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Rogue One (2016)
Amazing Movie With Great Moments of Humor
This is actually my favorite Star Wars movie plot wise. I'm aware that many will disagree, but this film nails everything perfectly. The comical moments did not feel out of place, and the character development was spot on. Not only does it set up episodes 4, 5, and 6 well it also gives you a heroic story of triumph and loss.
This is a great film for Star Wars buffs, film fans, or just those who like a good action flick.
Real Score: 8.9/10
13 Reasons Why (2017)
An Honest Look At Modern Society
13 Reasons Why is a brilliant look at the unspoken High School culture. Millennials and post-millennials who grew up with technology understand the magnitude of bullying and how toxic the culture can be.
Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) is a teenager at the focal point of the series, her story is riveting, emotional, tragic, and is a cautionary tale to everyone who tells individuals to "just get over it" without knowing the full extent of their life story.
The show in no way glorifies suicide, but it does use amazing plot techniques to detail the lives of each character. Personally, the show is amazing and extremely difficult to watch - because all aspects of culture are extremely present in modern society.
The journey of Clay Jenson (Dylan Minnette) throughout the first season is a reflection of what so many must feel in his situation. Minnette does an amazing job of expressing emotion, regret, and self-disappointment. His scenes with Langford and Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro) were the highlights of the first season - as the chemistry he had with both was compelling, meaningful, and poignant.
Langford is an actress I hope to have the opportunity to work with in the future as her performance is inspiring and uplifting, in what was a difficult role.
Despite so much push back from many who would like to brush the issues 13 Reasons Why brings up under the rug, it's an important and well-written program that pushes the boundaries of what can be discussed in modern entertainment.
Real Score: 9.6
Get Out (2017)
Not As Good As I Hoped
While the premise is quality and the on-screen chemistry between Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams was great - the movie fell a bit flat for me. The writing could have gone in a number of different creative directions and the final script was not the best choice.
I left the movie without feeling the overall scope of the difficulty with inter racial dating in the United States. Which could have been a terrific arc, especially with the political leanings of Rose's (Allison Williams) father. Instead the movie turned into a basic thriller afterwards.
The overall acting was good, the music was fine, and there weren't any major editing flaws. However, I was expecting far more from this film.
Overall Score: 6.2
I did not have high expectations coming into this film, long had I forgotten how much I enjoyed these books as a child. It pushes the edge of what is acceptable for small children, yet I would not see any problems with a five years old seeing the film.
Odeya Rush and Amy Ryan provided quality performances, I felt they were more engaging than Jack Black. Rush has a bit of charm to go with her natural beauty which will allow her flexibility in the future if she has quality representation.
While Black was not bad he just didn't "feel" like RL Stine if you ever have seen an interview with the author. His performance felt like Jack Black playing himself, which does has entertainment quality within itself. I was not impressed with Dylan Minnette, he has a long way to go as an actor.
The story arc was all encompassing of Stine's work and made use of his more popular characters. Unfortunately the dialogue was slightly off, yet was acceptable for being catered towards children.
Overall it is an enjoyable movie that everyone can enjoy. I could definitely see more Goosebumps movies in the future.
Real Score: 6.8
Very Depressing Insight To Humanity
If this had been a film crafted without any factual basis I would have given it a one. The characters were incompetent beyond reason. Only two throughout the film used any form of rational thought.
Even a basic understanding of police procedure was not understood. After watching the film I researched the incident and the only detail that was changed made the film less disturbing than actual events.
It is remarkable that this was the worst out of 70 incidents. Perhaps not so much for it being the worst, yet the fact this happened on 70 different occasions.
I am very familiar with the Milgram experiments and this movie goes to show just how little we question authority. The acting was very well done, but I felt the movie should have spent more time on the court proceedings that followed.
The end result was disturbing as well. I had a hard time enjoying the movie with how senseless the main characters acted.
Real Score: 5.4
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The small scope not only made the adventure more exciting, but allowed for a more intimate experience which allowed a personal connection to almost every character displayed.
