Tag Archives: Mark Duplass

[Review] – Zero Dark Thirty

6 Jan

Zero Dark Thirty

Title: Zero Dark Thirty
Year: 2012
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writer: Mark Boal
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt, Kyle Chandler, Mark Duplass, Frank Grillo, Edgar Ramirez, Harold Perrineau, Jennifer Ehle, James Gandolfini
MPAA Rating: R, strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language
Runtime: 157 min
IMDb Rating: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Metacritic: 95

Finally I get to watch Zero Dark Thirty. Let me tell you something out front, I don’t intend to get into any of the hot topics that have been surrounding this movie, at least not spend the whole review talking about. I won’t talk about whether it’s pro-Obama, or whether it’s pro-torture, or whether it got improper access to classified information. On the one hand I don’t think I’m really classified to talk about those things with any kind of credibility (though, obviously, that hasn’t stopped most people with an internet connection to do so) and on the other hand I’m here to talk about the merits of Kathryn Bigelow‘s latest as a film. And as a film this is an undeniable masterpiece.

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[Review] – The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

30 Jul

Title: The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
Year: 2012
Directors: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Writers: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Starring: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis
MPAA Rating: R, language
Runtime: 76 min
IMDb Rating: 6.0
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Metacritic: 60

After watching The Dark Knight Rises, I decided to go on the most opposite direction of that movie I could find, and so I settled for The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, a film that has a very reduced cast, runs for less than half of what Christopher Nolan‘s final installment of his Batman trilogy does, and is just super low-budget, low-scale, low-everything. It’s also the second film of 2012 directed by brothers Jay and Mark Duplass, after the brilliant Jeff, Who Lives at Home, which I saw back in April and currently stands as my 13th favorite film of the year to date. This one also continues to make this a huge year for Mark Duplass, who in addition to directing those two films has had acting roles in four others, some of them truly great ones, with Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty still to come.

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[Review] – People Like Us

8 Jul

Title: People Like Us
Year: 2012
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Writers: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert
Starring: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mark Duplass, Jon Favreau
MPAA Rating: PG-13, language, some drug use and brief sexuality
Runtime: 114 min
IMDb Rating: 6.7
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Metacritic: 49

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are one of the most in-demand writing duos in the movie industry nowadays, thanks mostly for what they did with the first two Transformers films which obviously made a ton of cash, J.J. AbramsStar Trek reboot from 2009, which also made a ton of cash and was actually a pretty amazing movie, too. So, yeah, from those credentials, plus the fact that they’re also the guys behind TV’s Fringe and the Hawaii Five-0 reboot, you can see why they’re the ones people go to for big-budget action-packed extravaganzas.

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[Review] – Your Sister’s Sister

26 Jun

Title: Your Sister’s Sister
Year: 2012
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass
MPAA Rating: R, language and some sexual content
Runtime: 91 min
IMDb Rating: 6.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Metacritic: 71

I’ve long been saying that 2012 is going to be the year to really catapult Mark Duplass to a much wider audience, what I didn’t really expect, at least not to this level is that he’d be involved in so many truly great pieces of work; by the time I finished watching Your Sister’s Sister, I realized the man was involved in three of the ten best films I have seen so far this year, which is a pretty neat thing.

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[Review] – Safety Not Guaranteed

20 Jun

Title: Safety Not Guaranteed
Year: 2012
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Derek Connolly
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni, Mark Duplass
MPAA Rating: R, language including some sexual references
Runtime: 94 min
IMDb Rating: 7.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Metacritic: 72

Ever since I saw the trailer for Safety Not Guaranteed, which played at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, I knew this one would be right up my alley. Having now finally seen it, I can safely say I was so absolutely right regarding this one. It’s such a small little film, a counter to all the big summer tentpole movies we’re getting right now, and yet it’s far better than pretty much any of those will be, becoming a quirky and infinitely charming movie that works so damn well because of how much heart’s in the story, and how amazingly its cast portrays that. That is led, of course, by Aubrey Plaza, who I already had a pretty huge crush on that only saw itself get bigger after seeing her here. She’s sheer perfection.

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[Trailer] – The Do-Deca-Pentathlon

15 May

I’ve been saying for a while that Mark Duplass is going to have a pretty great 2012, as he’s set to appear in two seriously promising films, Your Sister’s Sister and Safety Not Guaranteed, and also giving us two films he directed with his brother Jay. One of them has already been released, Jeff, Who Lives at Home, which I gave an A- to and stands as my fifth favorite film of the year to date. The other one is the long-shelved The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, which just got a trailer which you can watch after the cut.

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[Review] – Darling Companion

7 May

Title: Darling Companion
Year: 2012
Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan and Meg Kasdan
Starring: Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Elisabeth Moss, Dianne Wiest, Sam Shepard, Richard Jenkins, Mark Duplass, Ayelet Zurer
MPAA Rating: PG-13, some sexual content including references, and language
Runtime: 103 min
IMDb Rating: 4.1
Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Metacritic: 39

When I saw Think Like a Man on Friday, I found myself thinking that that film was just far better than it should have otherwise been because of how good its cast was. Now I’ve just see Darling Companion and I found myself thinking the exact same thing, every single cast member in this cast is someone who I really like, some of them I downright love, and yet here they are, in a film that were it not for their talents I would no doubt find myself branding with a failing grade. It just bums one out to see such a hugely talented ensemble being gathered to make a such a stale kind of movie. But then again, this one’s such a forgettable movie that it won’t be long before we can’t even remember we saw such a great bunch waste their talents.

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