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: Whiplash (2014)

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“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job”.”
– Terence Fletcher

SYNOPSIS: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8.5Whoa, what an intense watch! I mean I know that the film garnered a lot of love and admiration since the release, and people have waxed lyrical about JK Simmons and the film and all that, but after finally having caught Whiplash, I get it. Whiplash is such a heavy watch, starting off innocently enough and then rocketing on to big and crazy things. Miles Teller was very good in here, and I enjoyed him, but JK Simmons is undeniably the star here. It was so interesting to watch the way that Andrew changes after he comes into contact with Fletcher, and it isn’t a small one, either, though it is gradual. I do enjoy the way this movie looks at pushing an individual to achieve more. Not everyone responds to positive reinforcement, but where are the boundaries when pushing someone? When is it too far? Whiplash explores this, and the bizarre relationship between Andrew and Fletcher will get you thinking. On one hand, you understand certain things that Fletcher does, and how he manages to get people to push themselves to achieve the very best they can, and on the other hand, Fletcher is a total toolbag that needs to be brought into line. Teller worked well, and I admire the dedication he put into the role, to up his drumming capabilities, etc. He played his part, and his splintering personality and change of attitude is mesmerizing to watch. As for Simmons? He owned the screen all the time, and when he was up there he did not fail to fascinate you and repulse you in equal measure. The film was visually stunning, and I loved the sound and the way the film was shot. It looked great. Also, the supporting characters are not really important in this movie, Whiplash is all about Andrew and Fletcher, and that is perfectly alright, seeing as it makes for a dramatic study on right, wrong, motivation, dedication, and change. Whiplash really could have gone a whole different, bland way, but the performances from Teller and Simmons, as well as the execution of the film, make it something commanding, domineering, riveting and thought-provoking. Damien Chazelle knew exactly what to do with the film to make it riveting and powerful, something that lingers for quite a while after viewing. I really loved the visuals in this, especially watching the drumming, the blood flying, the sticks, the concentration… that is without even hearing anything. It comes together very well, and I definitely enjoyed it!