Sporadic Scene: Drive (2011) – Elevator Kiss

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I have an indecent obsession with this scene. I know Brian is a huge fan of the fact that a murderer just waited this out, but it is one seriously rewarding moment in cinema for me. For the whole damn movie the relationship between Irene and the Driver is so chaste, so pure and they never step over the boundaries. I loved it, every second of it. The tension drove me wild, and when this kiss finally happened, it was beyond beautiful. Everything about this scene is absolutely perfect, and the way Driver touches Irene so gently and kisses her and her response to him… goosebumps without fail every time. OMG.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a link to the scene and an explanation as to why.

Review: The Notebook (2004)

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“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.”
– Noah

SYNOPSIS: A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences. – via IMDB

So I recently decided to give this movie another squizz, haven’t seen it since it came out pretty much, and I liked it well enough then. So I popped in the soppy romance and got watching, and for the most part, this is a pretty good romance (but seriously, OTT soppy, just putting it out there).

Like, I would love to just come here and be like “Ryan. Gosling.” and leave it at that, but I suppose I can say a few more things about it.

I much preferred watching the scenes between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams than the older couple – they had great chemistry and are just too beautiful to look at. The scenes between an old Allie and Noah are supposed to pack a bigger punch, but for me their scenes just felt a little off, and I am not sure why. They just didn’t flow as well as the scenes from earlier, though the message is still crystal clear.

The romance between Allie and Noah is not at all unheard of, but it is really nice to sit and watch them together. They have so little in common in a lot of ways, yet they work. They bring out the best and the worst in each other, but they love each other passionately, that cannot be denied. Watching Allie’s parents and their treatment of both their daughter and especially Noah makes me mad. So what if he is not rich? I am not saying this as a romantic or anything like that, but happiness really is about more than money (though let’s not even pretend that money can’t help you on the road to some happiness). Classism was definitely an issue in their relationship, but only on the outside. I burned with embarrassment to watch Noah have lunch at Allie’s family and be treated the way that he was, because that lacks class, and yet Allie is accepted with open arms in the “poor” house and not judged. Okay getting off this boat now.

I believe that Ryan Gosling was cast in this because he was relatively unknown (will give them that) and “not handsome”. Seriously, someone should have gotten their freaking eyes checked before they went that route. Dafuq? Most women see eye to eye with me on this one. I also had a good laugh watching this and thinking “pre Photoshop”. Man, Gosling really is gorgeous. But this is not a post all gushing about Gosling. But for the record, we love Gosling.

I am not really a fan of James Marsden (Cyclops, really), but man oh man, he is so good here, and I really liked him and found him to to be super sweet. Allie really did know how to pick them.

Ryan. Gosling. Really, that is all.

For what it is, The Notebook is a decent movie. Soppy as hell, but it’s a pretty decent watch. I definitely feel that my views on the movie have changed a lot more since I watched it when it first came out, when I was a young rugrat starting high school with no real concept of a relationship. The story has stuck with me since then, the main part of it, at any rate. I think this is definitely more in the chick flick category though!

Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

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“All the courage in the world cannot alter fact.”
– Wallace

SYNOPSIS: A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard, who’s been missing for thirty years. – via IMDB

VISUAL FEST. AUDIO FEST. RYAN GOSLING FEST. Okay, now that that is off my chest, I am going to try to form whole, coherent sentences to express how much I loved this. I expected to like it, Villeneuve is super talented, and figured even if the plot fell a bit flat, visually it would still be gorgeous, right? Right, well, I got a story I enjoyed the heck out of and it was visually arresting to boot and Gosling… yes.

Back to trying for the coherent sentences… I loved the way this movie looked. The perfect dystopian future, and the colours used were awesome. The sound, too, is not to be underappreciated here as it was the perfect fit and just blended with everything and worked to build and maintain that heavy atmosphere. Gosling struts around all gorgeous, and delivers a very Drive-esque performance, and I liked it. He’s good at it. It was great to see Harrison Ford return, as it really ties the two movies together strongly.

