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Mat’s Movie Reviews

Hello and welcome to my movie review page! As noted in my bio I am a HUGE movie buff and have watched a fairly ridiculous amount of movies. After thinking about it for a while I figured hey, why not share my thoughts on those movies with all of you! These are movie reviews for normal people by a normal person! I’m not a film critic or a lofty professor of film, I’m just someone who enjoys movies! I will rate each movie on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best!

I will try to keep this blog updated as I come across new movies but I have a lot of catching up to do! I have not seen all the movies in the world sadly but if there are some you would like me to review and post on this blog feel free to email your suggestions to me at mat@trumanburger.com! Thanks and enjoy!

Movie: The Hurt Locker

Genre: Drama/War

Rating: 5/5

Year: 2008

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Description: “The rush of battle is a potent and almost lethal addiction, for war is a drug.” – Chris Hedges. This is the opening quote to the movie The Hurt Locker. All of the text fades away except for the words “War is a drug.” This is the core message of the movie. The Hurt Locker takes place in Iraq during the current occupation. We follow around a group of bomb techs led by Sergeant first class William James played by Jeremy Renner. Through his and his teams actions of finding and disarming IEDs (improvised explosive devices) the movie deeply explores the mindset of the men and women who would be willing to undertake such a dangerous and almost suicidal task

My thoughts: The Hurt Locker is in a word, Awesome. I’ve never really been a big war movie kind of guy because often times in epic war movies characters get lost in all the explosions. Not so in the Hurt Locker. The character development through the story is quite phenomenal. There is plenty of action and high tension to keep the story interesting and moving along, but each action scene enhances and builds upon the characters as opposed to just being another cool special effect. The performances are all superb as the casting was phenomenally well done. This film won Best Director and Best Film this year at the academy awards and it is well deserved. I have high respect for Kathryn Bigelow as a director as this film was done independently without a huge studio budget. An excellent film that is easily five stars and a must have in any home movie collection considering the relevant modern content and the amazing storytelling.

(Get your copy of The Hurt Locker!)

Movie: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Genre: Comedy

Rating: 5/5

Year: 2009

Director: Wes Anderson.

Description: Who said stop motion animation was dead?  Fantastic Mr. Fox is a fantastic tail (pun intended) following a family of foxes and their other animal friends.  The main character Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) was once a notorious chicken thief but due to pressure from his lovely wife cleaned up his life and became a respectable newspaper writer.  Eventually the temptation of stealing from the three local and notorious farmers was just too much for him however and he planned one more “big job.”  The only problem? The farmers decide to come after him and his family for stealing their stuff!  The story then goes from there as the fox family and their other animal friends must overcome their angry human neighbors!

My thoughts: This film is completely and ridiculously hilarious.  In all honesty I knew very little about it until I watched it at a friend’s house and it immediately jumped to the top of my buy list.  The stop motion animation works incredibly well for the story and it is a refreshing change from the current swarm of CGI.  If you are a fan of random humor and clever puns you’ll be a big fan of Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Definitely one the whole family can enjoy but not a kids only movie by any means!  If you want a good laugh in a not so traditional medium I highly recommend this film!

(Get your copy of Fantastic Mr. Fox!)

Movie: Paranormal Activity

Genre: Horror

Rating: 5/5

Year: 2007

Director: Oren Peli

Description: Paranormal activity is the story about a young couple and their experience with the supernatural.  The film begins with the character Micah (played by Micah Sloat) buying a video camera to begin filming strange occurrences that his girlfriend Katie (played by Katie Featherstone) has been noticing.  The film starts off fairly slow but as time goes on more and more strange things begin to happen and we have front row seats to the slow psychological degeneration of Micah and Katie as they struggle to figure out what is going on and how to solve their problems before it is to late.  The film is gritty and very realistic and shot with a hand held camera giving it an incredibly terrifying feel.

My thoughts: First off let me say I hate horror films.  Slasher films are laughable, most “ghost” films are poorly done relying on tacky CGI that isn’t scaring anyone and most psychological thrillers are neither thrilling nor psychological.  So when asked to go see Paranormal Activity I rolled my eyes expecting to be bored for 2 hours.  Not so my friends.  Paranormal Activity lives by a tried and true story mechanic that most Horror genre directors and writers have forgotten which is what is NOT seen is often more scary than what is.  Witnessing the psychological breakdown of two perfectly normal human beings is far more terrifying then Jason running out of the woods with his meat cleaver.  The performances are amazing and completely believable (although just about everyone will want to throw their shoe at Micah at times) and the hand held camera gives the film a very gritty feel.   Even someone who dislikes the genre as much as I do purchased this film the day it came out to stores.  You’ll be sleeping with the lights on after watching this one!

(Get your copy of Paranormal Activity!)

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