Archives for the month of: July, 2015

Liz: 3.9 out of 5 stars

A lovely Christmas season family-friendly film. JUST KIDDING, IT’S NOT AT ALL. Goodness, Filth, directed by Jon S. Baird, and starring James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, and many others, is one of those movies that changed my mind completely by the end of it. I started watching and was pretty sure that I did not like it very much at all. However, it took a giant turn in an unexpected way and I loved it.

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Quick summary: Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (McAvoy) is a really awful person whose main goal, amongst other schemes and pranks, is to win the promotion to Detective Inspector in his precinct by heading the investigation of the murder of a Japanese boy.

filth_2690571kLet’s begin with why I did not like this film to begin with. The characters were just awful!!!!!! It’s not that they were poorly written or boring (quite the opposite actually); they were just really crude, terrible, cruel people (especially Robertson). The excessive misogyny, homophobia, etc that were displayed by Bruce was almost too much to bear for my perhaps too-sensitive personality. I understand that it was part of the character, but it was too much to handle. Bruce was exaggerated obviously, but it was crude and I guess I’m not used to so much of it at every single scene and I felt that it almost wasn’t tasteful at times. The title of the movie is quite accurate for all the stuff that Bruce does. After finally finishing the movie though, it seems like that wasn’t such a big deal.

James McAvoy’s acting was GREAT. I was very impressed with his performance of a clearly unstable (trying not to give too much away), corrupt, manipulative man. His character was detestable and I hated him but by the climax of the film, I saw that Bruce had way more layers to him than I previously thought. There’s a great scene between him and Imogen Poots when he becomes extremely vulnerable and open for the quickest of moments.  McAvoy portrayed despicable, manic, scary all at the same time and by the end of the movie, I surprisingly felt really bad for him. I knew I always loved McAvoy since the first time I saw him as Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

Also shoutout to Jamie Bell. He wasn’t really that important in the movie, but I love him so there you go.

To go on, Filth seemed like a not-too-serious film when it started. I thought it was more of a comedy, as I didn’t know too much about it when I started it. However, I was impressed by the huge turn it took towards the end. There were flashes of something strange or secret about Bruce, but I didn’t know what. When I finally figured out what was going on, I really appreciated the story and what it was trying to accomplish/show.

Finally, I really enjoyed the super fast-paced style of the movie — the conversations, events, etc.– that reminded me a whole lot of Snatch. Also, there were really bizarre scenes, primarily with Jim Broadbent, that were kind of scary but I appreciated how it lent that uncomfortable/unstable feel of the film. Lastly, I just really like the music, particularly when Bruce and Clifford Blades (Eddie Marsan) are in Germany and 99 Red Balloons is playing. It was hilarious and I also very much enjoyed when Bruce drugged Blades (awful!) and he was dancing with the lights around his shoulders in the bar.

So, ultimately, I rate this movie higher than I thought I would have when I had only seen half of the film. The movie was clever, funny, crude, really inappropriate, and surprising. I originally didn’t plan on finishing the film, but I’m really glad that I gave it a chance in the end.

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Liz: ?????? out of 5 stars

This movie was quite an experience for me. It was my first surreal movie, and I’m really not quite sure that I understood it or enjoyed it? It definitely intrigued me though and I stayed to watch the whole thing.

Quick summary: Eraserhead, directed by David Lynch and starring Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Jeanne Bates, Judith Anna Roberts, Laurel Near, and Jack Fisk is a film about a man who is left to take care of a deformed baby that came of a sexual encounter with his girlfriend. He experiences really strange and grotesque hallucinations/ dreams throughout the film. That’s the best I can do folks.

The thing I liked best about this movie was the “soundtrack.” The sound effects or sometimes lack of, contributed greatly to that sense of true discomfort and horror that characterizes this movie for me, from start to finish. Silence or that low-level background noise was super eery for me, as well as the sudden spurts of loud noise or music.

I also liked Jack Nance’s performance as Henry. First of all, he kind of walked like how I think silent movie actors appeared — really fidgety. (this is more of just a random thought that I wanted to put out there). Also, he barely talked ever in the movie, but his facial expressions and movements were really good to me and I was very thrown off by how he seemed to remain oblivious or unphased by all these terrible odd things happening around him.

