Have you ever just watched a movie and then you thought to yourself I can't get over how incredible that movie was and I need to watch it again just so I can see all the parts I may have missed. Yeah this was that movie for me. I haven't seen a movie that had me so entangled and caught up in the film since "The Dark Knight". Now don't get me wrong...I have seen some good films in between 2008 and 2015 but there weren't that many that I just thought to myself...wow.
So...as usual I will let you know the good, the bad, and the absolutely amazing parts of this film.
So in order to do this review properly...I will tell you that there will be spoilers. I won't give away too much but just know that there will be some stuff in here that you don't wanna know...if you don't, don't read any further.
I am going to start with the good of this movie. I can't get over how realistic this movie felt from start to finish. J.K. Simmons, I will get to him in a moment, however I do love the fact that he was so in tune with his character that he literally felt like someone you absolutely hated but you knew what he was trying to accomplish when it came to making the absolute best musicians in the world. Here is a Fletcher quote, "I don't think people understood what it was I was doing at Shaffer. I wasn't there to conduct. Any moron can wave his arms and keep people in tempo. I was there to push people beyond what's expected of them. I believe that is... an absolute necessity. Otherwise, we're depriving the world of the next Louis Armstrong. The next Charlie Parker." And literally that is what you need to know about the J.K. Simmons' character in the movie. He is brutal, he is a monster, you hate him so much you love him and you get what he is trying to do. The movie also shows you something I found to be absolutely true...You also begin to understand how people in bands are overlooked, we have a scene where football completely overshadows what Andrew is trying to accomplish and nobody gets that. Charlie himself was never pushed as a child or as a teen or seemingly as an adult but now for once he has someone who has a huge standard and he feels compelled to reach and beat that standard in Fletcher. But once again we are shown that in our culture, musicians get over looked, especially talented musicians such as Andrew in this movie.
More good from this movie, there is a reason why this movie won an oscar for editing. Tom Cross is an amazing editor. He has so many great cuts in the movie its unreal. The use of angles from the director is fantastic however when it came time to edit it all together. It was next to flawless. There were some mistakes in there but not many and you have to be trained in editing to see them and even on that it's still hard to see them. Well done Tom, well done.
The bad...there are some things in this movie that didn't make a whole lot of sense. Why a character in this movie is pushed into something he doesn't want to do...to me it wasn't in character, you can tell it was a script trying to produce itself. However, without it, we wouldn't have the ending. So its pointless to try over look it because it is vital to the story. I just don't like the fact a character is forced to do something when all along he has been pushed beyond his means and doesn't break but then a few short lines from two other characters makes him do something you know he doesn't want to do. Another, the girlfriend in this movie has only three scenes in the entire movie. We actually got a human side of Andrew and we get that taken away. But once again when they decide to call it off, it completely advances the story. Just not a fan of what they did there. And when Andrew called off the relationship, there was no fight from her that in itself I didn't feel the realism. There were few more things I wasn't a fan of but they aren't worth saying, these however are the major ones.
Now...to the absolutely fantastic.
I mentioned The Dark Knight earlier, so, since it is my favorite film of all time I will go with it again. The portrayal of The Joker by Heath Ledger will be talked about in film schools for many years to come. He was gritty, spot on, and just down right earthly toned and you wanted to watch him over and over again. Now enter Fletcher portrayed by J.K. Simmons. When people talk about villains his name will be held up there with the greats. He won an oscar for his performance and there was no one that came close to him. Yes, Bradly Cooper did a great job with Chris Kyle and he deserved to be nominated. However there is a difference in being nominated and winning the oscar and J.K. won and he won hands down in my opinion. He was brutal, vicious, and unrelenting but he was so much fun to watch. Miles Teller was born to play this role. He is an unbelievable drummer. I realize he had some help with this area and with special effects these days he had a lot more help. However with the shots that he had to drum in, he owned it. He was next to perfect in this role. Plus the dinner scene was awesome, to pull that off with a straight face takes talent...I am so glad he won that scene, once you watch it you will understand.
To sum it all up, this movie was one of the best films I have ever seen, ground-breaking, inspiring, and just all around one of the best things I have seen in some years. I highly recommend this movie to your personal movie collection. I will add though, if you are not a fan of cursing, this movie is not for you. But for the movie fans out there, enjoy. Here is one final quote from the movie that is a personal favorite of mine.
"So imagine if Jones had just said: "Well, that's okay, Charlie. That was all right. Good job. "And then Charlie thinks to himself, "Well, shit, I did do a pretty good job." End of story. No Bird. That, to me, is an absolute tragedy. But that's just what the world wants now. People wonder why jazz is dying."