed, and as a result what were supposed to be the emotional moments were not emotional to me because I didn’t fully understand them. While this is entirely my fault as the viewer, it still keeps Mr. Turner from earning a perfect score from me.
So there you have it. While it is a dense film, Mr. Turner is the gold standard for a biopic. A movie with incredible set design, fantastic direction, and a marvelous performance from Timothy Spall makes Mr. Turner one of the best films of the year. If you consider yourself a fan of art it’s a must-see.
The Critique: Mr. Turner sets a new standard in the biopic genre. One of the best films of the year.
The Recommendation: any and every aspiring artist should watch this movie because of the fantastic job it does showing the inspiration behind Turner’s paintings. Any and every art fan in general should see this. Even non-art fans will enjoy this, I know art and myself do not get along and I still liked it!
The Verdict: 9.5/10 Damn Near Perfect
First off, the acting. Seth Rogen, once again, plays himself in this movie. I say that like it's a bad thing, but it's not. I enjoy Seth Rogen personally. I wish he would try to put himself out there in a more dangerous role, but I don't mind him continuing to make safe parts for himself. But then there's James Franco. He is screen-hogging the hell out of this movie, and it was very distracting and quite unwelcome. This movie and his performance will only continue to add to the James Franco hate that already exists out there. Now I know he was screen-hogging in This is the End too, but then it was quite welcome because he was making a parody of himself. Here it appears he's not being a parody of himself, and that's where the unwelcome screen-hogging came in. Oh well. The supporting cast is sadly underwhelming, short of Randall Park as Kim Jong-Un. Park is the only person asked to to do much of anything from an acting standpoint, and he delivers easily the most memorable performance of the movie. Rogen and co. asked a lot of Randall Park, and he most certainly delivered. However, I'm sad to say that Lizzy Caplan and her CIA counterparts have very little material to work with here, and her role is reduced to merely cheerleading on the sideline. Seriously! Ok, let me give you a quick example: at one point, North Korea is getting ready to use its nukes, (it's in the trailer) and then there's a shot of the CIA literally just standing there yelling at Rogen and Franco for whatever reason or another. Hey guys! Shouldn't we worry about the nukes that North Korea is getting ready to fire? No? We should just keep yelling at Franco and Rogen for unrelated things, right? Ok, cool.
And that's my biggest problem with this movie: this movie sets up some very potentially serious moments, but then resolves them with very silly resolves. For example, in the interview itself (spoiler: there's an interview of Kim Jong-Un in The Interview! WHOA) the gang sets up a very interesting line of questioning for Un as they try to make him slip up. But then, instead of further going down this path, they resolve this plot line with a pop culture reference. I don't know. Maybe it's my Newsroom side coming out, but I would've really liked this moment and many others that are set up with very serious and legitimate plot points to not be resolved with silly pop culture references or other silly things. I mean think about This is the End. The apocalypse is a very serious matter, and they do treat it fairly seriously in the final act while still throwing in jokes to keep you laughing. It became a drama with a side of comedy. That's where The Interview fails. It sets itself up to be a drama with a side of comedy, but then chooses to keep itself a comedy with a side of drama.
Here also is where my rule of comedies will once again come out: if the movie makes me laugh, then I can't hold the plot flaws against it. And while there were quite a few misses with the humor, there was also quite a few hits. But, at the end of the day, this movie is merely good. The stories surrounding the movie are absolutely far more sensational than the movie itself. And while I still look forward to what Rogen, Franco, and Goldberg have to offer next, I will also send them a warning: it's time to mix things up, guys. Your formula is starting to wear thin on me. Consider yourself warned.
The Critique: plot holes-a-plenty are not enough to take away from a good comedy. Silly at best.
The Recommendation: I mean, how can you not watch this movie? Just do it to say you did.
The Verdict: 7/10 Good
When Harry Met Sally....(1989): Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship.
Hey guys! Enter the Movies is here to keep you company on this lovely Christmas day with a quick review of When Harry Met Sally...! I'm keeping the tradition going of reviewing movies that you don't necessarily associate with Christmas (like Die Hard from last year) but are very connected to the holiday, as the final act of this movie takes place on Christmas day and New Years day. So how is the movie? It is fantastic. I feel like 2014 thus far hasn't been the strongest of years for movies (of what I've seen so far) so it's really nice to sit down and watch a classic. And believe me, this movie is a classic in every sense of the word. Everything about it is perfect, from the story (written by Nora Ephron) to the direction of Rob Reiner. This is honestly one of the best movies of the 80s, and is the perfect beginning to what would become the golden age of romantic movies.
