Friday, 30 September 2011

50/50 Review

Welcome to my 100th movie review.  (pause for cheers and applause)  I have enjoyed writing every one and hope you enjoy reading them.  I will continue to do this.

At some point, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is going to win an Oscar.  When watching 3rd Rock From the Sun, that never crossed my mind.  But he's become an absolutely awesome actor over the years since.   This is his best performance since The Lookout.  Honestly, he could win for his role in 50/50 and he should at least get a nomination.  This is a movie that is supposed to evoke feelings of happiness and sadness at the same time and JGL's performance does just that.  It's been a long time since I cried during a movie and I did at different times during this one.  I also laughed out loud a lot.  From start to finish, JGL delivers the emotion that is needed at that particular time.

The supporting cast is very good too.  Seth Rogen is perfect as the loveable and loyal "Larry Dallas" character (you know, Richard Kline on Three's Company).  Rogen's job in this film is to provide a lot of the laughs while still being the loving and supportive friend.  He does it very well.  This is how he should have performed in Funny People.  In fact, this whole movie is what would have happened if they had made Funny People properly.

The setting for this movie is perfect.  While it also led to one of my minor beefs (which I will address later), having the movie set in the Pacific Northwest is brilliant.  Everything is damp and bleak while still making the viewer want to be a part of the set.  That's what the Pacific Northwest is like.  Using this helps to bring out the emotional roller coaster that this movie is based on.  In addition to that, they do a terrific job with the music too.  I think that had a lot to do with making me cry as well.

Now, the minor problems with 50/50.  First, the pace is pretty slow, especially during the first 40 minutes.  It takes a while for everything to start.  But it isn't enough to make you lose interest and, once it gets moving, you stay into it.  Second, if you are going to make a point of telling the audience what city the movie takes place in, you should not make a point of obviously filming famous Vancouver landmarks (unless the film takes place in Vancouver).  Yes, the Lion's Gate Bridge and the Seawall are beautiful but they aren't in Seattle.  That just seemed to be lazy continuity to me.

But those are very minor beefs.  See this movie.  I don't just recommend it, I demand it!  See it and pay full price.  It is wonderfully written, has solid acting from both the main and peripheral characters, right up until the end, you have no idea how it's going to turn out, it is beautifully shot and it is funny and sad at the same time.  They do a brilliant job of combining a very serious topic with humour; something Funny People failed to do.

Also, given that it was filmed in Vancouver, pay attention to Set Rogen's license plate.  Did they do that on purpose?  I like to think so.

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