I see this movie is getting a lot of praise and a lot of flak. Obviously I fall into the former camp. I was engaged throughout, and thought it was a good bit of writing that even people who have not seen the original movie will be able to follow this. The plot takes time to set up and play out, and while some people gripe that this makes the movie too long, I didn’t feel that. I was hooked throughout, watching both the story unfold as well as taking in that world that had been spun for us, simply amazing.

Blade Runner 2049 is carried by some solid performance. Gosling impressed me, as always, and Ford is Ford, which in my opinion works for this. Leto can’t really be overlooked, either, as his Niander Wallace is a right creep, and Robin Wright was fantastic as the hardened Lieutenant Joshi. I am not going to discuss every single character, just know that everyone contributed something to the story. I really enjoyed the story, too, as it was engaging and interesting. Sure, you can poke holes in the story, but I feel that it was presented quite well regardless and it flowed. It made sense to me, and the pacing was just right, so that works for me, personally.

I can wax lyrical about Blade Runner 2049 for quite some time, but I think I am going to wrap it up now. A delectable visual buffet with sounds that will draw you right in and some great performances, Blade Runner 2049 is a prime example of how to do a successful sequel to a classic movie, and is definitely something I am looking forward to seeing again, and not just for science.

Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

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CRAZY STUPID LOVE_COMBO BD (1000250398).indd

“I have loved her even when I hated her… only married couples’ll understand that one…”
– Cal Weaver

SYNOPSIS: A middle-aged husband’s life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars. – via IMDB

You know, the more I watch this movie, the more I enjoy it. I watched this years ago at the behest of Natasha, who knows I cannot really stand rom-coms, but does know what type I can deal with. When she told me to check this out, I figured why not? She won’t just recommend me anything in this genre, so it had to be decent. Plus two, the cast is fantastic. Let me tell you, this movie is great, and I grow constantly more fond of it. It is just so much fun.

I enjoyed that this was not some stupid, soppy, desperate love story. This looked at people who have lives that fall apart – midlife crises that aren’t dealt with, cheating, insecurities, all of it. It explores embracing yourself, letting other people in, dealing with issues head on, so many things. I enjoyed the themes of this movie. And yes, love is an extremely prominent theme, but it does not make you want to retch, so that is a good thing! Crazy, Stupid, Love knows what it is and what it wants to be, and goes with it. It is smart, funny, witty, and sweet, and I appreciated all those things.

Let us not even remotely forget the cast. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are absolutely phenomenal here, and have ridiculously amazing chemistry. Really, I could watch them all day together. This is one of two movies where Steve Carell does not grate on my last nerve, and Julianne Moore is, as always, well worth the watch. Kevin Bacon’s moments were also those of pure entertainment, especially as the movie progresses. What a boring man! Also, everyone worked well together. I particularly appreciated Jacob taking Cal out to begin their main training. Oh boy!

There were plenty awkward moments, plenty funny and plenty sweet, but everything works. This is the kind of romantic movie I can revisit without feeling just plain down ridiculous. There is a lot to like about it, and a movie you can get away with watching with your other half without them wanting to slit their wrists. As you can tell, I quite like this one for a variety of reasons, and I can highly recommend it.

Oooh, oooh, before I go. Women across the globe will thank Hannah for not letting him put his shirt back on after assessing his Photoshopped beauty. For science…

Skip the trailer, just go straight to the movie.

