Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Movie Review: Argo (R - 120 minutes)

To listen to me and a friend review  Argo audibly - check our Podcast:  http://hesawshesawfilm.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/pitching-argo-perfectly/

Yes, we all loved Ben Affleck when he was just thought of as Matt Damon's goofy sidekick, all the way back to School Ties, the first movie I remember seeing them in together:
Then of course, Ben (and Matt) appeared in almost all of Kevin Smith's early pictures.  Ben was great in all of them - my favorite is Mallrats:
...but I think he's actually more impressive in the movie Jersey Girl - which was underrated due to the "Bennifer" media overload that was going on at the time.  If you haven't seen it - go back and watch it, it's much better than you expected, plus - George Carlin!!!
With the release of Good Will Hunting, and the subsequent Oscar win by the pair for Best Writing, people started to notice both Ben and Matt as filmmakers, as opposed to a pair of funny Boston hoodlums.  Ben directed his first full length picture in 2007 with Gone Baby Gone, a creepy Boston-set detective movie that starred his brother Casey.  It is unsettling, but really well done, with a final turn by Morgan Freeman that you're not expecting.  Again - if you haven't seen it - rent it.  In 2010, Affleck presented his second full length directing piece - The Town.  This time he also worked in front of the camera costarring with Jeremy Renner in this gritty Boston-set crime drama.  It brought Renner a best supporting Oscar nomination, and people wondered if maybe they should stop being surprised by how good a director Ben Affleck is.  That brings us up to current times, and the true story of CIA agent Tony Mendez, and his ludicrous plan of rescuing 6 Americans trapped in Iran during the 1979/1980 Iran Hostage situation.
The movie begins by setting up the Iran Hostage Crisis; explaining how the situation came to pass - how the Iranian rebels, demanding the return of their overthrown Shah (who had received asylum in the United States while dying of cancer), stormed the US Embassy, and took everyone inside hostage.  Six American Embassy workers managed to escape during the confusion and take refuge in the Canadian Embassy.  While the riots were beginning, US Embassy workers shredded everything they could, including lists of the people that worked in the building.  When the rioters took over, they brought in children to reassemble the strips, and eventually would learn about the 6 missing people.  The CIA had many different ideas to get the 6 hidden members, however none of them were good.  Tony Mendez, whose speciality was retrieving people from difficult situations came up with the idea of traveling to Iran as a Canadian film crew - arriving alone, claiming to scout locations, then flying out with the 6 extra people, who would have faked documents listing them as members of this 'film crew'.  Argo follows Mendez's meeting with a John Chambers, an Oscar-nominated special effects makeup specialist who had worked with the CIA before, and Lester Siegel, a producer who would help them make the movie as believable as possible. 
Once again, Affleck proves his skill as director, and how fortunate are we that he found his calling!  The movie plays like a thriller, simultaneously tracking events in Iran and events in Hollywood as Mendez preps.  Once he finally makes it to Iran, the constant stress of attempting to free the six people had me on the edge of my seat.  The movie looks completely era appropriate, right down to using the old Time/Warner logo at the very beginning.  In order to make the movie feel like the 1970s, Affleck shot it on regular film, cut the frames in half, and blew those images up 200% to increase their graininess.  Mixing in real footage with the new footage gives a feel of fantastic realism, and even better - during the final credits - shots from the movie are shown side by side with real photos from the event, including pictures of the 6 hostages - funnily enough, the one who looks least like his character is Affleck!
Two of the producers of this movie are George Clooney and Grant Heslov ("Why do they call him the sand spider?"  "Probably because it sounds scary"), who know a thing or two about gritty drama/thrillers (Ides of March, Goodnight and Goodluck).  The key - aside from great direction - is gathering an ensemble of great actors, who blend into the scene rather than dominate it.  What I mean by this is no matter how many true life characters Tom Cruise or Russel Crowe plays - you always see Tom Cruise or Russel Crowe - the movie star is bigger than the role.  Wisely, in Argo, actors who are not bigger than the roles are cast - adding to the believability of the movie.  Affleck is the most recognizable next to Bryan Cranston - and they both blend in almost seamlessly. 

  • Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez - again, Affleck doesn't look much like the real-life Mendez, whose picture is shown at the end, but he does a great job in this movie with an understated, quiet performance.  There is a very little bit of backstory about his family life, done in a very quick simple manner.  He excels in this role by doing a little less.  If you want to see him doing more, and going a little over the top - go watch Armaggedon again (which I love!).
  • Bryan Cranston as Jack O'Donnel:  I think there needs to be a best directing Oscar nod, and a best picture Oscar nod - but in terms of acting - give Cranston a Best Supporting nomination.  He doesn't have a ton of screen time - but what he does have he fills with meaning and tension.  He is fantastic in this!
  • Alan Arkin as Lester Siegel:  The big-time Hollywood producer type looks very at-ease on Arkin and he does a wonderful job with this character who believes that if they are "making a fake movie, then it's going to be a fake hit!"  His interactions with all the hollywood types are great, but best is his scene with Richard Kind.
  • John Goodman as John Chambers:  Goodman is wonderful as well in a supporting role as the CIA hollywood contact.  He helps Mendez get in touch with all the right people and start making connections.  He and Arkin provide some welcom comic relief in an otherwise very tension-filled movie!
  • Victor Garber as the Canadian Ambassador:  Garber has always been good and is so again in this movie.  He takes in the American refugees and gets more and more concerned as the rebels tighten their search.  He gives a strong and subtle performance.
  • Kyle Chandler as Hamilton Jordon:  Another great actor with just a few scenes, but really is fantastic in those few.
  • The actors playing the six hidden US Embassy workers: Tate Donovan, Clea Duvall, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham and Kerry Bishe - all do an amazing job of conveying how increasingly nervous these people get as time goes on.  Once Mendez arrives and begins to coach them on their new personalities and how to get out of the country, each of them does an incredible job of displaying various degrees of willingness and fear of the operation.  There is one scene where the Iranian goverment requests to meet the 'film crew' at a market to give them a tour, and the tension is insane! 
I normally don't go for the movies that come out this time of year.  To clarify, this time of year is usually reserved for 'films'; Oscar-y type arthouse independent films of great quality, but very little viewer enjoyment.  From time to time, you get a film that covers both the quality aspect, and the enjoyment aspect.  Argo is fantastic - go see it now.
9 out of 10!  Gained points for the old Warner logo at the beginning - too cool!  Lost points for the fact that Affleck really looks nothing like the real Mendez (not that big a deal!).  Gained points for having me literally at the edge of my seat during the climax of the action (are they going to make it?  I don't know?  I swear I remember the news story!?!?!)  Lost points for the overuse of the movie's go-to joke: Ar-go-f**k-yourself.  It was funny, then it wasn't, then it sort of got funny again.
Bonus Video 1:  Ben Affleck as Holden explaining the internet to Jay and Silent Bob - and also stating how Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo!
Bonus Video 2:  The trailer for Phantoms, because you've probably never heard of it, even though Affleck was the bomb in it, yo! plus - Peter O'Toole!
  Bonus Video 3:  Murder at 1600 trailer, Tate Donovan is in Argo - this is my favorite movie that he's in, it's probably another one you've never heard of - rent it now.
Bonus Video 4:  Cast Interviews!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Taken 2 (PG-13 - 91 minutes)

There's one thing you never get tired of - and that's seeing the bad guys get it.  This was a premise that worked well over and over again in the classic action movies of the 70s and 80s.  These action movies would have a lone hero, who was often a law enforcement officer of some type,  and disillusioned with the system.  He then has to go out on his own to get justice, or vengeance, or just to kill a bunch of punks. Best example of this - probably any of the Charles Bronson movies, Steven Seagal movies, and most perfectly - Dirty Harry:
 These movies had the 'old-school' mentality of one alpha-male type lead, who is able to get through any obstacle to achieve his goal.  This trend toned down near the end of the 80s/90s, especially when the Bourne Identity came out and made the 'smart' action movie the new trend.
The original Taken came out in 2008, and was a bit of a throwback to the 'old-school' action movies.  Exceptionally simple story:  the daughter of a 'security specialist' goes to Paris on vacation and gets snatched by Albanian sex-slave traders.  He goes to get her, killing everyone in his path.
The movie surprised everyone and was very profitable, having been made for very little money.  It also revitalized Liam Neeson's career, which had been in a bit of a 'classic actor-y' older-guidance figure roles.  He suddenly became a new action star.  Also - the movie spawned the "I have a specific set of skills" line that became used everywhere.
