Thursday, February 23, 2017

La La Land (2016)

La La Land, to the best of my recollection, is the first musical I have ever seen only because I swore to finish this personal project of seeing every 2017 Oscar Best Picture Nominee.

As expected I find it hard taking the acting seriously and subsequently the story when people break out to sing and dance. So instead of a character I focused on a song and City of Stars stood out. The song was my emotional goal post. I appreciated the ending because through it I understood why.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lion (2016)

I've seen eight best picture nominees now in the 2017 Oscars. La la Land, the 9th, will be the last. Even with one movie still out this one has risen to the top of my list.

Implicit in the title is the bravery and there was; but what makes this movie endearing is the tenderness hidden underneath. Lion actually is a story of love, the best kind that anyone will ever have in this life. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Arrival (2016)

Arrival is the latest in a line of movies that can be described as watered down science fiction where flashy high tech is removed just to keep close to reality. Previous movies are Interstellar and The Martian.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hidden Figures (2016)

It was funny at first, a woman in midsized heels running to another building just to pee. Then it became depressing as she still had to relieve herself in another building even under heavy rain. Eventually it was just idiotic because even in a great emergency Katherine Goble (Katherine Johnson when she married) would still be in the other building because she is black. 


This is 1960s segregated America and even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) is no exemption, space race notwithstanding. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Moonlight (2016)

This is definitely not the stereotypical black movie.

In trying to recall the few movies with generally African American characters that I have seen these are what I came up with: Cage (ok ok, not a movie); The Nutty Professor; 42; He Got Game. Given that, the stereotypical black then would be a sportsman or gangbanger. 

Moonlight doesn’t fit in any of those because the protagonist does not know who he is which, for some reason, skewed into gender identity. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Hell or High Water (2016)

I watched the movie without having seen the trailer so what I wrote I learned organically scene by scene.  Apparently the trailer contained what took half the movie to know which either speaks bad of the movie or of the trailer. You would have googled it anyway so I embedded the trailer in the end.

The opening was prototypical. 

A bank robbed by two men.  Cowboy hat and a large belt buckle worn by the manager meant it was Texas. Once the robberies became a spree it was cue in the Texas Rangers time. Bank robbery, cowboys, and Rangers in hot pursuit; if the movie had horses it might still have worked.  But even without horses, with the elements already available I can see an ending that would fit a Bon Jovi song.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

You just know a movie is so well put together when you see it.  It’s almost like a song, like the rhythm is right; you’re feeling no bumps.

Hacksaw Ridge is a movie that is beautifully put together, the best so far among the movies I have seen in this year’s list of Oscar nominees for best picture. So far I’ve seen Fences and Manchester by the Sea previously.  If the great Robert Downey Jr. who is the poster child of falling from grace and coming back again could not remove Mel Gibson from the blacklist - Robert was or is hoping Mel direct an Iron Man movie - then maybe Mel’s work can. From what I see in this movie, Mel has not lost a step since directing Apocalypto of 2006.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

John Chandler’s (Kyle Chandler) last act, posthumously, was to call for a handyman, his own brother Lee (Casey Affleck).  He wrote in his last will and testament that Lee is to be his son Patrick’s (Lucas Hedges) legal guardian when he dies.  It was a wish meticulously thought of and prepared for. John even set money aside to make sure his brother comes back to Manchester from that handyman job out of town and perform his charge.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017


13 minutes… 21 minutes…

I’ve barely begun and already I’m counting out the scene – or is it three scenes? – waiting for the switch or at least when Denzel Washington concedes charge of it. The opening minutes of Fences felt as if Troy Maxson (Denzel) was going to carry the story by brute force; talking all the time and appearing in nearly every scene as the focal point and with almost the same energy.