Her



Hell is having to explain the movie Her to somebody. A man falling in love with an operating system is definitely a bizarre premise and by all accounts makes Her a weird film, but there’s more to it than the surface level would lead you on to believe. It’s a wonderful commentary on human relationships as well as our rapidly changing technology and the way we incorporate it into our day-to-day lives. It also weaves a simple yet moving love story to accentuate the new ways we are meeting our emotional needs with technology. There’s so much warmth and beauty to this film that it has stuck with me since I first saw it this past Monday and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite movies.

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Unable to move forward with his divorce, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) has slowly become a lonely introvert shielding himself away from society. Silently reaching out for some sort of connection Theodore eventually buys a new product called OS One. OS One is a personalized A.I. assistant designed to adapt and evolve into a more human like companion. Theodore chooses a female OS named Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) as his companion and together the two help teach other learn about life, dealing with the complexity of emotions, and finding happiness.

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It’s a never-ending debate on whether or not technology is hurting or helping the way we interact with each other. We’ve never been more readily connected than we are now and yet there’s still a sense of detachment, especially in face-to-face communication. I’ve seen lasting friendships made through online communities and I’ve seen stories of malicious deception through online anonymity. Her takes this debate and provides us with a smart, funny, and often awkward look on both sides. The film opens up with Theodore going through the various different ways we use technology to connect with others but illustrating the emotional disconnect without the personal touch. From online chat rooms, video games, and automated news feed, Theodore wanders aimlessly through his life. He’s searching for some connection but each readily available avenue doesn’t provide him with the satisfaction he is looking for, as is evidently seen with his late night chat room partner.  Enter in Samantha. Together Samantha and Theodore hit it off far more than any of the other contrasting human relationships in the film. On paper the two are perfect for each other despite the fact that Samantha is a computer.

The biggest and obvious challenge the film faces is getting you to buy into this strange relationship. Personally it works for me largely due to the wonderful chemistry between Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. The conversations are playful and fun and the sense of happiness the two bring to the screen is undeniably warm. Scarlett Johansson especially brings Samantha to life with nothing more than her voice. The sheer range of pure emotion she brings to Samantha is pleasant and incredibly soothing. I found myself really invested not only in the living breathing Theodore but also the artificial Samantha. Her progression from an enthusiastic AI to something far more emotionally complex is interesting and served as a nice compliment to Theodore’s journey to understand his emotions. Joaquin Phoenix gives a great performance as well. He really captures the isolated sadness his character faces all while providing a warm sense of optimism. Both Johansson and Phoenix work in tandem to create a melancholy but beautiful look at human relationships and helps the film capture a true sense of love. Not just the romantic lovey dovey everything is perfect aspect but also the fears, the insecurities, and jealousy as well. By including this less than glamorous look into something as complex as love, the film impresses the rewarding experience of sharing your life with someone. Needless to say the film sold me on their relationship and it only opened up more interesting questions.

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I remember thinking it was strange how matter of factly some people accepted this bizarre relationship, especially when Theodore and Samantha would be out and talking in public. However, in this near futuristic setting where professional companies are created to write personal love letters for others it makes all the sense in the world. It took me a second to realize how disengaged others often were in the public settings yet still communicating with their own devices. To them Samantha and Theodore are no different, if they even stopped to take notice at all. It really showcases the similarities to the way we are today whether it’s through long distant relationships or purely Internet based relationships in both a romantic and non-romantic sense. We’re constantly bombarded with notifications from social networks, texts, and emails, all while holding extensive phone conversations with seemingly no one. It really showcases the film’s ideas looking ahead at the evolution of human relationships and how obsessed we are with technology.

Sure what Samantha and Theodore have is strange, but who’s to say we’re not that far off? To quote a soon to be over quoted line from the movie, “Falling in love is a crazy thing to do. It’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.” Samantha and Theodore found their own sense of joy so what’s it to others as long as they’re happy? They seemingly meet each other’s needs emotionally and are helping each other learn new things. Although the film does a good job of showing both sides of the argument it eventually tips it’s hat on how it feels in the end and I think it serves as a wonderful litmus test for your own feelings, which is what makes this film great.

