Review: The Accountant (2016)

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“Aggression, correctly channeled, overcomes a lot of flaws. Tapping into that aggression requires peeling back several layers of yourself.”
– Young Chris’s Father

SYNOPSIS: As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise. – via IMDB

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GRADE 6Well, to be honest, I was hoping for a little more from this movie, and was left a little disappointed. It isn’t a bad movie, not at all, it’s just a really flat movie that never went for the potential that it had.

The Accountant is shot really well, and for the most part the performances are pretty good, too. It also has a really interesting premise – an autistic man who is a math genius, extremely trained, an assassin, and an accountant? Yes, I liked where this was going. Sadly, that was about as exciting as it got. The fight scenes were choreographed well and so much fun to watch – they were gritty, great hand to hand combat and hardcore gun fights, so definitely cool. Christian Wolff was quite an interesting character, too. Heck, there was even some entertaining awkward humour sprinkled throughout this, which I appreciated.

All that being said, there are some issues. For one, the story was pretty weak, and the plot twists were rather obvious. Especially the “very big one”. Also, Affleck didn’t have me convinced more than half the time in his role, which was rather annoying. Bernthal was great to watch though, but pretty much played what he always plays. This is not a bad thing, he’s excellent like that. Kendrick, too, played the awkward character I have come to expect from her. J.K Simmons was good, too, but Cynthia Addai-Robinson didn’t impress me at all.

The movie played it really safe, instead of going for glory, which is why it is a decent movie, but ultimately rather flat and totally forgettable. Messy, flawed, but nevertheless a decent action-thriller flick.

Rapid Review: Good Will Hunting (1997)

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“You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself.”
– Sean Maguire

SYNOPSIS: A janitor at MIT, Will Hunting has a gift for math and chemistry that can take him light-years beyond his blue-collar roots, but he doesn’t realize his potential and can’t even imagine leaving his childhood Boston South End neighborhood, his construction job, or his best friend. To complicate matters, several strangers enter the equation: a brilliant math professor who discovers, even envies, Will’s gifts, an empathetic shrink who identifies with Will’s blue-collar roots, and a beautiful, gifted pre-med student who shows him, for the first time in his life, the possibility of love. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8.5This movie is one of those movies that is just really good, whether you are in the boat of it being overrated or not. Either way, it’s a good one. I adore Matt Damon and will watch him in anything (hence I made it through Elysium), and I think he is immensely talented. That was showcased once again in Good Will Hunting. The movie is one of those films that makes you laugh a lot, feel for the characters, and touches on some things that make you think (pretty much anything Sean Maguire said in this movie was something to think about). I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how insanely smart Will was, dissing college students yet being a janitor who is actually just too scared to reach further in his life. The humour in this movie is sharp, and gets me laughing every time, and Casey Affleck’s character was just adorable (what a chop). The story is really good, and moves along at a respectable pace, never getting boring, never getting so intricate that you lost what was going on. Robin Williams was something else in here, and I loved his character. This is one of my favourite roles of his. Sean Maguire was depressed, so flat, and yet he had so much knowledge to share, and was an integral part of Will realising there was nothing that he couldn’t do. He and Damon worked wonders together. The story is sweet and inspiring and has aged pretty well. I think Ben Affleck and Damon are very good writers, no matter how you feel about it. Minnie Driver is someone you don’t see in many films anymore, but she embodied Skylar very well, and I thought that Stellan Skarsgård’s Lambeau was a fantastic character to put Will’s gifts into perspective with, though I do feel his character was not used as consistently or as effectively as he could have been. Good Will Hunting is shot well and is engaging, and it just so worth the watch.

Rapid Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007)

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“Kids forgive, they don’t judge, they turn the other cheek, and what do they get for it?”
 – Detective Remy Bressant

SYNOPSIS: Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl’s kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7I recall enjoying this movie quite a bit when it came out a few years ago, and then I read the book by Dennis Lehane and I freaking loved that, though it certainly wasn’t an easy read at all. Naturally I stumbled across this movie and thought now would be a good time to watch it again, and let me tell you, it lost a lot of the magic for me. Not because it wasn’t done well or anything, it just missed a lot of the things that made the book so great. Ben Affleck did a damn fine job directing this, and I think he has some real talent as a director. Casey Aflleck was very good here, though not quite what I pictured Patrick Kenzie to be. While I find that Michelle Monaghan is one of the most beautiful women ever, I honestly think she was a terrible Angie. Why? Angie is this sexy, loud, in-your-face, smart-as-a-whip cussing part-Italian with ties to the Boston mob… and Monaghan was just a little too timid, quiet and mousy for me, which really sucked. Also, Bressant and Poole were underplayed, and I felt the story was far too rushed, skipping out completely on the things that actually gave you chills, and didn’t spend time building on anything. For instance, there is the scene in the bar where it was implied that Angie and Patrick were going to get attacked and Angie raped, and that scene carried no power and no weight. I blame the writers for this, because the movie also had a ridiculously short runtime for what it needed to tell, and so a lot was cut out and discarded along the way, which is a pity. Don’t get me wrong, I know this sounds like I hated it, this is just a typical case of the book is better, infinitely so. The film is entertaining, though it certainly falls short, but it is worth a watch, if for nothing else other than seeing Ben Affleck’s impressive skills as a director.

Rapid Review: Gone Girl (2014)

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“I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain.”
– Nick Dunne

SYNOPSIS: On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? – via IMDB

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GRADE 8Finally, I got to see this. Goodness knows that I have waited an age for it, and I was really interested to see what David Fincher could do with it, if he still has the super spark, and if I would at least have been correct for backing the casting decision of Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne and Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne. I would just like to state here that I was, indeed, correct in having faith. Seeing as I have read the book, I was interested to hear what my other half would think of this, who had no idea what it was about or what the plot twist was. I think Fincher did a wonderful job of portraying Nick in the first half of the movie as a man we don’t quite understand but then grow to dislike, intensely, like the media does. My other half was pretty vocal on what he thought about Nick. However, the twist came as no surprise for him – actually he had worked that out less than thirty minutes in. I thought the camera work was amazing, and the dreary, washed out look suited this movie down to a tee. It is sort of what you feel when you read the book – it’s a thing with Flynn. It’s like she is incapable of writing about a single likable character. That shows here, but ultimately, as much a tool as Nick is, he is the one you identify with the most. The casting choices for this were great, everyone worked wonders with their material. Rosamund Pike did some exceptionally good work as Amy, but (sorry world) I just don’t get the hype. She delivered all the goods, trust me, but… I don’t know. I think the whole movie was blown out of proportion. Then I remember everyone freaking about Neil Patrick Harris’s dong making an appearance. Seriously people, it was so brief I probably would have missed it aside from the fact that everyone had something to say about it. I think that the scene with Pike and NPH there was quite… brilliantly executed. Something like that rarely works and comes across as tacky, but in here it was so much more than that. I don’t actually want to say too much because I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but I must say that this is well worth the watch, truly. Gone Girl was a really good adaption and there was a lot to like about it. It looked good, it was paced pretty well, and had a solid cast to carry it, it shows that Fincher definitely still has the goods.