Rental Night

Last night I visited the Redbox across the street to check out some recent movies I missed and I saw:

Sicario (2015)

Trainwreck (2015)

Sicario

I had heard a lot of good things about this movie, pretty sure the marketing people did too. It's a very engaging movie about the "drug war" with a lot of actors I really like: Josh Brolin, Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, and it was fun to see Jeffrey Donovan who everyone mostly know from the show Burn Notice. This is a movie that works perfectly in every way, something that reminded me of the movie that when I first saw it in theaters I thought to myself for the first time "there is more to film than I ever realized."

Traffic, a movie also starred Benicio Del Toro as a character entrenched in the drug quagmire, changed the way I looked at movies in an instant. In that movie I realized movies could tell you different things through color, they could play with traditional storytelling, and a serious movie could have a few laughs mixed in.

Sicario lives up to Traffic but adds action and uses the method that it tells the story, the main character having to "soak it in" to figure out what is going on as both a cinematic technique to turn the movie into a silent film for long stretches (I had a film studies professor who was very keen on telling us the great filmmakers can tell a story with no dialogue) but that aspect of being left in the dark leads to two twists that are key plot points to the movie. It is important that Emily Blunt's character doesn't know what's going on not just because it's fun to have the audience figure it out as they go along (if that was the only reason for it, the movie makes no sense because they are putting her in dangerous situations without telling her any part of a plan) but because there is no motivation for the characters around her unless she is there and she is unaware of why she is there.

Trainwreck

This movie worked in so many ways, acting, directing, and comedy writing that it was both disappointing how it seemed like I was dropped into a very different movie at the end, but somehow it is still funny and not eye rolling. I don't think this movie was written about in a fair way. There were articles about it being a betrayal to some kind of Amy Schumer persona of having lots of sex and drinking too much that she ends up falling in love and giving up those things, but it doesn't feel like a betrayal as much as it feels like she comes to terms with the negative effects of self-destructive behavior she learned from her father.

The joke writing in this is amazing. I haven't seen much of Amy Schumer's show, I was aware that I do like what I have seen of hers, but the level of writing was impressive. I'm not saying "It's impressive, for her," I'm saying it has the best written jokes I've seen in a long time. I think Top Five pairs well with this movie where Top Five has a slightly better story and Trainwreck has better jokes. What's really nice is that the actors in Trainwreck all seem to give their best performances and really deliver the jokes amazingly. I was tickled to death to see LeBron James in this and thought he almost stole the movie with his unexpected acting chops. Tickled to death. That really would be a horrible way to day, if you think of it. No one likes to be tickled, you'd probably pee yourself and I doubt it would be a quick process.

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