Sunday, November 19, 2017

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Plot:
A look at the life of author A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) who got the inspiration to create the Winnie the Pooh series from his son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston as a child, Alex Lawther as an adult). 

Pros:
•Like many others, I grew up absolutely loving Winnie the Pooh (and still do). I’ll admit though, I didn’t know too much about the author and the story behind the books other than the fact that the real Christopher Robin grew up to resent his father for everything. It’s an interesting story and I’m glad it’s finally being told. 
•I thought Domhnall Gleeson gave a good and convincing performance as someone coming back from war and suffering severe PTSD. I really wish the movie had delved further into this issue. 
•The real star of the movie for me was Will Tilston. Such a terrific actor already at such a young age.  His performance was so heartbreaking as you watch the consequences of all this fame being thrusted upon this little boy and the price he pays. He and Gleeson were great together in all of their scenes. As well as Kelly Macdonald, who plays Christopher’s nanny Olive. 
•Very emotional. You’re bound to cry more than once watching this. I know I did. 
•Beautiful cinematography. 

Cons:
•I feel like the movie could’ve benefited from being a little bit longer. Certain parts of the story felt too rushed. 
•I like Margot Robbie in some things (especially in a movie I saw recently called I, Tonya) but I didn’t care for her here. Her character was underdeveloped and honestly a real bitch at times. From what I’ve hear though, that’s how Christopher’s mother was in real life. 

My Rating: 8/10

Friday, November 17, 2017

Justice League (IMAX)

SPOILER ALERT: 
Even though I don’t consider anything in my review a spoiler since it was either in the trailers or fairly common knowledge, I’m putting this up just in case. You’ve been warned. 

Plot:
 Following the events of Batman v. Superman, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Godot) put together a team including Aquaman (Jason Mamoa), Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) in order to stop Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds)- who is sent by Darkseid to find three artifacts hidden on Earth. 

Pros:
•It was better than Batman v. Superman. Not that that was a hard thing to do. 
•You can tell where Joss Whedon took over. That’s definitely a good thing. For one, the story becomes more cohesive and actually slows down, taking the time to develop the characters and their formation as a believable team. Also, there’s finally some humor. And one more thing- COLOR!!! 
•The one thing I liked about Batman v. Superman was Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I still like him here. Interesting take on the character. 
•Speaking of Batman, I really enjoyed the ‘89 Batman vibe I got from some of the scenes. Right down to the score (they brought Danny Elfman onboard so it makes sense). 
•I’ll give Snyder this much, he is good with visuals for the most part. And there were some kick ass action scenes. I just wish he would tone it the fuck down sometimes (more on that in a bit) 
•SUPERMAN!!!!!
•Trimmed things down to a two hour run time. 
•They pulled a Marvel so be sure to stay through the entire credits. There’s two scenes, one of which I thought was pretty funny. Again that Whedon humor that I really like. 
•DC has a long way to go but this and Wonder Woman are a step in the right direction. 
•Jason Mamoa actually made a good Aquaman. You could tell he was having a blast. Ezra Miller as the Flash as well. 
•Looks good on an IMAX screen. 


Cons:
•The first part of this was definitely all Snyder. I was watching it and at times I was thinking, “Oh fuck, here we go again!”. He clearly doesn’t understand the concept of superheroes. And he goes insane with the CGI. It is CGI overload at times. So much that it was hard to make out what was happening in certain scenes. 
•Snyder also needs to stop writing and stick to visuals. There is dialogue in this that is some of the worst and cheesiest I’ve seen in a long time. 
•Terrible villain. 

My Rating: 7/10

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Victoria and Abdul

Plot:
Based on the true story of Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) unlikely friendship with Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), an Indian Clerk. 

