Monthly Archives: May 2015

Movie Review: Leon: The Professional

Hey everyone. Some quick updates before I get started.

1) I’m aiming for 100 movie reviews for the third year of WordsofWisTIM. 52 weeks in a year, so I’m aiming for two reviews a week.

2) Round 2 of Winners And Losers (WAL) will be out by Wednesday.

Leon: The Professional has gotten some high marks from some of my blogging buddies and is another one of the films that has been sitting on my desk waiting to be watched. It came out on Netflix two weeks ago so I guess I didn’t need to buy it after all, but alas, the sacrifices of a critic.

This isn’t the first time that Luc Besson has been involved in a film I’ve reviewed here and it won’t be the last. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Luc Besson is the best thing to come out of France in the last 50 years. He’s a straight shot most times but his targets do sway to the side of what I’d like them to be sometimes and that was the case with Leon: The Professional.

Leon (Jean Reno) is a simple man. He buys two quarts of milk each day, takes precious care of his plant and has few material possessions. In fact, I’d say his life is boring. However, Leon is an expert cleaner and by that I mean fixing messes, the messes that are best cleaned with bullets. He’s very orderly and professional, but outside of work we never see him do much. He goes to a theater and gets some fun out of a movie, but aside from that, cleaning his plant and exercising in the morning, he doesn’t seem to have much of a lifestyle.

Leon is almost childlike in some respects. We never see him drink anything but milk over the course of this movie and while it’s probably for the sake of fitness, I want to believe there’s a deeper meaning there. Leon doesn’t know how to read, doesn’t own much and never has any money, instead letting his employer hold onto all of it and asking for it as he needs it. He continues to bounce between small apartments and hotel rooms, never owning a place of his own and he remains sheltered in terms of what life has to offer.

As I’ve seen plenty of times before, when Natalie Portman enters your life, things get a lot messier and Leon’s tale is no different. In her motion picture debut, Portman stars as 12-year-old Mathilda. Her whole family is murdered by a corrupt DEA agent while she’s out shopping and with as much composure as she can hold onto, walks past the corpses of her family to knock on Leon’s door and after a long mental argument the audience is not privy to, Leon finally lets her in.

Mathilda discovers Leon’s work rather easily and wants in. She wants to learn how to clean and Leon, who can’t find it in himself to throw her out of his life, comes around to the idea.

As the story progresses, Leon and Mathilda form a friend-to-friend, parent-child relationship. Leon gets protective and Mathilda begins to look at him as a role model and maybe even something more.

Leon has never had a real friend aside from the boss that continually employs him and has never had a relationship like the one he has with Mathilda. At times, he is unsure of what to do, something a professional assassin is not used to because assassins that don’t know what to do in crucial situations end up dead.

The character originality of Leon and Mathilda is worth applauding but holds little depth. It reminds me of a children’s book, like an older bear taking care of a stray rabbit. Leon’s quaint life was begging for more audience discovery, to really uncover what has made Leon click for all these years and what new sound he’s discovered with Mathilda but Mathilda’s vengeance escapade takes center stage sadly. The need for revenge needed to be there, but if the run time had been expanded, it could have been pushed to the wayside for a little so we could further unearth these one-of-a-kind characters. Leon’s simplicity is more complex than people will give it credit and Mathilda’s strength and desire to become a full-functioning weapon is admirable, but she can’t hold it together and Leon is right when he says at the beginning of the movie, “I don’t think you’d be able to go through with it.” Portman can scream and stomp in front of the lens all she wants, but it’s evident that Mathilda still has a heart. I was practically begging for Besson to change the character midway, but again, his aim swayed to the side of my target.

Had Mathilda been a darker shade, suddenly the themes of childhood innocence, enabling and guilt are thrown onto the court. Leon and Mathilda would have still had the unique companionship we see here, only Leon would be helpless to clean Mathilda of the darkness growing inside of her. It was an angle I think could have worked.

