Silence (2016)

It’s 17th Century Japan and Christians are not liked. If you even closely identify yourself as a Christian or appear to be one who practices that religion, consider yourself dead. Among those who have been killed, many of them are priests who traveled from Portugal to Japan. Their goal: to spread the word of Christ while trying to help out the Japanese citizens who were secretly following the faith. Stuck over there is Father Ferraira (Liam Neeson), a mentor to the priests who are in Portugal. He is also someone who is highly respected in Catholicism. Two priests in Portugal decide they need to go to Japan to rescue Father Ferraira and bring him back home. Father Garupe and Father Rodriguez (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) take the trip to Japan to attempt to carry out this mission. However, as soon as they arrive they quickly discover that they are not welcome and must lay low while trying to find Father Ferraira.

For a film that Martin Scorsese has been pushing to make for nearly three decades now, all I have to say is that it’s about time. For whatever reason this movie was not being picked up by anybody and after so much time of trying, he was finally able to make it work and has created one of the more emotional films he has made in a long time. Silence will quickly become one of the better religious epics that we will see. Scorsese is someone who is very religious, so it’s understood as to why he wanted to make this movie so badly. Religion is one of his passions something that he holds very dear. Silence is a movie that is nearly three hours long, and even though it is slow-moving, it really seems to go by quickly. That is because it is so interesting and intriguing.

I believe it goes without being said that Andrew Garfield is slowly, but surely becoming one of the major names of Hollywood acting. Let’s try and forget his role as Spider-Man and focus on good roles he has done. Like 99 Homes. Garfield has truly risen to the top of his form in Silence and there could be a chance that he becomes Scorsese’s next Leo. That might be too high of praise, but the guy was definitely was unbelievable in this and I really hope there is some consideration for an Oscar nomination. I think you could almost say the same thing about Adam Driver. Although he is just starting to really expand on his acting career now that HBO’s, Girls is coming to an end, he really shines in the movies he is in. I really believe we are going to be seeing much more work from him and that is something I’m happy about.

Silence to me is easily one of the best films of the year and I hope it gets the recognition that it deserves. What else can you really expect from Scorsese? The man has been my favorite director ever since I discovered that good movies existed. It is a really dark, but powerful film that is a must-see for all movie lovers. In addition to the outstanding acting and exhilarating storyline, Silence is a movie that will never be forgotten and may be Scorsese’s best film since The Departed. The great thing about his movies is that you pretty much know what you’re getting and that is a great film. What intrigued me the most about Silence is that it will affect people in many different ways. While it may cause some controversy, I think it will actually be something that people understand no matter what religion they are. It is not the type of religious flick that caters to one audience, and that is what the most interesting thing about it is.

Overall, Silence delivers on everything that it wanted to present. This is the most passionate and emotionally powerful film that we have seen from Scorsese since The Last Temptation of Christ. This is a film I cannot praise enough and despite how long the move is, it is absolutely one that you need to see.

Grade: A

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99 Homes (2015)

A desperate construction worker, Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield) is really trying to make ends meat to support his son, Connor (Noah Lomax) and mother, Lynn Nash (Laura Dern). Nash is a construction worker who has been in-and-out of work all the time due to a poor economy. After several warnings of repossession, a sketchy real estate broker by the name of Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) shows up at the Nash home with police officers informing them that they must vacate the premises because the home now belongs to the bank. After being escorted off the property, Nash has no idea what he is going to do. He has no money, no job, and he has to take care of his son and mother. After a few days, Nash finally finds a job with Carver where he will have to do exactly what Carver does, even if that means cheating the government, which could very likely put him in prison for a long time, destroying people’s lives, and having his son and mother resent him as a person.

The is one that I have been looking forward to seeing for a while. I have never seen anything that director, Ramin Bahrani made prior to this film, but I may actually want to check them out now. I was really happy with the turnout of this movie. I think that it had a great story, great acting, directing and even went into character development. 99 Homes also teaches you some lessons in life that there are a lot of hardships in life and things like this can actually happen. This is just a really exciting and thrilling drama that often makes you feel bad for people, but love the people who are on the other end of this doing the illegal work. What I really liked about this is that we see Nash go from completely desperate when he loses his home, to greedy and unable to stop what he’s doing because he wants more.

