Amanda C.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
8 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes", released in 2011, follows a scientist who utilizes a new drug to cure his sickened father, that has also given his chimpanzee intelligence. This film was full of the feels. I enjoyed the many different facets that it had to offer from the suspense to the heartache of Will's dad's suffering. To me, this film is a little sci-fi and a little drama and seems to be within its own genre. Regarding the writing, seeing that Will's dad has dementia immediately endears you to him. Whatever happens in the film from that point on, you're incredibly empathetic because you see that he's having such a hard time. As much as I didn't agree with some of Will's choices as a character, I could understand why he did them. One of my favorite shots in terms of directing was where Caesar is first climbing a redwood. It's great because we are able to see Caesar from his own perspective, as well as from everyone else's perspective. We're also able to see the evolution of the ape over time and see him grow as he swings through the trees. One sequence that I thought presented an interesting editing choice was when Caesar shows the dad how to properly use a fork. We see the dad try and fail, and then Caesar steps in and flips the fork for him and shows him how to properly use it. It was such a subtle moment, but it said so much about where the dad was at with his disease, and where Caesar was at with his intelligence. John Lithgow is just a phenomenal actor always and truly makes the film for me. His performance as the dad is so heart-wrenching, watching him struggle through life. An example of this is when he hopped into the neighbor's car thinking he would have a joy ride and was immediately disjointed and didn't know where he was or what he was doing. Throughout the film, the cinematography was so beautiful. There's a scene in particular where they discover that Caesar is special by seeing that he has the same green flecks in his eyes that his mother has that are suggestive of the meds that she was given. The shot zooms right into his eye, and it's so colorful and vivid. Overall, the sound design was also very well done. In the beginning of the film, when the men come to attack the apes ‚" there's this great collective roar of the apes and the men's screams. The levels are so well-balanced all throughout the film, and I feel like this is a great example of that.

Liar Liar
Liar Liar (1997)
9 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"Liar Liar" released in 1997 follows Fletcher, a self-righteous lawyer whose son's only birthday wish is for his dad to not tell a lie for one day. I truly love this movie and always have. It's such a great bad guy become good guy tale and I think that the set-up and evolution is spot on. The film fits perfectly into Jim Carrey's heyday of comedy. It is outrageous, but heartfelt, as I feel all of Jim Carrey's comedic films are. There isn't anything I wish they did differently. My favorite scene in terms of directing was when Fletcher comes into the boardroom to tell Mr. Allen what he really thinks of him, there's this great shot of everyone at the table all looking over to Fletcher and it's a great perspective shot of how intimidating the situation is. Regarding the writing, I truly enjoyed the set-up for Fletcher's lying ways. Within the first 5 minutes we are able to see how self-involved he is and what a schmoozer he is, as well as have a scene between Fletcher and his ex-wife where she reveals that they broke up because Fletcher cheated on her. It's such a great jumping off point for the rest of the film. I particularly enjoyed the scene editing-wise where Fletcher is coming out of the elevator and everyone in the elevator is fanning their noses. There's this great sequence between Jim Carrey admitting his fault and everyone gasping for air that's wonderful. The pacing between both shots is so well timed and just makes the scene so much more comedic and enjoyable. A great aspect of the film is that there's so many wonderful characters. Obviously, Jim Carrey is stellar as Fletcher, and is unbeatable in his physical ability as an actor, but the woman who plays the mom is such a wonderful counterpart as the "straight man" Audrey. A great example of this is Audrey's attempt to explain "the claw" to jerry and she's so unsure of what she's doing where when Fletcher does it it's this huge thing and he gets really into it. I hate to admit, the sound design in the film wasn't my favorite. An example of this is when Fletcher has his first meeting with Mrs. Cole and says, "No no no no," and the last no is a bigger spike and presents a break in the audio. In fact, any instance where the characters raise their voices ends up breaking the audio which to me, seems to be characteristic of the time period that audio quality wasn't as great then. Cinematography-wise I enjoyed the scene after Max makes his wish for his dad to not tell a lie. There is this slow pan through the room of the open window, and the smoke from the candles, and the clock. It adds to the set-up and mystery of max's wish for his dad not to tell a lie

