“Joy” had scenes. And while some of them were very good, I’m not sure that it’s actually a movie, though.
“Joy,” the latest film by David O. Russell is a biopic that proudly displays a big asterisk on the “bio” part. It tells the true story of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence), an overworked, single mother who created the Miracle Mop and became a millionaire.
Now this is the kind of story David O. Russell loves: somebody who is constantly held down by their insane mess of a family. And that is what ultimately hurts Russell at certain points: he is constantly standing in his own shadow.
“And the winner of Best Oakleys Commercial of the year is…American Sniper!” Image via Indiewire
There is a rule many screenwriters follow called “Save the Cat,” in which the protagonist must do something good (like save a cat) in the film’s first act in order to be likable. In the first scene of American Sniper, Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) kills a woman and a child. Later, he tries to beat a dog with a belt. Now it makes sense why Chris Kyle is an American hero that nobody can stop arguing about.
American Sniper is about the Iraq War. It is a film that should have been made, and for a certain segment of America (re: cheese curd lovers), it will be the defining Iraq War film. For another segment of America (re: kale lovers), it will be seen as a huge missed opportunity. For film critics (re: movie lovers), it will be seen as a big disappointment from a legend of cinematic badassery. I am lactose intolerant and I hate kale, so you can guess which camp I fall into.
Guardians of the Galaxy marks the first time in a long time in which I was actively rooting for the arrival of another Marvel feature. That might have just been from the odd sight of a raccoon and a tree interacting with one another. Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest film to come out of the Marvel Universe, and it almost feels like they hit the restart button with this one, and got nearly perfect results.
I had an inkling, which turned out to be very wrong, that Guardians of the Galaxy might completely reinvent both superhero and action movies. I was wrong. Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t reinvent any genre, and it doesn’t even try to do so. Guardians of the Galaxy is a product of Marvel, yet it also bears director James Gunn’s incredibly original voice. James Gunn worked the system: he made a fun summer blockbuster that also happens to be an auteur piece.