Sunday, September 24, 2017

Polina

Plot:
A young woman named Polina (Anastasia Shevtsova) has studied classic ballet for many years and ends up being accepted into the prestigious Bolchoi. Once there, however, she turns to modern dancing. 

Pros:
•If you’re a fan of dancing wether it be ballet or more modern dancing, I think you’ll really like this movie. There’s so many beautiful dance sequences. Whoever did the choreography did an amazing job. 
•Wonderful performance by Anastasia Shevtsova, especially considering this is her first role. I look forward to seeing more of her in the future. 
•I liked the message it was giving. Usually with these types of movies all of the main character’s dreams magically come true. Here it shows that sometimes, despite how hard you work, things don’t turn out the way you want them to. 

Cons:
•Very abrupt editing in a couple of scenes. Also, there were a few moments where the director used some weird angles to get a shot. 
•Some of the minor characters were a little too one dimensional. 

My Rating: 7.5/10 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Plot:
After their headquarters are destroyed, the Kingsman must come together with their American allies the Statesman to defeat a common enemy. 

Pros:
•There were a few fun action scenes (even if they were just a rehash of what they did in the first movie)
•It’s always great seeing Colin Firth again. 
•I liked Mark Strong and Pedro Pascal in this. 
•Good soundtrack

Cons:
•I was a huge fan of the first movie. The Golden Circle wasn’t terrible (compared to a lot of shit I’ve seen this year).... but I was kind of disappointed. This lacked the charm and heart of the original. Yes the original was over the top but somehow they made it work. This one was just stupid at times. Like Fast and the Furious level stupid. 
•Unnecessary cameo
•The way some of the action scenes were shot made me so nauseous I had to look away from the screen a few times. I don’t remember having that happen when I watched the original. 
 •TOO DAMN LONG!! I have no problem with long movies but there’s no way this needed to be two and a half hours. It felt like it was never going to end. 
•For those going into this expecting to see a lot of Channing Tatum, you’re going to be disappointed. 

My Rating: 6.5/10

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Viceroy's House

Plot:
Different sides clash as Lord Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville), the final Viceroy of India, is tasked with overseeing the transition of the country into independence. 

Pros:
•A beautiful looking movie. Filmed on location in India. 
•Director Gurinder Chadha you can tell had good intentions. 
•Strong performances. I was especially impressed with Gillian Anderson, who plays Lord Mountbatten's wife Edwina. 

Cons:
•I really don't know that much about this particular event in history, but I can tell that they glossed over A LOT of things. 
•They added a love story which, while not terrible, wasn't necessary at all. 

My Rating: 7/10

Last Men in Aleppo

Plot:
Documentary about Khalid, Subhi, and Mahmoud, the founding members of The White Helmets- a group in Syria who have stayed on in the war torn area to help the citizens. 

Pros:
•This was an incredibly difficult movie to watch. But I feel like it's something everyone needs to see. What a powerful piece of film making by all three of the directors who worked on it. I can easily see this getting an Oscar nomination. 
• Going into this movie I obviously had heard of the White Helmets and what they do. But to hear about it and to actually see it are to totally different things. The movie really goes in depth about what these brave men go through on a daily basis. They choose to stay and help knowing that they will most likely be killed at some point. It brought me to tears several times. Especially when the men are interacting with their families. 
•Doesn't shy away from showing just how brutal and heartbreaking things are over there. You see the country getting bombed on a daily basis, a lot of the times more than once. You see the men pulling dead or severely injured children from the rubble. 

Cons:
•Nothing significant, but me personally I had a hard time with shaky cam they used in a few of the scenes. Made me a little nauseous. Still it's nothing that should stop you from seeing the movie. 

My Rating: 9.5/10

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mother!

Plot:
A couple's (Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, referred to simply as Mother and Him in the movie) seemingly tranquil life is disrupted when uninvited guests arrive at their home. 

Pros:
•This is one of those movies where it's better if you go into it knowing as little as possible. So this will probably be a short review. That and the fact that I have no idea how to describe to you what I just saw. 
•I'll give Darren Aronofsky this much, his movies are never dull. It certainly is a original, well made, and well directed movie that you very rarely see in Hollywood these days. 
•Very thought provoking. 
•It was a great theater experience for me. All of us were walking out of the theater laughing awkwardly and saying, "What the fuck was that?"

