Waltz With Bashir (Vals Im Bashir)

Vals Im Bashir (2008)
Source: IMDb

What is it?

The 2008 Israeli animated war documentary drama movie Waltz With Bashir (Vals Im Bashir).

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The Genius Club

The Genius Club (2006)
Source: IMDb

What is it?

The 2006 American Christian-themed dramatic thriller movie The Genius Club.

What is it about?

This is how Rotten Tomatoes describes this movie:

An unprecedented disaster is about to unfold, and in order to ensure the safety of all humankind, a group of high-profile thinkers selected for their stratospheric IQs must come up with a solution to all of the world’s problems over the course of one grueling night in writer/director Timothy A. Chey’s tense apocalyptic thriller.

My Thoughts

I saw most of this movie once years ago on television when my mom told me that there was movie playing on a certain Christian television station, and maybe she was wondering what it was.

I possibly looked at the program guide and found out what it was, I had never heard of the movie before, and I ended up watching it expecting that it was not going to be good enough to keep watching so I expected that I would change the channel after a minute or two.

To my surprise it held my attention enough to keep watching it, and I watched the rest of the movie and I did not hate it to my surprise; and I kind of liked it considering what it was.

It was one of those what-if scenario-like movies with a high-stakes situation, my memory of it is very unclear, but it was better than I had expected compared to the usual low-budget Christian movie like this; and what I do remember is that it was better than the trailer or I hope so unless my taste in movies was that bad back then.

The end,

-John Jr

The Soloist

Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx in The Soloist (2009)
Source: IMDb

What is it?

The 2009 British-American drama movie The Soloist.

What is it about?

This is how Rotten Tomatoes describes this movie:

Columnist Steve Lopez is at a dead end.

The newspaper business is in an uproar, his marriage to a fellow journalist has fallen apart and he can’t entirely remember what he loved about his job in the first place.

Then, one day, while walking through Los Angeles’ Skid Row, he sees the mysterious bedraggled figure Nathaniel Ayers, pouring his soul into a two-stringed violin.

At first, Lopez approaches Ayers as just another story idea in a city of millions.

But as he begins to unearth the mystery of how this alternately brilliant and distracted street musician, once a dynamic prodigy headed for fame, wound up living in tunnels and doorways, it sparks an unexpected quest.

Imagining he can change Ayers’ life, Lopez embarks on a quixotic mission to get him off the streets and back to the world of music.

But even as he fights to save Ayers’ life, he begins to see that it is Ayers–with his unsinkable passion, his freedom-loving obstinacy and his valiant attempts at connection and love–who is profoundly changing Lopez.

My Thoughts

This movie was brought back to my attention thanks to a YouTube video by the YouTube channel Double Toasted called GREAT ACTOR TRANSFORMATIONS IN MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER SEEN – Double Toasted.

I saw this movie years ago probably not long after it was possibly a Redbox rental, and I possibly rented it from a Redbox when I was possibly staying at a hotel in the city of L back when I was trying to make a return to college.

I remember this movie having some good performances from Jaime Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr., and the movie was pretty good I think.

The end,

-John Jr

Hereditary (Film)

Toni Collette and Milly Shapiro in Hereditary (2018)
Source: IMDb

What is it?

The 2018 American supernatural psychological horror drama movie Hereditary.

What is it about?

This is how Rotten Tomatoes describes this movie:

When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited.

Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.

My Thoughts

It was Chris Stuckmann and Pu55nboot5gaming who made me want to watch this movie when they mentioned it in one of their videos:

The fact that both of them liked this movie surprised me, and so I decided that I would try to watch it eventually.

This was the director Ari Aster’s first feature length film, I had seen one of his short films before called The Strange Thing About The Johnsons which like this movie involves family and some crazy and unexpected and unsettling things that leave you not sure of what to think about it, and so if you watch that short film you will have a bit on an idea of what to expect from this movie.

To my surprise my brother GC decided that we should finally watch it, he probably did not expect to like it much, and so we watched it over the course of three days.

This was a slow burn psychological horror mystery movie in my opinion, it was more psychological mystery than horror, and from the very beginning there was always something subtle to make you think that something was not right.

Music, sound, silence, and subtle visuals were used to keep a subtle strange atmosphere going in the background almost at all times.

You would sometimes notice a light or something, and you would wonder what was that and was that real or imaginary.

There was something surprising that happened early in the movie, but most of the movie had us wondering where was this movie going and trying to figure out what was really going on.

Toni Collette had a standout performance, she had to jump between various modes and her performance was pretty raw and amazing in her facial expressions and body language and delivery and range, and some of the other actors and actresses did pretty good as well.

Part of one standout scene by Mrs. Collette was part of this scene:

I did not like how scenes would often jump to later leaving out many details, like a short film, and so there were lots of missed details which makes things even more mysterious as you struggle to figure out what this movie is really about.

This was the kind of movie that lingers with you a bit, it is not as scary as some people say, but it is the kind of movie that may have you sometimes being on alert or a bit scared days later if you notice or hear certain things or when you are alone in the dark.

I had some strange dreams one night after watching part of this movie, and each night since I have had moments in the dark where I have seen something and had to double-check to make sure that nothing was there.

The last thirty minutes of this movie gets pretty crazy and creepy and gruesome and it ended suddenly and confusingly leaving you wondering what just happened and not sure of what to think about this movie, I did not like how it ended at the very end, and it is the type of movie that I am not sure how I really felt about it overall.

The end,

-John Jr

Seven Pounds

Source: IMDb

What is it?

The 2008 American drama movie Seven Pounds.

What is it about?

This is how Rotten Tomatoes describes this movie:

Ben Thomas, an IRS agent with a fateful secret, embarks on an extraordinary journey of redemption by forever changing the lives of seven strangers.

My Thoughts

Years ago I saw the trailer for this movie and it looked like Will Smith was going to be serious and do some good acting and I was not exactly sure what the movie was about, and so I wanted to see it.

Somehow I ended up never watching it until recently when my female coworker JB recommended it, and she let me borrow her DVD of it.

I finally watched this movie and I am glad that I finally got to see it, it was possibly even better than I had expected, it was serious and well acted (except for maybe some of Will Smith’s facial expressions and occasional oddities, and Octavia Spencer was wasted in her role), and it was great to see Will Smith trying to act and trying to be serious instead of mostly relying on his natural charisma and personality as much.

This was possibly one of the best performances that I have seen by Will Smith, Rosario Dawson did a great job and was a natural fit in her role, Woody Harrelson had a surprising role but it was too limited, this movie was sad but it also had some happy moments that made me smile, and this movie had a nice romance.

This movie does feel slower than it probably really is which can be / is a problem depending on your mood et cetera, but it seems that it was intentionally made that way and even the cinematography seems slower and deliberate and it was pretty good.

This movie was probably longer than it should have been though.

I liked this movie, though the feel of the pacing and the pacing itself and the movie’s length could be problem if I had to rewatch it again depending on my mood so I probably would not like it as much on a second viewing, but this was another good recommendation by my coworker JB; and I would like to thank her for letting me borrow this movie.

The end,

-John Jr