A romantic movie is only as good as its leads, and to say Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are great together is something of an understatement. Their chemistry is undeniable from the first moment they get in a car on a cross-country trip all the way through the conclusion of the 96 minute rom-com. From the highs of the plot to the lows, I was with these characters and cared about them from start to finish. And yes, this movie is a comedy and one of the best I've seen in a long time. I cannot emphasize enough how much fun this movie is. Even in its saddest moments there was always a wonderful joke to bring you back up. This movie is a classic in the truest sense of the word, and a very fitting movie to watch on Christmas. Check it out!
Well it's a bit of a short review today and there is a ton more stuff I could talk about, but we all have things to do today. I hope everyone has a wonderful day and a Happy New Year to you as well! And don't forget to have what she's having when you're at the dinner table tonight.
The Critique: A rom-com at its best. Fantastic acting, a great story, and humorous subplots make this movie a classic to the fullest degree.
The Recommendation: I recommend this to anyone, regardless of whether you have a significant other or not. It is a must-see.
The Verdict: 10/10 Perfect
Thanks for spending some of your time here at Enter the Movies today! I love you all!
part three of The Hobbit? You ever try to think of that from their perspective? It's because this beloved franchise has been watered down into a cash cow. Peter Jackson decimated the franchise when he went for quantity over quality. And guess what? The Tolkien estate doesn't like that, so they want Hollywood to get its hands off this franchise for a while. Now, before you accuse me of being a LOTR hater, let me remind you: the four-and-a-half hour extended edition of Return of the King is to this day my favorite movie of all-time. It is a masterpiece of American cinema, and this movie is trying so hard to walk in its footsteps. I'm sorry, but it doesn't work. This is not the defining chapter of the LOTR saga that it's being marketed as, and if you try to say that it is....well I don't want to say you're wrong, but you're not right.
Once again this quantity over quality style shows here, as we essentially get two hours of battle scenes that could've just as easily been condensed into the final hour of a three hour movie over the course of this 144 minute film. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind getting two hours of battle LOTR-style battle scenes, but I didn't care about any of it. Unlike the climax of Return of the King in the Battle of Minas Tirith, where you feel an incredible feeling of despair and emotion as you see Sauron's army for the first time as it approaches the gates, you never feel that in The Battle of the Five Armies.
The primary fault of never having this feeling of despair is that you never feel like the good guys lose any ground versus the orcs. In the Battle of Minas Tirith, the army has a valiant stand on the first level, but the battle eventually becomes a street fight because Gondor's army can't withstand a force of hundreds of thousands. Well, we have hundreds of thousands of orcs here too, and versus an even smaller force of good guys on an open plain (without the cover of the buildings of Minas Tirith) and yet.....everyone's fine. There's one point....ok this sums up my biggest fault with this movie. At one point, a few members of the company, including Thorin, separate themselves from the bulk of the battle. A scout comes to them and says a hundred goblin scouts are going to attack them. Thorin literally turns to the company and sends all but himself and one other guy off to warn everyone else that another force is approaching, and that they'll handle the hundred goblins. By themselves. Two versus one hundred. Really???? Drives me crazy when a franchise so good at creating gravitas like LOTR is diluted down to our heroes being comparable to a Sylvester Stallone-Expendables-like hero. God d*mnit.
Ok I'm going to talk about one other thing that really pissed me off before talking about good stuff, ok? Remember that cliffhanger ending in The Desolation of Smaug that drove you (hopefully) and me absolutely crazy? Ya. So they pick up right where they left off and the resolve the plot line involving Smaug within the first 15 minutes of this movie. Can you imagine if The Two Towers just ended as Gandalf appeared at the top of the mountain while the orcs were about to break into the keep? The fact that ANYONE can be ok with Peter Jackson ending The Desolation of Smaug the way he did is just.....mind boggling. It's honestly idiotic to be ok with this. And it really just put a sour taste in my mouth for a large part of this movie. Shame on you for doing this to The Hobbit franchise, Peter Jackson. Shame on you.