Because the movie was such a success - I suppose thoughts of a sequel must have been almost immediate.
The thing is - the first movie is wrapped up so neatly, why would you need a sequel? And in addition, the daughter had to have been so completely traumatized by the events in the first movie - why would she go anywhere unaccompanied?  The first movie was directed by Pierre Morel and written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.  The one is written by Besson and Kamen again, but directed by Olivier Megaton.  Megaton has done Transporter 3 (not great), and Columbiana (pretty good) - so we know that he can shoot gritty action.
Neeson is back as Bryan Mills, he's been helping his daughter (Maggie Grace) with her driving lessons, while dealing with the fact that she has a new boyfriend and his ex (Famke Janssen) is having difficulty with her new husband.  He graciously asks them to join him in Istanbul after he finishes his most recent job, to give them a change to unwind (because for a family that just went through a traumatic overseas kidnapping, hanging out in Istanbul is super relaxing).  Well, apparently, everyone that Mills killed in the first movie had relatives - we see their funerals at the beginning of this movie - Rade Serbedzija (that is spelled different ways on different movies he is in) plays the father of one of these killed men, he promptly sets off on a revenge plot to come and take the family again.  Mills is forced to once again use his special set of skills to save his family.
There's not much of  a cast, but the people who are present are capable:
  • Liam Neeson is Bryan Mills, no surprise there.  Once again in this movie he has one scene where he is hanging out with his friends (Leland Orser, D.B. Sweeney, Jon Gries - who again have no action scenes, I thought for sure they would show up to rescue the family - nope.  They apparently just hang around and play golf).  Neeson is perfect in this role, as he was in the first one.  He has his angry growl, and is completely believable as a man who will stop at nothing to save his family.  The most fun scenes are the ones in which he deals with his daughter's new boyfriend.  Neeson has re-invented himself, and owns this role - quietly determined and understated, but viciously powerful at the same time.
  • Maggie Grace is back as the daughter, Kim.  She has more to do in this movie and is a little less victimy.  If I had been writing this movie, the story would have been that the two parents get kidnapped, and she goes on revenge-based killing spree to save/rescue her parents.  A slightly different take, I suppose, but it would have been more interesting - because surely the character has spent every minute since the last movie in martials classes and marksmenship training.
  • Famke Janssen is back as the ex-wife/mother.  She again, has more to do, but it's still not much.  She's great with what she has - some concern, then terror, then relief.  I've been a fan of hers since her appearance in GoldenEye, and through the X-Men movies, she was decent as Jean Grey - but even better as the dark Phoenix.  There is a particularly creepy scene where the bad guys give her a tiny cut on the face, then hang her upside down while Mills is forced to watch and calculate how long it will take her to bleed out when all the blood rushes to her head.
  • Croatian actor Rade Serbedzija plays the main villian, the Albanian coordinating the plot to avenge their fallen brothers.  Rade has been in many many movies - he's always fascinating.  My favorite thing that he's done was the crazy Russian in Snatch.

The movie is exactly what it promises to be - which is more of the same from the first one.  However, where the first was clean and simple, and a throwback to a style of movie we hadn't seen in a while; this one feels completely redundant.  Like I said, had there been some sort of twist in it, the daughter getting back her 'taken' parents, or some other such difference, that would have given the movie a fresher feel.  As it is - it's not terrible, and if you loved the first one, you'll like this one.
6 out of 10.  Gained points for the giant chocolate sundaes in the last scene - made me want some ice cream.  Lost points for the daughter (who is still taking driving lessons) being able to drive a taxi in Instanbul well enough to evade shooting bad guys.  Gained points for the one scene where the daughter is a little action-hero-y.  Lost points because it was only that scene.
Bonus Video 1:  Liam Neeson on SNL in "Get in the Cage".
Bonus Video 2:  Liam Neeson insisting on doing improvisational comedy NOW on Life's too Short.
Bonus Video 3: Famke Janssen on Conan oBrien in 1995 to promote GoldenEye...
Bonus Video 4:  Cast Interviews!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect (PG13 - 112 minutes)

Here's something you probably don't know about me.  I have recently developed a love for acapella singing groups.  I enjoy watching "the Sing Off" when it is on TV, because I am amazed when a group of random people can harmonize unbelievably well - especially when they work in various percussion and other instrumental sound effects - no instruments, just voices.