Instead, Leon: The Professional remains a family appropriate film and takes a rain check on becoming a more impressive, long-lasting film.

I also must give another clap on the back to Gary Oldman. As corrupt DEA agent Norman Stansfield, Oldman’s civilized barbarism is gripping and that look in his eyes when he gives a stare at the camera is a “No one’s getting out of their chairs” type of look. One of my Hollywood truths: there’s no such thing as too much Gary Oldman and man, Besson’s work needed more Gary Oldman. The short shots are performed great by Oldman but really diminish the heights the character could have reached had he been given the chance to let the character’s lunacy unhinge from the wall.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (EnemySleeping with the EnemyEquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercer)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Mad Max: Fury RoadBlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All Night)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for Leon: The Professional: 75.

With the majority of its action hidden, which is a rare sell from Besson, Leon: The Professional rests on the acting trio of Reno, Portman and Oldman. All perform well, Oldman the best of the bunch despite the limits put on him, but the relationship between Leon and Mathilda could have gone further. I know it could have and that coupled with unseen action, keeps it an average film. Rather than Besson’s usual action-obsessed animal, Leon: The Professional is a drama about how a man who could only find death finally found life.

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Movie Review: Enemy

“Chaos is order yet undeciphered.”

Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy reminds me of Franz Kafka’s famous novel, The Metamorphosis. Throughout the film, college professor Adam Bell discovers the darker side of himself, but not before we’re welcomed by the timid, nervous Adam. Racked by worries and an obsessive need for pattern, one can barely tell the difference between Adam’s last day and his next. Adam is a planner and has no thirst for adventure or change. He wants to go to work and come home and be alone, all of which is strikingly similar to Kafka’s Gregor Samsa.

A coworker suggests a film Adam should rent and he decides to take the advice because there are indications that Adam is bored, just too fearful to do anything about it. Then he sees himself in this film and Adam, of course, is a teacher and has never been in a movie. Caught off guard, Adam’s curiosity gets the better of him as he tracks down this doppelgänger.

While Adam and his double, Anthony, are exact replicas, their personalities differ greatly, with Anthony being a more commanding presence. Jake Gyllenhaal is an unknown figure to me, but appears to be hitting his stride in the industry, with Prisoners and Nightcrawler gaining special recognition among audiences and critics and with Southpaw arriving later this year. Gyllenhaal contrasts the two characters very well, with distinct twirks offsetting Adam and Anthony.

However, Enemy‘s main substance is found in the writing. Analogies and allegories are sprayed throughout this story. The complaint that I and I’m sure many had was following these.

I consider myself a smart person and while I picked up on many of the branching narratives and ideas, the trunk of the story as well as the ending went right over my head. After research and reading, I have now gathered some understanding of where Villeneuve was trying to go with Jose Saramago’s novel, but still don’t grasp all the straws.

A large part of this is not on the audience’s shoulders, as I will explain in my first spoiler’s edition in a while down below. There are many different interpretations of the material, as will be obvious by the presentation, which is the confusion that Enemy causes. It’s not that Enemy is without direction. It’s that its direction, rather than a road, is more like a spiderweb (an inside joke for those who have seen this). Because of the varying turnoffs from the main drag, it remained unclear to me what the primary train of thought was here. Which interpretation is the one Villeneuve selected or did he leave it up to us? A film like this does not have the luxury of leaving the decision up to us. There are too many choices, convincing choices I might add, for us to be expected to choose. We need a nudge in the right direction and I never felt that nudge.

Story laid aside until the spoiler’s section, Enemy has a lot to show off, Denis Villeneuve’s second major film escapade being the leader on the list.

