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Movie Reviews: Part Two

 Written by    February 16, 2013

We’re back again with another review of the movies of the fall. My last update was this past summer, and like last summer I will repeat, if you have not seen the movies I have pictured, I suggest reading this blog at another time.

This time around I promise not to go into too much detail about how terrible I thought a movie was. I’ll stick to bullet points to make it easier on you, and give the movie my own special Taylor Rating. Let’s start on a positive note.

Pitch Perfect – October 5th, 2012

Seeing the trailers for this film – and now that I think about it, the poster as well – I’m thinking, “Ugh. Another Disney Channel movie. Lame.” The characters are all catty in the trailer and then love triumphs in the end and they sing and dance in song. High School Musical 13? No thanks.

So you can imagine my despair when I come home for Christmas break and the first movie we rent from DirecTV (a common tradition in our household), my sister suggests Pitch Perfect. “It looked really good, Tay.” NO. No, it does not. I put it in the I dont think so category along with Ted. Bleh.

Majority rules forced me to watch it … and it was really good. It was hilarious, it was witty, it was engaging, and the acapella singing was extremely cool to listen to. Everyone loves a good song mash-up (despite Glee’s efforts to do them all), especially when they’re performed by a girl DJ. Even the love interest was fun; it wasn’t sappy and romantic but real and relatable. And did I mention hilarious. Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), of course, brings all the inappropriately hilarious jokes in to save the day. And Anna Kendrick (who I could not stand in the Twilight series) was witty and fun to watch. Loved her.

All in all, it was just extremely surprising. And I like when movies do that surprising thing. Keeps life (and the film industry) interesting.

Zero Dark Thirty – December 19th

This film blows all other films of the year out of the water. Zero Dark Thirty also makes my top 5 favorite films of all time list. Seriously. If you have not seen it yet, shame on you. I will buy your ticket to the Gateway right now.

This movie was made incredibly well, visually and scripturally. And it  may just be the subject matter that did it in for me, but the fact that it was so engaging. It was almost like a documentary – you know how you feel like you’re in their world while watching a real life events unfold before you (MTV’s Catfish, bad example) – but it was made as a film instead. So you have all the documentary elements, but incredibly produced and narratively laid out before you. It’s as if you’re living Maya’s life  as she lives it, searching for the most dangerous and most wanted man in the world.

The film was very, very good at the number one rule in screenwriting: show, don’t tell. That made it intense the entire time. I felt engaged, especially in the end scene where they’re searching for Osama, and on the edge of my seat. It was all incredible real and the absolute best part about it all … it was directed by a WOMAN: Kathryn Bigelow, the woman who also directed The Hurt Locker.

It was an incredible movie and I recommend everyone seeing it. It is a “will-buy” when it comes out on DVD. And I will watch it many more times.

Django Unchained – December 25th

You waited for it, now here it is: the bad review.

I don’t hate this movie as much as I hated the Amazing Spider-Man … that movie was just sad and insulting. Django definitely has some good qualities, such as the amazing cast. DiCaprio is always stellar, especially as a southern millionaire. Jamie Foxx even proved to be pretty good as his role. And Christoph Waltz is just plain entertaining, hilarious, and mesmerizing (I cannot remove my eyes while he’s talking, in ANY film). And other parts of the movie were entertaining and funny as well. But I will never watch it again, nor recommend it, and this is why.

First, I do not like Quentin Tarantino. My screenwriting professor said it best: he has nothing to say. He spends nearly 3 hours in all of his movies saying the most simplest thing, if it’s even anything at all. “Slavery is bad” was all I got from this film. I saw no character growth, no plot twists, no exciting moments … just very long scenes with very little message.

Second, and this is just a personal preference, 20-minute gory scenes of people getting blown to bits is not my style. Shooting someone in the head and blood coming out every now and then is a-okay with me. But when every scene where someone gets killed is unnecessarily gruesome and unrelated to the plot? I change the channel. Or in the movie theater case, I pick up my phone and text. Because not only am I annoyed with your constant need for uncalled for bits of brain on camera, I no longer am interested in what the real story is (if there even is one) because you don’t care enough to put it above gore.

Django Unchained was a very long movie where I actually felt my butt getting numb. Zero Dark Thirty was just as long but I didn’t feel anything except my heart pounding with excitement. Django just bored me tired and tried to bring my Rasinets back up. Sorry, Tarantino, but I don’t think I’ll be wasting any more of my chocolate covered raisins at your films. Nice 60-second cameo, though. Again.



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