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Average User Score: 7.2Feb 14, 2019It’s a real revolution the way the LEGO series grew similarly with its viewers. Compared to my experience back in 2014, I only wrote one movieIt’s a real revolution the way the LEGO series grew similarly with its viewers. Compared to my experience back in 2014, I only wrote one movie review every few months for my parents’ blog. Now, it’s a weekly side hobby as I stretch to someday do it professionally. Much like my own gradual growth, these two parts to the LEGO cinematic universe keenly adapt to the values of the time. While The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part remains inconsistently nonsensical like the first movie, it still does more to develop greater complexity of what it analyzes about our culture. Director Mike Mitchell picks up exactly from the instant of the last feature’s finale for a new, mature direction you’d never guess the franchise could go, yet it goes there, to results that are both different and the same as before.
Not that it means the returning familiar characters, such as the Dark Knight, change in a way that enhances the entire product. There’s still a thoughtless plot twist that randomly throws itself about alongside cameos of Harley Quinn, “Larry” Poppins, Velma from Scooby Doo, and an unnecessary parody to “Let’s all go to the lobby.” Yes, it’s that kind of writing; the kind that weakens the main romance from before because the returning screenwriters, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, dig too shallow into a young boy’s psychology beyond the fist-shaped spaceship, “Rexcelsior.” They also dig too shallow into a young girl’s psychology, as the ruler of the feminized galaxy, the “Sistar System,” doesn’t feel like much of a threat.
These contrasting galaxies try to establish a metaphor saying siblings should play together, except Batman’s floss dance to maracas played by dinosaurs isn’t necessary for that message to get across. Other types of jokes milk the entertainment factor too far, particularly cartoon gags in a dainty little house, the return of that dreaded double decker couch (with an upgrade), and more jokes on the Batman franchise. Few important aspects from this abuse of self-aware humor prove significance beyond what audiences may be sick of by now.
Then Bricksburg becomes Apocalypseburg centered around a desolate lady liberty. But less on that, onto the girly toyland of the Sistar system, and its ruler, Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi. This queen is detailed with fingerprinted bricks that take on fun animations throughout two musical numbers, exclaiming she’s “totally not evil,” much like the adorably destructive vivid invaders with huge puppy dog eyes on cute little weapons shaped like hearts and stars. She could probably cause Ar-mama-gedds-in, a feared event that is actually a clever depiction of simple kid playtime problems, such as the older sibling forbidding the younger sibling from touching his or her toys. It all builds a better portrait of girl toys combined with very Muppet-esque humor to go against the style of the first movie, ultimately becoming a distinct twist on older alien invasion flicks.
Yet there’s plenty enough like the first movie to keep the familiar lovability intact; it keeps up with some fun little Easter eggs, as a LEGO Oscar appears for the satisfaction of those who still feel angered by the first movie’s infamous snub four years ago (myself included). Everybody from the snobby cinema scholars to the casual popcorn-happy moviegoers, will find guaranteed emotional satisfaction from the eventual fate of the Sistar system’s massive glory.
Yet to everyone who’s about to see this, a little fair warning: there’s a new song called, “Catchy Song,” that indeed gets stuck inside your head like the lyrics say they will. That song comes up specifically to be a mind-control device in an ominously happy scene that’s ultimately childish without a hint of sense. Regardless, I for one still find myself tapping away to “Catchy Song” whenever it plays! That’s my experience with LEGO on film: it’s still plenty of fun despite the clear flaws.
There’s a real proven power of LEGO’s motion pictures:
The LEGO Movie criticized the Obama administration exploiting corporate America so it could obtain an impractically perfect vision. Batman’s spinoff redefined our famous crusader as we reconsidered our sense of morality shortly after Trump’s inauguration. Ninjago is pure garbage, so it doesn’t count. Now, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part brings pop culture of boys and girls together to help tomorrow’s generation build a better society together. My, what a cultural shift we’ve made, and through something that looks like a toy commercial! Just compare that to thirty years ago, when anything with the word, “movie” in the title never carried depth besides commercialism. Keep it up, Warner Animation Group! Continue inspiring future artists to do better!… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Jan 31, 2019Let’s reflect on comic book history, and also compare it to why M. Night Shyamalan’s cap to the Unbreakable trilogy continues his negativeLet’s reflect on comic book history, and also compare it to why M. Night Shyamalan’s cap to the Unbreakable trilogy continues his negative artistic streak. In 1897, The Yellow Kid in McFadden’s Flats became the first comic, something perfectly straightforward in its simplicity, unlike Glass, which relies on superfluous flashbacks instead of conflict between the three patients who lead the story. The film also diminishes anyone with Brown skin to the background in ever-so-subtle hints of unintentional racism, which feels too much like 1937, when comics evolved into monthly “funnies.” What Shyamalan comments on about the history of superheroes forgets to put Superman’s influence on the subtext, or any true knowledge about the platinum age of comic books. Not just that, he doesn’t even bother to speak up on the reality of superheroes leading psychiatric patients into a dictatorship.
