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  • Saw Pride last night and loved it. Dominic West and my man Moriarty as lovers - what's not to love? (Andrew Scott's soulful/mad eyes drive me crazy). The movie is funny, moving and inspiring and reminded me just how very far we've come in my lifetime.

    Next up is Gone Girl. I finally got around to reading the book and now really want to see the film - the trailer looked so good.

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    • So Gone Girl? I have many thoughts. First though, all the trailers looked so terrible and made me feel like I was at a different movie - American Sniper, Fury, Interstellar, Exodus, and something called Kingsman that looks like my worst movie ever.

      I thought it was fairly excellent. I felt like the weaknesses that some critics are perceiving were actually just ways in which it held true to the book. It's one of the most faithful adaptations I've ever seen (I'm sure owing to Gillian writing the screenplay too) but in some ways, I thought it was a better film than book. The things that felt like tropes in the book felt more fleshed out and organic in the film. It was well paced which is impressive given it's 3 hours. The only time I felt it meandered was during the Desi stuff which I also felt was true of the book but I think in part here was because NPH was fine, but out of his depth given the other performances.

      I was reminded of just how good Kim Dickens is. When I'd heard she'd been cast, I was hoping it was as Go but she was fantastic as the detective. The actress who played Go was very, very good too. All the supporting performances were on point - Scoot McNairy has a cameo that is maybe my favorite performance of his thus far. (And I just remembered he was in Argo!) Tyler Perry was better than NPH. Sela Ward has an extended cameo and I really need it confirmed for me that casting her was intentional meta because if so, that was brilliant. Missi Pyle played Missi Pyle playing Nancy Grace but she served her purpose. Patrick Fugit, Casey Wilson, and Boyd Holbrook didn't have a lot to do but were still well cast.

      So Nick and Amy. Affleck was not who I pictured initially but he was actually perfect because he's basically playing himself. He seems to be a decent, charming guy who might actually be a total douchebag putting on an act and playing you. And you go back and forth on which of those guys you see him as (when the truth is somewhere in the middle).

      Rosamund Pike was unsettling but I think it worked. She does not draw you in; she is disturbing from the get but you kind of can't look away. It's like you want to watch her through your fingers because everything about her makes you feel wrong - her voice, her appearance, mannerisms, etc. But I found that to be the case with Book Amy too and it didn't prevent me from believing her at the beginning. I've read some criticism that says Pike is so icy right away that you know she's lying. But the genius is that she's not lying at the beginning and so you do believe her. I thought she played the first half perfectly and it was only once she revealed herself and had to push the plot forward that she became a little less interesting (which was also true of her in the book even though I loved the reveal of FCA.)

      The only thing they really cut out of the movie was Amy's total hatred of and contempt for her parents. I mean she's a sociopath so it's clear she doesn't care about anyone but in the book, I felt like the reveal that her parents weren't these loving, supportive people they're shown to be in the first half and she's loathes them for needing her trust fund money added another layer to FCA. Like, this bitch wants to kill her own parents who are only portrayed as good until we hear her voice. The Elliotts in the movie are cold and elitist and don't have nearly as big a role as they do in the book. You could believe these people created Amy whereas I felt in the book, the Elliotts really made her seem like the bad seed. It didn't detract from the overall story though in the film. I'm amazed it was really the only thing that was cut out.

      It also ends on a slightly different note. Or maybe the sentiment is the same but we hear it in Nick's voice rather than Amy's so that alters it a bit.


      The Social Network aside, Fincher usually takes on material that doesn't really interest me but I thought he was a good fit for this one. It's at times a little too dour but another tone might have killed the momentum of the mystery. Credit goes to Gillian Flynn though for a well-crafted story that she handily adapted. Only a few false notes and extraneous scenes. Early release might hurt it for awards season.

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      • Mr. Issie kidnapped me this weekend and made me do fun stuff that we never get to do anymore because adulthood blows. So we watched movies ALLLL weekend and it was awesome.

        Birdman is weirdly amazing and in close-ups Emma Stone's eyes are freakishly large. Obvs, Keaton is getting all the attention because he's very good in this, but Galifanakis and Amy Ryan are also super great. AR has a pretty thankless role, but she really does manage to disappear in everything she's in. But like in the best way. She's also in damn near everything and never wants for work so I guess everybody recognizes that she's awesome.

        St. Vincent felt a little formulaic to me even though I enjoyed it and really liked Bill Murray. I also liked seeing Melissa McCarthy play a normal woman instead of the same Bridesmaid weirdo that she plays in all her other movies. So, we saw this after watching Birdman and it was super strange to see Naomi Watts as a Russian hooker after watching her play an insecure actress just a couple of hours before. It threw me off and I don't think I was able to judge to her acting fairly as a result.

        The Skeleton Twins was cutely depressing? I don't know how else to describe it. It's basically every late 20s, early 30s person angsting over the meaning of life when life does not end up the way they pictured it would, but Hader and Wiig were cute as siblings and when they got to do comedy together, you could really feel the bursts of energy they injected into the movie which was more Garden State-y in its emotional scope. SPOILER: The karaoke was my fave FAVE because when I was little I might have watched Mannequin like eleventy billion times.

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        • What a sweet movie weekend! Those are all on my list.

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          • I am so out of touch (because YES ADULTHOOD BLOWS) that I honestly thought you were just making up the names of fake movies as an elaborate troll.

            But oh, what an awesome thing for Mr.Issie to do. Kudos for the good husbandry.

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            • Team Mr. Issie! That's awesome.

              I'm desperate to see Birdman!
              Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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              • My girl-crush on Amy Ryan is strong; I am eager to see it as well.

                *love* Mr. Issie.