Pros:
•I’ll give the movie credit for being honest. Right off the bat they tell you that this is “mostly” based on a true story. Of course I knew about Queen Victoria but until recently I didn’t know anything about her relationship with Abdul. I could tell though that this probably a very highly fictionalized version of what happened. However, that doesn’t make the movie any less enjoyable for me. 
•While I thought Ai Fazal was wonderful as Abdul (he’s certainly very charming and had great chemistry with Judi Dench), this is really Judi Dench’s movie. She was damn near perfect in this her second time around as Queen Victoria. The woman can do no wrong in my opinion. While I don’t think she’ll necessarily win, I can see her getting an Oscar nomination for her performance. 
•Director Stephen Frears (who also worked with Judi Dench on Philomena, another great movie) really nailed the look and feel of the time period. 
•A surprising amount of humor. 

Cons:
•Seemed very rushed in the beginning. 
•While the musical score was pretty, in certain scenes it felt overpowering. 
•Towards the end it got a little too emotionally manipulative for my liking. 

My Rating: 7.5/10

Friday, November 10, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express

Plot:
Based on the Agatha Christie novel. Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh, who also serves as director) attempts to solve a murder onboard a train with 13 suspects. 

Pros:
•I’ll give Kenneth Branagh this much, he knows how to make a gorgeous looking movie. I really liked the cinematography as well as the color tones. 
•As far as his performance as Poitot, I thought he did a good job. It could’ve easily come off as over the top had it been a lesser actor. 
•Intriguing enough story. If you’re into a good old fashioned murder mystery I think you’ll enjoy this. 
•Strong supporting cast. 
•Subtle yet beautiful musical score. 

Cons:
•The ending felt very rushed. At the same time the beginning moved a little too slow (didn’t really pick up pace until they got to the train). 
•While Branagh is a good director, I think he struggled just a bit trying to juggle so many characters at first. Eventually he was able to get the hang of it though. 
•A few of the characters were a little underdeveloped. 
•Some rough spots with the dialogue. 

My Rating: 7/10

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Film Columbia 2017


The Square
What an interesting film to kick off the film festival. Claes Bang gives a good performance as Christian, a curator at a contemporary art museum. Part satire, part drama, and a surprising amount of humor. Definitely took some turns I wasn’t expecting. Didn’t think it needed to be almost two and a half hours and some scenes dragged a little, but it’s a fascinating movie that’s worth checking out. 
My Rating: 7.5/10

Suburbicon
Directed by George Clooney from a Cohen Brothers script, this dark comedy was amazing. Well written, outstanding acting (especially Julianne Moore and the little boy who plays Matt Damon’s son), and so much more. Despite being slightly over the top in the last 30 minutes, this is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. 
My Rating: 9/10

The Russians Are Coming
From what I understand, this black and white movie was made in 1968 but was banned by East Germany (partially because it features a Nazi as the protagonist) before it was completely finished. Years later the director was finally able to piece everything together and restore the movie as best he could. So I can forgive the movie for the extremely choppy editing. It’s an interesting story but there were times where it was dull as well. Caught myself nodding off a little. 
My Rating: 6/10

The Wound
Powerful South African drama about Xolani, a factory worker who every year travels to the mountains to help initiated into the traditional right of passage into manhood. Well acted, especially considering out of the whole cast only one is a professional actor. Beautiful cinematography as well. Best way I can describe it is it’s kind of like the African Brokeback Monutain. 
My Rating: 8.5/10

A Fantastic Woman
Strong performance by Daniela Vega as Marina, a transgendered waitress/singer whose world is turned upside down by the sudden death of her much older boyfriend Orlando and having to deal with his hateful family in the aftermath. A little tough to watch during one scene in particular, but it’s a great movie that I highly recommend. 
My Rating: 9/10

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Interesting documentary about the impact Native American music has had on other genres throughout the years. While it’s your typical documentary and I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, it’s worth checking out if you’re a music fan. 
My Rating: 7.5/10

I, Tonya
A late addition to the festival (they were suppose to be showing The Current War, but it’s a Weinstein Company movie so it was pulled for obvious reasons). The movie is about infamous figure skater Tonya Harding (played brilliantly by Margot Robbie). Supporting cast was really good as well, including Allison Janney as Tonya’s mother (I can see her getting a Best Supporting Actress nomination). My only real complaint is they do the whole break the fourth wall thing. It was fine at first but became overkill after awhile. 
My Rating: 8/10