Midnight Run
Midnight Run (1988)
9 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"Midnight Run" follows Jack Walsh, a bounty hunter who is tasked with bringing an embezzling accountant to Los Angeles. The film made me think what an interesting job it must be to be a bounty hunter. I felt that the film was comedic considering the scenario and content. I think that this film fits perfectly into the "buddy cop" comedy genre. One of my favorite scenes was when Jack is trying to get "The Duke" to feel comfortable on the plane and he starts singing "Come Fly with Me". That exchange just makes the moment so humorous. Regarding the directing, I enjoyed the scene between Jack and his ex-wife. Throughout the rest of the film, Jack is a tough guy and this exchange between the ex-wife and his daughter shows this softer side of Jack. It gives the character a lot of dimension. Editing-wise, I loved the scene when Jack sees his daughter Denise. it's such a heartfelt moment and exchange between the two. In these sequences, the editor was sure to stay on moments of reaction to the situation, which just further pulls you into the story and pulls on your heartstrings. Acting-wise, I thought that Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin were so complementary of each other in their roles. Robert DeNiro's character was so serious and Charles Grodin's character is such a ham, it was great watching the two playoff of each other. I appreciated the cinematography in the scene when Jack and the The Duke are on the train. The inside of the train is dark, but outside of the train is so light. It gives this great dimension of the turmoil going on inside and the light outside. The sound design wasn't my favorite part of the film. Overall, the music was terrible. Any moment that could or should have been nerve-wrecking is paired with this kitschy music that makes the scene so campy. An example of this is when Jack is stranded in the river. It could have been this great moment of suspense, but because of the campy music it felt uncomfortably laughable.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
9 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" released in 2002 follows Siddalee, a young writer on the brink of her wedding who is kidnapped by her mother's friends in an attempt to repair their relationship. The film made me think of how much these formative relationships can affect us so much later in life. Falling into the dramedy genre, the film finds a way to make light of its darker moments. The one thing that I wish they had done differently in this film was the score. It at times took away from the moment ‚" making things feel kitschy and insincere. Regarding the writing, I found it such an interesting point to have Vivi be in these scenarios where she's rescuing Sidda and is portrayed as her "hero". An example of this is when Sidda fakes drowning and Vivi quite literally saves her. It really sets up her mother's letdown and betrayal later on in the story. This is the person that Sidda idolizes and her leaving ends up bringing her so much despair. A directing decision that I appreciated was when Vivi calls Sidda to let her know that she's coming home and there's decidedly no background noise or score. Choosing to solely focus on Vivi's words makes that moment so much more powerful. Something that I loved in terms of editing was the way they cut back and forth between Sidda and her mom when she was younger. It allowed the story to unfold in such a great way where we were able to see how this woman came to be and we were able to watch a daughter have a better understanding of her mother. Ellen Burstyn as older Vivi was wonderful. She was simultaneously so vivacious and vicious. One of my favorite scenes is when she is able to talk to Sidda on the phone post Sidda's scathing interview and Vivi practically destroys the telephone by banging it against the table out of rage. I particularly enjoyed the shots that flashback to Vivi played by Ashley Judd. The scenes in this timeline have this really soft lighting and filter over them. It gives everything this really ethereal quality. A great example of this is when we first see Vivi and Jack together. It lets us into their world and gives it this magical, mystical quality. Something that I appreciated about the sound design was in the scene where Vivi is hitting her kids with the belt. I appreciate that the sounds of the leather hitting the kids wasn't loud and overpowering. Allowing the effect to be subtler in volume allowed us still that little bit of empathy for the character of Vivi, rather than making us completely hate her.

Cool Hand Luke
9 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

‚Cool Hand Luke‚? released in 1967 follows a man who is sentences to prison but chooses not to follow the rules. The film made me think a lot about those who are in the prison system. In the beginning of the film, it was indicated that Luke, who was only serving two years would be working alongside people who had done treacherous things and were serving 20 plus years. To me, the film separates itself from those in its genre as Luke proves to be a good guy overall. There isn‚(TM)t anything that I wish they did differently. In terms of the writing, I loved the scene when Luke does the egg eating contest. It‚(TM)s comical at how intrigued everyone is by it. It just goes to show how the guys in prison come to appreciate the little things in life as a result of their isolation. One of my favorite shots in the film is when the floor walker gives the prison rules to the men, the shot of him is with the camera down below him, looking up at him. This shot gives the character power and authority by having him tower over the other characters. A scene that I enjoyed regarding the editing was when Luke is sawing a hole in the floor of the bunk that they stay in. the shots cut between him sawing, people are around him dancing and having a great time, and then it cuts to the floor walker ringing the bell, almost catching him. Instead, Luke is able to hide the hole just in time. This series is a great example of adding tension. Paul Newman is tremendous as Luke, and he showcases such an incredible range in the film. He‚(TM)s charming and endearing, he sings and plays an instrument, he has moments of joy and despair. It is easy to see why he‚(TM)s had such a successful career and so many people love him as an actor. Regarding the cinematography, I felt that the shot when the prisoners wake up to start work was so beautiful. The sky is bright, almost white, and there‚(TM)s an orange/pink glow coming from the lights in the cabins. It gives a beauty to a terrible circumstance for the men. A scene that I appreciated for the sound design was when Luke gets beaten up. The punching noises sound so painful and certainly warrant the reactions from the guys watching the fight.