The disloyalty goes on to the comics’ golden age as well, that time when Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Flash, Green Lantern, and others came around. Each of these heroes are still instantly recognizable now because they’re all more sympathetic than the returning Samuel L. Jackson role, Elijah. Here is shown a flashback of his mom watching him get hurt on a carnival ride as a child, yet any internal pain of his remains intangible. Even if he along with the two other freaks are believed to be superheroes, actual comic books have better-analyzed heroic theories. At this rate, I’d rather see Samuel L. Jackson hop off the wheelchair to start preaching Ezekiel 25:17 again, and not have to keep wearing that obvious wig for a now-dated story arc.
Onto the silver age, comic books began to be seen as corruptive to the youth, thus the Comics Code Authority began, which caused an eventual bright, campy tone to take over; think Adam West’s Batman as a strong example. Shyamalan actually handles that well without feeling out of place alongside the established golden age grit. Remember how Batman & Robin was almost all Dutch angles? A similar style is used here to suggest how Elijah reads his interactions, or how a hysterical perspective of “the Beast’s” victims is seen upside down when he crawls on the ceiling. To switch back on cheesiness without the unintentional (or failed) humor, dangerously deep focus on closeup shots block out distractions, working off a pink hallway designed by Chris Trujillo (Stranger Things) to mimic a supervillain’s lair. It’s like every frame here is a legit comic book panel!
It compensates for the way Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave, Carol) keeps an insincere face throughout her entire performance, even more so for Anya Taylor-Joy’s (Thoroughbreds, The Witch) absent sense of rhythm in her expressionless eyes that look like Natalie Portman sobbing, “Anakin, you’re breaking my heart.” Yet the almost completely untalented cast ironically works to the advantage of James McAvoy when his killer portrayal shatters barriers immediately upon introduction.
An odd sense of fulfillment breaks through as the three leads fit nowhere, much like how the bronze age lead to comics taking on a realistic tone. Plenty of disturbing images shed mortality to familiar comic book images, particularly a line of high school cheerleaders chained up, all of which are enhanced by the musical score’s stressed strings—a ticking bomb that signals time to break for impact.
Then finally comes the dark age of comics, when antiheroes, particularly Watchmen and Deadpool, got their origins. Shyamalan’s three antiheroes could make a valid case for criminal actions… if consistency exists anywhere. Probably the most noticeable logical inconsistency is how bright lights change James’ character personalities, but it really gets out of hand throughout the ridiculous third act. It attempts to comment on the climaxes of other comic book movies, except this happens after the entire feature proves unable to decide which scenes are fiction or fact.
Thus, the audience appeal winds up weak, mainly to the fault of M. Night Shyamalan’s screenplay preaching the old comic book idea that love heals (ugh). He cannot authenticate the full potential of such a gross idea in any way, and even takes the wrong turns to explore it; one of those approaches includes a legitimate case of Stockholm syndrome!
So today, with all our comics becoming strong cinematic/television properties, it tells our minds to honor having super abilities greater than our own God-given abilities. It tells us that anyone considered a freak is a psycho with a mind set to rule the world. Shyamalan’s commentary is dead-wrong.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Jan 24, 2019Rhapsody (noun) rhap·so·dy | ˈrap-sə-dē: An epic poem
Who’s your neighbor exactly? Is it your own bliss? Bzzzttt, WRONG. It’s not the boxRhapsody (noun) rhap·so·dy | ˈrap-sə-dē: An epic poem
Who’s your neighbor exactly? Is it your own bliss? Bzzzttt, WRONG. It’s not the box office hit that the Oscars chose to love. The Academy of Motion Pictures made some crucial nominations, which concluded that the honored recognition above all else must land on… Bohemian Rhapsody. Not that it automatically presses the attempted “love your neighbor” message you may read in some green book of poems. The academy wants to celebrate love, yet they don’t know what love even means. Bohemian Rhapsody preaches just the opposite: it wants you to walk out of the sky-painted wall after saying to all who was there for you:
“Good afternoon, good evening, and good night.”
As much as it celebrates the works of Freddie Mercury, it really just educates you on three things: his materialism, his lack of sympathy, and the lack of sympathy he got from others! You get a glimpse of him singing: “Happy birthday to me.“
Meanwhile, his parents are ‘round the dining room table to reminisce through little Freddie’s old childhood photos. The next thing that happens is really quite grim, Mr. Bulsara changes his last name legally, then he leaves his mom and dad and joins a band of three misfits! Now, these band members try their best to always stay together, but as coins clatter on a drum and the colors they wear clash, nobody of any age will watch this with a moral eye.
This two-plus hour special from eighties-MTV has far too much love for its big, dramatic montages. It shows the bad reviews projected when the band’s tune premiered, an artistic decision doesn’t aid the film’s tension. As Freddie’s fame takes off and his colleagues are dumbed down, his passive girlfriend, Mary, gets the worst of it—She’s BLANK. She’s BLAND. She’s got no IDENTITY. This film tries to crank Freddie’s stress all the way up to eleven, yet it can’t even decide what it really wants to say. Say what? All about the me-di-a! Why, when Freddie’s being interviewed by cameras and clipboards, some bulbous closeups stress his face but can’t tell you his motive. Are the ones behind the cameras crucial to a man’s success? Detrimental? Both? Does it even matter? The film’s mere existence is 100 percent superfluous, which you’ll feel once a pompus live performance overstays its welcome.
