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JxSxPx

About me

I'm Jason. I'm a film, literary and pop culture enthusiast. Got a soft spot and deep love for animation, comics and nerdy things that go in tandem with them.

Lists

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Favorite movies (247 items)
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Favorite Music Artists (100 items)
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Favorite Directors (43 items)
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Favorite Actors & Actresses (100 items)
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The 25 Greatest Batman Graphic Novels (25 items)
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Recent reviews

All reviews - Movies (470) - TV Shows (45) - Books (3) - Music (118)

Hemlock Grove

Posted : 2 days, 13 hours ago on 21 April 2014 09:49 (A review of Hemlock Grove)

I hate to quit novels, movies or television shows that I’ve started. I figured that I’ve chosen to begin this so I must see it through to the very end. But I was tempted to jump ship with Hemlock Grove, multiple times. Towards the end I just put it on in the background and did other stuff while it loudly and dumbly played out it obvious plot twists and badly acted scenes of mystery.

I think the name “Eli Roth” should have been the huge glaring tip off point, like a giant neon sign flashing “WARNING” over and over again. I figured that American Horror Story had managed to take gore, camp, horror, mystery, historical and political allegories and make something wildly entertaining and watchable out of it. But that show frequently knows that it’s pushing the boundary, or is being ridiculous. Hemlock Grove doesn’t. Hemlock Grove takes itself far too seriously, and is deadly dull in the process, and is sloppily written. Too many characters, too many subplots, too many stupid deviations from the main story that add up too little and make no sense.

Even the most ludicrous of a premise can be overlooked if the execution is done well enough, and Hemlock Grove is like a third of the way there. The series looks gorgeous – the art direction and production design is top notch, there’s nice hair and makeup work, practical effects look stunning, costuming is well done, interesting cinematography – but that’s all it is.

The problems start off with the slut shaming and queer killing that’s so prevalent in the horror genre. Are you a young female who enjoys sex and doesn’t have any hang-ups about it? Well, prepare to be eaten out by a werewolf! And if you’re gay, then you’re either going to die horrifically or suppress your sexuality and change into a blood thirsty beast. It’s offensive and gross material, and it starts off with scene one of episode one and just continues on from there.

But that isn’t the lone problem; consistent writing is a bigger problem. Characters come and go with no real explanation, or their motivations change so quickly you’re surprised that the actors don’t break their necks trying to flip back and forth between their character fluctuations. In one scene two characters are fighting like crazy, the next they’re the best of friends. There seems to be a few scenes missing which develop the actions between these opposite interactions. There’s no smooth transition into any part of the rising action or character relationships, the writers just rush head first into trying to make the ending happen as quickly to the beginning as possible. Which is odd since many episodes run close to an hour without much actually happening, so narrative cohesion be damned!

I try to be nice to actors, maybe their performances are so broad and big because the director didn’t think to bring them down, or encouraged them to go so large with it. But there isn’t a single decent performance to be found in Hemlock Grove. Famke Janssen’s British accent is a particular brand of awful, and she doesn’t emote or add much inflection to any of her scenes, preferring to develop her rich bitch as an emotionless automaton. It wouldn’t be a bad choice if any of her bitchy one liners managed to land effectively, but they tend to land with a thud – but is that Janssen’s fault or the director/editor? Dougray Scott and Lily Taylor are wasted in supporting roles that don’t give them much to do. Taylor’s lack of worthy material is particularly depressing as she’s so effective so often, underrated really in films like I Shot Andy Warhol or a great supporting player in shows like Six Feet Under. Most egregious are Kandyse MClure and Freya Tingley who each deliver their lines in strange, bizarre cadences that sound like English being performed sideways. Tingley’s cringe-worthy transformation scene feels destined to bad acting highlight reels.

Hemlock Grove is only as effective as the budding bromance between the two main characters and it’s a mixed bag. Landon Liboirn and Bill Skarsgård chemistry seems more attuned to a budding romance, Grove has a strong homoerotic subtext that everyone involved seemed totally unaware of while making it. Liboirn is miscast as a gypsy werewolf who is supposed to be rather hairy. Frequently naked, we can plainly see that Liboirn isn’t all that hairy for a character that is consistently described by other characters as being borderline Robin Williams level of hirsuteness. Skarsgård gives a good brooding face, his accent is all over the place, yet there’s still something appealing about him. In a better vehicle he could prove to be as strong a supporting performer as his father (Stellan) or older brother (Alexander). It’s a pity that Skarsgård is sacked with so much of poor character development baggage, as if the writers wanted to make him a sexy, brooding anti-hero but started off making him a villain, then a good guy, then they split the difference.

