Sunday, November 27, 2016

St. Peter's and the Papal Basilicas of Rome (3D)

A tour of the Papal Basilicas of Rome. 

•Beautiful locations and cinematography. 
•Wonderful soundtrack that fits well with each scene. 
•It's only an hour and a half long. 

•The movie is SO dry. Unless you're a big fan of history and/or art this will probably bore you to tears. 
•The narrator spoke with such a monotone voice that I found myself falling asleep more than once. 
•While there were a few nice moments in terms of the 3D, overall it didn't pop out to me the way it did in other recent movies similar to this one. 
•Not worth paying to see this in theaters. 

My Rating: 6/10

Friday, November 25, 2016


Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) is the only daughter of the chief of her tribe. They come from a long line of navigators. In desperate need of help for her people, she sets sail for a fabled island along with the demigod Maui (Duane Johnson). 

•As much as I love the classic Disney princess movies, it's always refreshing to see a princess (and yes Moana definitely counts as one) who doesn't have a love interest. Someone who's very strong and independent. Such a great message, especially for young girls. 
•Gorgeous animation which from Disney I expect nothing less. The movie is mainly 3D but has some 2D as well. 
•The music. Most of the songs I really enjoyed. Catchy as well. While it may not be my favorite out of all the Disney soundtracks, I'll definitely be adding this to my iPod. 
•Duane Johnson just keeps getting better and better. He did a great job as Maui. You could tell he had a blast doing this. And surprisingly he's a decent singer. 

•It did drag a little in spots. 
•The villain wasn't anything special and nowhere near as memorable as some of the classic Disney villains.

My Rating: 8.5/10


A story told in three parts that chronicles the life of a young black man named Chiron as he struggles to find his place in the world. 

•A very well written coming of age story told from a perspective that we don't normally see in movies. 
•Strong acting not only from the first two actors to play Chiron (Alex Hibbert when he was a kid and Ashton Sanders as a teenager) but from the supporting cast as well. I especially liked Mahershala Ali as Juan, a man who becomes a father figure to Chiron. I really hope they get some recognition come award season. 
•Direction by Barry Jenkins (who wrote the screenplay as well). He's able to tell this beautiful story that kept me engrossed in it the whole time. 

•Nothing too major. If I had anything negative to say it would be that I felt liked the first two thirds better in than the last third in terms of the story and acting. Not that the actor who played the adult Chiron was bad by any means. He was actually pretty good. But the actors in the first two parts left such an impact that he ended up being the "weakest". 
•The ending was rather abrupt. I was so into this story and then all of a sudden the credits roll. I was like, "What?? That's it? God damn it I want more!"  Still, a very good movie that I think everyone should see. 

My Rating: 9/10

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Queen of Katwe

A young girl from Uganda named Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) is introduced to the game of chess and her life is changed forever. 

•Madina Nalwanga... Wow!!!! She gave an amazing, award worthy performance. Such a powerful young actress. I really hope we see her in more movies. 
•Speaking of performances, I also thought David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong'o were really good as well. I've always been a big fan of both of them. 
•Strong writing and well developed characters. This is based on a true story and it left me wanting to know more about the real life people. 
•Stunning locations and cinematography. 
•The movie is a little over two hours long but it didn't feel like it. It moves at a decent pace. 

•I really can't think of any. This was one of the best movies I've seen this year. Everyone PLEASE go see this!! It's a wonderful story with a strong message. 

My Rating: 10/10

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (IMAX)

Takes place in 1926 about 70 years before the beloved Harry Potter series. After a worldwide adventure in search of all sorts of magical creatures, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York. While there, an incident occurs that could mean trouble for both the wizard and muggle (in America they call them No-Maj) communities. 

•Eddie Redmayne was the perfect choice to play Newt. I found his character very fascinating, especially his awkwardness and the way that he was more comfortable around creatures than he was humans. 
•J.K. Rowling's script. I'm happy to see this amazing world she's created be expanded on. You get to see what the American wizarding community is all about and how it differs from the one we're use to seeing in England. 
•Major props to the people who designed all the creatures. They looked great and a lot of them were so adorable! I found myself saying "Awww!" out loud several times. 
•Dan Fogler's character was honestly one of my favorite things about the movie. He's so funny and steals every scene he's in. 
•Should be seen in IMAX  but in 2D if your theater has that option. The movie is already dark as it is and I have a feeling that IMAX 3D would make it really hard to see. 
•There's so much more I want to tell you but then I'd be getting into spoiler territory. If you're a huge Harry Potter fan like me, you're going to love the hell out of this. 