At least director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men) humanizes Queen’s fans as much as he can. The finale crowd of Live Aid waves their beige arms in the air like a sea of muddy water from the bowls of Freddie’s cats. To go a little deeper, Mercury’s mere introduction is solid ‘nuff to prep the way for Rami Malek’s (The Master, Mr. Robot) pride. With the focus on his moustache trimmer, that before/after comparison intrigues you to see Freddie Mercury’s predicament; especially when he first meets Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. At first, they each despise him because his teeth stick out of his face. Although it doesn’t matter, ‘cuz his teeth actually look great!
Some more crowd-pleasing moments include this one simple shot: a sound/editing transition when a rooster crows… GALILEO!!!!! It happens right before a scene of recording that one line… over… and over… and over… and over… It’s a very funny scene that will give a good laugh, and for the viewers who grew up with Queen, they’ll love to see this: The origin of Freddie’s trademark microphone stance after failing to unhook his mike at an early concert. Plus, a “Somebody to love” montage about some concert prep makes a sink drain turn into an actual satellite.
Yet these elements designed to win over you are just not worth the hassle because the details are breezed over. Screenwriter Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) tells us no motivation behind any song lyrics, unless by the dictionary. The lack of helpful info goes to the band as well, as they seldom act like true brothers, nor do other countries. Just look at the stingy Americans in this picture: they believe the song will bomb and won’t give it a chance.
NOBODY, and NOTHING, in this film is as important to these filmmakers as letting Freddie Mercury brag about being able to play the piano upside down. As a result, the fame he won was lost when he died. To obtain a freedom comparable to this disgraceful man, know that a neighbor is actually whomever you allow in your life, not your own pompous celebration, party of one. If Fred Rogers was alive today and saw what won Best Motion Picture (Drama) in 2019, he would cry.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Jan 19, 2019In light of new year’s resolutions, we together should go back to when the impossible became possible, way back when Jesus walked earth (ahem,In light of new year’s resolutions, we together should go back to when the impossible became possible, way back when Jesus walked earth (ahem, water) to prove himself as God’s son by breaking the laws of physics and the Pentateuch. As an attempt of recreating that, for temporary entertainment, Disney revisits P.L. Travers’ Jesus figure she brought to humanity. The big Mouse House still hasn’t quite mastered how to produce live action feature films, meaning Mary Poppins Returns deserves no spot inside anyone’s wine cellar due to its absence of a story in order to showcase bad lip syncing, as well as other horrors of cinematic musicals.
The elements of this reality center around Michael, now a grown up widower with three children, who must pay off a loan or else lose his father’s home. It’s not at all worth caring for, since this potential homeless life leaves the three children unphased; I doubt they’d even run in fear from the Return to Oz wheelers—they’re that dull. That reality tries to combine with the whimsy too grounded in smelly parts of below to be funny, particularly when it comes to the bits with Admiral Boom. Then after two hours of hearing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s fake accent that sounds worse than Dick’s, the end takes on a thriller vibe driven by Colin Firth, an evil villain with a Cruella Deville cackle.
That’s why Mary Poppins returns, to help the family through something they easily could solve on their own. Rather, her only purpose is to teach kids dangerous games in a bathtub that for sure would cause death by drowning from toddlers who watch that scene and want to imitate it. The three offspring of Michael are in fact the ones who save the day for the grown-ups, something that would make parents watching roll their eyes; for any youngster that smart may as well crank their heads a full three-sixty then vomit pea soup. Except you won’t hear yourself shout, “the power of Christ compels you,” since the stereo blasts much louder than your own thoughts! While my mom and I were watching this, she had to cover her ears, and I wanted to, not just to block out the painful stereo, but because Michael sings worse than the witches of Hocus Pocus, making every one of his scenes that much more painful!
Although the good tunes try their best to remedy the pain, right from the exciting overture heard behind a series of rough London paintings. Marc Shaiman (The American President) heals the senses as his melody generates the spectacular tune of everyone fitting on a single bike, or even when the home of Mary’s cousin Topsy turns upside down. While many songs are bland, “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” manages to reach improbable levels of fun, relative to the rest of the film that is, although not like the legendary tunes of the original. Although not as strong, Emily Blunt does her best to capture the pacing of Julie Andrews’ iconic role by continually denying the adventures she has with the kids.
Those details leave relatively miniscule scars—all else penetrates pretty deep. Mary succumbs dancers less organized than the hysterical housemaid of the original movie, and with a sense of chaos that feels like life flashing before the eyes. A vertigo camera effect used at one brief point in the horrific climax means Cherry Tree Lane looking better than before matters none; the attempts to spark nostalgia fail from certain abuse of modern filming techniques.
