Skyfall – Here it is everyone, the best movie of 2012! – Directed by Sam Mendes

Alright, so this is it, the best movie of 2012. Some people that know me well would say cmon dude, you were saying this for months in advance, that it was probably going to be the movie of the year for you. And actually, that was a strike AGAINST this movie. I had HUGE expectations for this, I EXPECTED it to blow my mind, to be in the upper echelon of best action movies, no, best movies EVER for me. That’s a lot of pressure for this little James Bond flick. I have had high expectations for many movies this year, and those expectations have fallen QUITE flat – I’m looking at you, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Brave, Lawless, Sinister – and I’m sure there’s been many more disappointments, those were just off the top of my head. Skyfall delivered on every expectation and then some, and that is truly impressive. In fact, this movie was even BETTER than I expected it to be, and I already figured it would be the best movie of the year. Let me tell you why.

This movie is an action movie that other action movies will be judged against for years to come. In fact I even hesitate to call this an “action” movie, because I don’t like pigeonholing a movie as great as this one into one category, it simply transcends the “action” genre of movies. It’s an “action” movie in the sense that 500 Days of Summer is a “romantic comedy”. You can’t put labels on excellent movies like this. In the first place, this is a new step for a James Bond movie. It can be argued that all of the Daniel Craig Bond movies (well, ‘cept maybe Quantum of Solace, but I loved that one anyways…) are a step into a new dimension of James Bond movies, but man, this one is just so much…better than any Bond movie that has come before it. I’ll admit that I have been partially obsessed with the Bond franchise since seeing this movie three times – I even felt like I needed to see this movie three times before I could review it, actually. Why? Because it’s DEEP man. It has a lot of themes, a lot of character development, which is most often unheard of in a Bond movie, particularly any from the past 20 years or so before Casino Royale turned those old ideas on their head, and it is Skyfall that truly perfects the changeover, the “new guard” of Bond movies. I’ve watched nearly all of the previous ones, and yeah, I love them, but for far different reasons than this movie – they are mindless, escapist fun. They are pretty much the ultimate popcorn movie, it doesn’t get much better than a classic Bond film for escapist entertainment. But this movie approaches the level of such cinematic masterpieces as The Dark Knight and even, I can’t believe that I’m saying this but, possibly THE masterpiece of the “action” genre, were it to be pigeonholed as well, and that is, The Empire Strikes Back.

The reasons for this are…well, there’s a hell of a lot of them. But one of the main ones is, like I said before, it sets out to do something far different than any movie in the series has done before it. The Dark Knight and indeed that whole trilogy took Batman in an entirely new direction, and this one takes James Bond in a different direction, but still, and amazingly, manages to stick to some of the old tropes and gadgets and whoseewhatsits that make it a Bond movie as well. It takes a true master craftsman of a director to pull something like that off, and that’s good, because Sam Mendes is exactly that. Just click on his name there, do it. He hasn’t directed a bad movie, and they run the gamut from straight on family drama (Away We Go, American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) to gangster flick (Road to Perdition) to something like this, which is pretty much an amalgam of both. Wait! Family drama in a James Bond movie?! One may be inclined to yell at me. But yep, it’s in there. You see, because at it’s heart, this movie is just about the relationship between M and James Bond.

The always fantastic Judi Dench reprises her role as M for the 656th time here, and it is this time that she is truly given the chance to shine in the role, as well as show us just how great of an actress she has always been. M has always been a bitch with somewhat of a soft spot for James Bond, who perhaps she has always viewed as a surrogate son. She isn’t the best mother figure at all, in fact their relationship has always been dysfunctional, but this movie explores it far more than any Bond movie before it has dared to. The banter between them is always great for some comic relief, and the scenes where the two of them are shown dealing with the others who question whether they are up to snuff anymore, whether or not they are “getting too old for this s***”, are excellent, and show us something that we might have known already, but it’s there anyways here right in front of us – these two are very similar people. They are old dogs in a new war, and even they themselves question whether they are relevant anymore. By the end of the movie I can assure you that that answer is a resounding “yes, of course they are, stupid”, but how this movie plays with even the idea of that shows that it is a very different Bond movie than anything that has come before it, and really just so much more than that.