The acting is what really made this movie better than good. Andrew Garfield gives a fantastic performance in this and he is someone who we know is capable of doing great things, but we often forget about him due to the amount he is actually in. He is someone who I think is capable of having an Oscar nomination in the near future. Another great thing about this movie is the outstanding performance from Michael Shannon. He has been in a lot of movies as of late and I think he has only gotten stronger as an actor in his career. He definitely stole the show on this now. Even the small amount that Laure Dern was in this, she was pretty good. She is generally good in everything she is in, so I kind of expected this.

99 Homes is pretty much a thriller and not a serious drama. There are a few scenes in this movie that will have your heart racing. There was even a lot of character development in this movie that sparked my interest. From the beginning, they really went deep into how Nash and his family live their lives and the hardships they faced all the time and they did the same with Carver. 99 Homes is definitely a movie that I think a lot of people will find to be good. This is a really good thriller that has you not knowing how things are going to work out for Nash. The entire movie is almost like watching a close sports game and you are down to the final two minutes.

Overall, 99 Homes is a crazy thriller with some triumphant performances and an interesting premise. This is one I recommend checking out.

Grade= B+

 

The Social Network (2010)

Here’s an older one that I just watched again. We meet Mark Zuckerberg (Jessie Eisenberg), an undergrad student from Harvard who walks around thinking his shit doesn’t stink. He begins to work on a new website that hopefully will become very successful. This website he created had several names, but the one that was the best was Facebook. Mark is a person who always blogs and isn’t afraid to talk about anyone on his blog even if they get offended. Once Facebook expands to different schools, it is discovered by Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the creator of Napster. He knows a lot of people and wants to become involved with Facebook and reaches out  to Mark. The movie goes back and forth from the creation of Facebook to six years after when Mark is currently in the middle of two lawsuits, one of which involves his former best friend, Eduardo (Andrew Garfield).

The Social Network is a movie that is absolutely terrific. I thought this the best movie of the year and it was snubbed of so many Oscars. Who would have ever thought a movie about Facebook would be as good as this? David Fincher was the director of this. Anyone who knows David Fincher knows that his movies are pretty much amazing. This one was definitely one of his masterpieces. The Social Network was written by Aaron Sorkin. This is where I have to give most of the credit to this movie. Sorkin won the Oscar for this movie and absolutely deserved it. This movie tells a very unique and awesome story and it without a doubt defines this generation perfectly.

The acting we see in The Social Network is absolutely amazing. Jesse Eisenberg gave the performance of his career so far playing Mark Zuckerberg. I thought this was one of the best performances of the year and if I had it my way he would have the Oscar. Now I don’t want to rant about how the Academy pisses me off, so I’ll just relax on that one. Justin Timberlake was also awesome in this. I love him as a performer, but not really as an actor, but in this movie he really showed us that there may be some acting skills in him. Andrew Garfield was just great and I always try and think of people that could play that role better and I can never come up with anyone because he was just so awesome.

The Social Network is definitely a film that can be over-the-top at times, but in a good way. Some of the characters were a little ridiculous, like the Winkelvoss twins. Everything they did just kind of pissed me off, but they did kind of have a valid point with why they were sewing him. I just can’t praise this movie enough. I really thought this movie just spoke to this generation in a great way. They really hit the nail on the head with that one. I also have to touch on the brilliant work of Trent Reznor. He won the Oscar for the scoring of the movie and he absolutely deserved it. Whenever I hear he is behind the scores of a movie I know that the movie  is going to be awesome. He has done more than one Fincher movie and they were both great.

Overall, The Social Network tells a compelling and chilling story that really touches greatly on this generation. You see terrific acting, writing and directing with this movie. I definitely recommend this one!

Grade= A (Excellent! A Must See!)