Movies of 2015 – June

Nightcrawler (2014) – Dan Gilroy

nightcrawler reviewGyllenhaal’s character, Louis Bloom, is the protagonist of this movie about a guy who is just trying to make a buck in this crazy world by using his car, his assistant, and his camera to film crime scenes and other bloody and unfortunate events in the news. He’s also a sociopath who will do whatever he can to succeed at getting the video, getting it onto TV, and getting paid for it. I almost like Bloom despite him being an absolutely horrible human being because I feel that, while he’s obviously a metaphor for Hollywood and how it shows us exactly what we want to see even if what we want to see isn’t very pleasant, he’s also a person who is extremely driven and one-minded in achieving his goals. – 9/10

Jurassic World (2015) – Colin Trevorrow

150608103918-jurassic-world-training-780x439Hey, do you remember Jurassic Park!? That’s basically all this movie is, down to someone in the movie literally putting on a Jurassic Park t-shirt and talking about how he misses Jurassic Park but was lucky to find the shirt on E-Bay. Yes, that really happens in this movie. Also, there’s a dinosaur that’s apparently smart enough to know what a GPS tracker is and how to remove it from its body and leave it somewhere as a distraction. Oh yeah, I forgot about the part where there’s these two kids that have a sad subplot about being sent to stay for a while with their aunt who runs Jurassic World because their parents are going to get divorced, but that plot is dumped about halfway through the movie. Dang, I almost forgot about the part where the evil military guy wants to use some of the dinosaurs to help them hunt down the escaped big bad dinosaur, so Chris Pratt’s character punches him in the face for being so evil and trying to use the dinosaurs in that way then almost immediately agrees with the plan which is what they use to hunt down the escaped big bad dinosaur. – 4/10

Dope (2015) – Rick Famuyiwa

maxresdefaultMalcolm, played by Shameik Moore, the main character of this movie is a teenage boy in a punk band with his friends who’s very good at school, likes 90s music and fashion, and is hoping to go to Harvard after graduating. His two best friends fit the same mold. These three get involved through a series of events in a drug deal gone horribly wrong and end up going through a bunch of ridiculous, scary, and hilarious situations to try to figure out what to do with the drugs and a gun that they mistakenly got a hold of. It’s kind of like a black teenage version of a Seth Rogen movie like Pineapple Express. The movie does a great job of keeping the jokes coming while never getting away from the larger point at hand – that it’s very hard for a teenager growing up in an area with drugs and gangs to not get involved with them, even if they try very hard to stay clean. The visual style and soundtrack are also worth mentioning as being really fantastic. – 8/10

The Imitation Game (2014) – Morten Tyldum

From what I understand, a lot of this movie is historically inaccurate and does a pretty bad job of portraying Alan Turing as played by Benedict Cumberbatch. I understand that criticism, but I can only talk about the movie as it stands on its own since I was not altogether familiar with the details of his life before watching it. The criticism is that it teaches bad history and paints him in a way that’s not true, but ironically if not for this movie I would have never read about the real Alan Turing. Anyway, the movie is very slow as it trudges through Turing and his team making and using the Enigma machine to decode the Nazi messages during World War II. The characters are well written (again, I understand that they’re inaccurate) and the drama unfolding between them as they slowly realize that Turing is homosexual (which was a crime in England at the time) is functional. This movie was clearly Oscar-bait. That doesn’t mean that it’s bad; it just means that it sort of follows a formula for a biopic – misunderstood genius accomplishes something incredible despite dealing with personal or political issues. It’s a solid movie, and I know more about Alan Turing for it (or perhaps in spite of it). – 7/10

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