Cons:
•Most people are absolutely going to hate this movie. Especially in the last maybe 25 minutes. 
•While I respect Aronofsky and wouldn't call this a bad movie, it's probably one of my least favorite of his. Black Swan was way better in my opinion. Black Swan was also fucked up, but I own a copy of it and rewatch it every so often. Mother! I most likely will never watch again unless it's with a large group of friends and we get totally drunk first. 

My Rating: 7/10

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wind River

Plot:
Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a game tracker, teams up with FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman. 

Pros:
•As soon as I found out that Taylor Sheridan had written and directed this movie, I knew I had to see it. He had previously written the scripts for Sicario and Hell or High Water (my favorite movie of 2016). Both movies were so well written and filled with tension. And he's done it again with Wind River. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I'm looking forward to whatever he chooses to do next. 
•This is by far the best performance of Jeremy Renner's career. I enjoy seeing him as Hawkeye in the Marvel movies don't get me wrong, but here he really gets to show off his acting chops. 
•Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham, and the rest of the supporting cast were really good as well. 
•The locations are a huge part of what makes this movie so great. You feel the isolation of these characters and how strong you have to be to survive around there. 
•Stunning cinematography. 
•If you loved Sicaro and Hell or High Water then you're going to love this one too. I can't recommend it enough. 

Cons:
•Was a little too predictable in terms of who the bad guy ends up being. Normally I would take a point off for something like this and I considered doing that here, but I just thought the movie was so well made overall and left such an impact on me that I'm willing to let it slide this time. 

My Rating: 10/10

Lost in Paris

Plot:
Fiona (Fiona Gordon) travels to Paris to help take care of her Aunt Martha (Emmanuelle Riva). Chaos ensues. 

Pros:
•Wonderful cast, especially Fiona Gordon. She's got great comedic timing and I'd love to see more of her work. 
•I wasn't expecting to laugh as much as I did. The humor in this is very over the top and normally I don't care for those types of movies but for some reason it worked here. 
•Very simple story but it's fun. 
•Nice music and locations. 

Cons:
•Some of the jokes went on just a little too long. 
•While I enjoyed the humor in this, it's definitely not something for everyone. 
•Not sure what point the director was trying to make. 
•Felt a little cheesy at times. 

My Rating: 7/10

Friday, September 8, 2017

IT (IMAX)

Plot:
In the small town of Derry, Maine a group of seven kids have horrifying encounters with IT- an evil clown who preys on their fears and appears every 27 years. 

Pros:
•It's been awhile since a movie has truly terrified me like this. I mean that in a good way of course. Kudos to the director. Everyone involved really. 
•Bill Skarsgård's take on Pennywise is in my opinion just as good as Tim Curry's in the original, just in a different way. Tim Curry was scary didn't not get me wrong, but he was also funny too from what I remember (it's been years since I watched the original 1990 miniseries). Skarsgård is truly terrifying. And not just in the way he looks. All those little ticks and movements he does really adds to it. 
•Reminded me a lot of those coming of age movies I use to watch all the time growing up. Got a very Spielberg vibe from it. The cast of kids they got were all really good in their roles. 
•Only has a budget of $35 million but the visuals look amazing. 

Cons:
•There was no need to have this in IMAX since it really doesn't add anything to the experience. While I highly recommend this movie, I'd say save your money and see it on a regular screen. 
•Some of the decisions the characters make are so stupid and you see it all the time in these types of movies. Granted they're done a little better than most of those but it's still a pet peeve of mine. 

My Rating: 9/10

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Hitman's Bodyguard

Plot:
Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds), the worlds best bodyguard, gets a new client- hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), who's set to testify in court. 

Pros:
•Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson were  good in this. Pretty funny and played off each other well. I'd like to see them do another movie together. 
•Soundtrack was a little odd but it somehow worked. 