Wind Seed
Well I can see why this was banned initially for “not being a movie”. Not a god damn thing happens here. A guy drives around (there’s a lot of driving in this movie) overseeing a highway development, another guy riding a bike hanging up movie posters, and someone else looking for the dog that bit him. That’s about it. I was bored out of my mind! Kept nodding off. What was the point? I’m pretty open minded when it comes to movies but this tested my patience. Only nice thing I can say is it’s competently shot. Avoid at all costs. 
My Rating: 4/10

The Nile Hilton Incident
Thrilling crime drama about a maid who witnesses a murder and the policeman assigned to the case. Of course, there’s all sorts of corruption and certain important people that don’t want the case solved. If you’re into these types of movies I think you’ll like this as well. 
My Rating: 8/10

Maya Dardel 
Beautifully shot movie about a poet (played by the captivating Lena Olin) who plans on ending her life and has young male poets compete to be executer of her estate. Very slow paced and certainly won’t be for everyone. 
My Rating: 6/10

Last Flag Flying
Richard Linklater’s latest movie about three Vietnam veterans (Steve Carrell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne, all three of whom give incredible performances) who reunite 30 years later to help bury one of their sons, who was killed while serving in Iraq. You’ll want to have plenty of tissues handy because this well made drama will hit you right in the feels. There’s also plenty of humor injected throughout. Well written script. One of the best movies I’ve seen this year. Highly recommended. 
My Rating: 10/10

1945
Black and white Hungarian film taking place over the course of a single day on August 12, 1945. Two mysterious Jewish men arrive in a village. Things drastically change for everyone in just a few hours. I found the story very interesting that even with the war over, how horribly the Jewish people were still being treated. The movie itself though played out a bit too much like a soap opera with all the drama and betrayal. None of the acting really stood out to me either. Still, if you’re into period pieces it’s worth checking out if it ever comes to Netflix. 
My Rating: 7/10

Chavela
Documentary about musician Chavela Vargas. I’ll admit up until now I had never heard of her. What an interesting and talented woman. A must watch for music fans. 
My Rating: 8/10

120 Beats Per Minute
Takes place in 1990. A group of activists work hard to fight the indifference towards AIDS. At the heart of it also is this beautiful love story. What I appreciate about this movie is that they didn’t shy away from showing how how brutal AIDS is. You see every agonizing minute of suffering. Tough to sit through (be sure to have plenty of tissues handy) but I highly recommend it. Could’ve used some tighter editing but other than that it’s an amazing movie. 
My Rating: 9/10

Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
Tells the story of Peter Turner (Jamie Bell) who had a relationship with aging Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening). I’ll be honest, the saving grace of this movie for me was Jamie Bell and Annette Benning. They played the roles well and I thought they had very good chemistry. But the movie overall was a bit of a mess- direction, script, editing, visual effects (not that there was a lot of visual effects, but there were a few moments where it was painfully obvious they were standing in front of a green screen and not on the beach or looking out at the city skyline), etc. I also felt like it was trying way too hard to be an Oscar contender. Is it worth seeing? Sure. But I wouldn’t suggest paying to see it in theaters. 
My Rating: 6.5/10

Dog Days
It’s not even worth going into detail about. All I’ll say is the direction is competent enough, which is why I’m not giving this an even lower rating. This director needs to hire a writer instead of writing himself because he’s terrible at it. Characters are so unlikeable. Avoid this. 
My Rating: 3/10

Let Yourself Go
With all the somber movies that have been playing at the festival, this Italian comedy was such a nice change of pace. The two main actors were amazing and played off of each other very well. If you ever come across this gem, I highly recommend it. 
My Rating: 9/10

The Ballad of Lefty Brown
They don’t make too many Westerns like this anymore. Wasn’t really feeling it at first (mainly Bill Pullman who I’m a fan of but I feel like he was slightly miscast) but it got better as the movie event on. Stunning cinematography and it was nice to find out it was shot on film. Tommy Flanagan (aka Chibbs from SOA) was great in this and I would’ve liked to have seen it focused more on him. Was a little too predictable. While far from the best Western I’ve ever seen, it’s worth checking out. 
My Rating: 8/10

