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Leo Month Finale!

Sadly, this is our last Leo Month post this year. We had a fun ride watching a bunch of different movies starring our favorite non-Academy-Award winner. We’re finishing off by reviewing Leo movies that we haven’t seen until now.

Leave a comment below which Leo movie is your favorite
and one that you haven’t seen yet!

Kurtis – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013):
I was hesitant about watching The Wolf of Wall Street, mainly because I’m just not a big fan of movies that use vulgarities in excess when it doesn’t add to the story and that’s what I thought Wolf was going to be like. I was wrong, I mean, it was vulgar start-to-finish, but it’s a movie about greed and excess and Scorsese took it to a level that was required to really drive the point home. The movie follows a young man by the name of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) as he rises to one of the top stock brokers in the world. He is obsessed with wealth and all the pleasures it can buy, and achieves his success through incredible corruption and crime.  The SEC finally catches up to him and everything crumbles around him, eventually serving 3 years in jail. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, who plays Belfort’s assistant Donnie Azoff, are absolutely hilarious in Wolf. The comedic pacing in this movie is fast and furious, interwoven into even the most serious scenes in the film.  One scene in particular, where Belfort is fighting with his wife, played by Margot Robbie, had me busting up laughing. DiCaprio yells in such a way that his voice starts cracking every couple of words and it’s perfectly delivered. While I don’t appreciate the excessive scenes of debauchery as much as someone else might (gay orgies in an apartment, orgies on an airplane, lines of cocaine done off a prostitutes posterior, etc.), the acting performances throughout the film are absolutely spot on and I was very impressed with DiCaprio’s performance in particular. He definitely deserved his nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Bottom Line: It’s not a movie I’m planning on buying, as I don’t know if it warrants repeated viewings, but Leo’s performance is out-of-this-world good and if you don’t mind a little (a lot) of debauchery it’s worth a rent.
Rating: 3.5/5

Morgan – The Departed (2006):
So this is probably going to send some people into shock, but I had never (until recently) seen The Departed. I feel like the last person in the world to have seen it. I mean, it’s even a shock to me, seeing as it has so many of my favorite people in it. It really doesn’t get much better than Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, and Leo. And you can’t forget Alec Baldwin. (I’m weirdly in love with him). Anyways, as a whole I really liked the movie. Spoiler alert: I was pissed when Billy died, even though I knew it was coming. But I relished in the perfection of the ending when the real bad guy gets what he deserved. I think Scorsese did a brilliant job telling an intricate, interesting, and funny story. It’s a little long, and requires you to pay attention. But I think it’s something everyone needs to have watched at some point. It shows you a bit of a different side of Leo.
Bottom Line: So, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should crawl out from under your rock and be a little adventurous. Unless you’re given the choice to see The Beach. In that case, just don’t.
Rating: 4/5

Jordan – The Aviator (2004):
I watched this on Kurtis’s many recommendations. DiCaprio plays Howard Hughes the orphaned millionaire. You can tell even from the very beginning that he’s an obsessive and an eccentric. He spends three years and $4 million on the 1930 movie Hell’s Angels. But it paid off as it is becomes a huge success. The rest of The Aviator chronicles his risks and successes in the film and airplane industry. He is a perfectionist, who cares about the smallest details but can’t make decisions on the big issues. He courts big name movie stars like Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner. These two characters seem to be the only ones that can love the man behind the neuroses. (Cate Blanchett as Hepburn is probably my favorite part of the film.) Things only get worse when he crashes a plane on a solo flight. He locks himself in a room for three solid months. He only breaks free to finally stop PanAm from securing a monopoly on international air travel. There is small swell of hope at the end… until the final scene.
Bottom Line: The three hour run time is pretty daunting, but there is so much that happens in this one man’s life. Martin Scorsese is obviously a genius, even with the details of coloring the film to look like movies of the time period. So unless you’re super into biopics set in the 1930s, or want to feel sad for three hours, I’d say this is a skip. Don’t tell Kurtis.
Rating: 2.5/5

—————————————-Last Week: ’10s Leo Movies—————————————-


The Monublogs Men

The Monuments Men (2014) | Trailer
Run Time: 118 Minutes
Rated: PG-13 (For some images of war violence and historical smoking – MPAA)
Directed By: George Clooney

The Monuments Men, directed by George Clooney, is based on a true story about seven men who set out to rescue artistic masterpieces stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. It boasts an awesome cast of George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, and finally, Cate Blanchett. The Monuments Men is strangely unique sometimes to a fault, but with the likes of Bill Murray and Bob Balaban to keep us laughing, it is often overshadowed. It has the blend of comedy and drama that I expected it’s just that I was wanting more from this movie. Maybe it was that I expect a lot out of WWII movies or that I loved the look of the all-star cast, I just seemed to be a little bit disappointed.
Bottom Line: Although ultimately disappointed, I enjoyed the movie. It is definitely worth at least a rent.
Rating: 3/5

Just when you think you’ll be watching “Ocean’s Eleven: WWII”, Clooney’s The Monuments Men surprises the audience with a slow-paced, straightforward yet wonderfully executed narrative surrounding this true story. I was happy to see the film meander away from being just another group-heist shtick and developing into something with heart as it weighs the question whether art is worth losing a life for. This is a big story to tackle in under two hours, and the film suffers a little for it, as parts of the movie seem disjointed and all over the place. I believe that comes as a result of some of Clooney’s directing choices as we’ve seen his other directed films suffer from the same. Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett’s characters and chemistry were a definite highlight of the movie and all of the big name actors delivered great, yet subdued, performances. All-in-all I left the film happy and pleasantly surprised, inspired by the work if the real-life Monuments Men who preserved the cultural artifacts of Europe in a time of war.
Bottom Line: This historical drama delivers just enough heart and excitement to keep from coming unhinged. It’s one you’ve got to see if you enjoyed films like, The Painted Vail, Patton, and Charlie Wilson’s War.
Rating: 4/5

To me, the movie started off so slow. Some professor trying to convince the President that art is worth saving. Then cue musical montage of George Clooney recruiting his ragtag team. However, when they finally get to France, I feel like the movie finds its voice. The characters gain some depth. The mission has purpose. This is where we find out that this film is much sweeter and much more dramatic than anticipated. Even with big comedic names like Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Bob Balaban, they play the tough emotions very well. I was surprised to find myself crying in one scene. TMM showed the sheer hopelessness during war. And how art and human dignity can do so much to return hope to mankind. I think after some time to process, I like the movie a lot more now.
Bottom Line: See it with your dad. He’s probably the target audience, and you might get him to buy you some popcorn.
Rating: 3.5/5

Let me start out by saying, I really liked this movie. Let me also say, I did fall asleep within the first twenty minutes or so. I’m not saying that is wasn’t good, and I will tell you I was running on an hour and a half of sleep. While that did play a big part, Monuments Men does start out a little slow in the beginning. However, I was hooked by the end. The film, directed and starring George Clooney (swoon), tells the story of a somewhat ragtag group of men who are trying to save precious works of art from Hitler during the war. The art’s beauty, which can be appreciated by all, and other factors cause the men to rally around each other to accomplish an amazing feat. While it isn’t a movie for everyone, it is a beautifully told story with a stellar cast and perfectly placed comic relief, that I think would only get better after the first viewing.
Bottom Line: Not your typical war movie. If you’re looking for major, bloody action scenes, this isn’t it. But definitely worth your time.
Rating: 4/5