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La La Land (2016)
One of the greatest films I have ever seen!!!!
La La Land is a joy to watch from beginning to end. I mean it is truly a love story to old school Hollywood and theater musicals. From the singing to the dancing and to the love story that goes throughout it. The film was really so much fun to see play out on the big screen. I am really glad I got see this movie.
La La Land stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling who both have dreams they wish to accomplish in life. One wants to own a jazz club and the other desires to be a Hollywood actress. They each push one another with all there might to help the other succeed at making there dreams come true. While also finding solace in one another as well.
The film combines the modern day idea of dreaming with the older style of it in a very well done way. Showing both the realities of being Los Angeles and the more glamorized version of Los Angeles as well. This makes for a more enjoyable experience when you come out the theater.
Overall La La Land is a film I would highly recommend people check out. There is a lot of great fun here and a lot of enjoyment in it as well.
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
A harsh and depressing film that feels sluggish at times
This was a film I had no real desire to see. The trailers for this film didn't look that great and the way everything looked very low budget and the story just never grabbed me. But I did go see this film, and I can say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Manchester by the sea is the story of Lee Chandler who has to take care of his brother's son after he dies. He tries his best to come back from his families tragedies as we see through out the course of the film what had happened to them and why Lee is so depressed.
The first thing you will note is that the film has a flashback problem. It doesn't tell you when it goes back in time instead it just does. Which can work sometimes with certain directors, but here I just ended up feeling dazed and confused by the whole thing.
Still the film does have this charming wit to it that I noticed a lot in the characters and the way they reacted to things. This film understands the pain people go through and how it isn't always a easy fix and everything takes time to heal. the film also doesn't ever try to be super upbeat even in its lighter moments. It understands the story it is trying to tell.
And yet something about the film feels off. The film doesn't ever make me feel a great sense of depression to the point where I am attached to Lee Chandler. I feel bad for him, but I don't really feel what he is going through. And because of that the film can feel like it moves at this real sluggish pace at times.
Perhaps it is the direction of the film? The film is written and directed by the same person. A man named Kenneth Lonergan. He has written many films in the past, but has only directed three of them. And while I feel this film has some great lines and some neat cinematography I feel like with the help of a more seasoned director this film could have more feeling put inside it.
As it is the film is not bad though I simply feel there is more potential here that I just didn't see.
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
A film that you need to watch
Kubo and the Two Strings is a fantastic animated film about a young boy who has these magical abilities and uses them to tell stories to the town. One day his evil aunts return to take Kubo's other eye away from him and bring him with them to his grandfather's side. And so the boy ends up on the run being chased them. While on the run he meets a Monkey and a Beetle who join him on his journey.
The animation in this film is so cool looking and freaky as well. The animation is so fluid and very well translates the story from scene to scene in a very cool and very inventive way that I really liked. The way the stop motion worked really drew me in to the direction of the film and made it more interesting.
I also really liked the action pieces in this film. I have always been a fan of Japanese animation and everything about this film feels very ancient Japan. The sword fights are cool to see and so are the battles within the film as well. Everything about the action I thought was very well done and just pulled me more into the film.
I also thought the performances were really good as you couldn't even tell the voices were who they turned out to be. They all sounded so different from how these actors normally sound like and that was something that I just found to be really interesting as well. it was a really neat way of doing voice work.
Overall I would highly recommend Kubo. It is kinda sucky that such a well made film made so little at the box office. Still though it is a really strong film that I think can really captivate you from start to finish.
Sing Street (2016)
A joy to watch from beginning to end
From the very start of this film I could tell there was something very different about this film. From the characters to the set design everything about it was pretty amazing. It drew me in to learn more about the world that it was inhabiting. Everything about it felt real and true to how characters in this time period would act. None of it felt like it was a 2016 film. All of it made me feel like I was there in this time with these characters.
Sing Street is a story of a young boy in in the 1980s of Dublin who goes to this catholic school and has a pretty hard time making it there. It is pretty hard for him there are many bullies at every corner and the principal is also pretty hard on him as well from the very start. The whole film feels like it is taking you on this ride with this kid as he finds a group of friends and decides to create a band together in it.
The music in this film is amazing. I found myself moving my head to the beats of the music as it was just so enjoyable and fun. I love how the kids in the film used music too as a way to deal with the hardships that they were going through. It really made me feel more connected to the characters that inhabited this world. And the importance music had for them.
The romance in the film is also pretty well done as it is a really powerful add on to the movie that makes our main character have even more depth than he already had. This film was a absolute joy for me to watch and I am glad I did.
This film is just a good time to watch.
A interesting idea that falters a bit in execution
Passengers is a interesting tale about a man named Jim who wakes up early on a space ship and has to live a life alone in solitude on it. Sadly though he just hates being alone and makes the worst decision of his life by waking of Jennifer Lawrence's character named Auora, and from there that is how the story continues on.
Passengers is a very beautiful looking movie with a lot of great visuals. The ship that they are on looking really amazing and very cool and was one of the first things that captivated me about this film. It was so interesting just to look at. Everything about it felt lived in and part of this bigger world. This was something I found that I loved about the movie from start to finish and was defiantly its best feature.
This is also a movie with a lot of neat concepts going on in it. From the way solitude can affect us, and the decisions that we make and how they affect others around us. Sadly though the film doesn't go as far enough in those concepts as you would wish and instead tries to take a more safer route instead making for a slightly less interesting film with a narrative that feels a bit more flat and standard.
This feels like a good film that has a really great film that is trying to break free from within it. There are so many parts of the film that are still good and kept me interested as I was never bored within it, but I couldn't help but feel that it was missing something too. Something that was more thought provoking.
