Squeezing in Some Cinema

More Movies....

Things are heating up. 2015 is starting to look like a very busy year. Hopefully it will be as productive and lucrative as it starting to appear.

I'm still trying to keep up with my movie watching schedule. The Academy Awards jump off on February 22nd... which is next Sunday. I'd like to think I can see the majority of nominated films before next Sunday but I know I wont get a chance to see them all. So far I've seen BIRDMAN, BOYHOOD, THE IMITATION GAME, GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, GONE GIRL (Best actress), INHERENT VICE (adapted screenplay), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Visual fx) , DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (Visual fx), INTERSTELLAR (Visual fx)...

I'd still like to try and see AMERICAN SNIPER, SELMA, THEORY OF EVERYTHING and WHIPLASH, but I dont think I'm going to have time before the 22nd.

IDA (Cinematography) is on Netflix so I think I can squeeze that one in.

What Ive really been trying to do is see 50 films listed on PASTE MAGAZINE'S "50 Best Movies of 2014."  Some of those films are invited to the dance on Sunday. Some are not. I still feel like most of the films on the list are worth seeing.

JOE, is not one of them.

JOE is number 37 on the list and it stars Nicholas Cage. I could probably stop there and you and I would be on the same page.....

"A gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary South in this adaptation of Larry Brown's novel, celebrated at once for its grit and its deeply moving core. Directed by David Gordon Green, JOE film brings Academy Award (R) winner Nicolas Cage back to his indie roots in the title role as the hard-living, hot-tempered, ex-con Joe Ransom, who is just trying to dodge his instincts for trouble - until he meets a hard-luck kid, (MUD's Tye Sheridan) who awakens in him a fierce and tender-hearted protector."

The person who included JOE on the top 50 list claims that Cage "delivers a magnetic, dialed-in performance, his most layered of the last several years." So I thought I'd give it a shot. Sorry, just didn't work for me. In fact I didnt... I COULDN'T... watch the entire movie. I had to turn it off. On top of the fact that every scene felt like an amateur improvisation exercise... Nicholas Cage is just believable... not even close... as a backwoods ex con who runs some tree cutting/landscaping business in Dirt Poor, Texas. They also cast a TON of no name actors in this movie... which i think is great... in concept... unfortunately in THIS film, casting no name actors meant casting people that are not actors at all. Aside from some of the lead talent, many of the featured supporting roles are filled with people who were probably hired because they are the real deal.... and thats cool too... except when it ruins the movie.

Kristen and I put this one off ... and put it off... then we finally decided to watch THE ONE I LOVE (Number 48 on the list). It stars Elisabeth Moss (Peggy from MAD MEN) and Mark Duplass (Part of the Duplass Brothers)

"The highly anticipated debut feature from acclaimed author Charlie McDowell, THE ONE I LOVE is an original tale that continues to showcase McDowell's keen observations of human relationships with a distinct and comedic voice. THE ONE I LOVE, written by Justin Lader, was produced by Mel Eslyn and executive produced by Mark Duplass who stars opposite Elisabeth Moss. On the brink of separation, Ethan (Duplass) and Sophie (Moss) escape to a beautiful vacation house for a weekend getaway in an attempt to save their marriage. What begins as a romantic and fun retreat soon becomes surreal, when an unexpected discovery forces the two to examine themselves, their relationship, and their future."

First of all, Kristen and I were hesitant to watch this one because we weren't sure if we wanted to sit through a cynical story about marriage. Now, having seen it, I can't say it's NOT a cynical story about marriage... that's debatable... but this film is definitely NOT what I expected. THAT being said. I liked this movie. There is this altered reality, SCI-FI-ish quality to it that I didn't see coming. The unexpected elements drew us in and really kept us locked in until the end. I won't say anything about the end but none of it is predictable, which I found refreshing. AND... the chemistry between the two main characters really mad this movie enjoyable... there is chemistry poppin off all over the place in this film. Duplass and Moss find a lot of great moments and develop a really interesting rapport that I think might actually appeal to viewers from an older generation. Meaning, my MOM might actually enjoy this. The back and forth between these characters looks and feels like something that Golden Age actors could really run with.

Ok, so I'm sitting at a Starbucks on Palos Verdes Drive North in Rancho Palos Verdes... right on the ocean. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Southern California. Kristen and I came here to have some coffee and try to get a little work done out of the house... but its WAY too crowded here... and way too pretty outside. So we're gonna bounce.

I still have to tell you about my experience with The Imitation Game and Grand Budapest Hotel.

I'll get right on that.


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