I’m certainly at a loss for how I really feel about this movie. I could say that I hated it because it made me uncomfortable and there was an overabundance of creepy to disgusting things on display. I could say that I LOVED it because it’s something that I’ve never ever seen so much of before in a movie and that maybe I was picking up on some true human fears that were just horrifically exaggerated. I could say that I was 50/50 because it was strange and bizarre enough to keep me watching, yet I couldn’t quite place what it was exactly about. I kept scribbling down things that I saw in the movie that could possibly mean something bigger, but I could just be dead wrong about them. In the end, I just decided to go with the experience and not worry about finding hidden meanings.

Eraserhead was super weird for me, but I’m glad I watched it. I will say though that because this movie was FULL of disturbing things, I was almost bored at the end because I came to expect that everything I would see would be more of the same thing. I don’t know, maybe I need to read some deep analysis of this somewhere and rewatch it. I just wanted to get out my thoughts about this, so I apologize if this didn’t really seem like too much of a review.

Final thought: His deformed baby looks like E.T.’s older brother or something. It freaked me out.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my review of Filth.

Omar: 3.5 out of 5

After I finished watching Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive back when it premiered in 2011 all I wanted was a scorpion jacket, driving gloves, a toothpick, and to drive fast. Since then I’ve bought the movie on bluray and often list it as one of my favorite movies ever. Any movie that reminds me of Drive (or the equally stylish Hotline Miami) tends to instantly make me smile and pay close attention, this is part of the reason why I loved Keanu Reeves in John Wick so much. In these past four years since Drive, I finally found a movie that compares in style in Adam Wingard’s The Guest.

Let’s start with a brief description of what this movie is about. On a seemingly random and unimportant day, the Peterson family is visited by Afghanistan war veteran David (Dan Stevens). Mrs. Peterson, still mourning the death of her son Caleb, is quick to invite David in and offer him a room for the night after he explains that he was a friend of her son. The almost jarringly polite David is readily taken in by the entire family. Within the course of a few days David is picking up the younger Peterson son from school, attending parties with Anna Peterson (Maika Monroe), listening to the Mr. Peterson’s work troubles over beers, and helping Mrs. Peterson with household chores. Everything is not as it seems for the Peterson family and only the smartest Peterson, Anna, is suspicious of David’s story. Without wanting to spoil anything I’ll leave it that.

One of my favorite things about this movie was the cinematography. The style of this film is palpable as it was with the other movies I mentioned in opening this review. That scene near the end of the film at the high school gymnasium has been on my mind since the movie ended. That entire scene and the ones like it that preceded it simply exude coolness.

My absolute favorite thing about the film is the music. The soundtrack is amazing from start to finish and matches the style of the film like a pig in a blanket (yeah, I totally just made that idiom up). As a matter of fact I’m currently listening to the soundtrack loudly on my headphones as I write this. If you want a hint of what I’m talking about here, it is:

Pretty great right?! 5/5 stars for the film’s soundtrack but unfortunately this isn’t a soundtrack review.

My main gripe with the movie doesn’t have anything to do with the over-the-top action or the intentionally ridiculous acting and script. I understand that these things were consciously put into the film to contribute to the overall aura. My main complaint was with the story. The film begins intentionally slow and progresses steadily towards its final loud crescendo but it does so in a way that felt too unbalanced for me. Maybe I’m just nitpicking but I think the film could have been better balanced. To add to that, the movie had so many overly stylish moments that bordered on cheesy. I’m convinced these were also by design but I’m still marking the film down a bit for them. The major thing I didn’t like about the story was simply that it wasn’t all that special. The explanation for what happens in the second half of the movie doesn’t seem as something created for the purpose of writing a good story as much as just an excuse for characters to run wild, have shootouts, and chase each other in cars. I can’t help but return to Drive and compare the two given all the similarities and I know that’s unfair to this movie because it deserves to exist on its own but those are just my own biases. In the end a 3.5 is probably lower than many people would give this movie but the story felt too noticeably weak to me when compared to the excellent style of the film. It was still a highly enjoyable movie and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and stylish movie.

But come on, compare the two and tell me you don’t see the similarities!

Liz: 3.3 out of 5 stars

It was Omar’s turn to pick a movie and he decided on The Guest (on US Netflix), directed by Adam Wingard and starring Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey fame, my heart still hurts for you), Maika Monroe (from It Follows!!), Brendan Meyer and Lance Reddick.

theguestQuick Liz summary: A mysterious, overly polite man named David Collins (Stevens) shows up on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claiming that he had served in the Army alongside their recently deceased son Caleb. The family invites him in and has him stay with them for awhile (sketch already) and as the movie progresses, the family begins to realize that there is more to him (intentionally vague) than meets the eye.