Cons:
•One of the cheapest looking movies I've seen in a long time. The budget was about $30 million I believe which is pretty low but it's still no excuse. I've seen so many low budget movies that look amazing. 
•Generic and poorly choreographed action scenes. 
•Gary Oldman is completely wasted here. 
•The actress who plays Elektra is in this. She was shitty in Daredevil/Defenders and she's just as shitty here. Really can't stand her. 
•Got a few chuckles out of me but overall it wasn't that funny and the jokes went on too long. 
•WOULDN'T FUCKING END! What should've been an hour and a half movie (tops) was nearly two hours. 
•Should've gone straight to Redbox. 
•Almost was going to give this the same rating as The Dark Tower but fuck that. At least The Dark Tower was so bad it was hilarious. The Hitman's Bodyguard was just bad. Avoid it at all costs. 

My Rating: 4.5/10

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Midwife

Plot:
A midwife named Claire (Catherine Frot) gets an unexpected call from her father's former mistress. 

Pros:
•What really stood out to me about this movie was the outstanding performances by the two lead actresses Catherine Frot and Catherine Deneuve. Their characters have such different personalities but it works and it was interesting seeing how their relationship developed over time. 
•There's several scenes where you get a look at what a typical day for a midwife looks like and all the amazing work they do. 
•Beautiful locations. 
•About two hours long and moves at a decent pace. 
•A surprising amount of humor. 

Cons:
•The story itself wasn't bad at all but at times was a little too predictable. 
•A few rough spots with the editing. 
•Generic musical score. I've felt like I heard it before in several other foreign movies like this. 
•While I liked the movie overall, it's not something I would rush out to see in theaters. 

My Rating: 7/10

Friday, August 18, 2017

Brigsby Bear

Plot:
A children's tv show called Brigsby Bear Adventures is made for an audience of one- James (Kyle Mooney). He sets out to finish the story himself when the show suddenly ends. 

Pros:
•Up until very recently I hadn't heard much at all about this. I vaguely remember hearing about a movie called Brigsby Bear but just assumed it was something for kids. It wasn't until my friends at Double Toasted reviewed it on one of their shows that I found out what it was really about. They gave it high praises so I figured I'd check it out. I'm so glad I did because Brigsby Bear is easily one of the sweetest, most heartfelt, charming little movies I've seen in a long time. 
•Aside from the summary I gave above, I'm not going to go into any details about the plot. It's best if you go into this movie knowing as little as possible. 
•Kyle Mooney gives an amazing performance that I don't think many actors could've pulled off. The character of James is very innocent and curious about this new world he's been thrown into and Mooney completely sells it. 
•Well written story (which Mooney did himself). You might've seen movies with similar themes but unlike some of those ones, it doesn't do those predictable plot points or stereotypical characters. 
•Great supporting cast. I especially enjoyed the young actors who played James' sister Aubrey and his friend Spencer. Mark Hamill is in this as well and he's brilliant as always. His character isn't in the movie all that much but he plays a key role. 
•There needs to be a real Brigsby Bear tv show. Someone please make that happen. 

Cons:
•Nothing really. This is surprisingly one of my favorite movies of the year so far. I strongly recommend if it's playing anywhere near you to go out and support it. We need more movies like this. 

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Exception

Plot:
A German soldier (Jai Courtney) is assigned as a guard at the home of Kaiser Wilhelm (Christopher Plummer) in Holland during World War II. He ends up falling in love with a young Jewish woman (Lily James), a maid in Kaiser's home. 

Pros:
•I know many won't believe me, but Jai Courtney actually gives a decent performance. He's not that bad when given the right material and direction. He and Lily James (who's also good in this) had good chemistry and there were some genuinely sweet moments between the two. 
•Very interesting story that up until now I hadn't heard before. 
•They got the look and feel of the time period right for the most part. 
•I'm pretty sure this is the directorial debut of David Leveaux. Consider this, he does a nice job. 
•You get to see Jai Courtney naked. I'm talking full frontal. Despite what you may think of his acting abilities, he's very nice to look at ;) 

Cons:
•Felt a little too rushed. I wish they had taken the time to develop the characters more. The movie could've benefited from being about 20 minutes longer. 
•The legendary Christopher Plummer (whom I've always liked) is in this and it felt to me like he was phoning it in. Or drunk. Or both. 
•Jai Courtney's attempt at a Germany accent. Kept going in and out. Not the worst I've heard but it was still distracting. 
•Musical score was beautiful but it kept overpowering certain scenes. 