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Without going into too much detail the film begins to capture the painful fall out of any relationship. It’s wonderful that although this film is first and foremost a love story it manages to include a very thoughtful sci-fi narrative on artificial intelligence as well. As things begin to take a turn for the worst the film begins to shed light on its personal feelings about emotional needs. I’m always amazed at how we strive to imitate such human nuanced responses in machines but I highly doubt we’ll ever reach a point where it becomes the alternative. My feelings with technology and relationships seems to fall in line with the films in that although it can be a wonderful thing we still need that elusive human element to reciprocate true happiness. Like anything there needs to be a balance in the way we handle our relationships and the way we handle our technology. It was nice to see the film shed light on the way the OS One adoption was spreading through their society. People were interacting with their own personal AIs in a variety of different ways to meet a variety of different needs. There’s room for this technology to aid us in connecting with others and learning about ourselves but the moment it becomes an escape to hide away from facing our problems or pure instant gratification is the moment it becomes just a hollow experience.

As I said early the hardest job this movie faces is getting you to accept the idea of falling in love with an OS. Playing the devil’s advocate here, it’s a tough pill to swallow that will leave you unengaged and most likely repulsed by the absurdity. On the outside looking in it is such a weird concept and most of the drama and tension evaporates under this silly premise, leaving it wide open for unintentional humor. It doesn’t help that the idea of being absorbed by our technology isn’t exactly fresh grounds either. It’s a constant debate that’s has been beaten to death going in circles. However, if you can set aside your feelings and buy in for just a moment, you’ll be rewarded with a love story that is far more thoughtful and speaks more about love and human relationships than most traditional romance films.

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If you couldn’t tell I really loved the movie Her. On top of the thought provoking ideas the film provides it also creates such beautiful imagery. It’s a wonderfully colorful film with perfectly timed music creating an almost dreamlike perfect day. On the surface it seems to borrow just about every cliché moment from any indie feel good movie ever but it’s in its execution and knowing when to use these moments that make the film stand out.

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In addition to Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix, the film also features a sincere performance from Amy Adams who provides a heartfelt friendship to Theodore. Although it’s understated, Amy’s story mirrors Theodore’s in finding happiness. Amy’s journey and search for emotional reciprocation is a nice contrast to Theodore’s and shows the non-romantic side of emotional needs. Overall it’s such a warm movie and I’ve left the theater in a euphoric state and the glow has stayed with me since. If you’ll allow me to gush for a second it’s movie that really conveys the happiness about being alive and being in love. There’s a lot of depth to this film and it’s a great conversation to have.

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Interested in writing reviews or news posts for Thinking Cinematic? Contact me at ThinkCinematicReviews@gmail.com! You can also send your guest reviews there too!

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Movie Monday Update Week of May 20th


Hello and Happy Monday TC readers! Got a lot of great movies releasing on the retail front as well as three big movies hitting the theater this week! I want to apologize for Saturday’s missing review but due to a personal problem I didn’t get the chance to sit down and write out my thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness! Looking to have a quick Star Trek review up by Wednesday (Spoiler I loved it.). Regardless the reviews will return to their normal Saturday night schedule! All right without further ado let’s get to it!

In Case You Missed It:

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A new red band trailer for The Hangover Part III released last week and you can check it out here! The Hangover Part III stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, John Goodman, and Ken Jeong. The movie is expected to release on May 23rd, 2013!

Pacific Rim

A third trailer for the movie Pacific Rim hit the web last week and you can check it out here! The trailer shows off new footage and reveals more plot details. When an underwater alien attack threatens Earth, mankind builds giant robots to fight back. Pacific Rim stars Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, and Idris Elba. The movie is expected to release on July 12th, 2013!

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A new trailer for the movie About Time hit the web last week and you can check it out here! On his 21st birthday Tim learns about a long family secret. All the men in his family are able to travel through time to relive any moment until they get it just right. About Time stars Lee Asquith-Coe, Bill Nighy, and Rachel McAdams. The movie is expected to release on September 6th, 2013!

That does it for a glimpse of last week’s trailers. Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know! Let’s go ahead and move on into home releases.

