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!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

On DVD: Amy - review

Amy Winehouse has her life story painted for us in this not so pretty documentary.  The film begins with young Amy and ends of course on her tragic death.  I'm not sure what's up with these films and why they have to focus more on the tragic sides of the artists.  When I finished the film I was depressed, like I walked through hell with her.  I mean it's long and the major pitfalls in her life are highlighted again and again.  It makes it clear that she was sweet and she was real. It's also obvious she was loved by many as an artist and men crushed on her( I'm sure women did too). I walked away feeling more sorry for her than amazed by her talent.  It's like it said this is how the industry destroys a good heart.

But being that I was already a fan of hers I revisited her music. ..... she could sing like she says.
I think if I were to ever do a documentary film, especially about someone I admire, I'd make it lean wayyyy more towards highlighting their artistic genius and what they gave to the world.  Nas in an interview says she told him she used to bring food for the paparazzi that camped in front of her house. Things like this should have been in the film.  Aside from the depressing theme, it was a well done film. The interviews,  photographs, old footage, and stock footage were combined smoothly to tell a well put together narrative.  Is it worth your time?  Yep, then afterwards watch a nice feel good movie to balance out your emotions.



Ghostbusters- Review


(image from nydailynews)

I have been waiting on this film to come out. I love the original films and I thought they could easily make a good reboot with or without women as the Ghostbusters. 


There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this film and I get it but it was a good film. The issue that I too had a problem with was the Leslie Jones character not being a scientist as well. Although, her character was funny it was stereotypical and it would have been that more badass if she was a scientist too. I see how the character probably came about though as the original Black character Winston just simply wanted a job and wasn't a professor like the other guys.  So, I get the move and for comedic appeal the character had to be so easy to write for.  I don't think it went too sassy black female and I'm glad Melissa McCarthy toned it down as her humor can be too over the top for me as well. People really like Kate McKinnon's role but I found her to be annoying and I kept thinking why is she acting like that. Maybe, if I was already a fan of hers I would feel differently. Kristen Wiig was funny with the best character arc. The film wasn't perfect dragging at points and the bad guy was odd. The battle scene had some great parts and sold the women as the next generation of Ghostbusters. We really need these female superheroes and I'm happy to have them. I enjoyed the film and I can't hate on it at all. 
Correction: Actually, I can hate on it bc it continues the use of comedic relief through stereotypes however I did like the rest of it. Also, I can see that it might not say to little girls black women can be scientists but I think it can easily say to them who will see it in a more of what's in front of them kind of way that they could be a Ghostbuster.



The Secret Life of Pets - Review


My son and I bought a mystery bag for this film and I posted a video on my instagram. I felt up the bag thinking it was Snowball but  it turned out to be Croc the Crocodile in the film that we didn't  even know was in the movie(note this is why I used the poster above). This was a big disappointment for my son. I faced the same disappointment with the film... well actually I didn't think it would be that great in the first place.

In this film, Max is a dog that lives with his owner in pure bliss until she brings home Duke (the big brown dog in the promos) . Now, Duke and Max battle for most of the film until Max realizes that Duke just wants love too.

Bad parts: As a person that doesn't have any pets and never have had one, I have never asked the question what do they do all day.  I thought the film had dark theme with the outcast or ousted pets led by Snowball. They gave Kevin Hart little room to be funny with the dialogue. The films seems to be a whole bunch of scenes that don't really move the story along.

Good parts: The evil alley cats scene was well orchestrated props to the animators for that. There is a scene towards the end when Max and Duke finally get on the same page that is more typical of how most of these kids films start. This scene and the last 20 minutes or so is where the film got better. My favorite character was Duke with his bubbly personality.

This is better as a rental or dollar show trip. The film just didn't have much heart with most of it spent trying (I mean trying) to be funny.



Monday, June 06, 2016

X-men: Apocalype-review


     

       
      The ambiance of a theater adds to my film going experiences often. In this case, my fellow attendees were a lot of younger people some smelling of weed smoke all there for the late show as well. We entered theater #3 and I observed that it was pretty dirty you know the kind of dirty your feet stick to the ground a little bit as you walk to your seat. I saw attendants sweeping as we entered but I still felt sticky as I inspected my seat and decided not to let my OCD defeat me that evening. All the popcorn on the floor made me regret being cheap and not buying any. Two young ladies next to us brought in their own grub and I wished I brought in those Ritz crackers that I guilted myself out of bringing in. Although, this was the kind of theater once inside I realized reminded me of the Joy a once disgusting downtown theater in New Orleans. The type of place you would see people sneaking in a can of green beans, a hot sausage sandwich,  and a pineapple soda. So, with no snacks I kept my hands on my lap and waited for this movie to begin.
       Watching X-men: Apocalypse was kind of like watching a Sci-fi B movie that had a big budget. This was pretty much a how did they meet each other and get to where they are now film linking up the top X-men characters. Overall, the acting is good and the visual effects are always top dollar. It is missing good action scenes that aren't over the top. It's also missing any plot that gives us a true vested interest in the outcome. It was like here's this small little hiccup that took place before all the X-men ended up at Xavier's school. I'm disappointed that Storm's character has such a small role and she even came off as weak. This would be better as a rental. I really wish the same people that make the Avengers films would make the X-men movies. So it goes....