Another huge reason for that disloyalty to the source material comes from the casting: Meryl Streep’s obnoxious accent literally seems unsure about which side of fantasy to express, she resorts to the anti-fantasy of a surfaced trout‘s blub-blub-blub. But the biggest reason for the disloyalty lands on the screenplay; nothing that ever happens, not even a china bowl adventure where a wolf steals one of the boys‘ stuffed giraffe, inflicts change on anybody or anything. After all the chaos happens, a deus ex machina renders everything throughout the entire film pointless… and just to make room for a High School Musical type of ending that teaches young innocent minds to stay self-indulgent on their dreams.
Really, what’s the point of these excessive musical numbers if they’re just going to be as obnoxious as a Cheetah Girl concert? There’s even a cabaret number to divert the familiar old Mary Poppins essence, hence why the people responsible behind this sequel forgot why the original became a classic. Highly doubtful they even care about the earliest memories of so many who grew up with Mary Poppins.
I as one came to love the original Mary Poppins over time due to its profound themes of a family’s interpersonal distance. Ignore the way Mary Poppins Returns has made P.L. Travers roll over in her grave. Look instead toward a man who walked on the sea, died, came back, and flew to heaven; that gives rewards beyond diving into a soapy tub.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Jan 10, 2019Much like how the quiet man seeks satisfaction from his own perishable fate, Vice gives a temporary sense of thrill about one who committedMuch like how the quiet man seeks satisfaction from his own perishable fate, Vice gives a temporary sense of thrill about one who committed his entire life to claiming fame. The feature declares in the prologue that those involved did their ‘effing best to stay true to the real story… sure. Research proves otherwise. Look up some articles about the real Dick Cheney in your spare time: a little research should prove those producers wrong.
The director, Adam McKay, returns to the same narrative approach he used in his Academy Award winner three years back, The Big Short, except now, the excessive racket drowns out any point addressed. In fact, any point made seems intentionally blocked so you overlook its lies.
McKay jumps around the timeline randomly, which buffers complex relationships to selfish action movie clichés, but at least Independence Day understood that civilization must stop aliens together, unlike this movie which holds back necessary prominence of communication between countries. The public doesn’t need more movies that throw excessive noise around simultaneously, but a somber tale amongst the shrill media, especially when it’s about powerful men as corrupt as Dick Cheney.
That very man is played by Christian Bale (who just won a Golden Globe for this role) beneath distractingly bad makeup, which doesn’t matter a whole lot as the actor beneath those obvious prosthetics understands the script’s jokily serious satirical style. Bale appropriately looks ready to murder despite working a “nothing” job, his authority screams when he watches a house fly around Lynne Cheney’s rants, then again around Bush. As events creep closer to the end credits, his performance turns more cuckoo than the clock draining out a heartrate beep that signals when it is time for Dick to get a heart implant.
Yet the annoying static of that heart monitor won’t shut up as it tracks how hot your pulse gets watching this. Most fathers of today’s kids will want to throw on earmuffs to stop their blood from boiling, because these fake people use a congressional board game illustration/fascism propaganda to silence democrats. Most mothers will dislike this product because of Amy Adams… just… yikes! Her portrayal of Mrs. Lynne Cheney is way too soft!
In fact, some viewers will feel injustice done for the way they’re depicted on screen. A nauseating camera “crops” the cinematic versions of the Cheney couple put on by Adams and Bale, possibly not to match the mockumentary filmmaking style, but more to block out the bad CGI effects that came from production problems. Thus, you don’t get the maximum impact of this man who changed history without anyone aware of his ghostly existence.
Cheney keeps the same lips of a swine and eyes of a poltergeist—a controlled harsh pig with lipstick immobilizing his speech, a Christmas ham after revenge against the butchers taking credit for the delectable flavor. The problem is that none of that strong addictive bacon flavor is detectable to the taste buds, just the fatty parts left behind. Maybe if Dick talked a little more about his own health over the film’s long timeline, his actual hopes and dreams could give us clear reason to care? Then that way, McKay could’ve focused less on trying to land a gut-punch, and more on ensuring that Mr. and Mrs. Cheney reciting poetry before bed isn’t boring to watch.
Frankly, Adam McKay was the wrong choice to write the screenplay due to his lack of extreme sincerity in grasping human change. He resorts to instead creating a testosterone biopic focused on Cheney’s smoking gun that bloomed up a mushroom cloud seen from Tokyo. Consequently, the women actors’ efforts to stand out look like mice to be trampled upon by the men.
