Sunday, January 14, 2018

Darkest Hour

Plot:
During the early days of World War II, newly appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) must decide wether to negotiate a peace treaty with Hitler or stand firm and fight. 

Pros:
•I’m a huge fan of British period pieces. And one starring the great Gary Oldman? Sign me up! I’ve been wanting to see this movie for awhile now and it did not disappoint. 
•Gary Oldman completely transforms himself and delivers an Oscar worthy performance. I really think he’s going to win this year. When I was watching this, especially whenever he would give a speech, I didn’t see him- I saw Winston Churchill. 
•Strong supporting cast, I especially enjoyed Lily Evans who plays Churchill’s secretary. 
•Director Joe Wright once again nails done the look and feel of the time period. 

Cons:
•Does drag a bit in a few spots. 
•This is just a minor nitpick but every so often on the screen in very large letters they would put the date the events were taking place. Completely unnecessary. 
•Ends rather abruptly. I understand why they chose to end it there but still, I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more. 

My Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sicario

I know what many of you must be thinking. WHAT??? How the fuck have you not seen this movie yet? Trust me, I've had plenty of friends ask me that over the last three years. Hell I'm surprised I haven't watched this sooner since I absolutely love crime thrillers. But I promised myself that the next time the movie was on a streaming service I would watch it. Sure enough, it recently popped up on Amazon so here we are. 

This is going to be a super short since most people have seen this movie by now. Just wanted to give a couple of quick thoughts. 

So what did I think? Well honestly.... IT'S FUCKING AMAZING!! Why oh why did I wait so long? Holy shit. 

I've quickly become a huge fan of both director Denis Villeneuve and writer Taylor Sheridan. Here they once again have created this amazing story that sucks you into this world right from the very beginning. They waste no time dropping you in on the action, which doesn't shy away from some pretty brutal violence. I also enjoyed the stunning cinematography and the way certain scenes were filmed in night/thermal vision which was pretty cool. 

The entire cast was great. I like Emily Blunt and it was nice to see her play a very different role than what I'm use to. My favorite though was Benico del Toro. He doesn't have much dialog at all but I think it works and only adds more to the mysteriousness of his character. I definitely got a Punisher vibe from him, although even The Punisher would look at some of the things Benicio does in this movie and go, "GOD DAMN!"  

This is definitely a movie I'll be revisiting on a regular basis. I'm really looking forward to the sequel that's coming out later this year now. 

My Rating: 10/10 

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Post

Plot:
Based on the true story of Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper and her editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). Together they work to expose a massive cover up of government secrets that span 30 years and 4 US Presidents. 

Pros:
•An interesting story that up until recently I didn’t know too much about about. 
• Meryl Streep gives another great performance . Tom Hanks as well. Is it the best roles of their career? Well, no. But still better than most actors these days. I thought they played off of each other very well. 
•If you’re more a fan of fast paced movies with a lot of action (in the blow things up sense) this is NOT the movie for you. It’s very dialogue heavy. Brilliant dialogue but still. Literally the whole thing, for the most part, is people sitting around talking. I don’t necessarily mind this but I know some people will. Just thought I’d warn you. 
•You get to see what the inside of what it takes to run a newspaper which I thought was kind of cool. 
•Spielberg nails down the look and feel of the time period fairly well. Even the way it was shot. 

Cons:
•Moves at an agonizingly slow pace in the first act. I don’t mind slow movies but damn was that a chore to get through. I had to fight the urge to nod off. 
•That being said, the third act was extremely rushed. Which is sad because that was probably the most interesting part. 
•Not exactly Spielberg’s best. I feel like there was so much more that he could’ve done with the material. 
•Do I recommend this movie? Sure why not. Especially if you’re a fan of Streep or Hanks. I wouldn’t rush out to see it however. 

My Rating: 7/10

Friday, January 5, 2018

All the Money in the World

Plot:
Based on the true story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and his mother Gail’s (Michelle Williams) desperate attempt to convince the boy’s grandfather, billionaire J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. 

Pros:
•My first review of 2018! And what a movie it was. This is by far Ridley Scott’s best movie in years. Even though I really enjoyed The Martian, I feel he’s at his best when he directs movies like this or American Gangster. 
•Lets just get the whole controversy out of the way. Ridley Scott and the studio absolutely did the right thing replacing Kevin Spacey. Really it was the only thing they could do. Had they not they would’ve lost a ton of money. Plus why should everyone else  who worked hard on this movie have to suffer because of what that sick bastard did? Anyway, I’m amazed at what they were able to do with such short notice. The movie was all set to be released in a month when all this shit the fan and yet they were able to replace Spacey with the legendary Christopher Plummer and reshoot all the scenes in just 9 (very long) days. 
•Speaking of Christopher Plummer, they honestly should’ve cast him to begin with (apparently Ridley Scott had wanted to from what I’ve heard). As always, he was amazing! He really was the highlight of this movie. I really liked how he brought some humanity to the character and was able to convincingly portray what having an insane amount of money can do to a person and their family. I would love to see him win another Best Supporting Actor Oscar. 
•Michelle Williams also deserves a lot of praise as well as Mark Wahlberg (please stop doing those fucking Transformers and Daddy’s Home movies and do more stuff like this. You’re really good at it). 
•Don’t be put off by the over two hour run time. The movie moves at a great pace and not once did I feel the urge to look at the time on my phone. 
•The movie is edited so well that for the most part you can’t tell that they did all those reshoots. It fits together perfectly. 
•Beautifully shot. 
•Very tense. Despite knowing the outcome of the story, I was on the edge of my fucking seat, especially in the last act. 

