Thursday, May 8, 2014

(Rental Review) American Hustle (2013)

I'm starting to think that I have no taste. Seriously. I'm really starting to think that I consider my taste in movies to be pretty good but in reality it is garbage. Why, because this is another movie that was nominated for Best Picture and one that I liked, but I didn't love. I know, I know... "Look at the cast. Look at the costumes. Look at the acting. Look at the writing. Are you BLIND you fool?" is what they will shout from the rooftops at me. So what? I don't care. Because while I DID think that the writing was good and I DID think that the acting was good I really didn't think that the movie was all that it was cracked up to be. 

Storyline:  Brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Bale), along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Adams), is forced to work for a wild FBI agent named Richie DiMaso (Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey power-brokers and mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. But it's Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Lawrence) who could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. - 

I will give all of the actors involved with this movie credit for playing their parts wonderfully. Bale, Adam and Cooper, are all great. I'm not a super huge fan of any of the three, but they are all really strong in this movie. Lawrence, for me, steals the show. I'm so glad that she is having such a great career, because she is truly one of those rare actresses that can play anything and make it feel like each part was made for her and her alone. Seriously, they were all great. 

One thing I continue to fail at grasping is why Jermey Renner continues to get parts in such great films. He's just not that strong of an actor (in my humble opinion). Not only is he not that strong, but he, as a person, seems to be really unlikable in almost every interview I have seen him in. People like Bruce Willis, who has been making movies for 30 years, can get away with that type of attitude. Someone who's career has only really reached the "big leagues" since 2008's Hurt Locker. So it miiiight be a little premature to become an insufferable jerk. 

(Rental Review) The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

It's been a long time since I have actually updated anything on here. To be honest, my times has been pretty much consumed by work and my new little one, so I don't get to see as many movies as I once did and I really don't have time to write anything about most of the ones that I do see. But I had a few minutes to spare and wanted to do a few small reviews of the some of the movies that I have watched recently.

I understand the reason for the Academy doing everything they can to justify giving Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar, but I REALLY didn't see how THIS movie (above many other movies out in 2013) was in contest for Best Picture. Sure, the movie was good. It even had a good message and it showed, in a palatable way, the underbelly and corruption that runs Wall Street. But Best Picture? Come on! There is no way that this should have even been nominated.

Storyline: This is the true story of the outlandish rise and non-stop pleasure-hunting descent of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), the New York stockbroker who, along with his merry band of brokers, makes a gargantuan fortune by defrauding investors out of millions. Belfort transforms from a righteous young Wall Street newcomer to a thoroughly corrupted stock-pumper and IPO cowboy. Having quickly amassed an absurd fortune, Jordan pumps it back into an endless array of aphrodisiacs: women, Quaaludes, coke, cars, his supermodel wife and a legendary life of aspiration and acquisition without limits. But even as Belfort's company, Stratton Oakmont, soars sky-high into extremes of hedonistic gratification, the SEC and the FBI are zeroing in on his empire of excess.  -

As I said, the movie is a fine movie, and Leo actually deserves the Oscar Nomination for Best Actor, but this is a far far cry from being Best Picture worthy. If you watch it, I'm sure most of you already have, you will enjoy it. But you won't walk away from it thinking "Jeez. 12 Years a Slave robbed them" or "Mcconaughey didn't deserve the Oscar for Best Actor". Still, it's enjoyable.