Yet for every mousey performance, it’s all made up for in the way Sam Rockwell breathes a truthful depiction of George W. Bush. Rockwell contrasts the quick beat of an ironic commercial interrupted by 9/11 footage, and does so with a slow, humane face. It almost makes his arguments about climate change reasonable! He mutters words humbly, like the real Bush, making a priestly presence the perfect counterbalance to the way Cheney sees an opportunity amongst everyone’s fear to the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile, musical composer Nicholas Britell (The Big Short, Moonlight) gives each scene a genre based on the energy present, forcing a more intent listening ear for President Bush’s speech beyond the poltergeist’s interference…
…interference of your capacity to get something useful out of this film, that is. Instead of wanting to be just like Dick Cheney, listen to those higher! Listen to those lesser! Don’t rely on the evil pressed from Vice’s great big lies, a mock-up that only worships itself.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.4Jan 3, 2019Okay, here is my first review of 2019, which I will discuss while sharing with you what 2018 meant for me. Much like Barry Jenkins’ latestOkay, here is my first review of 2019, which I will discuss while sharing with you what 2018 meant for me. Much like Barry Jenkins’ latest work, it turned out very similar to my own year of personal issues. In fact, movies took up the year and went on to influence other personal relationships of mine. It was an awry balance between happiness beside the mandatory events that brought my spirits down and seeing the two merge. This balance gets captured in If Beale Street Could Talk as it shows a young woman’s judgment tested.
Not that its depiction of the judgment hits all the marks though, as this still lacks the strength of the parents’ involvement in the core plot. They each develop too weak a redemptive arc while their nineteen-year-old daughter carries a new baby, and her twenty-two-year-old boyfriend goes behind bars. Mom and Dad’s impact would have turned stronger without the voiceover narration, which right now sounds straight from a novel.
The characters themselves don’t make the dialogue that much better though, as some say discomforting phrases like, “The White man has got to be the devil,” which could shut off a few viewers. It’s a consequence of Jenkins’ anti-marriage script that does not focus enough time between the main protagonist, Tish, and her relatives, something important for the story to take on its full intended purpose. Yet it ironically helps strengthen the bond between Tish and her other half, Alonzo, or as she only refers to him as, “Fonny,” a name that dates to their childhood.
The weak details, including some distractingly bad Italian accents, strangely enough help preserve the strong little details. For this movie, it is a record player Fonny turns on as relaxing sex music. These slow moments of high tension keep up thanks to the killer performances of the whole cast that help turn on painful feels that want to set off the happy thoughts. Thus, the incredibly average screenplay can be ignored.
In fact, the theme keeps up in such subtle queues from the very first frame to the last; Tish and Fonny start off wearing coordinated morning glory flower outfits, then the motif of colors keeps up until the impactful finale when those colors take on a gloomier aura. Of some bad emotions felt, Fonny projects vocally how his dark skin makes him hate living in America.
Therefore, Barry Jenkins properly decides to implement monochrome photographs of the past national pain. With the expert editing, we can forget the fun high-speed 1990s thrillers, for the somber tone conveys how these people always remain deeply hurt behind a smile; Fonny’s face, behind glass, dissolves into a building of architecture resembling prison bars. In the conversations Tish and Fonny share on either side of this glass barrier, their faces almost resemble mugshots of close friends. These are just some of the bad memories provoked that seem to lift the good memories higher. By then, a mere record player takes on greater meaning, right?
Every actor should be praised above all else for their ability to put a lump in your throat with their roller coaster emotional changes through laughing, then crying. That particularly goes to the mom, played flawlessly by Regina King (American Crime, Seven Seconds), whose transparent fear from new tasks mirrors back doubt when trying on a wig before she leaves America. It’s equally wonderful to see the bright, smiley cast work together in Tish’s perfume shop job, as troublesome as she describes it being.
2018 gave me great sources of positivity, even when my cinema watching strangely decreased by December due to other commitments. Optimism always continued during not-fun things; for me, it was putting marmalade in my post-workout drink to sustain high spirits despite other roommate problems. Yes, stuff always went on throughout the year even when it didn’t feel that way; I drove my first rental car from Phoenix to Tucson then back again, appeared on TV three different times, cooked a lot, went to my first live magic show, got two different job promotions, all evidence for myself how film shouldn’t serve a sole source of joy in life.
That’s 2018: a year that came out good mostly for me, even when the negatives were still critical to understand. With that, this magical end of the year always triumphs in bringing out our most reflective selves, much like the impact If Beale Street Could Talk will do to you.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.4Dec 27, 2018Plenty of justifications have been addressed why Americans think they live in the world’s greatest country, perhaps one of the most commonPlenty of justifications have been addressed why Americans think they live in the world’s greatest country, perhaps one of the most common being because they landed on old Luna before Russia. But unlike that giant leap mankind took, Damien Chazelle’s attempt to recreate it in First Man takes three massive steps down after his last two projects set him on a hot streak. History’s youngest Best Director Oscar winner managed to accomplish the impossible: turning an important figure into a passive plot device with Bella Swan level personality.