Coming to Blu-ray/DVD:

May 21st:

Coming to Theaters:

May 23rd Wide Release:

May 24th  Wide Releases:

See anything that’s missing? Comment and let us know!

That does it for this week! Be sure to keep coming back every Monday and Saturday for new Thinking Cinematic content!

As always, I want to end with this. Thinking Cinematic is looking for more writers. Feel like sending in a guest post? Want to be apart of the Thinking Cinematic team? Send your emails to: ThinkCinematicReviews@Gmail.com

Connect with me at:

Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic 

Movie Monday Update Week of February 4th


Hello and Happy Monday TC readers! Got a lot of great trailers from last night’s Super Bowl as well as a few solid releases both at the theaters and in retail. Don’t forget to check out the latest review on Bullet to the Head here! Also I wanted to make a correction. Last week I listed that Wreck-it Ralph was releasing to home video, but it looks as though it’s through digital distribution (iTunes, Amazon, Xbox Video etc)  only. The physical copies will hit stores in March! Let’s dive right in.

In case you missed it:


The Lone Ranger saw a new trailer during yesterday’s Super Bowl. The movie stars, Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter and the movie is scheduled to hit theaters on July 3rd, 2013!


A trailer for Fast and Furious 6 debuted last night as well. The trailer is jam packed with familiar faces and over the top driving sequences. Fast and Furious 6 stars, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne Johnson. Fast and Furious 6 is set to hit theaters on May 24th, 2013!


Finally, Iron Man 3 saw a pretty exciting Super Bowl ad with an even longer look appearing online. Iron Man 3 stars, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Ben Kingsly, and Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man 3 is set to hit theaters on May 3rd, 2013!


Not a trailer but you can now watch the wonderful, Paperman short online. Paperman debuted in theaters in front of Wreck-it Ralph and I’m really glad that it’s up for everyone to view. It’s a really heart warming short.


I normally don’t do this for TV shows but I wanted to promote the return of Community season 4. On February 7th, the Greendale Seven are set to begin their senior year of college. When someone hacks into the supply closet and counterfeits class admission tickets the Dean sets up a series of games called, The Hunger Deans, to determine who gets to stay in History of Ice Cream class. Community stars, Joel McHale, Danny Puddi, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, and Chevy Chase. Community airs on NBC, Thursdays 8/7 central. Don’t forget to DVR and watch live! #Sixseasonsandamovie

That does it for a glimpse of last week’s trailers. Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know! Let’s go ahead and move on into home releases.

Coming to Blu-ray/DVD this week we have:

February 5th:

Here’s a look at what’s coming to the theaters!

February 8th Wide Releases:

See anything that’s missing? Comment and let us know!

That does it for this week! Be sure to keep coming back every Monday and Saturday for new Thinking Cinematic content!

As always, I want to end with this. Thinking Cinematic is looking for more writers. Feel like sending in a guest post? Want to be apart of the Thinking Cinematic team? Send your emails to: ThinkCinematicReviews@gmail.com

Connect with me at:
Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic 

Movie Monday Update week of January 7th


Hello and Happy Monday TC readers! Got a lot of movies coming to retail this week! This week also marks the nation wide release of some previous pushed back movies! Let’s go ahead and dive right into the latest released movie trailers!

In case you missed it:


A trailer for a movie called, Side Effects, hit the Internet last week! The film stars, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Jude Law and is scheduled to release on February 8th, 2013!


Excited for the upcoming remake of the cult hit, Evil Dead? Check out the red band trailer that was released just last week! Again, the trailer is red band so watch with caution. Evil Dead is slated to hit theaters on April 12, 2013!


A Good Day to Die Hard also saw a new trailer last week and is shaping up to be a festival of explosion. A Good Day to Die Hard stars, Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, and Amaury Nolasco and is slated to hit theaters February 14th, 2013! A perfect Valentines movie!


A trailer for, Dead Man Down, hit the Internet last week! Dead Man Down stars Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper, and Terrence Howard. Dead Man Down is scheduled to hit the theaters on March 8th, 2013!


Finally, we have a trailer for the upcoming movie, Ginger and Rosa! Ginger and Rosa stars Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, and Christina Hendricks! The movie is set to hit theaters nationwide in the spring of 2013!

