The Way Way Back

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9.5/10

Every year there will be a couple of films that get delayed a few months because i wasn’t able to catch the films while they were in theaters. Luckily, The Way Way Back announced that it was going back into theaters for a limited engagement. This was a film that i wanted to see since May, and it didn’t disappoint. This film was a lot better than i thought it was going to be. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash write and direct a tribute to all of our adolescent memories. The Way Way Back is about a family who takes a vacation to the father’s (Steve Carrell) beach house. First of all, the characters are the best i have seen in a film all year. Carrell plays an amazing douche bag who tries to rough up his step son by dragging him out of his shell. Liam James plays that kid we all once were who longs to belong to someone or something. That feeling of loneliness that drifts into all of us when we enter our teenage years. He also plays it very well. Toni Collette was great as his mother, Amanda Peet, Rob Coddry, and Maya Rudolph turn in decent performances as well. My only gripe is that Coddry doesn’t have much to do and is kind of wasted, but his character isn’t a main one so it didn’t bother me that much. The two people who really steal this film are Alison Janney and Sam Rockwell. Janney is brilliant as an alcoholic mother who is a humiliation to her kids and friends. She has some of the most awkwardly funny moment that can’t help but drag a smile out of you. Sam Rockwell plays my favorite character of the year, by far. His character works as kind of a father figure to James and he sees the child that he used to be with loneliness. He gets James a job at the Swim park he works at, and it turns into the best summer of James life. Rockwell’s dialogue is something that deserves to be seen by everyone. He has a sarcasm that reminded me a lot of Randall Mcmurphy (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). The script is amazing and really gets across the dramatic points that this story has to tell. It’s with those dramatic tones that this film is hard to judge if it is a comedy or drama. I personally saw it as more of a comedy. The drama shows that there are more problems with this family that meets the eye. Steve Carrell is not the best adult figure to these teens going through growing up. The only things i didn’t like about this film was slight nitpicking. I feel that the beginning 15 minutes start off slow and might make some people lose interest. Some people don’t have patience at the beginning of a film, but i am telling you to give it a chance. Those fifteen minutes just build the story before it plays out the problems in front of our eyes. I also didn’t like the last two minutes of the film. The film technically has two endings. The first one is amazing. It sends you going home with a smile. Then there is the 2nd one that leaves you with kind of a bad taste. I can’t give away too much because i really want people to see this film. It’s just not the way i would’ve ended it, but i think the directors were going for a realistic tone that happens in the everyday world. Overall, i definitely recommend this film. I don’t want to give away where i have it ranked currently, but it’s definitely one of the best films i have seen this year. Plus, i was alone in the theater and that always makes for a more enjoyable experience.

The Place Beyond the Pines

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9.5/10

Absolutely the most powerful film of 2013 so far. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper deserve Oscars for performances that are definitely the best thing that either one of them have ever done. I will try to review this without spoiling anything. This movie is awesome because it has so much balls to do something ultra shocking in the first 1/3 of the film. After that it turns into a story that crosses the characters interactions so well that it becomes that kind of film on the likes of ‘Crash’. This movie had beautiful cinematography in the way it was shot and edited. It takes a yuppie town and really makes something beautiful out of it. The woods itself was a character in this movie. The score is also not disappointing as it compliments a jump in the story 15 years ahead and gives music for that time. The only problem i really had with this film was the running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. While i totally understand why the film was this long as they had to build up the big payoffs they were giving by the end, i do think that an average movie fan will be bored by the 2 hour mark. It kept me pretty well entertained, but i can see both sides of the ball on that one. The biggest thing i got from this movie was the fact that it may be better if we don’t know everything about our pasts. Sometimes they will come back to haunt. I recommend this film to anyone who digs powerful performances and deep impacting situations.

Oz : The Great and Powerful

 

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9/10

The best 3D movie i have ever seen. Such beautiful cinematography that added to the amazing 3D effects of things like falling snow, shooting arrows and a white water thrill ride. I didn’t really have a problem with Mila Kunis like everyone else has who has seen this flick. However, i thought it was Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz who really stole this movie. I had a couple of very small continuity issues with how it translates to The Wizard of Oz, but they are very small gripes. With that said, i will now say something that will definitely get me shot – I thought this film was better than The Wizard of Oz. Trust me when i say that Wizard of Oz is a classic and deserves all of the recognition it has gotten, but it also drags in parts. This movie is one that always kept my eyes on the screen and fully entertained at all times. I recommend this film to everyone, but you MUST see it in theaters. If you don’t see this movie in 3D, you are doing a disservice to yourself and the movie in general.