The technical elements instead steal the focus, diminishing Neil Armstrong with unnecessary focused shots on a fly and a control panel’s Chinese takeout food that add no story significance. This emotional distance may be for the best though, as the story built around Neil features plenty unrealistic additions, most groanworthy being what he does with his dead daughter’s bracelet. Even Interstellar might mock its ridiculousness! Riding off that other 2001: A Space Odyssey wannabee, important details are disregarded, including international contribution to NASA, allowing key milestones to merely happen to each character, particularly Neil’s wife, Janet, who’s worse written than any pre-Force Awakens Star Wars female. At least those ugly Star Wars prequels had actual image contrast, unlike the bad color grading of this movie, which gives an ugly texture put together by someone who let success override his head. However, taking the pre-production design process into account, a nice attention on using cool vs. warm colors juxtaposes Janet’s baby blue dress against the Apollo 11’s bright jet flames. Mary Zophres’ costumes (La La Land, True Grit) are surprisingly detailed as they take on an impression of wanting to be like moonbeams: a pure, straight path, but not quite able to get there... they look more often like the chaos of a nuclear explosion. Yes, every crisp design choice matches an era of new beginnings, unlike Neil’s turmoil of losing his daughter to brain cancer. Especially after the dark, scary opening scene when Neil first hits Earth’s thermosphere, enough justification guarantees chills with every view beyond the clouds.
Many say this feature must only be seen in IMAX, and honestly, it’s true. From the Gemini 5’s radio that rattles your ears to the documentary-esque camera cropped closer than usual, Neil’s nauseous claustrophobia becomes instantly comprehensible. Then after the sounds of the ship boom out of control, complete space silence takes Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic to heart. It forces prolonged depth into infinity’s empty black void beyond Earth’s blue aura; then this Kubrickian style turns simultaneously epic on the ground with a heavy landing on the Mojave Desert, an intro that would make Steven Spielberg proud. Also, when they reach the moon’s surface, despite the controversy, a US flag does show up! It’s just not seen being planted in! Thus, you can stop getting mad about it.
You can get mad instead at the way Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, La La Land) plays Neil Armstrong without any believability. Ryan acts the same as he did in Blade Runner 2049, just staring with eyes half-open as if confused about how to play the role properly, worse than Amy Adams’ grossly mediocre Arrival performance. One might very well call Neil a replicant in this case as he barely even reacts to a training simulator. His nonexistent effort turns extra noticeable though on the earth’s soil, as him listening to “Lunar Rhapsody” with Janet feels unromantic. Both Ryan and Claire Foy probably felt very confused about how to portray their respective roles because of the perplexing scene arrangements which beg you to question, “why does any of this matter?” For instance, most of their impersonal conversations are filmed from behind as if this was a low-budget romantic period piece/failed Oscar bait.
It’s unbelievable how Josh Singer, who won an Oscar for the tremendous Spotlight, now turns out one of 2018’s worst screenplays, blocking all the genuine difficulties felt that tell us new, personal facts about Neil Armstrong and his family. Everybody becomes a plot device pushing events forward, technology often left to work instead to hand out exposition. One is an old informational video that replaces conflict to give out crucial information, which honestly just looks lazy. Besides, we already know they will succeed, so why would any of this matter?
Although the core problem with First Man is a lot deeper than just a lousy script, it’s worse even than historical accuracy—the most common issue with biopics (this one is relatively true to what really happened). The core problem is that this film uses a man’s life as an excuse to create cinematic spectacle. How would you like it if somebody took a milestone of your life, removed all fears leading up to that milestone, and replaced it with empty, pretty pictures?… Expand
Average User Score: 6.7Dec 27, 2018Where were you on 22 July 2011? For myself, I had just graduated high school and was at my first job as a summer camp dishwasher, at a placeWhere were you on 22 July 2011? For myself, I had just graduated high school and was at my first job as a summer camp dishwasher, at a place that overworked and underpaid me. On top of that, I struggled across two months to find someone willing to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 with me. Overall, 2011 became the most miserable summer I ever had, but that was a day at Disneyland compared to the 69 teenagers and 8 adults killed by Anders Behring Breivik, an anti-Muslim, right-wing Christian extremist—the one responsible for Norway’s deadliest mass tragedy since WWII.
It of course remains greatly unfortunate that these lives ended on a day like any other; if you ask me, the one who causes such a disaster ought to pay back double to whomever family he took a precious child away from. Similarly, the filmmakers behind 22 July should pay back double to the victims, both of the tragedy and the audience seats, for their great disservice done to the memory of this horrific day. Instead of an actual movie, Netflix craps out a Wikipedia article converted into a screenplay that diffuses any emotionally heavy hits.
Everybody, particularly the man portraying Breivik, Anders Danielsen Lie, strains through the sensitive subject without clear direction. He starts by slumping through his dull moments in the motiveless beginning, then leads up to his anticlimactic presence into a “big finish” by attempting an emotional monologue to match Matt Damon’s improvised story near Saving Private Ryan’s climax, except without heartful sincerity. Another atrocious performance by Ola G. Furuseth, the prime minister, is impossible to take seriously with his empty speech… even Inglourious Basterds is easier to take seriously!
Then there’s the teenage “actors,” none of which can create trauma with even one-tenth the transparency of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s wide-ranged emotions in 12 Years a Slave. First off, there’s Seda Witt’s naïve performance as a useless love interest who serves no plot importance besides delivering the message that feels written last minute. Then there’s the boy playing Viljar Hanssen, who suffers from random inconsistent framing tossed around by the director/screenwriter Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips, United 93).