And, just like The Dark Knight and Empire Strikes Back, movies like this, of that whole “action” genre, do not work unless they have an excellent villain. And this movie gives us THE best on screen villain since Heath Ledger’s masterful portrayal of The Joker. I’m pretty sure that no one will ever top that performance again, I don’t think it can be done, but damn if Javier Bardem doesn’t give it his best shot at dethroning the champ with his portrayal of Silva here. This guy is a flat on, balls out lunatic. Just like The Joker, except man, he walks that fine line between being too over the top and scary as hell, and you will absolutely take notice of him every time he is on the screen. He also gets an award for “Best introduction ever” with his first five minutes walking up to James Bond. You don’t even see this guy for the first hour of the movie, but it doesn’t matter. He steals every single scene he is in, he is an absolute lunatic, and you will have a blast watching what he does with the role. Bardem is no stranger to playing bad guys of course, and he nails this performance just like he did in No Country For Old Men, but in such a different way. His obsession with M, how James Bond could easily become him had he fallen to the dark side (see what I did there, a Star Wars reference after mentioning it at the beginning? Master’s Degree at work there buddy, that’s how you DO IT), everything about this sadistic villain, is top notch. You are likely to not see a better on screen villain for a long time, and his performance is just icing on the cake to this near perfect movie.

What else do I need to say about this movie really? Oh, the Bond girls. Yes, they are in this one, just like any other Bond movie, however, and this started with Casino Royale as well, which featured the BEST Bond girl there probably ever will be, played by the insanely gorgeous Eva Green, but these women are more his equals than ever before. They aren’t just helpless damsels in distress to fill up the screen with eye candy (although Berenice Marlohe certainly DOES do that in nearly every scene she is in – save for a tragic application of ENTIRELY too much makeup when she is seen in the casino with Bond), they serve a purpose, and while Sererine (Marlohe) is in a fair bit of trouble when she meets Bond, her (albeit entirely too brief) time with him is on par with how women are treated in this new generation of Bond flicks, which is to say, quite well. We have to have a beautiful Bond girl or three, to keep with tradition, but again how this movie manages to differentiate from the others before it is that one of those Bond girls happens to come with a great twist at the end – and her reveal is excellent to any of those who grew up with the Bond movies like I did.

Alright, I was worried I would ramble on this one because I loved the movie so much, and we are getting into ramble zone. Two last things – another constant with the Bond movies is the opening credits and the song, which is often hit (Live and Let Die) or miss (Die Another Day, Goldeneye, Licence to Kill, etc.)…ok, so mostly miss. Well, the title track here is in excellent hands, with Adele singing about Skyfall. I got chills just from the opening credits and when the title popped up, which can only be described as epic. Speaking of epic, that is what this movie is – it is full of some dark things, some unexpected things, some things that hurt, it, like Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Knight, is a low point in its respective series. That isn’t a knock against it at all, in fact, from someone as cynical as me, it is the highest compliment. That means that after this one, with its new beginnings, we have nowhere to go but up. I am pretty much positive however, that the next Bond movie simply CANNOT be as good as this one. They would have to absolutely pull out all of the stops to manage something like that, because this movie is incredible. I will think about the first time I saw this movie years from now, it changed my perspective on what an action movie can be, much like The Dark Knight did the first time I saw it. It is the best film of the year and I highly doubt it will even have another contender for me, and it is also one of my favorite movies of all time now as well. Four stars, I’d give it five if I could. It is a masterpiece of the action genre that will be talked about and compared to for years after, and I’m not the only one to say this either – go check rotten tomatoes and read (lesser) critics’ reviews as well. But before you do that, for gods sake, go see this movie. Even if you aren’t a James Bond fan (I’ve sent five people to this movie who weren’t, all came back loving it), just check it out, no better place to start than now.

