Movie review: The Judge

Movie reviews

Hi!

As you have probably noticed, I go to a cinema at least once a week. This Thursday, I watched The Judge – comedy-drama by the director David Dobkin.  I wasn’t familiar with his work, probably because he is not that famous.  He has directed a couple of comedies, TV shows and produced many more of them. The judge is his baby – he did everything himself – written, produced and directed.

IMDb summary: Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

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Story

I really enjoyed the story and all the different aspects of it. I loved the whole coming home from a big city thing – I have always imagined myself moving from my own small native country to live in the US and coming back for a short visit. The law side of the movie also appealed to me because last year I did a semester of Law AP class at my local college, so I am familiar with the basic structures and different kinds of laws. The family drama was also close to my heart because I have always had problems finding a connection with my mom. Cancer aspect was also understandable because a few years back my grandma died from stage 4 lungs and bones cancer. And of course, love and relationships are a universal language which is understood by all. All the complex plot-lines, problems from the past and current events really mixed well and were not too much for me. My favorite scene was the final courtroom scene – the trial. That talk between The Judge and Hank  was super powerful and really good.

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Acting

Robert Downey Jr. was perfect in his role. Previously, I have seen him in big Marvel movies and in Sherlock Holmes franchise as well as this year’s Chef by Jon Favreau (review). He is truly a remarkable actor and this weekend I am definitely going to watch Chaplin (Academy Awards nomination for the lead role), The Soloist, Love&Distrust and Due Date. I love the fact that Robert Downey Jr.’s character could joke around one minute and be tearing up the next. What is more, his character Hank from this movie reminded me a bit of Sherlock Holmes with all that reading of a person stuff: both these characters paid attention to details and acquired a lot of knowledge without even engaging in a conversation. I guess that’s a part of their job: one is a lawyer while other is the private detective.

P.S. Robert Downey Jr. is almost 50 years old and he still looks like a 30-35-year-old.  Does anyone want a youth potion?

Robert Duvall was also really good in his role as The Judge. I hated him for being such an awful father but could sympathize with him as well for trying to make up for his mistakes. Other actors have been upstaged by Hank and Judge Palmer and I don’t really remember them. One of my most beloved TV actress’s from childhood – Leighton Meester – was also in this film as Carla – maybe / maybe-not Hank’s daughter. She had a small role but it was nice to see her after quite a long time.

All in all, I enjoyed the film, could relate to the story and adored the performance of the main duo – father and son. The movie premiered a month ago at TIFF – possibly this could mean that the movie is willing to get an Academy Award or at least Golden Globe nomination; however, I don’t really believe that will happen because the reviews from critics have been only mediocre.

Rate: 4.5/5. If the movie had been shorter by half an hour I would have given it a full 5.

Trailer: The Judge trailer

The_Judge_2014_film_poster Photos: Getty Images

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Movie review: Boyhood

Movie reviews

Hello!

Since it is officially an Oscar season, let’s review one of the most definite contenders – Boyhood.

Boyhood is a coming of age drama directed and written by Richard Linklater. The movie follows one boy’s life through period of 12 years (from 6 to 18) and it actually took 12 years to make this movie because the director didn’t want to cast different actors for the same character in different ages. So, he enlisted Ellar Coltrane to play the main character Mason Jr., Ethan Hawke to play his father Mason Sr., Patricia Arquette to play his mother Olivia and his own daughter Lorelei Linklater to play the sister of Mason Jr. – Samantha – and followed them for more than a decade.

I really enjoyed Ethan Hawke’s performance, he portrayed a divorced parent perfectly and not just in a bad way. He showed that divorced dads are usually doing the best they can even if it doesn’t work out.

The mother’s character was super annoying to me; I have no idea why she wanted kids in a first place. I guess to give her some higher purpose? Also, she has a terrible taste in man, just saying.

The sister’s character was okay, she didn’t stick out much for me. I also believe that Ellar Coltrane who played the main character could have done a better job. I didn’t like his performance until he was about 12 years old, since that age his acting got much better.

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The movie pretty much dealt with only family issues but there were a lot of them: divorce, abuse in a family, parent’s alcoholism, and child/parent relationship.

It is an amazing experience to see a movie that took such a long time to make; it is a truly unique piece of art. There hasn’t been anything like this before, this was an original experiment and I have to say – a lucky one.  I also loved how they included all the pop culture references and political stuff too.

All in all, the movie was kinda slow, nothing really happened and it was super long (like 3 hours) but I enjoyed seeing this kid grow up before my eyes and as a teenager myself I could relate to some stuff.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

Rate 3.5/5

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Photos: Google Images