dallasryan

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Reviews

Harriet
(2019)

Loved it!
The film, Harriet, is historically accurate on the main key points. However, it is a film, and so it does play out as a historical fiction novel. But with the key points and the essence of the woman herself, it's very accurate. And anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.

Cynthia Erivo commands and dominates her performance as Harriet Tubman. She embodies the very nature and breath of one of the most beloved and brave people in history (and who they should absolutely put on our currency and I hope they still do).

I give a point off for the fiction in the film. And I also give a point off for some of the bad music score that is played in the beginning. A better music score would have made the film more powerful (however the song 'Stand Up' is terrific).

In the end, a very good film and a must see!

Gisaengchung
(2019)

Karma
I agree with a lot of the reviews for Parasite. Parasite is a wonderful work of art that is open to many interpretations. One interpretation that I haven't read yet, which I found throughout the film is...karma.

The poor Kim family struggles to make it in life. However, the Kim family cuts corners i.e. they lie, manipulate, cheat, etc. And as the old saying goes, 'you only get what you give in life', and that's kind of why the Kim's are where they are. The Kim's are good people in some way, as Mr. Kim demonstrates, expressing his shame about the driver they got fired. The Kim family has a conscience and they have some values, as most of us do.

However, if you cheat, lie, deceive--it will always come back to get you i.e. the scene in Parasite where husband Park and wife Park are on the couch thinking of the underwear and they start sexually going at it while Husband Kim and daughter and son Kim are hiding under the table, listening to this. How awful that must have been for father Kim to hear that with his children right next to him. How embarrassed husband Kim must have felt at hearing he smells terrible, from husband Park, in front of his children--and how their was nothing husband Kim could do about it as he and his son and daughter were hiding under the table. The metaphor being that most of us in life can do nothing about it.

But the Kim's did manipulate and cheat their way to the top, therefore their karma came back to bite them. And oh how it bites the Kim family in the very end. And it bites the Park family too. As the Kim family uses the Park's, the Park's use the Kim family for cheap labor--which in turn is a metaphor for the class war and for the war of employer vs. employee and how we all except such crummy wages and demands as a part of our society.

In one scene, Mr. Kim says, 'no plan is the best plan.' Which is the same as the old adage, 'If you never have any expectations then you will never be disappointed.'

Also, you could look at the stone like the story 'The Monkey's Paw.' Just like in The Monkey's Paw, the stone brings the Kim's good fortune...but at what price.

Parasite is brilliant on so many levels that it's really a film you need to see two or three times to take it all in. It's a film that demonstrates that there is always someone worse off and Husband Kim gets his ultimate karma by taking the place of the person who was worse off than he was. Karma. It will always get you. And Parasite demonstrates this beautifully.

Wonderfully acted and spiritually directed in the genre's most clever form. Parasite is not only a must see, it is a film you will not forget.

The Lighthouse
(2019)

The Temptation
I've read the reviews for The Lighthouse and I also read what the Eggers Brothers were going for with the film. However, like any great painting, the painting is always subjective to many different interpretations. And I'm sure the Eggers Brothers would be open to many different interpretations with their beautiful work of art: The Lighthouse.

I saw The Lighthouse how a lot of the reviews saw it. But to piggy back on those reviews as well, I also saw Pattinson's character being tempted in every given direction, comparing his temptation to Jesus Christ's temptation of the 40 days and 40 nights.

However, Pattinson gives into his temptation eventually and murders (a couple times) and goes for the forbidden fruit.

The Lighthouse is a terrific film with many allegory's and many interpretations. Willem Dafoe is the incarnate lighthouse keeper and sailor of that time. The Lighthouse is cinema at its finest.

Uncut Gems
(2019)

It Will Be a 'Good Time'
First off, Uncut Gems is a movie in which you won't find an opinion in the middle. People are either going to love it or hate it (same goes for Good Time). Uncut Gems (as well Good Time) is a masterpiece of anxiety and utter chaos in a fast paced-real time-high stakes-panic attack-wonder wheel of excitement and pleasurable pain.

With Both Uncut Gems and Good Time, The Safdie Brothers write about down and out low life's who you find yourself rooting for. The directors truly show how money is a root to evil. Uncut Gems is one of Adam Sandler's top five best performances. Kevin G is fantastic and the new Julia Fox is amazing and absolutely stunning!

A must see! I can't wait to see what The Safdie Brothers do next. And I have to point out their Cinematographer,Darius Khondji is brillliant with 3 L's!! Just as Brilliant as Sean Price Williams was on Good Time! The Safdie Brothers should stay with Darius Khondji or Sean Price Williams. They're both amazing.

My only disappointment was that Benny Safdie wasn't in this film. He was terrific in Good Time!

