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Awesome Movies, Vol. IV

The movie home.
1My Bloody Valentine

There Will Be Blood: One of the finest performances in cinematic history. Daniel Day-Lewis literally inhabits this role and helps mould this film into being one of the finest films out there simply because of his pitch-perfect performance. Of course there are other factors to this being a genuinely great film, such as Paul Thomas Anderson's incredible direction, Jonny Greenwood's haunting score along with fantastic supporting performances from Paul Dano and Dillon Freasier. The film is beautifully-shot and totally unexpected throughout. Brilliant filmmaking.

Se7en: Between this and Fight Club, my favourite David Fincher-directed film is basically a toss-up between the two. At the moment though, my favourite is Se7en for the haunting atmosphere, great performances all across the board and the soul-crushing twist during the film's nerve-rattling climax. From start-to-finish though, this is a genuinely intriguing detective story that constantly sinks its teeth in you thanks to two extremely likeable lead characters at the core and the increasingly gruesome discovers. Not much to say about the film that hasn't already been said, it's simply a classic. My favourite line, you ask? That's easy: "What's in the box?!"
From One

The Raid: Redemption: Wow. Seeing as how tame and generic recent Hollywood, quick-cut, "action" movies have gotten, I came into this film with the lowest of expectations. Even though I was familiar with how great foreign action films can truly be, never could I prepare myself for how kick-ass this film genuinely was. This will is a classic three-act film, the heroes lay out the plan to stop the bad-guys, plan eventually fails, and the good guys must survive against nearly insurmountable odds. It's basically Die Hard with less humour, but better action to make up for it (even though some of the action beats throughout are quite humorous in the way they're choreographed). The film is fast, furious and simple, but it never lets up in the process as it always leaves you hanging by the edge of your seat.
Critical Mass

The Raid 2: Berandal: Although the first instalment was a first-rate action masterpiece all-around, this second instalment somehow managed to impress me even more. I was REALLY anticipating this movie, I adored the first film and made it my mission to show friends who haven't seen it how amazing it is, with my love of the first film at an all-time high, there was no way that the sequel could top my unbelievable expectations. But it did. Somehow, some way, I found myself enjoying this film more so than the original, maybe because it had the power of the first film constantly at it's back, but the fact that this film stands on its own as a crime-epic makes me appreciate it even more. The first 10 minutes tie up the loose ends from the first film almost immediately, soon plunging you into a world of unrelenting crime and action. The main character from the first film has much more to do this time around and is given plenty more scenes to actually act and show emotion, whereas the first film just had him looking bad-ass almost 100% of the way through, this film gives the character a chance to shine by allowing him to do things that he can regret, while also keeping a hold on the fact that he is a good man at his core. This sequel ranks as one of the few that I feel are better than the original films, it left me floored by not only the outstanding action sequences, especially the car chase and kitchen fight, but also by how grand the story felt. This world feels lived in and the actors bring a lot of life to this film, making it surprisingly emotional at certain crucial moments. Epic film.
5 Star Stunna

Birdman: Speaking of epic, here's another epic from 2014. Birdman was a film I knew I had to see in theatres right away, the trailer gave me the sense that this was going to be a unique and original spin on the superhero genre. But, what I got from the film was far more than that. First off, the cinematography was something that totally took me by surprise. Having not read any reviews upon seeing it, I had no idea that the filmmakers were going for a "one-take" type of film where the camera never cuts away from the action. Though there are a couple of cutaways within, such as some news-footage and the opening/climax of the film have brief "blink and you'll miss them" shots that immediately hook you into this film's universe. Michael Keaton is just outstanding in this film, never has he been this good in a film before and it's a real honour to see him finally given a starring role that gives him full-range to show off his immense talents. At times uplifting and funny, at times hopelessly tragic, this film is a roller-coaster ride from beginning-to-end, a wholly original film that makes you appreciate the art of cinema in a generation that is inundated with countless remakes, sequels and cash-grabs. Seeing this film opened my eyes and made me genuinely fall in love with the art of cinema again, this is the best film I've seen in years and maybe even decades.
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