Movies

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

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I have always enjoyed Hilary Swank’s performaces in film’s such as Conviction (2010), and Freedom Writers (2007), but her performance as Maggie Fitzgerald is uncomparable. A spectacular cast and direction, Million Dollar Baby is an unforgettable film with a plot that keeps you watching. Swank’s multiple transformations in the film prove her deservance of an Oscar, and her transition for powerful to powerless is just as stunning as it is painful. RT. 91%

“Million Dollar Baby” is rated PG-13. It has some brutal fight scenes and some salty gym-rat language

Fly there, drive back.

The Descendants (2011)

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Although I saw this movie in theaters two years ago, I still remember every detail. A well acted and scripted film, George Clooney’s role is intensly moving. The film’s director Alexander Payne, has definitely been placed on the “favorite list,” with films such as Sideways and also on this list, Election. Kaui Hart Hemmings earlier novel of the same name is equally good, and a quick read that can be read to accompany this wonderful film. RT. 89%

“The Descendants” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Bad language, upsetting situations.

 My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We’re all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane?

You Can Count On Me (2000)

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There is something incredibly human and real that is displayed in the film You Can Count On Me.  Lonergan has again astounded me, with his beautiful sequences and incredible acting throughout the film.  In this film, there is nothing incredibly shocking, but there is most definitely a very real and human hook that causes the audience to become one with the film. Beautiful direction and astounding performances from both Ruffalo and Linney. RT. 95%

”You Can Count on Me” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has sexual situations, strong language and a violent fight scene.

[My son’s]  gonna find out that the world is a horrible place and that people suck soon enough and without any help from you!

Amélie (2001)

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Amélie is a fun film that you can start off feeling good, and leave feeling even better. It is nice to see an equally excellent film that doesn’t leave me somewhat distressed. The two hours that encompass this film go by too quickly, making you want to watch it again and again. RT. 90%

”Amélie” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes cartoonish violence and rambunctious coupling. 

You’ll never be a vegetable, even artichokes have hearts!

The Wrestler (2008)

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If I could use a three course dinner as an analogy for Aronofsky’s films, it would look somewhat like Pi as the appetizer, The Wrestler as the entree, and of course, Black Swan as the best dessert you have ever had. The Wrestler is a companion to Black Swan as both protagonist’s are struggling with their art form. The wrestler though, strays away from the psychological thriller genre, and takes a more romantic and heartfelt twist. Looking at the two films side by side, you can definitely notice the parallels. The Wrestler though, remains beautifully raw and organic in it’s own form. I have to admit at times, the violence in the film is necessary but similarily hard to watch. In this film, you really feel the connection with the characters, and I do consider it a true beauty. RT. 98%

“The Wrestler” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has fake bloodshed and real nudity.

The only place I get hurt is out there. The world don’t give a shit about me.

 Ginger And Rosa (2012)

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Ginger and Rosa is a new film. What I mean by this, is that not once was it predictable, not once had I felt unconnected with the characters, and I was always shocked by what happened next. The incredible connection between the Ginger and Rosa characters is astounding, and the emotional pull felt throughout the film was enough for me to continue to think about the film over the course of the next few days. Elle Fanning is brilliant, and don’t let her sister’s professional life cause you any preconcieved notions toward Elle’s. Elle is amazing in every way in this film, and I hope to see her continue in this field.  RT. 79%

“Ginger & Rosa” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Sex, smoking, nuclear anxiety.

But I’ll forgive you anyway.

Election (1999)

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Election is arguably one of the funniest dark comedies out there, and is also arguably Reese Witherspoon’s best performance. The only two words to describe this film are “Tracy Flick,” and you will understand once you watch. Great, commited roles from all of the actors involved, this is definitely a must see. RT. 92%

”Election” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes sexual situations, routine profanity and unexpectedly coarse language here and there. 

If you want to keep questioning me like this, I won’t continue without my attorney present.

Pi (1998)

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Darren Aronofsky has yet to disappoint, and his first film Pi is no exception. This film (along with Black Swan), is one on a short list of films that I would watch over an over again. The techniques that Aronofsky utilizes are humourous but also equally dark and terrifying. Pi is not the longest film, and keeps you interested the entire time; beautifully filmed from start to finish.  RT 87%

“Pi” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It contains adult situations and profanity. 

When I was a little kid, my mother told me not to stare into the sun, so when I was six I did…

Risky Business (1983)

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Risky Business is one of the best 80’s high school films. Not only is it perfectly reminscent of the decade, but it creates a delighfully dark, yet comical story line, that actually teaches its viewers a few lessons along the way. The film explores the innocence of a highschooler in such a darkly brilliant way, that even the outrageous story line can be relatable. RT. 98%

”Risky Business” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has sex (both in comical fantasy scenes and reality), nudity, profanity, and  glorified substance abuse.