Tickle Me
(1965)

Fun Fun Fun
One of my favorite Elvis films. Funny every step of the way and Elvis is always great to watch. Elvis could fight and do stunts as he showed here. You can tell though that Elvis is not feeling the films he's doing at this point and that's what makes it even funnier. Jocelyn Lane is terrific and what a stunning woman she is too. One of the most beautiful and stunning women of all time. A good Elvis film to see!

Joker
(2019)

The Film is a 7, the performance is a 10!!
Joaquin Phoenix has had a wild and electric acting career and his rendition of the Joker doesn't disappoint. Phoenix's Joker represents all of the sadness and mental illness in the world and how society throws it to the side, like 'garbage.'

A character portrayal which displays the origins of how someone with a chemical imbalance can break down and go postal or even tragically participate in mass shootings.

The nuances and the idiosyncrasy of the performance is brilliant and tragically sad as this Joker relates to many people in real life. Other films Joker reminds me of is Taxi Driver, and Falling Down.

Finally, as brilliant and as academy award winning as the performance is, as this is a movie, it at times glorifies the Joker's behavior and because this movie hits so close to home with a lot of people, I only hope no one goes out and does something bad after seeing this film. There is nothing glorified about this sad and depressed behavior in real life and there's nothing glorified about doing evil things in real life. It's a just a movie.

Good Luck Chuck
(2007)

Pretty Funny Movie, but a Movie for Men
Good Luck Chuck is pretty hilarious, but I can see where most women won't like it because it makes women look bad(if you look at it that way). But it is a movie for guys in the hilarity of the scenarios and the massive sex scenes which are crazy and wacky and every guys wet dream!

The women who will like this film will be the ones who love absurd comedy and who will recognize that of course--no woman in her right mind would ever do anything like this, it's a movie. The women who will like this film will recognize that absurdity and love the ridiculous, zany, and funny stupid comedy that this film is.

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
(2019)

Quentin Finally Gets it Right!
Tarantino finally gets a specific genre in film cinema correct! Once Upon a Time in Hollywoood hits the mood of life in '69 perfectly, the ambiance is spot on. Quentin pays homage perfectly to Sergio Leone films, Steve McQueen (as Bounty Law is based off of McQueen's 'Wanted: Dead or Alive' series), and to actors in that specific genre i.e. Harrey Carey jr., Warren Oates, etc. But Quentin also shows the actor incarnate in Dicaprio's Rick Dalton. How it is to have success and then to have it slip through your fingers, as every successful actor goes through it. Dicaprio nails it perfectly showing how sensitive and fragile all actors can be. Pitt's Cliff Booth is a dream role for Pitt as Booth is a little off, but super fun and very cool. Margot Robbie is fantastic as Sharon Tate.

Also, Quentin does certain filming in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that mirrors Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America. And as Quentin pays homage to Leone and those Westerns, Quentin also pokes fun at them as well, like how a good friend will bring you up, but also bust your chops.

An overall brilliant composition of that film genre and time period, leading to a no holds barred ending in which we all would have preferred. This film is brilliantly written and absolutely hilarious, Quentin's funniest film to date (in close 2nd, 3rd, and 4th - Four Rooms, Pulp Fiction, and True Romance).

This is truly Tarantino's Opus and it will be nominated for many academy awards come Oscar season. Tarantino nailed it!

The Iron Giant
(1999)

The Beauty Incarnate
The Iron Giant is a fantastic film woven with all of the beautiful tears of life and the monstrosities of mankind. A film that can easily be watched again and again and teach us many lessons each time. A great film, and a sincere tear jerker. You will laugh and cry and see yourself through the Iron Giant's eyes. A must see!

A Private War
(2018)

A wonderful character study
Overall, the film is great. Marie Colvin was an exceptional human being and Rosamund Pike brings her fully to life. A wonderful character study showing the traumas of war and violence and how it takes a toll on a human being throughout the years. A must see for the wonderful acting and for keeping Colivn's spirit alive. Rosamund Pike should've been nominated for an Oscar with this perforamance.

Hold the Dark
(2018)

Ugly and Evil
I understand that 'Hold the Dark' is based upon a novel. I understand that 'Hold the Dark' does even in fact have some eye opening metaphors which are relatable in the world we live in. With that, this is just a very dark, ugly and evil film. Most films that are great films, that are dark like this film, at least have an arc to where there is some sort of silver lining or they at least have some likable characters making amends, etc.

The only likable thing in this film is Jeffrey Wright's character, and that's it. And that's not enough to salvage the film, for me. Some may love the symbols and metaphors this film represents, but not me. It's not my cup of tea. Everything about this film is ugly and evil and leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Savages are always in the dark as are these characters. I can imagine a brother and sister in an incestuous relationship would always be in the dark too.

