SIDE EFFECTS (2013)

Directed By: Steven Soderbergh 
Written By: Scott Z. Burns
Cinematography: Steven Soderbergh (As Peter Andrews) 
Editor: Steven Soderbergh (As Mary Ann Bernard)

Cast: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Vinessa Shaw, Polly Draper, Ann Dowd, Laila Robins, Mamie Gummer, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Marin Ireland 

A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.


Following up his pandemic movie CONTAGION that was a bigger offering with a smaller tale might seem like a step-down but it’s a movie that packs a wallop even though you don’t expect it. Unfortunately by the end, you don’t feel anything. It’s certainly entertaining but it comes off more as a smart artistic popcorn movie. It does its job but at this point movie, fans might be expecting more or stronger From director Soderbergh from his journeyman auteur reputation. This might be what the film suffers from the most

It’s a movie where things happen but you never quite feel anything it is quite clinical to watch and experience. Even as the twists happen you should care somewhat 

It’s a claustrophobic tale of what happens in all Those high-rise apartments of the haves. As most of the characters come from money and are privileged. Though Channing Tatum heavily billed again he is in the movie very little. 

It feels like it should be bigger even though it focuses more on a singular story 

Each character is smart except for the early victim. So that is refreshing as the film comes more alive when Jude law’s character is more or less fighting for professional and personal survival and all the twists are coming to light, Just as the third act is his plan taking place 

It’s a tale you would expect to be told bigger and more extravagant but with Soderbergh’s style, it focuses more singularly on the plot dynamics allowing room for the character but more or less being to the point and less indulgent. While the film. Still has style and is more technical 

It’s a bigger film from him but still a smaller story though this film feels less experimental than some of his others. This one doesn’t call attention to itself as much and has a stronger script and story than usual.

It allows the mystery of Rooney Mara’s character vacant looks and silence to shape her character and situations. As again when a character uses it to her advantage what people believe about her by her silence and looks. What identity and beliefs they put onto her that might be totally opposite from who she is. They put a character onto her when she is an actual person. She ends up Being the ultimate muse in an unartistic story. One that is mroe made up of successful characters in the medical profession. An unexpected feels Fatale if sorts 

Showing how easy it is for even the most rational of us to fall into a belief of certain fantasies that take the form of supposed responsible thought. Though managed to do it without making it a tale of the weakness of falling into temptation and paying the price for it.

The film seems more like it will be a psychological drama. When actually it will be more of a character-based thriller. This works for this film as it is unexpected and you don’t see it coming. Just as the film involves sex it isn’t very erotic or sexy. 

This is one of the more commercial and straightforward films of Steven Soderbergh. As this one whole cerebral and technical doesn’t feel like an experiment it seems like a smaller project for him that is almost like a short story for him instead of a novel. Which is how full his films can sometimes be. Either with a story or the number of stars usually, cast. 

This is the most likable performance I have found so far of Jude Law’s career. Where he gets to be innocent yet shrewd and the only way out for him is through his Intelligence. Not his looks, wit, or tortured soul. What also helps is that here the performance is mroe natural and effortless. No baggage. As here he plays more of a person, not a character or type. No different look or wardrobe to hide behind. Here he and his performance are stripped down. 

You go into this movie looking for a twist or expecting a thriller and that is what you get but the film plays the more technical side than the emotional. Though it is shockingly mean-spirited and more psychologically ruthless than expected. 

It also shows the passing of time as in the past Catherine Zeta-Jones would be the seducer and audiences would have loved to see her in a same-sex relationship and love scenes. Here as she plays just another victim. It might remind some audience members of the passage of time. Times have certainly changed.

In the end, this is a film that seems simple but then grabs you and takes you through a maze. That is stronger than it appears to be. A throwback to films aimed at adults that wants you to think and figure them out. 