My Rating: 7.5/10

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Detroit

I'm going to try to make this quick since this movie has truly crushed my soul. Fuck man :( That being said, Detroit is hands down the best movie I've seen this year. 

Kathryn Bigelow does an amazing job directing this movie about the 1967 Detroit riots, specifically at the Algiers Motel where three African American men were murdered. 

Strong acting by the entire cast. Fuck Will Poulter! His performance as a racist, murderous cop was so convincing that I'll probably never be able to watch another one of his movies. 

The movie is divided into three parts- the riots in general, what happens at the Algiers Motel, and the trial. Be warned, the second part plays out like a horror movie. Such an emotional punch in the gut. I walked out of the theater feeling sick to my stomach. Sad thing is this happened 50 years ago and not much has changed since then. 

Much like 12 Years a Slave, this is a movie that everyone needs to see but it's so depressing you'll only be able to watch it once. 

My Rating: 10/10

The Dark Tower

I'm currently on vacation so I don't have time to do a regular review. Wasn't planning on doing one at all but I felt like I should warn you all about this movie. 

I saw this on Sunday and I still have no idea what the fuck I watched. This movie was such a mess. Poor direction, editing, and CGI. Haven't read the books yet but from what people have told me they totally butchered them. Matthew McConaughey is normally one of my favorite actors but he was awful here. Not that I blame him for this, it was the direction he was given that's the problem. 

The only reasons I'm not rating this lower is 1. Idris Elba is a badass. He's way too good for this shit. And 2. It's one of those movies that are so bad its hilarious. 

The only way I can recommend seeing this in theaters is if you do like I did and get a bunch of friends together and go. You'll laugh your asses off. Otherwise, wait until it's on Netflix. 

My Rating: 5/10

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Beatriz at Dinner

Plot:
Beatriz (Selma Hayek), a holistic healer, finds herself attending the dinner party of a wealthy client after her car breaks down. 

Pros:
•A fascinating, well written story that is so relevant in today's world. 
•Good direction by Miguel Arteta. Everything from the way he focuses the camera to the music and more only adds to the tension of the situation. Really made me feel like I was there. 
•Selma Hayek gives her best performance ever in my opinion. I know it's way too early but I'd love to see her get nominated come award season. I also loved the back and forth between her and John Lithgow (who is also really good in this). 
•Sharp, cleaver dialogue. 

Cons:
•The ending. If it wasn't for this it would be a damn near perfect movie. All I'll say is I wish the director had the balls to go with what he appeared to set up but instead we got a cop out. Not that it was bad or anything I just felt a little disappointed. 

My Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Big Sick

Plot:
Kumail is a stand up comedian who meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) and the two begin dating. As their relationship grows they must deal with their cultural differences and an unexpected event. 

Pros:
•Kumail Nanjiani was really good. Up until I saw this movie I hadn't seen much of his work. He's got great comedic timing of course but he handles the dramatic moments well too. There's some really touching moments in this movie and he just nails it. 
•While I enjoyed the scenes with Kumail and Emily and thought they had a lot of chemistry, probably my favorite moments were the ones where Kumail was bonding with Emily's parents. 
•Clever dialogue. 
•Laughs worked and never felt forced. 
•An honest look at relationships. 

Cons:
•Got off to a slow start in my opinion. Not that it was bad I just wasn't feeling it at first. As weird as it might sound, things really started to pick up for me once Emily went into a coma (they tell you this in the trailer so I don't consider it a spoiler). 

My Rating: 8.5/10

Paris Can Wait

Plot:
Anne (Diane Lane) is the wife of a successful movie producer (Alec Baldwin). One day she unexpectedly finds herself on a car trip from Cannes to Paris with one of her husband's business associates named Jacques (Arnaud Viard). 

Pros:
•Diane Lane is wonderful as always. 
•So much food and wine porn! Do not watch this movie on an empty stomach. 
•Beautiful locations. Makes you really feel like you're driving around France. 
•Moves at a slow pace but I never felt like I wanted to fall asleep. 
•Perfect movie to take your Mom or Grandmother to. 
•Directorial debut of Eleanor Coppola, wife of Francis Ford Coppola. She does a decent job and the story is apparently loosely based on an experience she had with her husband's business partner. 

