Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: A Movie Review

Warning: tear jerker (and spoilers) ahead. Proceed with caution.

Oscar Schell (Thomas Horn) enjoys spending time with his father (Tom Hanks). While Oscar is afraid of almost everything in the world, his father helps him find the confidence to get out and meet people and go places he wouldn’t otherwise go. However, on the day of 9/11, Oscar watches as his father tragically loses his life in the World Trade Center.

A year later, Oscar finds a key in his father’s closet with the name “Black” written on it. Believing it’ll lead to something from his father, Oscar is determined to find what the key opens with the hopes that it’ll bring him closer to his father.

Based off the book by the same title, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close was an amazing movie, giving the viewer an inside look into the life of a child who lost a parent in 9/11. It was definitely a tough movie to watch, especially since Oscar also has aspergers, which leads him to try to make sense of a situation that will never make sense in the end. I will admit that I cried through half of the movie.

However, there were a few things I didn’t quite understand. I don’t understand the reappearance of the grandfather. I get he was trying to make amends with his family, but I feel like it was out of the blue and didn’t really have an explanation. Also, the fact that Oscar goes in a complete circle before finding out the true use of the key kind of annoyed me. Yes, I get that he couldn’t find the meaning of the key right away cause then there would be no movie and no moral, but maybe it could have been played out differently.

These questions lead me to wonder if they will be answered if I read the book. They may or may not be, but I’ll never know unless I find out.

Grade: A

Cloud Atlas: A Movie Review

If I could only use one word to describe this movie it would be: AWESOME! Big caps, exclamation point and all.

Cloud Atlas, based off the book by David Mitchell, is a hard movie to summarize because of the way it was done. The overall theme is the thought that everyone is connected through past lives, which has always been and intriguing thought to me and probably was one of the reasons why I loved the movie so much.

The beginning was a bit confusing because it jumped around so quickly, but as the story unfolds the flow of the movie becomes smoother and easier to understand. It was also fun guessing which actors played which characters, because there wasn’t a large cast but there were a lot of characters. Since the movie is about past lives, each actors played more than one character. The advertised actors are Tom Hanks and Halle Berry; however, there are other well known actors in the movie, such as Hugo Weaving (Lord of the Rings) and Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter).

Overall, Cloud Atlas is a must see, although I would only really recommend this movie to people who are more into science fiction/fantasy films or those who are big movie buffs. Cloud Atlas is 3 hours long, so be prepared for a long sit. I knew the movie was over 2 hours, but it didn’t feel like a 3 hour movie. While I did recognize that the movie was really long, there wasn’t an instance of boredom because the story keeps you attached to the characters. Also, if you zone out at any point you may get a bit lost. So if you’re bored and just looking for a movie to see, I recommend seeing something else unless you’re prepared for 3 hours of connecting dots mixed with amazing acting, scenery and special effects.

Grade: A+

The Terminal: A Movie Review

Made in 2004, The Terminal stars Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski.

A foreigner from Krakhozia, Viktor Navorski comes into New York on a mission. Only his mission is put on hold when he finds out his country is in the middle of a riot and America no longer views them as an actual country. Homeland Security tells him they would fly him back home, however no flights are allowed in his country during the riot. Viktor  is also not allowed on American soil, meaning he can no longer leave the airport.

Stranded, Viktor does his best to live life as normally as possible by helping other fliers, making new friends, trying to get a job in the airport, and even falling in love. But the head of Homeland Security is making life very difficult for Viktor, hoping he will leave so he can arrest him and make him someone else’s problem. With the help of his airport friends, Viktor is determined to get what he came for and go back home.

The Terminal is an interesting, but very strange movie. I had seen a part of it on TV before and was curious to know how it ended. While the beginning is interesting and normal enough, half way through it starts to go odd. For example, at one point two characters who’ve never even met get married. The unrealistic scenario threw me off and the movie just became weirder from there.

Overall, it was an interesting experience watching The Terminal. The oddness of it halfway through did knock it down a bunch of points, but the beginning and the overall journey Viktor goes through salvaged it enough to declare it watchable.

Grade: B-