Then comes D-day. Easily one of the greatest film sequences of all time and Spielberg directs the hell out of it. WWII veterans have even said that “they got everything right but the smell.” I feel like I do not need to go into too much detail here because words just wouldn't do it justice. What I love about it is at the end of this sequence, Spielberg decides to show us a montage of the dead in the most beautiful way that he can. “Yes it is. Quite a view….” Never have words meant more than in this moment. We hear Williams score come in again as we see the dead who have sacrificed everything. It is a view we will never get again and hope to never see again. I just feel it is a moment we all need and remember what those men gave their lives for. A beautiful and important moment in all of cinema.
As the film moves along we follow Captain Miller and his troops as they try and locate Private Ryan. Along the way, lives are lost within the group and the true effects of the war start to take its toll. What I think Spielberg does effectively, with help from the brilliant cinematography from Janusz Kaminski, is that he slowly starts to isolate each of the characters. Not so much that they are alone, just that he starts to break them up with both his staging and visuals. The scene after they attack a German outpost in a field is the beginning of the end for the group and Spielberg makes that very evident. After that moment, they are never the same and have slowly kind of drifted away from one another. Even though they come together to help dig the graves, the stress and toll of this mission has already reached its tipping point.
Spielberg to me is one of the best at staging scenes and knowing where to move the characters. The final battle is a perfect example of this. As the battle rages on, we jump around from character to character and see that they are each separated from one another. Yes they are with other American soldiers, but those soldiers are not who they have been fighting with throughout the film. And as we come to find out, they will also die away from one another as well. And I think that I what is most important about this journey. Casualties will be lost in order for the greater good. Those that are lucky enough to survive have a chance to “earn this” or earn what is now given to them. A new life.
Saving Private Ryan to me is not just a war film but really a reflection on a band of brothers. A group that sacrificed their lives so that others could live. Spielberg is able to craft a gripping and mesmerizing film that will hold up for generations to come. How this didn't win best picture is beyond me, but we can all agree that this will stand this test of time and that we will never see anything like this again.
Bottom Line: What Spielberg has achieved here is nothing short of brilliant. One of the greatest directorial efforts and films of all time.
The main plot of the film revolves around Kubo going on a quest to find a magical suit of armor in order to stop the evil forces that are hunting him down. It is overall a fairly simple plot to follow. He is joined by Monkey (Theron) and Beetle (McConaughey) who each guide Kubo and shape the journey that he is on in really a beautiful way. Monkey and Beetle are able to play well off of each other and provide some great comedic relief, as well as moments that will for sure put a smile on your face. The Sisters (Mara), who are hunting down Kubo, bring the tension and darkness that can sometimes scare us and always seem to be chasing us. Even though the story on the outside seems simple, it is done with complete perfection that you are still in a state of admiration.
For me this film almost seemed like it an entire dream sequence. We know that Kubo is a great storyteller and has a gifted imagination, so why wouldn't this be just another one of his stories. And I think that’s what makes the film so great. We are able to have these memories and stories of different events in our lives, whether it be people or places, that we can go on these journeys and seem to be almost living through those events. We can create a journey with those memories and always have them near and dear to our hearts. That seems to be the overall message that Kubo and the Two Strings is trying to say. We accept life and death but we never have to forget.
Even though we lose those that we love, they will always live in the memories and stories that we continue to tell of them. Kubo is that story that we can all relate to.
Bottom line: With gorgeous animation and a beautifully crafted story, Kubo and the Two Strings further proves why Laika is the company to bet on. Excellent.
After seeing this film, it is safe to say that this is one of the best films Pixar has ever made. Not only does it establish each emotion perfectly, but it shows how most of us feel on a daily basis. To me this film is not a kids film (and honestly I don't think that most Pixar films are) because it tackles themes that can be relatable to all ages. Those themes are maturity and depression. Yes, depression. To me this is really the main message that this film is trying to portray. The idea that it is easy for people to not notice someone who is depressed and how easy it is for them to lose their feelings and emotions in an instant; just as Riley's parents don't notice how she is changing throughout the film.