Cons:
•Very simply story that plays it a little too safe. 
•For the most part the character of Jacques was completely insufferable. 
•A few rough spots with the editing. 
•Didn't really care for the ending. 

My Rating: 6.5/10

Friday, July 21, 2017

Dunkirk (IMAX)

Plot:
Based on the incredible true story of the evacuation of soldiers from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France. 

Pros:
•Nolan has done it again! I was curious how he would tackle something that wasn't science fiction or a Batman movie, and he didn't disappoint. He truly is one of the greatest film makers out there. 
•Very impressed that he chose to use a lot of practical effects. 
•If you have an IMAX screen anywhere near you I highly recommend you see it in that format. This is the type of movie that it was made for. 
•One of the most gorgeous looking movies I've ever seen. 
•Sound mixing was incredible. The Academy might as well give them the Oscar for it now. 
•Acting was great. The ones that really stood out to me were Mark Rylance and, of course, my man Tom Hardy ;) Hell even Harry Styles was decent which I wasn't expecting. 
•It's nonstop tension from beginning to end. There were several moments where I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. 
•Edited so flawlessly that I wasn't confused much at all in terms of the movie being nonlinear. 
•If you're a fan of World War II movies you're going to love this. 

Cons:
•If there had just been a little more character development this would've been a perfect movie for me. I totally get what Nolan was going for and didn't need an entire backstory on everyone, but still. This is a very minor complaint however. Certainly nothing that should stop you from seeing the movie. 

My Rating: 9.5/10

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Moka

Plot:
A grieving mother goes in pursuit of the couple she believes killed her son in a hit and run. 

Pros:
•Very strong performance by Emmanuelle Devos. Hadn't heard of her before this, but I'm interested in seeing more of her work. 
•Supporting cast was good as well. 
•Nice locations. 
•Story wasn't quite as predictable as I thought it might be. 
•Deeply moving ending. 
•Doesn't always rely on dialogue, especially in the beginning. Sometimes a simple look between two characters works more effectively. 

Cons:
•A few rough spots with the editing. 
•Ending dragged on a bit too long. 
•While it's an interesting story, it's not something we haven't seen done a million times before. 

My Rating: 7/10

Friday, July 14, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes

Plot:
Caesar (Andy Serkis) is forced into a deadly battle  against an army of humans led by The Colonel (Woody Harrelson). This battle will determine the fate of both species. 

Pros:
•Wow!! I know it's still early, but this was easily the best movie I've seen this year. An amazing conclusion to what I think is one of the best trilogies ever. 
•Groundbreaking visual effects. It's amazing to see how far we've come along in this department. It looks so real and to be honest, all the motion capture actors here gave way better performances than others that you physically see on screen. Speaking of which...
•When is the Academy going to wake the fuck up and give Andy Serkis the recognition he deserves. Motion capture IS acting. 
•It's been amazing to watch the character of Caesar grow from who he was in the first movie to this one. It makes sense for his character to end up where he did. 
•You would think a movie with the word War in the title would be nothing but action but while there are some great action sequences, there's plenty of quiet, dramatic scenes as well. Some of which have no dialogue. Not many movies could pull it off but this one does. 
•One actor that surprised me was Steve Zahn (an actor who I haven't always been the biggest fan of) as Bad Ape. His character is technically the comic relief but it's never over the top or takes you out of the movie. But I never laughed for too long because you can tell that Bad Ape has been through so much and I felt sorry for him. I teared up quite a bit during his scenes. This whole movie was really an emotional punch in the gut. I dare anyone to watch it and not cry. 
•Woody Harrelson was not the stereotypical villain I feared he would be. There's just enough depth to his character. Always been one of my favorite actors. 
•THIS is how you do a proper reboot. Movie studios take note. 
•Strong directing by Matt Reves. 
•Almost two and a half hours but it sure didn't feel like it. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire time. 
•There's so much more I want to say but I don't want to spoil this wonderful movie. 

Cons:
•NONE!! Everyone stop what you're doing and go see this. You won't regret it. 

