j_e_bryant

IMDb member since May 2000
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    IMDb Member
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Reviews

Hostiles
(2017)

Slow burn movie with great acting and good character arcs ...
This movie won't be for everyone. It's dark, fairly "slow" paced, and at times brutal. But at it's core, this movie is about forgiveness -- and for me, it rang true and was emotionally impactful. Christian Bale is in top form here, and his performance as well as the rest of the cast is great. It's beautifully shot and the score is haunting and harrowing. Well directed and worth watching -- just don't expect this to be a fast paced thrilling Western. It's not heavy on plot -- it's more thematic.

Brooklyn
(2015)

Kind of a perfect small movie....
Thank you, a John Crowley for bringing this film to life. There's only a small number of filmmakers who have enough clout to make a non star driven, period piece film in this day in age of comic fanfare. And this hits the mark. It's simple and beautiful, and feels so amazing the tic and genuine. I've watched it six times now ..... And it has a magic quality that really makes me love this film in a way that made me fall in love with films so long ago.

Terrific performances throughout. Beautiful production design. Great story telling. Just refreshing to see talented filmmakers and actresses/actors working with good and well crafted scripts. And, again, Crowley, the Captain, thank you. I will pay to see whatever you come out with next.

Larry Kramer in Love and Anger
(2015)

Great Doc
Larry Kramer, a powerful, outspoken fighter. Unafraid to speak up and speak out ... And utterly watchable and captivating. Really wasn't expecting much from this doc, but was pleasantly surprised. A great and comprehensive history of AIDS activists in NYC in the late 70s and early 80s and beyond.

Well made. Well shot. Fantastic archival footage. Obviously the product of passion and heart and good fundamental storytelling. But make no mistake -- Larry Kramer is the heart and soul of this doc .... And this doc has plenty of it.

Watched it on HBO. Recommended.

Colombiana
(2011)

Some good and some bad...
The storyline was pretty straightforward and fun/easy to follow. But there were a lot of moments that were poorly handled. Some of the action sequences -- particularly the fight with the main bad guy at the end -- were terribly shot and edited. It was like a defective, amateurish version of what Greengrass does in the Bourne Supremacy.

Lots of lapses in logic ... Blah, blah, blah.

Feel like the director was more concerned with style over substance, and that shows up on the screen. If The Professional is a ten, this movie is a four or five ...

Movie has good production value, and the acting is pretty good when the character's motivations aren't handled in a ham fisted way. Editing is inconsistent and draws a lot of attention to itself in certain sequences in a negative way -- particularly the opening chase scene and the ending fight scene.

The Help
(2011)

Great story and fine performances . . .
Emma Stone and Viola Davis both deliver great performances (as well as the rest of the cast). The story is well crafted and the characters all feel authentic -- even the racist antagonists feel genuine -- and they could easily be caricatures.

Jessica Chastain is really special in this movie. I'd seen her in Take Shelter, and she is such a different character in this movie. She really does have fantastic range and she creates a memorable character. Kudos to her.

The movie is slick and well shot. And there was a nice balance -- all the white people weren't "bad" . . . and all the black people weren't "good." There was obviously a lot of attention to detail -- and in a story like this it'd be easy to fall into clich├ęs and melodramatic moments -- kudos to the writer/director for mitigating much of this.

Auschwitz: The Nazis & the 'Final Solution'
(2005)

Comprehensive . . . almost exhaustive study of Auschwitz and the Nazi death camps ...
Not for the feint of heart . . . it's such a sad chapter in human history. But this 6 disc series definitely is thorough and comprehensive.

Highly recommended for those who want to know all the ins and outs of Auschwitz. From its inception to its ultimate destruction . . . and how the Nazis created efficient murder factories.

Not only does it interview survivors, but also some of the SS guards. There are first hand accounts of seemingly every aspect of this concentration camp. Well made and worth watching . . .

There's a little recap at the end of each Disc where a moderator discusses some issues with various academic types -- and it didn't really add too much to the series as a whole. Seems like a good educational tool for high school students, etc.

Brothers
(2009)

Movie is MUCH BETTER and DIFFERENT than the Marketing.
I remembered seeing the trailers for this movie and thinking it was going to be a love triangle storyline and I've seen that sort of thing a million times over. I just wasn't interested in seeing this movie. But, this was the movie my wife wanted to see . . . so I sat down and figured I'd at least give it 15 minutes.

First off, I was surprised it was a Jim Sheridan film -- this guy is a great director. That gave me hope. I kept on feeling like this was going to be a "Pearl Harbor" plot . . . and I just wasn't interested - but it wasn't until nearly 80 minutes into the movie that I realized that I had been duped -- the marketing of this movie really IS MISLEADING AND not a good fit for the film . . .

Anyway, I don't want to give anything away. It's a well done flick. Gyllenhal is great. Portman is strong. Tobey is kind of weird at the beginning -- some strange choices -- but he's terrifically strong in the final act of the film.

Recommended.

Genesis and Catastrophe
(2000)

Incredibly well done short film ...
Saw this years ago at the Austin Film Festival and never forgot it. It was amazingly well crafted film. With a great, knock-your-socks off ending.

The photography in this film is so gritty and real . . . the direction/acting is superb. Could have very easily turned out to be something very cheesy. But, it's handled deftly. If you ever get a chance to see this film, I'd recommend it highly.

I don't really have much more to say about the picture. After all it is a short film. But, IMDb requires a minimum of 10 lines in the commentary for some reason, which is really annoying, so at this point I'm just trying to fill up space.

Ricky 6
(2000)

This story is too depressing.
I saw this film at a distributor's screening in LA quite some time ago. Something about it left an indelible impression upon me. Perhaps it's because it feels so real ... too real. In short, Ricky 6 chronicles Ricky's downward spiral into drugs and satanism (-5pts for spelling). Depressing subject matter. But, the acting was very good ... Chad Christ gives a particularly good performance. I hope to see him in more films in the future.

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