Fellowship Of Ideas Brings Artistic and Symbolism To Lordly Standards

Tolkien Poster

            The legendary story of adventure, quests, love, magic, and fellowship.  To many, the legendary adventures of Frodo and the game are immortalized in the epic film franchise crafted by Peter Jackson, whose world crafting and adventure were the stuff of legends as the realm of Middle Earth was brought to life.  Yet what about the man who imagined it all up, who came up with the language to give birth to the fantasy world beloved by so many. Well, tonight’s film hopes to give some insight into his life and perhaps motivate us to craft our own tales through the journey he took.  Robbie K here to craft another review as he takes on:

 

Movie: Tolkien (2019)

Director:

Dome Karukoski

Writers:

David GleesonStephen Beresford

Stars:

Nicholas HoultLily CollinsColm Meaney

 

LIKES:

 

Acting

Graphics

Music

Beauty

Symbolism

Picking Out Things

 

SUMMARY: A biopic such as this requires engaging performances to bring the legendary figures to life and fortunately this movie has brought it’s cast together to form its own fellowship.  Hoult’s group bonds with that English wit, full of fun and sarcasm as the brotherhood forms with each passing year.  Lily Collins as the love interest is a usual role for her, but the direction grants her some options to bring out her motivational monologue skills that were a wonderful compliment to the struggles Hoult portrays in the legendary writer. This duos chemistry is impressive, capable of bringing the tale to life.

Of course, we need to see the vision of Tolkien’s mind brought to life so that we can potentially get an idea of how he viewed the world to make his own world.  Director Karukoski achieves this through the use of a number of camera work, special effects and audio tricks to help make this come to life.  The result is that the movie is an artistic wonder, bringing the dark designs of Jackson’s work and simplifying them into a version that seems to match the “hallucinations” of Tolkien’s mind. As the story evolves and more of his journey begins unfolding, the movie continues to evolve the art style to show the beauty of the hero’s journey and the struggles about discovery. All the beauty of the life events and symbolism of what each part of Tolkien’s life meant in relationship to his works makes is captured in the wonderful cinematography and acting, all blending together to portray how the spirts of the art work in the harshest most brilliant ways.  To help add that extra magic, the music they chose in the forms of sonatas, piano work, and dynamic music pieces was something I particularly liked the most. Captivating scores are what add that emotional beauty to me as well, almost mirroring the inner soul of the characters involved.

Yet all the artistic licenses they took in this movie, the thing I particularly liked was the treasure hunt of references to the book in Tolkien’s life.  In his journey for the Hobbit, Tolkien is all about dropping hints of motivation for his world and the characters that inhabit them.  Some of the hints are obvious in the mind’s eye sequences where the beasts and creatures manifest in some weird hallucination, while others are a little harder to pick up, hiding in the common dialogue or background much like the elusive treasure his series is about.  It’s that element that adds a level of fun to the movie for the fans like me to help offset some of the slower parts to the film.

 

DISLIKES:

 

Slow

A Little Too Artistic

Predictable Story

A little disjointed

Perhaps Over Dramatized

Not Quite the Quest I envisioned.

 

SUMMARY:

My fellow reviewers are right in the terms that Tolkien may be a bit boring for the common audience member and much of this has to do with the very thing that makes it beautiful, the artistic presentation.  Tolkien’s pace is about hitting key points of his life and some of these moments don’t have quite the entertainment aspect we’ve come to love as an audience.  Instead the disjointed moments are sort of skipped, tied together in his memories as he goes through the war, are a little too nonlinear causing a semi-coherent story about how he came up with work.  The fact that the ending is predictable makes the constant circling around the obvious ending a little tiresome given the pacing.

Yet the biggest dislikes have to involve the missing that movie magic that makes the entertainment factor for the movies some of the most enjoyable.  I needed that cohesive story and liberties to help glue the story into a cohesive tale that wasn’t so artistic and a little more direct to help capture the spirit of the quest.  I was hoping that we would see more of him walking through the world with an eye for his motivation, sort of seeing the story’s writing as he planned it out. Instead, getting caught up in the life drama and how he struggled to write was not quite the quest I had envisioned upon watching the trailers for this film.  Without this uniting quest and cliché look at the creation, the artistic liberties got a little too in the way of the storytelling which is going to limit the audience scope they may have looked for. 