 

The verdict –

 

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(500) Days of Summer – another of my favorite movies of all time – directed by Marc Webb

I went with an unorthodox picture instead of the usual movie poster here, because for one, I certainly HOPE that nearly any of you reading this review have already seen this amazing movie, and two, it represents pretty well one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie, and, well, almost my favorite scene in any movie ever. So, here goes, this is probably another pretty biased movie review, but we’ve already established pretty much any review is biased anyways, so suck on dat. This review is going to be part of a weekly series, my favorite movies of all time, and this movie would probably fall at about a solid #7 on a top ten list were I to make one (and I have, many a time…I have too much time on my hands, just like that awesome Styx song). Once I figure out what the hell I am doing with this blog I’ll even put these reviews in a different category, because I assume that most people have seen these movies already – and if you haven’t, then shame on you.

But on to this brilliant, wonderful, genius little hour and a half of a movie. This is not a traditional romantic movie at all, you aren’t going to have Katherine Heigl in some zany situation where she ends up having to care for her dead aunts kid or something and shes paired with the dreamy Josh Duhamel or something – yes, that’s a real plot for a movie. But hey, if DEATH BED: THE BED THAT EATS can get made, well then of course we can get a couple of nonsensical garbage Katherine Heigl vehicles, right? But in between all that tripe and sex in the city sequels, we have this gem of a “romantic comedy”. I use the quotes there because, if it absolutely HAD to be classified, that’s probably where we’d put it. But it wouldn’t like being there. This movie warns you right from the start that “it is not a love story”, and of course, like any good tale, it secretly really is, but it wants to turn all of those cutesy boy meets girl stereotypical movie ideas, you know, the ones that usually piss off jaded cynics such as myself, right on its head. And it succeeds mightily, even if we DO have a couple of those cliche’s peppered here and there in the movie…but hey, can’t have an omelette without breakin some eggs, right? Mmm, I could go for an omelette.

So this movie stars the always lovely and incredibly talented Zooey Deschanel, who was actually mostly just an indie darling before this movie – although this movie could still be considered “indie”, I think it’s distributor knew it had a hit on its hand and so it was advertised pretty heavily for months leading up to its release – a far cry from other (also great) movies she had starred in previously, ones you’ve probably never heard of like All The Real Girls, Flakes,  or Yes Man…..oh s*** she was in that pile of garbage with Jim “I’m far past my prime but keep doing these stupid movies that have the same plot as Liar Liar” Carrey, wasn’t she? Well, I forgive her because of this movie. Which is a tall order because good god in heaven, did that movie stink. So we have Zooey, who is just wonderful in this as she often is, and she plays Summer, the cynical, jaded girl who doesn’t believe in love. And we have my boy Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is becoming pretty much a regular for the movies I review I’m noticing, in the movie that kinda skyrocketed him to fame in the mooovies. Well, I mean, he WAS Cobra Commander after this and was the annoying kid from 3rd Rock From the Sun before this, but wasn’t everyone on that show annoying anyways? Yes, yes they were. But this was the movie where he really shined. He plays the antithesis of Summer – the hopeless romantic, sappy, believes-in-love-at-first-sight type we usually see in these movies. For gods sake, he even works at a greeting card company and writes sappy things for people who can’t just say it themselves.

The movie jumps around a lot ala Pulp Fiction, giving you a number for one of the 500 Days of Summer – OH! He said it! and this makes the movie all the more interesting and able to mess with your perceptions even more. One scene will have them madly in love, the next he is devastated and lying in bed alone. It’s these different takes on a romance that make this movie work so well, and why it is still so memorable even after you watch it for the tenth time (like I just did last night). Another trope of writing, specifically poetry, makes this movie succeed as well – and you know that if I am breaking out the big guns and comparing a movie to poetry, well then, me obviously likey this movie a lot. But the trope I speak of here is repetition – a GOOD sort of repetition, like a chorus to a song you can’t get out of your freakin’ head (A GOOD song, not like, “Who Let the Dogs Out” or anything by stupid Katy Perry) – this movie repeats some of it scenes, often played in Tom (Levitt’s) head. Except where first this scene might be something great he remembered about Summer, why he fell in love in the first place, the next time we see the scene it is in a completely opposite light – much like human nature views being in love and falling out of love. Yes of course this is a movie, and you need to suspend your disbelief just like you always do – particularly in a song and dance number that occurs right after they sleep together for the first time, or when he sees her face in every person on the street – but some of the truly real human emotions this movie explores are another thing that make it anything but your traditional romantic comedy.

