How It Works

I love movies, but I hate most movie reviews. I hate them for two reasons: First, they always begin with a 3-5 paragraph in-depth description of the film. I don't want to know the entire plot, I want to know if it's good! I may say generally what the movie involves but that's it. Second, most movie reviews are unclear. I've read countless reviews that left me with absolutely no indication as to whether or not I should even see the film. Not here. I developed three methods to rate television and movies:

1. Just your average 10 point scale.
10 is obviously the best and 1 is the worst. Although, Something Borrowed might make below a 1 if I ever get around to reviewing it. I consider myself quite harsh, so if you see anything above a 9, it's probably in my top ten of all time.

2. What's it Worth?
I will tell you if I think it's worth paying for and worth the 2 (and ever more increasingly 3) hours of your time. I also make an educated guess as to whether or not you can multitask during the film.

3. The (not-yet) Patented Clairometer
In honor of my college friend Claire, I developed this rating system in order to display how "appropriate" the film is. It is designed to tell you a more detailed rating system. I find this helpful. Sometimes you want to know ahead of time so you're not stuck watching Black Swan in an empty theater with your mom. The range between PG-13 and R is more vast than the plot holes in a Michael Bay movie. I hope to combat this. The scale shows photos and descriptions of a few well-known women in film and television. The rating is the farthest woman to the left of the scale who would approve of the film. For example, June Cleaver would not approve of
Tequila Sunrise. The woman who would is probably Mathilda.

THE CLAIROMETER:

Clairometer

Clairometer

conclusion

With this blog, I write as though someone will read it and enjoy what I have to say. I am under no false pretense that I have a wide readership. It is mostly for me and for the one other person who accidentally stumbled across this blog. If that is you, I'm glad you are here. With this blog, I send my thoughts about what I watch on a black box into the abyss of the world wide web. I hope you enjoy reading these thoughts as much as I enjoy writing them.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Out Now Review: The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything (2014)
Written by: Anthony McCarten (screenplay), Jane Hawking (book)
Directed by: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones

My Rating: 7.1
Worth: Rent this (by whatever means you use). This isn't an Avatar scenario where 79.5% of the movie's value was in seeing it in the theater. But it's worth your time and the cost of the rental.
Clairometer: Mrs. Doubtfire

I am of the Disney "greatest generation," beginning exactly the year I was born with Ariel's quest for Prince Eric. My brainwashed view of romance ends with the wedding. So any story that begins (for the most part) with a wedding is intriguing and an invigorating view of love. My first complaint is in conjunction with an exculpation. The film does not devote enough time to the construction of Jane and Stephen's relationship. This is a necessary element to explain why Jane chooses to marry Steven, and why she chooses to devote herself to him. (Side note, it is difficult to give a review without the appearance of spoilers. But I assure you, these plot points are obvious from the trailer and incidental to the thesis of the film.) In fact, Stephen doesn't say much at all prior to the actual wedding. He does little to woo her. I expect we're supposed to assume Jane has a virtuoso ability to read people. However, this could be my brainwashing at work. Perhaps we are supposed to simply say "yeah yeah yeah they meet and get married, lets get to the real story." Which leads me to my exculpation: brava to filmmakers who take this risk - that people are brainwashed like me, and are thus dissatisfied with the seemingly incongruous love story.

My next complaint is just flat out weird, and will likely alienate my 2 readers. I wish it had more math. When Stephen's beautiful mind (not to be confused with John Nash) formulated his major theories, it never really explained them or how he did so. Was I expecting a two hour physics lesson? No. Would I have enjoyed that? Maybe. [*Click*] That's the sound of both of my readers exiting the page. But in all seriousness, Stephen's eyes would glaze over, he'd stare at an every-day object and suddenly black holes exist. Maybe that's how it works for geniuses. If you are one, let me know in the comments. But overall, I wish they would've gone into more detail with his life's work.

Lastly, I don't like films that leave me questioning the plot at the end. Leaving plotholes has become artistic. Who decided this? Christopher Nolan probably. The Theory of Everything does not reach the heights of many modern films in the tally of unanswered questions, but it does leave a few.

Overall, The Theory of Everything is a deep and lovely look into life and love. The film shows the waxing and waning of marital love and devotion, the slippery slope of jealousy, and the joy of linking one's life to another. I left the theater inspired to become more intelligent, like Stephen, and stronger as a woman, like Jane. I hope you see it. It certainly provides a more detailed explanation of a dreadful disease than watching your friends dump water over their heads. ALS is a truly horrifying condition. I witnessed its effects in a family friend and words cannot describe the heartache that ensues. If you feel so inclined, here is more information about the disease and a place for you to donate to finding a cure. 

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