Category Archives: movies

[Alternatives] – Movies – The Last Five Years

Alternatives is the tagline feature for other forms of entertainment outside of discussing literature. These posts may encompass television, movies, games, and music with a randomized flavour of the moment approach to each post.

Alternatives
Movies – The Last Five Years (2015)

Genre: Musical, Romance, Drama, Comedy
Rating: PG-13

Duration: 94 Minutes
Directed/Written By: Richard LaGravenese
Music/Lyrics By: Jason Robert Brown


My sales pitch to all you book bloggers: writing and publishing is part of what makes one of the characters. Random House is also involved. Plus, it’s a musical. So…

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[Alternatives] – Movies – Into The Woods

Alternatives is the tagline feature for other forms of entertainment outside of discussing literature. These posts may encompass television, movies, games, and music with a randomized flavour of the moment approach to each post.

Alternatives
Movies – Into The Woods

Genre: Musical, Fantasy, Family, Comedy, Retellings
Duration: 124 Minutes
Directed By:
Rob Marshall
Screenplay By:
 James Lapine
Music and Lyrics By: Stephen Sondheim

“INTO THE WOODS” is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)-all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.

I have to preface that everything below is made by a viewer who hasn’t seen the original Sondheim and Lapine musical. So look elsewhere for commentary regarding its faithfulness. All I can say is both of them have been credited to being on board alongside Disney in the making of this film.

Into The Woods (2014) - Movie PosterInto the Woods strikes me as a movie-musical that is easily accessible and can appreciated by non-musical goers. The intertwining stories are driven by the Baker and his wife as they learn of a curse placed on their home to which has caused for the barrenness of a child. The Witch details how the curse can be lifted given a limited time-frame of three midnights; and it is a journey which weaves the fables of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack of Beanstalk fame into one seamless narrative.

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[Alternatives] – Movies – Nightcrawler

Alternatives is the tagline feature for other forms of entertainment outside of discussing literature. These posts may encompass television, movies, games, and music with a randomized flavour of the moment approach to each post.

Alternatives
Movies – Nightcrawler

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Drama
Duration: 117 Minutes
Directed & Written By: Dan Gilroy

"NIGHTCRAWLER is a pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling -- where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou thrives. In the breakneck, ceaseless search for footage, he becomes the star of his own story."

nightcrawler - movie posterNightcrawler—not to be confused with the Marvel mutant—gives a master class in shameless journalism that panders to fear mongering and is served with a side of ambitious, sociopathic enthusiasm of the everyday schmuckn. This is perhaps the superficial layer of the film and it works just fine. But the meaning is rooted in how Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) treats himself as an enterprise. From discovering where his core values and interests lie to business modeling and analytics, every action reinforces Lou’s corporate mantra as he navigates the competitive landscape while maintaining and manipulating his relationships with only success in mind. It becomes incredibly fascinating (and a tad bit frightening) to witness Lou endorse the American dream; an aspect this film paradoxes so well of today’s culture of ambition. “If you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy a ticket.” Logically sound, metaphorically resilient—Ayn Rand would surely endorse this film—and it is a meaning best understood post-viewing.

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