Tag Archives: Romance

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Review, An Emotionally Intense Love Story

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The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Directed by: Ned Benson

Starring: James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, William Hurt, Viola Davis, and Bill Hader

Claimed to be the “One of the Most Romantic Love Story Ever”, based on the quote from the poster. The movie is the farthest thing from romantic, that’s like saying Blue Valentine is “romantic”. What makes it so good is that it skips the idea of romantic movie, the two characters meet and develop a relationship only to be tested down the road and eventually resolving their conflict, and goest straight to the destruction of their relationship and the ramification of their marriage. The marketing for this movie was terrible, showing us a movie that was completely different from the product but it  subverts your expectations and delivers one of the most compelling character study of two damaged souls trying to rekindle a dead relationship.

Beginning at one of the only happy point in their relationship, as shown in the movies timeline. We open up on Eleanor Rigby (Jessica Chastain) and Connor Ludlow (James McAvoy) enjoying their meal at a local restaurant. Connor asks Eleanor what she would do if he didn’t have the money to pay for the bill. The two decide to dine and dash. After being chased out of the restaurant, Eleanor and Connor run towards Central Park and enjoy the rest of the night in the park.

 We cut to Eleanor riding her bike to the Brooklyn Bridge where she attempts to take her life. We learn that their marriage has fallen apart due to the death of their child which has hurt Eleanor and Connor in different ways. Eleanor believes that her life is no long worth living and Connor has resorted to withdrawing himself from their relationship. After the attempt on her life, Eleanor moves back in with her family and then goes back to finish school. Connor on the other hand has let his bar go into shambles and is on the brick of closing. Both of their lives have taken a turn for the worse and they are lost without each other.

Originally conceived as two separate movies focusing on each others experience. After the premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival the movie was eventually edited into one version called Them. Watching the movie you can tell that each other had a completely different style for their stories. Eleanor’s story was a bit more vibrant with brighter colors and Connor’s story was a little more muted and featured a more grey color scheme. I like this because it shows a lot about their emotions. Eleanor was learning to move on from her wrecked marriage and the cinematography represented her changing view of life. The muted style of Connor’s story showed his emotions towards their situation and how he can’t move on from the turmoil that has befallen them.

In the end each other are still drawn to one another and still feel that the can rekindle their relationship but eventually the move even farther apart. The story telling of this movie is simply amazing. It takes the time to view each others emotion and how they both decide to handle everything. We switch between their perspective and shows what they are going through. Throughout the movie you can tell that it was originally two movie but as one it succeeds at showing pure emotion.

Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy both create characters that are fully realized and are able to make you care for these characters and their struggles. Jessica Chastain shows her range as an actress and proves that she is a powerhouse performer and deserves the recognition from her peers. James McAvoy also shows that he has the capability to be an amazing actor. This is by far his best performance of his career. He brings you in and lets you live the character that he has brought to screen. This movie is much more an actors film that a story driven film but with these two performances it completely works.

 I loved the way that this movie was done and I am complete invested in the characters as well as the story. I highly recommend everyone seeing this movie but beware it is a hard experience.

Grade: A

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review, A Bad Sequel to a Bad Remake

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Directed by: Marc Webb

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, and Sally Field

It was a strange decision to hire an unexperienced director, such as Marc Webb, to direct a movie completely outside his wheel house. 500 Days of Summer is a well-built relationship drama, it was a completely different interpretation of the typical relationship cliches. The major thing that Marc Webb was able to bring to the The Amazing Spider-Man was his sense for people and the relationship between characters. Outside of the relationship stuff between Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) and Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) the first movie isn’t all that good. Whereas the original trilogy nailed Spider-Man perfectly but failed to make the chemistry between Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) completely unrealistic and kinda fake. On the other hand The Amazing Spider-Man nailed Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey’s chemistry it fails to make the villains and the core story interesting and really ruins this series.

The movie begins with one of the only scenes in the movie that alludes to the mystery behind Peter Parker’s parents. After leaving Peter (Andrew Garfield) with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field), Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) and his wife Mary Parker (Embeth Davidtz) try to escape on a plane while uploading Richard’s research. Little did they know that the pilot has been killed and their lives were in jeopardy. Richard does his best to stop the kill only to meet his fate but not before finishing the upload. The plane crashes and then it cuts to Spider-Man chasing down Aleksei  Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), in his worst acted role. During the chase he saves loner scientist Max Dillion (Jamie Foxx).