As I’m already rambling about this movie (jesus it sure is easy to do with the ones I really love), I’ll skip ahead to what is, arguably, my favorite scene in any movie I have ever seen – yes, EVER – and it is represented in that picture there. There is about a five minute segment in this movie that has two views – the expectations of what he expects to happen at a party she invites him to after they randomly end up together at a wedding long after they are broken up, versus the reality of what happens. I have no other word to describe this scene but to say it is brilliant. Maybe magnificent? Yeah, I don’t use that word enough anyways. It represents all of our human-ness in it – how we always expect the best, particularly with someone we are completely in love with, and how the reality is often far, far from what we expect. Yet we keep these expectations anyways. This scene left me shaking my head at the end of it – not because I didn’t buy it, because I did, wholeheartedly – but because man…that’s just LIFE man! Life will let you down, it often does for anyone, and this movie just NAILS it in five minutes. It’s brilliance is reminiscent of how the movie Up told a better love story in five minutes with no words at all, than 95% of any other movie you see today can do – particularly those ones involving sparkly vampires or a stuck up prissy spoiled bitch looking for “Mr. Right” with all her slutty, inane friends.  The ending of this scene gets a little artsy on you and sort of colors his world to black and white…and then rubs out all of the surroundings around him…just fantastic. It represents that nothing else matters sometimes, our world and surroundings, no matter how beautiful they are (because he is most assuredly walking into a beautiful scene here), do not matter one bit if we can’t share them with the person we truly love.

Alright, it was part of my job when I set about writing this review that I had to talk about that part, and I’ve done it. This is just an incredible movie. For those of you who haven’t seen it, and I really hope there aren’t many anymore, but if you haven’t, I won’t spoil the absolutely spot on ending. It is what needs to happen, given the characters in this movie – Levitt needs to play it this way and Deschanel needs to do what she does at the end. It is perfect, it is fitting for both of them. Yes, in the middle we see a few romantic cliche’s, we have a few annoying supporting characters like Levitt’s guy friends who are essentially pointless, but for every misstep (and again, there are few), we are redeemed with something great – like his whimsical, down-to-earth little sister, played by the adorable Chloe Grace Moretz here – although she plays anything BUT adorable roles after this one, but thats ok, keep your eye on her, she was excellent from the start. This is a fantastic movie, have I said that enough already. Go buy it immediately and watch it every six months to put a great big smile on your face, and know that while hollywood keeps pumping out mostly garbage, rehashes, unnecessary sequels (I even reviewed one a while ago, neat!) and stupid pointless 3D movies to take your money, something magical like this can still get made every once in a while and truly surprise you.

 

The verdict –

Drive – possibly Ryan Gosling’s best movie? – directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

I’ll start by linking you to the director of this movie, cuz uh, you should know who he is. Aside from having a really awesome name, he’s probably the most revolutionary (popular) director in Hollywood, and frankly, I’m pretty surprised he made it this far, cuz he is OUT there man. The movie Bronson, which features probably my second favorite male actor, Tom Hardy, pretty much acting like a lunatic for an hour and a half on screen, is one of the most out there movies I’ve seen in my life, and let me tell you, I have SEEN some s*** my friend, I have SEEN some s***. Then he decided to push the envelope even further by making a movie about VIKINGS, which will ALWAYS end up AWESOME, right? I just pumped my fist as I typed that, thinking about Vikings. Except, Refn’s take on Vikings was pretty much completely insane, and more of a drug addled trip through the land for one Viking seeking revenge (at least that part was right, those zany Vikings are always seeking on revenge on some thing or another), which was admittedly slow-moving and NOT what I expected, but with Refn, you always get what you didn’t expect. The guy is pretty much a genius.