•The big battle scene towards the end felt a little too disjointed at times. Also it did that thing where it had like five different endings which I normally can't stand. But I just love this movie so much that I'm willing to overlook these minor flaws and not take any points off my rating. 

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Man Called Ove

An unlikely friendship develops between Ove (Rolf Lassgård), a grumpy retiree, and his new neighbors. 

•Such a beautiful story with well written characters. It sucks you in right from the beginning. You slowly learn about Ove and why he is the way he is. You really feel for him. 
•Moves at a pretty good pace. 
•Clever dialog 
•Strong acting by the entire cast. They all had really good chemistry. 

•The trailer is kind of misleading. They make it seem like a comedy and yeah it has some humorous moments, but it's more of a dramedy. Be sure to have plenty of tissues handy. 
•The story itself, while very good, is predictable. 

My Rating: 8.5/10

Friday, November 11, 2016


Expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications after a group of spacecrafts land across the globe. 

•Amy Adams gives an outstanding performance. She really carries this movie. That being said, Jeremy Renner does just as good a job in a smaller role. The two of them had great chemistry. 
•For those of you going into this expecting your typical action packed alien invasion where lots of shit blows up, then you'll be very disappointed. This is a very smart, slow burning science fiction movie and while I won't lie to you and say I understood everything, I still appreciate it. 
•Strong direction by Denis Villeneuve. Right from the beginning I found myself sucked into this beautiful story he's created. Everything from the muted color tones to the way he shot each scene really added to the experience. 
•Flawless editing. 
•Simple but effective musical score. 

•I can't really think of any. I knew the movie would be good but I had no idea it would be THIS good. Wow!!I guess some people won't care for the way the movie is structured and how it ends. However, I was fine with it. One of those movies you'll have to watch more than once in order to really get it. 

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Girl on the Train

An alcoholic divorcée (Emily Blunt) gets entangled in a missing persons case where nothing is as it seems. 

•Outstanding performance by Emily Blunt. I've always been a fan of hers. 
•Musical score by Danny Elfman was very haunting and perfectly fit with the tone of the movie. 
•Some nice cinematography. 

•Tried way too hard to be the next Gone Girl. There's an interesting story there but I feel like it wasn't as executed as well as it could've been. Maybe if I had read the book I would've gotten more out of it. 
•Some issues with the editing and the way it would jump back and forth in time. I have no problem when movies do this but this director Tate Taylor (who most recently directed Get On Up, a movie I liked overall but had similar issues) clearly has no idea how to. 
•A few rough spots with the dialogue. 
•The camerawork was a little nauseating in a couple of scenes. 
•Not the type of movie I'd rush out to see in theaters. But it's worth a look if you're into these types of movies and come across it on Netflix. By all means check it out. 

My Rating: 6.5/10

Friday, November 4, 2016

Doctor Strange (IMAX 3D)

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbaych), a talented neurosurgeon, searches for healing after a terrible accident and is drawn into the world of the mystical arts. 

•The Academy should just give them the award for Best Visual Effects now. WOW!! The trailers only give you a small sample of what it's all about. You have no idea what an amazing, mind blowing experience you're in for. 
•Benedict Cumberbatch was perfectly cast as Doctor Strange. He really gets this character. 
•Strong writing overall. I actually gave a shit about most of these characters. And no I'm not just saying this because I've been a huge fan of writer C. Robert Cargill since the Spill days. 
•Do whatever you have to do to see this in IMAX 3D. It's the kind of movie that is made for this format. Best 3D I've seen in a long time too. 
•STAY DURING THE CREDITS!! There's two scenes- one in the middle of the credits and the other at the end. Loved them although I feel like they should've reversed their order. 
•Does its own thing while also fitting into the universe Marvel has created. 
•There's a love interest (played by Rachel McAdams, who does a pretty good job)but they don't focus too much on it which I appreciate. 

•I really only have one minor complaint and that's with the villain. Mads Mikleson is fine in the role but I feel like they could've developed his backstory and motivations a little more. Not the worst villain in this universe though that's for sure. 

My Rating: is 9/10