Saturday, January 07, 2017

Fences- review



To this day, I still regret not being able to see "Fences" on the Broadway stage (with Denzel and Viola)and not seeing "Topdog/Underdog" (with Mos Def and Jeffrey Wright).  Life goes on....and years later we have Fences on the big screen maybe someone will produce Topdog next.
I might also regret not reading the play first since it is on my to read list. It is on my bookshelf waiting for me to read it next but whatever.

Fences- is the story or Troy an ex-baseball player and an alcoholic that is having a hard time providing for his family. This moving dramatic piece is well worth the trip to the movies. I loved all of it! The acting... amazing, the setting... amazing, the directing.... amazing. I love stories that move based on people's relationships with one and other. I think the film is not getting as much praise as it should. I have watched other contenders from this year and it tops my list. I would like to see Denzel getting more director noms(just saying).

It's been a pretty good year of film if I do say so and TV series too.


Shout out to "The Get Down"


I should write some reviews and post my Oscars predictions soon but I wanted to take this time to give the of "The Get Down" a great big thank you for letting the kids be kids. In a world of films and a real world where teens are sexualized, promiscuous, and violent I want to thank you for allowing innocent kids to tell your story. Not once did these teenagers (the leads) steal, sell drugs, have sex, or do something overly violent. Although,  all of this stuff existed around them thank you for sparing me close-ups on young ladies body parts and reminding us that there are still some innocent kids left.

I had to say this after watching  one too many films that have pushed the limits.
#Waiting for Season 2......

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Collateral Beauty- review

With such great reviews I almost skipped this film but as a big Will Smith fan well you know.

Collateral Beauty - is about a man who loses his child and is having a hard time coping. Okay wait I can't spoil it here okay so he writes letters to death, time, and love who later visit him in human form. His co-workers/friends want him to get out of his disconnected state and help them keep a work deal that will make them money.

It is cheesy but all feel good movies are. I know I've said this before but I love feel good movies and I liked this one. I cried at the end and feel that this was a good role for Will Smith. It reminded me of his Fresh Prince days. I don't think this was meant to be a serious film come on people. I laughed more than I cried and I'm glad there was a spin on it. It wasn't too campy trying to be super serious like the film "It's a Wonderful Life" (a film I have never watched all the way through). I enjoyed this more than "Miracles from Heaven" and the last X-men film so that's to say it wasn't the worst movie of the year or Will's career.

My gripes: I didn't like some of the acting and some of the dialogue. I wanted to yell at the screen saying if one more person crosses the street almost getting hit by a car I'm going to scream. I think the film could have been better because it has a good story and a good message. With such a sad premise could have been horribly sad or if they added too much humor we would have thought this shouldn't be a funny movie so they rode in the middle. I know a good movie to compare it to "Reign over me", that was a great film and in comparison that story let it be without giving it in your face sappy dialogue. Last thing, I don't like the title of the film it feels like it's trying to be deeper than it is.

I think if you've been waiting to go see it, then go see it and judge for yourself.  I liked it so there's one vote for it.




Kubo and the two Strings- review



Kubo and the Two Strings- tells the story of Kubo a young boy who has magic in his guitar that can manipulate paper in his favor. Kubo and his mother have ran away and are in hiding but like every kid in a movie Kubo doesn't listen to his mother and puts their lives in jeopardy. 

The story is about love and memories and how powerful the two are. The story is sweet with memorable characters that lighten up the films dark theme. The winning element here is the style of animation and the execution of it. It took a lot of skill and attention to detail to pull off this film. I always wonder if the characters came out just like the animator pictured in their minds. Loads of fierce competition this year in the best animated feature category. Don't sleep on this one. 


Sing- review




Looks like we've seen most of the popular animated films this year except for Trolls

Sing- tells the story of Buster Moon a theater owner out to save his theater by holding a singing competition. Obstacles arise for him as he continues his shady practices and as he deals with aspiring stars that have challenges in their own lives. 

Gonna keep it short since I have nothing profound to say about the film. It was a cute movie and my son liked it. Most of the kids in the theater clapped, cheered, and sang along. For me it was a bit like watching an actual singing competition and listening to all the overplayed pop songs of the decade. I think I laughed once or twice but not much. The trailers for the film feature a good percent of the movie and it's most comedic moments. It's not the best animated film of the year but it's worth going see over this holiday break. 