Ok, so....good things. The acting is once again great. This may be Martin Freeman's best performance of the entire trilogy, honestly. I really enjoyed how his style of acting with his various facial twitches were on full display here, even magnified a bit. I loved it, and really enjoyed Jackson's decision to have him play BIlbo. I thought that was a great move. Legolas is once again an absolute boss here. His fight with one of the top-ranking orcs just might be the best scene of the whole movie. And even though his involvement in the HORRIBLE love triangle that is him, Tauriel, and one of the dwarves was unnecessary and really took away from how Legolas really grew to be fond of the dwarves, it still wasn't enough to diminish his overall role in The Hobbit, despite never being in the actual book. There was a lot of fan service in this movie, honestly. And I really enjoyed that. Seeing Saruman fight Sauron with Galadriel and Elrond was truly badass, even if it wasn't really anything more than a fan service. Um.....the cinematography is great. Since we finally got some big battle scenes here, the sweeping camera shots that Jackson employed a lot in the LOTR trilogy battles that I personally loved made a welcome return. The old Jackson camera style has always been a personal favorite, so the battle scenes were fun to watch in part because of these wide shots. I wish more directed copied Peter Jackson's style. The music was good, though not great. The only time the music really stood out was when the themes from the original trilogy showed up again. Granted that's one of my favorite movie scores of all-time, unlike the work of John Williams in the new Star Wars trilogy which was just as good as the original trilogy, Shore has struggle mightily to find a niche with the new Hobbit trilogy. He had a great theme in the first movie with the Misty Mountains song, (which was my favorite part of the first movie, by the way) but he seemed to have forgotten that theme in the last two movies, as it has been totally removed from the movies and replaced with, well, nothing. For me personally, this may be the most disappointing part of this entire Hobbit trilogy. To go from a masterpiece in the LOTR trilogy to generic background music with the occasional trumpet or string line is very upsetting to me the music nerd. But the action scenes were still good, and I still found myself feeling sad at the end of the movie knowing that this is the end of a beloved franchise.
I'm going to shut up now, but there's still a lot of disappointing things in this movie that I haven't covered. Like how fake the cgi characters look. They look less realistic than they did in the original trilogy, which is really, really depressing. Or Tauriel. I spent a lot of time bashing her character and its existence in my Desolation of Smaug review, so I won't do it again here. Just....I love Evangeline Lilly. Bless her soul. I really want to see her do well in Hollywood post-Lost. But not here. That character sucks. I wish they had gotten someone like Jessica Biel to play her so I can bash the performance in addition to the writing. But I can't. The performance is good, but her entire existence in the series is frustrating. Ok! Moving on.
In short, this movie is above average, but painfully so. It is so disappointing to me to see one of my favorite franchises decimated like this, but we're still ok with it. This movie has set a terrible precedent in Hollywood that (hopefully) us the consumer will eventually speak out against with our wallets, but until then, we are just going to have to accept that quantity over quality is the new norm with film adaptations of great novels. I'm going to go cry now. Again.
The Critique: A painfully above average final installment in the LOTR franchise.
The Recommendation: Hobbit fans have already seen this movie and already hate me, but if you haven't seen a single LOTR movie yet, please please PLEASE watch the original three. Then maybe sludge through these.
The Verdict: 6/10 Above Average
Well....we come to it at last. The end of the LOTR franchise. I wish I had better words for this movie. Really. One of these days, I'll return to this franchise and review the first three, but it is not this day that that will happen. This day, I must focus on other things. But some days. Until then, I'll see y'all again in my next review!
Ok so you already know my thoughts on the acting. It's terrible with the exception of Joel Edgerton, who is screen-hogging like nothing else in his performance which is the only reason it stands out here. Which is kind of funny when you think about it: the only performance in a movie containing the cast I just brought up is someone who is trying to make a name for themselves. Lol. But the story. The story is TERRIBLE. Who could've thought that Ridley Scott and company (aka Adam Cooper) could screw up such a common and well-known story. See here's its problem. It tries to make itself controversial with some of the stances it takes on God, Moses, and the Jewish religion, but in the process it alienates these groups because the feeling you get with these decisions is anger and frustration. Scott and co. did this in an attempt to help make this movie appeal to a wide-spread audience but forgot a key fact about this demographic: the primary group of people going and seeing this movie are those that would be made upset by the stances it takes. Forgot about that didn't you Mr. Scott? The one thing the story did that was somewhat creative was how it interpreted the vision of God by Moses. I obviously won't tell you how the movie does this because it is a spoiler for the (unfortunately) best part of the movie, however it was the one time that the movie got my attention pretty much at any point past the random big action scene that literally had nothing to do with anything in the first few minutes. Seriously...why was that action scene there? Usually when a movie uses an action scene to get our attention in the first few minutes it connects to the story somehow, but not here! Just ACTION. Because moviegoers love watching death take place in front of them! YA. AND EXPLOSIONS! Let's get them into 1500 BC somehow! YEAAAAAAAHHHHHH.
