Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

Her (♦♦♦♦)

In a future Los Angeles, Theodore Twombly makes his living working for an online company writing personal letters for other people. A new computer OS comes out and he gives it a try. The OS personalizes the experience according to people needs and gives it a human voice. Samantha, Theodore's OS, is thoughtful, loving, and funny. As the relationship between the two evolves, they fall in love but soon they begin to question if what they feel for each other is the real thing.

Written, directed, and co-produced by Spike Jonze, Her is one of those movies that are extremely odd to categorize, and may not be appreciated by the majority of moviegoers, but it makes you feel good, and it is food for thought. What does it mean to be in love? Is the love any less real if one of the subjects in the relationship isn't material? Her takes a sentimental look at loneliness and human needs and turns the answers inside out.

Her is a jewel of a film, and to that contribute its solid yet odd screenplay, which won an Academy Award for originality, its superb photography with aerial views of L.A., and its soulful musical score. Another outstanding contribution to the appeal of the movie is the cast.

Joaquin Phoenix is amazing in the role of Theodore, the main character. Phoenix is usually spot on in his roles, and he has a series of outstanding performances in films such as Gladiator, Walk the Line, and now Her. That he hasn't won an Oscar yet amazes me. Amy Adams is a beautiful actress, who also happens to be a gifted one. I think that to really shine she needs a strong ensemble around her; then she gives her all. In Her, as Amy, she is a subdued wife who has suddenly and hardly won back her freedom. Adams imparts her character with vulnerability, and even in her limited role she excels. As much as Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson gives one of her most vibrant performances ever, all the better because we get to know her character Samantha through her voice; in other words, she doesn't physically appear in the film. Johansson conveys her feelings and emotions through her conversations with Theodore, and we get to like her too. Rooney Mara (as Catherine, Theodore’s ex-wife), Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt (as Paul, Theodore’s admirer at work) complete the ensemble.

Comments

  1. I so wanted to see this movie when it was in the theaters, but, somehow, the chance never came. I have to get it through one of our services. One of these days...

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    1. It is a little odd but so good. I highly recommend it.

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  2. Thank you for reminding me how much I loved this movie!

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  3. Yes. I loved this movie too. It is a jewell! Creative and moving too.

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