The Wolf of Wall Street

Raging Bull, Good Fellas, Casino, and the Wolf of Wall Street–it’s clear these movies fall into a category within Martin Scorsese‘s filmography. A category of a despicable man redeeming himself at the end. There is something magically awesome about such a character and the story. It is certainly difficult to make a despicable character likable, but if you can pull it off, it works every time. On top of that, if you bring in Scorsese, it’s like watching for the first time Raging Bull, Good Fellas, and Casino. Long live Scorsese!

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I’m on Vacation

There is no better music to start off my vacation. My week long vacation starts tomorrow. Happy Vacation!

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

When you let the accountants run things, you get stuff like Terminator 3, Transformer 4, and so on…the franchise just gets worse and worse like an overcooked rotten piece of T-bone steak. But when you let an artist continue to make his/her own choice, you get something like The Grand Budapest Hotel.

 

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The Fatal Encounter

This movie feels a bit like an adaptation from a Russian novel where there are multiple protagonists from different social positions from outcasts to a royal family. The Fatal Encounter evolves around the central event, the assassination/purge of the new King (Hyunbin). This is not a typical story of the good guy vs. the bad guy. Rather, this is a story of different characters including the King himself who are destined to be a part of the bigger-than-oneself event and who must fight for their own survival. The King is destined to be assassinated, the assassins are destined to be killers, and their destinies are entangled together.

I was impressed by how the director pulled off weaving multiple sub-plots in a coherent manner and without losing emotional connection.

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All is Lost

I love the sea, sailing, and Robert Redford. After watching this movie, I feel like I have to buy exactly the same survival kits in the movie and be a sailor…like right now. Anyway, this movie is actually more than about a sailor. Whenever a movie deals only with a single character in a limited environment, you can go deep into the character. Mundane body languages and expressions have more weight and meaning. And Redford does it so well. We know metaphorically that the sailor is out in the sea examining his soul and looking for salvation, not survival.

Gravity pretty much has the same narrative, but the focus is completely different. It is less about the human condition and soul searching but more about heroism and triumph. In short, All is Lost is about salvation. Gravity is about personal triumph. What great companion movies!

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Gravity

This was probably one of the most boring screenplays ever written. Limited characters, dialogues, and environment. But this is one of the most visual and compelling movies of the year. There are things that you just have to see! Pure directorial genius. Bravo!

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