Sunday, March 11, 2018

Molly’s Game

Based on the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic class skier who ran the worlds most exclusive high stakes poker game and soon became a target of the FBI. 

•Aaron Sorkin has a once again proven he is a master at writing, specifically dialogue. One of the best in the business in my opinion. This time around he’s also the director and considering this is his directorial debut I think he does a fantastic job. 
•Jessica Chastain gives a strong performance as Molly. I’ve always been a huge fan of hers. 
•My man Idris Elba does a great job as well playing Molly’s lawyer. 
•I’ll be honest, I could care less about poker. But somehow this movie managed to make it interesting. 
•It was weird seeing Michael Cera play a role like this. He does asshole very well. I have a pretty good idea what actor he’s playing (in the movie he’s only referred to as Player X). 
•Nice musical score by Daniel Pemberton. 
•Kevin Costner isn’t in the movie all that much but I enjoyed his scenes, one in particular at the end. Very heartwarming. 

•The voice over was overkill and unnecessary. This has always been a pet peeve of mine. 
•Would’ve liked to have learned more about certain characters. 

My Rating: 8.5/10

Friday, February 23, 2018


After the disappearance of her husband Kane (Oscar Isaac), Lena (Natalie Portman), a biologist, and a team  of four other women enter The Shimmer- a beautiful, mysterious, and dangerous place where she doesn’t find what she was expecting. Based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer. 

•I was mainly interested in this because of the cast and because I really liked the director’s (Alex Garland) last movie Ex Machina.  And while I would say Ex Machina was better, this one was still pretty good. 
•At the movies these days you see so much of the same thing. I’ll give Garland credit, he knows how to create something smart and unique. It’s hard to believe this is only his second time directing. He’s very talented and I can’t wait to see what he does next. 
•Impressive visuals. Especially when you consider they had a fairly small budget. I believe it cost somewhere around $40 million. 
•It’s a great blend of smart science fiction and horror.  Speaking of horror, while it’s not constant gore, there are a few very bloody and graphic moments. Definitely don’t see this if you have a weak stomach. 
•Some people aren’t going to care for the ending but I kind of liked it. They don’t give you all the answers but they don’t leave you completely in the dark either. 
•The score reminded me a lot of the one for Arrival. Definitely not a bad thing. 

•It’s a VERY slow burn. Too slow at times. Very much a chore to get through at first. But it picks up in the second half. 
•Some of the dialogue was a bit cringeworthy. 
•Desperately needed some tighter editing. There’s something that’s revealed in the movie about one of the characters that’s completely unnecessary and adds nothing to the plot. 
•Not something I would say rush out to see in theaters. However, if you come across this on Netflix it’s worth watching once. Especially if you enjoy these types of movies. 

My Rating: 7/10

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Greatest Showman

Musical version of the life of PT Barnum (Hugh Jackman). 

•I can definitely see why this movie has had such strong staying power at the box office. While not perfect, it’s one of those feel good movies that the whole family can enjoy and will have you walking out of the theater with a big smile on your face. With all the sadness going on in the world right now, we needed something like this.
•You can tell just how much fun Hugh Jackman was having. Definitely a passion project for him. It’s so weird seeing him go from something like Logan (one of my favorite movies of last year) to this. It just goes to show you what a brilliant and versatile actor he is. 
•The best part of the movie for me was of course all of the musical numbers. Damn it they sure are catchy! I’ll have them stuck in my head for awhile for sure. 
•If you had told me years ago that I would be praising a Zac Efron performance I would’ve told you you were crazy. He’s really good in this and I enjoyed his subplot with Zendaya. 

•The story itself is a little weak. It’s certainly not bad but I wouldn’t call it great either. It’s very predictable. No big surprises. Still I highly recommend it especially if you’re a fan of musicals. 

My Rating: 8/10

The Insult

When an insult between a Palestinian refugee and a Christian nationalist leads to a heated exchange it finds the two men ending up in court. The case gets national attention. 

•I really didn’t know anything about this movie going into it other than the fact that it’s nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this years Oscars. Now that I’ve watched it I can definitely see why. WOW!! What a compelling, well written movie. 
•One of the things I loved the most is that unlike many movies of this type, they don’t try to say, “This guy is definitely right and this guy is definitely wrong.” There’s a whole grey area. I appreciate it not be quite so predictable. 
•Strong acting, especially by the two leads. 
•I’ve seen many courtroom dramas in my time. Some good and some downright awful. This was definitely the former. It sucked me right in and had me on the edge of my seat. If you like these types of movies I highly recommend it. 

•Started off a little slow. Not to the point where I felt sleepy or felt the urge to look at the clock but it had me thinking, “Okay, this isn’t bad or anything but where are they going with this?” Luckily it picks up the pace once you get to the courtroom scenes. 