Moonlight-review


As I went to fetch this photo for this review and looked at it up close I am just now seeing this is a combination of the three actors that play the lead role (please tell me I'm not the only one who is this slow).

Moonlight- a new film by Barry Jenkins, tells the story of Chiron a young boy that grows into an adult man that never addressed his sexuality. As a young child and a teenager he is bullied about his sexual preference which he hasn't yet claimed. The film has a lot of artistic moments better yet stylized moments that reminded me of Spike's signature techniques not because they were the same but because they can be loved or hated (that run on sentence).

Okay so to me it took some time for the film to build momentum and I'll also add that the other characters were there but they didn't have enough story to them. I say this because there are so many unanswered questions about them but then again it isn't their story. I thought the film would address growing up in the South and the stigma of being homosexual more from the parent's ideals pushed on their kids. The film gave us a little bit of that but it seemed his biggest battle with his sexuality was among his peers. I don't know how men handle their friendships with other men that have an opposite sexual preference. Most straight men I know just don't have gay friends. The unique spin on this tale is that the lead character grows into a thuggish drug dealer look and you would never think he was gay. So, as a woman I went there with my thoughts thinking geez this is why there are so many down-low men.
Can I steer away from this for a moment? I remember one time I joked on fb about my son trying on my heels. It turned into a big debate in the comment section. Later, my guy friend told me he thinks there is something to boys being raised by single mothers and then growing up to be gay. I didn't take this well as I don't take well any remarks about single mothers that some how suggest we are incapable. I know it's a film but I don't think his mother stopped him from showing who he really is or turned him gay. Some might argue the mean mother that he hated started his hate for all women. You see where I am going here. The film is more about how men do this to each other. It is so shunned among each other sometimes that how can they even be honest with each other.

I think what got me in the feels was one big thing about the movie
1) The love story...the thing most of us are able to relate to. The loving  of someone and it being taboo or not reciprocated when we want it.

Okay last remarks the set design and the wardrobe were spot on and authentic kudos kudos. The acting was good like everyone else is saying. I didn't love the movie but I enjoyed it and like the story. There are scenes that stood out but I won't spoil it for you. I am also a B. Jenkins fan since his first film glad to see him still making movies.



Saturday, November 26, 2016

On Netflix-Black Mirror Season 3- review


Oh the joys of binge watching. I also binged "Insecure" season 1 a fun comedy on HBO and Luke Cage so yeahh more reviews to come.


Black Mirror Season 3-
The first two seasons of the show made me more open to new shows. As a person who basically watches old tv shows the past year has made me believe in TV again. Most of my favorites have been online shows but there are several network shows that I like as well.

Going to break this down per episode"
Episode 1: Nosedive- a good start with long drawn out moments but a good spin on our need for acceptance.
Episode 2: Playtest- good plot annoying acting and bad execution.
Episode 3: Shut up and dance - not very original but I liked the ending.
Episode 4: San Junipero- good almost my favorite episode of the season.
Episode 5: Men Against Fire-I disliked it so much I skipped to the next episode. Zombies boo
Episode 6: Hated in the nation- a great crime drama that addresses the social media craze and how it can destroy us all.

Okay so this season wasn't as good as the ones before but there are some gems in there.
Boom!


Arrival- reiew


"Arrival"- tells the story of a linguist hired to communicate with aliens.
The films starts off great and the cinematography is amazing (been following the cinematographer Bradford Young for some time now). I like Amy Adams (as the linguist) in the film because it is a role where she breaks away from the bubbly annoying characters of her past (just my opinion). Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner shine as well in a well written script.

Spoilers:
Although I mentioned all those good points above....I guess I'm going to be one of those people that wasn't in love with the film. The film starts off  exposing the lead characters loss of a child and then takes us to her flying off to communicate with aliens. We get to the spaceship and it takes a few visits before Adam's character can sort of communicate with the aliens.
I thought the film would turn into an action packed alien attack film that relied on this woman to use her need to heal to save the world. It never picks up pace instead it get's complex and there are a few plot twists that happen which I won't spoil for you. At one point I grabbed my head and said this film is making me think too much.  What I got from it and I could be wrong is that the aliens gave them the knowledge/language to know and to prevent bad things from happening or better yet to see the future.  What I don't get is okay the aliens allow Adam's character to see the future or was she having these visions all along before they came? There are moments in the flashbacks where it seems she knows the daughter's outcome before. Aha there it because she does know, duh hahahah. From the middle to the end I just wanted more action. Overall, it was a good film and a great addition to the genre. Share your thoughts on the ending with me.