Greengrass fails hard to help you identify with anyone as he jumps between subplots without rhyme or reason, the randomly selected scenes setting an infinitely random compilation. Nothing is learned about anybody at a personal level, their spoken words written only to push plot progression, not to establish the fire-breathing conflict. The deepest it goes in giving actually important information is Anders calling his targets, “Marxists,” due to his presumption that Europe promotes a false Democracy. That’s it, nothing else informative to be found here. As if this wasn’t inauthentic enough: Despite its Norwegian setting, everyone speaks English! Pretty disrespectful, isn’t it?
The only authentic thing about this noise is the look of the land, being the foggy weather that freezes into pale snow that looks of former beauty now the consistency of ashes. It contrasts the numerous nasty surgical procedures seen in the bloody reality of the hospital, ugliness penetrating deeper after smoke bellows out a blown-up building before the attack that sends these victims to that hospital. But even then, these low points of humanity still turn unintentionally hideous from how little real conflict is recreated.
Thus, teenage boy viewers will feel little connection with the little tangibility of fear triggered, instead of each victim’s backstory utilized through the narrative in the same fashion done by something like Schindler’s List or Spotlight, it abuses the typical scared, scrunched, crying faces to force out emotions. It’s inexcusable that this little care went into a biopic about something so recent, especially something American people need to hear, something that will hit uncomfortably close to home for all the relevant issues of gun violence and the public image of the law force.
Which stinks, because if the story of Viljar Hanssen, the focused survivor of this film, was pursued further, seeing him suffer through his struggle of limping on a cane would generate a sincerer desire to see good come of him. A better screenwriter could have matched this subject matter’s power to how Titanic generated empathy for the unnamed background faces just by detailing their predicament, but instead, 22 July does no help besides merely telling people that this event existed.
Better surveys of tragic chaos include The Hurt Locker, Paul Greengrass’s Oscar nominated United 93, or even Deepwater Horizon, which while also surface-level, still made the destruction of its water piece look incredible. Heck, most other surveys of historical turmoil would be better than this not-incredible, disrespectful rubble pile.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Dec 27, 2018THUG-LIFE (The Hate U Give- Little Infants F*** Everybody).
The newest cinematic #BlackLivesMatter piece brings out that clear message forTHUG-LIFE (The Hate U Give- Little Infants F*** Everybody).
The newest cinematic #BlackLivesMatter piece brings out that clear message for today’s ungenerous Americans who bottle up pride. Even now in 2018, if a young Black boy is bullied for being gay, the media cares less about his predicament than about how cute Emma Stone looks with Ryan Gosling; not anymore though, at least within the perspective of society’s true xenophobia by director George Tillman Jr. After The Hate U Give’s protagonist, Starr, sees her childhood friend get killed by a cop, it’s revealed how not just White people, but others like Starr’s father and cop uncle, are xenophobic.
Hate does not describe my viewing experience of The Hate U Give, for far too many things are done right. It starts with the sincere direction that triggers inner division whenever Starr speaks with her White boyfriend, Chris. Tillman Jr. also initiates fear as he stages the pivotal cop scene without showing the officer’s face, especially with the content of the opening scene fresh in your head. These moments carry far more credibility than other buddy cop comedies that merely resort to a lazy visual difference between two leads to call it a racial allegory (I’m looking at you, Bright).
Unbelievably, you forget that White people back in the early half of the 20th century refused physical contact with objects that Black people had touched, which still influences people now, even Starr’s White girlfriend who denies her discriminatory behavior. It’s just like how high schoolers in real life are still in the process of figuring out who their real friends are, a change forced onto Starr by a powerful motivational dad speech on the grass to remind her of what spite really means. Although a smaller cast in The Hate U Give would have allowed greater focus on Starr’s thought process, as unnecessary narrational exposition about these characters is abused to the point where they become nothing beyond words on a page.
Give The Hate U Give a good watch however, then the neighborhood’s violent, originally peaceful, “Just Us for Justice” protest will assault the senses despite the mediocre characterizations. It turns especially effective because every individual actor marks clear motivations, especially the transparent Russell Hornsby (Fences) who holds the whole production together. The confused emotions pop up within the White characters too, as Chris’s peers accuse him of behaving Black, yet he misunderstands what Blackness really means. It’s the same level of detailing cultural relationships achieved in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Little do I realize that The Hate U Give was speaking to me about my own prejudice I admit being guilty of. Here’s how: Before high school, I seldom saw differences between Black, Yellow, Red, Brown, White, or anything between. High school was when other non-Whites became the butt of jokes around my peers, until growing up made me realize how unacceptable it was. Now, I’ve been very, very conscious about my treatment of other Black people—even mentally tracking the times I physically touched one, thinking, “well, clearly, I’m not racist!” Except that thought process is racist, since it’s a special treatment that gives one specific attention because of their difference. Think of it in the way one with autism, such as myself, wants to be accepted like anyone else.