What a mess. It frequently thinks it’s building up to be reveals that are shocking or profound, but are often neither. Surprises are telegraphed easily, and the payoffs are badly written. Any show that tries for a Twin Peaks level of weirdness will interest me no matter what, but I don’t know the last time I saw one so widely miss the mark. Serious when it should be campy, campy when it’s trying to be serious, disjointed and lazy, filled with an ugly streak against sex-positive characters, Hemlock Grove seems like the apex of Roth’s obsession with being as gory as possible without bothering to craft a coherent story or reason for it.

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Iron Man: Armored Adventures

Posted : 2 days, 13 hours ago on 21 April 2014 09:49 (A review of Iron Man: Armored Adventures)

Fanboy rages aren’t always justified. Sometimes they’re ugly and sexist (“Gal Gadot is a bad choice for Wonder Woman because she doesn’t have boobs!”), or racist (“Michael B. Jordan can’t be Johnny Storm because that character has always been white!”), but every so often they’re on point, as is the case here. Why has Iron Man been given the Spider-Man makeover?

It’s jarring to see a character so closely tied with alcoholism, womanizing, aggrandizement, and running a multi-billion dollar corporation as a nearly legal teenager. And frankly, the series frequently strains too hard to shove in various characters from the comics into the series new locale. Happy Hogan is now a dim-bulb jock, Pepper Potts is an annoyingly motor-mouthed and infinitely curious sidekick, James Rhodes is a major supporting player (as it should be), and Gene Khan is the Mandarin. Yes, Tony Stark now goes to school with every single major player from the books.

The fact that none of them (aside from Pepper or Rhodes) bother to notice that Stark is constantly taking “bathroom breaks” pretty much strains the credibility of the show. And once Madame Masque and other villains start popping up in the school, it becomes harder and harder to just go with this premise. It would be so much easier if they were all adults and so much of their personalities weren’t changed around.

But there’s still a lot to like on display here. If any character lends themselves easily to CG animated action sequences, it’s Iron Man. And this show doesn’t disappoint in that respect. The new designs for many of the villains are fresh, interesting, and make logical sense within this world’s technology. Granted, animating facial movements and expressions is limited, but the show knows that its bread-and-butter is in big explosions and scenes of Iron Man, War Machine and Rescue battling it out with M.O.D.O.K., Ultimo, Grey Gargoyle, Living Laser.

The show also does a great job of expanding out and including various characters from across the Marvel universe. Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, S.H.I.E.L.D., Professor X, Jean Grey, Black Panther, and a few others all make appearances in one or more episodes. And practically every major villain from Iron Man’s comic books appear, even if some of their appearances are less than thrilling it’s still nice to see the creators make an effort to include as many of them as possible and try to spin them in a different way.

But it’s that “teen Tony” approach that really hinders the series. The makeover gives his origin story too many parallels to Spider-Man, and at times it feels more like a Spider-Man show with Iron Man having been substituted in. It’s a mixed result, but I think there’s enough done well to give it at least a handful of episodes a chance, and the second season really develops into something more mature and deeper. It still seems that while Marvel has DC cornered on the live action market, DC still has more classic animated versions of their characters than Marvel does. Iron Man: Armored Adventures isn’t a classic, but it’s never downright awful either.

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21 Grams

Posted : 1 week, 1 day ago on 15 April 2014 09:36 (A review of 21 Grams)

There’s a lot to admire in 21 Grams, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro give heart-wrenching performances, the cinematography is gorgeous, the script feels emotionally honest even when it strains credibility with its coincidences, yet I cannot get behind it’s unconventional structure. I’ve said it before, but I think a story really needs to have a bigger reason for being non-linear than “just because” and 21 Grams falls into the “just because” camp.

This is problematic because I feel like if it had played it straight through the entire effect would have hit you harder. I don’t mind flashbacks or flashforwards, but when a film begins at the end, jumps to the middle, then to a little before the end, then circles back to the beginning, it gets a little grating. This editing choice keeps us at arm’s length from a story that wants us to feel that every choice has a strong impact at a later point, so it confuses me why they threw it together in such a way.