Update: I had to change my rating I really don't think this deserves a 4. 4's are given to films that I will watch again.

Sing- trailer

Mr. Church-review


"Mr. Church"- is the story of a man named Mr. Church hired by a woman's ex-lover to cook for her and her daughter for a period of six months (sound good?). If you read the synopsis from other sites when it is switched to say a Black cook is hired to work for a White woman and her daughter you might think who came up with this. I get the story at the heart of this film. I think they could have made the same film without the cook being Black or even if the mother and daughter were Black.  I actually love these kind of films. Small town movies and feel good movies keep me watching movies because they don't rely on the glitz and glamour. There are moments in the film when I thought this isn't as bad as they say, then they turn around and hit you with another bit of lame dialogue or a lame scene that just doesn't make it feel genuine. I don't know if it was important to the story for the chef to be Black and an amazing cook or if it was really about how two people that need each other find each other. Eddie Murphy is a great dramatic actor to me but this film wasn't good. It wasn't awful but it is forgettable. Giving this two points for the acting.


Fences- Trailer

"Moana"-review

(picture from freaksugar)

"Moana"- tells the story of a young girl named Moana who loves the ocean and feels it calling her. Based on ancient prophecies the ocean has chosen her to be the one to save her people. She sets off on a mission to find the one named Maui and return something he stole.

We caught the film in 3-d an option we usually skip but I enjoyed this film in 3-d and would recommend seeing it in 3-d. Ha

Talk about girl power.... the film has a strong lead female character. You can't help but root for Moana and when she meets Maui you are convinced Disney has a winner this time around. The soundtrack is fun and one we've already been singing in the car. I can't recall an animated film that I've watched after the "Lion King" with a soundtrack I wanted to listen to.  The buzz about this film or better yet the winning element that most people mention in regards to the film is that there is no love story. Ha, but just because she has no romance involved doesn't mean that love isn't at the root of this story. Moana has a lot of love for her people and Maui needs love so there....the movie is full of love.
My friend asked his kids is this better than "Zootopia," which I'm sure will be the question at the Academy awards. Although Zootopia has a great script, Moana took the risk to tell an animated story without using bears and lions to get the point across. I think it's important for kids to see more animated heroes that look like them and pay tribute to their unique cultures. That and Moana's soundtrack give it the win from me.



Spoilers- My son said his favorite parts were when Maui got his hook back and when the crab changed colors. 
Also, the chicken joke got a bit annoying. 

Friday, September 09, 2016

Twilight- review


This was me after watching this film for the first time.  Hahaha I just wanted to share this picture and to say I should have skipped this movie. It just wasn't my type of movie but I get the appeal. 

The Get Down Season 1- review

This is going to be a short review. I haven't been to the movies in some time. I started watching DVDs and Netflix shows to ease my mind. I might review some of the DVDs just for fun.

(image from slate.com)

'The Get Down' is an original Netflix series that explores the origins of Hip Hop. The first episode was great to me. I really dig the idea of a show that makes me remember how awesome Hip Hip is or was you know. The cast is good even with all the newcomers it still works. My biggest problem with the show is that it is full of what some might call fillers. A lot of the scenes don't movie the story along and to me they make it drag. I think they often said this would be cool let's put that in or we should write this person in cause that will be cool.  At times it can get corny and it can get boring. I don't know if I will check out the next season unless they start featuring some famous Hip Hop artists. I really want to give the cast props though because heck I'm impressed haha. Of course the artistic style of it is not to be ignored either. It is very fresh and Baz has done something amazing here visually.  My son was really into during the performance scenes. I know it's not a show for kids but maybe it is. I think actually if I reviewed this thinking of my teenage self I probably would love this show. This actually sounds like a smart move and maybe that is the direction they are going since another one of their original shows 'Stranger Things' also centers around a young cast.  That's the end of my review....I hope you are well!