Typically Netflix is the perfect place to binge watch a television show. However it is also a fine place to stumble across hidden gems. Movie distribution has changed in this era of film making and while cream rises to the top in terms of the best movies being distributed by the traditional methods, streaming services like Hulu and Netflix are making room for all types of movies to be consumed by the masses. Enter this independent film, which falls into the nontraditional distribution method category. ‘Time Lapse’ is a film about three roommates who discover a method to view a snapshot of their lives 24 hours in the future. As the film begins, the most obvious of “what would you do if knew the future?” questions are immediately answered. However as the film continues it becomes all about decisions these characters are making because of their knowledge. It is a slow burn thriller.
A few words about ‘Time Lapse’:
Understated acting – There are no real familiar faces in this film, which lends to its authenticity. Here are three young people in a pretty baffling situation and their reactions seem to be pretty believable. Watching the film a second time lends itself to really take note of the acting choices, which are important to the film’s conclusion. It was the second viewing that really allowed the subtly of these choices to shine.
Really solid premise – This is film based on time travel. That being said, there is no actual travel in the movie. It rather explores decisions people make when they have a peek into their future. This allows for some pretty intense questions that the movie attempts to answer.
Excellent deliberate pacing – This movie unfolds at a pace commiserate with the decisions the characters are making. While at times the pace is slow and steady, even when the pace quickens it’s only enough to drive home the larger point or to further highlight the decisions the characters are making. The movie at its “slowest” never feels slow because the viewer is waiting for the next decision to be made.
Satisfying conclusion – Movies based in time travel, or time viewing have a tendency to fizzle out toward the end, unraveling and/or imploding on themselves. This movie does not do that. This writer in particular finished the movie than walked around his apartment wit his hands on his head saying “ahhhhhhhhahahahahahahaha”. While this is not the typical descriptive language used to convey an ending, the point gleaned here should be that this movie follows its own time travel rules and concludes its story as it should. This was enough to make the journey that much more enjoyable.
This is solid movie, especially for it not to be on anyone’s radar. Before stumbling across it on Netflix, the writer cannot be certain that he would have even viewed this movie. This is why it pays to rate everything you watch on Netflix. This is a good, stay in and try to ride out hurricane matthew film. Put the kids to bed first, as this isn’t particularly a gory or graphic movie however is some spurts of strong language and very adult themes. 4 of 5 stars.
I did not steal the word omnibus, just the use of Oscar omnibussing from Pop Culture Happy Hour, a podcast that all of you need to listen to.
So i spent the last two Saturdays watching all of the Best Picture nominees for the 2015 Academy Awards. AMC does what is called the Best Picture Showcase in which people are able to watch all of the best pictures in two sittings. This was my first year doing both days, however it’s my second year participating in any form with my good friends Jeremiah and Cinthya Zabal. I had a blast doing what is my favorite activity (watching movies in the theater) and i look forward to many more years of enjoying marathons of movies in the theater.
Now onto the films themselves.
Sometimes during my viewing of “The Imitation Game” I decided that there were too many biopics in contention this year. Four of the eight nominees were biopics, with two of the remaining four non biopics essentially being fictional biopics (The Grand Budapest Hotel and Boyhood) So that being said I have decided to rate the biopics against each other, then the non biopics against each then state which film I think should win and which film I think will actually win.
I will go in order of least enjoyed to most enjoyed again in my own humble opinion.
