Archives for posts with tag: Chloe Grace Moretz

Grade B

Based on the Swedish movie “Let The Right One In,” “Let Me In” is a complex story of love, loneliness, bullying, absentee parents, the need for companionship, and what people are willing to do to for those they love…and yes, this is a vampire story, and a reasonably scary one at that.

Taking place in 1983 (a time before security cameras and cell phones were everywhere), Kodi Smit-McPhee plays an unhappy boy who doesn’t have any friends, has parents who are separated, and gets bullied by three boys who are each twice his size.  His life is about to get very interesting — for better and worse — when new neighbors arrive at night to his apartment complex.   Enter Chloe Grace Moretz (as a little girl who only appears at night, and who is accompanied by an old man presumed to be her father).   Moretz and McPhee have their first meeting in the snowy playground, she being barefoot and quite hostile to McPhee’s presence; but as time goes on, a trust between them forms, leading to a strong bond that will be tested when Moretz’s true nature is revealed to McPhee and the body count rises and the police slowly figure out who is doing the killings.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Let Me In” is the scene when McPhee finally fights back against his bullies.  Holding a large stick, McPhee faces off against his three tormentors.  Lead bully says he is going to take the stick away from McPhee and shove it up McPhee’s ass.  Lead bully takes a step forward and McPhee hits him on the face with the stick.  In what seems to be slow motion, lead bully stops, falls on his knees, and then starts screaming like a bitch.  At first I thought the bully was just a punk who couldn’t take a little hit, but then it is shown that the  bully’s left ear has been ripped almost in half!   Oh, well, serves him right.

“Let Me In” stands apart from the other vampire movies because the two main characters are played by little kids, and we get to see the evolution of the relationship of these two outcasts go from being strangers to lovers (using the word’s most simple definition).   I enjoyed the amazing performances of McPhee and Moretz, the outstanding direction of Matt Reeves, and the tight screenplay that moved things along fairly quickly even with scenes that were “slow.”  One major complaint though…a shenanigan, actually.   Why did Moretz let the old guy do most of the hunting for victims?  Although small in stature, Moretz had the strength of about 10 men, so she could easily hunt for herself; or better yet, she should hunt with the old guy so that the chances of success would be much higher.   This is the biggest flaw I noticed in this movie; but no movie is perfect, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story despite this huge shenanigan.  Vampire fans should not miss “Let Me In” as it’s one of the better vampire flicks out there in the past 10 years.

— M

Grade B-

Loosely based on the t.v. show, “The Equalizer” stars Denzel Washington as a quiet man who works in a tool/garden store.  He is very precise in his actions, likes to help those who need it, and his smiles come quickly; but when he is alone, a darkness can be seen in his eyes, hinting at a past that haunts him every day.

Unable to sleep most nights, Washington goes to a diner, drinks tea and reads.  Eventually, he becomes friends with another patron: a young prostitute played by Chloe Grace Moretz.  When Moretz becomes missing for a few days and turns up in the ICU of a hospital after a brutal beating by her pimp, Washington goes on the offensive, resulting in a bloody war between him and the Russian mafia and a few crooked cops.

First place for my memorable, movie moments of “The Equalizer” is the scene when Washington makes the Russian pimp an offer he can’t refuse.  Well, the pimp refused!  Washington locks the door, and in slow motion we see him eyeing the room and the four Russian mobsters within.  Washington calculates how he is going to go about destroying these hoodlums, and in what order.  The carnage that follows is highly gratifying.

Runner-up for my memorable moments of this movie is the scene that has Washington’s co-worker asking how Washington got the cut on his hand (from the scene mentioned above).  Washington’s reply is that he hit it on something stupid.  Nice!

Fans of fast paced, action packed, mindless movies should move on — this movie is not for you.  “The Equalizer” moves at a slower pace, similar to a novel.  It takes the time to develop characters and makes the audience care for what happens to them.  This sets “The Equalizer” apart from the typical, big-budget, Hollywood action flick.  Unfortunately, it also suffers from several shenanigans that plague said typical, big-budget, Hollywood actioners.  The biggest shenanigan is **SPOILER ALERT** the ending of the movie: after killing off most, if not all, of the east coast Russian mob (plus the big boss in Russia), Washington goes back to his daily routine, living in the same neighborhood, the same apartment, taking the same bus, and spending his late nights in the same diner.  What’s the big deal with this, you ask?  The Russian mob found out who Washington was halfway through the movie!  They knew his name, where he lived, where he worked.  How long before some friends or relatives of the mobsters Washington killed fire a rocket into the apartment where Washington lives?  Russian hit men would come out of the woodwork looking to make a name for themselves by trying to kill “The Equalizer.”  Washington’s character makes every effort to minimize collateral damage whenever possible; but by living out in the open, living in the same place, he is risking many lives when the war eventually comes to him again.  But for this big shenanigan, I would’ve given this movie a slightly higher rating.

— M

I saw this movie for the first time at the drive-in movie theater, and I loved this amazing work of art ever since.  “500 Days Of Summer” states from the very beginning, “This is not a love story.”  Is this statement a “red herring,” or is it an accurate description of the movie?

“500…” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man who quickly falls in love with a co-worker named Summer (played by Zooey Deschanel).  This being in the genre of Romantic Comedy, you just know things aren’t going to go smoothly: Levitt is a romantic, and Deschanel doesn’t believe in love.  Despite their differing viewpoints about love, a romance is started, albeit one that is based on rules that they are just friends, keeping things casual, and Deschanel’s crystal clear explanation that she’s not looking for anything serious.

What we have here is a role reversal, where the man takes on the stereotypical outlook of a woman with respect to relationships; and the woman takes the stereotypical stance of a man regarding love and romance.  This isn’t an original idea, but director Marc Webb and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber did a brilliant job with it and the many other little and big things in the movie that make “500…” stand out high and above the endless rom/com crap that is out there.

One example of the filmmakers’ brilliance is their witty and clever use of non-linear storytelling, i.e. going back and forth in time.  Lesser writers and directors would end up with a choppy and incoherent movie; but in the case of “500…” it gives the movie energy and mystery, drawing the audience further into the story.

My most memorable, movie moment of “500 Days Of Summer” is the sequence that has Levitt going to a rooftop party thrown by Deschanel.  The screen splits into two, and on the left we have Levitt’s “expectations” of how the party will go between him and Deschanel; and on the right we have the “reality” of how things will actually play out.  As far as I know, this is the first time I’ve seen this technique used, and it is used skillfully.  And the sequence is heartbreaking.

Taking second place for my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Levitt and Deschanel are first getting to know each other and telling each other a bit about their past.  Deschanel blurts out that in college, her nickname was “anal girl.”  Levitt’s reaction was appropriate!

Third place for my memorable, movie moment of “500…” is the dancing sequence the morning after Levitt has sex with Deschanel.  Ah, love, when it works, that dancing sequence is how most of us feel.  And when it doesn’t, well, the movie shows that side, too.

An honorable mention goes to actor Chloe Grace Moretz, who plays Levitt’s younger sister who has a mind much older and sharper than her brother’s.  She gives him great advice that he, unfortunately, usually doesn’t take.

“500 Days Of Summer,” to me, is an honest look at how fun, painful, confusing, blind, inspiring, beautiful and destructive love can be. For those who have been there and back, and managed to survive those broken-hearted moments, this movie is for you. But those who are still recovering from bad relationships, you may want to keep away from this masterpiece.

I leave you all with something I told some of my friends: if you want to find that diamond, you have to do a lot of digging in the dirt.

— M

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