Maturity also plays a big part in the film. The idea of Riley having to adapt to a completely new life, move away from her friends and what she knew as "home", forces her to try to become a mature adult at such a young age. The emotional roller coaster of trying to be an adult can cause some to feel overwhelmed and they can fall into some sort of a depressed state. They tend to lose their emotions which make up who they are (and this is where the the film draws most of the plot on but I don't want to give anything away). It is easy to connect emotionally with Riley because her story and her emotions are some that we all feel everyday and can relate to strongly.
It is hard to try and hold back tears (as most Pixar films tug at the heart strings) because Inside Out provides many emotional moments throughout. Those moments involve of course Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust, which in a way make up our "five identities" of who we are. They help identify our ups and downs, as well as how we interact with the world around us. I am not going to lie, I did have some emotional moments throughout the course of the film (especially in the second half). I felt a strong connection with Riley because it can be heartbreaking to see someone lose their identity. It truly can hit you hard.
Inside Out is not only one of the best films of 2015, but it might be one of the best animated films of all time. It draws on themes that can be relatable to most and depicts emotions in a way that we have not seen before. It will lead the audience on an emotional roller coaster that will have them laughing and crying as the story unfolds. In the end, Inside Out is telling the audience that it is OK to be who you are because you are beautiful on both the inside and out.
This film has certainly changed the dynamics of film-making when it comes to action and stunt work. Miller has most certainly created an entirely new approach to creating action sequences by using as little CGI as possible. The entire film feels so real and authentic that it is hard to believe that this was not CGI heavy. Granted there are some effects that have been enhanced to create the post-apocalyptic world, but it just looks absolutely amazing. It is evident that Miller spent a lot of time trying to figure out all of the steps needed to create these epic and beautiful car chases with insane stunt work. Boy did it pay off in the end.
Tom Hardy is great as Max, in the role that was originally played by Mel Gibson. Although he has minimal lines in the film, which is expected of his character, he portrays the perfect persona that makes up who Max is. Max is a survivor. A lone road warrior that is on the run from both good and evil. It is hard not to root for him and become attached to him as a character because he is the guy you want fighting for you when all goes to hell. He knows how to survive and be his own man in a society where sanity is no longer in existent.
For me however, the true centralized character that this film was about was Charlize Theron's, Furiosa. The story to me seemed very much a feminist story in the fact that the women in the film were often seen as "things" and not human beings. In order for them to be seen as humans, they must break away from the control of men and return to a land where hope and humanity once existed. Furiosa embodies the hope and warrior qualities that the women in the film are searching for and see her as a leader; a strong one at that. I thought this was an excellent film to have at this moment in cinema because there aren't many films where women are depicted as the centralized character. It is sad to see women still not getting their recognition for leading roles in film today, so it was nice to see a story where a bad-ass female centralized character, can make a stand and have a voice.
Mad Max: Fury Road is an epic adventure that has truly changed the way of making a film. Beautifully shot by cinematographer John Seale, Fury Road is able to go back to the world that Miller has previously created and escalate the action to a whole new level. This film will continue to be studied by students and critics for many decades to come for not only the action and striking visuals, but for the entire film-making process in itself. This is truly a cinematic masterpiece.
