Directed By: Nicole Holofcener
Written By: Nicole holofcener
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette
PG-13 1 h 33 min – Comedy | Drama | Romance
This little masterpiece was written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. It stars James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, and Toni Collette. Eva (Dreyfus) is a middle aged divorced massage therapist. She’s the quirkiest yet most incredibly charming character I’ve seen in long time. Her path crosses with Albert (Gandolfini) who’s in pretty much the same boat. They’re both moved on from failed relationships and they aren’t necessarily looking for anything either. They meet at a party held by some of the higher ups on the social strata and each character seems to not fit quite right. Their meet cute is pretty low key, but from the get go you know these two have something refreshing. Another positive from the party is that Eva picked up another client named Marianne (Keener) who’s an earth friendly hippie type. They form a pretty cliché friendship and start hanging out on a regular basis. Simultaneously Eva and Albert go on a few dates that are full of quirky indie-romantic humor. I loved it because it really broke the mold of the “ideal scene” that 99% of all romantic comedies tend to fit and show what REAL dates are like. There’s imperfect conversation, awkward moments, tension and flaws that I’ve always wanted to see characters exhibit in a romance movie. In the meantime, Eva and Marianne find comfort in the fact that they can talk about their past marriages and vent about all the terrible times they had with their former partners and get down some good old fashion girl talk. Throw in a bunch of perfect “best friend” humor in the form of her pal Sarah (Collette) who’s blunt and borderline emotionally unstable and boy are there some laughs. Eva’s starting to build something pretty nice for herself in the relationship department but what’s a movie without conflict? Enter in the fact that her new found bestie and boyfriend were once married, and all that bad-mouthing that Marianne was spewing was about the man Eva’s now falling for. Eva does what any human being would and starts pulling for more. She’s essentially getting “the other side of the story” in attempt to either protect herself or save a lot of time and heartache. The film crescendos when everyone finds out about everything; and boy is it rough to watch (in a hysterically tense kind of ways) I loved this movie for so many reasons, mostly because of how much reality it brought to the table. Its realism was perfectly balanced with its subtle charm. Every actor brought their A-game on this one, and what a way for Gandolfini to end his career. I had a hard time watching it because of the fact that I knew it was his last. His performance was one of the most personal and equally sentimental that he’s ever done in my opinion. The chemistry he shared with Julia Louis-Dreyfus was absolutely flawless, touching and all around heart-warming. They bounced back and forth with the wittiest conversations that really made you wish you were that funny. The ending was perfect, it gave you just enough to leave you satisfied and not too much to where you’re begging for the credits to roll as you’re drowned in overly scripted romantic mush. James Gandolfini was so incredibly talented; it’s really tough to know that I won’t be writing any more reviews with him in them. I miss him and salute him for one of the most well rounded, beautifully crafted careers in film and television in history. RIP Jim, and from the bottom of my heart thanks for everything!
Directed By: Neil Blomkamp
Written By: Neil Blomkamp
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga
R 1 h 49 min – Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
If you’re a science fiction nerd like me, then welcome to a dream come true. The film stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga and Diego Luna. The year is 2154 and Earth is a wasteland, overpopulated and heavily degraded. The citizens of Earth are looked down upon by the population of Elysium-a space station/habitat occupied and operated by the upper echelon of society where death, disease and crime are nonexistent. Max (Damon) is one citizen of Earth who’s dreamed of migrating to Elysium since childhood. His dream suddenly becomes a forced reality when he is exposed to enough radiation on the job to warrant death within five days…unless he gets up to Elysium to heal himself (They’ve got nifty gizmos that resemble a tanning bead that can fix anything your body’s got going on). He journeys through the underground of Earth with his buddy Julio (Luna) trying everything and anything he can to make his way up there. The situation becomes even more desperate when his life-long sweetheart Frey (Braga) presents him with yet another challenge…getting her daughter who’s terminally ill up there with him. Elysium is pretty heavily fortified with a cutthroat female powerhouse named Delacourt (Foster) behind the stations security. Throw an agent of their security named Kruger (Copley) into the mix and you’ve got some pretty powerful conflict from the antagonists. Blomkamp’s background in special effects really shines through; from start to finish the film’s effects are absolutely mind blowing. His vision of the future (though pretty pessimistic) is portrayed in a way that’s not just believable but it’s done so well that you ALMOST wish it was real….so long as you make it to Elysium of course. The cinematography was stellar, a masterpiece aesthetically. Matt Damon really steals the show. His performance was electrifying, taking this gem of a script and gives it as much power as it truly deserves. My ONLY gripe with the film is that I would have loved more of Elysium. I wanted to know how it worked, how these people lived etc. But giving us the story from the vantage point of an Earth born citizen gives it the emotional charge to keep us rooting for Max to get there and tear shit up. This film accomplished what science fiction hasn’t done in a long time…so it gets a 9 on the Meter. Let’s just hope Blomkamp doesn’t slow down, because he’s on a winning streak right now for sure, I can’t wait for what’s next!
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