And aside from a few story beats that feel contrived, Sean Penn’s character is little more than a walking/talking plot device, that’s about it when it comes to constructive criticism regarding the film. Everything else works for me.

To try and explain the story really involves me trying to weave three separate story threads together. Penn’s doesn’t always work for me, but Del Toro and Watts, the film’s MVP as far as I’m concerned, work magic with the material. Watts plays a recovering drug addict, now married and with two daughters, who loses all three of them in a car accident. As she tries to pick the pieces of her life back together she relapses and begins making a series of bad decision, this is highly understandable and we feel for her. Yet her character displays a core of strength, an iron will to survive and move on from this catastrophe, which we hope she’ll rediscover and utilize to pull herself back together and let the healing process begin. Watts is an insanely underrated and talented actress – was there a better performance in 2001 than her work in Mulholland Drive? Her Oscar nomination for this was deserved, and a bit shocking. Watts isn’t exactly an actress to go for the big obvious emotion, frequently preferring to quietly play a scene and let her intensity build from there.

Del Toro plays a former convict turned fundamentalist Christian, Melissa Leo plays his wife with a very low bullshit tolerance. She grateful that he’s reached a point of sobriety, but is questionable about his “cure,” openly suspecting a transference of his addictions. But hey, at least this one doesn’t end with him missing and on a multiple day bender. It’s hard to discuss how good of work they do without spoiling how his story interconnects with Penn and Watts, but Del Toro finds the core of truth in this man. And Leo is always a welcome presence in my home, able to slip so easily into whatever character she is playing at that moment with no big effort being shown.

21 Grams tells a haunting and deeply sensitive story the long way around, but there’s a lot of admire on the route. At its core, this is an old-fashioned melodrama with implausible connections, but its earnest in detailing how people struggle to survive a trauma. The non-linear structure allows us to live in these moments fully, but diminishes the overall impact of them. Sometimes doing something in the tightly structured plot diagram manner is the better choice to get the full force of your work out there.

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American Gigolo

Posted : 1 week, 1 day ago on 15 April 2014 09:35 (A review of American Gigolo)

American Gigolo is all slick surfaces and neon glossed artificiality. Midway through there’s a murder-mystery thrown in, I don’t really know why, and frankly I don’t care. I think this film is all pretty on the outside, with nothing much going on beneath the surfaces. Of course, what else should one expect from producer Jerry Bruckheimer but a series of glossy images masquerading at something else?

It’s a shame that the film feels so limp, it emerges out the gate as something sexy and interesting, here is a lonely man who provides thrills for a rich female clientele. Richard Gere preens and pouts marvelously in the role. He’s incredibly handsome here, and he gives a great movie star performance, yet Paul Schrader’s script never truly gives him the opportunity to dig deep. Gere mostly just stands around in various states of (un)dress in Armani or drives down the PCH to Blondie’s classic song “Call Me.” Strange to think that this material feels so incomplete in Schrader’s hands, the man wrote Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

It seems like the perfect subject matter for Schrader to explore, yet the execution isn’t what one would hope for. The ambivalence with which his character is explored doesn’t create much of a vested interest in the outcome of the murder-mystery. Neither does the romance with the married politician’s wife (Lauren Hutton). These two elements feel half-baked, and take up most of the running time as the film progresses. Why would a woman with everything to lose throw it all away for Gere’s gigolo? That question never gets a satisfactory explanation or reasoning is given, this has a lot to do with Hutton not being entirely up to the task of convincingly portraying this woman. But man, American Gigolo has plenty of style to burn through.

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Hustle & Flow

Posted : 1 week, 1 day ago on 15 April 2014 09:35 (A review of Hustle & Flow)

It owes much to the 70s black underground cinema. The cinema that produced films like Foxy Brown or Shaft, Hustle & Flow is the spiritual child to the Blaxploitation genre. And beyond that, it’s a tale of the liberating power of music, a grassroots story of a man taking every intense feeling he has in his life and filtering into one song. It’s a shame that this came out in 2005, an incredibly competitive year for Best Actor (with a seemingly preordained win for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, and featuring such stiff competition as Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix), because Terrence Howard’s lead role is an intense, complicated portrait of a man struggling with his own nature.