Every season on "the Sing Off", there is at least one - if not more - collegiate acapella groups.  It's been a 'thing' for a long time on college campuses, and the competitions are pretty serious.  It was inevitable then, that we would get a comedy movie about it.
Taken from a book and turned into a screenplay by Kay Cannon who is a 30 Rock writer, the story follows Beca as she begins her freshman year at Barden University.  Beca has no interest in college and would prefer to move to L.A. to begin her career mixing music as a DJ.   Her father, however, works at Barden and makes a deal with her that if she gives college a try, and starts participating, but really can't make it work, he'll fund her move to L.A.  She joins the Bellas, the Barden all-female acapella group, who have performed the same choreography and songs for years, and attempts to bring some new life and energy to the group as they compete against the Treblemakers, the schools impressive all-male group.  Hilarious hijinks ensue.
And when I say hilarious hijinks - I mean it - this is far and away the funniest movie I have seen in a long time, and possibly all year (the only other truly hilarious movie being 21 Jump Street - and this might beat that out)!  Perfectly directed by Jason Moore, who has directed broadway plays (Avenue Q), and various TV episodes previous to this, the movie makes great use of the actors' singing abilities as well as the amazing comedic chops that many of them have.  There are several scenes that are clearly improved, and are fantastic - it really made me wish for a Gag Reel over the credits.  The story moves along quickly without overdoing any particular sequence or situation.  Beca's backstory is given just enough description to make you understand where she is coming from, and believe her character arc in the movie.  I also enjoyed how the movie from time to time gets close to slapstick, without going too far.  It's completely funny but also has a few touching scenes.
The cast is a perfect mix of comedians, singers, songwriters, and the occasional actor. 
  • Anna Kendrick, who apparently has done a lot of Broadway, even being nominated for a Tony (who knew? but now I feel bad for only thinking of her as 'that girl from Twilight) does a great job as Beca.  When she first shows up as a slightly alternative wannabe DJ, I wasn't sure I would buy her in that role (it's a little like the Eliza Dushku role from Bring It), being that the last thing I really saw her in was Up in The Air, where she was very business-y and conservative.  She really proved me wrong and brings a simple genuiness to Beca, not to mention - she's a pretty good singer!
  • Skylar Astin plays Jesse, the love interest who is a freshman as well and ends up joining the Treblemakers.  He looks a lot like a younger Zachary Levi - and sings just as well.  He is very funny, and seems very at ease in this role.
  • Ben Piatt plays Benji - Jesse's roommate, up-close magician, and singer.  A great character with an arc that in a more serious movie could have taken a really dark turn; but in this picture stays wonderful and fun, for which I am grateful.
  • Brittany Snow from Harry's Law and Hairspray (the most recent movie, not the Broadway play, or the first movie) plays Chole, who recruits Beca to the Bellas.  She is charming, over-the-top, and funny!
  • And speaking of over-the-top, Anna Camp plays Aubrey, the dictator of the Bellas, feeling the pressure because she is one of the two remaining Bellas after the rest graduated.  She has done quite a bit of TV before.  She does have - within the first five minutes - one of the most extensive vomit scenes I have seen in a while - you may want to avert your eyes!
  • There are many other talented singer/actresses rounding out the group, including Alexis Knapp (playing Stacie, was in Project X), Esther Dean (playing Cynthia Rose, actually a songwriter who has co-written Katy Perry's Firework, Nikki Minaj's SuperBass, and Kelly Clarkson's Mr. Know It All - as well as S&M by Rhianna, which she sings in the movie), Hanna Mae Lee (plays Lilly, a comedian, artist, and fashion designer), Kelly Jakle (plays Jessica - and competed on 'the Sing Off' with the Back Beats), Wanetah Walmsley (plays Denise, and was in Drive Angry).
  • I do want to briefly mention Freddie Stroma who plays Luke - the manager of the college radio station at which Beca finds a part time job.  He has a degree in neuroscience from University College in London.  You will understand why I find that mystifying once you get a glimpse of him in the movie.
  • Christopher Minz-Plasse has what I would consider to be a cameo as the audition-wrangler.  He also has a great monologue explaining why this is not Glee and why it is better than Glee - without using the word Glee...check that out!
