Category Archives: Miles of Movies

Miles of Movies: The Disaster Artist (2017)

By Miles Barber (CE ’18)

The Disaster Artist is about the making of the famously “so bad it’s good” movie called The Room. It starts with Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), whose shyness is starkly in contrast with Tommy Wiseau’s (James Franco) willingness to put himself out there. So Greg and Tommy, having been rejected by Hollywood, team up to make their own movie. The chaos and craziness that ensues is what makes up the meat of this film.

Continue reading

Miles of Movies: The Room (2003)

By Miles Barber (CE ’18)

The Room is affectionately known as one of the worst films ever made. It’s intended as a drama about Johnny (Tommy Wiseau), a loving man whose girlfriend Lisa (Juliette Danielle) is starting to develop an interest in Mark (Greg Sestero), Johnny’s best friend, just a few weeks before their wedding. Throw in a bunch of other characters that never quite seem like they belong in the movie and you have The Room, a hilariously bad movie with some of the worst line delivery, worst acting, and worst writing I’ve ever seen. 

Continue reading

Source: IMDb

Miles of Movies: “Blade Runner 2049”

By Miles Barber (CE ‘18)

“Blade Runner 2049” is the sequel to “Blade Runner,” an incredibly influential 1982 science fiction film that didn’t gain traction until many years after it was released. Since then, its dirty futuristic setting has influenced nearly every science fiction film and its exploration of what it means to be human has become more and more relevant as artificial intelligence gets more and more prevalent in our society.

Continue reading

Miles of Movies: Your Name

By Miles Barber (CE ‘18)

Every once in a while, a movie comes along with rave reviews and high expectations, but it’s a few months before it makes it to my area. (This film was released in Japan in 2016 but not until quite recently in the U.S.) All of the things I heard, the amazing animation and the great story, really built up the anticipation. And then, in a rare twist, this film exceeds my expectations. Your Name is the best anime film I’ve ever seen, and I think it’s one of the best traditionally-animated films ever made.

The premise is fairly easy to understand: Two people, a country girl and a city boy, randomly wake up inside each other’s bodies for a day at a time. Some days they’re swapped and some days they aren’t. They slowly learn more about each other and accidentally mess up days of each other’s’ lives to great comedic effect. Each lead very different lives with different dreams and aspirations, which really blends well to make this story engaging. Due to some twists and turns in the story, they become determined to find each other. And all of this happens around a gorgeous comet event. It might seem a little cheesy, but it works for the movie. It certainly worked for me.

This film is perfectly paced. It draws you in from its first scene and never lets go. I was thoroughly invested in the characters and incredible premise right from the start. And just when it seems like a chapter in the story is going to overextend itself, there is some twist that blows your mind while simultaneously fitting perfectly into the movie. The film wraps itself up in a nice bow that leaves you satisfied with what you’ve seen and eager to experience the film again. You really feel like a lot of time has passed in this story, and parts of it actually create a profound sense of nostalgia.

The technical aspects of the film were, as expected, fantastic. The animation leaps off the screen, especially in the rural landscapes where the girl lives. There are so many gorgeous shots of the landscape that feel incredibly real. The animation also handles lighting very well. There is a scene at twilight that feels incredible, and the comet is illuminated beautifully in the sky as it passes overhead. There is just something incredibly magical about the way this film is animated. While there are plenty of computerized effects, they somehow blend with the traditional, hand-drawn animation really well and don’t feel jarring.

Something else that I found impressive about this film is how well it manages to flesh out its characters and put them in realistic relationships. Not once did a character’s actions feel contrived or strange; instead, they just make sense. The differences in the lives of these characters are so well-realized in this movie. Even though this type of story is on the complicated side, I never felt confused or lost at any point in the story; it was all clear and powerfully directed.

There is something in this movie for everyone. Whether it’s from the touching story, the great twists, the genuine mystery element that takes form when the two characters try to find each other, the gorgeous animation, or the premise alone, Your Name will leave it’s mark and you’ll never want it to end. ◊

Grade: A+

Miles of Movies: Life

By Miles Barber (CE ‘18)

Life is about a group of scientists at the International Space Station (ISS) who discover cellular life from soil samples on Mars. This lifeform is studied and nurtured aboard the ISS, growing rapidly. But when one of the scientists shocks it in an attempt to revive it after an accident, it attacks. The rest of the film is about how the remaining scientists try to contain this creature and ultimately try to survive.

Continue reading

Miles of Movies: Logan

By: Miles Barber (CE ‘18)

In a world of uplifting, happy-ending, fast-paced superhero films, Logan takes a different approach. It presents its titular character as a dark, depressed man who’s lived for two hundred years, watching other mutants like him rise and fall, and watching people he’s cared for get killed because of him. To Logan, the world is a painful place, and there isn’t much to make him care about living. Charles Xavier is one of the few people he takes care of—until he meets Laura, a young Hispanic girl that he must take to the Canadian border.

This film is half road-trip, half bloody action. There are no bright colors or super heroes. The opening ten to twenty minutes set the tone perfectly: heartbreaking, realistic and believable. They also provide some backstory about Laura and make the main characters feel authentic.

The special effects, sound design, and cinematography are all great in this film. Hugh Jackman plays Logan well and has for the past seventeen years. Dafne Keen, who plays Laura, isn’t given a whole lot to do until the last act of the film, but really brings it then. As far as I know, she’s never been in a film before, so I’m interested to see where she goes from here.

Logan’s character arc develops strongly in the first two acts of this film (introduction and road-trip), but it does not play out well in the third act. As a “road trip” movie, you might expect this film to be formulaic. And it is but not in a way that I particularly like.

For a dark movie like this to work, you need the main character to be either likable, relatable, or sympathetic. After all that Logan has been through in the previous X-Men films, he should at least be sympathetic. But in the third act, he isn’t. He just goes back to being a stubborn, cranky guy who doesn’t want to do anything or help anyone. And that took me out of the movie.

Overall, Logan is a new tone for a superhero film. It features a different world for mutants without hope or purpose. The first two acts are strong in setting up the tone, characters, and story. There are some truly heartbreaking moments here, but the third act made Logan unlikable again—which was disappointing. I would still recommend this film, but just know that it is a bloody mess and isn’t terribly uplifting or fun like a typical superhero film. ◊

Grade: B+