Howard plays DJay, a Memphis pimp, frequently sweating, haunted and tired around the eyes, slouching, but with a burning desire to rise above it. Writer/director Craig Brewer gives Howard a stylized dialog to play with, but these monologues contain a kind of street poetry to them. This a deeply conflicted and complicated man, one with an innate intelligence and creativity, one who could possibly run a business or be a great success if he had access to greater opportunity. It’s easy to simplify someone as a “pimp” or “drug dealer” and forget that they’re a person, or that these weren’t their chosen professions but possibly the only ones readily available to them. Hustle & Flow humanizes its subject, and reveals an antihero of depth. Howard’s performance takes what was already on the page and blasts it into orbit. In another year it would be easy to see him making a clean sweep come awards season, he’s just that good.

Hustle & Flow is a great first two acts, and a problematic third. After getting us to care about this man’s plight, to root for him to try and succeed, and witnessing Taraji P. Henson’s character find a strength and relevance through the music (a minor miracle of acting is to watch the way her face illuminates from within when she hears herself played back for the first time), we’re thrown into an ultra-violent ending that feels slightly sour to everything else. Hustle & Flow is at its best when it focuses in on the redemptive power of art, and proves that amongst the human condition there is one defining emotion that unites us all: hope.

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Hard Eight

Posted : 1 week, 1 day ago on 15 April 2014 09:35 (A review of Hard Eight)

I don’t think there’s a single movie from Paul Thomas Anderson that I haven’t enjoyed or admired in some way. Granted, Hard Eight is a bit more formulaic than the more mysterious The Master or freewheeling Boogie Nights, but it does the crime story very well. The piece that makes the entire film work and operates at a higher level is the lead performance of Philip Baker Hall as an enigmatic Las Vegas gangster. Hall ensures that even some of the more awkward performances (I’m looking at you Paltrow) or routine story beats eventually find their footing. If no other reason, Hall’s performance is more than enough to warrant a viewing of Hard Eight.

Hard Eight is a fairly intimate story about a not too bright man, John (John C. Reilly), who gets stranded in Las Vegas. Sydney (Hall) finds him, takes pity upon him, and teaches him a few card counting tricks in order to grift large sums of money from the casinos. Flash forward a few years; John is now Sydney’s partner, but their friendship gets tested once a dim-bulb waitress (Gwyneth Paltrow) who moonlights as a hooker gets them involved in a heap of trouble. Throw in Samuel L. Jackson as a lurking threat to the trio’s precarious friendships and safety, and you’ve got a bang up crime thriller. And for the most part, it wildly succeeds.

Reilly is believable as a half-bright loser drifting across Nevada looking for a sense of purpose and a father figure. There’s a certain empathy that Reilly brings to his roles, a likeability that makes us want to root for him to get his head straight and stop making dumb choices. And Jackson can play a man who goes from friendly to menacing in his sleep. It’s really only Paltrow who slightly falters. On the surface level, she does a fine job. But Paltrow isn’t very believable as a low-class girl lacking in street smarts, her features are too elegant, her eyes project an intelligence that belies the character’s motivations. But she does do a great job playing against her good girl image here, even if the effort doesn’t add up to a completely realized performance.

Yet it’s Hall that keeps you entranced throughout. Hard Eight doesn’t have the sweeping ambition to create filmic monuments to towering egos and watch them fall, instead it wants to quietly observe a sad, compelling man go about fixing a messy situation. And Hall nails every single moment and facet of his character. It’s great to see a long-working character actor like him be given a chance to shine in the spotlight. When Hard Eight zeroes in Hall’s work and ignores trying to craft a conventional plot (which is really unnecessary as the film has crafted interesting characters saying great dialog), it plays out like a melancholic torch ballad, one that we could easily imagine Sydney listening to while smoking his cigarettes and sipping his drinks, thinking about the mistakes of the past, and wondering if there’s any way he can atone. Anderson is a great observer of human behavior, and here’s where his legend begins.