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Obit

Plot:
Documentary about the New York Times obituary writers. 

Pros:
•Going into this movie I figured the obituary writers would be slightly odd and morbid but they weren't. They're just normal people doing their job. 
•It was interesting to see just what goes into writing an obituary- interviewing family members, research, deciding how long/short it should be, what if any pictures to use etc. Sometimes they have awhile to write them (in certain cases they write them years in advanced for celebrities who are getting up there in years or whose lifestyle might send them to an early grave) and other times it must be done quickly. For example, they talk about how Michael Jackson died in the late afternoon. Because of that, they only had about four hours to sum up his entire life. 
•Decently paced. 

Cons:
•While I thought this movie was pretty good, it does follow the standard things you see in a typical documentary and doesn't try to set itself apart. 
•Unless you're really interesting in this subject, I wouldn't really suggest seeing this in theaters. If you're bored on a Saturday afternoon and there's nothing else better on, watch this on tv or Netflix. 

My Rating: 6.5/10

Friday, July 7, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

SPOILER ALERT: There's a few mild spoilers in my review but nothing major. 

Plot:
With help from his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Peter Parker (Tom Holland) balances his life between being a high school student and his role as Spider-Man. To add to everything, a new threat Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges. 

Pros:
•Tom Holland is the best version of Spider-Man I've seen. Yes, even better than Toby MacGuire. For one, he actually looks like a high schooler. Also, he was able to play both Peter Parker and Spider-Man very well. In the past it's been either one or the other. 
•I was worried, judging from the trailers, that this would be the Tony Stark/Iron Man show but it's really not. RDJ is only in maybe a handful of scenes but all of them were great. I love the mentor/father figure role he's developed with Peter. You can tell he cares for the kid, in a Tony Stark way of course. 
•Humor really worked. I laughed quite a bit in this. 
•Michael Keaton was amazing as Vulture. Good Marvel villains don't come along too often. His character wasn't just evil for the sake of being evil. You get his back story and you completely understand his motivation for what he's doing and what lead him to this point. 
•There's two post credit scenes and both I enjoyed. The second one was especially brilliant. 
•Looks great in IMAX (the 3D was barely noticeable at times though)
•Didn't have to see Uncle Ben being murdered for the millionth time. 

Cons:
•Dragged a bit in spots. 
•A few cheesy moments in the final showdown. However, it wasn't quite as bad as the showdown in Wonder Woman. 

My Rating: 9/10

Friday, June 30, 2017

Baby Driver

Plot:
A talented young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) is coerced into working for crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey). He finds himself in a doomed heist which threatens to destroy everything and everyone he loves. 

Pros:
•I wasn't sure if I wanted to see this movie at first. But after hearing all the amazing reviews and being a fan of Edgar Wright I decided to give it a chance. I'm so glad I did. This was such a fun movie. 
•For the most part I've always liked Ansel Elgort. I'd say this is his best role yet. I always knew he could play charming but now I know he can be badass as well. I'd love  to see him do more roles like this. 
•Edgar Wright has another hit on his hands. Wonderful job directing, especially the action scenes which he manages to lineup perfectly with the kick ass soundtrack. 
•Strong supporting cast. Kevin Spacey was his usual awesome self. 
•Clever dialog and humor. 
•A lot of the movie was practical effects which I always appreciate whenever a movie goes this route. It looked really good here. They were able to do a lot with a fairly low budget. 
•Some of my favorite scenes aside from the action were actually Baby interacting with his foster Dad. Very touching which I wasn't expecting in a movie like this. 
•One of the very few movies in which shaky cam was used and I didn't walk out of the theater wanting to puke. 

Cons:
•Nothing I'm going to take major points off for. However, it did drag a bit for me in the beginning. Luckily the last two thirds more than made up for it. 
•While it's definitely one of the more original movies you'll see right now, it does follow a few of the same beats you usually see in this genre. 

My Rating: 9/10

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Slack Bay

SPOILER ALERT: It's almost impossible for me to review this movie without giving away a few slight spoilers. Nothing major though I promise. Honestly, this is one of those movies that I'm sure most of you won't see. 

