Mini-Movie Reviews: Brave, Stone, Black Swan, Constantine, Donnie Darko

I’m playing a little bit of catch-up with some movies I have watched lately. I’m pretty active on IMDb.com – whenever I watch a movie and/or TV show, I check in and add it to my list and rate. However, I don’t always get to review. Well, I wanted to share a few short thoughts, so here goes, my first Mini-Movie Reviews.

Brave 2012Brave

IMDb

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Minireview

Oh, yeah. I had mixed feelings at the beginning of this little treasure, but by the middle I was fully in love with Brave. Merida with her selfish motives and Elinor with her myopic sense of tradition were particularly interesting to watch full-on clash, depicting a complicated relationship in a fantastic way. Also loved how the different threads of the story ended up interweaving at the end. Great payoff.

Stone 2010Stone

IMDb

A convicted arsonist looks to manipulate a parole officer into a plan to secure his parole by placing his beautiful wife in the lawman’s path.

Minireview

When I checked into this movie on IMDb, I commented, “That was a badass opening.” While Stone was a good movie, I felt that it took slightly too much time on certain scenes the way I know a lot of those darker, deeper, character-centric movies tend to do. Gripping storyline, though; keeps you wanting to stick around, no matter how lingering some scenes may be.

Black Swan 2010Black Swan

IMDb

A ballet dancer wins the lead in “Swan Lake” and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan – Princess Odette – but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Minireview

Hmmm… pretty sure this is in no way, shape or form a movie I would’ve picked on my own had I not heard there was some explicit LGBTQ content as well as an unreliable protagonist. A little out of left field – a ballet thriller? – The Black Swan took that creepy little dive into the dark heart of a sad woman that I love catching glimpses of in all good characters – the present, if slight, capacity for evil.

Constantine 2005Constantine

IMDb

Constantine tells the story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to hell and back.

Minireview

Ah! Constantine! I remember deriding this movie when it first came out, but after a few periodic re-watches, I have finally decided that I loved it all along. I think I related more to Constantine but fell more in love with Angela, but overall what I really find myself eager to return to is the torture present in Constantine’s existence – his backstory, his history, his life. And the absolute cleverness of his lung cancer. Watch it. You’ll know what I mean, if you’re paying attention. Plus, the world is dark and ugly and violent, but there’s light, even if it’s only meager. Also? Gabriel’s androgyny is A+.

Donnie Darko 2001Donnie Darko

IMDb

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.

Minireview

Alas, one of my all-time favorites to end this little series, may I introduce Donnie Darko. I initially only watched this movie because, during a phase when I was all about celebrity crushes as a kid, before I moved on to band members (*cue shudder*), I wanted to watch every single movie Jake Gyllenhaal had made up until that point (The Day After Tomorrow era). I ended up loving Donnie more than Jake (though I do still love Jake). What a dark, fucked up little town and its people! It’s literally my #2 favorite movie, behind The Lion King, and I can’t think of many different ways to improve upon this dark time travel cult classic.

Seen any noteworthy movies lately?

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8 comments on “Mini-Movie Reviews: Brave, Stone, Black Swan, Constantine, Donnie Darko

  1. I agree with most of these, though I haven’t yet seen Stone. I love Ed Norton though, so that won’t be true for long!

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  2. tiffanytcole says:

    Black Swan actually freaked me right the fuck out after watching it. It’s one of those movies with loads of creepy fun freeze frame bonuses, and psychological stuff always has a lingering affect on me. I loved Donnie Darko. The soundtrack is great too. And I have no idea how I managed to overlook Constantine. I’m gonna make sure to check that out now.

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    • Hahhahaha! It’s okay. I also noticed the kinda subliminal blips a la Fight Club. Donnie Darko’s soundtrack is a lot of fun – I can never listen to R.E.M. without thinking of it anymore. And yessss please check out Constantine, especially the dialogue and especially at the beginning. It’s half of what makes the movie, in my opinion.

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  3. Maria says:

    I’ve seen all except for Stone. Looks like a good cast and Edward Norton is lovely. haha. Ill check that one out. I really enjoyed Brave. Alyssa and I saw it together. Black Swan I enjoyed as well. Donnie Darko is one of my favorite movies. And Constantine ,I will have to rewatch because I saw it when it first came out.

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    • It really was a good movie. I like finding lesser-known jewels like Stone. I think you’ll like it. And careful with Constantine – you’ll end up like me, watching it every few months. :P

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