Release Date: 2012
Plot Outline: Tessa has terminal cancer. She is angry, she is scared, she is living life at full speed. She has a bucket list and not much time to complete it. Her short life drastically changes when she falls in love.
I am sick of all of these romanticized terminal illness films. It is overdone and they all follow the same script. I thought Now is Good was going to be different and fresh because the main character was trying to complete a bucket list before she passed away, but I was wrong. Now is Good was the same old tale of a young girl dying of cancer that falls in love and finds meaning in her life told once again, only this time starring Dakota Fanning.
What I disliked the most about this film was Tessa (Dakota Fanning). She was rude and mean and unpleasant and treated her parents horribly. I can only imagine that someone dying of a terminal illness has a lot of built up anger, but Tessa lashing out at her naïve/helpless, sad parents and younger sibling did not make me sympathize with her, it made me hate her. I felt terrible for her parents. They were annoying and unhelpful but they were trying their best and were always met with animosity from Tessa. Tessa was extremely unpleasant and it made the film unpleasant to watch.
Don’t get me wrong, I did not solely dislike this film because Tessa was a jerk. I disliked this film for a number of reasons. The acting was subpar, the story is overdone, it was extremely predictable, and it romanticized dying. I am not a fan of films that romanticize terminal illness because I see this as a real life tragedy that so many people have to go through. I feel the unrealistic depiction of terminal illness is disrespectful and insulting, but hey, that’s just my opinion.
I felt like my life was wasted by watching this film, I do not recommend it and I am happy to move on with my life without ever thinking of this film again.
If you liked this, see: The Fault in Our Stars, A Walk to Remember, Autumn in New York, Sweet November
Release Date: January, 2013
Plot Outline: An operative for an intelligence firm is assigned with joining an anarchist group undercover that is known for attacking major corporations.
The East is now in the category of my favorite movies. I was extremely impressed with all aspects of this film. The acting was on point. I was completely convinced of each character and their development, the story line itself was fresh and unique, and it kept me on the edge of my seat and squeezing my boyfriend’s hand throughout the film.
What was great about The East is that it is controversial and overwhelmingly grey. There is no black and white in this film. The villains are the heroes depending on your own values and perspectives. What makes this film exceptional is that everyone will walk out feeling differently. Your opinion of The East will be based on your own personal values after encouraging some heavy self reflection, which will instigate fascinating conversations with friends after watching it.
I am obsessed with this film and I am obsessed with Brit Marling. I vow to see every film she is in. Any movie I have seen of hers thus far, I leave the movie with my jaw dropped and can’t stop thinking about it for days, sometimes weeks, this film included.
I strongly recommend this film. I was more than pleased and I think others will be as well. It is a shame that this phenomenal film has not gained more recognition.
Release Date: 2011
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Bechdel Test: Fail
Plot Outline: A man struggling with depression finds his voice in a beaver puppet.
The Beaver started out strong. It has a strong cast full of talented, well respected actors. I was surprised that Jennifer Lawrence was in this. I didn’t realize that until I started watching the film. Though The Beaver was original, the idea of the puppet was unique and intriguing, I felt that the film did follow the usual script of a family falling apart and then trying to bring themselves back together. That doesn’t mean that the film isn’t good, it just means I have seen it before, without the puppet.
Watching The Beaver was surprisingly emotional. This is a story about a man’s mental illness. This man is falling apart, his family is falling apart. It feels sad and it feels real, even though the puppet is a thing. You can easily see this family’s pain and resentment and fear. Watching the family fall apart is much like watching a train wreck. You want to look away but you just can’t. It is captivating.
Like I said before, The Beaver started out strong…”started” being the key word. I felt that the end of the movie was weak and lazy.
I did enjoy watching this film, I wasn’t bored but after it finished I wasn’t left with much, just an hour or so of being entertained. It isn’t memorable but it was a feel good film for the moment.
If you liked The Beaver, watch: Stuck In Love (though I liked Stuck In Love a lot more)