And this movie is probably his masterpiece, at least so far (this dude is still pretty young). It got completely hosed last year at the Oscars, where it probably should have swept them. My personal favorite movie from last year was Warrior, but that one didn’t need to win ALL THE AWARDS like this one did (well, ‘cept that best supporting actor Nick Nolte took home for it, he earned that one), it was just a fantastic movie. This movie is just a…just a different fig, man. If you had to classify it, I suppose it would be an action movie, but man, it’s so much more than that. Ryan Gosling, whom the ladies love and the dudes want to be, is in top form here. He’s arguably the best actor in Hollywood right now, and I first noticed him in a little movie no one saw, called The United States of Leland. If you’ve seen Drive and loved it, then go rent that next. Or Half Nelson. Or even Murder by Numbers, with stinko Sandra Bullock, where the show was stolen by a really young Gosling (no, not a little ducky, although, a cute little duck could probably still upstage the awful Sandra Bullock) even. He’s incredible, and what’s better is that he picks his roles carefully, which is why we don’t see him as much as we probably should (sorry ladies!) in movies, but that’s a good thing. That means we aren’t gonna see him in Garfield 3 or some crappy animated movie, or some sort of Rocky and Bullwinkle remake. Oh wait, that already happened, I was thinking it was just a nightmare. Shame on you Robert DeNiro, shaaaame!

I haven’t even talked about the plot yet, have I? Well guess what, here’s another one where the plot takes a backseat to the actors. Granted, this movie is intense, incredibly violent – one of the more violent movies you are likely to see actually, another thing Refn is well known for, but it’s based on a very short story that Refn took a lot of liberties with. And they were some pretty awesome libeties too. But it’s essentially about a guy, Driver – yep, so cool that he doesn’t even NEED a name – who is pretty much the epitome, the stereotype, of the classic hero. Soft spoken, stoic, doesn’t have a whole lot to say. He pays the bills by being a mechanic, but he’s also a stunt driver on the side, usually managed by the never bad Bryan Cranston, whose also his boss at the car shop. He also takes occasional jobs from bad guys as a driver – but that is all, he doesn’t assist in robberies, isn’t gonna hurt anyone, etc. He just drives. This is portrayed by the excellent opening scenes that build the tension from the start, and are accompanied by incredibly strange, very PINK opening credits, while a fairly epic song called “Night Call” plays in the background. From the start, I knew I was in for something special with this movie. This was going to be a different bird altogether, and it certainly was. And a note about Driver’s profession – yes, I said that he is a stoic character, much like the old heroes of the past – I’m talking about John Wayne, Steve McQueen (mostly him, this movie is A LOT like Bullitt except it’s actually more well done, just doesn’t have as epic of a car chase), Alain Delon – oh wait, you don’t know him, do you? Well he was a french movie star, pretty huge, and starred in a movie that is near exactly like this movie – called Le Samourai, from 1967. Ok, if you are still with me after that run-on sentence, he is like those classic characters, yes – but different. Different in the fact that he lives 100% for the thrill of something – driving, violence, killing, I would imagine sex, but this movie isn’t rated NC-17. The look on Gosling’s face shows that a little bit, but rest assured that yeah, he’s the hero in this movie, but he isn’t a completely good character at all. He lives for this crap.

Here’s the poster for the main movie I compare Drive to, btw – sorta looks like the same kind of character, right? Stoic, reserved, also someone you might not want to piss off. I’m gonna try and not get TOO nerdy on this review (I realize it’s probably too late, I haven’t made you laugh in like two whole paragraphs have I?! Too many nerdy tangents, I know too much useless information, and I do apologize), but the title of that movie is obviously just “The Samurai” in French (I am so versatile with all the languages I know, its why they pay me the big bucks), and this movie, Drive, Bullitt, all have heroes that pretty much follow the old fashioned idea of the samurai code. Protect the ones they love no matter what cost, no regard for their own lives as long as honor is involved. It’s an outdated idea of course, it pretty much was even in the samurai days (check out the movie Harakiri to explore that idea), and usually a hero with these ideals probably isn’t gonna survive at the end, and hey thats ok.