Reviewer: Pat Brennan
Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Writers: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Gincobone, Alexander Dinelaris, & Armando Bo
Cast: Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis,
& Andrea Riseborough
- Birdman is one of those films that can spark and influence a new generation of filmmakers. The idea of the whole film being one long tracking shot, paves the way for a new technique and a new idea on what it means to make a film. With strong performances from Keaton, Stone and Norton; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (along with beautiful cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki) is able to create this world that allows the audience to move along with the characters, almost as if we are observing each situation like a fly on the wall, moving from scene to scene. The film acts as though it is a play within a play that shows the behind the scenes of what it takes to put on a production of this scale. The main theme of the film seems to be about the redemption of the main character Riggan (Keaton), and his ability to resurrect himself from being out of the spotlight for so long. By batting his alter-ego that seems to follow him everywhere, Riggan tries to not only save the play that he has been working on for so long but also save his life in the process. This film will easily be looked at as one of the more important and influential films to come out in the 21st century.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Michael Caine,
Casey Affleck, Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, Wes Bentley, Bill Irwin
- The BEST film of 2014. Actually, one of the best of all time. Directed by the great Chris Nolan, Interstellar is one of the movies that comes around once every ten years or so and changes the view of cinema. Nolan creates these worlds that seem so imaginable and authentic that it is shame his films don't get the recognition they deserve. What particularly stood out to me the most was how Coopers' (McConaughey's) children were the complete opposite of each other, but were also two different versions of himself. His daughter resembled the hope for the future and the strive towards achieving a new life for humanity, while his son resembled the working-class farmer who was deeply rooted in family values and remained stuck in the past because he is a family man and puts his family before himself. There is a scene in particular where a moment between the two children shows who they are as individuals, but I don't want to spoil anything. I may do a review on this in the future and break down some scenes but for now just please go and check out this film (and Mike's review of it) if you haven't already. Trust me it is a masterpiece.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, John C. Reilly,
- Easily one of Marvel's best and most surprising films to date, Guardians of the Galaxy blends together humor and intense action in the way that Marvel has come to be known for. The story revolves around Peter Quill (Pratt) and his group of outlaws who band together to stop the evil forces that are threatening to take over the galaxy. With a rising star in Chris Pratt, an excellent supporting cast and memorable soundtrack, it is hard not to love what you are watching and feel emotionally connected to each member of the group. James Gunn has certainly brought forward a different tone which blends comedy, action and drama all in one, to the Marvel Universe. It will definitely be interesting to see where he expands that tone with Guardians of the Galaxy 2. It is safe to say that not only is Guardians a must see, but you will also be continuously saying, "I am Groot" long after the film has ended.
Walk the Line (2005)
Director: James Mangold
Writers: Gill Dennis & James Mangold
Cast: Joaquin Pheonix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick, Dallas Roberts
- Walk the Line depicts the life of one of music's most controversial artists, Johnny Cash. Joaquin Pheonix, who plays Cash, delivers probably his best performance of his career and makes it hard to separate him from the real Johnny Cash. It is clear that Pheonix took time to study Cash and his behavior in order to generate a performance that should not be forgotten. Paired along side a phenomenal performance from Reese Witherspoon, who plays June Carter Cash, they both are able to escalate the film into one of the great biopics of our generation.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Director: Matt Reeves
Writers: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Cast: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smith-McPhee
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continues the story of Caesar from the first film (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), but this time the world has completely changed. Government and society ceases to exist. It is Man vs Ape and in this case, it becomes hard to choose a side. Director Matt Reeves does a superb job in exploring this apocalyptic world by showing how both species, Man and Ape, interact differently within the environment. The Apes are on the rise and are slowly taking over the landscape; starting with the forest. Man seems to be hiding in the abandoned cities, seeking any hope in order to survive in a world which they are struggling. Andy Serkis, once again, shows why he is the master of motion capture and delivers an outstanding performance as Caesar. It is a shame that the Academy continues to overlook is motion capture work. I hope someday he gets his recognition. The interactions between Caesar and Jason Clarke's character, Malcolm, are what drive the film forward because they both seem to want peace between the two species. What made an impression on me about this film was the fact that it became hard to pick a side on who is right. The lines between Man and Ape become blurred and it delivers a powerful theme that sits with you after the film has ended. That theme being who are we really when it comes down to surviving? With an extremely detailed environment, an excellent cast and a theme of man interacting with nature, it is safe to say that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films of 2014. ——————————————–
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Director: Doug Liman
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brenden Gleeson, Bill Paxton
- Probably one of the more overlooked films of 2014, Edge of Tomorrow is able to rise to the occasion and deliver one of the best action stories we have seen in quite some time. Tom Cruise is one of the masters of the action genre and delivers again on the thrills we have come to know from him. Liman is able to deliver a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat with non-stop action and even some comedic moments. I thought that having the day repeat over and over again would get boring and lose me, but it most certainly did not. Emily Blunt also delivers a great performance and shows how strong of a female figure she is. She becomes the centralized character of the story and keeps the audience wanting more and more of her. Although it was released in early summer and sort of forgotten about towards the end of the year, it should not be overlooked. I don't want to delve too deep into the story without giving away any of the plot, so if you have not seen this film go check it out now!
