Requested by Jason Schmidt
So I'm a big ole idiot! I've been sitting on this movie for a very long time. I ordered it when it was requested of me, and even watched through the first act of it the day it came to my little townhouse right at 7:47 pm with the UPS guy. It was the third part of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt triumvirate, with (500) Days of Summer and 50/50. It didn't have a 5 in its title, so I was really hoping it was going to be better than those other films, both in quality and in my sheer enjoyment. So yeah, I got through the first act, and then guests came over, so I paused it. And I put it on hold.
Now, probably at least two months later, I finally get around to it because writing about Psych is making my eyes glaze over. So I'm sitting here at 2am, finally getting around to doing something I should have down months ago, and I pop the Lookout into my blu-ray player. The machine remembered exactly where I was and I was completely lost. So let's start it back over from the beginning. Or, as the movie suggests, I could just start at the end.
This movie is super good. Super duper good. The acting from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels in particularly make this film worth watching a hundred times over. JGL finally has a character with some real meat on its bones, and he did phenomenally. The music is haunting and beautiful. The blu-ray menu is currently on and has been for probably 30 minutes as I write this review and re-draft it a few times.
I was enthralled with the way the film watched him and how he lived. He suffered from a major accident, and throughout the film deals with his head trauma. The movie does not hold hands, and does a million little things perfectly. The way he has to deal with things, the way his mind is healing, his relationship with his family and co-workers, how they are subtly discriminatory of him because of his handicap, yet then he proves that it is justified. The hurt in JGL's eyes is real. Act 1 and Act 3 of this movie is absolutely flawless.
Also there is a bank heist in the middle.
This is where the movie isn't very strong, its Act 2. Its build up is slow, and even worse, boring. The actors that play the thieves and the like, they are all not really up to snuff with the caliber of acting everyone else is bringing to this flick. Our charismatic antagonist just isn't that charismatic. Our love interest isn't that interesting. Our bad ass second in command bad guy just isn't that bad ass. I was watching a film I was really really loving, and then it gets bogged down adding an element I know it felt it needed, but all the build up for it is just so ... *yawn*.
Now, when Act 3 kicks around, and we get into the real crime aspects of the film, we are back in 5th gear. Enjoyable, emotional, and really engaging. But I had already lost a lot of interest and was staring at my tablet playing Disco Zoo, finding hats on my hippos and sending Wooly Mammoths to outerspace. But Act 3 got me back in.
I really want to applaud the director/writer for his choices in a lot of this movie. We do not have our hands held throughout the first and third acts. We as the audience learn things through visual storytelling and sideways observation. It is truly wonderful and engaging storytelling. Act 2 we have characters just straight up say what they are thinking and asking each other for exposition for the most part, though within even that bad act of the film we have some great storytelling like in the first and third act.
I really hate to do this, but this film is another B grade film for JGL. Not for any wrong doing on his part, but for a very slow 30 or 40 minutes within the middle of this 99 minute movie. But, do not fret, because JGL deserves a flippin' award for how well he does here. Jeff Daniels does too. We get so so much great stuff in most of the movie that it makes up for it. And I do like this one, too! It isn't trying to be quirky or betraying its best parts to focus on the uninteresting stuff. I just wish I could have seen the movie about this character and his life without the feeling or necessity that the filmmaker had to also making it a crime film. If THIS was what 50/50 was treated as, it would have been amazing.
I do suggest this though. And I will continue my hunt to find a great JGL film. Even his own film I gave a B. But soon I'll find you, mystery A-grade JGL film. I'll find you!!
This was the best whale-related gif I could find. So ... yeah ...
We are a mere two weeks away from my amazing second rendition of Ask Me Anything! Thank you everyone who has given me questions so far, but I absolutely NEED and MUST HAVE more! So help me out, leave some questions in my ask box on Tumblr or in the comments here or on facebook or to my email or something. Any question at all. Everything and anything you want to ask will be answered, and the vast majority will be honest, and all will be entertaining. Let's get this thing going, we only got half a month to do this thing! WOOOOO!