Parties, cars, and careless people
Let’s start with the pros. When I first saw trailers last year, I was offended by the choice of music. Yet, to my surprise, the music’s unexpectedness blends well with director Baz Luhrmann’s fantastical take on the story. In the elaborate party scenes, the hip-hop music by Jay-Z matches the craze, while also giving it a dimension of modernity. In another scene, a jazzy rendition of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” undoubtedly entertained the younger audience members. The best parts of the soundtrack, however, are the mash-ups of old and new. Motifs from Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” are used a few times in the film, and once it is blended with Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” The soundtrack strategically pulls in the younger audience while tying in the classics for more seasoned moviegoers.
Coming of age by the Mississippi River
Mud is a reminder of how movies have the potential to be more than just entertainment. With a setting that is foreign to most, director Jeff Nichols tells the typical loss of innocence story through a new lens. By making Ellis (Tye Sheridan) the observer who eventually enters the world he observes, the audience is able to make the transition with him and live his adventure.
Seeking freedom from reality
This is not the movie you expect it to be. You will see a more-than-adequate amount of scantily clad coeds and parties where someone ends up with a raw chicken on their head, but you will also experience discomfort at the sheer strangeness of the film and the message it thrusts in your face by constant voiceover repetition. The plot is simple enough: four girls rob a diner to afford a spring break trip, and people die (insert meme).
From Africa to MIT
Arthur Musah ’04, MEng ’05, who graduated from MIT in Course 6, left Ghana to come to the Institute in order to pursue a world-class education and engage in the global conversation. Like Musah, five students — Fidelis Chimombe, Mosa Issachar, Sante Nyambo, Billy Ndengeyingoma, and Philip Abel — left their respective home countries of Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Nigeria, and One Day I Too Go Fly aims to chronicle their four years at the Institute and how their identities are molded by their experiences.
Six stories, three directors, one Cloud Atlas
Once in a while, a film transcends its medium and stands alone as a work of art. Cloud Atlas is such a masterpiece. Of course there are details that can be critiqued, but it is useless to scrutinize these details because they are insignificant in comparison to the important message the film relays.
Closing the loop
Despite the fact that Looper’s entire premise is time travel, it’s not your typical sci-fi film. It is hard to give a summary of the film without unraveling the plot, which speaks to how intricate the storyline is. Without giving too much away, the film centers on Joe (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who is meant to kill his future self (played by Bruce Willis). Little does he know that his future self has a plan of his own to both stay alive and prevent future events.
Return of the superheroes
The slew of Marvel superhero movies in recent years has culminated with Joss Whedon’s multimillion dollar brainchild, The Avengers. Each Marvel installment had a pleasant dosage of witty lines and heroic bravado, but when all of these characters come together, there is a little too much of everything. Still, the special effects, comical dialogue, and some stellar acting make the movie worth both the money and the time.
Have kids, not a relationship
With a mini-reunion of the cast of Bridesmaids, Friends with Kids had some high standards to live up to. Friends with Kids did succeed in telling the same old love story in a new way, but it did not compare in the comedy department. Still, the movie offers a cute and unique story, and the low budget makes the end result all the more charming.
Dysfunction, beautifully crafted
Based on American poet Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Being Flynn is everything a literary film should be, and director Paul Weitz executes it in a way that makes what is seen on-screen as fluid as reading a book. The movie follows the lives of a father and his son who are both struggling writers. The father, Jonathan Flynn (Robert De Niro), had left his family early in his son’s life, and they don’t meet again until Jonathan loses control of his life and becomes homeless. The sudden presence of his father in his life makes Nick (Paul Dano) question everything he has become, and we are shown how his relationship with his father molds every aspect of his life. Although the film is essentially a coming-of-age story, it unfolds so that we can profoundly understand the process. At first glance, the plot seems banal and sophomoric, but this is pleasantly not the case.
The year in film
With its atypical plot and talented cast, Win Win will win you over with a heartfelt story about being a loser. The movie revolves around an ever-so-average father, Mike (Paul Giamatti), who is struggling to make ends meet for his family, and Kyle, a troubled teenager (Alex Shaffer) whose unexpected agility and strength help rescue Mike’s high school wrestling team. If life’s got you down, this movie is a perfect remedy. As its tagline says, “in the game of life, you can’t lose ‘em all.”
Battle, minus the blood
As married couples grow older, they gradually adopt a mindset that pits them against the world and makes them believe that everyone is out to get them. Families grow into units that each have their own ideals and ways of dealing with different situations, and this makes conflict amongst families inevitable. In Roman Polanski’s new film Carnage, this truth is put on display for viewers to evaluate and ridicule.
Well, I guess this is it
Let me start out by saying that the trailer for The Descendants essentially reveals the entire plot, so either don’t watch the trailer or don’t expect much at the theatre. The premise of The Descendants is refreshingly creative: a mother, Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie), who has fallen into a coma because of an accident leaves behind a husband, Matthew (George Clooney), who is in charge of a large amount of land; a daughter, Alex (Shailene Woodley), who knows about the mother’s affair with another man; and another daughter, Scottie (Amara Miller), who imitates every rebellious act of her older sister starting with very obscene language. Despite the original plotline, however, I ended up leaving the theater rather peeved.
MOVIE REVIEW Hey, does this haircut make me look like Voldemort?
50/50 is ultimately a film about friendship through hardship. When Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) learns that he has a malignant tumor, his friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) and new girlfriend Katie (Anna Kendrick) try their best to help Adam deal with his emotional and physical pain. Unfortunately, Kyle isn’t the most eloquent character, and only has his mind on gettin’ some. Screenwriter Will Reiser depicts this story brilliantly — a story based on his own experience with cancer and his friendship with Seth Rogen.