Valentine’s Marathon: Romeo & Juliet (2013)

Next up in the Valentine’s Marathon is a tale really as old as time and probably one of the first Shakespeare plays I had to read in school but super renowned and adapted a ton of times and that is Romeo & Juliet. This version is the 2013 one with Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth.

Let’s check it out!

Romeo & Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet 2013

Director: Carlo Carlei

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, Ed Westwick, Christian Cooke

Romeo and Juliet secretly wed despite the sworn contempt their families hold for each other. It is not long, however, before a chain of fateful events changes the lives of both families forever.-IMDB

 Its always hard to review Romeo and Juliet adaptations. We all know how the story will go and the tragic fate of these lovers. It becomes even harder each time to feel moved by the characters and the story somehow because of that familiarity. I’m not sure if this is the most recent movie adaptation but I think so with these young stars playing the popular roles. In reality, it feels like quite the task and one that I’d eventually like to do to talk about the play and all adaptations (or as many as I have access to). Maybe I’ll give that a go one day. However, we’re here to look at this adaptation and to be fair, it was fine. There were some familiar faces, some good performances, the set was pretty decent and so were the costumes. I’m not a Shakespeare extreme connoisseur so I don’t know the play front and back. It been a long time since I’ve read it but from what I remember, its seems pretty close (if not the same) in dialogue.  However, something seems missing which I can’t quite pinpoint so maybe as I write this out, I’ll figure it out.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet are played respectively by Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld.  I haven’t seen a lot of Hailee Steinfeld but I have seen Douglas Booth in few of his previous roles, probably the one I remember most is LOL and Jupiter Ascending (review HERE). To step into Romeo and Juliet is a big task (like I mentioned before), there was to be passion and believability in their roles. Perhaps one of the things I didn’t quite feel was their connection. Sure, they were passionate in their lines and I could see it working but when they were together, something just didn’t click. Although, I feel that it progressed a little fast also. I get that its supposed to be a few days of events like most Romeo and Juliet movies are set in but it took two seconds to jump to seeing each other, dancing and then going to to the back and kissing. I never felt like other Romeo and Juliet movies progressed the love arc that fast for them and maybe its why those movies had a more impactful performance. Oh, and I actually did like Hailee Steinfeld’s performance. I feel that she has potential to do more and that’s where I think I probably should check out The Edge of Seventeen from last year.

Romeo and Juliet 2013

Talking about the Montague boys now, we’ve already discussed Romeo as the lover boy but possibly a great bromance trio goes to these guys who felt naturally good together. Somehow they worked well in showing their different personalities of Mercutio, Romeo and Benvolio. It was easy to believe that they all held different views of the rivalry between the Montague and the Capulets but also that they each also had different values. Mercutio is played by Christian Cooke, who is a familiar face and I liked him in the role. However, I love Kodi Smit-McPhee ever since I saw him in Let Me In (review HERE). This guy has some really great acting chops. He did a great job at Benvolio even if it was just a supporting role.

Romeo and Juliet 2013

The Capulets are much more individual but also has a lot more screen time. We have Tybalt, played by Ed Westwick who is incredibly known to me as Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl and I loved his character there. Ed Westwick does have some good acting and in the right roles, he can do quite a bit. As Tybalt, he really just does the cocky guy with a ton of anger issues who has incredible hate for Montagues who can barely keep his actions in control. Plus, he does a whole lot of odd grunting angry voices and always has a grimace, which I get is in character but something about his character felt a little overacted perhaps. I can’t say that its his best performance in my book. The other part of the Capulets is Damien Lewis as Lord Capulet. I honestly haven’t had much contact with Damien Lewis but he seems like a really powerful actor because Lord Capulet’s role really carried especially when he was having the whole scene with Juliet and making his point clear of her marrying Count Paris. That was a fantastic scene.

Overall, Romeo and Juliet in this 2013 adaptation was okay. It probably won’t be memorable but its not horrible either. The pacing of the script could probably use some work to help make us care more about Romeo and Juliet especially when everyone already knows how this all works out and pretty much knows what to expect. There are some decent performances that I haven’t even mentioned other than Hailee Steinfeld, Damien Lewis and Kodi Smit-McPhee but also we have Paul Giamatti who plays as the Friar and as always, he does a nice job in the supporting role. Its hard to not compare Romeo and Juliet adaptations to each other especially since there’s already been so many but here’s my shot at it.

