Movie Review: 99 HOMES – compelling drama told within the recent global meltdown, featuring standout performances by Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon

There’s a scene in The Big Short where three of the protagonists fly to Florida to see for themselves just how quickly the housing market is approaching critical mass, and when they get there and cagily discuss the situation with two clueless douchebro real estate investors, they leave convinced that all the projections they’ve been privy to are actually on the level.  It’s one of the best scenes in the movie, and in a weird way, it reminded me of movies where a team of biologists try to track down the source of a disease outbreak.  Considering how the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market triggered a global meltdown, the disease analogy seems pretty apt.

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Movie Review: NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – an absorbing, frustrating dark drama with a terrific Michael Shannon performance at its core.

nocturnal-animals

The new year is only two weeks old, but Nocturnal Animals is likely going to make my top 5 movies of 2017.  I saw this a couple of days ago on my birthday, a few weeks after being disappointed that it had already left the major theater chains here in Minnesota around Christmas, and I left the movie impressed.  It’s hard to ignore a movie with a cast boasting Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy), Amy Adams (Arrival), and Michael Shannon (Midnight Special), and even though I still haven’t seen Tom Ford’s first movie, A Single Man,  I remembered the good buzz around it.  On the strength of this sophomore effort, I’ll move it up the queue.

Continue reading “Movie Review: NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – an absorbing, frustrating dark drama with a terrific Michael Shannon performance at its core.”

Movie Review: TAKE SHELTER – Another great Michael Shannon performance highlights Jeff Nichols’ intriguing movie

take-shelter

A few months ago, I watched Midnight Special on the recommendation of a friend, and I liked it.  I’d never heard of Jeff Nichols before that, but I was impressed by everything about the production, despite not being overly wowed by it.  It’s definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen this year (to put that in context, I think I’ve watched about 30 – 40 movies so far in 2016.  It’s October 8th, as I write this), and it’s clear to me that Nichols is a name to watch.  His upcoming movie Loving, starring Joel Edgerton seems like a risky outside-of-his-box move, and feels like it Oscar-bait, but I’ll trust the guy based on the two movies of his I’ve watched now.  Other than Midnight Special, last night I watched his 2012 movie, Take Shelter.  I said Loving was outside of his box, and that’s based on seeing these two movies.

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