Let me just start off by saying that I would have given this movie 5 out of 5 stars if the only thing that mattered to me was the atmosphere and ambiance (to quote Marshawn Lynch). The colors of the movie alone were great and the music/soundtrack was incredible. First, the movie starts off with “THE GUEST” written out huge in blue across the screen, and its presentation (thanks to the accompanying music) made me think instantly of how Insidious starts off. This movie reminded me so much of Drive (one of those movies that Omar really fanboys about), Only God Forgives, and John Wick. There were many scenes that showcased this beautifully, but especially the final big showdown scene in the Halloween maze,which was soooo similar to the shootout scene in the club in John Wick.  Another good scene was the Halloween party at Kristen’s house. Thinking about this scene, however, brings up a problem I had with the movie.

The “coolness” or mysterious part of David Collins was a bit over-the-top for me. At the Halloween party, there are two parts (him carrying two kegs without breaking a sweat and then when he smokes), amongst others, that SLAYED ME. It was way too much for my heart and I could not stop laughing at how his coolness was almost too cheesy. Sidenote: I also have a huge crush on Dan Stevens, so maybe I wasn’t capable of handling his character in this movie. But I stand by my opinion, his character became a little bit too much for me at times.

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GOOD LORD MATTHEW CRAWLEY CONTAIN YOURSELF

Another issue I had with the movie was that the story was flawed for me. First of all, why was he taken into the Peterson family’s home so willingly? He became like the replacement son in a matter of days — picking up the younger son from school, having constant drinks with the dad, etc etc. Furthermore, David’s whole reason for being in there with them in the first place didn’t make sense to me at the end of the movie, after the audience figures out who he is. I will give credit where credit is due though and say that the movie did a great job of working up the suspense/ mystery. The whole first half of the movie, I knew something was off but I couldn’t quite place it and then the second half really picked up nicely.

Overall, I think the movie could have been better. The story didn’t quite add up for me in the end and the characters were a bit ridiculous. Maika Monroe’s character’s last line in the movie perfectly sums up how I felt about David Collins and the movie’s story in general: “What the fuck?”

Upcoming: I give my take on Eraserhead directed by David Lynch.

Mild Spoiler Warning

Omar: 4.3/5

Here we go, another film I’ve been wanting to watch for the longest time. My desire to watch Marc Forster’s Finding Neverland stemmed from knowing it was supposed to be a good film and from being curious to see how J.M. Barrie’s life was adapted for the big screen. It took my lovely girlfriend Liz’s persistent recommendation to get me to finally watch it. For that I thank her because the movie does quite the job of depicting this story and even though it’s not necessarily anything thrilling it’s just a very well and carefully made movie.

One thing I really liked about this movie that doesn’t necessarily relate to the content is that it has a very strong cast. With Johnny Depp occupying the main role (J.M. Barrie) and Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman, Toby Jones, Kelly Macdonald, and Freddie Highmore also involved, the cast has plenty of star power. This ensured that at the very least the acting would be top-notch. Along with the acting being fantastic, the costumes and set design were also great. This all adds to the air of authenticity that this film exudes and allows me to immerse myself in the film’s universe.

The next things I really liked about the film were the score and the cinematography. The music was very grand yet lighthearted and suited the movie well. The cinematography was also great which adds to why I said this was quite simply put, a very well made movie. The camerawork was great but even more than that the colors were very crisp and bright, super playful which goes with the theme of the movie (iMaGiNaTiOn). One scene that really stood out to me as an example of the creative cinematography happened when Depp was playing pirates with the Davies boys and their mother, the animation of the water and ship were superb! I loved how the film constantly showed J.M. Barrie’s creativity at work and alluded to what would eventually become Peter Pan.

To be honest I don’t have any real complaint with the movie. This is a highly polished movie that does a really good job of depicting the real life birth of Peter Pan. You may be wondering why I only gave this movie a 4.3. Well that would be because while the story was great, the cinematography and acting were top-notch, and it was quite polished, nothing ever happened to elevate the movie beyond just very good. That’s not a bad thing either! Sometimes some movies are just really well made interesting movies, not every movie needs to change your life or reinvent the genre.