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Directors: Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise
Writer: Lina Woolverton
Cast (voice): Robby Benson, Rex Everhart, Angela Lansbury, Paige O'Hara, Jesse Corti, Jerry Orbach, David Ogden Stiers, Bradley Pierce
- Arguably one of the greatest Disney animated films of all time (second to The Lion King), Beauty and the Beast shows how an animated feature film can aspire to become something that will stand the test of time. If you do not know the story by now, which I don't know how you wouldn't, it is about a Prince who becomes transformed into a Beast and has to find true love in order to break the spell, or he risks being trapped inside the Beast's body for the rest of his life. What this film draws on well are strong themes about becoming an adult. One aspect is to not judge someone by the way they look or act. Everyone is quick to judge the Beast because of his looks. Belle starts to do this, but slowly is able to break away at who the Beast is on the inside and the real person he is. She is the only one who really gives him a chance and does not judge him by the way he looks. Another theme that this film draws on, is to be an independent thinker and stand out by talking against society when you sense that something is wrong. Become an independent person and stick up for something you believe in or love; in this case it is Belle's feelings towards the Beast. Beauty and the Beast is more than just a children's film. It allows audiences of all different generations and backgrounds to be drawn into the story and relate to it in a way that they might have never noticed before. It will always be considered as one of the greatest and most influential animated films of all time.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Evan Peters, Josh Helman
- Bryan Singer is able to create what is probably the best X-Men film to date. X-Men: Days of Future Past brings essentially all of the X-Men characters that we have seen in the films and creates an environment that blends the future within the past. We get to see McAvoy and Fassbender reprise their roles as a young Professor X and Magneto, as well as see their future selves, played by the superb Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. The story is well crafted and thought-out, which allows the audience to feel placed in the world of the characters and brings us along for a ride that does not let up. Singer does have his own "Rogue-Cut" of the film coming out soon that will provide 20 more minutes, which will bring the character of Rogue into the film. It will be interesting to see if that cut changes the feel of this film or not. For now though, X-Men: Days of Furture past lives up to the hype and provides a rich story, blended with excellent action. Bring on X-Men: Apocalypse.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Michael Crichton & David Koepp
Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight
- Steven Spielberg's Sci-fi/Adventure, Jurassic Park, is highly regarded as one of the defining films over the last 25 years. The story centers around a tour of a futuristic theme park, created by John Hammond (Attenborough), that inhabits cloned dinosaurs as the main attraction. When a major power outage causes the dinosaurs to escape their enclosures, everyone on the island must find a way off before they are killed. The film tackles the theme of "Man vs. Nature vs. Technology" with the idea that Man cannot just create things, or species in this case, just because they have the ability to. They cannot be too quick to judge and control those creations because Nature always finds a way, which in this case it turns around to literally bit them in the ass. Spielberg has created a world that is very realistic and allows the audience to also take a tour of the park to see how dangerous these dinosaurs can be. This is truly a film that has influenced many young filmmakers in the world today and it is a landmark of an achievement. Spielberg is a master filmmaker.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Directors: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Cast: Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwall, Toby Jones
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier is another massive hit for the Marvel franchise. This time around Captain America (Evans) and Black Widow (Johnasson) must battle a new threat in the Winter Soldier, as S.H.I.E.L.D. starts to unravel. The Russo brothers are able to establishes themselves as intense action directors that spare no expense when trying to make everything as realistic as possible. I think what makes this film stand out amongst the other Marvel films is the tone and feel of it is just something we haven't seen with this franchise. There was a lot of grit and heart within the story which furthered developed the characters we have already known, into becoming the true leaders that we have come to love. The acting was top notch (especially Redford as Pierce) which allowed the film to flow smoothly and draw the audience in. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier shines as one of the best and boldest entries in the Marvel universe.
which doubles as a research facility, secluded high in the mountains where there is almost no human contact. By shooting almost the entire film in one location, it can be hard to create a compelling story. Garland is able to go above and beyond that to create an environment that blends Sci-fi with reality. By creating that strong environment and allowing the story to unfold before the audience, Garland is able to place the audience at the center of the story themselves to test the robot and change the way that Sci-fi films can ultimately be looked at.
