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Movie Reviews (4/14/15)

Movie: G.B.F. (2013)
Rating: *** out of *****
Notes: Dragging stereotypes out of the 90s, "G.B.F." proves that it's never too late to portray gay characters as fuh-laming. The only two gay kids at high school are both closeted and somehow platonic best friends, but the three local dominant female archetypes want a Gay Best Friend, and they'll try any trick in the book to out a classmate. Like a family-friendly version of "Mean Girls," we learn that even bad girls can be nice people, despite batting the boys around like cats playing with a trapped mouse. The performances tend to be over the top and melodramatic - just like a high school play - and it spends much currency on gay teen angst. It goes for the obvious situational comedy, but remains far and away from the catty heights of "Heathers" and the like. Sufficient to temporarily fill the hole in your life that "Glee" left behind.

Movie: Rush (2013)
Rating: ** out of *****
Notes: A dramatic retelling of the rivalry between two Formula One rivals in the 1970's, James Hunt & Niki Lauda. Perhaps I need to be more into racing, but the characters tended to come off as an unappealing pair of egomaniacs, sniping at each other at the racetrack in one scene and demonstrating either intellectual automotive superiority or conquesting ladies in the next. On the track itself, it's hard to visualize the tension between them because there's not much acting one can do in those vehicles. I acknowledge the excellent production values and directing talent of Ron Howard, but I've been more engrossed in "Cars" than I was with these competitions. Perhaps the adversity of trying to win a race is more accessible than watching two jocks beat their chests at one another, but I never felt a connection to either one. Probably just not geared to my kind of audience.

Movie: Mr. Nobody (2009)
Rating: ***** out of *****
Notes: A creatively epic and dense film that uses branching probabilities (think Doc Brown's explanation in "Back To the Future") to intertwine three major story arcs that all occur at the same time, as retold by the dying last mortal on Earth. Endlessly quirky, with inventive camera tricks and cinematography reminiscent of Wes Anderson or Michel Gondry that only lets up moderately once the film hits its stride. Foremost, this is a romance, as Nemo Nobody tries to find the perfect love among three women, all at the same time, but also not at the same time. It tends to wallow a bit overlong in the teenage experimentation years, lending to it's nearly 2.5-hr runtime, but it comes off as well-intentioned and deeply meaningful. The sci-fi elements are hardcore stuff - it's hard to believe this was made on a rom-com budget. Jared Leto proves amazingly versatile, like a grown-up Harry Potter, as he lives, loves, ages, dies, and repeats, ranging from burn victim to wealthy layabout to grungy transient to elderly storyteller and more. There's just the right sprinkling of humor - not quite comedy - to keep the script on its toes. An incredibly dense and convoluted story that's dazzling to watch and connects to every viewer in a meaningful way by means of exposing how our choices are myriad in youth, but dwindle as we age. This is director Jaco Van Dormael's masterpiece and deserves far more exposure than it's gotten.

Next: Nebraska, Riddick, How I Live Now


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 15th, 2015 02:43 pm (UTC)
Mr Nobody keeps showing up in my Netflix but it never interested me in anyway, until I read your review. I will give it a try. Thank you.
Apr. 15th, 2015 10:19 pm (UTC)
I've only seen the first twenty minutes or so, but I'd certainly back the kitty up on this - it's remarkably engaging, so far, and I'm delighted to see the promise appears to be born out. ^_^
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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