The Imitation Game
Unfortunately this movie was the third in a line of pretty slow movies. (First Boyhood, then The Theory of Everything, then The Imitation Game) Now that I am recalling it, I believe this movie was pretty forgettable. The story seemed to get lost in the telling, and it seemed less interesting in the dramatic way it was presented. It was not a bad movie, however stacking it up against the best of the year it faded dramatically by comparison. (In a traditional review I would give this probably 2.5 out of 5 stars)
This was a very important movie that showed the methods of civil disobedience and protesting in the 1960s civil rights movement that sparked the Voter Rights Act of 1964. This movie resonated deeply with me as I was a part of the black lives matter protests after the Eric Garner non-indictment and am a vocal supporter of the black lives matter movement. Please see my Selma review for more. That being said this movie is not as good as the others in terms of best picture nominees. The performances did not blow me away and the movie did not stand out as unique versus others that regard the same subject matter. (In a traditional review i would give this probably 3.5 out of 5 stars)
The Theory of Everything
This Stephen Hawking biopic left me with one thought as it ended. “If Stephen Hawking could have a side chick, then women truly have no hope.” That being said, the movie was good. It did both a good job of showing how painful it was for a brilliant man to be trapped in a feeble helpless body and an even better job of showing the mental deterioration of the strong woman who chose to be by his despite his condition. I believe both actors (Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones) received the appropriate recognition for their work in their respective categories. (In a traditional review I would give this probably 3.75 out of 5 stars)
While I do not feel like i necessary learned any more about Chris Kyle, anyone who says this movie was not pretty darn good has already gone in biased. The best parts of this movie are when it slows down enough to show the viewer how exactly PTSD affects the soldiers coming home from war. Of course the thrilling firefights and fast paced action was also a plus, however this movie was just done well in all aspects. Much applause to Bradley Cooper’s performance as Chris Kyle which was a both a physical transformation and a great separation from previous roles. (In a traditional review I would give this probably 4 out of 5 stars)
The Non Biopics
(in order of least to greatest)
This movie was trying so hard to be great that it fooled many people into thinking that it was. The tracking shot was distracting, and the narrative was filled with holes. I could not just sit back and enjoy the film because I was not sure if what I was seeing was supposed to be one man’s twisted fantasy or reality. Maybe that was the point. I don’t know, again I would say this movie was just trying too hard. However I still give Michael Keaton a great big kudos for his performance which was pretty darn good. (In a traditional review I would give this probably 2 out of five stars)
The gimmick of this movie was using the same actors over a course of twelve years to tell a story in basically what amounted to be real time. I say gimmick because I believe that is what has sold this movie as great to many people who have seen it. I truly enjoyed the movie because I think Richard Linklater did a great job of directing performances from year to year, the narrative stayed consistent and I felt invested in all the characters. I would not be disappointed to see him win Best Direction. (In a traditional review I would give this probably 3.90 out of five stars)
This is the movie that all of you should see. It is exciting, compelling and enjoyable to watch. It was the only movie out of all eight, in which the theater immediately burst into enthusiastic applause after it ended. JK Simmons was amazing, and deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting actor (and best lead actor in my humble opinion) however Miles Teller also did a great job and it is unfortunate that he missed out on a very crowded lead actor field. I will buy this movie when it comes out on blu ray. (In a traditional review I would give this probably 4 out of 5 stars)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
This movie was a movie’s movie. This heart warming and beautifully directed and shot film was just so easy to watch, understand and appreciate. It had an interesting and funny story line, characters that drew you in and as a whole reminded me of why I enjoy just watching a good movie. It was satisfying and I will also buy this movie when it comes out on blu ray. (In a traditional review I would give this probably 5 out of 5 stars)
Ranking of all the movies together (lowest to highest)
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
The Grand Budapest Hotel
It was a good movie. However i hope that when people see it they notice the blatant parallels between then and now.
White people marched with black people plenty of times during the civil rights movement, so the diverse protesting you see today is nothing new. (this fact was not new to me, but worth mentioning again)
They wanted voting rights in Selma Alabama at that time. So it was not an abstract march, their wants were pretty specific, and easily attained through the right legislation.
Protesting is SUPPOSED to be disruptive. It is supposed to clog up roads and stop traffic and in general be inconvenient. If it is not, then it is likely not going to be effective. The idea behind it is forcing action. That was the case then and is the case now. (to be clear this is protesting, and not rioting, no one should advocate rioting or violence)
The confederate flag was used as a symbol of intimidation to black people back then (in the 60s). The origins of the flag are racist, and if you fly it today regardless of your intent, it is offensive to black people.
National Leadership is not necessarily responsible for organizing the local movements. Typically by the time MLK got to an area, the ground work was laid, and he was moving it along. (this is why grassroots organization is important)
Law Enforcement was used as a weapon of the government to disenfranchise black people in all facets of society. (this is the root of why black people do not trust the police in general.)
Systemic racism is the problem. I know this is a bit Captain Obvious, however I truly do not think people understand systemic racism and why minorities do not believe that the “system” works for them.