One major element for a story like this to be successful is the acting. If the acting does not seem right or feels out of place, than the story will feel disconnected. The three main leads are perfectly chosen for their roles. Gleeson plays, Caleb, who was sent there to test the A.I., Ava. What separates him from the other characters is that he is essentially an audience member. He too has no idea what is going to happen next. Gleeson is able to express his character’s emotions through his facial expressions (especially in his eyes), which in turn reflects back on how the audience is viewing Ava. We see him feeling more and more connected to Ava which in turn causes us to become more connected with her. Vikander plays Ava, the A.I. created to change the world, and in my opinion gives the best performance of the film. What makes this the best performance is the fact that there are moments when we cannot separate her from either being a robot or a human. By not being able to separate her from who she really is, shows the depth that Vikander is able to achieve in making the audience almost love Ava. We in turn want her to become part of our world.
That brings us to Oscar Isaac who always gives a phenomenal performance no matter what he is in. By playing Nathan, the “villain” in the film, he is able to express his emotions in a physical and intimidating manner. Whenever he is on screen, you almost feel uncomfortable watching him and never know if he is going to snap or not. By giving the audience this sense of confusion and unease he is able to make you question who he is all together.
With these amazing performances, along with beautiful cinematography by Rob Hardy and an excellent score from Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, Garland is able to bring all of these elements together to create a Sci-fi masterpiece. By bringing us into a world that seems like reality, he is able to tell a story of not only love and understanding, but also a glimpse into possibly the future of the human race. By allowing the audience to test Ava, we are able to place her in reality and see her as one of us.
An Audience Perspective (Mike Welsch):
How many times have you checked Facebook today? Instagram? Twitter? Snapchat? If you are anything like me then I would suspect the answer to be similar: too many times already. There is no denying that technology has and continues to progress at an exponential rate, not only from a technical perspective, but socially as well. From iPhones to MRI machines, technology has sparked a worldly evolution within the past decade that will change the way humans think, interact, and communicate for the remainder of our species' existence. We are creatures drawn to creation and innovation, enthralled by discovery and the unknown, and possessed with intelligence. We have always asked ourselves how we can reach that next technological breakthrough and such has instigated our culture of ignorance to the real question: at what cost do we reach it?
Ex Machina paints a vivid and disturbing picture of Man's obsession with advancement and the role that artificial intelligence plays in the evolution of our species. The film dances around a key theme to the story: what is alive? Does being alive mean being able to speak and to communicate? Does it mean being able to feel and sense pain? Perhaps it means being able to employ logic? Or to know fear? Empathy? Love? I say the film is disturbing because it forces us to dissect what makes us human and what truly makes us alive.
The film's primary specimen of artificial intelligence, Ava, may be made of glass and metal hardware functioning by means of computer logic and electrical circuitry, but what if "she" can do and feel the things mentioned above? At what point does something meet the requirements for what it means to be alive and conscious? It is oddly fascinating as well as terrifying to consider the possibility that we as a species have reached a technological level in our intellect that allows us to mimic, or otherwise create, a functioning replica of a human being. "To erase the line between man and machine is to obscure the line between men and gods." There is plenty of speculation regarding the current progress of artificial intelligence as it exists in today's world, but the very concept alone signifies that we are indeed striving for the power of gods. And when we finally realize that power and create a machine that thinks and talks and feels...where will human beings fall on the evolutionary scale?
Death. That is the underlying theme that the Coen's are trying to express. Death is everywhere and it is the most evil thing of all.
The one moment in the film that I wanted to examine in particular is the ending because I feel that this sums up what has just been shown to us. The Coen's always have a way of making you think during the final scene and in this moment in particular, they exceed in doing that extremely well.
This is my interpretation of this memorable scene. The first dream he is talking about represents the values that his father had taught him throughout his life. He can't really seem to remember the dream. The roles are switched where he is the older man, while his father is the younger man. "He gave me some money.....I think I lost it". This simple sentence represents not just losing money, but losing the values that his father had taught him. His father is younger than he is but is still much older and wiser in the sense that he obtains those older values.
In the second dream, both he and his father are back in "older times", meaning that they are back at a time where evil was not as strong or present in society. He was going through a pass in the mountains at night by himself; darkness all around him. Cold and alone. His father would ride past him with his head down not saying anything to him or acknowledging him at all. His father was carrying fire with him, which represents the warmth and light of hope in a place full of darkness. Hope for the future. Hope that the evil in the world would not always win and would be destroyed by that beacon of light. His father was going ahead to secure a path that would enable his son to get there and one day join him in a place where there was no evil (Anton's actions throughout the film would represent the evil he is talking about). He would make a fire out in the dark and cold world and wait. Wait for his son to join him when he dies himself. A clock can be heard ticking towards the end of his explanation of this second dream. This is his mind giving a countdown until ultimately he can join his father in the afterlife, away from all this evil.
