Recent movies (The Social Network, Inception, The Kids Are Alright, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)

I’ve never been a huge movie person but this year I have seen more than usual. In my old blog, I partially reviewed some recent ones that I’ve seen so I figured I would repost them here.
I’ll start off with a new film though.

The Social Network

Movie poster for The Social Network

The Social Network
This film depicting the creation and evolution of one of present day’s biggest digital phenomenon is also being praised as one of the year’s best movies and, I’ve ever read, one of the most important movies of our generation. David Fincher directed the movie, which stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. I think the idea of a “facebook movie” at first does seem rather ridiculous, considering how serious people consider facebook to be. Yeah, most of us do use it but in using it as a useful *tool*, or something essential in our lives, very few people would admit it but realistically, after having experienced it as part of our everyday lives, we’d be lost without it. I’ve heard that it’s also “too soon” for a movie about the founding of Facebook. Maybe but at the same time, why not? Our society now is moving at break-neck speed. We’re processing information faster than ever before. I can see how different things have gotten in comparison to even just two or three years ago. I think this particular film helps to emphasize that speediness and also shows us how relevant in today’s culture Facebook really is. Yeah, they could have done like any other biopic and waited 15, 20, 25 years before creating this film but why must things always have to be presented long after it happened. So definitely one of the aspects I liked about this film was that it’s the present.
I think the biggest strength of The Social Network is in the acting. I’m no expert on acting but I would find it hard to see Jesse Eisenberg play a character that isn’t like the one he played in this film. To me, that’s what and who he is now. It’s somewhat ironic that he’s been confused with Michael Cera before this film came out. Cera is known for playing very similar roles amongst his movies, I think. He’s been put in a sort of limited personality-box. I need to watch another film with Eisenberg to see if he’s as versatile. (admittedly, I haven’t seen his previous ones).
Andrew Garfield also did a very convincing performance with Eduardo Saverin. Between the two of them, they hit it off tremendously. Even Justin Timberlake, playing Sean Parker, I highly enjoyed. He had that douchebag quality that helped tilt the others.
Ok, I ranted enough with this movie. Too big a tangent to go back now. I think this film just evokes a lot of discussion and unfortunately I don’t think it will be taken as seriously as it should be by naysayers who think that just because it’s “a movie about facebook”, it’s not worth seeing. It’s definitely a strong film. Both times! Four stars

Inception
This film was intense almost immediately and one with very little downtime, such as director Christopher Nolan’s other recent film The Dark Knight.. After seeing Inception, I decided that I need to see Momento again because I remember liking it and now that I’m more familiar with Nolan’s technique as a director, I very much like his films.
Inception is a movie that could lead to easy confusion if you step out for even a moment because of the traveling through dreams that go into multiple levels. The build-up to the premise of the film also requires a lot of explaining in the beginning but it doesn’t bore you. The entire movie is in constant motion that winds down just seconds before the end, which has one my favourite ending types in movies. Five stars

The Kids Are Alright
The second film in which Julianne Moore plays a character that is sexually involved with members of both sexes. (the other being Chloe, a movie I also enjoyed). This film revolves around family life of a lesbian couple and their two children who find their biological sperm-donor father. His role in their lives begins to effect the life of the entire family but is more meddlesome than positive. I liked this film from a social perspective because people are capable of doing things they otherwise would never do if the situation led them to it. It’s a window into human nature and ways that different people deal with problem depending on their position in the situation, or their perspective. Four stars

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
I heard lots of positive things about this film. It almost felt like a requirement even though I don’t think it’s a movie that would normally be my forte. I’m not a comic book reader nor am I a gamer but despite that, there were aspects of this movie I liked a lot. Some of the antidotes and jokes were very well played out. The characters were well played and presented. What I didn’t care for was the actual storyline. I felt that if it wasn’t for the effects and settings, I wouldn’t have been drawn in at all. The storyline didn’t keep me interested but every other aspect did. Three stars

The Last Exorcism
I saw this film at a pre-screening. I was anticipating it since I saw a huge poster for it on Yonge Street in Toronto. After the first ten minutes I was disappointed that the perspective of the movie was that of a documentary-style of a former pastor who performed exorcisms but wasn’t a believer in them. The first half of the movie was very skeptical and it almost seemed like it was meant to be somewhat of a comedy. It wasn’t until the subject of the exorcism showed up in the Pastor’s hotel room that it took a turn and started to actually feel like a horror movie. An upward turn but also made me appreciate the format of the film and the buildup. It was unexpected but in a good way. I enjoyed the rest until the final five or so minutes when there was another unexpected twist but one that I felt pushed the boundaries of what makes a film realistic and what makes it feel fake and, in the sense of a storyline twist, a cop out. Unfortunately, these final moments seem to define the entire movie for most of the people I know that have seen it and thus have dismissed it as being “the worst movie (of the year)(ever)(etc).”. I still think it was a good movie despite how the last scene was presented. I would make a few minor tweaks, whether with the writing or the presentation. Either way, when “demons” are involved I prefer to keep their presence as vague and non-visual as possible. Three stars

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