I’m on the fence about Cameron Crowe’s latest film, Aloha. The only other film of his that I’ve seen is Vanilla Sky which I absolutely love. No, seriously, I LOVE that film. Go see it if you haven’t yet. Like RIGHT NOW. This trailer review will wait a few hours for you, don’t worry.
Anyways, Aloha is about a military contractor played by Bradley Cooper who is getting over a break up with Rachel McAdams’s and falling in love with Emma Stone. Something like that. And Alec Baldwin yells at him. Alec isn’t even funny here because it seems a little too close to how he is in real life. I was waiting for him to call Bradley a “rude, thoughtless, little pig” (sorry, but that will never die).
Aside from the terrible title, I am intrigued by this film. I adore Bradley Cooper and I really like Rachel McAdams. I think they have some good chemistry going on in the trailer. The “conversation” between John Krasinski and Bradley is pretty funny, probably the highlight of the trailer for me.
But, am I the only one who is sick of seeing the older guy fall in love with the much younger girl??? Seriously, it nauseates me (and I am still a young girl). It threw me off a bit in Silver Linings Playbook (although I love that film). Apparently Angelina Jolie was in early talks for the Jennifer Lawrence role in that film. I don’t think she would have been suited for it, but I would have preferred someone like her, who is closer to Bradley’s age. This leads to my problem with Aloha, which is Emma Stone. After looking at IMDB she’s a little older than I thought (around 27), but she still looks like she’s 21. Whereas Bradley is about 40. It just throws me off and takes me out of the movie. If this film is supposed to be about a guy maturing and making more adult choices (just a guess), then why would he date someone so young?? It irks me. I wish Hollywood didn’t always resort to using such young actresses, especially when there are so many talented ones in their 30s and 40s.
Well, will you be saying hello or goodbye to Aloha?
Guardians of the Galaxy may not be technically be the best film. It has its faults. A boring villain. Some weak acting here and there. It doesn’t always logically make sense. But its greatest strength is something few movies can effectively achieve. It makes you feel good. The first time I saw GOTG I left the theater with a big grin on my face. I was truly happy! I can’t think of another movie that made me feel as good and carefree as Guardians of the Galaxy.
There are many things that I enjoy about GOTG. First and foremost I love Rocket Raccoon. Fiercely. I’ve gone a little merchandise crazy lately. I have multiple posters, t-shirts, a hoodie, I’m currently debating buying a very expensive collectible figure. Heck, I even have a Rocket Raccoon mug (that is admittedly very creepy). I love the CGI work on both Rocket and Groot. They look incredibly realistic (and adorable). Rocket has a great personality. Bradley Cooper really relishes the role and his voice work is some of the best I have ever heard. It hardly sounds like Bradley. The relationship between Rocket and Groot is very touching, I cried a little at the end when I thought Groot might be dead.
I remember Chris Pratt from his small, but hilarious role in one of my favorite action movies, Wanted. You just can’t help but like him. GOTG would not have been a success with anyone else in the role of Peter Quill. Chris is Peter. He’s able to embody the humor, goofiness, but also the vulnerability of Peter.
My third favorite part of the film is the awesome (!) soundtrack. Before seeing the film I loved 70s tunes, so I knew from the trailer Guardians would be right up my alley. I love how all the songs are things Peter actually listens to. It’s a nice touch that adds to the humor, but also the sentimentality of the film.
There are a few relatively minor things I dislike about the film. #1 being Zoe Saldana. In no way is she believable as a bad ass assassin. She has no edge to her. Also, she and Chris Pratt have zero chemistry in my opinion. I don’t really buy their relationship. This aspect really worries me for future films. #2 The villain sucks. I can’t even remember his name right now. He’s played by Lee Pace. He doesn’t really matter much anyways. #3 Some of the costumes and hair are silly. I’m looking at you Benecio Del Torro and Glenn Close. Guardians of the Galaxy is a feel good, quirky film that took the world by storm in 2014. As good as dark, gritty films can be, sometimes the world just needs something positive for a change. I give Guardians of the Galaxy9 “Oh yeahs” out of 10 because it succeeds on so many levels: humor, action, emotional impact. “Ain’t no thing like me, except me.”