I should probably talk about the girl in the movie, since she’s sort of essential to the plot. She’s played by the lovely and (I think) under rated Carrie Mulligan, which also represents Refn’s willingness to switch things up – in the short story version, this role is for a single African American female, not a pretty blonde girl with a kid. Refn tweaked a lot of things from the story, and since Carrie is such a talented actress, it works. If we’d have gotten some loser like Sarah Jessica Horseface or Blech Lively (who nearly ruined the decent movie Savages) or some other flavor the month, it would have fell flat. But Mulligan is great here, and we see why Gosling’s character wants to protect her. And protect her he does – QUITE violently, the body count in this movie is pretty high, which is fine, but in these violent scenes we see Gosling’s darkside as the “hero” character – he loves this stuff. He loves being the man who can save the day, and you know what? He likes killing just as much as the bad guys do, hell, even more. I looked for an image of his face after he stomps the hell out of a guy in an elevator, something almost…ecstatic, sexual, in his eyes (no homo, I’m just saying what I saw there) after he killed someone, showing that sure he’s a good guy and will protect who he loves…but he lives for this stuff. It even makes me question whether or not he would be able to settle down with this pretty girl forever, would that be enough? Probably not.

And that is why this movie is brilliant – because sure, the story is pretty much a basic one, so much so that I don’t even feel like I need to describe what happens – but the characters are anything but. Would Mulligan’s character have stuck around with this violent hero at the end? I’m not even sure if I care, it isn’t what this movie is about, and the hero doesn’t get the girl all the time anyways. It’s about Gosling’s descent into becoming what the bad guys he kills have become – and whether or not he escapes going over to the darkside at the end is pretty much in the air at the end. And that, my friends, is how you make a fantastic ending.

I can’t say enough good things about this movie, which is probably obvious since I’m verging on over 1500 words for this review. It kicks out a lot of ideas that Hollywood just doesn’t venture out with anymore, and naturally this would come from a visionary director. This was arguably the best movie from 2011, and if anything I hope that it makes everyone keep an eye on Refn. We (especially the ladies) already have our eye on Gosling and know he’s going to be legendary – his portrayal in this movie is definitely always going to be one of his high notes.

 

The verdict (duh) –

Once – directed by John Carney

Alright, so I’ll start this review off on the right foot: This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It always has been, it always will be. The way that this movie shook me to my foundation – laugh at how big of a statement that is if you want, but it did – still amazes me to this day. I bought this movie on a whim, on a 3 for $21 dealie at family video many years ago, because I thought it looked like an interesting idea, and wow, best $7 I ever spent. This movie is incredible, particularly to anyone who has even a mild interest in music and the way that it affects us in our everyday lives. This is yet another – it actually makes three movies in a row now – where the plot takes a backseat to what is happening to the characters on screen. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova were pretty much relative unknowns before this movie hit the scene, and what a travesty that was, because they are incredible acting as well as musical talents. Some of the brilliance of this movie lies in the fact that they are listed as “guy” and “girl” in the credits to this movie. Their names don’t matter. A connection like this can happen anywhere in the world, and it can last for a lifetime.

So, to the uninitiated, just what the hell is this movie about anyways? Well, the short and easy answer to that would be, music, of course. Plain and simple. It’s about the effect that music has on each and every one of our lives, and how it can totally change your perspective on a certain person. Guess what, it can. From a person who still remembers the way a certain girl smelled when he hears a Death Cab for Cutie song, how one certain Peter, Bjorn and John song makes him reminisce about one spectacular night, most assuredly, music has a very profound influence on our life. The one simple and true goal of the movie Once is to establish this idea as fact in our lives. And it completely hits the mark.