The acting was all spot on and it was personally satisfying to see the magnificent Julianne Moore perform extremely well in her role. The script was done in a way that you could realistically believe a number of characters could have been the antagonist.
If you enjoy a great edge of your seat thriller, this is a movie you will definitely enjoy.
True Score: 9.5
Beautiful, Stunning, Yet Missing Something
The cinematography of this movie was amazing, it is visually beautiful. The story within itself is very relevant to the socio-economic situations of society today. There are numerous elements of class warfare, the subjugation of the middle and lower class to substandard living reins strong throughout.
The message of the plight of the poor leaves a psychological mark on the viewer as the wealthy within the film never show any care for their lives nor their well being. Aside from one character that mostly stays in the background, which is a shame.
I felt the acting was quality aside from Sharlto Copley (Kruger), who left a lot to be desired whenever he was depicted. Instead of depicting the character with a more psychological interpretation he went with the stereotypical violence enthused henchman.
While that could also be a result of the writing as overall it did feel that something was missing from each character to make you care about their plight. The aforementioned character that could have shown a more human element of Elysium was an extremely minor character, a gross missed opportunity to improve the plot.
Nothing about Matt Damon's character truly captures the situation of Earth and why change is needed. He seems forced into his role out of his own selfish desires rather than out of the common good. Which in essence makes him no better than those on Elyisum.
While the over arching theme of the movie is outstanding, the cinematography eye catching, and the action seems well executed there were a number of missed opportunities that caused the movie to go from memorable to a movie that was simply enjoyable at the time.
True Score: 6.6
I did not know what to expect when I began watching as it was recommended by a friend, I also did not look at the cast prior to viewing as well. This was a bit of a different role for Hugh Jackman, while it was not his best performance he still performed well. Sigourney Weaver performed well in her role as well that was not that much of a challenge for her artistically.
I was shocked to see Die Antwoord in a production such as Chappie, but neither were awful. I thought Yo-Landi left something to be desired with her performance in certain scenes, yet it did not take away too much from the movie as a entirety. I felt the best acting performance came from Dev Patel who delivered when he needed to do so and embraced his role. It was also nice seeing Jose Pablo Cantillo in this movie.
The script itself in certain points did not make much sense, leaving me to question the logic behind a few scenes and plot development. Neill Blomkamp seemed to be at creative loss at times and forced certain developments that didn't make much sense near the beginning of the movie.
However, portions of the dialogue do bring up a number of philosophical points about life, death, religion, and the meaning of life if you are able to catch them. I felt that aspect of the script was well done along with the comedy elements that were scattered throughout the film.
The shooting of certain scenes also left something to be desired, but it was not bad enough to derail the movie completely. For those that have seen Distric 9, Chappie looks very similar to the earlier Blomkamp film. Overall I would say this is a movie worth watching, while I felt it could have been better it was still executed fairly well.
True Score: 6.3
Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
Ahead Of Its Time
I wish Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt collaborated on further scripts as the writing is what stands out the most. It is extremely intelligent, witty, and really makes you understand the life circumstances of the two main characters.
It has more serious tone than more recent Romantic Comedies, yet is still light enough to make you laugh during certain instances. I was really impressed with Heather's acting and how she was able to perpetuate her character's sexuality on screen. In contrast, Jennifer displayed a very conservative character well.
This movie sat on my watch list for a year as I never expected much from it. I was extremely surprised by how well rounded the movie was and the unconventional nature of it. I would definitely say it is worth watching. But do not go into it expecting it to be the typical Romantic Comedy, as it definitely is not.
True Score: 7.3
While the movie did give a feel to be a precursor to the final film, I felt that it did not detract from the feel, emotion, or overall story of the franchise. This was my favorite film in the franchise to date, with the first being just slightly behind it.
The acting and story really did a great job at bringing the struggle of the first two films to a tipping point. There were several well done emotional points and I felt the Gale character was very well developed. Liam Hemsworth did an amazing job with the role.
Jennifer Lawrence was amazing and I really enjoyed what Julianne Moore and Mahershala Ali brought to the franchise as well.
Real Score: 8.5