Saturday, June 04, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows


        I have to put some spoilers in here. Let me first say, that my son is a huge Ninja Turtles fan so there was no way he was going to let this one go. Seeing, the posters on city the buses and the billboards didn't help either.  The film has an almost two hour running time (it is an hour and 52 minutes to be exact). 
       The best part of the film to me is that the boys are really likable. They each have their own unique personalities making for good laughs. 
      The big disappoint (and a spoiler) for me was that the whole movie is about Shredder being this dangerous bad guy. I was expecting a big battle with Shredder but in the end this did not happen. Instead, Shredder was easily tricked and defeated by another nemesis Krang. So, Turtles end up battling Krang to save the city. 
       I question why they made this PG-13. They really could have left the swear words out and the close ups on Meghan Fox. The violence or fighting is minimal and this is more about brotherhood than anything else. I think if I were a little boy I would have loved this film. As an adult, I felt the action is mild to moderate and the humans in the film are forgettable. I'll give it 3 stars for being a good kids film especially one that doesn't have a girl centered theme. I'm not saying girls won't enjoy this, I'm saying that it was nice to not see pink everywhere and soft fluffy animals for a change.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Angry Birds - Review




     Okay, I'll start by saying this.... I took my kid to the movies so I could take a nap therefore I apologize and must say that this isn't a fair review (you know since I missed a good 20 minutes of it in the middle and we were late so the first 10 minutes as well). Heck, I probably shouldn't even review this one but I'm going to anyway cause that's what I do write film reviews. 

     Alright, 'Angry Birds' - is about a bird named Red (the red bird) that has anger issues. Red keeps to himself in a home he built away from all the other birds in his community. He is sent to anger management and meets three other birds with their own issues. These other birds are not really angry with one being a troublemaker, one that explodes spontaneously, and the other one is grumpy.  It's as if Red is the only real "Angry Bird" most of the film, until a group of green Pigs visit their Island and make them react but still they don't really get angry. 
          They made sure they put a slingshot in the film so we could watch birds fly into stuff just like the game. They also seemed to feature all the various birds from the game and their special weapons. I've played the game a couple of times (years ago like when it first came out) so I don't remember all of the birds.  My son did enjoy it but I mean we haven't been in a kid flick yet that he said he didn't like. Compared to other kid's films this year,  this film was trying too hard to be funny or even interesting. Although, Chuck (the yellow bird) is pretty funny throughout the film.
              Spoiler: I actually liked the Mighty Eagle character/storyline and wish it would have been used better to convey the message that seemed so random at the end. In the end, Mighty Eagle tries to get Red to understand that he wanted him to believe in himself before he came to save the day.           Instead, of giving Red a true champion moment they gave him acceptance into the community. What do we have here folks? Red is a bird with pain from the past that has made him the angry bird he is today. Making this a movie about a bird ridiculed for being angry who later uses his anger for good and then later controls his anger welcoming others into his life. Meh! 




Monday, May 23, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Zootopia- review


Instead, of writing a review I'm going to send you over to a great blog and a great review of the film
http://fadetozach.blogspot.com/2016/03/review-zootopia.html#comment-form


SN: I didn't think the film was that deep lol. I mean I get the analysis of it and it is all true. The film didn't move me or make me cry. I really enjoyed the opening scenes though with the little kids at the school play and Judy's trip to Zootopia for the first time. The rest was a little boring to me but I give them this it was one of the better written and more thoughtful kids stories in some time.



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Streaming- Last Love and Let Go- reviews


I just got back from RogerEbert.com reading their review of the film (while looking for an image to use).  The reviewer didn't like this film so much. I watched it because on Netflix it has a really high rating.

'Last Love'- tells the story of Matthew Morgan (played by Michael Caine) who while living in Paris meets a young woman (Clemence Poesy) who makes him happy to live again. Overall, I enjoyed it and I cried a little at the end. I did think it was super cheesy and staged though. For example, when Matthew meets this young woman it is so forced and their chemistry is forced. People that have romantic hopes might meet like this but for both him and her to want to get to know each other is just so odd. There are other parts of the film that are pretty unbelievable and annoying like.... Matthew's son comes to visit later in the story and falls for the young woman while he just so happens to be getting a divorce. It all plays out with no natural feel for how people really interact or act even. It's a movie what should I expect? I do like the thought though that two people that really need each other meet and change each other. It is a winning premise but I can't act as if the film has no flaws. This would be great for a quiet night at home.