Cons:
•There was one scene where it was glaring obvious that they digitally took Spacey out and put Christopher Plummer in. I totally understand why they had to do it for this particular scene but still, it takes you out of the movie for a second. Nothing that should stop you from seeing the movie though. I highly recommend it. 

My Rating: 9/10

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Top 10 Movies of 2017

This year I’ve decided to do things a little differently. Normally with each movie on my list I’d include a brief description of why it’s on there but I feel like I’ve just been repeating what I said already in my reviews. So instead I’m just going to include the link to my original reviews and you can reread my thoughts. But basically it’s the same- I’ll start at number 10 and work my way to number one. There’ll be a few honorable mentions as well. 

As always, these are my opinions. I’m not expecting everyone to agree with me on the movies I’ve included. Enjoy :) 

10. Last Flag Flying 

9. Brigsby Bear

8. Mudbound
•There’s no review for this one since I generally don’t do them for Netflix movies. That may change in the near future however. 

7. Dunkirk

6. Coco

5. Detroit 

4. War for the Planet of the Apes

3. Get Out

2. Logan

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 


Honorable Mentions:
The Florida Project 
I Am Not Your Negro
Wind River
The Shape of Water
Blade Runner 2049

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Shape of Water

Plot:
Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is a mute janitor working at a top secret research facility in the 1960s. One day she and her coworker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a mysterious, and classified, creature being kept there.

Pros:
•I have been waiting for so long for this movie to play at a theater near me. Now it is, I’ve seen it, and boy I wasn’t disappointed. WOW!! Guillermo del Toro has once again created another beautiful, unique adult fairytale that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. 
•Only del Toro can tell a story about a romance between a woman and a fishman and make it convincing. It’s actually pretty sweet. 
•The creature design was really cool. I wish they hadn’t given away what he looks like in the trailers. Would’ve been a nice surprise. 
•Stunning cinematography. Loved the blue and green color tones throughout. 
•Hauntingly beautiful score by Alexandre Desplat. 
•Sally Hawkins deserves all the Oscar buzz she’s getting. There’s no spoken dialogue for her character, instead relying on her facial expressions and sign language. It’s amazing and definitely one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. 
•Another actor who I think deserves just as much recognition is Richard Jenkins. His character is very interesting and I felt a lot of sympathy for him. 
•Michael Shannon is Michael Shannon. Had anyone else played this character it would’ve come off as just another over the top, cartoonish villain but of course he made it work. 
•I can totally see people not liking this movie. It certainly not for everyone. But if you’re a del Toro fan like me I think you’ll love it. 

Cons:
•My only real complaint, and it’s nothing major, was Octavia Spencer. She’s fine in this, but really it’s just the same character she’s been playing for the last couple of years. Would’ve liked to have seen something different. 

My Rating: 9/10

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (IMAX 3D)

Plot:
The continuation of the sequel triology following the events of The Force Awakens. That’s all I’m going to say. It’s best going into these movies knowing as little as possible. 

Pros:
•For those of you going into this worried (like I was) that The Last Jedi was just going to be a remake of Empire Strikes Back, you’ll be happy to know that it’s not. Yes, there are a few moments where it does have an Empire Strikes Back feel. But it wasn’t like Star Trek Into Darkness, which was a blatant remake of Wrath of Khan. 
•Rian Johnson does a really good job directing not only the battle/action scenes but the quieter, more emotional scenes as well. I appreciate the amount of effort he put into this and making it fit in perfectly with the other movies. This is the first movie I’ve seen of his (I keep meaning to watch Looper but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I hear it’s good) but it certainly won’t be the last. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with the separate Star Wars trilogy he’s got planned. 
•Call me crazy of you want, but I think Mark Hamill gives one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. He continues to be one of my favorite actors. It’s great seeing him again as Luke. Some of the most touching moments and best humor comes from him. All I’ll say about his character in this movie is it’s very fitting and makes sense given all that’s happen to him since the events of the original trilogy. 
•Adam Driver as Kylo Ren annoyed the fuck out of me in The Force Awakens aside from a few scenes. I’m surprised by how good he was in this and how interested I was in his character. Much better written this time around. 
•I love what they did with the rest of the characters (Rey, Finn, Poe, etc.) as well. Not that those ones were badly written before. I just feel like here they were more fleshed out.
•Great special effects. It really is beautiful and thankfully isn’t CGI overkill to the point of being super fake (Unlike the prequels, mainly Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith). 
•Most of the humor really worked (more on that in a bit). I was laughing out loud several times. 
•The second half had me on the edge of my seat and was so compelling and bad ass that by the time it ended and the credits rolled I was like, “Noooooooo!! Keep going damn it! I don’t want to wait another two years.”
•Surprisingly the Porgs didn’t annoy me like I thought they would. While I couldn’t call them my favorite part of the movie, they were no Jar Jar that’s for sure. 
•BB-8 is still adorable and funny and remains one of my favorite parts of this sequel trilogy. 
•Carrie Fisher. It was hard seeing her in this and not tearing up :’( RIP
•Looks amazing on an IMAX screen and if you can I highly recommended seeing it in this format. The 3D was fine but I wouldn’t call it anything special. 

Cons:
•The first half of this movie was good but I wouldn’t call it great. I mentioned earlier that I liked most of the humor. However, some of it in the beginning just wasn’t working for me and felt forced. No pun intended. Also, and it could be because I was a little tired at the time, some of the scenes really seemed to drag. There’s a certain subplot that happens that felt like it was never going to end and had me feeling like I was going to nod off. Thankfully the second half more than makes up for this. 

My Rating: 8.5/10