Almost every aspect of this movie fails. At a whooping 150 minutes, the movie is waaaaaay too long. Those 150 minutes felt like 250 minutes to me. I had the unfortunate "pleasure" of seeing this movie in 3D. The 3D was so bad I thought it was a post-converted 3D movie, but upon further investigation I discovered, and it shocks me to say this, but this movie was SHOT IN 3D. This has got to be the worst real 3D I have ever seen. Additionally the CGI is painfully average. Seeing the plagues unfold in front of you is obviously supposed to be the calling card of this movie, but it was sadly underwhelming because the cinematography was, well, horrible. We could not gain an appreciation of the plagues because we were given very few wide-shots of the damn plagues! The ones we got were pretty cool, but it should've been all wide-shots. Ridley Scott, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ADAM SANDLER COULD DO YOUR JOB ALMOST AS WELL AS YOU. Boy I am really picking on Adam Sandler huh? Well it's ok. He takes criticism better than Kim Jung-Un does at least. HEYOH insensitive jokes everywhere!
Ok to bring things back on track, this movie sucks. There were periods of semi-decent things-oh, can we talk about the wall of water real quick? It's funny to me because I was looking forward to the wall of water literally the entire movie. Then I saw it, then I thought of the wall of water in Interstellar, and I became sad. Interstellar's wall of water > Exodus' wall of water. Anyway there were period of semi-decent moments surrounded by gross incompetency on the point of the director and his crew. Combine that with the fact that everyone is phoning in their roles in this, including Christian Bale who is famous for completely immersing himself in his roles, and you have a very bad movie. Don't go see it. Go see The Prince of Egypt again or 1956's The Ten Commandments. Or just read the story in the bible. Any one of those options are better than watching this train wreck of a movie.
The Critique: Ridley Scott sucks, guys. Directing three good movies (Blade Runner, Alien, and Gladiator) does not give you a free pass on the great multitude of crappy movies you've released over the years. Please....just stop.
The Recommendation: Grumpy cat says NO.
Rewatchability: Lol nope
The Verdict: 3/10 Bad
http://www.cinemablend.com/images/news_img/66818/Exodus_66818.jpg (Exodus picture)
http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140501181347/creepypasta/images/f/f6/Grumpy_Cat.jpg (grumpy cat)
http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2014-06/4/11/enhanced/webdr08/anigif_enhanced-buzz-16223-1401896698-17.gif (cat explosion)
http://i.imgur.com/SpDpM5n.gif (bee explosion)
http://www.quickmeme.com/img/66/669a7a9b679541a39df5f437b5c58c55a949483662376a9fdaa04244f3be7cec.jpg (Kim Jung-Un)
SPECIAL NOTE: From here on out a video of this review will frequently be available at the bottom of this page! Got it? Ok sweet. Let's do this video thingy! GO TEAM.
Top Five (2014): A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancée talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.
Top Five-the best movie of the year. (Thus far)
That's right. Top Five has come out of nowhere, and currently is my favorite movie of the year. It is my recommendation to anyone who is ok with an R-rated comedy living up to that title that this movie is a must-see. However, you don't come to Enter the Movies looking for a two sentence review, right? It would be kind of weird if I just ended the review right now. Fortunately, we're not going to. So. Moving on. Top Five is a wonderful celebration of African-American culture in the United States. What do I mean by this? Well, for example, one of the many highlights of this 102 minute flick is its namesake: at one point there is a discussion between Chris Rock's character and his character's family discussing their personal top five favorite rappers our society has seen. It is a great moment in the movie, and one of several examples of this celebration. The rest I'll leave up to your own personal discovery, but take it from me: this movie could not come at a better time in our society. I really hope that Top Five breaks out at the box office and becomes a huge runaway hit because there is such a wide appeal here.