Denis Villeneuve, a man who has a very bright future ahead of him, has already earned my respect with Prisoners and now boosts it with this. The French-Canadian’s approach behind the camera is one-of-a-kind, which is the biggest compliment I can give to someone in an industry with thousands of competitors. Villeneuve has an elite ability to create novelist suspense, suspense that builds for 300-plus pages in a novel and still continues to ravel readers tighter to the story until it’s engulfed them whole. The measured takes, slow release dialogue delivery and overflowing emotions siphoned off in short bursts are all common place in both of these outings and yet remain distinct to me. It is an act I do not think I will grow tired of anytime soon.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Sleeping with the EnemyEquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe Family)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Mad Max: Fury RoadBlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All Night)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for Enemy: 76.

Yet another film I can add to the list entitled “Untapped Potential”, Enemy has a lot going for it and at the same time, a lot of obstacles obstructing the audience from getting to that next level. The best metaphor of the experience is if you got a renowned painter to come to your house and paint a masterpiece for you. He pulls out his paints and his brushes, selects the one he wants to begin with and makes one curved line on the canvas. He then hands the brush to you and asks you to paint. There’s a lot the curved line says, with the pressure he put into the stroke, as well as the curve, texture and color, but there are so many options to be extrapolated from that lone curve that you have no clue where to go next. The themes are there but not simplified enough that I was able to hold and admire them. It is one I plan to revisit.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

I read an analysis from slate.com that is worth checking out and may answer some of the questions you have. Key emphasis on the word “some”.

First, there’s the meaning of the spider. There’s a spider in our opening frames and the purpose of that opening scene is not revealed until the last take of the film, where things get all sorts of confusing.

The spider is a recurring theme here and prior to reading the above analysis, I had no idea what was going on and even the writer of the analysis above acknowledges uncertainty as to exactly what was going on. To my updated understanding, the spider was a visual representation of our dark side, but that does not explain why at the end, Adam goes into the bedroom and finds a giant spider in the corner instead of Helen, Anthony’s pregnant wife.

My original interpretation was that the story was a figment of Adam’s imagination, that Adam and Anthony were actually the same person and there are some hints of that during the screenplay.

When Adam visits his mother, he tells her that he doesn’t like blueberries when he sits at the table, but his mother says, “Of course you do” and says something like, “I wish you’d stop being a third-rate actor”, something that Adam is not, but Anthony is. Anthony also loves blueberries. His fridge is stocked with them.

When you search the cast list on Google, Helen’s last name is Bell, not St. Claire, Anthony’s last name, adding further wood to my theory that this is a psychological battle of Adam’s alter egos. However, then you have to ask yourself how Mary was killed in the car accident because Adam clearly couldn’t have been there. Was she driving with someone else or was it another man bent on sexual deviance like Anthony? Does Helen exist or is she another figment of Adam’s imagination? If she’s not, then where was she in the room? The analysis above suggested Helen was the spider or that she was carrying one in her belly, not a literal spider of course but an Anthony, a dark side of Adam. As the story progresses, Anthony and Adam become more alike and yet Anthony is “killed” in the car wreck, but yet Adam has now progressed to resemble Anthony closer than ever.

The more I think about my theory, the more Enemy begins to make sense, but at the same time, the more I question myself what really happened. I’m just not sure and now I feel like Anthony on the poster, a spider wracking through my brain as I try to figure out what was what and what wasn’t.

And I’m still not sure why the “N” on the poster is italicized but I know there’s a reason behind it, because in this film, there was a reason for everything.

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Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

I was never a fan of Mad Max. I’m a strong proponent of Mel Gibson’s acting career, but these films… Mad Max was a one-page character at best and the story’s practically posthumous state is like a filer on skin it’s so irritating.

In my opinion, the title Mad Max incurs a thriller type film. Mad Max is not a thriller. Therefore, I’m unsure why we’re calling the films that or saying Max is a mad guy. It’s been a while since I saw the original films, but to my recollection, little emotion was demonstrated and with anger, wrath and hatred being such strong emotions, if Max is truly mad, I shouldn’t have to ask myself where the ferociousness is. It should be apparent.