Rapid Review: The Nice Guys (2016)

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the nice guys poster

“I think I’m invincible… I don’t think I can die!”
– Holland March

SYNOPSIS: A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles. – via IMDB

the nice guys gun toss

GRADE 7You know, I went into this with pretty high expectations. Not impossible, but pretty high. You all know I freaking love Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I wasn’t expecting anything on that level, but I was expecting more than I got. The Nice Guys looked and sounded good, I will give it that. The outfits were fantastic and it was shot well, and the movie did pay attention to little details, and I always appreciate the smaller things. It was consistent with that, too. I also really liked the ’70’s vibe here, it was great. But then there were the pitfalls. For one, the little girl irked me. Hell yeah she did. What the heck is up with Shane Black writing in these pesky little kids as huge characters (hem hem Iron Man 3)?! It is so grating. Not because Angourie Rice isn’t a decent young actress, but because I do not want to be watching a movie with private investigators and having them drag some obnoxious little rugrat around. Okay, I will stop there on that. As you can tell that irritated me no end. Moving on from the little girl, the movie isn’t as smart as it would like to be, either, and the humour was not as sharp, and the dialogue was not as witty as I was expecting from someone like Shane Black. The cast was really good though, all things aside. Gosling was on fine form here (though I expected no less, and he can totally handle a comedic role), and Crowe was solid, as always. The two also work wonders with each other, so at least Black’s pairings still work without a hitch. There were scenes that entertained (I thoroughly enjoyed the elevator scene), but I did not have any real laugh out loud moments. Oh well. The Nice Guys is a decent, albeit hollow, watch. Nothing I will be rushing out to see again, that’s for sure, and not something I will be in a hurry to add to my collection. I will give it another shot again sometime. Maybe something changes, but I don’t really think so.

 

Rapid Review: Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

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“You know, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What we call mental illness isn’t always just an illness. It can be a communication; it can be a way to work something out.”
– Dr Dagmar

SYNOPSIS: In this comedy, Lars Lindstrom is an awkwardly shy young man in a small northern town who finally brings home the girl of his dreams to his brother and sister-in-law’s home. The only problem is that she’s not real – she’s a sex doll Lars ordered off the Internet. But sex is not what Lars has in mind, but rather a deep, meaningful relationship. His sister-in-law is worried for him, his brother thinks he’s nuts, but eventually the entire town goes along with his delusion in support of this sweet natured boy that they’ve always loved. – via IMDB

lars and the real girl bianca lars and the real girl look

GRADE 7So I watched  this the other night at a movie night, a movie I have been meaning to get to for ages and just didn’t ever do it. Everyone tells me that Ryan Gosling is amazing in here, and now I can finally say that he was incredibly impressive here. Gosh, he made me cringe! To take an actor like Gosling and get him to look and be like he was in here? I loved it. So damn awkward! He portrayed Lars in a way that you pitied him and also found him so extremely stunted but sweet and silly, all at the same time. Anyway, I liked the story, and feel that they balanced the drama and comedy well. It was never too much of both, and you get drawn into how incredibly nice the people are in Lars’s town. I felt so sorry for him by the end, because he genuinely just turned in on himself. I could totally understand his brother Gus’s frustration with the situation, because it isn’t an easy one, and he himself was carrying quite a bit of guilt for how his brother had turned out. I think the movie did a really good job portraying some psychological issues, both for the affected person as well as how it impacts those around them. Gosling did a wonderful job in genuinely selling to us that he was dating Bianca and that she, the plastic doll, was respected and loved and a real part of his life. That doll provided me with endless laughs, because not only was she creepy, she went from looking like a hooker to a more normal and bland kind of person, and before you even knew what the hell was happening, she was having her hair done, getting baths and changed and she was some religious virgin living with Gus and Karin because Lars had to respect that. I mean wow. I can only think of the medical bills attached to the amount of time that Dr Dagmar had to see both Lars and Bianca. Anyway, the score suited the film, and it was shot quite well. Lars and the Real Girl is quite different and something else, without a doubt. I am glad to say that I have finally seen it, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it my favourite Gosling film. It doesn’t strike me as the kind of film I will be rushing to see again anytime soon, even though it was an entertaining watch.

Sporadic Scene: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) – Family Reunion

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Do not watch this if you have not watched the movie, it is a bit of a spoiler!