Also streaming 'Let Go' starring David Denman, Edward AsnerKevin Hart, Gillian Jacobs and many others. This is my first time seeing Kevin Hart in a serious role (he is the reason why I watched the movie). Denman plays a parole officer checking in on his three clients that all have personal issues (the other actors listed above) as he deals with his own personal demons.

Well, first none of the characters look like their stereotypical roles. This was one of those movies where I tuned in and out of, paused and went back a few minutes to see what I missed,  and did something else while I watched it. I guess you can guess it was boring. Sad people, people with problems, dialogue heavy, boring, boring boring. Not to say that the story wasn't a good idea or that the acting wasn't good, I just didn't enjoy watching it. This one might be worth a second watch to appreciate it more. I thought this would be more like 'Mumford' which is similar but a better film. I'll give it one star.





Streaming: Chi-raq- review

Simply put, this film was far from a masterpiece. I get the message of the film but it got lost in this bad movie and the bad reviews surrounding it. The film didn't spark the conversations it needed to and like the film 'Concussion' focus shifted from the political issues to regular old societal judgmental bs. Spike did a great interview on the subject of violence and specifically the tragic state of Chicago, in the interview his point was made. I don't see why he chose to make a fictional narrative on the subject.

About the movie..... a group of females decide to stop having sex with men in their neighborhood to help cure the violence in their city. The dialogue rhymes as they use hip hop to speak to each other. Some viewers hated that so much it made it hard for them to watch the film. My problem with the film was basic movie reasons like a bad plot, a premise that should have been a book,  crazy editing, things like that. The acting wasn't bad though and the lead Teyonah Parris is pretty. I don't have much else to say.


Friday, May 13, 2016

The Jungle Book- review


'The Jungle Book' - can't say I was a big fan of the original film. This one unlike most other Disney films wasn't a love story and being a little girl wishing to be a princess I had little interest in a story about a half-naked boy.

    Back to the review.....This film is for kids so I guess my opinion doesn't matter. I was bored most of the film until Mowgli met Baloo. Baloo played by Bill Murray was the highlight if the film.  Also, I really enjoyed the high intensity last 25 minutes or so of the film. I was concerned after reading reviews that this film isn't for kids that my little one would not enjoy it. I can say that this movie is totally for kids and that yeah a really sensitive kid might get emotional during it but other than that I wouldn't worry. Great voice over work and amazing CGI along with animatronics. I would think this would have been better in 3-d I just prefer to not watch 3-d movies. You def. want to see this on the big screen. Oh yea, why was I bored? The pace was really slow and it was like I was just waiting for some action.  I think kids will love it so for that I will give it 4 stars.



One last thing, not to make this racial but it's great to see a huge box office success with a non-white kid lead and for that much a kids film that can be hugely successful without having a lead character that's an animal either. 

The Age of Adaline-review

'The Age of Adaline'- is a romance film that is sort of a fantasy as well. Starring the lovely Blake Lively who should be hotter than maybe some other blonde actresses at the moment but I guess only one can be hot at a time. The film is about a woman named Adaline who in a freak accident loses the ability to age. As a result she has limited relationships with people and when she meets then falls for a guy for the first time in years her life becomes even more complicated. I'm not going to spoil the film and this review will be short.

   I thought this film was cute and although the fantasy pill is a little hard to swallow I enjoyed the ride. Blake Lively does a great job playing the character of Adaline giving her a very sophisticated presence. Harrison Ford is also in the film another actor I've been a long time fan of. He also does a great job in the film. This would be a great date night movie. I got this as a loan from the library but I'm pretty sure it's on Netflix. So, maybe Netflix and Chill for those of you that do that.  3 stars




Miles Ahead - review

'Miles Ahead' is a new film directed by Don Cheadle and starring Don Cheadle who plays the lead role of Miles Davis in this biopic.  Without a doubt Don Cheadle is great in the role like everyone else is saying. The story and the film overall though hit highs and lows making it a good film but not perfect. I really wish they would have just covered his whole life instead of the story taking place during his time away from music. My critic blogger friend pretty much said that the character Francis Taylor who was Miles' wife played by Emayatzy Corinealdi was underdeveloped for the most part. Likewise, I'd say that the character of Miles Davis was also underdeveloped. To me the film felt like an episode of a TV show where by now you know this character well and you should want them to return to music. The film did little to welcome someone who knows nothing about Miles Davis into his life/career or expose them to his musical repertoire. Exposure to the music is usually the best part of these biopics about musicians, so this was a huge flaw to me. Not since the film 'Ray' has a non-documentary film got the job done. This was more like a biofiction film or there's a term for it that I can't think of at the moment, but with Ewan Mcgregor's character being fictitious I really don't get the point of the film. I hope that it could be possible to do a series of these films using album titles to highlight other periods of Miles' life. I think there could be a serious following for this even with a Netflix show instead. I kind of feel like I'm bashing the film but I'm not. I finished reading the autobiography of Miles Davis not too long ago and I am a huge Don Cheadle fan (like if he is in it I'm very likely to watch it).  It's unfortunate that you have to change your story to get it made or that sometimes as artist we don't get to say what we really want to say because of production pitfalls. Anyway, I did enjoy the film for Don and Ewan's performances and I'd likely watch it again. The editing and directing choices are stylish and give it a nice pace. I think that 'Get on Up' (yea I'm talking about this movie again) made similar editing choices that made that film confusing while in this film it kind of just gave the film a tempo. All that being said I'll give it 3 and half stars.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trailer - Queen of Katwe