Dumbo
(2019)

Amazing, beautiful film!
Sometimes Tim Burton is a hit or miss, but he nails it with this one. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, some of the aerial shots are incredible and the acting is fantastic.

Burton shows, many times, throughout the film how Dumbo views the world, through his beautiful blue child like eyes, and it's majestic and innocently beautiful, like how we all used to be at a young age. Dumbo is a tearjerker, and a very thoughtful film which makes us thinks and weighs upon our conscience. A lot of different thought provoking concepts in this film.

A film of stillness, peace, and beauty all rolled into one. A must see!

Runaway Jury
(2003)

The Ending is Great!
Most of "Runaway Jury" is a nice fairytale, but the ending is really great in the way it goes. If only it could really go like that. Still, the ending brought it all together, revealing a great silver lining.

Fantastic acting from John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Rachel Weisz, and Dustin Hoffman. Some of the stand out scenes are when Hackman and Hoffman go at it, and also the jury scene deciding which way to vote.

It's sad, but true some of the time, that jury's vote with emotion in which some probably say to themselves 'I'm not giving the plaintiff money as I've been through much worse.' Just like how Congress votes one way or the other, sometimes, because they have a grudge towards someone, or they're being paid off, etc.

Social Animals
(2018)

People are People
A great look at our social commentary for the time. People will always be people, bad people, good people, no matter what the time or technology is, history repeats itself with the people. Humza brings out beauty and inspiration through the dangers of society. Kaylyn is instagram incarnate, where it will be a lifestyle for her through and through. Same probably for Humza. For Emma, instagram won't be a lifestyle for her.

Emma will hopefully look back in 20 years on the cruelties of people and technology, and shake her head and laugh (understanding at the time it hurt, but in the now, how unimportant they all were) as she's living her dreams out in peace and harmony. In the end, we all want validation from the world, it's human nature. But even if you have 1 million followers, you still may not find the peace you are looking for. Peace comes from within. It's true, it can be hard to find the peace with all the noise in the world, but it can be found in the silence of nature, the beach, helping others (as Emma's mom lovingly touched upon), etc.

To find that peace from within when the going is good or the going is bad is ultimately what we all want. To find the peace within, even when others aren't liking our Instagram pages or when we're not at the beach or in nature.

Emma's going through an age we all went through, when we felt our insecurities the most. Hopefully she knows that black guy who made that comment to her is not worthy of her. Hopefully she knows it's not her, that-that black guy just gets off on making hurtful comments to people, there's many like him. Beauty is to the eye of the beholder. It's subjective. Some may find Emma to be the most attractive woman in the world, and some may find blondes to be, or this or that. It's all subjective. Hopefully she knows that. Hopefully she realizes how beautiful she is.

Hostiles
(2017)

Incredible Film
I won't say much about this film except everyone on the planet should see it. It's beautifully true to the time, to life and it honors all of life as well as being honest about the cruelties of mankind.

Outstanding performances all around. How this film didn't get nominated and even win at the Oscars is truly beyond me. Christian Bale should have been nominated, Rosamund Pike should have been nominated, and Rory Cochrane (in his best performance to date) should have been nominated. The Academy is whack.

A must see film!!!

Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life
(2018)

An Evening You Will Remember!!
This was the funniest comedy special I've seen in the last 10 years. It had old school comedy, mixed with modern comedy, mixed with the best of Steve Martin and Martin Short. Their stories were hilarious. Everything was hilarious! Other comedy specials have nothing on this one.

Also, a nice five minute segment of great banjo playing by Steve Martin bringing some calmness and tranquility in between the laughter. A must see!!

Fantastic Four
(2015)

Had Potential
Had potential, but...Yeah, the many 'what went wrongs' with this film. The Fantastic Four with Jessica Alba wasn't perfect, but at least there was chemistry between the four of them and there were some good fighting scenes, and it was fun at times.

This version of Fantastic Four falls flat in every area. There is no chemistry between the four of them and that's because there's no arc built for them to come together as a team. This film needed another 30 minutes of fighting another villain so the chemistry could come together because at the end of the film, you're saying to yourself 'I don't want to see a sequel with these four again.'

Also, there's no arc for an apology by Reed (Miles Teller) to Ben (Jamie Bell). Yes, Reed apologizes, but Ben never forgives him, but instead, they fight Doom together for 10 minutes and then all of the sudden everything is peachy keen between the two of them. There was never a scene showing the forgiveness. There was never a scene where all four really fight together and become a team, and show the chemistry. There was never really any fun. Instead, everything was just lost in the bad plot.

A Clockwork Orange
(1971)

Kubrick, Ultra Violence and the Special Features
If 'A Clockwork Orange' would have been done by any other director, you would have said that was the director's best work. But Kubrick was Kubrick and 'A Clockwork Orange' was one of his many great films in which it's hard to say which one was his best.

