Review = Se7en is a very dark, disturbing, and intelligent thriller. Believe me when I say disturbing, this movie may be overly bleak for many people. The mood itself provides a creepy atmosphere. An interesting thing is how we never actually see the killer actually doing the crimes; all we see is the aftermath of it. Nothing is held back, the victims are shown in grisly details. Dialog was masterfully written. Andrew Kevin Walker’s screenplay delves deep into the killer and both detectives. Numerous themes are weaved in as well. Overall, Se7en is a harsh step into the realities of the life of two detectives. David Fincher crated something that truly stays with you. The plot keeps you hooked until the final gut-wrenching moments. By far, in my opinion, the best serial killer movie ever made – more interesting than Silence of the Lambs.
Performance = This film put Brad Pitt on the map. 12 Monkeys had already come out, but Se7en just solidified the fact that Pitt was an actor to be taken seriously. Proved that he was capable of handling layered roles and nailing hard scenes. The ending scene was perfectly done, really conveyed all the emotions necessary. 1995 was an excellent year for Pitt.
2. Fight Club
Review = Fight Club raises many issues concerning out contemporary world, like a search for your true identity in a world where everything is a copy of a copy. Tons of messages are thrown at you. The main one, however, is best expressed as a quote: “This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” One day you’ll wake up and be thirty. You start to think, what have I really done with my life? This was a controversial movie back in 1999, still is for that matter. when you see this, there is no middle ground. Either you love it or hate it. Fight Club is far deeper than just guys fighting each other (screenplay is clever). David Fincher balances a lot. Mixes dark humor and violence well. Let’s also not forget how outstanding the cinematography is.
Performance = Tyler Durdan is a tricky character to pull off. Somehow, Brad Pitt did just that. Does a lot of crazy goofy stuff, but manages not to come off as too much as a cartoon to where we thought he was to over the top to like or even want to see.
Review = I am just going to come out and say that Moneyball is the best movie about baseball ever made, and one of the best sports movies in general. Now I’m not a big baseball fan. I have never seen a baseball game from beginning to end, I just find it boring to watch. I also hate it when people talk about fantasy-baseball stats. So when I heard that this movie was going to combine the two in a way, I was expecting to be completely bored out of my mind while watching. I was pleasantly surprised. When the end credits rolled I was blown away at what I just saw. Their were risks taken here. Moneyball isn’t really about the players, or the games, it’s all about the behind the scenes of baseball. It succeeds on so many levels, delivering a sweet, emotional, funny, dramatic, and complex ride – hit’s it out of the park.
Performance = Brad Pitt is phenomenal. His typical performance isn’t given. There were no elaborate pep-talks with an emotional melody playing in the background, or even an overwhelming breakdown moment. Pitt subtly captures the character of Bill Beane making him feel genuine. He makes us Care for Billy, and desperately hope for him to succeed.
4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Review = The title is long, giving up the story and ending essentially. I originally thought that might be a problem, but the way it unfolds is very well done. Andrew Dominick adopts a different style for a western. It’s more of a psychological western, than say an action one filled with gun battles. The relationship between Jesse James and Robert Ford is the central aspect of the film. Since we know how thing play out between them, you can pay close attention to what lead to that. Like how Robert went from obsessing this man to killing him. It raises questions, why did Jesse even put up with Robert? What is the true reason Robert did it. fear, jealously, fame, a mix of the three? There is a whopping running time. I felt the length, but it didn’t bother me – never looked at my watch. This isn’t flawless, but an artfully made story that was constructed with tremendous care.
Performance = Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Jesse James is flawless. Pitt is simply fascinating to watch. Brings an unpredictability to the the character. I never knew what Jesse was going to do next. The way he delivers his lines was amazing. Truly became the character, making him highly intriguing to watch whenever on screen.
5. 12 Monkeys
Review = Terry Gilliam tells a fantastic twisted story about a virus destroying most people across Earth forcing the rest to move underground. A man is then sent back in time to gather information about the event. The storytelling is totally non-linear and instead opts to distort and bend the way the story is told skillfully incorporating different time sequences, flashbacks, dreams, memories, the present, the past, and the future. What sets 12 Monkeys apart from most other time-travel sci-fi movies is that the main character deals with the psychological effects of time travel. Gilliam puts forth a complex effort delivering a compelling vision for what would have been easy to to be routine action sci-fi.
Performance = Brad Pitt steals every scene he’s in here. Really gives an off-the-wall performance. Pitt risks overdoing it, but pushes the craziness as far as it can go without being indulgent. One of his best performances, and deserved that Oscar nomination.
Movie = Inglourious Basterds
Performance = Burn After Reading