Found this googling David Oyelowo's name to spell it correctly. 

Nina- review



Hello Blogger world.....
I caught this film one afternoon at the local AMC. I was joined by 3 males in the audience and that was it. I actually didn't even know the film was playing until I saw it on the board while purchasing my 'Miles Ahead' ticket, because it didn't show up when I googled showtimes.  Anyway, so there's the scene now let me talk about the film.... 'Nina' is a biopic that concentrates on Nina Simone's later years in Paris, as she prepares to make a comeback with the help of her nurse turned manager.
There was a bug fuss made about the casting of Zoe Saldana in the lead role with most of the concerns being that they dressed Saldana up with exaggerated features to make her look more like Nina. Watching the film and witnessing the many close-ups that seem to say hey look at the make-up and hair job we did here makes me cringe because it's like they felt we couldn't believe she was Nina unless she looked like her.  In other biopics, like say 'Get on Up' and 'Miles Ahead' a lot less work is done to make the actors look the part throughout the film and the actors do the work.
         I'm not a huge Z. Saldana fan but she didn't do a bad job at all. The unfortunate piece is they masked her acting with wigs and darker powder. It is also unfortunate that they didn't cast someone who may or may not have made more people go see it. It's also unfortunate that they did not use Nina Simone's voice in scenes where some of her most memorable songs are performed. This is probably what I disliked the most and where they lost me. It's bad enough they made her look like a lunatic (which many people say she was) but then to give me these subpar musical covers and heavy costuming just made it feel like a bad play.  One last remark, this one is about 'David Oyelowo' I see some raw unpolished talent there that hasn't found it's niche yet and in that sense the roles he has played to date just aren't making him shine.

I'm not sure if I reviewed the Nina documentary (What Happened, Miss Simone?) but I watched that one as well. I feel both films did little to highlight her in a positive light although her musical genius was evident (more so in the documentary) but so much focus is given to her downfalls that you can easily lose track of how good the music was.  Let us not do this....If you're at all interested I suggest renting it but you aren't missing much.

Done. One Star...





Monday, April 04, 2016

Concussion-review

Concussion- (it's been so long I feel like I may need to re-watch it to write this ha)
After, the Oscars So White hashtag and media buzz I was disappointed this film wasn't nominated.  I don't think the film was great but it was just as good as many of the other films I watched last year. I really hoped to cheer for Will Smith even though he could have been phenomenal he still would have lost to Leo.  I also think David Morse got snubbed. This wasn't a film that did anything for me and honestly I wouldn't want to watch it again. I think the script just failed the subject matter. The Oscars So White media frenzy also made it easy for the NFL to not have to address this. Sure, a few athletes and non-athletes attacked the NFL after learning what concussions can really do but little has changed.
Spoiler:
I'm not sure if the story intended to make the football players seem to drastically have mental health issues via the editing or if they just didn't give enough time to each players life. (I should get some sleep)What I mean is they introduced us to these characters briefly then killed them off in the next scene we saw them in.
I just didn't walk away in love with this character or feeling like he was a hero (he is) which I think is what they were going for. I have changed my mind about wanting my kids to play football. So, still a win for the film creators.

Eddie the Eagle-review



Eddie the Eagle- is a good feel good movie. I did a double feature with my son the day I saw this. My son is 5 and he wasn't really into the movie. He only really liked the ski jump scenes. Oh yea by the way, this film is based on a true story about a Ski Jump legend named Eddie nicknamed Eddie the Eagle. I too was a bit bored at times during the film. I think they overdid the I guess you'd call it the signature facial expressions Eddie was known for and making him appear as a total underdog. What I did like was, the overall message of the film common in these types of movies like "never give up on your dreams" and you can do anything" stuff like that. I also chose this film for the subject matter. I am constantly trying to expose my son to as many things as possible (you know what I mean).  Kids nowadays are usually told of generic professions and so few know about all the things you can do and become.  I think we should encourage kids to dream of less ordinary options. So, because of that, because positive images are good and because we also want to show them what courage looks like I support films like this.