Mad Max is not a great saga. It’s bearable if you’re really bored, which is how I ended up first watching the series actually, but needs not be visited a second time. I’ve never seen a post-apocalyptic universe this boring and this far removed from themes. If the films had given me something to internally discuss, at least it would have bought the films some time to figure out what it is they were trying to do, but I never had that epiphany of mental discussion.

I wasn’t excited for this sequel. Yes, Tom Hardy should make everything better but it’s still Mad Max and Tom Hardy or no Tom Hardy, Mad Max is boring. Mel Gibson is a better actor than Tom Hardy and he couldn’t make it better. What could Hardy do that Gibson couldn’t?

The answer is nothing. Mad Max: Fury Road ended up to be the thoughtless, directionless, storyless venture I expected it to be.

There’s no rehashing of the previous stories. Fury Road is meant to stand alone, but has only one leg to stand on.

Mad Max‘s characters are scraps. Some entertainment can be had because it’s a post-apocalyptic world built on scraps, but after a momentary chuckle, those scraps aren’t so funny anymore. They’re embarrassing.

That’s probably the best one-word sum up of Mad Max: Fury Road: embarrassing.

If you can be dazzled by the film’s above average stunt choreography and action sequences, you can find entertainment but that’s all that’s going on here. You can only throw boomsticks and shoot fire out of guitars while riding an armored vehicle with multiple bass stereos and a collection of drum thumpers on the back end for so long before even that begins to get old. Seriously though, that guitar shooting flames thing was awesome.

That’s probably the only excessively pleasant compliment you’re going to get out of me during this review because there isn’t much else to applaud here. If Mad Max: Fury Road had half as much creativity as the musician with the flame guitar…

It’s been quite a while since I started this and I usually write my whole review from start to finish in a few hours but this review kept getting pushed back for my job and internship and also because this film is so frustrating to talk about. There are some people, I kid you not, who are saying this will be the best action film of the year. What are you talking about?! Do you have cataracts or are you that stupid?

There is no story to Fury Road. They go from one end of the map to the other and go back the way they came when they find out there’s nothing on the other side. That’s it. Aside from one subplot that holds less weight than a newborn, we have nothing branching out from the trunk of the tree.

The characters are so bad and it sours me to know a great talent like Tom Hardy is having such a rough start to 2015. Child 44 got bashed by critics heavily and this ain’t helping his cause. Arnold Schwarzenegger said less than 200 words in Terminator 2 if my memory serves me right and I think Hardy says even less than that here. If there was such a thing as putting a talented person in a lose-lose situation, this is a prime example. If Hardy were a squirrel, the script for this film would be like 10-foot cinder blocks surrounding him and being roofed by an elephant caught in the hole. If Hardy were a NASCAR driver, the script would be a car with four flat tires and an engine replaced with a punctured balloon. If Hardy was the best sniper in the world, the script would be asking him to headshot a guy on the moon. This movie is freaking stupid and I’m done talking about it. I’m just done.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Sleeping with the EnemyEquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe Family)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for Mad Max: Fury Road: 58.

I usually return from watching a film and pick a score before writing a review. Rarely does that score ever change from the one I initially put down, but the more I thought about Fury Road and the more I wrote, the lower the score went. I had it at a 67, but have become more disgusted by it the more I think about it. Fury Road flew right over its story like an oblivious bird too dumb to look down at what it was passing over.

A desert that’s deserted and has no life in sight, stunts are all Mad Max: Fury Road has to offer. If you’re looking for mindless entertainment and are okay with paying ticket prices for it, then give it a shot. Otherwise, wait for a rental or better yet, a TV showing, although I’d suggest a third option, a movie where a director doesn’t make a first-class talent look like a paralyzed mime.

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Movie Review: Sleeping with the Enemy

I wanted to make my first review of my third year a big one. There are a few movies I bought that I’m waiting to see, but none of them interested my family for some reason, so I got stuck with this. Sleeping with the Enemy is one of my mom’s favorite movies. Thanks, Mom.