Have you seen this adaptation of Romeo and Juliet? Which adaptation is your favorite?

Netflix A-Z: The Spectacular Now (2013)

We’re at the S selection for Netflix! Movie reviews craze going on over here, right? I’ve been wanting to watch The Spectacular Now since this movie released back in 2013 but somehow never got around to it. It could be that last year, I took a long drama movie break. There was a few indie S selections that I wanted to watch but The Spectacular Now was one I didn’t want to wait anymore.

Let’s check it out!

The Spectacular Now (2013)

The Spectacular Now

Director: James Ponsoldt

Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brie Larson, Mary  Elizabeth Winstead

A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.” – IMDB

 The first thing to really catch my eye watching The Spectacular Now at this moment is the brilliant cast they have here. I haven’t really seen a ton of Miles Teller so I don’t have much to compare him to (yes, I haven’t seen Whiplash yet) and I’ve only seen Shailene Woodley in The Fault in Our Stars and I wasn’t a fan of that one. Nothing to do with her, just the story was my issue. Aside from our main characters played by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, there is a supporting roles by Brie Larson (who went on to play her fantastic role in Room), Jennifer Jason Leigh (who I saw in The Hateful Eight) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (in  this year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane) for starters. The Spectacular Now is a coming of age story that delivers something a little different. Sutter is our main guy here and in many ways, I feel like it wasn’t even meeting Aimee that changed him but just that Aimee was the girl that gave him a different perspective on the future and growing up. The power of youth and relationships, right? In all reality, Sutter is afraid of growing up and its why he doesn’t embrace his the concept of living for the future but rather for the now moment. There’s a really honest and relatable coming of age story in between the charming romance drama going on here.

The Spectacular Now

I have a feeling a ton of people are going to be disappointed when I say this. Miles Teller is an odd choice as Sutter. Maybe its because this movie is meant to be odd but I’ve never been able to see Miles Teller as a very good actor. Maybe its the lack of movies that I’ve seen of his. It took me a while to really connect with Sutter’s character but in a rather unexpected and subtle way, he did grow on me, especially because we could see the script giving him and Aimee a very cute young love growth in a way that they influenced each other and gave each other courage to do the things they were previously afraid to face.

With that said, I liked Shailene Woodley a lot. As the nice girl, she portrayed it on point. It was believable in her most innocent ways. She truly loved Sutter and saw the good in him even when sometimes, he wasn’t all that great. The fascination of a relationship is finding the balance of having something in common but enough not to learn something new from each other and Sutter and Aimee had that. Their relationship was a highlight of this coming of age story even if I don’t believe it would be what really changed Sutter because the powerful scene with him and his mother played by Jennifer Jason Leigh was the one that stole the show.

The Spectacular Now

Other than the wonderfully sweet moments between Aimee and Sutter crafted beautifully, the drama truly comes in in a strong scene when Sutter finally meets his father again. It proves that the innocent memory he had for his father was actually very much an illusion. He starts noticing all the bad his father truly is even when he tries to brush it away and in many ways, can see the hints of him really starting to see how ignorant his father is and how he somewhat sees the disappointing similarities and how he could potentially be a lot of bad. It shows a little of the nature vs. nurture influence right there in my opinion.

The Spectacular Now

 Overall, The Spectacular Now is a really good coming of age story. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are great as Sutter and Aimee. The character development for both of the characters carry a lot more than just romance but also what growing up is about. Other than romantic themes, it also has a strong family relationship concept here. The Spectacular Now tells a great story with a compelling message. While I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the way they ended it because a ton of movies are doing that also, the journey of Sutter and his coming of age story is an intriguing one to say the least.

Have you seen The Spectacular Now? What coming of age movies do you like?

Netflix A-Z: Last Weekend (2014)

Continuing on with the Netflix A-Z mad dash to the finish line, I have to say that this choice was made for a few reasons. One of them is trying to find family-based movies. Then there’s Patricia Clarkson and she is always a fantastic actress. That is how Last Weekend ended up in the L selection, pushing the close second Laggies aside. I’ve never heard of it and don’t know what its about but hey, why not, right? The spontaneity is what makes Netflix A-Z so fun to do!