Looks like the University of Illinois!

Scream (1996)

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This film is a must see for horror-buffs as well as movie-buffs alike. Not only was Wes Craven able to redefine the horror genre, but the film’s legacy has made it a cult classic and changed every horror film that followed. The film also has the 90’s coursing through its veins, and is extremelly reminescent of the decade, while the comedy keeps it light and fun. As for the sequels, they are as sequels always seemingly are, but the original will always stand out in my mind.    RT. 83%

”Scream” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes profanity, sexual references and grisly violence. 

We all go a little mad sometimes.

American Beauty (1999)

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American Beauty is a title that literally speaks for it’s film; director Sam Mendes has truly created an “American Beauty.” Not one moment of this film bores me, and believe me it goes by so fast that you’ll have to watch it again and again. This film really paints a picture of suburban America and the symbolism is exquisite. Take a look at Gregory Crewdson’s work for a comparison from a different artistic perspecitve (Also see: David Lynch, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive). RT. 88%

”American Beauty” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes profanity, nudity, masturbation and less solitary sexual situations, some real and some imagined. 

You don’t get to tell me what to do ever again

Psycho (1960)

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Psycho is one of those amazing classics that I have a new experience with every time I watch. It is riveting, and as a viewer I can feel the same emotion and excitement that the audience must have felt over fifty years ago. This is a must see, and by “must see” I mean you have to, and will want to, watch it over and over again. RT 97%

“Psycho” is not rated, as it pre-dates the MPAA rating system, but I suggest anyone and everyone see it. 

We all go a little mad sometimes.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

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Eternal Sunshine is one of those movies where you have to watch from beginning to end without walking away from the TV screen. BUT, the great thing perhaps, is that when you are watching the film, you cannot look away. The audience becomes so entranced by its concepts and excellent acting, that losing focus is not an option (not even a thought). Jim Carrey delivers an astounding new performance, as does his co-star Kate Winslet. RT 93%

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has strong language, sexuality and alcohol consumption. 

Meet Me In Montauk.

Another Earth (2011)

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Another Earth is possibly one of the smartest films I have ever seen. Throughout the film, I find myself asking: “Who wrote this? And can I meet them? The most important thing about Another Earth, is the connection you feel with the characters and the greatest sense of reality. Although sometimes the acting is slightly corny, there is a great, real quality to this film. I highly suggest it.

“Another Earth” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). A violent crash and some gentle lovemaking.

She thinks she might be able to make his life a little bit better.. but it was really just a way to survive what I have done.

Garden State (2004)

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Everyone I know that has seen this film loves it because it touches us on so many levels, making it personable to ever viewer. It is full of amazing acting, amazing direction, and a quirky but dark humour throughout. Additionally, the film features an outstanding soundtrack, and will definitely stick in your head. Check this one out, you won’t regret it. 86% RT

“Garden State” is rated R (under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes some strong language.

You gotta hear this one song, it’ll change your life, I swear.

Memento (2000)

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This film is wonderful, from the beginning to the very end. To warn those viewers who constantly feel the need to multitask during a film, this is not the film for you. Getting caught up in the mystery is easy with Memento, but it is equally as easy to get lost in the complex thought processes of Christopher Nolan. Other great films by this director include The Dark Night and Inception. 92% RT

”Memento” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has violence and profanity. 

I have this condition.

Magnolia (1999)

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I cannot even begin to describe how absorbing and emotionally envolving this film is, and words would do no justice. Believe me, go into this film without any prior knowledge or expectations and you will be taken on a wonderful journey. 83% RT

”Magnolia” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes strong profanity and graphic sexual references.

This was not just a matter of chance… These strange things happen all the time.

Margaret (2011)

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Margaret is one of those movies that only few have seen, but is likeable among all. A warning for “hollywood fans,” the vivid direction and imagery causes the creation of one very artistic film that might only be appreciated from a certain handpicked crowd. In it’s most basic sense, this brilliant film questions morality, and is a “coming of age”/”loss of innocence” story, inspired by Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, “Spring and Fall” (a favorite of my own). 71% RT

“Margaret” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Blood, sex and profanity. 

Because… this isn’t an opera! And we are not all supporting characters to the drama of your amazing life!

Black Swan (2010)

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Darren Aronofsky never ceases to amaze me with each of his films, and his latest film is no exception. Black Swan is a film that will forever and always remain with me, whatever situation I am in, and has caused me to gain new perspectives on life. This film is not about ballet, but it is a brilliant portrayal of the transformation of a person as they transcend between light and dark. This movie is insanity in one hand and “perfection” in another. 87% RT

“Black Swan” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). graphic sexual content and graphic violence.

Perfection is not just about control. It’s also about letting go.

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