Happy End
FUCK.THIS.MOVIE. From the director of Amour. That’s all you need to know. Safe to say I won’t be watching any of his films again. 
My Rating: 2/10

Loveless
Russia’s selection into this years Best Foreign Movie Oscar. A couple is soon to be divorced and neither really wants custody of their 12 year old son. Soon the boy goes missing. Well made, but very disturbing. Tough to watch. If you’re a parent I would stay far away from this. 
My Rating: 8/10

The Rape of Recy Taylor
Documentary about Recy Taylor, a young African American woman who was brutally raped by 6 white men. Very powerful and something I think everyone should see. I say this all the time but it makes me sick to my stomach to think that this occurred decades ago and really not much has changed since then. 
My Rating: 10/10

Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death
Documentary about death and dying. Sounds depressing? Yeah, it is but not nearly as much as you would think. I enjoyed the second half more than I did the first half (not that the first half was bad). I was especially fascinated with the segments on cryogenics and near death experiences. 
My Rating: 7.5/10

The Leisure Seeker
Heartwarming (and at times very funny) movie starring the great Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland. While not their best roles, I thought they were very sweet together. 
My Rating: 7/10

The Florida Project
Beautifully made movie about childhood taking place over a single summer on the outskirts of Disney World. Brooklynn Prince shines as Mooney. What a talented little girl. I hope she continues to be in more movies. William Dafoe gives an award worthy performance (as Bobby, the manager at the Magic Castle hotel) as well. Highly recommended. 
My Rating: 10/10

In The Fade
I can see why Diane Kruger has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz. There’s something seriously wrong if she doesn’t get nominated for her strong (and heartbreaking) role as a grieving woman whose husband and young son are killed in a bomb attack. Wasn’t that crazy about the ending but other than that it was well done. 
My Rating: 9/10

Call Me By Your Name
This was such a chore to get through. It’s a well made movie with gorgeous locations but I kept nodding off. The very definition of an art house movie. Awkward line delivery. Not a big fan of Armie Hammer’s performance in this either. 
My Rating: 5.5/10

Lady Bird
The Saturday night surprise movie this year. Absolutely wonderful coming of age story. Great mother/daughter dynamic between Saoirse Ronan and Lauren Metcalf. Impressive directorial debut of Greta Gerwig, whom I’ve always liked as an actress and now I’d love to see her direct more. Highly recommended. 
My Rating: 10/10

The Other Side of Hope
Aki Kaurismäki tackles the refugee crisis masterfully in this movie about a poker player turned restauranteur who befriends a Syrian refugee. Well acted and there was even some humor sprinkled throughout (this director uses very deadpan humor and it may not be for everyone). It started off a little slow to come together but other than that a great movie that I strongly urge everyone to see. 
My Rating: 8.5/10

Faces Places
Documentary (although some of it feels a bit staged at times) about the unlikely friendship between director Agnes Varda and photographer J.R. as they travel through France creating these beautiful poster photos, placing them on buildings and other locations throughout various villages. Fascinating. I also liked the very creative opening/closing animated credits. 
My Rating: 7.5/10

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The great Frances McDormand stars as a woman who, after several months and no progress of in her daughter’s murder case, boldly creates three billboards going into town aimed at the chief of police (Woody Harrelson). WOW!! What a movie to end my festival experience this year. I knew it would be good but holy shit was I blown away. Great job by all cast and crew. Strong story that once again shows you how fucked up the police system really is. McDormand gives one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. She better get an Oscar nomination. Once this is released in theaters I strongly urge everyone to see this. 
My Rating: 10/10

Friday, October 20, 2017

Geostorm

Plot (HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!):
When a group of satellites designed to control the weather start attacking the Earth instead, it creates a huge geostorm that threatens to wipe everyone and everything out. 

