District 9 (2009)

I’d give this district a 9 and not a 10. It’s nearly perfect but just misses the mark. This movie starts off really interesting with a documentary-style opening. It also is an alien movie not set in New York or Washington D.C. It’s actually in South Africa. This film has some of the best computer animation I’ve ever seen. It all looks really real. The humor is really spot on and Neill Blomkamp’s direction is just gorgeous. The movie does feel a bit long, but honestly when you see people getting liquified by a lightning gun made by aliens you just have to like it. This is one of those movies you don’t hear a ton of people talk about, but it is just a pleasure to see. I wish this was as popular as a Marvel movie. This film also makes me oddly hungry for shrimp… not sure why.

91/100

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District 9 (2009)

Amadeus (1984)

This film was music to my ears, it was quite enjoyable for the most part. This is the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, maybe you’ve heard of him… but it was also the story of Antonio Salieri (you probably haven’t heard of him) and that’s the point of this film. It’s sort of a movie about two composers who are rivals, except Mozart hardly sees Salieri as a rival because he’s just so dang good. F. Murray Abraham won an Oscar for his role as Salieri and for good reason and even though Tom Hulce didn’t get anything for playing Mozart, he was quite hilarious with his weird little laugh. Elizabeth Berridge plays Mozart’s wife, I must say I’ve never seen her in any films but she is quite stunning and I loved her in this movie. This movie would have scored more points but it starts to drag in the last hour of the film and when it’s three hours long you can’t have a film do that. The first two thirds of the film are fantastic though. If you like classical music at all this film is really interesting and the soundtrack is awesome. You also get to see some great scenes from some operas.

89/100

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Amadeus (1984)

Maleficent (2014)

Just like her name Maleficent is complicated. This riff on Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was an interesting one.
Angelina Jolie plays the scary Maleficent that we all know from our childhood, with her spine-tingling magic and green flames she produces… but with this film, she has a softer side. In this film Maleficent is at times the hero of the story and also the villain. I was really impressed to see this attempt of making a Disney film complicated. I also really think Elle Fanning might be one of the cutest girls in Hollywood. She was an excellent choice to play young Princess Aurora. The visual effects in this were awesome, and it has restored my faith in live-action Disney films. There were a couple of parts that you know they threw in for young kid humor (the three fairies) but otherwise this is a fun watch for adults. I was also happy to see the beautiful Juno Temple being in a more family friendly film for once! This is a pretty cool film, it’s worth seeing for sure.

80/100

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Maleficent (2014)

The Shining (1980)

A shining example of a great horror film. Stanley Kubrick brings his unique style of film making to Stephen King’s interesting style of writing. Throw a crazier than an outhouse mouse Jack Nicholson into the mix and you have a great movie. The shots that Kubrick does in this film are amazing and Nicholson will scare you and make you start laughing within minutes of each other. This is probably some of the most solid acting I’ve seen him do. Some of his expressions are like staring into the soul of madness. Shelley Duvall serves her purpose in this film but I’m not surprised she was nominated for a Razzie award for this movie. The small boy was great in this with his imaginary friend “Tony” who lives in his mouth. The redrum scene is one of my favorites. There are many theories about hidden meanings in this film, but one thing that is in plain sight is how excellent this film is. Check this one out if you want to see a good horror film that isn’t just about people being tortured or murdered.

92/100

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The Shining (1980)

The Theory of Everything (2014)

My theory is that this movie should be remade. I loved the acting and it has some good moments in the plot through the film, but then it just derails about midway through. They package this film as a romance film but really it is a guide how not to treat your partner. I feel bad for Dr. Stephen Hawking because his wife really gave up on him when he has a brilliant mind and was also really witty and loving. I hate the romance plot and loved the science aspect of this. It does have some inspirational moments that I liked. Eddie Redmayne was also brilliant, Felicity Jones was very pretty and did a good acting job too, I just hated her character. I’m still currently mad at her a day later. The movie was fine, but I honestly can’t recommend it.

68/100

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The Theory of Everything (2014)

Whiplash (2014)

This movie exhausted me. I’m beat. I used to be a drummer, and I remember it being pretty hard. I bled while I played but nearly to the extent Miles Teller’s character had to for his art in Whiplash. This movie takes being in band as a sport to a whole new level. Teller attends a music conservatory school under the tutelage of J.K. Simmons. Simmons was not only a complete psycho, but put on a fantastic performance. I think he has a real shot at winning an Oscar for this role. The movie is also just fantastic to watch with high drama, tension and wonderful music with some of the best drumming I’ve ever seen or heard. An excellent movie about the world of music. Don’t miss this one, one of the best of the year!

95/100

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Whiplash (2014)

Selma (2014)

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and it wasn’t to have a great movie made about him but I’m sure he would be pleased with this one. David Oyelowo did the role justice, it was too bad he wasn’t nominated for this part. It has this crazy fast start, right at about 5 minutes in something jarring happens and then there is about 1/3 of the movie after that has a pretty lazy slow pace. Once that’s over it kicks it into high gear and it had me hooked. So if you can make it past that first third of the film, you’ll really find this movie entrancing. It was a terrible time for America but Dr. King worked really hard to make it a better place, and I salute him.

86/100

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Selma (2014)