Let’s check it out!

Last Weekend (2014)

Last Weekend

Director: Tom Dolby (writer) & Tom Williams

Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Chris Mulkey, Joseph Cross, Zachary Booth, Rutina Wesley, Fran Kranz, Alexia Rasmussen, Jayma Mays, Devon Graye

When an affluent matriarch gathers her dysfunctional family for a holiday at their Northern California lake house, her carefully constructed weekend begins to come apart at the seams, leading her to question her own role in the family. – IMDB

Last Weekend is full of familiar faces. Perhaps that may be one of the first things you will notice. Leading with Patricia Clarkson, we follow through with smaller supporting roles from Rutina Wesley (also known for her role as Tara in True Blood), and Fran Kranz (known for a ton of stuff including Dollhouse and Cabin in the Woods) and then we have Jayma Mays (from Glee) and personally for me, Alexia Rasmussen (from Listen to Your Heart). Lots of talent and potential just looking at the cast. Except, Last Weekend leaves me feeling a little empty. In some ways, I can get what the story is trying to portray except it executes the idea not well enough especially when the ending is rather empty with not a whole lot of resolution. Perhaps that is the depressing point in the finale, that family isn’t clear cut and for many issues, there is no resolution. In my mind, there should be less focus on the kids and what happens to them in this “last weekend” and more on Patricia Clarkson and her husband and her interactions because that would be more to see, except how long would a movie taking that angle take before its audience might find it monotonous. But then, in this case, I don’t agree with putting in scenes that never get addressed ever again, rendering them pointless.

Last Weekend

One of the standout of Last Weekend is Patricia Clarkson and the setting. The house, the decor and the scenery is captivating to look at. Patricia Clarkson’s portrayal of a mother who can’t seem to and doesn’t want to let go of her kids and the fact that they have grown up and has left her care or let go of this last weekend of making a decision of whether she has made the right decision to sell this vacation house and all the things that she has grown attached to. It is a mother’s journey for the most part and Patricia Clarkson does a beautiful job and portraying it and making it believable as we try to understand her character. In many ways, it is the scenes that she is involved that make the movie shine the most, even in its most disjointed moments. One of my favorite ones is the one above when we finally see the connection between her daughter in law Vanessa (played by Alexia Rasmussen) and her, who she doesn’t have much fondness for, finally see something in common and she opens up to her a little more. As the audience, we can actually see the similarities between their personalities and its probably the nuance that her son chose someone similar to his parents.

Last Weekend Probably the hardest thing to like in Last Weekend are the characters as well. Contradicting to the top? Maybe a little. Because the sons here, Roger (played by Joseph Cross) and Theo (played by Zachary Booth) are incredibly annoying characters. In a way, you can see that they don’t want to be under the wings of their parents and they want to show that they have grown up but in many ways, they also lack the sensitivity to try to understand her or remember to check up on her once in a while. It could also be a statement of grown-up kids and the changed dynamic and different point of views from being away. Whatever its trying to say, it seems to start off in some way and never quite gives any resolve or redemption. It feels a little incomplete to me. Granted it is set over a weekend, perhaps it wasn’t mean to have a lot of character development and its more about their mom’s acceptance of the situation. Although, why there was such attention on their relationships baffled me at the end. Maybe it kind of highlights something a bit more favorable about their personality.

last weekend

I feel like I’m being tough on Last Weekend or maybe it just needs a few more viewings or I’m just not the target audience. I somehow don’t quite get what the movie was trying to do. It seems to have a message but it doesn’t seem to execute the idea well enough. While there are some solid performances, there is also a lot of unappealing characters (which is usually normal in dysfunctional family movies) and a lot of disjointed and unresolved moments. Perhaps that is what turns me off more. Plus, it doesn’t help that as I was trying to find meaning in Last Weekend, I ended up seeing it having a pretty negative message and kind of put me in a rather bad mood afterwards. Last Weekend has merit, just not enough to make it worth a second watch, however, maybe you will find something that I didn’t. If you did, please come back and tell me about it. I really wanted to like this one more.

