Haikus & Reviews: Blue Jasmine, Enough Said, All Is Lost, Her, Captain Phillips, Wolf of Wall Street, Pitch Black

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The 2014 Golden Globes are about to start.  Many movies were seen in the last few days…

Blue Jasmine

Queen, Elf, Bob Dylan
Here as a Madoffed Blanche, she
shines in delusion.

Cate Blanchett is so good in this movie that she makes everybody else in every movie ever made an amateur. Yeah, I know, it’s a bit much of a compliment, but lord, this is a performance to behold. Blanchett is a magician without any tricks. She actually gets us to root for this sad, bewildered sack of a woman! Sandra Bullock will probably win the Best Actress Oscar, but we all know who did the best work this year.

Enough Said

Three’s-Company-like
plot hinders this fine movie
but Jim saves the day.

Who knew that Gandolifini could play such a soft, warm-hearted character? He’s a revelation, and now he’s gone.

All Is Lost

Man lost on a boat
Silent, stark, meditative
Could have used Wilson…?

There have been comparisons of this movie to Gravity, which I can sort of see, but the biggest failing of this film is that we don’t know why the Redford character does what he does to save his ship. For example, there’s a sequence when the boat encounters a storm that he fights his way to the top of the boat with something in his hand. Why is he out there, and what is he trying to accomplish? Because we don’t understand, we’re not as emotionally involved as we could be. In Cast Away, Tom Hanks had Wilson the volleyball to talk to, which seemed a bit silly in the beginning, but it strengthened our connection with him because we had better access to his thoughts.

Her

It’s a movie that
shows a lot more than it tells
yet I feel nothing.

I was really looking forward to seeing this, so the depth of my disappointment was pretty severe. It’s a gorgeously shot film, with set design that should pick up some gilded hardware, but I just couldn’t feel what Joaquin Phoenix’s character was feeling at all. And the whole conceit of the movie was lost on me. Why would anyone want an operating system that didn’t want to work? What happens in the end — do the users get a refund? Was any of this stated in the EULA? Perhaps it’s because I’m too much of a techie, but the sci-fi concepts felt so rudimentary that it got in the way. And the silent scenes of Theodore’s memory of his ex-wife and their past became a bit too precious as the film went on.

Captain Phillips

Tom’s Boston accent
Pirate’s American dreams
Dizzy hand-held cam

I like my camera to stay steady, so I’m never a fan of the hand held, but it’s a solid movie. You won’t be disappointed.

Wolf of Wall Street

Greed is very good
for Jordan/Stratton Oakmont
until it isn’t.

Last year, Leo was Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. I didn’t think it would be possible for him to star in a film that was even more gaudy and excessive than that one, but here it is. He’s great in it, of course, and so is Jonah Hill. The movie probably could’ve been an hour shorter, but there are plenty of laughs.

Pitch Black

Extra Cheesy B
with a side of Diesel beef.
In Riddick we trust.

Not Golden Globes related!  This is a film I’ve been meaning to see for years. Yes, the effects are now incredibly cheesy. They were probably sufficiently cheesy even back in 2000. But Vin Diesel is excellent as Riddick, and really, he’s not a bad actor at all. And Rahda Mitchell — I didn’t even know she was in it. This movie is not going to impress you in any way, but it knows what it is and delivers two hours of entertainment.

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