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Baby Boom

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 9 April 2014 02:56 (A review of Baby Boom)

Nancy Meyers is a bit of a pain in the ass. I want to respect her because she’s one of the few name brand female writer/director/producer’s in the game, but she creates such odious stories around insular overly privileged women without a person of color or truly feminist thought rolling around in her films. What’s astounding is how easily she repackages stereotypes about females into her films, take for instance Baby Boom’s insistence that a woman cannot be fulfilled by a marriage and a high-profile career, she needs to throw it all away for a simpler life with a man’s man and a baby.

But dammit if I didn’t laugh a few times thanks to Diane Keaton’s flighty comic sensibilities. The “dragon lady”/high-powered bitch persona at the beginning is a little hard to swallow. Yet Keaton manages to make sense of the character by playing up the more career obsessed and emotionally frigid aspects, this helps to make her eventual slip into neurosis more palpable and easier to accept. Here is a woman entombed within her affluence and career that trying to raise a child is like trying to complete manual labor.

Yet these stretches offer only a few laughs, and mostly play against the innate intelligence of these characters. You’d think these people would have enough street smarts to know that feeding a newborn child a messy pasta dish was a bad idea, yet there is a scene where they do just that. Too often Meyers’s films feel like over-bloated sitcoms, and dreadfully routine ones. Oh look, the big city woman just needed to get back in touch with the real things in life to discover true happiness. As if focusing on work wasn’t fulfilling to some people, the film then goes on to loudly proclaim that small town Americana is somehow inherently more authentic than any other place. It’s a tired idea, one that feels as antiquated as the idea that all small town residents as folksy types with homespun knowledge to be doled out at just the right time. If you’re a fan of Keaton, like I am, she makes this thing somewhat watchable, otherwise it plays out like a CBS-level sitcom that is inexplicably popular despite not being very insightful, witty, charming, funny, or original. But boy howdy, it sure does pluck those tired old strings with verve.

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Woman Times Seven

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 9 April 2014 02:56 (A review of Woman Times Seven)

I know I watched this, but I can’t really remember much about it. Which is such a shame because it stars Shirley MacLaine, features Peter Sellers, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Rossano Brazzi, and directed by Vittorio de Sica. Yet nothing much about it retains in the memory like de Sica’s other anthology sex comedy Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. Maybe the difference there was that it had Sophia Loren riffing on the long-suffering housewife, bored rich girl, and earthy hooker personas that her filmography was made from? Or maybe the material was just stronger and her talents more attuned to the witty sex farce that was going on? Yeah, that seems more like it.

The degree of difficulty involved in playing one role successfully only increases when you have a limited amount of time to do it before starting all over again. Seven roles in one film is nearly impossible, unless you’re Peter Sellers. MacLaine hadn’t quite developed beyond her dippy, kooky persona yet, still green in effectively playing dramatic roles and too broad for finely done farce. The result is seven performances only half-formed, so the result just begins to be staring at MacLaine in various parts of France wearing different wigs and trying out a few accents. Many of these segments feel overly long at 14-16 minutes in length, which is yet another problem. It’s not all doom and gloom, a few jokes land, a couple of the segments have their moments, it’s fun guessing who will show up next. But it’s not a complete collection, and was clearly designed to be seen as an acting tour de force. Shame it didn’t turn out to be one.

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It

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 9 April 2014 02:56 (A review of It)

“My god, THAT is a star!”

Clara Bow had enough energy to provide electricity to a medium sized city, and, yes, she had “It.” While It had a studio generated publicity campaign to generate a new conversation about what makes or breaks a star, it’s not hard to see why Bow was chosen as the beneficiary of this campaign. She deserved to be dubbed Hollywood’s first It Girl. She was a potent combination of sex goddess, a wanton flapper with her red hair peeking around head wraps barely containing the party-seeking curls she had. The other part of her was a comedic working girl with a heart of gold, the blueprint that she laid out can be seen in later day starlets like Jean Harlow and Betty Boop’s animated antics.

Her hypnotic and wildly likable presence make It far better than the story it tells. It’s pretty routine stuff: low class girl falls in love with high-class boy, misunderstanding ensue, and they eventually wind up together. What is quite refreshing about this whole thing is that while her character may have upwardly mobile romantic aspirations, she refuses to compromise her dignity in the process. When her suitor tries to steal a kiss on a date without her consent, she smacks him one yet is clearly overjoyed that he has showed an interest when detailing the night’s events to her girlfriend.

