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In my quest to see all the Oscar nominated movies, I came across "Wild". A movie about a woman who has essentially lost herself ever since her mothers death. Her life has done nothing but spiral downwards, so she sets off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, and hopefully find a new beginning. Reese Witherspoon stars as Cheryl(the woman described above) and this is her 2nd best performance("Walk the Line" is still number one to me) and very deserving of her Oscar nod. Heck, if it weren't for Julianne Moore in "Still Alice" I'd say that Reese will win by a landslide. She is fantastic here, and you go on the journey with her, through her eyes. Laura Dern plays her mother and is also nominated, in the supporting category. Dern does great, but she isn't in it very much, and for that reason I think the nod is unwarranted, but what do I know? Very well made movie, and hey, Emily stayed awake for the entire thing. If she does that, then you know it has to be good! Check it out!
So here is a movie that has been completely blown out of proportion and the controversy surrounding it makes the movie bigger than what it is. This is a silly comedy about a talk show host(Franco) and his producer(Rogan) going to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un. Only they've been recruited byt eh CIA to kill him as well. If you like Rogan and Franco then you know what to expect, and you will enjoy this. I thought it was ok, but nothing special. Had quite a few funny spots, especially the beginning with Eminem. Is it worthy of all the controversy? Not really, but it got people to see the movie. I had no intention of seeing it in the theater, but when it became available on Christmas Eve, I jumped at the chance to watch it online. Mainly to see what all the fuss was about. Here it is a month later and it'll be on netflix in a day or two. I know some that hated it, and I know some that loved it. I enjoyed it for what it is, and if you're one of their fans, then check it out! Otherwise, just skip it.
Alan Turing. There is a name that I had never heard before, but it's a name that everyone in the world should know. Alan Turing(Benedict Cumberbatch) creates a machine that would help the allied forces defeat the Germans in WW2, along with being the blueprint for the modern computer. However, he lived a secret life as a homosexual in a time when it was illegal. This film is fascinating, uplifting, and sad all at the same time. Rarely does a movie end and I go"I need to read the book this was based on!" But that's exactly what I said to myself when it ended. Cumberbatch is absolutely amazing in this. His portrayal of Turing is one of the best performances of the year. I believe Eddie Redmayne will win the Oscar, but if anyone can snatch it away it's Cumberbatch. Is this movie for everyone? Not really. It is a sensitive subject of closeted homosexuality, but it also does drag a little in the middle. It's shorter than most of the award movies, but it does feel longer than what it is. In my opinion, this is a must watch. I liked this a lot more than I originally thought I would. Check it out!
"American Sniper" is the true story of Chris Kyle(Bradley Cooper), the deadliest sniper, in American Military history. Even though this all takes place in the last 10 years or so, I honestly didn't know much of this story. The name was familiar to me, but I didn't know much other than that. Having said that, what a story! This movie has a lot in common with "Hurt Locker". It's about a man addicted in some ways with war, while balancing a normal life here in the states. Cooper gives the best performance of his career to date. I mean, the guy seems to get better with every movie, and this is what his 3 nomination for best actor in 3 years? Clint Eastwood directs this, and just like Cooper he continues to get better and better with each passing movie. This is the type of movie that will stick with you got a while afterwards. Important film that people should see. To see a good portrait of what a true war hero is. Absolutely deserving of any and all award recognition. I don't think it will win any of the major awards, but it's definitely in the race! Check it out!
My Dad always says "if your gonna kill a guy, you shoot him in the head, and let the dog live". Well the 3 thugs at the beginning of this movie didn't get that memo. 3 guys still a car and kill the dog of a man known as John Wick(Keanu Reeves). Better known as "the man you send to kill the boogeman". This is a lot like "Equalizer" and "Taken" in that it's basically a badass good guy just running through an endless stream of bad guys. Reeves is awesome here, and it's great seeing him in good action movies again. The guy may be a wooden actor, but he is a star. I would love to see this become a series of movies, but it'll be hard to top this. I bet this has the world record of people getting shot in the head in a movie. If there is anything to complain about, I wish it had more funny one liners. It's a pretty serious movie, where some humor could have gone a long way. But having said that, this is a lot of fun, and just a great jolt of adrenaline. If you like your action movies to be a good, hard R, then this is a must see!