Liz: 5 out of 5 stars

Let me just start off by getting this off my chest. I really do not like Nic Cage. Growing up I just always knew that my mom didn’t like him very much as an actor and I guess I took that on and it grew into a pure hatred (perhaps a bit too strong, I’m sure he’s a good person maybe) of the actor. I’ve really only seen three of his movies in their entirety (National Treasure, National Treasure 2, and The Sorceror’s Apprentice) because I can’t stand seeing him on screen. I know this all sounds very dramatic but I have always avoided him as much as possible. Omar has been very aware of this for years and has respected it, but I’ve heard him say many times that the movie Adaptation is pretty great, and I should give it a chance. You can see how much I love and trust Omar if I watch a Nic Cage movie for him.

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I still don’t like you Nic Cage.

Now that that’s all taken care of, onto the review! I absolutely loved this film, which was directed by Spike Jonze and stars Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, and Chris Cooper. It was incredibly ambitious, well-executed, smart, funny, on and on. I expected it to be great as it was written by Charlie Kaufman of Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York fame.

Quick basic Liz summary: Coming off of writing a very successful screenplay (Being John Malkovich), Charlie Kaufman struggles to write the screenplay for the book The Orchid Thief, which he desperately wants to remain loyal to. There’s a number of other elements in the movie, but I’ll keep the summary at that.

After my initial complaints about Cage, I focused in on what was happening and was very impressed. It seems ambitious to write yourself into a film (along with a fictional twin brother, also played by Cage) and then write the film into the film. I hope you know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen it before. If not, you need to go watch! It took me a hot second to start figuring out what was going on, but once I did I was hooked. Along with a really cool, clever story, the characters were great. Though the character Charlie was a bit pathetic in my eyes, he was also relatable in a way. I can only imagine the pressure of making another successful screenplay and experiencing horrible writer’s block in the process, along with having to deal with a twin brother who is trying to do the same thing. I haven’t read into the real Charlie Kaufman, so I’m wondering if he was making this all up or if there were some elements of his real life in this. His fictional twin brother, Donald Kaufman was hilarious and such the opposite of Charlie. This movie is the first time that I’ll admit that Nicolas Cage has ~some~ acting ability, as I was impressed with how he was able to play two extremely different characters. He actually made me laugh (*shudder*) several times. The characters and storyline for Susan Orlean (Streep) and John Laroche (Cooper) were interesting as well, if a bit ridiculous. I enjoyed it though and provided a good conclusion for Kaufman’s screenplay.

I learned something from this movie….. that one can actually enjoy a Nicolas Cage performance. Lol ok seriously, this movie was incredible to me. How Charlie Kaufman (the real one) is able to give the world such creative and smart stories is very impressive. I think I still personally liked Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind more. Watching this also makes me want to rewatch Synecdoche, New York, as even though I’ve seen it, I don’t really think I grasped it all.

Mild SPOILER Warning

Omar: 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

Vicenzo Natali’s Cube, now this is one that I had been wanting to watch for a very long time. Many years ago I came across this film online and the premise sounded so great that I could not wait to watch it. Over the years I would occasionally come across it on TV but either missed a portion of it or was only able to start it and had to leave before it finished. I was finally able to watch it from start to finish and I’m glad I did because it proved to be a very entertaining thriller. Of course if you’re looking at my score you can tell that I definitely had my problems with it and despite the entertainment value I feel like the film was held back in a couple of key ways.

This film starts out in an extremely gruesome manner but one that hooks you in right away. The basic setup to the movie is that a group of strangers find themselves locked in a industrial-looking cube-shaped room with doors on every side (meaning six doors per room). Each door can be opened by spinning the latch attached and opens to another seemingly identical room. The only difference being that some rooms are colored differently….oh yeah and some rooms have deadly traps in them that kill you within seconds. Any who, the original group of five strangers (eventually joined by another later in the film) provide more than enough fodder for cube’s endless gory traps as they try to figure out what the hell is going on and how to find their way out.

Lets start with things I liked about the film because I think it did many things very well. What I find to be the strongest point of the movie is the mystery of the cube. The plot and characters were a bit weak but the concept of the cube and the mystery that shrouds it were enough to keep me intrigued. The story does a good job of not telling you too much which keeps you guessing. Another thing I liked about the movie was the atmosphere of tension. When death potentially lurks behind every locked door and the only way to survive is to keep going through said doors there are obviously going to be some tense moments. The movie doesn’t just rest on this inherent tension though and does a good job of elevating these moments with claustrophobic and disorientation camerawork using techniques like zooming in for closeups on characters faces and angling cameras to look up at faces rather than straight on. There is also very limited use of any music except for during the most tense and crucial moments which again serve to elevate these moments even further. I also liked how the lighting worked in the film in that everything was made to feel and look so artificial and industrial, it added greatly to the feelings of claustrophobia and desperation to get out. Lastly, I also loved that the movie was ambitious enough to not be afraid of killing off anyone at any moment.