It’s all in good fun because even though I gave her a hard time about it during the opening credits, Sleeping with the Enemy isn’t a bad movie.

It’s a long prose about domestic violence. Women wait in their castles, sheltered by their parents, waiting for their Prince Charming to rescue them. However, sometimes Prince Charming rescues a damsel in distress only to put her in another castle. Some people view women as trophies and want to put them in a glass cabinet for all to see and admire. They don’t want them to ever leave. They don’t want them to interact with anyone without them by their side. Some men want someone not to love, but to control. For some people, it is easy for the definitive, easily separable lines of control and love to become intertwined and for those opposites to become one and the same.

When these men are confronted by their women about their need for independence, men get vicious and domestic violence is a close and present danger. One ill comment or burnt dinner is all it will take for another beating to ensue. Suddenly, these women are no longer looking for love. They’re looking to survive.

Domestic violence is no laughing matter and one that needs to be and should be taken very seriously, even if businesses like the NFL continue to employ repeat offenders and slap them on the wrist like a parent does a child stealing a piece of candy. Domestic violence and stealing a piece of candy should not have the same punishment. Thanks Roger Goodell and the NFL for continually demonstrating a lack of empathy and a surprising ability to revel in a complete apathy of your employees’ conduct. Deflating footballs, even if there is no foundational evidence to support such an accusation, is apparently far worse morally for the NFL than beating a pregnant woman or continually beating women for some type of sick pleasure.

A quick soapbox rant there at the end, but at the same time, it remains relevant because many domestic violence victims will not fight back and will not search for help. Fear, as well as the continued bruising of their bodies, will cripple them.

It’s a smudge on the human condition that stuff like this still happens. It’s barbaric. There are gorillas that are more human than some people who walk among us.

There are many layers to this revolting topic and sadly, Sleeping with the Enemy can’t unravel them all. It peeks through the slit of the curtain, which is plenty revealing for its audience, but it progresses no farther than that.

Despite the complexities of the topic this film plants itself on, director Joseph Ruben’s pensive piece perverts (pun) from the course that I so wanted Sleeping with the Enemy to follow. It was made during the 90’s so it’s probable that Ruben never intended to create a potentially scarring drama. A simple thriller encouraging women to root for Julia Roberts is probably closer to the prerogative. I still felt shorted by film’s end.

Julia Roberts’ Laura is in the same predicament that I first highlighted above. Her husband, Martin (Patrick Bergin), refuses her independence and remains attached to Laura like a leech. Martin is a parasite. He sucks the life out of Laura, makes her feel like someone else and as the days go by, you can tell she loses more and more of herself. Without her, Martin has nothing to feed off of. Martin is built on Laura’s corpse, as revolting an image as that is. She is not so much a person as she is a step of flesh for Martin to step on and under the weight she is beginning to crumble piece by piece.

All of the above is in Sleeping with the Enemy. It’s concrete material. The trauma of her day-to-day life travels with her no matter where she goes and even when she tries to start anew, an underlying question remains: Does Laura have enough of herself to begin again or did Martin steal her away from herself?

That question lives as the one thing that never leaves the audience or Laura. The answer is undetermined. The future of Laura’s existence never gets on film. What happens after the battle of Laura and the leech was never investigated by the screenwriters.

We’re never gifted with the dozens of possible endings. In many cases, Laura is murdered. In others, the leech is killed but the damage was done. Laura, no matter how hard she tried, could not be who she once was. And finally, in others, Laura, through counseling and coping, claims her redemption.

These are but three endings of the dozens that occur in our everyday realities.

Sleeping with the Enemy‘s inability to paint the true picture cannot be shouldered on the film. A three-hour film could not have done the domestic violence autopsy. There are parts that little is known about, parts that refuse to divulge, and others that are scary to look at. More characters would have needed to be brought in, each mirroring the possible repercussions of a victim. The time and the talent could not be assembled by an ant-sized budget ($19 million). The sky of domestic violence could not be entirely gathered and analyzed by a telescope this small. I’m unsure if a film could do the topic justice. A television show cataloging the lives of the abused perhaps?

