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La La Land (2016)
I so looked forward to this film and was greatly disappointed. I find it hard to believe that it is being spoken of as an Oscar contender. Ryan Gosling was fairly good in his movements but rather weak in singing. Emma Stone is awful; I do not comprehend her popularity at all; she never seems genuine to me; I feel I can tell she's acting and cannot get into her character. Some of the dancing scenes were downright silly and the songs unrealistic, thereby giving a feeling of falsehood. The main premise was believable but depicted poorly. The cinematography was fine as were the period artifacts displayed, lending authenticity to the era. However, overall it was simply a letdown and I cannot recommend it to anyone at all.
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
good but loud
I can safely say I'm glad I saw this film for the truly remarkable and awe-inspiring underlying story. However, it was extremely loud and gory in the battle scenes. I had to cover my ears and look down several times. But the humanitarianism of the central figure and how he came to influence and change the minds of his fellow soldiers was remarkable. I believe both the film and Andrew Garfield deserve Academy Awards. The cinematography of the rural scenes was very good but I was simply astounded during the battle scenes. They were so realistic that many folks in the theater were exclaiming and jumping every few seconds. I was caught up and fearful and often shed tears. It was a very emotional experience for me both in sadness and joy. It truly told a story of the horror of war and one man's effort to help no matter what. I was very moved and inspired to spread peace on earth in whatever way I can as an individual.
The Girl on the Train (2016)
I never read the book so did not know what to expect at all. At first, it seemed like an interesting mystery compounded by the black-out memories of the main character and I was anxious to solve it. As it progressed it became apparent that she was truly off kilter due to mainly drinking so it was very confusing. Without revealing the end, it should be noted that this is truly a sicko story filled with dysfunctional people all selfishly pursuing their libidinous desires. Each one cares not for the rights or feelings of others so multiple people get irrevocably hurt. I don't comprehend how anyone can come up with a story like this or would want to. I felt that no one in the theater truly enjoyed it and I know I didn't although I remained till the end in the hopes of some redeeming quality; there was none so I cannot recommend it to anyone. Emily Blunt did a wonderful job though, as did most of the actors.
The Dressmaker (2015)
I stayed thru the whole film although disheartened. Never have I witnessed a tale of such dysfunction and hatred. The majority of the characters were downright evil. I can't understand anyone writing such a story nor producing it into a movie. Kate Winslet was brilliant as usual and it was certainly a treat to view eye candy Hemsworth almost nude but other than that, I did not enjoy it. But the fashions she produced were fabulous as was the transformation of one of the young ladies; that was truly inspirational. The stark setting, although realistic, was boring as was the deprivation of most of the townspeople.The need for dental work alone in many characters was deplorable. All in all, I'd say this film is a true downer.
The Meddler (2015)
delightful and insightful
I didn't quite know what to expect of this film but was delightfully entertained and informed. I could identify with the main character in wanting to share my inheritance upon the death of my beloved too. I think the term "meddler" was a bit harsh but perhaps apt in the instance of her relationship with her daughter. The acting and cinematography were very good. And it was a delight to see two of my favorite character actors from "The Closer" within it: Chief Pope and Sgt Gabriel; what a treat! All subjects were treated with dignity except perhaps the pregnancy test but I can overlook that. All in all, I recommend this film to all mature folks, who filled the auditorium when I saw it and seemed to greatly enjoy it!
Sing Street (2016)
Read reviews and thought oh goodie, 80s music. The only tunes I recognized were Duran, Duran; Hall and Oates. The rest I'd never heard. The actors were good, the cinematography and sound good. The storyline was interesting and I liked the characters. However, the whole film was presented with so many negativities, some downright nasty and hateful that is was depressing. And many lines were obscured by heavy accents which made it hard to understand at times just what was going on. I was also disappointed to see so much smoking; I do believe our consciousness was already raised about the evils of tobacco during that era that it was not quite that prolific. I stayed till the end altho tempted to leave earlier but really cannot recommend this movie to anyone.
Eye in the Sky (2015)
After seeing the trailer I expected a highly-thrilling film. It was not. In fact, I was rather bored. I also like the work of Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman so was looking forward to this. I was sorely disappointed. About the only really interesting thing was realizing the scope of the intelligence personnel and equipment in place all around the world and how quickly they can all communicate verbally and visually. The premise was simplistic and I guess some writer's idea of reiterating the unfortunate consequences of conflicts between nations and unforeseen casualties, as if we don't already know that. I was not the least bit upset about the mission going forth and feel it should have been accomplished the first time. I was downright ashamed of our lieutenant and his unmanly attitude. I feel this was a whiny, liberal diatribe intended to make us all feel guilty but it surely did not work on me.
Hello, My Name Is Doris (2015)
Boring and unbelievable
I found the premise of this film mostly boring and unbelievable. That a woman of her age should even imagine being romantically linked with someone of his age is just ridiculous. That she would go to such lengths to try to pique his interest is unfathomable. The introduction to the rock band and their entourage was interesting and colorful with an insight into another world unknown to me. However, I kept sitting there waiting for her to come to her senses and move on. Her friends were interesting as was her wardrobe but for the most part I was bored and waiting for it to end. Sally Field was charming as usual but that didn't save it for me this time. Tyne Daly was superb as usual too.
too long and somewhat boring
Although a good and inspiring story, I felt this film was way too long and somewhat boring at times. It was loaded with stars who were nice to see and they all did a fine acting job. But I feel they could've found better child actors throughout. It just dragged in spots and I found myself thinking: "let's get on with it." The driving scenes and peripheral mundane action with family members could have been eliminated and not affected the story very much. And I definitely could have done without all the negativity and bad language in the wedding scene! When it was revealed that the story was of Joy Mangano near the end, I would've enjoyed seeing more about her other inventions and successes.
My All-American (2015)
I thoroughly enjoyed this inspirational and uplifting film. Altho I don't quite understand the game of football and abhor the violence of some of the plays, I still enjoyed this film. The acting was superb in almost all of the actors. The cinematography was very good. I didn't realize it was a true story till the end but feel real good to have gotten to know the main characters. It is a wonderful example of the true team spirit that can be found if we try and the keep on trying attitude of those who succeed in life. I highly recommend this film for all young men and women, especially high-schoolers. Altho I consider it a faith-based film, it was not preachy or overbearing in its message.