Netflix A-Z: Kill Charlie Countryman (2013)

For all of you not into all the Christmas stuff, I’m going to be continuing on with the Netflix A-Z. The most optimal thing would be to wrap it up before the end of the year but that sounds pretty much impossible. What I will do now is to do two Netflix A-Z starting with this one. I know its been a while so for those who don’t know, we’re doing an independent film take and if you don’t have the movie on your Netflix, its probably because I’m on the Netflix Canada and the selection may change depending where you are.

With that said, the next selection is Kill Charlie Countryman. Honestly, I don’t know why I picked it. I’m not a particularly huge fan of Shia Labeouf. But then, I’m changing my strategy to picking these movies and really trying to just take movies off My List of Netflix movies and not the entire Netflix library (because that is kind of crazy).

Let’s check it out!

Kill Charlie Countryman (2013)

Kill Charlie Countryman

Director: Fredrik Bond

Cast: Shia Labeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger, Rupert Grint, James Buckley

While traveling abroad, a guy falls for a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in her violent, charismatic ex. – IMDB 

Kill Charlie Countryman is one of those movies that seem to have the potential to do much better than it actually did. I spent a few days thinking about why I felt that way. For one, other than Shia Labeouf who I found mildly entertaining in Transformers, there hasn’t been much that I like of his, but I have liked a lot of Evan Rachel Wood’s performances and of course, Mads Mikkelsen. Maybe that is why I chose to watch this one, especially after the Playstation Experience peak at Kojima’s new game Death Stranding and the very creepy character that Mads Mikkelsen plays as, especially when its just one shot. Kill Charlie Countryman’s plot is a little odd and its a little hard to believe what is going on. It feels like he wants to have some odd humor there and yet Shia Labeouf rarely delivers it. At the same time, its hard to believe what the love his character Charlie actually has for this girl that he knows nothing about. It jumps from one spot to the next and the story doesn’t seem to flow well, especially when injecting the somewhat silly comic relief with Karl and Luc, played by Rupert Grint and James Buckley respectively.

Kill Charlie Countryman

Kill Charlie Countryman is all about the trouble that Charlie, played by Shia Labeouf gets into when he goes to Bucharest as his dead mom’s spirit (or something) tells him to, encouraging to go have some adventure and take risks. This turns out to be a great adventure indeed when his trip starts off with a dead passenger that he has befriended. This man is odd and his body/spirit also tells him to go carry out his last wish of bringing his souvenir to his daughter Gabi, played by Evan Rachel Wood. However, there is a odd feeling of why Charlie has these visions except to realize that it somehow vanishes and goes somewhat unexplained. I’m not sure whether an explanation would do the story any good or make it any different but the fact that its about Charlie who makes all these really unbelievable decisions from taking this lady’s car and cello and bringing it to the Opera House in the beginning or suddenly acting like (tries to) he has fallen deep in love with Gabi even before really knowing too much. Right from the get go, we already know she has the mafia boyfriend and this launches into a much more serious ordeal when there is a even bigger secret that looms in the background and makes him into a target, involving people that he also only just met. Its an odd trip. While I do criticize that Shia Labeouf is not the best person to take on the role. He also delivers one of the better performances that I’ve seen (for the most part). The only part that I cannot connect with is the romantic bits because it just isn’t a connection that the movie does a good job at portraying.

Kill Charlie Countryman

I believe some of the better scenes in this movie was the interaction with Mads Mikkelsen and in general the bad guys. They delivered the threat and fear. While I didn’t care much for any of these characters, Mads Mikkelsen has a very bad guy front that he does well. There is something incredibly menacing at times and then creepy at others. His expressions can just get under my skin. For that, while its hard to imagine that he does some of what he does because he is possessive and crazy in love over Gabi, his character Nigel is undeniably one of the stronger elements of this story and all the interactions whether it is him with Gabi or him with Charlie all made for the more entertaining bits to watch.

Sadly, one of the more disposable characters in the story seems to be Gabi. While she plays a stronger female role especially after having to deal with all of Nigel’s ordeals, the character of Gabi doesn’t have any substance. She is supposed to be the love interest to Charlie and there are moments you can sense the character being touched by Charlie’s actions and yet, she still makes odd decisions regarding Nigel. There seems to be more to the character that was cut out in the final edit that doesn’t have a complete image of who she is and what she knows. While Evan Rachel Wood has to put on a Romanian (I think) accent as well. I can’t say how accurate it is but somehow it doesn’t feel all that natural.