This scene is undeniably one of the very best things about Crazy, Stupid, Love. I mean it was wholly unexpected the first time I watched it and geniusly crafted, the family reunion had me in stitches. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, but it was handled with aplomb, and it definitely the standout scene of the movie. If you have not seen this yet, you have got to get to it!

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).

January Blind Spot Review: The Ides of March (2011)

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the ides of march movie poster

“I’ll do or say anything if I believe in it, but I have to believe in the cause.”
– Stephen Meyers

SYNOPSIS: Stephen Meyers is a young idealist who’s brilliant at communications, is second in command of Governor Mike Morris’s presidential campaign, and is a true believer. In the middle of the Ohio primary, the campaign manager of Morris’s opponent asks Meyers to meet; he offers him a job. At the same time, Morris’s negotiations for the endorsement of the man in third place, a North Carolina Senator, hit a snag. A young campaign intern, Molly Stearns, gets Stephen’s romantic attention. Republicans have a trick up their sleeve; Stephen may be too trusting, and Molly has a secret. What’s most important, career, victory, or virtue? – via IMDB

the ides of march

GRADE 8There we go, first movie on my blind spot list checked off. I have been putting this off for years, and not so much intentionally as that I keep forgetting that it needs to be watched, and when I remember, my other half rejects the idea of a political film. So not his thing. So now I had to watch it, and I had to make the time. It was on a list, right? Right. The Ides of March was a smart and engrossing film. That is the first thing that I would like to say. From the opening scene and from thereon out, it demands your attention, and I’ll bet you it will receive it. Ryan Gosling gives another hell of a performance here, though it is something I have come to love about him. He is very talented. It was really great to see how Stephen preps all of Morris’s stuff, and practices and tests it, and how phenomenally different it sounds when you see Clooney step up as Morris and pull it off. Evan Rachel Wood was good again, as was to be expected. I liked the story for this quite a bit, and thought that it was pulled off really well. Philip Seymour Hoffman was at his finest here, and captured the essence of his jaded character perfectly. He exuded the power and control he was supposed to, and owned every second he was on screen. The whole cast was solid, and all contributed really good efforts that are seen throughout the film. I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing, how everything starts gradually and then just snowballs into this huge and out of control situation, with everyone stabbing someone else in the back, and Stephen learning all about how being an idealist is a really difficult thing to be in his line of work. I actually enjoyed the romance between Stephen and Molly, and really wished that the movie had focused on that a little bit more, giving it some more meat. Overall, I think that The Ides of March was a successful political drama all around that I would recommend if this is your scene. It was definitely my cup of tea.

Review: Gangster Squad (2013)

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gangster squad poster

“Go back to Chicago and tell them what you saw tonight. You tell them that Los Angeles belongs to Mickey Cohen.”
– Mickey Cohen

It is 1949 and Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is on a mission to control all the organised crime in Los Angeles. Detective Sergeant John “Sarge” O’Mara (Josh Brolin) of the Los Angeles Police Department ruffles Mickey’s feathers up by saving a young woman from some of Cohen’s thugs. Earning the reputation of ballsy and unafraid, Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) puts O’Mara in charge of waging war against Cohen, any means necessary. O’Mara has special operations training and what not from World War II and would be perfect. O’Mara graciously accepts the offer to take Cohen down using guerrilla warfare tactics, and sets about putting together a task force. Parker makes it clear that the LAPD will be in no which way involved with whatever the outcome of the operation is – they are to operate under total anonymity.