So, why is it my favorite movie of the year thus far? Well, let's start with the man. Chris Rock. He wrote, directed, produced, and was the lead of the movie. It's his baby. The story he wrote really is him telling the story of himself and his life/career and where it is right now. 10 years ago the main character of this movie, aka Chris Rock, was at the top of the comedy world. But now, after a failed attempt as in the dramatical world, he's fallen into the dumps of being, well, not funny. The same can be said for the real Chris Rock, who, after deciding to cast his lot in with Adam Sandler, has lost a lot of his influence in the world of comedy. Well, to say Chris Rock has found his stride again is something of an understatement. This movie's story is very unique as it takes place over the course of a single day in the life of Chris Rock's character, Andre Allen, and a shadow-like interview with a New York Times reporter, played by the talented Rosario Dawson. The chemistry of these two characters together is fantastic. Actually, the chemistry of Chris Rock with everyone in this movie is phenomenal. The supporting cast is fantastic, but you get the sense that they are fantastic because Chris Rock is really pushing them along. Seriously. The last time I saw a performance like Chris Rock's I was watching Leonardo DiCaprio put in the performance of 2013 with The Wolf of Wall Street. J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Cedric the Entertainer, Jay Pharoah, Tracy Morgan, Kevin Hart, and several other great cameos I wouldn't dare spoil for your own enjoyment all show up here, and they all feed off the intensity of Chris Rock. This movie.....THIS PERFORMANCE BY CHRIS ROCK IS WHAT ADAM SANDLER COULD BE IN ONE OF HIS MOVIES. I'm sorry did I say that?
And then there's the third act. FINALLY. FINALLY. We have a movie that not only doesn't fade away or implode in the final act, but instead turns it up in the final act! The third act of this movie is phenomenal, and leads to one of the more emotional climaxes I've seen in a movie all year. Ya! That's right. Emotional. In a Chris Rock comedy. But that's how good this movie is! Now granted, it's not perfect sadly. There are some huge corners cut at times to get the movie from point A to point B, and the movie does take a bit of time developing early on, but none of that really matters if the movie brings the laughs. And to say Top Five is funny is an understatement. It is right there with 22 Jump Street for being the funniest movie of 2014, however it excels in the drama of itself which is where it separates from 22 Jump Street. I never once felt tense during 22 Jump Street, as we all knew the good guys would emerge victorious. Here, I was as tense as can be, because I honestly had no idea where the story was heading. And while some of the corners cut would break immersion briefly, there was always something else right there to bring me right back into it.
In short, go see this movie. It is a wonderful celebration of a culture that deserves something like this right now in our society. I hope that the word gets out on this movie and it breaks out at the box office. It should, because while it is great, but it is not widely known. The press on this movie has been lackluster, and sadly not a whole lot of theaters are showing it. So here is Enter the Movies attempting to raise awareness for Top Five. Go see it. Now.
The Critique: An awesome celebration of African American culture. Chris Rock's best performance in years.
The Recommendation: if you can get over the fact that this is an R-rated comedy, then go see it. Everyone. Please.
The Verdict: 9.5/10 Damn Near Perfect
Oscar Talk: I really hope this movie gets some attention, but I doubt it. Since it got no love at the Golden Globes sadly I can't expect it to receive any love at the Oscars. Unless if it pulls a Frozen and breaks out through word-of-mouth advertising.
The Theory of Everything (2014): A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.
Oscar bait. Oscar bait everywhere.
Ok so I lost all my work on this, which is really frustrating, so I'm using YouTube. Like it and want me to do it more often? Well please let me know somehow! Enjoy everyone and hope you enjoy the change of scenery!
The Skeleton Twins (2014): Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship.
NOOOOOOOOOOO this movie had it all then it threw a lot of it away in the last 5 minutes.
Seriously. I'm f*cking pissed. This movie was on track to be my favorite movie of 2014 thus far and then the last five minutes, no seriously, the last FIVE F*CKING MINUTES it does everything it can to throw it away. The movie up to that point did a phenomenal job creating a very real and powerful bond between these two twins, played masterfully by Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, but the final five minutes....ok let me try to do this without spoiling anything. The movie up to the last five minutes never asked you to suspend belief. There was no reason to, as the movie is very much a drama focusing on these two characters. But suddenly in the last five minutes, one of them goes and does something and the other is very suddenly and abruptly physically there for them, as the other does something potentially dangerous, despite the fact that in the previous scene the one who is suddenly physically there for them was nowhere near them. Like, 10+ miles away nowhere near them. It completely removes any tension in the scene and makes the giant climax of the movie the opposite of that. It makes it a concave, I guess. Then the movie just kind of ends. It's as if the filmmakers got to what ends up being the last five minutes and realized that they only had enough money in the budget to make five more minutes of film, so they just had to finished the movie. Seriously. It would've taken another three minutes worth of film to create the tension that they were going for at the climax. That's it. And it would've been three great minutes too. But it's not here. We are just expected to not make a big deal about one of the characters practically being in two places at once. God. D*mnit. Defend it all you want. Maybe you don't care about movies messing majorly with geography. Usually it doesn't bother me, either. Maybe when I don't know for sure where a character is it wouldn't bother me. But when I know exactly where a character is, and then in the next scene they are in a place I know is nowhere near the previous place, it really bothers me. Look I can't dock the movie too much for this immersion break, as it is literally just the last five minutes, but it did leave an incredibly bitter taste in my mouth afterwards.
