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You Were Never Really Here (2017)


You Were Never Really Here (2017)

I was a little apprehensive about seeing this movie.  It appeared like it would be either really good or just really bad.  I have enjoyed most of Joaquin Phoenix’s work, so I thought I would give You Were Never Really Here a shot.

The film is about a hit man who gets in over his head when he is hired to rescue a young girl from a sex slave ring, and make the people involved suffer for what they have done to her.

The movie was directed by Lynne Ramsay and the noteworthy cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Judith Roberts, John Doman, Alex Manette, Ekaterina Samsonov, and Alessandro Nivola.

You Were Never Really Here is unflinching and unplugged.  The film does not pull any punches.   The subject matter is as dark as it gets.  This movie is certainly not for everyone.  The movie was unique.  The way that it was filmed raised the level of intensity.  The soundtrack and natural background noise in the movie really set the gritty tone.  It was rough at times, but it was very necessary to tell the story.

Phoenix is ruthless and almost robotic.  It is a cold, hard, Oscar-worthy performance.  He throws everything into his character and continues to reveal to us his wide range of talent and ability as a versatile actor.

I have heard comparisons of You Were Never Really Here to Taxi Driver (1976), and I have to say that I liked You Were Never Really Here better.  I can see the comparison in only the mean streets and loud, tough city.  The atmosphere was reminiscent of Taxi Driver in the way that it was filmed.  However, I feel like Taxi Driver tried too hard and often fell short.  There was a lot more unnecessary shock value in Taxi Driver.  I felt like there was more depth and purpose to You Were Never Really Here (2017).

This movie was in limited release and therefore I had to go way out of my way in order to see it.  Because it was such a dark film, I can understand that it was only in limited release.  Not everybody can handle this type of movie.  However, I am glad that movies like this one are still able to get made.

You Were Never Really Here will leave you thinking about it long after it is over.  That is often how you can tell that a movie was worth seeing, when it sticks with you.  If you are a fan of Joaquin Phoenix and you like grittier films, then you will most likely enjoy You Were Never Really Here.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Bad Samaritan (2018)

John Wick (2014)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

Collateral (2004)

Street Kings (2008)

End of Watch (2012)

Training Day (2001)

Crank (2006)

Crank: High Voltage (2009)

Gladiator (2000)

Her (2013)

Triple 9 (2016)

Running Scared (2006)

Run All Night (2015)

Harsh Times (2005)

Out of the Furnace (2013)

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Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)


Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)

What is not to like about the thought of Denzel Washington being an attorney?  His track record speaks for itself.  He is a man who can become anyone.  I do not remember the last time I was disappointed in a Denzel Washington movie.  He is one of the most consistently extraordinary actors of our time.  So, of course I wanted to see Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The film is about a stubborn savant, Roman J. Israel, Esq.  He is a diligent and methodical defense attorney, who is hopelessly stuck in his ways.  When his career is flipped upside down, it sends his ritualistic life spiraling out of control.

The movie was written and directed by Dan Gilroy and the noteworthy cast includes Denzel Washington, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, and Tony Plana.

Great quote from the film:  “Every weapon is a tool if you hold it the right way.”

This is not a great movie.  This is a meticulous, one man freight train, and immersive performance by an iconic heavyweight, Denzel Washington.  This is eloquence in motion and an exercise in character.

In Roman J. Israel, Esq., Denzel becomes his character down to the gap in his front teeth, glasses, mini fro, headphones, precision in speech, mannerisms, and tendencies.  He is a diligent and unique man who sticks to his guns, and is still stubbornly listening to records and using paper files.  He is an eccentric-minded “Rain Man-like” attorney of sorts

The movie itself, is not anything special.  It is good until about halfway through and then it starts to lose its momentum.  Denzel keeps it afloat and it sort of redeems itself at the end.

Colin Farrell’s character wafts badass arrogance.  His role is a good one, but feels like an afterthought.

Overall this is a great performance in an about average movie.  Denzel takes a mediocre film and makes it watchable.  It is an Oscar caliber performance.  He is submerged in his character.  He has multiple performances that are better than this one, but his character dominance in this movie brings it up a notch and makes it worth seeing.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

 

Training Day (2001)

The Hurricane (1999)

Flight (2012)

Déjà vu (2006)

American Gangster (2007)

Inside Man (2006)

The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

Man on Fire (2004)

Antwone Fisher (2002)

John Q. (2002)

Remember the Titans (2000)

The Bone Collector (1999)

Philadelphia (1993)

Ricochet (1991)

Glory (1989)

2 Guns (2013)

The Equalizer (2014)

Out of Time (2003)

24 Hours to Live (2017)


24 Hours to Live (2017)

Ethan Hawke in a shoot ‘em up, no holds barred action thriller is just the type of movie that I would want to see.  So I did.  It appeared like it would have a lot of similarities to Crank (2006).  Crank is off the hook in all senses of the word, so 24 Hours to Live sparked my interest.

