blo Teens Read and Write: Movie Reviews: 50/50 (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) & Mini Review of DRIVE (Ryan Gosling)!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Movie Reviews: 50/50 (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) & Mini Review of DRIVE (Ryan Gosling)!

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
Adam Learner is 27, working for public radio in Seattle. He consults a doctor about his back pains and gets a terrible diagnosis - a rare form of cancer that's fatal half the time. Chemo starts immediately. His best friend Kyle, and his girlfriend, Rachael, vow to see him through it. Rachael helps keep his dramatic mother at bay, he meets some of the regulars at chemo, and he's assigned a grad-student psychologist, Katherine: he's her third patient, and she tries to say the right things, often without effect. Kyle wants to turn Adam's cancer into a chick magnet, Rachael keeps Adam at arm's length, Adam doesn't answer his mom's calls, and the chemo saps his strength. The clock ticks.
50/50 is one of my favorite films of the previous year. After convincing my the rest of my family to rent it on DVD they were all thoroughly impressed at my movie selection prowess, still skeptical from my other Joseph Gordon-Levitt extravaganza choice of (500) Days of Summer

You know what this poster is missing? More pictures of Zooey Deschanel's STUPID FACE!

The story is based off writer Will Reiser's personal experiences with cancer which after watching this movie must have been pretty bad. 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fabulous as the cancer stricken nice guy who's taken advantage of by his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard). The usually annoying Seth Rogen is a great fit next to Levitt's slightly neurotic Adam Learner and the source of most of the laughs. Anna Kendrick also gives a great performance as Levitt's bubbly yet awkward psychiatrist-in-training who helps him through all the emotional stages of his ordeal.

While the movie is very funny it also manages to capture some genuinely powerful emotional moments. The subjects of loss, betrayal, and hopelessness are explored but then later countered with love, friendship, and happiness. Right when you're about to think that movie is getting too sad something humorous or sweet will arrive to brighten things up.

50/50 delivers the perfect and powerful mix of drama and comedy. Everyone does an outstanding job of acting and the writing is top notch. It starts off very funny, slowly dips into tragic territory, then levels out with an ending that leaves you bubbling with hope and happiness.

!Bonus Review Alert!

Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan
A mysterious man who has multiple jobs as a garage mechanic, a Hollywood stuntman and a getaway driver seems to be trying to escape his shady past as he falls for his neighbor - whose husband is in prison and who's looking after her child alone. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates our driver as he is to be used as the race team's main driver. Our hero gets more than he bargained for when he meets the man who is married to the woman he loves.

Do not be fooled by trailers or quotes! This movie is slooooooooow. Not to say that it isn't good, just different. I have heard it described as "very European" which for most is probably a turn off.

Drive could have probably been cut to 30 minutes because the majority of the movie is taken up by Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan awkwardly staring at each other. I recently found a picture that pretty much sums up the entire film.

There it is folks. 

If you're looking for an artsy reflection on the human condition about how far a man will go to protect the people he loves even at the cost of his own life then Drive is for you! But if you go in expecting an action-packed adrenalin fueled thrill ride then you'll be sorely disappointed. 


Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Okay, I admit... I have wanted to see 50/50 but haven't because I was afraid I'd ball like a baby. So glad to hear that it uplifts at the end. I think I do need to see this one!

Oh and I'll pass on Drive. I do like artsy films, but sometimes... no thanks. :)

Unknown said...

I loved 50/50. I was unsure about watching that movie because I knew I would cry even with a happy ending. But through the tears I still recommend it highly.

Drive I fell asleep watching, it was that slow. I woke up towards the end and that pretty much summed up the movie for me. I do love love Ryan Gosling though. I really enjoyed the movie Crazy Stupid Love with Steve Caroll in it too.

Rummanah Aasi said...

I LOVED Drive and I thought it was awesome. Though I definitely agree with you that you need to be in a certain mood to watch it. I didn't think it was that slow but it had terrific acting.

Tales of Whimsy said...

I really need to see 50/50. I keep hearing amazing things about it. I love that it's based on a true story too.


I've never even heard of Drive! I don't get out much.
Now I do know about 50/50. I've been afraid of seeing it. Now, I think I can see it based on this review. Have you read any of those books he's behind called The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories? They are supposed to be very good.


I love that you have family movie night!!

Blodeuedd said...

I'd want more humour tonight for movienight but I might just go for 5050 instead. Drama and humor can work too

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

i've been wanting to see 500 days of summer for a long time!

Justin78 said...

I loved 50/50. I watched it with my (teenage) niece and she loved it too. It's an especially great movie for a family who has been affected by cancer, as ours has.
When I was watching 50/50, I kept thinking of a book I read recently - "Face Forward" by Michele Howe Clarke ( The author talks about how to use pain to create a better life for yourself, which is what kind of happens to the main character in 50/50. I loved it.

Book Sake said... hit the dialogue on the head for Drive. I thought it was a good movie, but definitely a "between the lines" kinda story. 50/50 was awesome - Joseph can do no wrong.

- Jessica @ Book Sake

Krista said...

I've seen both movies and I totally agree! 50/50 was absolutely amazing and Drive was very slow. I liked Drive but I was completely aware of what it was going to be when I went into the theater, so I didn't get crazy slapped with an awkwardly paced movie. Great images for Drive! Totally captures the film to a tee! The best part in the entire thing was that Real Hero song. And yeah, a 30 minute movie could have sufficed :)

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