Ok I will try not to talk about the final five minutes again, because there is a rest of the movie here, too. And the rest of the movie is fantastic. The acting is phenomenal. Director Craig Johnson made the brilliant move of casting four comedic actors for this drama, and as a result they flawlessly and expertly implement dry humor and wit into their dramatic roles throughout the 93 minute film. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, formerly of SNL, Luke Wilson, formerly of comedies such as Blades of Glory, Old School, and Anchorman, and Ty Burrell from Modern Family all do a fantastic job in their roles, putting in some of the best performances in terms of fitting in with the movie itself that I've seen all year. In a long time, really. While likely none of these roles will see an Oscar nomination, that's not necessarily the point in The Skeleton Twins. Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig work perfectly together, as their wit and charm bring their characters, who are twins by the way, (whoa it's like the name of the movie or something!) to a near-perfect point. I was blown away by Kristen Wiig actually. After she practically lulled me to sleep in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and was only average with a poorly-written character in Anchorman 2, she comes roaring and I mean ROARING back in The Skeleton Twins. I was starting to worry that Kristen Wiig couldn't hold her own outside SNL, but now I am officially a convert. If anyone has any doubts as to the acting ability of Kristen Wiig, go see this movie, and put those doubts to rest. As for Bill Hader, well I've been a long-time convert for him ever since his hilarious performance in Adventureland (fun fact: his character was paired with Kristen Wiig the entire movie, yet I remember Hader's performance clear as day but can't remember Wiig's performance at all) and have loved him ever since.
The story is phenomenal, short of NOPE not gonna talk about it. The rest of the movie creates some very real human problems with our lead characters, including a relationship between Bill Hader and Ty Burrell that is really heart-wrenching, despite getting very little screen time. And then there's the lip-sync scene. Up to this point in 2014, the lip-sync scene in this movie involving Wiig and Hader is the best thing I've seen out of Hollywood in 2014. For those that want to know what I'm talking about, I did find a link. Here it is. It's a beautiful scene between the twins that had me practically crying tears of joy for them. Even in later viewings of the scene! Just wait guys: this scene is going to make my top 5 moments of 2014 when that list comes around. It's coming.
There really isn't much else this movie does wrong. Else. The sound editing is a little shaky at first for some reason, but then it corrected itself as the movie went on. That was really weird honestly. In the first act of the movie the music was improperly balanced with the dialogue and so I found myself turning the volume up and down to try to understand what the characters were saying while a pop song was playing in the background. Or foreground, in this case. Then it gradually got better throughout the second and third act. That was odd. Um....the cinematography was just average. Which isn't really a complaint, but 2014 has absolutely been the year for cinematography thus far so to see a movie be only average with it kind of almost makes it look bad. But The Skeleton Twins can thank Hollywood for spoiling us moviegoers with that one. That's really it, guys. If you like movies, go see The Skeleton Twins.
NOW DO YOU SEE WHY THE FINAL FIVE MINUTES WERE SO FRUSTRATING?
The Verdict: A fantastic movie that flew under-the-radar filled with stellar performances from its comedic leads. While it falls apart in the last few minutes, this alone cannot take away from the rest of the awesome movie.
The Recommendation: A must-see for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the movies.
The Verdict: 9/10 Awesome
Oscar Talk: This movie may sneak in and be the indie film for Best Picture at the Oscars this year. This or The Theory of Everything appear to be the forerunners for this spot. By the way I'll be getting to The Theory of Everything shortly. If the Academy will continue it's trend with the unnecessarily large nomination class for Best Picture in nominating an indie film, it will likely be one of these two movies that get that spot.
I'm done. I'm gonna go and watch that lip sync scene again. Join me, will you?
"Like" Enter the Movies on Facebook for the latest and greatest on all things movies! OR ELSE FACE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A KILLER RABBIT. Sorry about this one, guys. Not my decision. He volunteered. And is just absolute dynamite!