Plot:
Set in 1910. A wealthy family visits their summer house in Slack Bay for an extended vacation. While there, the come across a police investigation into the disappearance of several tourists in the area. 

Pros:
•I'll give director Bruno Dumont credit for doing something different. This was unlike any other movie I've seen this year. 
•Most of the acting was fine. 
•The movie was shot well. It had this almost dreamlike quality to it. 
•Nice locations. 

Cons:
•Had a very odd, dark sense of humor that, while not necessarily bad, I personally didn't care for. I can see why others might like it though. In many ways it reminds me of The Lobster. 
•Random incest and cannibalism. I seem to be seeing more and more movies and tv shows doing that these days. What's up with that?
•The only actress I recognized in this was Juliette Binoche (she's worked with this director before). Normally I'm a big fan of her work but her character in this was so over the top and downright annoying. Eventually more is revealed about her backstory and you can understand why she is the way she is but still. Take it down a few notches. 
•Didn't need to be two hours long. It drags so much at times. They could've easily cut out a good 20-30 minutes. 

My Rating: 6/10

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Chasing Trane

Plot:
Documentary about the life and music of John Coltrane. 

Pros:
•Major props to director John Schienfeld for creating this wonderful documentary that not only showed you Coltrane's impact on music but who he was as a person. You can tell he did his research. I felt like it was a very loving tribute. 
•Doesn't shy away from the not so great moments in Coltrane's life, including his heavy drug use at one point. 
•Insightful interviews with his family and friends as well as the many people he's influenced over the years. 
•While it does follow a lot of the things you see in a standard documentary there's several moments where they do some cool things visually to tell his story. Very creative. 
•Narration by Denzel Washington. How cool is that?
•If you're a Coltrane fan or just a music fan in general, you're going to love this. If you're like me and are lucky enough to have a theater near you playing it, go see it. So worth the money. 

Cons:
•Nothing major, just a few moments in the middle and towards the end where I felt like it dragged a bit. 

My Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, June 17, 2017

All Eyez On Me

Plot:
Biopic of rapper Tupac Shakur. 

Pros:
•If I'm being honest, the only positive thing I can say about the movie is the guy they got to play Tupac looks so much like him it's scary. And he does a decent enough job. Had he had a more competent director he probably would've been even better. 

Cons:
•Where do I even begin? I don't know a whole lot about Tupac. I mean, obviously I know who he was and like some of his music. I do know he deserves way better than this shit. 
•For a movie that was damn near two and a half hours, it sure felt rushed. They glossed over his entire story. Seriously, within the span of about 15 minutes (if that) it went from Afeni Shakur being pregnant with Tupac, him as a kid, to when he made his first album. 
•Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to let Benny Boom direct this? Up until recently I hadn't even heard of him. Clearly he's incompetent and didn't give a fuck. This felt like one of those awful biopics that Lifetime likes to do, just with a bigger budget. 
•Horribly written script. 
•Poor acting by the supporting cast. 
•Don't even get me started on the way they handled Tupac's murder. 
•I can't believe I'm saying this but King Arthur is no longer the worst movie I've seen this year. While technically speaking King Arthur was worse in the sense that it was edited in a fucking blender and I had no idea what was happening on screen half the time, at least I only walked out of it confused and not angry like I did with this. I can only imagine how hardcore Tupac fans must be feeling right now. 
•Benny Boom should never be allowed to make another movie again. 
•Avoid this at all cost. I'm begging you. 

My Rating: 2/10

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Cousin Rachel

Plot:
A young man named Philip (Sam Claflin) plots revenge against his mysterious cousin Rachel (Rachel Weisz) whom he believes had something to do with his guardian's death. 

Pros:
•Beautiful locations, cinematography, and costumes. 
•Sam Claflin, while I wouldn't call this his best role, gives a pretty decent performance. I liked his scenes with Holiday Granger and felt they had good chemistry. 
•The ending is kind of ambiguous and while I don't always like when a movie does this I felt like it worked here. I enjoy a good mystery. 

