Rob Watches Movies

Reviews of every film I watch. The Good, The Bad and The Mothman Prophecies.

Tag: Elijah Wood

Celeste and Jesse Forever – 7/10.

Documentary asks ‘What happens next?’ When Celeste of Daphne and Celeste fame finds a new partner.

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Ok so it isn’t really about that, instead we have an adult comedy drama starring Andy Samberg and Parks & Rec’s Rashida Jones as a freshly divorced couple who remain friends and are unsure about their feelings for each other.

This is exactly the kind of grown up rom com that has rendered ‘wacky’ romantic comedies such as the lacklustre This Means War obsolete. Not quite in the same league as similar film 500 Days of Summer but there is still a lot to like in Celeste & Jesse Forever. It is nice to see Rashida Jones (who also co-wrote the film) move away from her usual supporting roles and she shows she has the chops to play the lead and it is also refreshing to see Andy Samberg playing a more restrained and believable character than his usual fare.

Eric Olsen and particularly Elijah Wood provide able support and a decent soundtrack results in an enjoyable and underrated film.

Maniac – 6.5/10.

There is a maniac. He kills people.
The thing that sets Maniac apart from countless other slasher flicks is that is filmed from the killers POV mostly in a first person, ‘Peep Show’ style. This is something I have wanted to see for a while in horror films but Elijah Woods’ psychopath Frank is just not interesting enough to carry such a premise. I would love to see this style applied to a character as interesting and impenetrable as Halloween‘s Michael Myers for example. There are suggestions of a haunted past and a longing for vindication but ultimately the POV style feels gimmicky too often and a decent back story is sacrificed for cheap gore and scares. Director Franck Khalfoun does a good job of giving off the whole creepy vibe with a fitting score and good lighting but Maniac could have been so much more.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 7/10.

Much loved but annoying oddity.

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Ok… I need to be careful with this one… Firstly the positives. Eternal Sunshine is a truly genius idea as you would expect from probably the most original script writer working in mainstream Hollywood Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Synecdoche New York – all of which I preferred).
Jim Carrey shows welcome restraint in the lead role but Kate Winslet effortlessly steals every scene the two share. The main positive however is the supporting cast as a whole. When on form, Kirsten Dunst is brilliant and she is on form here, you know what to expect from Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo shows why he is now a genuine A lister and Elijah Wood just looks delighted to be playing someone other than Frodo.
Michael Gondry’s direction is perfect. Visually Eternal Sunshine is stunning and memorable and the soundtrack fits very well without being overbearing. So why only a 7? Well very much like Lost in Translation I felt this was a beautiful story but I didn’t care about, and even worse disliked, the main characters so this is a film I could never love in a way that some people do. I also do think that while original and thought provoking cinema Eternal Sunshine is slightly overrated. 86th best film of all time?? (according to IMDB top 250) Not for me.

IMDB TOP 250 #86

WON 1 OSCAR (2 NOMINATIONS)

Best Original Screenplay

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