The plot lacks the nuance and finesse of other great comedies of the silent era like anything from Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and Charles Chaplin during the same era, but that doesn’t matter. It’s clear from the first scene that this is a star vehicle through and through. And Clara Bow’s vivacity and tenacity is ageless. Maybe you’ll find yourself thinking that the same thing I did while watching the exuberant It: “My god, THAT is a star!”

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The Deep Blue Sea

Posted : 3 weeks, 1 day ago on 1 April 2014 09:01 (A review of The Deep Blue Sea)

It’s interesting to watch the 2011 version of Terence Rattigan’s play after having recently watched the 1955 one. Anatole Litvak’s version lacked a personal touch and much insight into Hester’s character, but it contains a great performance from Vivien Leigh. It’s compulsively watchable, but makes an odd decision to film such a quiet, intimate story with widescreen and Technicolor panache. Terence Davies made a film that’s equally as great, but also lacking in a few of the same eras. Maybe the problem lies in the material?

Why exactly does Hester throw out her high society marriage to run off with a RAF? The sarcastic answer I want to give is because the RAF is played by Tom Hiddleston, and wouldn’t you runaway with him if you had the chance? But the truth of that matter is never justifiably resolved, nor is the neurosis at the heart of Hester’s character. This film also operates in flashbacks, but they’re not as cleanly presented here. I typically have an aversion to non-linear film-making unless there’s a damn good reason for it. The Deep Blue Sea comes up with a pretty good one: these are Hester’s memories, which she’s trying to sort out, examine, and move on from. So it makes a certain emotional sense to have these memories be a little blurred and jumbled at the beginning before becoming more orderly as time goes on.

Yet it’s in trying to draw a clear reasoning behind Hester’s breakdown that this film slightly stumbles from being sublimely great. It sometimes spells out its themes too grandly, or takes easy shorthand when a quiet moment would have done much better. But perhaps there just isn’t as much to Hester as I originally thought. She seems to be in love with love, wrapped up in the idealism of a hopeless romantic without having to face the realities of making something work. Maybe Davies, clearly a romantic given some of his unnecessarily arty framing of the lovers in the early parts of the film, just couldn’t smooth over the rough patches of the script?

No matter though, just like Leigh before her, Weisz steps up the challenge of trying to make sense of this woman and delivers a finely textured performance. When the writing announces itself too grandly, she uses to delicate features to look like a slowly cracking china doll. This is a role that could easily be given over to hysterics, lots of awards show clip worthy moments of her crying and breaking down while loudly pronouncing the sorrow of her fate, but Weisz is a smart enough actress to know that would not be in service of her character. Maybe modulating her performance to such a low-key is what kept her sidelined in the 2011 Best Actress race? She was definitely deserving of consideration, even if the film makes awkward choices around her central performance.

As for the men in the life, Hiddleston seems an odd choice to play a man who is worried about coming across as intellectually inferior and emotionally unavailable. His high-cheek boned good looks seem right at home as a loquacious wit or a member of the bourgeoisie. No matter, while he doesn’t entirely look the part, he plays it to great strength, nailing scenes of drunken emotional stupor or callously lacking in empathy, yet still giving us glimpses of the passionate man who made Hester throw everything away. And Simon Russell Beale plays the jilted husband with quiet pride and wounded dignity. It’s clear from several scenes that he cannot connect emotionally with others due to the abuse thrown at him by his mother, but that he does truly love Hester, even if that means letting her go. Beale follows Weisz lead and does it all with subtlety and grace.

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JxSxPx posted a review of Hemlock Grove

Hemlock Grove

“I hate to quit novels, movies or television shows that I’ve started. I figured that I’ve chosen to begin this so I must see it through to the very end. But I was tempted to jump ship with Hemlock Grove, multiple times. Towards the end I just put it on in the background and did other stuff while ” read more

2 days, 13 hours ago

Iron Man: Armored Adventures

“Fanboy rages aren’t always justified. Sometimes they’re ugly and sexist (“Gal Gadot is a bad choice for Wonder Woman because she doesn’t have boobs!”), or racist (“Michael B. Jordan can’t be Johnny Storm because that character has always been white!”), but every so often they’re on” read more

2 days, 13 hours ago
Riffraff
 Riffraff 5/10
1 week ago
JxSxPx posted a review of 21 Grams