Grade: B- 

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013)

blue-is-the-warmest-color-movie

 

Directed By: Abdellatif Kechiche
Written By: Abdellatif Kechiche & Ghalia Lacroix
Adapted from: the comic book “Le Bleu est une couleur chaude” by: Julie Maroh Cinematography By: Sofian El Fani
Editor: Sophie Brunet, Ghalia Lacroix, Albertine Lastera, Jean-Marie Lengelle & Camille Toubkis 


Cast: Lea Seydoux, Adele Exarchopoulus, Salim Kechiouche, Aurellen Recoing, Catherine Salee, Benjamin Siksou, Alma Jodorosky

*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review

Adèle is a high school student who is beginning to explore herself as a woman. She dates men but finds no satisfaction with them sexually, and is rejected by a female friend who she does desire. She dreams of something more. She meets Emma who is a free spirited girl whom Adèle’s friends reject due to her sexuality, and by association most begin to reject Adèle. Her relationship with Emma grows into more than just friends as she is the only person with whom she can express herself openly. Together, Adèle and Emma explore social acceptance, sexuality, and the emotional spectrum of their maturing relationship

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ESCAPE PLAN (2013)

ESCAPEPLAN

Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom
Written By: Miles Chapman & Arnell Jesko
Story By: Miles Chapman
Cinematography By: Brendan Galvin
Editor: Elliot Greenberg 


Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Amy Ryan, Jim Caviezel, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Farin Tahar, Sam Neill, Graham Beckel, Matt Gerald

Ray Breslin is the world’s foremost authority on structural security. After analyzing every high security prison and learning a vast array of survival skills so he can design escape-proof prisons, his skills are put to the test. He’s framed and incarcerated in a master prison he designed himself. He needs to escape and find the person who put him behind bars.

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OUT OF THE FURNACE (2013)

furnace

Directed By: Scott Cooper
Written By: Scott Cooper & Brad Ingelsby
Cinematography By: Masanobu Takayanagi
Editor: David Rosenbloom 


Cast: Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Forrest Whitaker, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shephard, Tom Bower, Boyd Holbrook

Russell and his younger brother Rodney live in the economically-depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother becomes involved with one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast – a mistake that will cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother.

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BLOOD TIES (2013)

bloodties

 

Directed By: Guillaume Canet
Written By: Guillaume Canet & James Gray
Based on the French Film ‘RIVALS’ (Les Liens Du Sang) Written By: Jacques Maillot, Pierre Chossen & Eric Veniard
Based On The Novel Written By: Bruno & Michel Papet
Cinematography By: Christophe Offenstein
Editor: Herve De Luze 


Cast: Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Noah Emmerich, Matthias Schoenaerts, Zoe Saldana, Dominick Lombardozzi, John Ventimiglia, Mila Kunis, Lili Taylor, James Caan, Griffen Dunne, Yul Vasquez, Jamie Hector, Eve Hewson, Olek Krupa

Two brothers, on either side of the law, face off over organized crime in Brooklyn during the 1970s.

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GIMME THE LOOT (2013)

gimee

Written & Directed By: Adam Leon
Cinematography By: Jonathan Miller
Editor: Morgan Faust 


 Cast: Ty Hickson, Tashiana Washington, Sam Soghor, Zoe Lescaze

When a rival gang buffs Malcolm and Sofia’s latest graffiti masterpiece with a replica of the NY Mets home-run apple, they’re determined to get spectacular revenge – by tagging the real Mets’ apple. Over the course of a whirlwind two-day heat wave, these tough teens from the Bronx must hustle, scramble, and steal to execute the scheme that will make them the most famous writers in New York.

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DON JON (2013)

donjon

Written & Directed By: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Cinematography By: Thomas Kloss
Editor: Lauren Zuckerman 


Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Rob Brown, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Gleanne Headly, Brie Larson, Paul Ben-Victor, Italia Ricci, Sarah Dumont

Jon Martello objectifies everything in his life: his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women. His buddies even call him Don Jon because of his ability to pull “10s” every weekend without fail. Yet even the finest flings don’t compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women

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