That does it for a glimpse of last week’s trailers. Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know! Let’s go ahead and move on into home releases.

Coming to Blu-ray/DVD this week we have:

January 8th:

Here’s a look at what’s coming to the theaters!

January 11th Wide Releases:

See anything that’s missing? Comment and let us know!

That does it for this week! Be sure to keep coming back every Monday and Saturday for new Thinking Cinematic content!

As always, I want to end with this. Thinking Cinematic is looking for more writers. Feel like sending in a guest post? Want to be apart of the Thinking Cinematic team? Send your emails to: ThinkCinematicReviews@gmail.com

Connect with me at:

Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


With the 84th Academy Awards right around the corner, we’re giving you a look at some of the Oscar nominations for 2012. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was nominated for a total of 5 Oscars this year. The star actress, Rooney Mara, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. It was also nominated for Best Achievement in  Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. In addition to these nominations, the film was also nominated for 14 awards from other events and ceremonies with 4 winnings so far.

Releasing in December of 2011, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adapts the Swedish novel (trilogy) into an American film. A Swedish version was  released in 2009 which was nominated for a considerable amount of awards as well as the ranting and raving from the public. Our focus is of course on the English take, a slightly newer and polished version of an already phenomenal movie.

I was a bit put off with the opening of the movie. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and who doesn’t adore Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Together they re-imagine the well-known “Immigrant Song” which plays in the background while the opening credits mix up abstract images seeping with metallic and ink type substances. The song itself was great, and I get the artsy feel which you would expect from David Fincher, but personally, I was not impressed with the images.

Moving along from my only dislike, the director does an excellent job keeping the film on track with the novel. Fans of the book will be extremely pleased with it. That being said, you don’t have to have read the book to have a wonderful experience watching this movie.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will keep you on edge. This movie is full with dialogue, so you definitely do not want to miss any part of a conversation. Don’t worry; the uncovering of links to the mystery should be capable of holding your attention. The Cinematography was simply outstanding. I can’t stress enough how gorgeous the scenes are. I was freezing watching this movie in the theatre. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the vividness of the harsh winter scenes contributed to it. Commenting again on Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the soundtrack was nothing short of awesome.

For the record, I won’t lie and say this movie is for everyone. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. There are some brutal and graphic sexual scenes that will make some people feel extremely uncomfortable. Lisabeth is not only antisocial, she is obviously insane. I don’t want to spoil anything for anybody, but there is one scene that will make most people cringe, and the reaction of Lisabeth to the situation is just a tad unethical. I do however applaud the response. I find that in that given situation, any means of individual retaliation will have to be unethical.  Being that this film is very dialogue-driven like I mentioned before, if you have a short attention span then you might not be able to sit through this 2 hour and 40ish minute movie.

Rooney Mara, which you may remember from The Social Network or the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, completely commits herself to the role as Lisabeth, from the change in her hair, the piercings, and even her eyebrows, to learning how to ride a motorcycle. Even her accent is dead on. It does not come as a surprise that she would be nominated for the Best Performing Actress in a Leading Role award. In fact, the entire cast is perfect for the characters that they play in the movie.

If you do not infer from what I wrote whether or not I suggest watching this movie, the answer is absolutely yes. It is one of those movies people succumb to the willing suspension of disbelief, meaning that we get so caught up on what’s happening on screen that we put aside all other thoughts and completely lose ourselves in the drama. Sometimes we just need the break from our own reality.

Summary:
The story is of a Journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, who is suffering from public humiliation . He is hired by a rich industrialist by the name of Henrik Vanger to investigate the case of his missing niece Harriet from 40 years before. Vangar resides on an island with the greater part of his family where he houses Mikael in a tiny old cottage. Mikael starts to uncover some of the mysteries that he believes is linked to the serial killing of women that occurred 20 years  prior to the disappearance of Harriet Vanger. As he progresses in the investigation, he gets the aid of Lisabeth Salander. Lisabeth is an antisocial deviant who doubles as a brilliant young  computer hacker. While the two dissect the facts and come closer to uncovering the twisted truth that lies behind the disappearance, they find themselves to be the newest target of the heinous murderer.

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