As it stands I do thing Passengers is a OK film to watch, but not one you need to rush out to see unless you just really want to look at the pretty visuals.
Rogue One (2016)
The first Star Wars anthology works well
To preface I did read Catalyst: A Star Wars story before watching the movie so my opinion is through that eye. This movie for me was amazing. I mean I really loved this film quite a bit. I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I did with Force Awakens, but I still came out with a huge grin on my face when it was all over.
The film starts a little bit slow. It takes time to introduce all the characters and tie up some plot points that were left in the book. The movie is a bit bumpy with the lack of a opening crawl which I felt was a huge issue for me and something this movie could of used to better set the scene and explain to fans where this movie takes place in the Star Wars time line.
But from the second act to the last the movie really ramps up and gets really intense. Characters die at the hands of enemies. Things start to falter very quickly as the rebels fight to make sure that the death star hands don't get back into the hands of the Empire before it is to late for things to change.
The character of Krennic is a really interesting character who you can't help but feel bad for. This is a man who wanted nothing than to be accepted by Darth Vader and Tarkin as a equal, but sadly was never able to do that as the two absolutely shun him away, and never hear him out.
Felicity Jones I thought could of used a bit more depth to her character though. We get some idea of what type of person she is and her back story, but it sadly isn't enough to really make us care about her in the way we do for some of the other characters.
This whole film really is lacking in the character department as it focuses a lot on plot. And that is a little bit of a hindrance and makes it not as fun and vibrant as the Force Awakens, but even so it is still a very strong film that is a much needed add on to the rest of the Star Wars universe.
Ghostbusters is just OK. Not bad or good just well..OK
There has been so much unneeded hate around this movie. People are raging out and yelling about how bad it is and how dare they take away my Ghostbusters cause they love it soo stupidly much. But with so much hate comes a lot of curiosity as well. I had to see the film and see how good or bad it really was.
And after seeing it. It is well..neither. It has some good stuff in it. Like for instance I really liked Leslie Jones as Patty and Kristen Wiig as well. But then there was Melissa McCarthy whose character I really did not like and was really two dimensional and boring as well. I think the choice to make this a straight comedy was a really bad decision. A lot of the jokes fall flat on there face and they hurt really badly.
Paul Feig has made some good movies before but this isn't really one of them. The man struggles to find good direction in a muddle of air and it just sadly doesn't live up to what could of been a really decent film.
Welcome back to the Wizarding World
It has been quite some time since the last Harry Potter film that ended off the battle against Voldermort and Harry living happily ever after. The story was over and we were all sad to see it leave, but we were also happy back when we heard we were getting prequel films. Still there were a lot of mixed reactions on the idea if Warner Bros was just trying to milk the franchise for all it was and wasn't caring about telling a good cohesive narrative. But let me put those fears to rest.
Fantastic Beasts is a joy to watch.
It is a world were we the original Harry fans are finally older now and these new characters are all adults too. The beasts are fun and good to watch. The story keeps you entertained and Newt's development is a ride you will enjoy taking from beginning to end. You learn to love these characters and the story there trying to tell. It is just in general a really great time to see. Fantastic Beasts is quite amazing.
The film does suffer from some pacing issues though. I didn't really like how it transitioned from the dark and terrible story to the more light hearted stories they were trying to tell. Katherine Waterson's character I thought also needed more to do in this film as her journey wasn't as compelling as I really wanted it to be either. Ezra Miller played a very good villain, but because of the strange transitions didn't really allow for you to care enough about his struggles or what he was going through.
Still overall this is a very well made film. It pulls the fans of this franchise back into this world in a big way and keeps it fun as well. I love all the actors involved in making this movie and I love the characters that go with them. The story was engaging from beginning to end and all in between. This movie gets a thumbs up for me
The campy return of Adam West mixed with our more adult look at Batman
Batman has changed a lot since the days of Adam West came and put on the suit. It is to the point where it seems like no one even remembers that Adam West was the original Batman. However DC animation has helped bring back the old Adam West styled Batman in a major way. While also realizing those original fans have probably grew up now so is more willing to lace the film with more sexual humor and also press buttons with the whole Batman taking around a boy with tights and how strange that really is.
This movie also takes a clean shot at the new darker Batman who is more willing to be on the edge and do whatever it takes to make the villains pay for there crimes. It is quite a interesting look on what Batman was in the 60s to what Batman is today.
Catwoman also is updated to be a little more similar to the type of character she has become today. Selina Kyle has started to run that line between hero and villain and this movie easily lets us know that is trying to do that. From her working with the boy wonder to help Batman or taking on the villains she had once partnered with. The film does a great job showing us the new Catwoman.
Overall Batman Return of the Caped Crusaders is a great return to that 60s Batman world and knows how to have fun with its inclusive stories and campy aspects as well. The movie is quite a whole lot of fun to enjoy for those fans
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
Star Trek Beyond injects life back into science fiction
From the very start of the trailer I was looking forward to Star Trek Beyond very much. Not as much as something like Star Wars or Passengers, but I did want to see it. Despite not liking the sequel known as "Into Darkness" Star Trek Beyond defiantly was a strong film. It was not as good as the first film, but it did bring back that fun action adventure vibe to the franchise.
The story is still fun and vibrant, but also simple and easy to follow. It makes these characters feel even more alive than they were before and makes you really connect with them in new ways. You fall back in love with Spock and Kirk's relationship again along with the romance between Zoe Saldana's character and Spock. Also a hand clap should be given to Simon Pegg's character too for being a pretty great comedic relief.
The new characters are also great like Jaylah who I would love to see again if this franchise continues. I absolutely loved her. She had a great personality and I couldn't help but want more scenes with her.
Overall this is a really strong film for Star Trek fans and I think people should check it out!!