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                • Well, Interstellar was an extremely Nolan-y movie. Overexplaining and soliloquies watered down the big emotional moments, plot was composed of either sad cheese and/or science that doesn't make sense if you think about it for too long, some of the effects were spectacular, and they could've easily cut out an hour but noooooo, of course not! It just tried to be ALL THE THINGS, you know? But I liked it a lot better than the dude did - he was expecting more exotic planetary travel and less Contact, which he liked but didn't really want to see reincarnated.. Maybe I didn't mind the holes so much because it was the first Nolan movie I've seen that had mildly funny moments. (shrug) In conclusion, I don't regret watching it?

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                  • I treated myself to a double feature today and saw Foxcatcher and The Theory of Everything.

                    I should've seen Foxcatcher in Cannes but I was a dumb fangirl and saw dumb Robert Pattinson movies (that were terrible) instead so I'd been jonesing to see this one for awhile. It's hard to talk about because it's flawed but only in that it's extremely ambitious and doesn't quite get *there* so the flaws stand out even though on the whole, it's probably still one of the best films of the year. The script was too on the nose at certain moments and too opaque at others but Bennett Miller's direction and to a much greater extent, the performances, compensate. The three leads are INCREDIBLE. Obviously Steve Carell is being singled out and rightly so but Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo's performances are just as good if less transformative.

                    The movie is haunting, and incredibly joyless and bleak. It's not a super enjoyable viewing experience except to see a number of people at the top of their game. Miller and the script continually try to unpack the specific events of the story into a greater narrative about American experience which doesn't entirely work and in doing that, they're hesitant to offer too many specifics about the people and events themselves so it's hard to get purchase on the characters because at the same time, the very structure of the story is resisting that purchase. I read one review that said paraphrased, while it's excellent, it's a film for awards not audiences. That might be accurate.

                    Knowing Foxcatcher was going to be super dark, I saw Theory second. I had no desire to see it until I watched Eddie Redmayne on The Daily Show but it's gonna be a contender for all the majors during awards season so figured I'd get it out of the way early. It's the opposite of Foxcatcher in that it's an incredibly enjoyable viewing experience and not at all complex, though it is bittersweet. I knew nothing of Jane and Stephen Hawking's relationship so I didn't know where the movie was going. In most ways, it's a straight forward biopic though more from Jane's perspective than Stephen's (it's based on her memoir.) Redmayne and Felicity Jones are amazing and top production value across the board.

                    It's hard to say if one is better than the other. Theory isn't flawed in the way Foxcatcher is but it's also not half as ambitious.

                    I also saw Still Alice at AFI Fest a couple weeks ago. I read the book last winter and as a book, it was meh. Julianne Moore plays a Columbia Linguistics professor who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's shortly after her fiftieth birthday. Alec Baldwin is her husband, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish are her perfect older children and Kristen Stewart is her blacksheep youngest who eventually becomes her mom's caretaker. It's not a particularly cinematic story and it's not told in a particularly cinematic way -- it couldn't even fathom what Foxcatcher is attempting in taking the contained experience of a family and unpacking a greater narrative but again, the performances are great. JMoore has a lock on Oscar unless Sony fucks up her campaign in some major way (which is possible). I found certain scenes very moving while others got pat MOW treatment but I don't know, it just felt small overall. I think it would've been better served on HBO or Showtime and assuredly would've cleaned up at the TV Globes and Emmys. I don't think aside from Julianne, it has the gravitas for SAG, Oscar, Critics Circle, etc. even though the studio is pursuing those.

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                    • Wow, Interstellar was one pretentious flick! I mostly agree with Laa, though I do enjoy Nolan's Big Ideas.
                      Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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                      • I saw Birdman and kind of hated it. It wasn't poorly made and the one continuous shot gimmick mostly worked, but it was super trite and disingenous thematically and by the end I felt like giving a big WEVS to all involved. I do agree with Issie that Amy Ryan was pretty much the best part and Keaton gives a great performance. I was also intrigued at Edward Norton playing a sociopath who, of all his characters, is probably most similar to his real self.
                        I saw it with my parents though and they loved it.

                        ETA: In some ways it reminded me of Black Swan which I also hated.

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                        • Black Swan was so silly and over-the-top while taking itself super seriously that I sort of went back and forth on it the entire time I was watching it. I kept cackling at all the wrong parts and rolling my eyes at all the heavy scenes. So I enjoyed it but maybe for all the wrong reasons.
                          Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.

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                          • em, I watched Bachelorette on Comedy Central tonight and I liked it, too! Lizzy Caplan and Kirsten Dunst were delightful assholes.

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                            • Into the Woods was good! I mean, it can't hold a candle to the Broadway version since there's no Bernadette Peters and they cut a bunch of songs and storylines and it was a terrible idea to cast actual children as Jack (a mother hitting her dopey 17-year-old son is amusing; her 12-year-old son, not so much) and Little Red (her scene with the Wolf was extra-creepy what with his pervo-vision and her being a little goddamn girl) but as adaptations go, it was very enjoyable. And dark. In their quest to be appropriately sad and scary and non-Disney, they dropped a lot of the humor, which was disappointing, but I still like it as a standalone movie.

                              The cast, minus Jack, who seemed to think he was performing in an alt-U version of Oliver (seriously, kiddo, learn how to sing without your cockney accent) was uniformly great. Chris Pine was a pleasant surprise. And Anna Kendrick was adorable, naturally.

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                              • I saw Whiplash yesterday. It's a fun movie for people who haven't gone to music school because the hazing and emotional torture there really is that intense. Great performances by both Teller and Simmons. Ended too soon I think. I needed a resolve, or to at least read it was based on a true story (which it's not but it might've taken it to the next level if the Teller character had actually made something of himself irl)

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