21 Grams

“There’s a lot to admire in 21 Grams, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro give heart-wrenching performances, the cinematography is gorgeous, the script feels emotionally honest even when it strains credibility with its coincidences, yet I cannot get behind it’s unconventional structure. I’ve said ” read more

1 week, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of American Gigolo

American Gigolo

“American Gigolo is all slick surfaces and neon glossed artificiality. Midway through there’s a murder-mystery thrown in, I don’t really know why, and frankly I don’t care. I think this film is all pretty on the outside, with nothing much going on beneath the surfaces. Of course, what else shou” read more

1 week, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Hustle & Flow

Hustle & Flow

“It owes much to the 70s black underground cinema. The cinema that produced films like Foxy Brown or Shaft, Hustle & Flow is the spiritual child to the Blaxploitation genre. And beyond that, it’s a tale of the liberating power of music, a grassroots story of a man taking every intense feeling he ha” read more

1 week, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Hard Eight

Hard Eight

“I don’t think there’s a single movie from Paul Thomas Anderson that I haven’t enjoyed or admired in some way. Granted, Hard Eight is a bit more formulaic than the more mysterious The Master or freewheeling Boogie Nights, but it does the crime story very well. The piece that makes the entire fi” read more

1 week, 1 day ago
Reckless
 Reckless 5/10
1 week, 3 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Baby Boom

Baby Boom

“Nancy Meyers is a bit of a pain in the ass. I want to respect her because she’s one of the few name brand female writer/director/producer’s in the game, but she creates such odious stories around insular overly privileged women without a person of color or truly feminist thought rolling around i” read more

2 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Woman Times Seven

Woman Times Seven

“I know I watched this, but I can’t really remember much about it. Which is such a shame because it stars Shirley MacLaine, features Peter Sellers, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Rossano Brazzi, and directed by Vittorio de Sica. Yet nothing much about it retains in the memory like de Sica’s other ant” read more

2 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of It

It

““My god, THAT is a star!”

Clara Bow had enough energy to provide electricity to a medium sized city, and, yes, she had “It.” While It had a studio generated publicity campaign to generate a new conversation about what makes or breaks a star, it’s not hard to see why Bow was chose” read more

2 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Deep Blue Sea

The Deep Blue Sea

“It’s interesting to watch the 2011 version of Terence Rattigan’s play after having recently watched the 1955 one. Anatole Litvak’s version lacked a personal touch and much insight into Hester’s character, but it contains a great performance from Vivien Leigh. It’s compulsively watchable, b” read more

3 weeks, 1 day ago

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

“Sometimes a certain piece should just be left as whatever medium it was originally intended to be. Rosencratz & Guildenstern Are Dead is witty and takes a familiar subject matter from an acute angle, but it doesn’t make for a great feature film. It’s so obviously indentured to the stage, so depe” read more

3 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Topsy-Turvy

Topsy-Turvy

“Mike Leigh’s Topsy-Turvy is a film love drunk for musical theater, more specifically, the musical theater of Gilbert & Sullivan. Perhaps a bit too in love with them, since it details in the creation of The Mikado from the beginning to the very end, never once glossing over even the tiniest bits of” read more

3 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Quills

Quills

“Wildly entertaining wouldn’t be the first words that pop into my mind concerning a film about the Marquis de Sade. Disturbed, borderline pornographic, nihilistic, hedonism, and anarchy – these words seem to fit de Sade much better. Yet, here we are with Quills featuring a never better Geoffrey R” read more

3 weeks, 1 day ago
JxSxPx added 2 items to their collection
The Truman Show

have watched

8/10

21 Grams

6/10


3 weeks, 2 days ago
3 weeks, 3 days ago
JxSxPx added 2 items to their collection
Young Mr. Lincoln

have watched

7/10

The Grand Budapest Hotel

10/10


3 weeks, 4 days ago
The Dead
 The Dead 10/10
3 weeks, 5 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Warrior

Warrior

“It’s not the punches and kicks that weigh so hard upon us in Warrior, it’s being stuck in a lose-lose situation in which you’re rooting for both of the characters to succeed and to win the fight, and praying that some outcome will allow for that to happen. Sure, Warrior leans heavily upon clic” read more

3 weeks, 6 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of An American Crime

