The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) REVIEW

Grand BudapestWell, it’s no secret anymore that Wes Anderson is one of the most profound yet anticipated directors of modern day cinema. It’s taken awhile for people to become comfortable with his eccentric style, and perhaps even it’s taken awhile for Anderson to fall comfortably into a niche that he can embody as his own. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a classic example of this, as its upward gross of 46 million dollars has already made it one of the highest grossing Anderson movies, and is expected to take over Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom to become the number one grossing movie in Anderson’s filmography. Although film buffs all over have recognized the unique talent that lies in Anderson’s work since the Bottle Rocket days, it’s taken until just recently for the “common movie goer” to appreciate this talent. The Grand Budapest Hotel is indeed quite grand. It features an eccentric yet mannerly concierge as the focus of the story, many detailed dollhouse sets, every sort of color you can possibly imagine, and Anderson even chose to film the majority of the movie in 1.375:1 ratio instead of widescreen. It is no doubt very Wes Anderson-y, and as of yesterday with its wide release, people all over the country are flocking to cinemas to see it. Continue reading

Divergent (2014) REVIEW

DivergentDivergent is the next big thing when it comes to action/adventure Sci-Fi’s about a dystopian future featuring a teenage heroine. The Hunger Games trilogy seems to have set the precedent for these types of movies but could the Divergent series possibly overcome them? Simply put, in my opinion the answer is no. Divergent is entertaining and will most likely keep your attention for its entirety. It’s got some pretty good young talent, with Shailene Woodley leading the pack, and more experienced talent like Kate Winslet who plays the antagonistic “evil leader”. It’ll definitely rack in lots of dollars from fans of the book and the younger crowd in general. However, Divergent’s story seemed to be teetering on the edge of predictability and monotonicity since it seemed very reminiscent of every other movie in this genre and simply did not contain any elements that stood out beyond what Hunger Games has already done.

Continue reading

Need for Speed (2014) REVIEW

Need for Speed

Need for Speed will satisfy any car junkie if they’re looking for a film that can provide some awesome automobile eye candy along with lots of fast paced racing scenes that’ll make the whole car racing genre proud. However, if you’re looking for a plot with substance or dynamic characters then this one probably won’t deliver. It’s not unbearable, though. The story is totally outrageous, the dialogue is the very definition of corny, and the characters so one dimensional and seemingly ignorant to a reality outside of street racing  that you begin to wonder if any of these people have any sort of moral compass at all. However, this movie seems to be the definition of something being so bad that it’s good because despite all of its flaws, Need for Speed makes for a pretty fun ride as long as you’re willing to forgive it’s clichés and character tropes for the time being. Continue reading

Powerful trailer for Michael D. Gough’s ‘Add the Words’ Documentary

Hey, guys! Let me give you all a little background on the issue behind this upcoming documentary because it is one that is deeply personal to me. As some of you may or may not know, I reside in the wonderful Boise, Idaho. For the past 8 years (8 YEARSSSS, GUYS) the Add the Words movement has been trying to get legislation passed that would add gay and transgender people into the Idaho Human Rights Act, therefore adding gay and transgender people to the list of people who are “protected” from discrimination under the law. Well this past legislation session has been the most heated since the movement got started, with peaceful protests being held consistently and hundreds of gay rights supporters being arrested over the last few months. I’m so glad that Gough (Hell Bent for Victory and Dying Famous) recognized that this is a story that needs to be told. This issue needs widespread attention so if you guys feel so inclined, please share this trailer! Idaho is crazy right now, guys. The majority of the population agrees with this movement but the legislators aren’t hearing any of it. The nation needs to see this.

