Blindspot 2017: Walk the Line (2005)

Walk the line

Plot: A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash’s life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

I’ve really had a very good run with my Blindspots this year. I really pretty much enjoyed every film on the list I’ve chosen, which makes it that much better than last year’s. I continued this good streak with Walk the Line, the 2005 biopic of Johnny Cash’s life. There is a bit more to the success of watching this film, as I’ve had the DVD for four years now. The protracted delay in seeing this reputably excellent film started to get silly, hence the adding to the Blindspot this year.

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I enjoyed Walk The Line very much. Joaquin Phoenix is simply phenomenal as Johnny Cash. He manages to be tortured, sad, brilliant and talented. He has an excellent voice. His love story with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon) is not some silly romance. It has depths and it develops over years of challenges for both of them. The film doesn’t try and make Cash a hero – they show a man who had a hard life and who had a lot of inner demons. His relationship with his father, Ray Cash (Robert Patrick), is hard and littered by a lifetime of resentment, anger and unresolved issues. I cannot praise Phoenix enough – the brilliance of his portrayal and the amazing voice he just pulled out of a hat and worked with. Ginnifer Goodwin has the undesirable task of being Cash’s first wife Vivian, a woman who was clearly never happy with anything Cash did for his family. She came across as the quintessential housewife of the 1950’s – bored, whiney and unhappy with everything that she ever received. In contrast Reese Witherspoon is the bounciest of bouncies with June Carter. Witherspoon has a surprisingly sweet voice and she delivers the performance of her life as Carter. She manages to portray a woman who is successful, charming and very much human. Her Oscar as best actress in a Leading Role is well deserved, though I do wish that Phoenix received an Oscar for his role as well.

The soundtrack is another rousing success. Littered with Cash’s poignant work, the soundtrack tells a story all on its own. I also really enjoyed the pacing of Walk The Line – it is never slow or boring and it doesn’t lose track of the story it is trying to sell.

I am so happy I finally sat down and watched this – I’ll definitely watch it again. Have you seen Walk The Line? Did you like it?

Rating: 8.5/10

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Movie Review: Zootopia (2016)

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Plot: In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

Rating: 8/10

I was coerced into watching Disney’s powerhouse film, and I really loved it. It seems that animation is everywhere these days, and you know how I feel about that. I’ve already seen Hotel Transylvania 2 this year and Finding Dory, which exceeds my limit of one movie.

Anyway, Zootopia is actually really damn cute.  It has quite a clear message, they weren’t trying to give you any subliminal messaging here. I think that this film would appeal to very small children, because even though a movie like Inside Out appeals to grownups, it is generally over the younger audience’s head.

Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) is an inspiring little bunny, no doubt about that. She is determined to be a cop, even though the other animals in her field are much larger and imposing. Her family, even though they really love her, believes it is a dangerous choice and that she won’t succeed, but that only makes her more determined.  Her wheeling, dealing and investigating with Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) is funny and serves to provide some more lessons on how to just not be a silly racist and judge people by their stereotypes.

What else did I enjoy? You must be quite blind not to catch the Godfather reference – it was a scream and it was one of my favorite parts of the film. There is apparently a Breaking Bad reference in the film (I sadly haven’t watched the series yet), and I also really liked Gazelle, the very feisty springbok singer. Idris Elba as Chief Bogo was also hilarious – I loved how they made him exactly what you’d expect him to be.

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ZOOTOPIA – Pictured (L-R): Judy, Bonnie, and Stu Hopps. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

There went a lot of detail into this film – make sure to check the cups and wall paintings everywhere – it is so well thought out. So much to mention, I won’t even be able to mention it in one post. The sloths annoyed me a bit – gosh I really loathe slow things and they were sloooww. That is basically the only thing that went awry in this film, and the ending was just a bit drawn out and lost the plot somewhat.

I had a great time with Zootopia. Be sure to remember though that it is a very basic animation (even though the visuals are incredible) – this is actually just a lovely story for the kids, and the adults who have the patience to sit through it.

Movie Review: Something Borrowed (2011)

Something borrowed

Plot: Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, her best friend Darcy’s fiancé

Rating: 6.5/10

I know I’ve seen this movie at some point. It is utterly forgettable and something that won’t survive the test of time (i.e. typical Kate Hudson movie style). That doesn’t mean that it is a horrible movie or deeply offensive because it isn’t. It even manages to raise some ethical questions – if your best friend steals the man you were falling for, do you have the right to fight back for him? Should you have spoken up? Should the man have spoken up? Was it okay for your best friend to do that to you – especially a childhood friend that knows everything about your reaction towards then and could have deduced exactly how she was feeling? The answers to those three questions are: Yes – you should speak up. Yes – he should speak up. And NO, it is never okay to steal your friend’s crush.

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I loved the long hair on Ginnifer Goodwin. She manages to play the sweet and shy Rachel really well. I had issues with Rachel, but I also sympathised with her. It is hard in life to be the quiet girl not always able to say her feelings out loud – I’ve been that girl and had to work hard to be able to voice my feelings. I think Colin Egglesfield is absolutely gorgeous but I think Dex’s character was not realistic at all – can hot men be that deep? I am not so sure. I really don’t understand the point of John Krasinki in here – sorry, but what was the whole point of Ethan’s character? Then there is Kate Hudson being Kate Hudson, beautiful and not particularly talented. She plays the girl she always plays – beautiful, popular, a little bit dumb and she has good feelings even though she acts horrible to the people around her.

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The movie drags at the end. It actually feels like the end has arrived on about three occasions then they return to the story and carry on some more. It’s exhausting. Other than that, this movie is fine for what it is: Fun to watch with your friends drinking wine, and easy to forget as you turn into sleep, but the reminder remains: don’t poach friends’ crushes.