Rapid Eye Reviews: The Theory of Everything, Wild, and Nightcrawler (2014)

I’ve finished posting about my resolutions for 2015. Before I wrap up last year by posting all of my best and worst lists, I wanted to post some Rapid Eye Reviews for three of 2014’s films that I ran out of time to review during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.


 The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything suffers from falling into the all-too-familiar territory of offering nothing more than an average film on the story of a famous person. What makes the film worth seeing are the performances. Eddie Redmayne is truly the star of the film, and I imagine it will thrust him forward in his career towards bigger and better gigs. Of course, I can’t leave out Felicity Jones, because as viewers, we often saw things from her perspective, whether they were for better or for worse, similar to the feelings that erupt from a confused and tired marriage between Stephen and Jane. You won’t find inspiration from the obstacles both Stephen and Jane overcome as much as you’ll contently sit and observe the lives of two adults struggling to cope with Stephen’s deteriorating health, which slowly drives a wedge between Jane and himself. Don’t be fooled by the title: The Theory of Everything is much more of a relational drama than a history of Stephen Hawking’s findings or belief system.

Thanks to some worthwhile performances, I think The Theory of Everything deserves

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ON SCREEN.

 

Wild

I read multiple reviews on Wild before seeing it in theaters, and after seeing it, I think I felt less assured about my own feelings on it. It’s one of those movies that I felt like missed the mark, but not so far that I would call it bad. It fits within the vein of 127 Hours (2010), but it doesn’t hit quite all the right notes like the latter. Yes, it is the story of one Cheryl Strayed, who strayed so far from the straight and narrow that she changed her last name. I can’t discount the film for my dislike of Cheryl, who ultimately tried to redeem herself by hiking over a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail instead of painfully facing her demons by confronting them rather than hiking to reflect over them. I have to give props to Reese Witherspoon, who admitted herself how difficult the filming was. She convincingly plays Cheryl, both in her older and her younger years. One of my biggest issues with Wild, however, is that it tends to jump all over the place, often forgetting where the focus of the film ought to be. Wild seeks to be in the inspirational hit of the year, but it fails, even with Witherspoon’s transformative performance.

Wild remains in good, but not great territory, earning

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1/2 ON SCREEN.

 

Nightcrawler

I’m grateful to everyone who urged me to check out rookie director Dan Gilroy’s noir night thriller Nightcrawler, because I consider it one of the best films of 2014. Nightcrawler, with its simple plot and focus on a singular character whose shades of gray fade to black as he accurately earns the title of a “nightcrawler,” both in career and literal terms, is a thrilling ride from beginning to end. Nightcrawler is Jake Gyllenhaal’s head-turning film that urges serious film fans and critics to take his acting more seriously in recent years. His changed appearance and his dedication to the slimy character of Lou Bloom makes for one of the most memorable performances of the year. Nightcrawler engages viewers from the beginning and doesn’t let go, similar to Bloom’s grasp on receiving confirmation and attention from others. What makes Nightcrawler barely lose it’s FOUR EYES ON SCREEN rating for me was the less-than-believable actions by Nina Romina (Rene Russo) throughout the film.

Both a thrill and a horror to watch, I’m glad to give Nightcrawler

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1/2 ON SCREEN.

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8 thoughts on “Rapid Eye Reviews: The Theory of Everything, Wild, and Nightcrawler (2014)

    • Hi Daniel! Thanks for stopping by the site! I’m glad you enjoyed The Theory of Everything. I think of the three films, that one is probably the one I enjoyed watching the most. But I’d definitely recommend Nightcrawler if you’re interested in an incredibly creepy, but wonderful performance.

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  1. I’m with you and Keith on Nightcrawler. I liked it, but can’t see why it is so amazing to some people. I felt it dropped the ball on a few things. Not stoked for Wild or Theory…

    The plots do not sound the slightest bit appealing to me. The Wild looks like an intense bore

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey TCM! I really liked Nightcrawler a lot. I think it was a great movie, but I felt like the reason it was so good was because of Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance. Had it not been for that, I don’t think the movie would have been liked nearly as much by critics.

      Lol! Theory of Everything really was a pretty good film, I thought. Again, the performances make the film rise above the material, but I think it’s worth a watch. Wild was really just OK at best, IMHO. Reese Witherspoon gives a great performance, but the movie just doesn’t mesh that well, I don’t think.

      I look forward to reading your thoughts on all of those!

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    • Hey Nostra! Forgive me for the late reply – I have been sick! I wholeheartedly agree with you on Nightcrawler – I thought it was a great film. Ya know, I think the performances is the best part of Theory of Everything. The film itself isn’t as good apart from those, in my opinion. I’ll be curious to hear what you think of Wild!

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