Now to what I didn’t like about the movie. The story beyond just the concept of the cube was pretty lackluster. The main characters felt flat and I had no reason to like or root for any of them. At the very end I started to pull for some of them but by then the movie was pretty much over. I actually found most characters to be sort of obnoxious to the point to which I felt nothing when they died and really didn’t care if they made it out of the cube or not. The next big thing I didn’t like about the movie was unfortunately the script. Other than simply feeling dated the script was also quite dry, interactions between characters felt stiff and phony. At times I also felt like the movie’s pacing was off, some moments  moved way too quickly and others dragged a bit.

In the end I give this movie a 3.0 out of 5 stars because while the concept was exciting and fascinating, the characters and script (two of the most important aspects to any film) were just too flat and uninspired. I did love how the film reminded me greatly of Portal 2! and I must say that I did enjoy the bit of irony at the end there though where: *SPOILER*  Kazan, the character who was least fit to survive in the real world where he was most likely treated as an outcast and who was most capable of surviving inside the cube, survived while the rest of the cast who was more suited to surviving in the outside world than the cube all died.

Liz: 5 out of 5 stars

It’s hard to believe, but up until this past month, I’d never seen any of the Terminator movies. ‘Til this past week, I hadn’t seen the famous Terminator 2, directed by the do-no-wrong James Cameron. I really don’t know why because I loved both of them, the second one the most of all.

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Hasta la vista, baby

Well quick summary, though it probably isn’t needed. Picking up years after the first Terminator movie, two terminators (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert Patrick) are sent back in time again — one to kill John Connor (Edward Furlong), the famous savior and son of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and the other to protect him.

Before I had seen this, I was pretty certain that Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) was the best action movie I had ever seen. Obviously, I had missed out on this gem of an action movie. Mad Max and T2 are now tied in my mind for best action movie.

First of all – whoah, the many chase scenes throughout this movie were crazy amazing and intense for me. Every great action movie needs a great chase scene, and this movie had like 20000. They weren’t too cheesy for me and though they were all ridiculous, they didn’t exasperate me (unlike Live Free or Die Hard).

Second of all, NEVER in my life have I ever been remotely attracted to Arnold Schwarzenegger at his prime. However, after watching the beginning of the movie when he is first sent back, I was actually surprised at how good he looked in all leather, a motorcycle, sunglasses and a huge gun. I’m not gonna be swooning over him ever but I’ve got to admit that I was taken aback.

Sarah Connor was so badass in this movie. Gotta love those strong independent female characters. Also Edward Furlong was impressive, especially as this was his first movie. I loved him in American History X as well, and it was cool to see his film debut and how well he did in the role. His relationship with Schwarzenegger’s Terminator was surprisingly really heart-warming. He learned to be more human with John *tears*.

Lastly, even though he was bad, I can’t deny that the T-1000 (Patrick) was pretty awesome. His arms turning into huge blades was pretty impressive.

I loved everything about this movie and duh, I would recommend it if for some reason you haven’t watched it yet. I need to watch Terminator 3 and Terminator Genisys, though I haven’t heard that many great things about the former.

I’ll be back, with my review of Adaptation.

Omar: 4.1 out of 5 stars

MILD SPOILER WARNING 

Hello again ladies and gentlepeeps! Welcome to yet another film review, the second entry in our series. Today we’re coming back to you with yet another Mark Duplass film, we’ve been on a Duplass TEAR recently. Chris McDowell’s THE ONE I LOVE is a movie I’d seen countless times while scrolling through netflix but the description was too vague and the picture too creepy for me to ever feel encouraged to click on it. I knew the movie had great reviews and I did intend to watch it eventually. My better half wasn’t as patient and watched it without me. After watching the movie she insisted that I watch asap and I can understand why, the movie does not disappoint!

This movie starts out with Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass at couple’s therapy as their marriage has clearly fallen into a rut. Sophie (Moss) doesn’t trust Ethan (Duplass) for reasons that are revealed later in the film but their issues extend beyond that as Sophie no longer feels a spark with Ethan and Ethan thinks Sophie has become too uptight and unforgiving. Their therapist sends them to a vacation house that he claims works miracles and will rejuvenate their relationship. Once at the house, strange things start to happen. Not strange in the frightening sense but in more of a Being John Malkovich/Eternal Sunshine sense.