Infants could call The Hate U Give flawless for this rare awareness that is difficult for a strong film to achieve, but like mentioned in paragraph 3, deeper analysis proves some flaws; an unnecessary flashback takes away the present-day conflict, accompanied by basic, overly sentimental music mixed in with complementary rap music. The jarring transitions by the editing inhibit focus on the implied Christian faith of Starr’s family, which needed to take center stage in an otherwise powerful depiction of the truth.
Fork left in the road that is this film reel’s sidewalk, you must decide for yourself how to think after hearing some uncomfortable interpretations from The Hate U Give, such as Starr’s dad accusing Harry Potter of being a gang metaphor (kids separated by color to practice self-defense). In that same way, Starr’s life leans between the blue Catholic school (White world) and the orange neighborhood (Black world), two worlds colliding in an awkward moment when Dad meets Chris for the first time. It’s all a study of what really happens from the twinkling gaze of a teenager who watches a climax she can’t stop watching.
Everybody makes mistakes that leave chaotic consequences; a prejudiced police officer shoots a man who may have shared blame by disrespecting the officer, which set off a chain of reactions on both sides that prove how hate has driven the United States down its own counterproductive hell hole.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.5Dec 27, 2018I love Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s immortal Winter love letter; it’s clear that lots of passion went into his work to empower your imagination.I love Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s immortal Winter love letter; it’s clear that lots of passion went into his work to empower your imagination. I’ll elucidate: his Waltz of the Flowers calms down nerves like a pink rose petal blizzard while his Waltz of the Snowflakes suggests a light snowfall that dances across your eyelashes until it becomes a blanketed white meadow against the night’s glitter. Outside of the familiar pieces, the music used at the entr’acte into the Land of the Sweets generates pure serene joy, a necessary treat for the ears after the Battle with the Mouse King tells a story through the instruments how toy soldiers line up for battle around the Christmas tree.
It’s a shame that Disney now completely disrespects Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet and annihilates all his hard work. Every cast member young and old in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms are fully aware of the pathetic clichés that forces them to speak indolent lines heard in every fantasy epic ever made.
For instance, Matthew Macfayden’s woodenness playing Clara’s father can’t convey a care for appearances that his character supposedly flaunts, giving no signs of sternness to contrast the fantastical world. Then there’s the way Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) tries putting on an angry face, which fails hilariously beneath her great denseness. Mackenzie never conveys determination within her own reality; not once is she a believable match suited against Helen Mirren flinging around a flimsy whip. It’s even more laughable because everyone keeps telling Clara how useful she is, even though her unreactive personality looks totally incapable of servitude.
Although nobody is more teeth-grittingly annoying than Keira Knightley, the Sugar Plum Fairy (or in this adaptation, just “Sugar Plum”). The second Keira opens her mouth, you just want to roundhouse kick this hyperactive children’s show host back to 2006 when trends of a Narnia rip-off guaranteed actual box office significance. Perhaps because of Keira’s voice pitched higher than nails on a chalkboard, not one man, woman, or child actor here puts on an awestruck expression, not even Fritz when watching Clara’s Rube Goldberg machine/mouse trap.
Rather, the ominous tone stops any delightful moments from striking the kids in the audience, most of which are guaranteed trauma for weeks to come from watching one particularly freaky scene with cackling matryoshka doll clowns. Although I can’t express much hate toward such a nightmare fuel of a movie, even though all the elements of what strikes my nerve are here: a lazy overdone story, CGI abuse, disloyalty to the source material, all core reasons of why Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and A Wrinkle in Time made me leave the theater angry. While both those movies made every single actor a complete annoyance, in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, just one performance irritated me, so it wasn’t enough to piss me off.
Although one question goes unanswered right now… why did I see another Disney live action disservice to an old story in the first place… despite not wanting to? Simple: to check its Oscar chances that I wouldn’t know of without sitting through the whole thing. Turns out Oscar chances are possible in Production Design and Costume Design! Yes, I was in true awe of the yuletide personality breathed out from production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas (Inception, Passengers), which infuses Clara’s technical genius into the visuals with clockwork imagery. One of his wiser design choices hangs sharks above Godfather Drosselmeyer’s library to show the skeletons in his closet (ahem, head). Color just explodes everywhere in all the right doses as a ballet tells of Clara’s mother creating the four realms, very different from Clara’s mellow yet sophisticated lavender dress.
Can’t speak for how the enjoyment will translate for your tastes though, odds are you could get plenty furious at Disney for ruining a seasonal classic, that is, depending on your connection to the ballet. I fully understand, for what the great mouse has done to Tchaikovsky’s legacy is virtually comparable to how Fifty Shades of Grey started as a Twilight fanfiction written on a Blackberry—same effort, same motivation, same terrible product.
Henceforth, the only service The Nutcracker and the Four Realms does for society is remind us of the ballet’s wonderful classical compositions that resurrects our true selves. True art comes from passion, meditation, and thought, so that any interpretation made from the audience is always correct, because a personal touch hits another’s experience in a unique way.… Expand