This movie is about 75% soundtrack and 25% plot. From some of the opening scenes to the incredibly moving rendition of “Say it to me Now”, we are shown that we are dealing with a special talent in Glen Hansard. This is a man who has been crushed in love, someone who is washed up and essentially rid of the idea of falling in love in life because of all the times he’s been screwed over with women. We don’t need him to tell us this, it is all right there on the screen for us to see when he screams “Say it to me now” as the camera slowly zooms in on his face. This is a troubled, broken man, and music has helped him escape these hardships, much as it has helped many of us. Almost like a fairy tale, he meets a beautiful girl who is selling flowers in the same plaza he peddles his songs for money, and she is impressed. Obviously singing songs and playing guitar for passerby doesn’t pay all the bills, so he fixes vacuum cleaners for his father during the day. Of course, this beautiful girl has a vacuum she is in need of fixing. This is about the only macguffin in the movie, and that isn’t half bad since most movies have 5 or 10 of those to keep the story flowing. I linked you to that one cuz some of you non movie freaks might not be aware of what a macguffin is, but rest assured they exist in just about any movie you have ever loved.

But like I said, movie isn’t about the plot. It’s about how music can bring all of us together, and certainly how it affects the lives of these two people. I’m writing this review in two sessions by the way – the top half there was written while I was QUITE intoxicated and granted, a little bit on my high horse about why anyone and everyone should love this movie, and you certainly should. But it was also a bit light on the laughs, uncharacteristic of me, I know. Which leads me to think that this review up in hea might be the first in my series of “favorite movies” that will admittedly, be a little more serious than the others. Because I can’t create a big pile of laughs when I’m talking about something that has truly impacted my life in a certain way, like this one has.

This review is also lacking in pictures I’ve noticed too, so here you go, that’s a picture of a cat with a monocle. Just look at him! Bahahaha. Ok, but seriously, the point of me posting that is, this movie isn’t about the images. In fact, if I had a complaint about this movie (and I really don’t), it would be that the visuals are lacking. The colors seem muted and washed out, I believe it takes place in Ireland and we don’t really see any of the beauty of that country (not like in this movie, which sucked, but gosh if it wasn’t pretty) at all. But you know, doesn’t really matter. This is a musical movie, and it’s all about the songs. Go buy the soundtrack, download it, whatever. It’s full of amazing, honest songs, and seeing the process of creating them on screen is pretty incredible, for me nothing topped the raw performance of “Say It To Me Now” which I already drunkenly rambled about up there, but the process they use in creating “Falling Slowly” which became essentially the mascot song for this movie and won an Oscar (as well it should have). But I don’t really think I need to tell you much on the plot – these people find a connection through music, there are brief pauses in the music creation to show that perhaps they could fall in love, perhaps there is something else between these two broken people, but it never becomes a full fleshed out tale of love or romance, that isn’t what this movie is, and we don’t need a happy ending at the end – well, at least I didn’t.

So yeah, the ending is brilliant to me naturally, because it leaves things open ended. Anyone who became obsessed with these two and I and about 10 million other people did though, knows that they ended up becoming a real couple after this movie was filmed though. Neat huh? Real life implications, maybe the music in the film even brought them together in real life, I’d certainly believe in that power. They had a follow up movie to this that was essentially about the massive success they found from it and the tour they went on afterwards, and in typical human fashion, it almost tore them apart. We get this a lot, when and insane amount of fame can almost destroy a person – perhaps more famously with ol’ Dave Chappelle. It’s called The Swell Season, and I linked you to amazon instead of imdb there because, well, you should probably just go ahead and buy it for me. But what more do I need to say? I would probably put this movie at a solid #3 on my favorite movies of all time list, it might not be cemented there, but it most assuredly cracks the top 5. There is no other movie like it, and probably never will be again. It changed the way I view the creation of music, and music is an absolutely MONSTROUS part of my life, nearly as much as movies are. It is The Beatles of musical films. If you haven’t seen it, and I hope you all have, then go check it at your earliest convenience. I hope it impacts you half as much as it did me.

 

The verdict (uh, no brainer here) –