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (EquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands Tall)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for Sleeping with the Enemy: 73.

The psychological thriller presented to us irritates our mind as we align ourselves with Laura. Julia Roberts’ performance is genuine and researched. The ticks and signs are there. The script explores the length of its short leash. Martin bestows unpredictability. His crazy eyes are cringe-worthy, his step awkwardly framed and his voice a scratch like sandpaper on skin.

But I’m greedy. I wanted more and the story has so much canvas left blank that it’s impossible for me to ignore. Sleeping with the Enemy remains a capable thriller and one I’ll revisit, but oh, it could have been so much more.

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Year Two of WordsofWisTIM

May 13th was the two-year anniversary of WordsofWisTIM and I’m proud of how far we’ve come. Now 7,277 views, 272 posts, 109 followers and 2,345 tags later, WordsofWisTIM continues to entertain and inspire both me and all of my readers.

Most Views

In a day: 113, February 5, 2015

In a week: 203, week of May 5, 2014

In a month: 596, May 2014

You, just as much as me, are a part of WordsofWisTIM. Yes, I am the writer, the creator of these pieces, but you are part of the equation, too.

WordsofWisTIM is the name of my blog, but it’s also an ideal and a philosophy.

It is a world of thought that asks how to make people laugh, smile, giggle, think, question, discover, live, love and transcend.

A friend asked me, “Do you have a goal for views/followers?”

In my opinion, that is a narrow goal. It is a goal of numbers. It’s quantifiable.

My ultimate goal is not one of numbers, but one of betterment and contribution.

I want to do something that can’t be measured.

I want to be a reason for change and make a difference.

I want to make an impact, make my mark.

I’ve already started scratching my name in the wall of life.

Here’s to making it grow.

Here’s to the third year of WordsofWisTIM!

Here were the beauties and bottom dwellers from Year Two!

Top Ten

1. American Beauty: 98

2. Guardians of the Galaxy: 98

3. Gone Girl: 98

4. The Avengers 96

5. Avengers: Age of Ultron: 95

6. Transformers: Age of Extinction: 95

7. The Babadook: 93

8. Godzilla: 93

9. Jack Reacher: 92

10. Mulan: 92

 

Worst of the Worst

10. The Grey: 25

9. Sabotage: 22

8. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale: 21

7. Safe: 19

6. Clash of the Titans: 18

5. Outcast: 18

4. A Haunted House 2: 18

3. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: 16

2. Gallowwalkers: 13

1. Watchmen: 11

 

And finally, the final standings after two years. Peter Jackson’s Best Picture winner defends its spot at number one while last year’s number two, Miracle, falls to the sixth spot. Alien 3 remains the cancerous carcass at the bottom of the cellar, followed by my 2014 Worst Film of the Year winner, Open Grave.

Top Ten

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: 98

2. American Beauty: 98

3. Guardians of the Galaxy: 98

4. Gone Girl: 98

5. Miracle: 97

6. The Avengers: 96

7. Spider-Man 2: 96

8. The Green Mile: 96

9. Prisoners: 96

10. 42: 96

 

Worst of the Worst

10. Clash of the Titans: 18

9. Outcast: 18

8. A Haunted House 2: 18

7. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: 16

6. Midnight Cowboy: 15

5. Gallowwalkers: 13

4. Dark Fury: 13

3. Watchmen: 11

2. Open Grave: 10

1. Alien 3: 5

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Conclusion of my DeflateGate Series

Cats In The Bleachers

My study of the DeflateGate saga, broken in to five parts, has left me to a few conclusions.

1) Yes, something happened.  Even if it really gave some sort of competitive edge is to be determined, but it happened and it can’t be left alone, mainly due to the expansive media coverage it received.

