Fury – A Movie Review

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Feb 212015

Fury Movie PosterApril, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Stars: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña
Runtime: 134 min; Rated: R; Genre: Action, Drama, War; Released: 17 Oct 2014

I watched this on my day off for President’s Day at home. Continue reading »

Perks of Being a Wall Flower – A Movie Review

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Oct 292012

Movie Poster for The Perks of Being a WallflowerBased on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naïve outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world.

Release Date: September 21, 2012; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content including references, and a fight – all involving teens); Genres: Adaptation, Drama

Direction and Screenplay: Stephen Chbosky

Cast: Logan Lerman, Dylan McDermott, Kate Walsh, Patrick de Ledebur, Johnny Simmons, Brian Balzerini, Tom Kruszewski Nina Dobrev, Nicholas Braun, Julia Garner, Ezra Miller, Tom Savini, Emily Marie Callaway, Paul Rudd, Chelsea T. Zhang.

We saw this movie this Saturday night. Lay wasn’t too keen on it, and I was kind of indifferent, but it was the only thing that interested us at all. Boy, and I glad we went. Lay loved it, and I can safely say it’s the best film I’ve seen this year. GO SEE THIS MOVIE!

The way this complex, yet straightforward, story unfolds is beautiful and sad, sometimes all at once. While it has its funny moments, it also manages to go through dark topics such as homosexuality, drugs and death. Stephen Chbosky handles his story very well. It’s never forced but rather it flowed nicely and carefully.

The direction was perfect, and the cinematography gorgeous, especially the scenes where the camera overlooks the skyline of Pittsburgh and during intimate scenes between the characters. You could not get anyone better to direct it other than the author himself because this is his book. This is his vision so he knows exactly how it goes in his head and we can see throughout the film, just how much his vision has truly come alive. The result is both engaging and satisfying.

Same thing with the writing. The dialogue is very honest and beautifully well written. Not just the writing but the overall tone of the film reminds me a bit of John Hughes’ work. Adapting an epistolary book into a film is incredibly challenging but Mr. Chbosky did a fine job of translating it into a film.

The musical score is done by Michael Brook, and he did a very good job. The soundtrack is awesome. Along with Mr. Chbosky, Alexandra Patsavas, who’s also the music supervisor for The OC, did a great job of picking out the songs and treated it as if it were a mix tape.

Logan Lerman did a masterful job as Charlie. His performance blew me away. He did such an amazing job portraying the embodiment of Charlie through his expressions, his emotions, his movements, everything! So perfectly cast. The last 10 minutes of the movie alone is awards worthy because it really shows how talented he really is.

Emma Watson did a great job playing Sam. She is beautiful and charming. The second standout of the film is Ezra Miller. He plays Patrick, a gay character who’s not afraid of who he is and Ezra portrays him amazingly well. He steals every line and scene he’s in, becoming the comic relief. But even so, Patrick has his own personal problems and this is where Ezra Miller proves once again just how great of an actor he is. The one concern I had with the film is that I would have expected a gay student in the ’90s to experience much more harassment at school than was evident here. Having not read the book, it is possible the character, as presented in the book, was less flamboyant, so maybe not as “out.” None of that though is a reflection on Miller’s performance. He created the perfect character.

Everyone else in their supporting roles all have their moments. Mae Whitman as Mary Elizabeth was hilarious. The rest of the cast: Kate Walsh and Dylan McDermott who play the parents as well as Joan Cusack who plays Charlie’s Doctor were all good, despite having little screen time.

What makes the cast so special is the chemistry. Everyone got along so well and you can tell that they’re very comfortable with each other and you feel convinced that these people are really friends. It was absolutely perfect.

I love this movie. It’s amazing. It has a great script, great cast, it’s well-directed, awesome soundtrack and undeniable strong performances. I haven’t yet read “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower,” (but I sure plan too now), so I can’t comment on how faithful the adaptation was, but this is one of the best coming of age movies I’ve ever seen.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10)

3:10 to Yuma

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Sep 102007

3:10 to YumaA small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who’s awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

James Mangold

Western, Action, Drama

Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Logan Lerman, Dallas Roberts, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda, Vinessa Shaw, Alan Tudyk, Luce Rains, Gretchen Mol, Lennie Loftin, Rio Alexander, Johnny Whitworth, Shawn Howell, Pat Ricotti

We went to see this one Saturday night. While I was expecting a large crowd, the theater was not that packed. In 3:10 to Yuma, a few references to The Magnificent Seven and the idea of a train arriving at a specific time when good and bad guys converge, as in High Noon, made viewing this Glenn Ford remake from 1957 a pleasant one. 3:10 to Yuma is a true Western in the American film tradition about the 19th-century American West: It has clear heroes and villains (and a mixture of those), wide prairies, dirty towns, fast guns, weak lawmen, cunning murderers, kids trying to become adults, and women tending the home fires, just for starters.

Then ratchet up to the philosophical/post modern/post Eastwood reflections on the profession of being a gunman juxtaposed with being a responsible father, and you have a classic clash where villain has a wee bit of heart and hero an equal measure of cowardice. Delightfully mix in a certifiable baddie in the Jack Palance tradition, Ben Foster (Alpha Dog) as Wade’s amoral lieutenant Charlie Prince. There was plenty of suspense and some great camera work. All-in-all, a well done film.

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