This film did a great job of keeping my attention throughout. It started out a bit conventional but I knew there was more than met the eye and once the film really started rolling I was hooked until the end. I think this is a good time to mention that the music was superb. This point extends beyond the music though as the general sounds of this movie did a very good job of pacing the movie and creating tension at the right times.

Another thing I really liked about the movie was the warm color palette, it was very soothing to the eyes. It also served to create a fun dynamic with the content of the film. While the colors were warm and inviting (much like the vacation house itself), it clashed with the surreal nature of the plot.

The strongest aspect of this movie was the plot and chemistry between the two leads. Moss and Duplass did a fantastic job of depicting a couple who clearly loved each other but was struggling. Their arguments were believable and so was their affection and desire to return to a better place in their marriage. The story itself I found to be highly original. I can’t think of another movie which is even close to similar which is usually a good thing (in this case it is). Earlier I mentioned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, both works of the amazing Charlie Kaufman. This movie struck me as a way underdeveloped and more conventional idea that Kaufman himself might have and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What I mean by that is that this movie took place in a very real and believable world where seemingly supernatural and metaphysical happenings occur and the characters just go with it. This does, however, transition me into some of the flaws I found in the film.

While the story was great, I would have appreciated more explanation as how the…ahem…*other*…characters worked. What were the rules governing their existence? How did they get there in the first place? How did they mold their appearance? and so on and so forth. I won’t go into too much detail concerning these flaws because then I’d be giving away the movie but trust me, these are legitimate concerns.

From what i’ve read, most people take the end of this movie to be more clear-cut and obvious than I choose to believe it is. While the film certainly leads you in one direction, you can very easily make a case that it ended in the opposite direction. I’m probably in the minority here but I choose to believe it went in this opposite direction not only because of some of the unexplained logistical issues that I mentioned above but also because it just makes me feel better and enjoy the movie more to interpret it in this manner. In the end the fact that I can even make an argument that the movie is open ended and went in a different direction is one of the things that I enjoy about it. Overall it was highly enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone looking for something a little strange, a little romantic, a little funny, and in the end original.

Liz: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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The One I Love (2014) directed by Charlie McDowell

Another day, another Mark Duplass movie. Omar and I kept seeing this movie pop up on Netflix, but we never got around to watching it. I remember Omar saying “the thumbnail looks like a painting; it looks creepy.” After seeing it pop up on reddit multiple times, I decided to go ahead and watch it.. and I’m so glad I did.

Quick summary: Married couple (Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss) is in a rut and their therapist (Ted Danson) sends them to a house for a couple’s retreat. After settling in, they individually check out the property’s guest house and strange things begin to happen to them. (It almost sounds similar to Creep but they’re not at all similar haha).

I absolutely loved this movie. Maybe I haven’t seen enough films, but the concept/story here was so unique and refreshing to me. The Netflix summary was vague to me and I wasn’t quite sure what it was really about, so I was surprised and really excited when I started figuring out which direction this movie was going. The little twist that happens early into the film was really original for me, which I appreciated.

I also liked the pairing of Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss. I could really sense their strained relationship and that they had kind of reached that point where they were almost at the end and were almost desperate to try something to bring back the magic. Their situation, conversations, and feelings were very real for me as well. I guess I would categorize this as an unconventional, strange love comedy.. but I don’t think that does it much justice because I thought it way more complex and clever.

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Note to self: Don’t go on couple’s retreat.

(mild spoiler here maybe, but it isn’t too bad)

Though I wasn’t quite a fan of Sophie (Elisabeth Moss), I definitely sympathized with her actions and decisions. Ethan (Mark Duplass) seems like a really nice, innocent and caring husband who on the surface seemed to be doing more work than Sophie to rekindle their marriage. However, I had to keep reminding myself that they had hit a rough patch recently as a result of his actions, so I suppose if I put myself in Sophie’s shoes, I’d understand.

In the end, I gave this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, just because the ending was so ambiguous and also because some of my questions just weren’t answered. I tend to get really antsy when you’re left to decide for yourself how the movie really ended. There were also a bunch of things that weren’t explained specifically enough for me. Eep, I guess I really need certainty in my life haha.

I’m really glad I watched this movie finally, I definitely recommend it! Having really only seen Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men, it was cool to see her outside the role of Peggy (though she’s badass and I love her despite her flaws).

Upcoming reviews from me will be: Terminator 2 Judgment Day and Adaptation! (Omar probably won’t be reviewing these as he’s seen them long ago before me. It took me until this week to see these movies!)