Whiplash (2014)


Pros
  • J.K. Simmons gives an Oscar-worthy performance (if he doesn't win, the Oscars are rigged!)
  • Fletcher's ideology makes some sense, in a dark and twisted sort of way
  • The music is great, not only the drum solos, but also the jazz
  • Fletcher being able to switch emotions on a dime, one minute he looks compassionate, then he turns into something much sinister
  • "There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job."
  • Anytime Simmons is on screen, the energy is through the roof, just a very intense presence
  • "Not my tempo"
  • Where do you draw the line between too far and not far enough?
  • The subtle change from white shirts to black shirts as Andrew becomes more obsessed with being the best (the colors fluctuate with his interest and intensity in the program)
  • "It's division three..."
  • I liked the use of soft light in the practice rooms, which seem to create a calmer atmosphere, but that is completely turned on its head by Simmons's character
  • Watching his confidence boost as he gets accepted to the program, only to realize what it will cost him
  • The drum solo at the end of the movie is incredible

Cons
  • There is no way Fletcher would be able to teach at that school for as long as he did
  • I would have liked to see a bit more of his girlfriend and build that relationship a bit more
  • Still not sure why he chooses to improvise the song at one point, rather than just sit there and not play (where's the harm in that?)

Score: 9/10

Whiplash is without question one of the best movies of the year and worthy of every single Oscar nomination it has received. The performance by J.K. Simmons is terrifying, easily the best supporting role of the year. The amount of passion he brings to the movie is incredible, even during his 'lighter' moments, his persona is none the less intimidating and frightening at all moments of the movie. He is without a doubt the heart and soul of the movie, take that with a grain of salt. It's pretty crazy to see a movie about music and instruments pack so much energy and passion, when most action movies can't deliver this kind of tension. The movie takes the classic tale of 'What are you willing to sacrifice to be the best?", and spins it around the music career of a dedicated, aspiring drummer. And the movie doesn't make it a cake walk either, Andrew, the title character must first go through emotional hell in order to achieve his dream. (I'll leave the ending a mystery, that way you'll be able to see if he comes out cleansed or not).

Whiplash is one of the best movies of the year and certainly one of the most surprising (how many other movies based around music have been a hit lately?) And as I said above, J.K. Simmons deserves an Oscar for his performance, Whiplash may revolve around Andrew, but it's Simmons character who gives the movie life!

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Whiplash (2014) on IMDb

Comments

  1. Glad you loved this movie as much as I did. It was truly one of my favorites from last year (made my Top 10) and it sticks with you long after you have seen it.

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    1. Yeah this was a great movie, it's in my top 10 too. Simmons was one of my favorite actors this year, he was incredible!

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  2. Everyone is loving this movie, so I really need to get around to seeing it as well. Great review!

    -James

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    1. It really is as great as people are saying, easily one of my favorite movies of the year! The acting is of course phenomenal, very intense. The DVD comes out Feb 22nd and at Redbox the same day! Thanks James

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