The Jane Doe Awards~ Movie Edition

Being tired of all the awards shows and their lack of enjoying good entertainment,   I decided to create my own awards. The Jane Doe Awards are the opinion of an average Jane just like you. So here are some of my favorite movies of the year.

The Zeitgeist Awards

Magic Mike

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The movie world finally decided to cater to over half its movie going audience. Channing Tatum steps away from sappy romances to give women some hot action. He and a gorgeous band of sidekicks take off their clothes to entertain and prove that women to like sex appeal. This made way for other outlets including the extremely hot and lady friendly Chicago Fire. While the plot tried too hard, it was fun entertainment that reminded the world that women are sexual beings. Long live the women’s movement!

The Never Ending Story Award

John Carter

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John Carter suffered from horrible advertising. No one had any idea what it was about or that it was based on short stories written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I rented it from Netflix because I had heard good things. What no one told me was that it is The Never Ending Story of this generation. Faraway places, princesses in peril, and an unsuspecting hero. The CG is well done and the world of Mars comes to life. Taylor Kitsch is a fabulous actor and handles all aspects of Carter genuinely. Thomas Haden Church, Willem Dafoe, and an appearance by James Purefoy add depth to the overall casting. The world of John Carter is magical and children will want to revisit it again and again. This adult does.

The Women’s Rights Award

Hysteria

hysteria_i01Hysteria is a well done, humorous, but not vulgar telling of how the vibrator was created. Originally made to relieve women’s illness, the vibrator has become the most popular sex toy. The movie puts the women’s rights movement front and center. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Charlotte is the ultimate feminist trying to break out of the box her father has put her in. Hugh Dancy is serious as the doctor who invents the vibrator because a debilitating injury (carpal tunnel from manual “curing” women). It also gives a frank look at a time that saw all women’s problems as being attached to their uterus. It’s enjoyable, the right amount of funny and serious at the same time. It’s worth a watch even if the content is “scandalous.”

 

Best Superhero Movie

The Dark Knight Rises

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The Avengers may have made the most money this year but it traded quality for spectacle. The Dark Knight Rises, on the other hand, was well thought out and executed. Christopher Nolan did well, ending his trilogy. The film weaves aspects from the first two installments into the finishing story. The story was more than just imploding stadium and barbaric fights. The film touches on themes superhero stories do not touch. This movie was an allegory for your world rife with terrorism and need for heroes. Our hero is conflicted and multi-sided instead of a stereotype and viewers are invested in his ending. And we are quite pleased.

 

The Movie That Should Have Sucked But Didn’t

Promised Land

webpromised-land-movie-damonThis movie about a small town, an environmentalist, and a natural gas company should have sucked. It could have been a puff piece about being green; instead it was smart and emotional. Though viewers could see a twist coming, they would not see what it actually was. Blending humor with real world issues, Matt Damon and John Krasinski proved to be deft screen writers and actors. If anyone else had tried to do this movie, it would have become a sappy mess. Viewers will think critically about the world and their jobs. As a limited engagement, many may have missed it. Put it on the top of Redbox list!

 

The Technical Wonder

The Hunger Games

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The adaptation of the young adult novels does not join this list for the quality acting or the thought provoking screen play (both of which it has), but because the film’s creators took the time to put real thought into each aspect of the movie. For example, the filming is brilliantly plotted. Katniss is followed by handicam in District 12 and in the Hunger Games giving a very documentary feel to the games and its contestant. It’s only in the Capital that the camera is steady and perfect. For many more examples, read my review. Everything from the costumes to the sets oozes the themes and ideals of the screen play. No other movie had so much thought invested.

The Award Winner

Silver Linings Playbook

11LAWRENCE1_SPAN-articleLargeI hate award shows; they always pick movies I hate or haven’t seen. Usually, I really like one of them, and this year it is Silver Linings Playbook. This tale of two emotional damaged people is brilliantly written and gives a very realistic view of mental illness. Bradley Cooper is pitch perfect as Pat who suffers from Bi-Polar Disorder. It’s a shame that Jennifer Lawrence wins when Cooper doesn’t. Lawrence is fabulous in her role but Cooper is amazing and becomes the character; he deserves the accolades more. Never the less, this movie is funny, touching and very real. You should not miss this one.