 

The VERDICT:

 

            Tolkien is a beautiful film, showing that much like Tolkien’s journey, artistic splendor is all about the journey to find the strength to create.  It has fantastic acting, great use of audio and visual works to make it a symbolism of beauty and wonder, and does enough subtle hinting with the references to make it the treasure hunt mentioned at the beginning of the movie.  And yet, while it is the strongest part of the movie it also puts a lot of limitations on it as well.  The movie gets lost in the symbolism and artistic license, making the film a little more segmented and denser than what most will look for and limiting the audiences scope.  Therefore, this movies is not going to be for the common fan and would recommend checking this one out at home unless you are a diehard Tolkien fan. 

 

My scores are:

 

Biography/Drama/War: 7.5

Movie Overall:  6.5

 

The Rules Didn’t Apply To This Movie…And It showed

rules-dont-apply

 

Today’s review is on the film entitled Rules Don’t Apply, a film that critics call the best movie of the year.  Haven’t heard of it?  Don’t worry, you aren’t alone as this movie flew under the radar thanks to the blockbusters coming out this weekend.  For those caring to know, it is a film portraying the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes and the many people caught up in his game of… craziness.  Does this movie live up to the hype of the trailers?  As always it’s my job to share my thoughts and report on the latest film to hit the theater trenches.

 

LIKES:

  • The setting
  • The portrayal of Hollywood
  • Warren Beatty’s performance

 

This weekend seems to involve taking trips into the past, as Rules Don’t Apply drops you back into the mid 1960s and all the cultural trends of the era. This film has costumes and sets that recreate the time period, helping immerse you into environment that existed 50 years ago. All the promising hope and youthful energy are unleashed, trying to bring about the fun times Hollywood brought with it in the golden age of cinema.  And if you could care less about the ambience, then you will get a good laugh at some of the ridiculous trends the era fostered, especially when the film pokes fun at it.

For you drama lovers though, a strong quality of this film is the portrayal of Hollywood and the obstacles it presents for our “heroes”. Rules Don’t Apply does a fine job of showing how Hollywood promises fame, fortune and excitement to the aspiring, only for the cold-hearted politics to rip that promise away in an instant. Be warned the tale is somewhat depressing, but I give props for a studio revealing the ugly face hidden behind the makeup and lights.

Yet the main strength of this movie is Warren Beatty’s performance as Howard Hughes. If you don’t know much about the man, read Wikipedia and you’ll find he had a generous and ambiguous allocation of funds and attention. Beatty portrays that unorganized way of thinking perfectly, showing the erratic pressured speech, the flight of thoughts, and troubled looks of a man with too much on his mind. And as time passes, and status’ change, Beatty adapts his look and talents to portray more of the madness during Hughes downward spiral. He was dynamic, he was funny, and he sold me on how much struggle the man went through all those decades ago.  

 

DISLIKES:

  • The actors’ chemistry
  • The lost potential
  • Soap opera theatrics
  • Boring
  • The editing

 

It was hard to pick a starting point for my dislikes, but the actors’ chemistry through me off in this movie.  Our potential star crossed lovers were more awkward than romantic and it felt like the two leads were forced to work together (like we saw in Twilight and The Star Wars prequels). Our young actors felt stiff together, the ability to act off one another not quite as polished or believable as I had hoped.  While I understand relationships can start out this way, the chemistry didn’t move past this until near the end of the film. Instead, the relationship and acting continued to move into the overdramatic region, ascending to levels that soap operas make famous. Much of the theatrics were more eye-rolling annoying than appreciative, and I prayed for something to end the nonsensical love story they were trying to sell.   Fortunately, the other relationships that main character Frank Forbes had to foster made up for the stiff romance story of this film.

I can’t just pin the poor relationship on the acting. No, the main dislike for me in this movie is the editing. Beatty may be a good actor, but his writing and directing need some work to help improve his storytelling ability. Rules Don’t’ Apply seemed to have difficulty determining what kind of movie it wanted to be. So instead they decided to mash everything together into a multi-genre menagerie that didn’t work.  Much of the film were snippets of Hughes’ endeavors hastily crammed together to provide some entertainment.  And while I laughed at times, the irrelevance to the plot became very irritating by the end of the film. And even worse, these interruptions destroyed the coherence of the plot and weakened the overall tale, especially in regards to the character development.  If this is entertaining to you great, but if you are like me…you’ll be bored by all the unnecessary components and the extended run time.

 

THE VERDICT:

 

Rules Don’t Apply may be artistic and have one heck of a leading performance.  However, past that this film’s storytelling needs an overhaul/remake to get the job done. It’s unfocused editing, overdramatic acting, and slow pace did not entertain me as much as I had hoped. You are better off waiting for this one to hit home folks, where you can at least nap through most of the movie if you get bored.  But if you want a drama with lots of moving pieces…Rules Don’t Apply is the film for you.

 

My scores:

Comedy/Drama/Romance:  6.0

Movie Overall: 4.0