Kill Charlie Countryman

Like mentioned before, the comic reliefs here are Karl and Luc, played by Rupert Grint and James Buckley. These guys are the strange acquaintances that Charlie meets at the hostel where he decided to rent a room. These two guys are strange, with not a huge perception of anything except for the fact that they take drugs and make bad decisions. Its the spitting image of people taking things to the absolute limit and then realizing that they are stuck in a ditch and in trouble and then getting scared and not knowing how to react. Between all this, there is some fun. Its hard to determine whether I’m laughing at them or its meant to be funny. They never get a key part but somehow pop in in the middle to create trouble that leads Shia Labeouf to learn more about Gabi. It all seems very deliberate and not natural enough.

Kill Charlie Countryman falls short in many ways. It has mostly a cast that can deliver great performances but the script seems to not piece it well enough together. There are some fun moments and other entertaining and engaging bits but its never enough to make this film memorable. In fact, I closed this film feeling rather indifferent. Its these one that are the hardest to word how I feel because I don’t care much about it and don’t intend on watching it again and yet, I can’t exactly pinpoint what I thought was all that wrong. Perhaps it was the choppiness in plot, or how I  couldn’t buy into Gabi and Charlie’s love or maybe that some of the flow and consequences seemed too deliberate to make something else happen. Whatever it is, Kill Charlie Countryman is a lackluster film and one I probably won’t go back to watch.

Next up is L selection. Any guesses?

Netflix A-Z: Jenny’s Wedding (2015)

This week’s Netflix A-Z is for J! I ended up choosing Jenny’s Wedding!

Before my blogging days (or maybe I was but before TV Binge days), I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy and loved Katherine Heigl, even if her character didn’t really work that well and eventually just left the show. Then she did a really fun 27 Dresses. You can disagree all you want but I liked it a lot plus there’s James Marsden. I don’t have reason why I like rom-coms anymore. Jenny’s Wedding’s cover looks a lot like Bride Wars but this one is not about the same thing. Oh, and I like Alexis Bledel because of Sisterhood of Travelling Pants. I didn’t see any Gilmore Girls yet (which I probably should eventually.) Reasons for why Jenny’s Wedding is on my Netflix list.

Let’s check it out!

Jenny’s Wedding (2015)

Jenny's Wedding

Director: Mary Agnes Donoghue

Cast: Katherine Heigl, Alexis Bledel, Tom Wilkinson, Linda Emond, Grace Gummer

Jenny Farrell has led an openly gay life – except with her conventional family. When she finally decides to start a family and marry the woman they thought was just her roommate, the small, safe world the Farrell’s inhabited changes forever. They are left with a simple and difficult choice – either change with it or drown.-IMDB

When you look at Jenny’s Wedding’s ratings online, its really not good. You might even turn away from it. However, Jenny’s Wedding is worth something, even if its a courageous coming out story.  Jenny’s Wedding does do a good job at showing the potential hurdles of coming out. Its never easy to live in a lie especially to family who are the people someone loves the most. Jenny’s Wedding does a good job at showing the journey of not only Katherine Heigl’s character Jenny breaking free from those lies and confronting her family and showing the opposite side of her parents and siblings trying to decide if they can accept it and still see her for the person she had always been. While that is the dominant story, Jenny’s Wedding has a little more simply about honesty, family and being true to yourself but also realizing that what you assume of others may not be true just like when others assume something of you.

Jenny's Wedding

The intentions of Jenny’s Wedding is commendable. However, the one downfall that made me resist liking it more was that Jenny is courageous but at a certain point, in a very frustrating way. She’s a grown-up woman who decides to take this huge step to marry the woman she loves impulsively after being inspired by her father’s words but she never takes into consideration of how this sudden news that doesn’t even give them time to warm up to is thrown at them with somewhat of an ultimatum. The frenzy that is causes between each member of her family brings out something different. One of the scenes with the most impact scenes is when she gives her dad (played by Tom Wilkinson) a huge lecture about taking her for who she is or leaving it.  It shows how great of an actor Tom Wilkinson is because you can see the devastation and shock on his face even though he doesn’t say much. In the end, you realize that she midjudged him all along. It is moments like these that make us feel frustrated about Jenny’s character but it feels deliberate to allow to see that no one here is perfect and this is a difficult and conflicting situation for both sides.