Pros:
•Make no mistake people, this is a shitty movie. But oh what glorious shit it is! I had a blast watching this from beginning to end. 
•Gerard Butler as an astronaut. He’s a terrible actor don’t get me wrong, but there’s a certain charm in how bad he is. 
•Andy Garcia as the President. Still would make a better President than Trump. 
•Such over the top “acting” by the extras when they’re reacting to all the disasters. I was laughing hysterically several times throughout the movie. 
•Surprisingly had some heart to it. Granted those moments were VERY brief but it still, more than I was expecting. 
•Somewhat decent score. 
•I’m giving this a much higher rating than I thought I would, simply because I had so much fun. This is the type of movie that’s so bad it’s good and one I recommend watching with a group of friends. You’ll have a great time guaranteed. 

Cons:
•As soon as I saw the first trailer for this what seems like forever ago, I thought, “This guy went to the Rolland Emmerich school of directing.” Sure enough, it’s one of his protégés. 
•There’s a certain actor that as soon as he appears on screen, you know he’s going to be revealed as the bad guy. Just look on the IMDb page and I’m sure you can figure it out. 
•For a movie with a budget of $120 million, the visual effects were awful. 
•Cringeworthy dialogue. 

My Rating: 5.5/10

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Unknown Girl

Plot:
Dr. Jenny Davin (Adèle Haenel) becomes obsessed with the case of an unknown dead woman after learning that the woman died shortly after ringing her doorbell for help. 

Pros:
•Interesting story about guilt and how, even if something wasn’t your fault or you didn’t know what would happen, it can still eat away at you. 
•Really good performance by Adèle Harnel, who a lot of the time is acting simply with her eyes or facial expressions (although she does have plenty of dialogue too). She remind me a lot of a young Kate Winslet. Looks exactly like her too. 

Cons:
•Became a little dull at times. There were long stretches where all the main character was doing was making house calls to her patients (we get get, she’s a doctor) or driving around in her car with somber expression on her face. It felt like a waste of time. Time that could’ve been put to better use. 
•It’s an interesting story as I just said, but I feel like they could’ve done more with it. 

My Rating: 7/10

Friday, October 13, 2017

Marshall

Plot:
Focuses on a young Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman), who at the time was working as a lawyer for the NAACP. He teams up with Sam Friedman (Josh Gad) to take on the case of a black chauffeur who stands accused of raping Connecticut socialite Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson). 

Pros:
•If you’re going into this expecting a full on biopic of Thurgood Marshall you’re going to be a little disappointed. However, you do get a very compelling courtroom drama. The film focuses instead on this one specific case he worked on early in his career. I of course knew who Marshall was but I had never heard of this case. It’s interesting they chose to go in this direction. 
•While Chadwick Boseman doesn’t look like the real Marshall at all, he really embodies who he was. Had me convinced. He has a commanding presence on screen. Very charming as well. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. 
•Josh Gad was great in this as well. It’s weird because the only things I’ve really seen him in lately are Disney movies. I’d love to see him take on more roles like this. He and Chadwick Boseman‘s relationship in this is probably my favorite things about the movie. They work well together plus there’s a surprising amount of humor. 
•Some nice cinematography. I liked the warm color tones they chose here. 
•We need more movies like this, especially with everything going on lately. 
•God damn it Dan Stevens! I love you and all but you’re such an asshole in this. Played the part well though. 

Cons:
•Felt very rushed in the beginning. 
•A few of the scenes were so awkwardly shot. They were suppose to be serious and dramatic but instead they turned out unintentionally funny. Maybe in the hands of a slightly more competent director they would’ve been fine. 

My Rating: 8/10

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Fencer

Plot:
After fleeing from the Russian secret police years earlier, a young fencer named Endel (Märt Avandi) is forced to return to his homeland. Eventually, his past catches up with him. 

Pros:
•Outstanding performance by Märt Avandi. Had it been a lesser actor the movie might not have worked. 
•Going into this I had no idea it was based on a true story. It makes me want to look up more information about the real Endel. 
•I’m not a fan of fencing at all but this movie made it interesting.
•Supporting cast, especially the kids, were for the most part really good. 
•Beautifully shot and directed. 