gangster squad mickey cohen

“I’m not angry. This is business.” – Mickey Cohen

Sergeant Jerry Wooters is an immoral detective with the LAPD. His ideals for the task force have long since been thrown out the window. One night at a restaurant he meets Grace Faraday (Emma Stone), and is in love. His childhood friend Jack Whalen (Sullivan Stapleton) warns him to stay away from Grace, she is Cohen’s girl. Whalen is also in with Cohen to some degree, on the other hand he is an informant. Jerry and Grace start up a very hush hush relationship with one another, both keeping it from Cohen. O’Mara and his wife Connie (Mireille Enos) discuss his new task, and she reminds him that she is pregnant and that he has a family to provide for. Thereafter she helps him assemble the team he will use, ones that will most likely not be on Cohen’s payroll. So O’Mara recruits Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), a family man, Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), an anti-herion black cop who is intent on making a difference and sharpshooter Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), who comes part and parcel with his Hispanic partner Navidad “Christmas” Ramirez (Michael Peña). O’Mara fails miserably when trying to bring in Jerry, who is content on doing absolutely nothing at work.

gangster squad love

“Where have you been all my miserable life?” – Grace Faraday

Now that the task force is formed, they start knocking over Cohen’s businesses, starting with an illegal casino. Instead they get busted and locked up, and before anything can happen, their luck takes a turn. Jerry joins the gang when a young kid named Pete (Austin Abrams), who polished shoes, is murdered when Jack Dragna (Jon Polito) is almost assassinated. Embittered, he goes in to murder Cohen, and Whalen stops him just in time. He breaks some of the guys out of prison, and soon the squad starts cracking down like a whip on Cohen’s activities, causing major issues and just becoming a real pain in the gangster’s side. So far the group has remained anonymous, and by a stroke of luck Keeler manages to plant a bug in Cohen’s home, giving the squad an even better insight to the inner workings of Cohen and his people.

the gangster squad

“You lose everything and you win the war – you’re a hero. You lose everything and you lose the war – you’re just a fool.” – Sergeant John O’Mara

Cohen’s organisation is suffering, and he is getting angry. Will he work out that it is a bunch of cops that are bleeding him dry, causing him grief? Will he work out that Grace is in love with another man, one of the men that are causing him untold amounts of trouble? Will Cohen ever get to run Los Angeles completely, as he hopes to, even though he is sustaining serious knocks in business? Will the Gangster Squad bring Mickey Cohen to his criminal knees?

gansger squad planning

“We intercept that dope and he is dead on the water.” – Sergeant John O’Mara

I am going to score this a 6.5/10. I had a hell of a lot of fun with this film. It was serious at parts, and then it was balls-to-the-wall fun at other times. There was humour, there was drama, there was a love story and there was tons of action. This is not a film to take too seriously, and I liked the fact that the movie never tried to be that too much. Some people wanted it to be more, but it is nothing but an entertaining piece of film. It benefited from a really good cast and a decent script, though the dialogue was pretty damn questionable at times, it remained entertaining throughout. I didn’t know what to expect at all from this film when I went in for it seeing as I had tried to keep my knowledge on it at an absolute minimum so that I could have no expectations (I try really hard to do that), and had a colleague strongly recommend this for me, and I must say it was pleasurable. There were flaws, there were mistakes, but overall not enough to detract from the movie (unless you want something very serious and historically very accurate). Emma Stone was simply gorgeous as always, and Brolin, Penn, Patrick, Mackie, Ribisi and Gosling really worked well together, definitely giving you something to smile about. The Gangster Squad itself was endlessly entertaining to watch, too, and I thought this was done rather well, and I enjoyed the costume design. A light film, not the greatest of all time, but perfect to put in for the simpler things in life, not too demanding.

