Probably one of the most controversial films since Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. At times, Mother! is compelling and others it's infuriating. I'm still trying to digest this film…
Mother! is one movie that will definitely get under your skin and then some. Its thought-provoking themes are fueled with rage and terror. Darren Aronofsky’s (Black Swan) newest creation will truly piss off many mainstream audiences. Mostly positive reviews from critics alike, but contradicted with a godawful cinematic F score from audiences, Mother! is a rare film that will be dissected in the years to come. This is a movie that will send viewers running for the hills, at times, it had me even shocked and raged.
Aronofsky has been known for his controversial films in the pass (Requiem for a Dream, Pi and Noah), but Mother! is a whole 'nother ballgame when it comes to controversy. Fueled with biblical allegories and high end shock values, you’re in for a bumpy ride. Going back to the night that I saw Mother! I had no idea what to expect. The trailers were vague, but due to its opening weekend frenzy and F score… I was intrigued. Actor’s Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem helm the leading roles for the film, while actor’s Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, Domhnall Gleeson and Kristen Wiig wrap up the supporting roles. One could say that Mother! is a prophet of one’s ambitious artistic vision, while others would say that it’s nothing more than an allegory of off putting themes.
I would except both answers for this type of film because at times I was compelled and at others I was infuriated. Lawrence and Bardem bust out their acting chops from the beginning frame until the last frame. The trailer was vague, so I will leave many plot details of this film vague as well. A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests (Pfeiffer and Harris) arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Pfeiffer and Harris are a knockout of terror and lustful desires. Aronofsky uses the most of his devilish elements throughout this film and will leave you with an unlawful aftertaste. He takes his time throughout the first two-acts and by the third, Aronofsky sends his viewers in an unholy inferno full of horror and chaos.
Mother! uses the most of its 115 minutes to push the envelope and for that I say job well done. At the beginning of the credits, you’ll be pondering in your seat of what you just witnessed on screen. One more quick opinion of mine after seeing this film, I believe that Bardem's character resembles God and Lawrence's character resembles Mother Nature. While their house represents our world of both good and evil. The two are sent through a living hell because of the sinful and destructive nature of humans. We witness this intensity during the last 20 minutes of pure torture and destruction. In the end, Aronofsky has the final laugh. Mother! is a movie that you’ll be trying to digest in the weeks that follow. I know that I still am.
Mother! is rated R (Restricted). For strong disturbing violent content, some sexuality, nudity and language.
The Emoji Movie is the worst movie of 2017, hands down. I won't waste my time and brain cells writing a lengthy review for this repulsive film. Instead, here's a short summary from me: I advise staying far away from this disaster. It's 80-plus minutes of excruciating mental torture. A cynical cash-grab and a second-rated version of Inside Out. It's a branding nightmare in every turn. This pile of trash receives zero stars from me.
The Emoji Movie is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For rude humor.
Director Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) captures the spirit of Jeannette Walls’ 2005 best-selling memoir. Even with its flaws, the film is upheld by a tremendous cast (Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Sarah Snook and Max Greenfield) and gorgeous cinematography.
A few weeks ago, I got to see my favorite book come to life on the big screen. Overall, I was satisfied with the film. The Glass Castle is beautifully shot and well-acted. Plus, Woody Harrelson did a great portrayal as the alcoholic father. Of course, the script’s narrative could have been stronger and director Destin Daniel Cretton glazed over some of the book’s darker undertones. Yet again, this book had so much depth structured inside it, that it easily could have been a 3-hour movie.
In 2005, Walls’ memoir spent a total of 261 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list. By late 2007, The Glass Castle had sold over 2.7 million copies, had been translated into 22 languages, and received the Christopher Award, the American Library Association's Alex Award (2006) and the Books for Better Living Award. The very essence of this book captured our heart and souls. Walls digs you deep into her chaotic past as we travel with her poverty-stricken family through her years of adolescence. Larson captures Walls’ fierce posture in her adult form, while actors Chandler Head and Young Jeannette tackle Walls’ child and youth years.
The story of The Glass Castle conveys deep family heartache and trouble. It opens up old wounds and shows us what its really like for American families struggling with poverty. Jeannette (Head) is a young girl that comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother (Watts) who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father (Harrelson) who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty. Set with awe-inspiring scenery in the distance, this is Cretton’s way of distracting the audience from the film’s narrative flaws. The emotions and characters are all still there and this is enough to keep the film afloat.
It was satisfied with the final outcome as we traveled with Jeannette’s family on screen and saw the raw misfortunes that she had to overcome. My advice, is to still read the book first. There you can grapple with the intimate written structure of Walls’ chaotic life. In the end, life is a journey and we have to make the most of it while we can. "You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that." - Jeannette Walls
The Glass Castle is rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned). For mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking.