Tag Archives: Paul Dano

Best films of any year watched in 2014

July was a good and busy month. I’ve been preparing to run the Chicago Marathon this coming October, and running has now taken a significant chunk of my time, especially as the date gets closer and closer. Despite a hectic couple of weeks at work, I was finally able to dedicate a little bit more time to this blog of mine, and watch a few more films than I have recently. In lieu of my “best 2014 films of the first half of the year”, I offer my thoughts on the best films of ANY YEAR that I have managed to watch since January.

12-years-a-slave

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Months in review: May & June films

May and June have now passed. The summer seems to be already on its way out and The Blog of Big Ideas is ready to post a bi-monthly recap of all of the films covered since May 1st. 23 films in total but only three are in the running to the shortlist of the Blog of Big Ideas’ Top 250 Best Films Ever.

Here they are in the order in which they were watched:

LA Confidential

IMDB TOP 250: LA CONFIDENTIAL (1997)

One of the most celebrated films of the 1990s is a sophisticated crime thriller reminiscent of the film noir era.

With the help of an excellent cast led by the stand-out performance of Kim Bassinger, LA Confidential is a film about deception, corruption, greed, love and the advent of the sensationalist press that still feels relevant today.

Full of twists and surprises, the film is a lot of fun to watch, inviting for repeat viewing. Perhaps not deserving of such high marks on IMDB, but highly recommended nonetheless.

♦ Candidate to the Blog of Big Ideas’ Top 250 Films Ever ♦

4/5

La Vie en Rose 3

LA VIE EN ROSE (2007)

A great biopic with a wonderful lead performance by Marion Cotillard. Find my full review here

♦ Candidate to the Blog of Big Ideas’ Top 250 Films Ever ♦

Glengarry

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (1992)

A one-of-a-kind script brought to life by one hell of a cast. Find my full review here

Smokin Aces

SMOKIN’ ACES (2006)

There is something about the charicaturesque ensemble of characters and the often ridiculous proportions of the action that make Smoking Aces a satisfying experience, especially if it is seen on a big screen and with the volume turned up.

Occasionally it takes itself a bit too seriously, pausing for dramatic effect to disappointing results. The film does best when it sticks to its over-the-top antics and improbable set of circumstances. Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.

3/5

Continue reading Months in review: May & June films

Films watched: January & February mini reviews

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOKNow that we’ve arrived to the end of February, I thought it was as good time as any to share some of my thoughts on the films I’ve seen and haven’t had a chance to review since the turn of the year.

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012)

An emotional drama with a touch of comedy punctuated by a very strong cast. Silver Linings offers just enough to think about and some to laugh at. A bit less transcendental than the awards season have made it out to be, but powerful enough to merit some recognition.

Highlight: the performance by Jennifer Lawrence + the return to form of Robert De Niro

Downside: it has its share of cliches and some sequences feel forced.

Continue reading Films watched: January & February mini reviews

100th post! Film review: Looper (2012)

Looper

Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Joe), Bruce Willis (older Joe), Emily Blunt (Sara), Jeff Daniels (Abe), Paul Dano (Seth), Pierce Gagnon (Cid)

Director/Writer: Rian Johnson

Congratulations to me! This is the Blog of Big Ideas’ 100th post!

After Hollywood has been able to churn out remake after remake, sequel after sequel, adaptation upon adaptation, and even combining several characters with their own films to make a “bigger” and “badder” one (The Avengers), Looper appears on the sci-fi horizon as a breath of fresh air, a wholly original piece without precedent that is driven by story, and not by special effects or the inevitable explosive battle scene.

Continue reading 100th post! Film review: Looper (2012)