The film is about a hired killer out for revenge after he is brought back to life after being shot.  The medical treatment he received is only keeping him alive for 24 hours, so he must seek his revenge in a hurry.

The movie was directed by Brian Smrz and the noteworthy cast includes Ethan Hawke, Liam Cunningham, Rutger Hauer, Paul Anderson, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Tanya van Graan, Qing Xu, and Jenna Upton.

The movie was fun, but convenient at times.  The action was sometimes a little choppy.  Lots of good ruthless ideas.  Some worked and some fell flat.  Not enough follow through.  The film was a bipolar rollercoaster of really good sometimes, followed by a sort of fizzle and then back to better again.  In a strange way, the film felt like a financial rollercoaster also.  Sometimes it felt a little cheap and B-rated, while other times really expensive and classy.  It just could not hold its momentum.  Along with that problem, it was occasionally a bit hard to follow.  Overall, it just felt like it was lacking something.

Hawke is dual-wielding and he’s got nothing to lose.  His role was awesome and he pulled it off well.  He is the same old slick, and smooth likable guy.  His character developed well, but the supporting cast, not so much.

Cunningham was very enjoyable, but could have been better.  He just was not used enough.

The film was reminiscent of Crank (2006), minus the extreme intensity throughout and not near the same caliber film.

24 Hours to Live was a fun concept.  It was an entertaining flick, but a bit disappointing because it did not reach its full potential.  However, it was nice to see Ethan Hawke carrying an action movie by himself again.

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

 

If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:

Crank (2006)

Crank: High Voltage (2009)

Running Scared (2006)

Shoot ‘Em Up (2007)

Training Day (2001)

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

Trailer for Sabotage (2014)


Sabotage movie poster

Sabotage (2014)

 

From the writer of Training Day (2001) and the director of End of Watch (2012), comes Sabotage, an action film about a war between a drug cartel and an army of DEA agents.

The movie is written and directed by David Ayer and the noteworthy cast includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terrence Howard, Sam Worthington, Mireille Enos, Olivia Williams, Joe Manganiello, Max Martini, Josh Holloway, Harold Perrineau, Daniel Moncada, Martin Donovan, and Ralf Moeller.

Great cast, great director, and it looks like it will be a great action flick.

The film is set to release on 04/11/14.

Movie Picture of the Day 8/15/13


Training Day Washington Hawke Guns Fence

Ethan Hawke is starting to wonder what he has gotten himself into with Denzel Washington in the gritty thriller Training Day (2001).

End of Watch (2012)


End of Watch (2012)

End of Watch (2012) is the ultimate buddy-cop drama done in the style of Training Day (2001), Harsh Times (2005), and Street Kings (2008).  All of those films share the same type of gritty, blunt, in-your-face intensity and show just how unpleasant rundown areas of Los Angeles can be.  Those movies share similarities in style because they were all written and or directed by David Ayer.

End of Watch buddy cops

In End of Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are young, up-and-coming brothers in blue patrolling the hellish streets of Los   Angeles, California.  They are pitted together against pure evil.  They take a bite out of crime and crime bites back

A lot of the movie is filmed with smaller handheld cameras which I think helps to make the film seem a little bit more realistic.  If the person is shaky then the camera is shaky.

end of watch car shot

The film takes many of the horrible things that we pretend don’t happen and throws them in our faces so that we cannot deny their existence any longer.  It takes dark subject matter and forces you to have an opinion about it.  When your eyes are opened to the world that exists in the movie, you begin to wonder if there is some truth to that world in the real world.  Does that sort of thing actually happen in real life?  Are people really like that?  The answers to those questions are what make the movie so chilling.

Gyllenhaal and Pena are both tremendous in the movie.  Their characters play off of each other so well that it really makes the film enjoyable to watch.

End of Watch Group

Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez both gave great supporting performances.

The language and violence in the film is very potent.  Much of the movie is exceptionally rough and harsh.  There is some humor thrown in to weaken the blow, but End of Watch is a powerful movie to watch.  This type of show is not for everyone.

End of Watch gun in car

I rate this movie an 8.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.