Review: Fracture (2007)

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fracture movie poster

“Unfortunately, the man is a tax-paying citizen and entitled by our constitution to try and manipulate the legal system like everyone else.”
– Judge Pincus

Theodore “Ted” Crawford is a meticulous man, intelligent, rich and a talented aeronautical engineer who has a problem – he knows his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) and police detective Robert Nunally (Billy Burke) are having an affair together, and cannot bear the thought. Confronting her about his love for her and her infidelities, Jennifer doesn’t even attempt to deny the accusation, and Crawford shoots her. Police respond almost immediately, though Crawford has been doing some clean-up of the crime scene. Nunally arrives at the scene and freaks out. He assaults Crawford, who confesses to having shot his wife, who is not dead. Attempted murder charges are brought against him.

fracture crawford and his wife

“I love you. Does he?” – Ted Crawford

William “Willy” Beachum is an excellent deputy district attorney who is moving over to private practice. He is known to be incredibly good at closing cases and getting convictions. Beachum gets raked into the Crawford affair, which he considers to be a slam-dunk seeing as the gun was recovered at the scene and they have a confession from Crawford, not forced. The gun that was recovered at the house, however, has never been fired and does not match the shell casings at the scene. Beachum is not worried, he still has the confession. Beachum is overly involved with his move from criminal law to corporate law, joining with Wooton & Simms that he does not put his everything into the case, though at the behest of Crawford liking him, he decides that he will make the Crawford case his last as DDA. His new boss and new lover Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike) is not impressed with Beachum still being caught up with the Crawford case, but leaves him be.

fracture crawford and beachum in prison

“I’m not going to play any games with you.” – Willy Beachum

Crawford is representing himself, and is silent the whole way through trial. Beachum’s ego is boosting, this is too simple a case for his talents. However, trouble in paradise starts when Beachum puts Nunally on the stand and Crawford objects on the grounds that his wife was having an affair with the witness, who also happened to be the arresting officer as well as in interrogation with Crawford when the confession was done. Beachum is furious – his whole case has just fallen to pieces. His witness was dishonest, and a whole new light has been shed. Judge Robinson (Fiona Shaw) has given him the long weekend to come up with new evidence, otherwise she will grant Crawford his motion of having the case thrown out. Nunally is desperate when the gun still fails to turn up, and calls in favours to plant falsified evidence. Beachum is desperate to have Crawford convicted, whom he knows shot his wife but can no longer prove it. He toys with the idea of falsifying evidence, but it is against his moral code. Deciding against it, Crawford is acquitted. Nunally commits suicide outside of the courtroom.

fracture crawford and beachum

“Knowledge is pain.” – Ted Crawford

Wooton & Simms have definitely cooled their attitude towards Beachum, and his promising career there has been thrown away. The state does not want him either, though he knows that somehow he needs to get Crawford convicted, which is seemingly impossible. The case is closed and cannot be appealed. Beachum’s career is in a shambles, and the knowledge that Crawford is guilty is wrecking him. What lengths will Beachum go to in order to prove his point? What will Beachum do to bring Crawford to his knees? What will Crawford do now that he is a free man? The case has gotten personal for Beachum, and he is prepared to go to any lengths to make things right in the world, though he has not an inkling how.

A 7/10 for Fracture. This was a decent movie, though by no great length a fantastic one. It was well put together, and the story was pretty good, though at times there was too much lull and it was your typically average psychological thriller. Anthony Hopkins delivered another flawless performance, and again I had to wonder what his obsession with “Williams” is all about. Hopkins again nails that role of smart, deranged and having utterly way too much fun despite his circumstances, he gives another look at a crazy man. At the same time it is very simple to understand why he would have done the things that he did, though you still no that it is wrong how he went about doing what he did. Ryan Gosling was decent in this, though it definitely wasn’t one of his stronger roles, to be honest. Something just fell short with him in this one (maybe it had to do with his character permanently looking stoned in this). The plot was alright, and Hopkins was classic to watch bring Ted to life, and the games that he so ruthlessly plays with William Beachum. There were a few holes, and a few places where the scenes simply fell flat, but overall the film is fine to watch to pass time with or between other movies. The character development was predictable and easy to follow, so nothing new was brought to the table there. There was some humour in it, but not an abundance, just enough. The relationship that sprang up between Nikki and Beachum was absurd, there was no build up to it and there was nothing that made it feel like it was special or important. It just seemed rushed.