Cons:
•Follows many of the same tropes you see in these types of movies. 
•The principal of the school where Endel teaches and is suppose to be what you would call a villain, is kind of one dimensional. But not in a cartoonish way or anything. 
•While they paint a good picture, I would’ve liked to have seen them delve further into the story of what it was like like living in Estonia under Soviet rule. 

My Rating: 8/10

Friday, October 6, 2017

Blade Runner 2049 (3D)

Plot:
30 years after the events of the first film, young blade runner K (Ryan Gosling) discovers a long buried secret that leads him to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing this whole time. 

Pros:
•I was kind of skeptical when they first announced they were making this movie but they thankfully proved me wrong. Wow!! You can tell all of the people working on this love this material. It’s a very worthy successor to the 1982 classic. 
•Denis Villeneuve was the perfect choice to direct. He’s so good at directing these very slow burning, smart sci fi movies that don’t need to rely on big fight scenes and blow em up action. Make no mistake, there’s fights and action and it’s totally bad ass, but it’s not overkill they way a lot of movies are these days. 
•Very fascinating and (for the most part) well written characters. The story was as well. 
•Wasn’t as predictable as you might expect. I thought I knew how things were going to go and then BAM! It took me by surprise. 
•Good god is this movie gorgeous! Not only the world that they’ve created but little things as well. Like the way they cast shadows or filters on characters in certain scenes. 
•Ryan Gosling was really good but I have to say Harrison Ford gives his best performance in years. 
•Don’t be afraid of the nearly three hour run time. It flys by! When it cut to the credits I was like, “What?!?! That’s it? NOOOO! Keep going damn it.” I was so in love with this world that I never wanted the movie to end. 

Cons:
•These are just very minor nitpicks that I decided aren’t worth lowering my rating but felt I should tell you about. Mainly, I wouldn’t  suggest seeing this in 3D. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad 3D but the movie is already dark enough and this only makes it darker and makes things hard to make out in certain scenes. 
•I wasn’t crazy about Jared Leto’s performance. Thankfully he’s not in the movie that much. 

My Rating: 10/10

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Marjorie Prime

Plot:
Takes place in the near future. 86 year old Marjorie (Lois Smith) has a new companion- a holographic  recreation of the younger version of her deceased husband Walter (Jon Hamm). It tells the story of her life back to her. 

Pros:
•Some very interesting ideas about memory, loss, and love. 
•Good performances, especially by Jon Hamm, Lois Smith, and Tim Robbins. 

Cons:
•While the movie had some good ideas, they weren’t executed very well. If only the had gone just a little more in depth, especially about the primes. 
•There were time jumps that were so abrupt that I thought I had somehow fallen asleep and missed a good chunk of the movie. 
•Very dry and at times dull. 
•Felt more like a stage play than a movie. 
•Trailer was a little misleading. 
•While it’s not a bad movie by any means (believe me I’ve seen way worse this year), I can’t say that I recommend it. Not even as a Netflix watch. My suggestion is if you’re looking for a movie with similar themes go and watch Her (if you haven’t already done so). It’s amazing. 

My Rating: 6/10

Friday, September 29, 2017

Battle of the Sexes

Plot:
Based on the true story of the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). 

Pros:
•Emma Stone & Steve Carell were absolutely amazing. I hope they make more movies together in the future. I know it’s still a little early, but depending on how things go I could see Emma Stone getting another Oscar nomination. 
•Such a fascinating story that, while I had heard about it and knew the outcome, I didn’t know too many details. It seems like they stayed true to what really happened. 
•Such a strong, positive message. Especially for women. 
•Really nailed down the look of the time period. 
•I am not a tennis fan at all. But damn if I wasn’t glued to the edge of my seat during that last match. Kudos to the directors. 

Cons:
•While I thought the movie was very good, it didn’t really pick up for me until it actually got to the Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs match and the events leading up to it. 
•A few very brief Hollywood moments typical in a movie like this. 

My Rating: 8.5/10

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