Meanwhile Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) is at their high school graduation. Concerned, Gwen calls Peter and tells him to get back to graduation. His duties to Spider-Man makes him late but only barely.  Max Dillion, after being saved by the web slinger, begins obsessing of the superhero and wants to get noticed just like Spider-Man does. He is ignored at work and then stuck working late in a lab that he doesn’t know. This leads him to getting zapped by the power cable that was causing all the problems. He then falls into a vat of eel, you know electric eel because why not, effectively killing him. He is resurrected by the electricity that he consumed. He leaves to find a power source that can recharge him. He arrives in Time Square and start causing havoc, leading to Spider-Man showing up. He begins trying to reason with him only to realize that Spider-Man has forgotten who he was. This leads Max to go crazy and leads him to want the fame that Spider-Man has and to get that “fame” he needs to kill Spider-Man

Over at Oscorp Industries, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to take control of the company that his father started. He is mad at the way he was treated by his father, leading to him changing some of the policies that his father emplaced.  Harry learns that he has the same disease that his father has and realizes that he is starting to develop the same symptoms. This leads him on a quest to find Spider-Man and harvest his blood for his own needs. He eventually teams up with Electro to take down Spider-Man and fulfill their needs to use Spider -Man for their own good.

The story is the biggest problem that this movie suffers. It’s convoluted and doesn’t do anything new or note worthy. Harry Osborn is one note and is essentially a carbon copy of Willem DaFoe’s portrayal of Norman Osborn in the first Spider-Man. His characters evolution is exactly the same. He runs the company only to get fired from the company because he was framed. This causes him to go crazy and gets superpowers from another Oscorp experiment. It is the same evolution of the villain except condensed into 30 minutes instead of 2 hours. Electro is another problem here. His motivations are terrible. He is essentially a Spider-Man stalker who gets superpowers. There is nothing interesting about him and barely does anything to help the story. Just like the first Amazing Spider-Man, this movie promises to reveal more about the story of Richard Parker but only two scenes are dedicated to this plot point and it feels like they don’t know what to do with the material.

I gotta admit that Marc Webb handles the romance material really well. The majority of the story focuses on Gwen and Peter’s relationship, building it up so that you can get more invested in the final payoff of the film. It bogs down an already convoluted and frustrating storyline. It is an interesting look at their relationship but spending the majority of the time on it feels a bit overkill.

The action that accompanies the movie is thrilling and well done but it is so sparse and limited that it doesn’t do anything to save the movie. In the end, Electro’s plan is to steal power from the power plant running the city. His overarching plan for this is so that everyone will notice who he is. Electro isn’t given anything to do but his action scenes are well thought out.

The performances are all across the board. You have some really good performance and then absolutely terrible ones. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have this radiant chemistry that makes the relationships believable. Garfield uses his wit and humor to portray Peter Parker as a typical wallflower kid of his generation. Tobey Maguire always felt old in the role and his chemistry with Kirsten Dunst was a little off. On the other hand the Jaime Foxx was the only actor portraying a villain that actually tried in his role, sadly it was incredible under written. Dane DeHaan, who I usually like, was bland and unnecessary. The limited screen time of Paul Giamatti was a blessing because his corny portrayal of The Rhino was grating and really angered me. As bad as Curt Conners (Rhys Ifans) was as a villain, he looks good compared to these characters.

There were some fun qualities in this movie but all the bad things out stay their welcome and really mess up any potential that this movie had.

Grade: D

Ryan Gosling didn’t get along with Rachel McAdams on set of ‘The Notebook’

10 years ago the Notebook was released in theaters and was quite the hit. People loved it and couldn’t get it out of their heads. The romance between Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling made your typical teen girls, and some mean, cry and cry over the ending of a movie that is overly sentimental but finishes on quite the high note. Apparently the two didn’t get along on set, according to the director Nick Cassavetes. Now I am not a huge fan of the movie, although I believe that these two actors had quite a lot of chemistry between the two characters. This shows though how good of actors Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling are. If they can put their differences behind them for a movie that was relatively successful.