This movie is a mess. But it’s a mess that I can admire. By the end it almost works. But there are too many problems in it for me and the other people I watched the film with absolutely hated it and wanted to turn it off part way through. But I persevered. The Place Beyond the Pines explores the relationship between fathers and their sons. Luke (Ryan Gosling) is a criminal who tries to provide for his son by robbing banks. Avery (Bradley Cooper) on the other hand is a cop who does his best to follow the law and feels extreme guilt when he questions whether it is actually possible. Eva Mendes is also in the film and it is directed by David Cianfrance (Blue Valentine). What I enjoy about this film is it is willing to take risks. Spoiler alert. It is quite a shock when Luke dies from the shootout between himself and Avery. I was like, “did they really just kill off Ryan Gosling half way through?” Yes, they really did. The audience never sees him again except for in a picture that Avery finds. I also like that the film attempts to be profound and really explores the psychology of Avery. It’s too bad that all of the other characters feel two dimensional in comparison.
While I like that the film is trying to convey some deep, profound message this is also part of its failing. Because I didn’t really get this film. I don’t think. My opinion of it, and it may very well be extremely wrong, is that the film is about what it means to be a father and to be a man. Luke wants very strongly to be there for his son and to provide for him. He will go to any length to do so. But he is not a good father, no matter how much he wants to be. Robbing banks is not the way to go. Luke’s death is the best thing that could have happened to his son. This is very sad, but I think Luke’s son Jason (played phenomenally by Dane DeHaan) is ultimately better for it. He is a troubled, but ultimately good kid, who can make the tough decisions his father couldn’t. Avery is a good cop who fights corruption in the police force. He is physically present for his son, AJ (Emory Cohen), and provides for him materially what Luke could not for Jason. Yet AJ is a d-bag (Star-Lord’s words). Your typical, self-entitled, spoiled kid. On the surface he had a better upbringing and a better father, so what gives? I think that Avery feels so ashamed for having killed Luke, another little boy’s father, that he cannot face his son. Avery himself tells a therapist early on that he cannot stand to look at AJ. Avery fails both Jason and his own son. There, that’s my reading of the film.
Now to tear the film apart. The structure of The Place Beyond the Pines is extremely interesting. Too bad it doesn’t really work. First of all, the pace is so sluggish and the first half is boring. It should be exciting to see Ryan Gosling robbing banks. But the audience has at this point no idea what the film is about or where it is heading. It is so dull. Part of the problem is that I find Ryan Gosling incredibly unbelievable in the role (in a bad way). The whole time I felt like it was just Ryan with fake tattoos and a bleach blonde wig on. There is no development of his character, so the audience can’t care about him. I felt kind of sorry for him. But he is a fuck up from the beginning until his demise. Also, the boy cannot convincingly rob a bank. He screams like a girl. Normally I don’t like Eva Mendes, but I was pleasantly surprised by her here. Her character is pretty dumb, but the emotion was real and I really felt sorry for her.
The best part of the movie for me was Bradley Cooper. He does some excellent acting here, possibly his best ever. The best thing for the film was killing Ryan off and focusing on Bradley. Suddenly this dull film gets exciting. And then about 20 minutes later it is dull again. Dane DeHann makes it a interesting again near the very end, he really is a good actor. I absolutely hate the score in Pines. I found it distracting and jarring. Something more subtle would have greatly improved the film and the pace. Also how the hell can 15 years pass in the film, but other than the kids no one ages?!?!?!?! Shit, at least put some grey streaks in Bradley’s hair or something.
I feel like this movie has an interesting premise and had the potential to be good. But in the end it just falls apart. It is all over the place. It is also extremely dark and the few times it tries to throw in some humor it just falls flat. This is a really hard movie to sit through for the entire 2 hours and 20 minutes. But I think the performances of Bradley Cooper and Dane DeHaan almost make it worth it. Almost. I will never ever put myself through this movie again, that’s for sure. 5.5/10
I adore Bradley Cooper. Clint Eastwood on the other hand… he’s a good actor and a decent director. But after watching Changeling I’m reluctant to watch any of his films. That movie was so incredibly depressing the whole way through. Not a spot of light or hope anywhere. Just all misery. I not sure this film will be any different. This film is a biography of Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), the most lethal sniper in American history. The film also features Sienna Miller (I didn’t even realize she was still acting).
I really dislike this trailer. I can’t remember hating a trailer so much before. I wanted to like it because of Bradley. But I find it so terrible and boring. I hate that all it shows is one brief scene and a few flashbacks. It gives no hint as to what the entire tone of the film is. Unless it’s all about shooting innocent children. Something I definitely do not need to see after Changeling.
There’s a brief shot of Bradley in which it looks like he’s wearing some serious eyeliner. This just baffles me. And there’s no music in this trailer, just a thumping sound like a heartbeat. I find everything about this trailer ineffective and I’m not even sure of Bradley’s accent. There is nothing appealing about this trailer in anyway. I think I’ll have to skip American Sniper, it looks like another boring, depressing Clint Eastwood film. It will be out in January.