Non-Stop (2014) REVIEW

NonStop

At first glance, Non-Stop seems to be just another Liam Neeson centric action thriller that is trying to reprise the surprise success that Taken had back in 2008. Nothing special here, move along. But wait…it’s actually pretty thrilling? AND keeps you guessing the bad guy until the very last second? I was surprised too, folks. It seems to be the pretty generic story of “Cop with a troubled past that has to redeem himself by becoming a hero”. But what results is a seat-gripping thriller/mystery that, if you try to suspend your disbelief until after the credits start rolling, will take you for an intense ride that will keep you thoroughly entertained the whole time. Continue reading

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) REVIEW

blue is the warmest color

Blue is the Warmest Color isn’t a movie about a young same-sex relationship. Well, it is…but it’s more than that. It’s a film about being young and throwing yourself into love with everything you have. Shadowed by all kinds of controversy, it’s a film that hasn’t been easy to get a hold of. From its NC-17 rating here in the States to the questionable filming ethics of director Abdellatif Kechiche, the movie has had its fair share of dissension among audiences. When watching the movie, however, it’s best to completely forget about all that and enjoy this movie for the amazing piece of work that it is. If you can get past the 3 hour run time and the numerous lengthy sex scenes, which I suggest that you do, this is a poignant film about something most of us are all familiar with; what it’s like to be young and in love. Continue reading

Film Muse’s Top 10 Moments of the Oscars 2014

Last night the Oscars proved to be very entertaining and a good night for many people. I can’t say any of the Academy’s choices threw me off (I got 13 out of my 15 predictions correct). But I was glad that there seemed to be a semi-equal spread of movies getting the awards, despite Gravity being the obvious leader in wins with 7 Oscars by the end of the night. 12 Years A Slave was the one to take home the big one as Best Picture and deservedly so. It was between them and Gravity but I’m glad the Academy went with Solomon Northup’s incredible biopic. There weren’t really any surprises with the actor’s categories with Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett, and Matthew McConaughey all taking home their own golden statues. A lot of people are upset that Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t get the Best Actor award, therefore keeping the ongoing joke of “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” going.  But honestly, McConaughey’s performance was the most solid and deserving out of the rest of the nominees. Heck, he’s deserving of it just out of the pure fact that he was able to completely turn his career around and become one of the best actors in the industry today (coined by many as the “McConaissance”). Continue reading

Captain Phillips (2013) REVIEW

Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips is the riveting biopic of Captain Richard Phillips and his crew during the 2009 hijacking of the American ship, Maersk Alabama, by Somalian pirates. It is a thriller designed to have you gripping the edge of your seat pretty much the whole time and for all of its 134 minutes I felt like I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen. With lots of argument happening over the snub of director Paul Greengrass and lead actor Tom Hanks by the Academy, I can finally understand why. This is one of the best, if not the best, I have ever seen Tom Hanks. The legendary actor shows a tremendous amount of range throughout the film, especially in the last 15 minutes or so. Greengrass, although I’m not too familiar with his other works, demonstrates expert skill in directing this heroic tale without making it feel over-the-top in any way and falling into the usual tropes of an action/thriller movie of this kind. Continue reading

Oscars 2014 Predictions and Winners

Predictions

The 86th Annual Academy Awards are this Sunday! As a self-proclaimed cinephile, I am wholly excited. The ceremony should prove to be very entertaining since 2013 was a great year for movies and, of course, the one and only Ellen is hosting! Here are my predictions for who will be taking home the little golden man come Sunday night. I left out a few categories based on whether or not I felt I could accurately predict the winner a.k.a the categories with the movies I didn’t get around to seeing. This post will be updated to include winners as well. Continue reading

Philomena (2013) REVIEW

Philomena

Philomena is a real woman’s story of her 50 year long journey to find the son that got snatched away from her as a young woman. It’s also a contender for many Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actress for Judi Dench.  I’ve heard lots of good things about it and even the owner of my local arthouse has been raving about it so I thought I’d give it a chance despite hearing a small summary of the film and not being too interested. Steve Coogan and Dench form an unlikely but charming duo and deliver some great performances. The story is fascinating in itself, but my attitude towards the film is a little indifferent. If the film were released pre-Oscar season than I’m not sure it would have gotten the same attention it has now. It had some great acting and good writing but overall the film seems to lack the emotional punch that it potentially could have had. Continue reading