And then, he wakes up.
To me this is one of the greatest endings in cinematic history. Not only does it sum up the story in a sense, but it also tells the audience how evil has escalated over the years and continues to become more and more aggressive with each passing generation. Anton's actions of killing Moss, as well as many others throughout the film, show how evil continues to rise and progress and become stronger and stronger. His sense of hope being there with his father, and the light to guide him, will never be present in his world. It will only be in the afterlife.
No Country for Old Men is easily in my top ten films ever made. It draws on the theme of death and the effects it has on the human mind. There is no changing the fact that there will always be evil in the world. It is just a matter of how to try and stop that evil from taking over. The film is also shot by, in my opinion the greatest cinematographer of all time Roger Deakins, who often gets greatly overlooked by the work he has done. He helps create that empty environment that gives the story its character. The emptiness becomes the character that drives the story and sets the dark, somber tone and setting for the film. If you haven't yet had a chance to watch this masterpiece of a film, you are certainly missing out. Please go and check it out. You will not be disappointed.
that he wanted to see this film "end millions of marriages". He was joking of course, but in a way he might not be. This film draws on the idea of being trapped inside a marriage with someone you cannot trust and cannot control. There is no escape in the marriage of Amy and Nick. Fincher starts and ends the film with the same exact shots, but that does not entirely mean that they are the same. As the film opens we see Amy's head resting on Nick's chest. As she looks up towards Nick, we see that there is this innocence about her. There is a blue tint within the frame to resemble the fact there is a coldness and darkness that surrounds her life. Her innocent eyes look up at him imply, "how could you do this to me?". Nick also says the same exact lines to start and end the film; "What have we done to each other? What will we do?" A perfect way to express the idea of being trapped together with seemingly no escape.
The film ends, like I said, with the same exact shot as the opening; however there is a completely different tone. This time when Amy turns around she stares right into Nick's eyes as if to say "I am in control now". There is a new tone in the environment surrounding her in that there is warmer color than the beginning and shows a lot more about who Amy really is; a controlling psychopath. The same lines are spoken again by Nick about what will they do to each other and this time it reads completely different. In the beginning, everyone was quick to blame Nick for Amy's disappearance and judge him right off the bat. But, at the end of the film, it was almost as if the message is now saying whose side are you on? Who is the least crazy in your eyes? That is what ultimately Fincher was trying to go for. Marriage being questioned by the audience in not only in the film but also in reality.
The turning point of the film is the most well thought out and creative moment in my opinion. That comes just as we find out that Amy is in fact not dead, but instead framing Nick for her death and describing to the audience her plan on how she will do it. "I am so glad that I am dead. Well.....technically, missing". I had already known that she was not actually murdered so I knew the story was told from two different perspectives. This entire sequence made me love the film even more the second time watching it through. The dialogue is spot on and the pacing is just right, which allows the audience to see that Amy is not a dumb housewife and she is much smarter and deceitful than she actually leads on. The music builds and builds as she describes her plan to show that the control is shifting towards her and the power is in her hands. Her true character is revealed in this scene and it is the moment where the audience has to start deciding what side to choose.
So that brings us to main villain in the film and it is not Amy or Nick; it is "marriage". The idea of marriage and the horrors of what it has the potential to bring. Now I am not saying marriage is bad at all, nor is Fincher or Gillian Flynn; I am just saying that marriage is built on trust and even if you have known someone for years, you still might not fully know who they actually are. The real question is, what lies ahead in their future? What will Amy and Nick do to each other? That is what makes the film so fascinating. Fincher always tries to make the audience think about what they have just seen on the screen. Whether that be films like Seven or The Social Network, he always wants the audience to really think about the story and what lies ahead for the characters he has created. It is hard to say what is next for Amy or Nick but one thing is for certain, their marriage is certainly not a normal marriage. They are both so controlling and powerful that in the end they may end up killing each other. So the question becomes, are you #TeamAmy or #TeamNick?