Jenny's Wedding

On the other hand, Jenny’s Wedding is an independent drama. One of the enjoyable choices are the cast and the personalities they have. Some of the best parts here portray their confusion of not being able to grasp what just happened and in that process, everyone shows a quirky silly side as they struggle. For example, the mom played by Linda Emond is quite adorable when she cares but doesn’t know how to but at the same time, while she doesn’t know what she is doing, people have already assumed her actions and she will ask them back what she is doing. And then there’s Grace Gummer who plays Jenny’s sister who looks at her marriage, Jenny’s happiness and relates it to the grass in her yard and obsesses over it. These are at times silly moments and to some, it may even.be unnecessary but it also made it feel more objective to see that everyone takes a little something different away from the same scenario, just like real life.

Jenny’s Wedding isn’t long but it still won’t  be for everyone. It might sit in the convoluted territory at times or it might feel like not a lot is going on. It might even watch our characters in silence or talk in other parts. While it is an indie drama about coming out, there is still much to learn from it. The overall movie is average: harmless and has good intentions. If this is your type of movie, check it out.

Next up is K! That might be after October. I’m still deciding 😉

Netflix A-Z: I Believe in Unicorns (2015)

Netflix A-Z is back! We’re continuing on. Last time, before I left for vacation, we ended on H as in How I Live Now. So far, the Netflix list has been quite a discovery. Not all total winners but all have their charm. I Believe in Unicorns has caught my eye for a while but it sounds rather odd so I haven’t watched it yet. Here is the perfect opportunity!

Let’s check it out!

I Believe in Unicorns (2015)

I believe in unicorns

Director and writer: Leah Meyerhoff

Cast: Natalia Dyer, Peter Vack, Julia Garner, Toni Meyerhoff

A road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love.-IMDB

I Believe in Unicorns is an odd film. It is a coming of age tale for a teenage girl, Davina. Davina has had quite the tough life when her mother learned about a disease while she was pregnant with her. As a result, her father also has left the picture. All her life, she has been taking care of her sick mother who can no longer walk. Davina takes selfies of herself a lot and she seems to be unease with herself for the most part. She seems sad about many things. Her joy is to hide away in her imaginary world sometimes through her dreams that features herself as a fairy of sorts that has a unicorn. Or maybe she is the unicorn. Until in the real world, she meets an older guy called Sterling. Right off the bat, as the audience, we already know, Sterling has something. It may be the crowd he is in or the easiness he has of stealing from vending machine or convenience stores. It might be that sly smile or that changing attitude. Many many warning signs. However, at the beginning, Davina falls in love with him and is wrapped up in the beauty and joy of this relationship. Until it starts falling apart…

I Believe in Unicorns

 I Believe in Unicorns takes on a roller coaster ride of looking at various issues of coming of age, mostly in the form of young love, first love (perhaps) and the loss of love. Or even the desire to feel loved. Lots of loving going on. And it shows, there is quite a few making out scenes in here but its done not in revealing way but yet holds the powerful message and dynamic it needs. This movie probably deserves extra viewings. While the real life aspect of it is rather easy to decipher where the story is going, its fantasy parallel with unicorns and Davina as a fairy (or magical creature of some sort finding its wings) create a lot of symbolism. It starts lighthearted in a wonderment and eventually descends into a world of battle. The question I kept asking myself was what is the symbolism of the unicorn? Does it represent first love, or the love she has for Sterling and their relationship, or innocence or simply her naivety or childhood? To really understand this is that we follow Davina who seems to really live in this fantasy world for us to understand her feelings and its how we learn about how she really feels despite her innocent exterior in reality. As the road trip goes on and Davina and Sterling start to fall apart a little, Davina become more vocal about what she wants and how she feels and eventually have a confidence that we didn’t see at the start. What I’m saying is that other than the role being written really well, Natalia Dyer does really well in showing off Davina’s character and development.

