Tag Archives: Jessica Chastain

Months in Review: February, March & April

The tail end of winter seems to have left us and, with it, the start of a new romance in my life. For that and other professional reasons, I have, once again, neglected this blog of mine. Even so, my appetite for movies remains unchanged even if life has a way of sneaking up on the time you thought you had.
In the last three months (February, March and April) I have watched a total of 24 films. The average rating for these has been a solid 3.34 out of 5. There have been a handful of highlights courtesy of a group of films from 2016 that sit among the best reviewed of the year. Such are Fences, Edge of Seventeen, Hidden Figures and Lion. However, I have also been disappointed with cinematic efforts that I was genuinely excited to see. Such are Florence Foster Jenkins, Ghost in the Shell and, to some extent, Hacksaw Ridge.

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Film Review: Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar

I return to blogging after many weeks off. As usual, my time away from activity was not altogether planned, but the product of the many responsibilities I have taken lately, and the many ideas and plans (good and bad) that I have pursued in the last few months. I come back after watching Interstellar just a few days ago, which is the first film I have managed to see in the theater in weeks. Below my review:

Whereas Nolan’s Inception drew me in the more complex it got, Interstellar’s own scientific construct is filled with holes that are not necessarily the fault of its creator, but of the theoretical science the film relies on to make its case. More often than I had expected, the complexity of the film felt superficial and even unnecessary because, at its core, the film is filled with great and moving ideas about existence, time and love that could have been explored a lot more simply.

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Mega Film Recap: July, August & September

Sunshine

In the last three months I have maintained my quota of watching 10-12 films per month, but my blogging has suffered terribly. My commitment in the short term is to get back to posting more often. The attempt to do so begins with this massive recap of films I have seen recently. In addition, I already have finished two other postings that I plan to publish in the coming days. One is a full review of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious, my 6th review in my marathon of the director (which needs to pick up). The other is a special look at the largely overlooked Netflix original show “Orange is the New Black” which will kick-off Television reviews in this blog.

Without further ado, here is a compendium of short reviews of all the films watched this past summer (in no particular order):

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Month in Review: March & April films

Now that we have arrived to the beginning of May and I haven’t been able to post in over two weeks, I thought I would summarize my film watching of the last two months with a mammoth list of mini-reviews. 22 films in 61 days. Not a great number, but I’ve done worse. Here it goes:

Oblivion

OBLIVION (2013)

A terribly uninspiring story line masked by awesome special effects and handsome set designs. Oblivion is one more nail in the coffin for the career of Tom Cruise, the former world’s biggest movie star. Though he may still prove his worth at the box office, his performance is easily forgettable, never once allowing us to forget his very bizarre off camera persona, nor making us empathize with his character.

Rating: 2/5 (poor)

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The Best Films of 2011 (updated)

It comes 10 months into 2012 but, for the first time, I am confident enough to make my own list of the “best” films of 2011.

Imagine how important it was for me to wait until now to publish this list, that the film that eventually ends up at the top is one that I only managed to watch 3 weeks ago. Without it, this list would have been a crime against my own taste.

Instead of giving you a top 10 or a top 20, I simply give you a run-down of all of the films that received, at the very least, a 4/5 (very good) in my rating system. The result is that there are 17 films out of the almost 100 films from 2011 that I managed to watch, 11 of which received a 4/5, five films received a 4.5/5 and only one received the very rare 5/5.

Despite still missing some highly praised films released the previous solar year (it is impossible to cover them all), I now give you my favorite films of 2011 (and why they are) when we are already in October 2012:

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Film Review: The Tree of Life (2011)

Genre: Drama/Spiritual

Cast: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn, Hunter McCracken

Director: Terrence Malick

The Tree Of Life is one of the most challenging films I would ever have the pleasure to review, a cinematic poem of incredible visual beauty that dares to examine our place in the Universe through the eyes of a boy growing up in Texas during the 1950s.

Only the fifth feature-length film of Terrence Malick’s long career, The Tree Of Life is as ambitious as it is personal, feeling like the director’s quest to find God in the memory of a fading childhood.

Malick’s exploration is a quiet one, using his impressive cast as vessels of emotion that speak through their eyes and through their touch, more than by the content of their words. For most of its running time, The Tree Of Life centers on Jack, the oldest son of an American southern family. He is shown as an older man reminiscing about his childhood and the loss of a brother, played by a nearly silent Sean Penn; and as a young kid, played by the very capable child actor Hunter McCracken, who seems to grow up in front of our eyes, balancing two very different parents and two younger siblings.

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Film review: Take Shelter (2011)

Director: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Shannon (Curtis), Samantha (Jessica Chastain)

Year: 2011

Directed by Jeff Nichols, “Take Shelter” is yet another existential drama where dreams and reality mesh on a year where many films seemed particularly interested on this subject.

The movie is anchored by the great performance of Michael Shannon playing Curtis, husband to Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and father of a little girl who was born deaf. The film is about his struggle to maintain the seemingly perfect life he leads while dealing with deeply upsetting dreams and visions that feel like premonitions, both to the audience and to his character.

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