(CAUTION: SPOILERS BELOW)
Reviewer: Mike Welsch
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, Michael Caine
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." It is safe to say that this motion picture is one massive jump for the Sci-Fi genre in the film industry. With subtle allusions to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar exposes concepts about space that for many are too universally complex to comprehend, and for others, too frightening to comprehend. This of course, in turn, makes the film one that so easily captures the audience's attention and wonder.
Space travel stimulates the human mind in a way that nothing else can. Truly being Man's "Final Frontier", what resides beyond Earth's atmosphere is a mystery that our species cannot help but crave to solve. Since the dawn of man our species has always yearned to expand, to travel, and to discover. We are voyagers at our very core and the idea of learning something unknown draws us in like a gravitational pull. Christopher Nolan makes a daring attempt to combine the enigmatic notion of relativity with a passionate representation of family connection during Earth's final days.
McConaughey plays Cooper, a former NASA pilot who is given a task that, if accomplished, will not only save the lives of his children but also the continued existence of mankind. When the world is near its end, at what lengths would you go in order to save it? To save your friends? Your family? Your children? An even more important question: how much would you sacrifice to protect the human race if it meant never seeing a human again? Cooper, accompanied by his team of Amelia Brand (Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi), Doyle (Wes Bentley), TARS (voice of Bill Irwin), and CASE (voice of Josh Stewart), battles between an act of heroism and a longing to be reunited with his family, and through the efforts of Nolan and musical director Hans Zimmer, the audience experiences the thrill and heart-wrenching paths of their journey in the most authentic way possible.
746 million miles from Earth, through a portal in space time, into the realms of alternate universes, across the dimensions of human perception...what could possibly exist there? Where does that leave us? Aided in production by theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, Interstellar is a scientifically accurate conjecture of space travel and the assumed nature of 'time'. What would you do if you could go back in time? If you could change the past? Interstellar explores not only the science of such a journey, but also the emotional consequences of its result.
I have never seen a film that has blown me away to the point of questioning my observed reality, but Christopher Nolan manages to do just that. Interstellar is the best movie I have ever seen and, in my opinion, manifests the truest and most tangible form of existence that the human mind can perceive. I think that this movie, though overlooked by the academy, will be remembered as one of the best films of all time. I understand that to some, depending on one's generation, the concepts may be a little too "out there" (no pun intended) to grasp, but the story and meaning behind those scientific concepts is something that can be universally understood and appreciated: Love transcends the dimensions of space and time.
Reviewer: Pat Brennan
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chapelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
If I were to sum up this film in one word, it would be “Incredible”. By now most people are probably starting to hear about this film due to the vast number of award shows that are coming out. This film deserves every award it can get. The performances are so powerful that they leave you with a feeling of wanting more. Miles Teller (Andrew) shows how deep he can go into developing the persona of a character. He is able to separate himself from his other performances to show that he has the ability to be one of the best actors in Hollywood. The last scene alone is easily one of the best moments in film this year, if not the past decade. It will leave you sitting on the edge of you’re seat and watching in “aw” as Teller controls the outcome of the film’s end. After watching this performance, I can safely say that Miles Teller has the ability to someday win an Oscar. He is that good.
J.K. Simmons (Fletcher), in by far his best performance, is able to create a character so powerful and memorable that he is impossible to forget. He is a lock for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and he deserves it. Hands down. I felt as though his screaming and cursing was directed towards me and the audience, not Andrew. He made me hate him as a character, which is when you know the actor is playing the role perfectly. There are moments when the character of Andrew looks as though he has pleased Fletcher, but Fletcher has other ideas. One stand out scene is where Fletcher has Andrew and two other drummers playing for hours on end until one of them can match the tempo that he wants. Literally hours of playing until 2 A.M. O yeah, he also hurls a chair at Andrew because he again does not match the tempo. These are just a few moments throughout that make Simmons the best part of the film. He is able to create this feeling towards the audience of being uncomfortable and petrified as he speaks to anyone in the frame. I felt as though I was the one who was auditioning for the class.
One other major quality that this film brings is its unique style and cinematography (Sharone Meir). This is easily one of the best shot films of the year. The pacing and editing make it feel as though the film is one long jazz number. It is simply impossible to look away.
To top it off this film was shot in 19 days. Yes, 19 days.
If you have not already, check out this film. NOW. It is unlike anything you have ever seen. You will not be disappointed.