 

The Kids & Adults Can Watch Award

Wreck It Ralph

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It has finally become popular to make animated or children geared movie with adults in mind. So not only will adults take their children to see these movies, some adults will go without kids. Wreck It Ralph is the best one of the year. It tackles ideas that children and adults can learn from. The film also waxes nostalgia for games past. As a gamer, I enjoyed being able to name so many of the references. The movie has witty jokes but at the same makes childish humor. “Heroes’ Doody” still makes me laugh even though I should be older than such jokes.  For every childish line from Sarah Silverman, John C. Reilly lays down a witty line. But that is what is marvelous about Ralph; there’s something funny for everyone.

The Dark Knight Rises for a Final Time

The first portion of this review contains no spoilers. The second portion under the pictures contains spoilers in order to review the movie as a conclusion to the series.

 

A better movie than the first, a different beat from the second, The Dark Knight Rises is an action packed thrill ride. This fantastic blend of insane comic like violence and fabulous special effects wraps up Christopher Nolan’s reboot of the Bruce Wayne tale.

This go around, Bruce Wayne is a recluse with a questionable limp wallowing in self pity. As the city of Gotham celebrates the eight year anniversary of Harvey Dent Day and peace from organized crime, a master thief sneaks into Wayne manner unknowingly setting forth a terrorist attack on the city. Enter Bane, a largely muscled, masked villain who takes control of the money trading operations in the city. This leads to the fall of Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gordon being shot, and, ultimately, the Batman returning. Bane takes control of a bomb that can destroy the city, and he calls up the citizen to rebel against the government. He threatens to blow up the entire city if anyone leaves the island. Selena Kyle and Wayne must partner up to save the city.

At first, the movie seems peppered with plot holes and unanswered questions, but these are leaving room for plot twists that change you perspective on the characters and their motives. The script works hard to make this entry a cohesive package winding the three movies together. The attention left on Harvey Dent gets old, and you wonder if he wasn’t meant to be yet another villain.  In fact, as with every Batman since Tim Burton’s first foray, the films have suffered from too many villains. But this script winds them together rather evenly making their stories mesh.

The movie is at its best when it is showing off the special effects and the well directed stunts. The best of these are Batman’s fight with Bane, a character that Batman can’t use all his gadgets to defeat. These slug fests helps round out Batman’s humanity as Bane pounds into him. Hans Zimmer continues to ramp up the tension with his pounding score. The visual ascetics add to the tone. It’s a brighter Gotham than we’ve seen implying that the city is at peace after Dent.

The majority of acting is top notch. Bale gives a wonderful performance, and his Batman voice has settled some. Speaking of voices, Tom Hardy gambles with a unique voice for Bane and scores. More coherent than many people will lead you to believe, Bane’s voice calls to mind a psychotic Sean Connery using an augmenter. In fact, fans of Hardy should be able to hear the distinct sound of his voice with in his Bane mumble. Anne Hathaway does well as Catwoman but her voice and sexuality are over done. You can tell she is trying hard to be sexy and seductive, whereas many other actresses could have just oozed the sexiness. Her version of Catwoman quickly becomes as normal as Bale’s Batman voice. TV fans will be excited to see Josh Stewart and Desmond Harrington from Criminal Minds and Dexter respectively.

The much anticipated conclusion to Nolan’s Batman trilogy lives up to the hype. Full of twists and complex characters, it’s the superhero movie of the year.

Read on past the photos for the spoiler filled part of the review.

 

Warning: Spoilers

The Dark Knight Rises wraps up the Nolan-directed trilogy excellently. With appearances from Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy, the villains are woven together in a way that gives a complete picture of the Gotham underworld. It seems odd to say about villains, but it’s like beloved characters coming back from the dead. Originally, when I read that they purposely left out the Joker, I felt it was the right decision. But after watching the film, it seems like he has been forgotten instead of being revered. Especially with Ra’s Al Ghul comes back from the dead and tying all the characters from the film are all linked together.

I was also pleased with the ending. I did see the ultimate ending concerning the legacy of Batman coming after reading Entertainment Weekly. Blake’s fate is beautiful. Not only is it hopeful and rounds out the Batman legacy, it proves that anyone can be a hero. I think this idea resounds more than the political rhetoric of Bane and Tate. What I really loved about the ending was that Batman and Catwoman finally go together. It’s something fans have wanted for a long time. Not only did this ending give Kyle’s character depth, but Wayne can quit whining about women which has always bugged me.

The only thing I was really displeased with was that Alfred left. While I’m not up to speed on all the comics, it still seems out of character. Alfred has always been a father figure that helped keep him safe. Then suddenly he leaves like the best friend that can’t watch a crack addict kill himself. And while there may be parallels, I never thought Alfred would do it.

The movie is probably the best third sequel since Indian Jones and the Last Crusade leaving Nolan’s reboot on a high note.