An American Crime

“Here is a film that started off as something deeply disturbing, a comment on mob-mentality and how when allowed the opportunity to let our darkest impulses run wild we shall we do so with alarming glee, and ends up leaving a distasteful feeling within us for a different reason entirely. Inspired by ” read more

3 weeks, 6 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Ordinary People

Ordinary People

“I still don’t think that Ordinary People deserved a few of its Oscar wins over Raging Bull, but it’s easy to see why this film was so beloved by voters. It’s not as boundary pushing as Scorsese’s character portrait, but it tells a simple, yet devastating, story of a well-to-do family disinte” read more

3 weeks, 6 days ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Shoot Out

Shoot Out

“Sometimes being a big fan of a star means having to suffer through their lesser vehicles. It’s not that Gregory Peck can’t play a bad boy, he did well and had a lot of fun in Duel in the Sun, or that Henry Hathaway can’t make an entertaining movie, 14 Hours and Niagara prove that he can. No, t” read more

4 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots

“While very much based on historical events, and a deeply fascinating story about political/sexual intrigue and power plays, Mary, Queen of Scots frequently dips into a tone of melodramatic soap opera. Historical dramas need a bit more to go along with besides opulent sets, lovely costumes, and veter” read more

4 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of The Naked City

The Naked City

“The Naked City is frequently heralded as a great film noir, but I frankly just don’t see it. It lacks much of moral quagmire that noir traffics in. Here the good guys (the cops) are straight-laced and completely heroic, while are bad guys have no ambiguity or nuance present in them. Film noir was ” read more

4 weeks ago
Baby Boom
 Baby Boom 5/10
4 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Her

Her

“I’m not really sure what to call Her: is it science-fiction? A drama? A romantic comedy? Some strange combination of the three? Her is a film which stares at genre titles and conventions and has a good laugh in their face. Of course, this movie sprung from the mind of Spike Jonze, that strangely s” read more

4 weeks ago
JxSxPx posted a review of Nebraska

Nebraska

“If there’s any genre that I think is difficult to make operate effectively in film, it’s the road movie. “The journey is the destination” mantra that hovers over these films typically reduces us into episodic moments in which the loosely assembled narrative frequently threatens to come undon” read more

4 weeks ago

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Comments

Posted: 5 months, 4 weeks ago at Oct 26 17:23
Posted: 1 year ago at Apr 8 14:36
hi friend check out my new list .
hope you like it and thanks for your
time
http://www.listal.com/list/love-these-posters
Posted: 1 year ago at Mar 30 14:02
This might just sound schize, but thanks for re-writing my "Pocahontas" review-- saves me the trouble of figuring it all out *again* myself, a-hahahaha....
Posted: 1 year, 1 month ago at Mar 18 22:57
Thanks for participating in my lists.
Sorry, but you can't do another top, really sorry.
But thanks.
Posted: 1 year, 1 month ago at Mar 10 18:22
Thanks for taking part in my musicals list!

I also know how you feel, I found it hard to limit my choices down to 10.
Posted: 1 year, 3 months ago at Jan 19 23:47
hey friend check out my new list. hope you like it
http://www.listal.com/list/reflecting-beuty
Posted: 1 year, 4 months ago at Dec 21 16:14
Hello there! I enjoyed your review of Dracula and took myself the freedom to link it to my Universal Horror Films - Best to Worst list. Hope you're fine with that!
Posted: 1 year, 9 months ago at Jul 21 2:52
Thank u 4 your comment on the muses list. Suggestion added.
Posted: 2 years, 2 months ago at Jan 27 21:05
I'm working on a new project. Maybe you can check it out and help me. From which State are you from? and in which State are you living right now?

http://www.listal.com/list/around-usa-listals-members

(I may have asked you this already earlier, in this case, apology for the inconvenience!)
Posted: 2 years, 9 months ago at Jul 16 13:06
I'm working on a new project. Maybe you can check it out and help me. From which State are you from? and in which State are you living right now?

http://www.listal.com/list/around-usa-listals-members
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Nov 18 1:19
O.O Thanks!!
Posted: 5 years, 3 months ago at Jan 12 20:17
cool reviews =]
Posted: 5 years, 5 months ago at Nov 15 17:51
Posted: 5 years, 8 months ago at Aug 12 18:48
Hey man, I see you're pretty new, I'm loving the reviews though! Great job.