  • The lead for the TrebleMakers is Bumper, played by Adam Devine, the writer and creator of Comedy Central's workaholics and a very funny stand-up.  He's a good singer as well, and brings a lot of funny to his unbelievably arrogant character.
  • The second for the TrebleMakers is Donald, played by Utkarsh Ambudkar who has done some TV work in the past, and really stands out in this small role.
  • John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks are absolutely hilarious as the competition commentators.  Elizabeth Banks also produced this movie, and I wonder if their scenes were mostly improv because their interaction is fantastic.
  • The absolute star of this movie is Rebel Wilson, an Australian stand-up who stole all of her scenes in Bridesmaids.  You can tell from all the trailers of this movie that she is funny, but she can also sing, and perform, and again steals this picture.  Her comedic timing is amazing, her personality reads as completely genuine, plus there is the genius of her character calling herself "Fat Amy", so that no one can do it behind her back.  Simple and powerful.  Again - there is one outtake of her over the credits - but I just want to see the entire gag reel now!
So - in summary, go see this now.  It's a wonderful piece of harmless fluffy fun that comes just at the right time, before everything turns into long depressing Oscar-y type movies.
8 out of 10!  Lost points for the aforementioned vomit scene...I mean, really.  Gained points for Rebel Wilson - pleast put her in everything.  Lost points for continuing to push the agenda that being a DJ is making music.  Some of them do make music yes, and those are the exceptions - but mixing other songs together - well, I suppose it does take some skill...Gained points for Freddie Stroma.
Bonus Video 1:  acapella group Delilah on the Sing Off - how amazing an all-girl acapella group can sound:
Bonus Video 2:  Rebel Wilson's rap star alter-ego, Rebelicious - hilarious:
Bonus Video 3:  Pitch Perfect Clip:
Bonus Video 4: Cast Interviews!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Movie Review: Looper (R -118 minutes)

Time travel movies are actually best when the time travel is treated as simply a feature of the story, and not the main focus of the story, because let's be real - it's almost impossible to explain it completely and not poke holes through the logic.  The absolutely best movie to use time travel is the Terminator. 
James Cameron's masterpiece used time travel as a piece of the story - evil machines from the future have gotten access to a time travel device and send back a killer robot to wipe out the leader of the resistance, before he is born!  The resistance leader also manages to send back a single fighter to protect the unborn child's mother, which turns out to be a really important move.  Incredible story, great effects (mostly practical), and amazing action.  I am one of the few who prefers Terminator to T2. 
An example of maybe not the greatest use of time travel is the JCVD flick TimeCop.
While still an entertaining movie, the time travel is overused, and gets a little complicated, plus - introduces the idea that two of the same person cannot occupy the same space at the same time, which they mention over and over again - until it pays off in the most disgusting way possible.  Rent it if you haven't seen it - like I sad, not good, but definitely entertaining.
Rian Johnson's new movie Looper, takes a slightly original stance on time travel, while still incorporating some bits we've seen before.
Apparently, in 2072, time travel has been invented and outlawed.  The mob still has it, and uses it to send back the bodies of people they wish to 'wack' (because the cops are so amazing in 2072 you can't dispose of a body anywhere?) to killers in 2040ish.  These killers are called "Loopers".  They are issued a gun - a blunderbuss (useless at more than 15 yards), and are told when to be in their designated place.  A hooded man shows up, they shoot him, collect their payment in bars of silver (you can read into that if you want) - which has been strapped to the back of their victim - and dispose of the body by incineration.  Eventually, they get sent a body that has gold bars strapped to the back.  This is their older self, and is called 'closing the loop'.  At this point, they take their gold, retire, and enjoy the 30 years that they know they have left; a decent job for a addicted loser with no direction.  This is how we meet the character of Joe.
Incidentally, director Rian Johnson worked on a movie called Brick with Joseph Gordon Levitt.  They became friends and haven't really worked together since then (check JGL as a bar patron in The Brothers Bloom).  Johnson wrote this movie for JGL, and that is why the character is named Joe.  Things are going pretty well for Joe, he's enjoying his looper lifestyle with his looper friends and their eyedrop drugs when one night, his looper friend comes to his house panicking because he lost his target.  He realized it was himself from the future, that he was about to 'close his loop', and he couldn't resist taking a look.  His older self outwits him (there are some holes to poke in the time travel memory situation here) and takes off, and now - Joe's friend is being hunted by their crime boss.  This situation exists to show us as an audience how bad it is if you lose your target, especially if that target is future-you.  Guess what happens to Joe?  Sure enough, his future-self shows up - and gets away, and Joe has to chase him down, while slowly coming to understand why his future self made the effort to come back, evade capture, and set out on an impossible mission.