2) The punishment far exceeded any reasonable thought.  The lack of evidence against Brady and the Patriots, the lack of ability to know if Ted Wells was truly an independent and unbiased investigator, and the ignorance and lack of attention of the claim before this all happened, and the lack of claims before the one the Colts made, as well as to the past events that were of similar nature and the precedents set by the prior events all add up to one thing: a witch hunt.  Something needed to be done, sure, a few fines, loss…

View original post 235 more words

What Does the NFL Have to Lose from DeflateGate? DeflateGate Series Part 5

Cats In The Bleachers

While the NFL stood to gain quite an amount from this DeflateGate saga, it still stands to lose quite an amount.  As mentioned earlier, Goodell will probably never be popular in the New England area and those who were already convinced that he’s a poor commissioner have had their thoughts confirmed yet again.  But it goes a little deeper than that.

The NFL and Goodell himself is losing popularity with the NFLPA.  This relationship was already rocky.  The Wall Street Journal talks about how Goodell is already unpopular due to his power over discipline and his choices to pick the arbitrators when cases get appealed.  And when this case is brought forward to the arbitrator, it will be very hard to hide any sort of unpopular choice that might be seen as a puppet for Goodell.  Goodell has been stuck in a rut lately.  He can’t pick someone who is seen as impartial…

View original post 757 more words

How Does the NFL Benefit from DeflateGate? DeflateGate Series part 4

Cats In The Bleachers

Despite all that fans may think, the NFL actually benefits from this witch hunt known as DeflateGate.  All the coverage and exposure that the NFL has gotten from this, the merchandise that has sold in droves in support of the Patriots and Brady (Wall Street Journal reports that Brady jersey sales and Patriots paraphernalia is up 100 percent.  Brady jersey sales are third most behind Mariota and Winston, where Brady ranked 6th before the release of the Wells Report), and all the traffic that nfl.com can other associated websites have received in the last week is up, allowing for more ads to be seen and the NFL then to charge more for the ads.  But it goes deeper than that.

First, take a look at the Patriots schedule.  Should Brady’s four game suspension hold up, he’ll return to play against the Colts in week six.  Some coincidence, huh?  Ratings are sure…

View original post 602 more words

Was Ted Wells Impartial? DeflateGate Series Part 3

More on DeflateGate.

Cats In The Bleachers

Ted Wells, the writer of the Wells Report for the DeflateGate topic that is burning hot right now.  Not only has he written this report, but he also has written one for the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito/Miami Dolphins bullying scandal. That report didn’t come under quite the same scrutiny as the current report.  Why?  Because his last report had more hard facts.  Because his last report, he was far more impartial.

When asked how much how much the NFL paid him to do this report, Wells was less than candid in giving an answer.  CBS.com states that he said “I don’t know off the top of my head, but there’s no question it’s in the millions of dollars,” Wells said.  When asked if he could be more specific, Wells remained silent. At that point, the moderator came on the line and said, “Not necessary. Next question, Mike.”

For an investigator who is…

View original post 564 more words

Patriots Punishment: More Than SpyGate? DeflateGate Series Part 2

Jon’s continued discussion on DeflateGate is worth checking out.

Cats In The Bleachers

My first part of the DeflateGate series focused on the punishment for QB Tom Brady.  However, he’s not the only affected party in this case.  Now it’s time to look at the Patriots organization and the punishment it received.

The organization received a punishment that consists of: the removal of a first round pick for the Patriots 2016 draft, the removal of the 2017 fourth round pick, and a 1 million dollar fine.  According to NFL.com, there details of the draft pick punishment are as follows:

“If the Patriots have more than one selection in either of these rounds, the earlier selection shall be forfeited. The club may not trade or otherwise encumber these selections.”

The Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, had stated that he was willing to accept the penalty for this after the Wells Report came out but when the punishment came out, he stated it was beyond a reasonable punishment.  A…

View original post 1,152 more words

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