I Believe in Unicorns

 I Believe in Unicorns probably isn’t for everyone. Its pretty odd and a little slow and its really reading between the lines. Davina’s character has quite a bit of development as she realizes that running away from her problems and believing that the feeling of first love she had in the first place might be misplaced. Its a lot of realizations. There is something very unique about this movie that makes it not only extremely fitted in the indie scene but also profound and thought-provoking. The parallels breath life into this coming of age between fantasy and reality. When her first love dies, her innocence and naivety seem to leave with it. Watching the process of her growing up and truly being an adult at the end is a very well-written journey. It shows talent not only in the storytelling abilities of the writer-director but also the young star, Natalia Dyer.

I think it is time to check out Stranger Things…

Have you seen I Believe in Unicorns? What did you think?

Next up is letter J! Any guesses?

Netflix A-Z: The Good Doctor (2011)

Have any of you wondered where Orlando Bloom went? Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean and then spotted in some romantic comedies then, he has kind of vanished. Apparently, he was in this drama thriller back in 2011 called The Good Doctor. Its kind of in the indie category on Netflix but then not really either. With $6Mil budget, it hardly is, I’d imagine. However, I didn’t know that before starting this up and with the heart of wanting the next movie to be a thriller, I chose The Good Doctor, not exactly sure whether the premise would interest me.

Let’s check it out!

The Good Doctor (2011)

The Good Doctor

Director: Lance Daly

Cast: Orlando Bloom, Riley Keough, Taraji P. Henson, Rob Morrow, Michael Pena

A young doctor goes to unconscionable extremes in order to remain in the service of a female patient with a kidney disorder.-IMDB 

Regrets. I’m going through regrets. The Good Doctor took me three separate sittings to go through. I guess I can see the merit in the movie but man, the execution and the pacing was like watching paint dry. I think it is my problem but at the same time, I do like a lot of slow-paced movies. In fact, some of my favorites, not guilty pleasures, are actually rather slow-paced movies. The Good Doctor was just not for me. There was a lot of quiet staring on Orlando Bloom’s character’s part. Plus, the ending of more than obvious what was going to happen eventually even if the finale was probably the best part because it gives the audience something to think about. There’s a message here about how selfish intentions can be destructive and dangerous but it never presents itself in an intriguing way.

The Good Doctor

My previous statement about Orlando Bloom has nothing to do with his range of acting. It really just goes to the point that the character was probably designed to be more quiet and reserved. The personality of Dr. Martin Blake was portrayed in a way that his actions and the way he interacted was awkward. There was something gravely and eerily wrong with him. He had issues interacting with others and when he meets this young female patient, she makes it seem natural. The scenes where they talk shows a level of two people with similarly awkward personalities in the things they talk about and ask randomly. Dr. Martin Blake’s character does develop as the lack of dialogue also helps us learn about him through his actions and takes a more suspenseful path. The fault may highly be that the movie isn’t paced well so his quiet personality drags on and near the finale seems to overstay its welcome.

The Good Doctor

 However, there are tangent characters that work well here. Rob Morrow plays as the presiding doctor over Dr. Blake. His character, Dr. Waylans is the person that Dr. Blake tries to impress. In many ways, the question is whether Dr. Waylans suspects the things that Dr. Blake is doing. His character observes a lot and sometimes causes a moment of tension as you wonder whether he knows more than he is showing. Another character that proves as an effective hurdle is Nurse Theresa played by Taraji P. Henson. She gives Dr. Blake a hard time for the most part. She questions him constantly and causes a small feud that runs throughout probably a good portion of the film on and off. While it doesn’t seem necessary to have those parts, the character was a welcome change.

The Good Doctor

Overall, there isn’t really much to say about The Good Doctor. It has a decent idea except the execution and the pacing is extremely lacking making it for a grating experience. Orlando Bloom does the best with what he can. Although his character is required to emote and has a lack of dialogue which has its challenges and he carries the emotions well enough. Riley Keough also carries a well performance although her character isn’t accentuated too much. The better characters here are the supporting one notably from Rob Morrow and Taraji P. Henson.

Have you seen The Good Doctor?

Next up is H selection! Any guesses? Hint: An Irish actress