I have limited experience with Rian Johnson as a director; I did see the Brothers Bloom, which I enjoyed, but I did not see Brick.  He proves very capable in this flick, shooting quiet conversation scenes with the same ease as big action sequences.  The effects are decent, if not great, and certainly serviceable for this movie. 
Joseph Gordon Levitt is amazing, as he has been all year.  Between 50/50 last year, Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush, this year, he is continuing to establish the fact that he is one of the best young actors around.  It has been well publicized that JGL went through 3 hours of prosthetics every morning to look more like Bruce Willis.  What has been mentioned less is the amazing job he does picking up all of the subtle Bruce Willis mannerisms and playing them so that he is completely convincing as a younger version of Bruce Willis.  He plays Joe perfectly so that you believe both the stone cold killer part and the hanging out with a small child part.  Incidentally, my favorite movie he has done is 10 Things I Hate About You - which became my favorite version of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew.  My previous favorite version had been when they did it for an episode of Moonlighting, which starred Bruce Willis - see how cyclical everything is?
Bruce Willis gets to pretty much play Bruce Willis, definitely not a bad thing at thing point, he's earned it.  He gives old Joe a believable sense of urgency.  The movie very clearly lays out why he puts together this plan to go back and attempt to change the future.  Also - his real hair makes an appearance!
Emily Blunt plays a character that I would describe as "farm girl hiding a deadly secret".  She pulls off an american accent pretty impressively.  There are certain parts to her character that make no sense, but she does a really good job with what she has.
Indie darling Paul Dano plays Joe's Looper friend.  He plays the friend who lets his older self escape to set up the premise of how necessary it is to NOT let your older self escape and how vicious the mob can be in attempting to get their target back.  The last time I saw him was in Cowboys and Aliens, playing Harrison Ford's exceptionally irritating son.
Noah Segan, who worked with Rian Johnson on the Brothers Bloom.  In this movie he plays Kid Blue, who seems to go from comic relief to genuinely terrifying bad guy.  Also - is he young Jeff Daniels?  Maybe, maybe not....
Piper Perabo plays a whore that Joe likes.  Seriously - that sounds awful, but that is the role.  She got famous from the movie Coyote Ugly, and has lately been on the USA series Covert Affairs, which I don't watch because it seems to be Alias, which I loved.  She's topless for no reason in this movie - I have already pointed out how much I hate PTSs, so I will not rant about that again.
The shocker is how good the kid is.  Oh, by the way, there is a kid in the movie.  Pierce Gagnon from One Tree Hill plays him, and he is fantastic.  I honestly can't say why without ruining it - so just trust me that he's good.
Jeff Daniels plays the heavy - the head of the looper organization who is actually from the future and back to monitor the action that happens in the present.  I like him as a bad guy because he seems so nice, until you realize exactly how evil he is, which is a credit to his performance.  Also - you should check out The Lookout - a movie he and JGL did previous to this.
All in all, this movie is really well put together, well acted, and wonderfully presented.  Also - the time travel stuff is easy to understand.  Honestly, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how it was going to resolve itself. 
7 out of 10.  Lost major points for the sequence in which the mob gets the attention of the older Paul Dano character who is on the run - creeped me out so much it nearly took me out of the movie.  By the way - this movie is a hard R, the violence is very serious. Gained points for the Dark Phoenix sequence.  Lost points for Piper Perabo's tits.  No one wants to see that.
Bonus Video 1:  Battle of the Taming of the Shrews...  If you never saw that episode of Moonlight - find it now!  Also - If you never saw 10 Things I hate about you - rent it now!  And marvel at Heath Ledger and JGL in the same movie years before they each stole two different Batman movies.

Bonus Video 1:  The Lookout Trailer, more Jeff Daniels and JGL...in a pretty good movie, but not a happy movie...
Bonus Video 2:  The Brothers Bloom...
Bonus Video 3:  Interviews!