My Rating: 9/10

Friday, February 16, 2018

Black Panther (IMAX)

Following the events of Civil War, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returns home to the technologically advanced nation of Wakanda to take up his rightful place as King. 

•I have been looking forward to this movie ever since Black Panther was introduced in Civil War and boy it did not disappoint. This is right on up there with the original Avengers and Civil War as one of my favorite Marvel movies. AHHHHHHH!!!!! OH MY GOD!!! OH MY GOD!!! Sorry, now that I’ve that out of my system I can continue with my review. 
•Chadwick Boseman was once again amazing as King T’Challa/Black Panther. I must say they’re are also some really bad ass female characters. I can’t remember the actress’s name but T’Challa’s sister was by far one of my favorite characters. 
•Ryan Coogler is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. He was one of the writers on this as well and holy shit he does such an amazing job not only with an action packed yet heartfelt story with a powerful message but creating this beautiful country right down to the smallest detail. 
•Gorgeous locations. If you have an IMAX screen near you I highly recommended you see this in that format. 
•When I first saw the trailers, I wasn’t sure what to make of Michael B. Jordan’s character but he was amazing and in my opinion one of the best villains Marvel has ever had. You learn his backstory and end up really feeling for him and totally understand why he ended up the way he did. 
•Bad ass soundtrack. Will definitely be listening to it over and over again on Spotify. 
•This goes without saying but STAY FOR THE CREDITS! There’s two scenes (one in the middle and one at the end) and they’re both fantastic. 
•There’s so much more I want to say but I don’t want to spoil anything. I absolutely love this movie and will definitely be seeing this a few more times in theaters. 

•The only thing that is stopping me from giving this a perfect rating is a few (very brief) moments of questionable cgi. 

My Rating: 9.5/10

Friday, February 9, 2018

Fifty Shades Freed

Final installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy. About damn time. 

•IT’S OVER! IT’S FINALLY OVER! I never have to see another one of these movies again. I’m so happy this didn’t follow that stupid trend (with the exception of the last Harry Potter movies, in that case it was necessary) of splitting the last book into two movies. 
•Don’t get me wrong, the movie was a piece of shit. But oh what glorious shit it was! I haven’t laughed so hard during a movie in awhile. I think what made it so fun was the audience we saw it with, including the two women sitting next to us. To quote one of them- “Jesus Christ! It’s like there’s a sex scene every three minutes!!” Because of this I can’t really give this movie any lower of a rating than I already am. 
•It’s thankfully not over two hours long like each of previous movies were. I think it was a little over an hour and forty minutes. Moved at a fairly decent pace. 
•I love how Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson clearly don’t give a shit anymore. This was just a paycheck to them. 
•Now Jamie Dornan can finally move on to other things. I know it sounds crazy but he really can act. Don’t judge him by this. I highly recommend his recent World War 2 film Anthropoid. 
•I highly recommend if you do choose to watch this do it with a group of friends. Trust me it’s way more fun. 
•Thank god for Movie Pass! 

•Same issues the rest of the movies have. The sex scene are awkward and boring as fuck. If this stuff gets you off there’s something seriously wrong with you. Just go watch porn instead. 
•Terrible “writing”
•God awful soundtrack (the score by Danny Elfman was fine but kind of forgettable)

My Rating: 5/10

Friday, February 2, 2018

Phantom Thread

Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day Lewis) is a world renown dressmaker whose life is suddenly disrupted when he meets a strong willed woman named Alma (Vicky Krieps). 

•I’ll give Paul Thomas Anderson this much, his movies are always gorgeous. This one being no exception. The cinematography alone is absolutely stunning. 
•Supposedly this is Daniel Day Lewis final role. Although I’ll believe it when I see it since so many celebrities say they’re retiring and then pop up again years later. Anyway, he was good here. Although it’s far from great. So why am I putting this in the pros section? Because it’s Daniel Day Lewis. Even a performance that isn’t his best is still a million times better than most actors out there. 
•The supporting cast was good as well. 
•So many beautiful dresses! Major props to the costume department. 

•The movie just dragged...and dragged...and dragged. Had I not drank an iced coffee just before seeing this I probably would’ve nodded off. I don’t have a problem with slow movies but good god was this a chore to get through! 
•I left the theater feeling not mad but detached. Maybe that was the point of the movie but I still wish I was able to connect with the characters in some form. 
•If I didn’t make it a point to see all of the Best Picture nominees every year I most likely wouldn’t have watched this. At least not in theaters anyway. 
•That ending.... what in the actual fuck?!?!

My Rating: 6.5/10