Cons:
•I like Rachel Weisz but I feel like she was miscast here. She also had zero chemistry with Sam Claflin. 
•One of the love scenes was so cheesy (you see part of it in the trailer) and bad that I couldn't help but laugh. 
•I haven't read the novel that this is based on, but it felt very rushed. Like I was getting the cliff notes version. 
•Trailer pretty much gives most of the movie away.
•While I wouldn't call this a terrible movie, it's not something I would suggest seeing in theaters. If you think you might be interested, wait until it comes to Netflix. 

My Rating: 6.5/10

Friday, June 9, 2017

It Comes At Night

SPOILER ALERT: While I don't think anything I've said in my review would ruin the movie for you, I'm going to add this just in case. If there are any spoilers they're only VERY minor. 

Plot:
While an unknown threat is terrorizing the world, a man named Paul (Joel Edgerton) has established a secure home in the remote forest with his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Things are put to the test when they encounter a desperate family. 

Pros:
•Joel Edgerton continues to be one of my favorite actors. Here he delivers another brilliant performance. Yes his character ends up doing some horrific things but honestly, if I were living in that world and put in the same situation I'd probably do the same. 
•Doesn't rely on blood and gore. It's very tense but in a subtle way with the long shots and music. 
•I loved the way director Trey Edward Shultz shot this movie. It has the look and feel of something from the 70s/early 80s. Nice cinematography. He's also very good with actors which I was already aware of having seen his debut movie Krisha. While I remember not really caring for that movie overall I could see his potential. I'm glad he got another chance to direct because with he's gotten even better. I'll definitely go see his next movie. 
•It's a slow burn but not once was I bored or felt the need to check the time. 

Cons:
•If you go into this expecting your typical horror movie (the way the trailers have been marketing it) then you're going to be disappointed. This is more of a post apocalyptic, atmospheric, psychological thriller with some horror elements. I'm totally fine with this type of movie and it in no way affects my rating. Just something you should be aware of if you're thinking about seeing this. 
•A few too many dream sequences for my liking. 
•The way it ends leaves more questions than answers. Not that I needed everything answered but I would've liked just a little more explanation. I walked out of the theater wondering what exactly it was the director was trying to say. 
•Be prepared to watch a lot of comedies after you see this movie. You're going to need it. This was one of the most depressing things I've seen in a long time. 

My Rating: 7.5/10

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Norman

Plot:
Norman (Richard Gere) is a small time operator living in New York who befriends a politician and suddenly his left from changes. 

Pros:
•Richard Gere gives a rather interesting performance. I mean that in a good way. His character does come off as annoying but by the end you also sympathize with him. 
•Great supporting cast as well, including Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, and Dan Stevens. 
•Clever script. 
•I liked what the director did in terms of shooting some of the scenes. 
•Some people might not care for the ending but I thought it worked here. 

Cons:
•This movie is divided into four acts. It had some issues in terms of pacing especially in the beginning. Also, I didn't feel like it needed to be almost two hours. It would've worked better had they cut out maybe fifteen minutes (mainly in acts two and three). 
•If you think this is something you would like to see, I would wait until it comes to Netflix. Overall I liked this movie but it's not something I would pay money to see in theaters. 

My Rating: 7/10

The Lost City of Z

Plot:
Based on the true story of Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam)- a British explorer who, at the dawn of the 20th century, discovers evidence of an advanced civilization that at one time may have lived there. 

Pros:
•A wonderful, epic adventure that reminded me very much of the ones I use to watch growing up. They don't make too many movies like this anymore. I wish this had done better at the box office. 
•This is definitely the better of the two Charlie Hunnam movies I've seen this year. He's amazing here and it was interesting to see how his character developed from the beginning of the movie until the end. 
•I appreciate that director James Gray not glamorizing the jungle the way other directors might and instead showing just how brutal it is. You see men sweating and covered in dirt, getting eaten alive, wounds getting infected, and so much more. 
•Robert Pattinson does a good job as well and is unrecognizable. Had I not known ahead of time I never would've guessed it was him. He's a great actor when given the right material. 
•Some of the scenes were very dimly shot which might normally bother me but I felt it worked here. 

Cons:
•Nothing major really. Just there were a few moments where the actors were speaking low and with such thick accents that it was hard to understand what they were saying. 
•Tom Holland, who I think is great as Spider-Man, annoyed me a little in this. 

My Rating: 9/10