'A Clockwork Orange' is in fact a sleek, ultra violent film which portrays the sexy, cool and violent in a disgustingly likable way. You want to turn away, yet you can't. You want to hate Alex (brilliantly played by Malcolm McDowell, which he should have been nominated for an Oscar for), yet you can't. A magnificent film on so many different levels, only levels in which Kubrick could bring.

Lastly, the special features on DVD are well worth the watch. The special features explains that Anthony Burgess wrote the book because his wife had been raped. Also, it explains why Kubrick pulled 'A Clockwork Orange' from the theaters and videotape, in the UK only. The special features go on and on with lots of information for any 'A Clockwork Orange' buff.

The Joy Luck Club
(1993)

About Understanding Our Differences
On an Objective level, The Joy Luck Club is a 10. But on a subjective level, I give it a 7 because it's a hard edged film to watch, emotionally charged from beginning to end. It's not a film for everyone, and at times it was hard to get through. But the end of the film really brings it all together and the ending is where the tears start flowing.

A great film showing why certain cultures are the way they are, explaining our differences and showing what's underneath when most of us only get to see the tip of the iceberg with different people who go in and out of our lives.

At times the acting is a bit stale and one dimensional, but overall, all of the performances are pretty well acted. A good film to see.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
(2018)

Not their best, but still pretty good
This film isn't the best Coen Bros. film, yet it still has a lot of their trademarked humor in it as well as the usual mishaps that go wrong. A film which shows that music truly is more effective than talking. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a bunch of vignettes put together in the ole west.

The stand out vignettes are the Tom Waits one and the Zoe Kazan one. Pretty good acting all around. An odd, yet funny film with a lesson to be taught about certainty (as there usually are many ideas/lessons to reflect upon in a Coen Brothers film).

Velvet Buzzsaw
(2019)

A great Metaphor shown through Cheesy Horror
Jake Gyllenhaal really picks his films well (most of the time). I love how he does movies with big metaphorical messages i.e. Velvet Buzzsaw, Enemy, Nightcrawler, just to name a few.

Velvet Buzzsaw is a film that shows us that even art itself is exploited everyday for personal gain, and all of the other hundreds of wrong reasons. Objectively, art can be looked at in many different ways, but subjectively, when it comes down to it subjectively, no one can tell you if you like a piece of art or not, and that's the message of the film along with many others.

Great acting from Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, and the rest of the cast. Dan Gilroy did an exceptional job here with Velvet Buzzsaw and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
(2018)

Couldn't Believe How Good This Was
I was really blown away by how good this movie was. The message is exceptional and it's a message we can all take away from and apply in our own lives. I really believed that Joaquin Phoenix should have been nominated for best actor in this film along with Jonah Hill being nominated for best supporting actor. They should have been in my opinion. Also fantastic performances by Rooney Mara and Jack Black too. Gus Van Sant has really outdone himself with this film. A great come back film for Van Sant. A must, must see!!

American Heist
(2014)

Good Performances
American Heist isn't a perfect movie, it's off in many ways. However, the three main performances are pretty solid with Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, and Jordana Brewster. Brewster and Christensen have good chemistry and Brody and Christensen have a good dynamic as brothers at odds end.

An actor is only as good as the editing and at times some of the editing is bad which makes some of Christensen's scenes look a little off. Christensen gave a great performance for the most part in American Heist, but when the editing is on for his performances such as Life as a House and Shattered Glass you have excellent performances by him.

Green Book
(2018)

Really Cool Film!
The Green Book, for me, was one of those films where as I was watching it and after I watched it, I thought to myself 'It was okay.' But after a day or two went by the film really hit me good, and I thought to myself then 'no actually this was a really great film.' Green Book is a film which really hits you after you watch it. From the images, to the sadness, and anger, to the camaraderie, peace and acceptance. And most of all to the friendship and love during the rough times it was taking place, what a beautiful message the film promotes to all of us. Superbly acted from top to bottom, well written, and well directed as Peter Farrelly steps out of his comfort zone of zany comedy, and makes a warm hearted, comedy-drama (for you Kingpin fans, the road trips in the Green Book will feel kind of nostalgic). A powerful statement and a film which will put a big smile on your face. In my opinion, some of the best films are the ones which hit you in the heart days after you see it. And Green Book is just that. You will definitely love this film!

The Three Stooges
(2012)

Not Sure Why the IMDB Rating is So Low
The Three Stooges movie is absolutely hilarious and it's dead on with the context from the stooges we all grew up with and loved. Perhaps the rating is so low because most who loved the stooges are older now, so the new generation may not get the humor ergo the low rating. The acting is superb, all three actors playing Larry, Curly, and Moe are spot on, but Chris Diamantopoulos stands out a little from the others, nailing Moe to a tee. The Farrelly brothers hit another home run with this one. Well worth the watch!

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