Passengers Review

I really have no idea what to say about Passengers that hasn’t already been said.

This screenplay was atrocious and the fact that this movie was created is a complete joke. It has been on the black list for years and I can see why no one would touch this thing with a ten foot pole. Naturally in order for a script this crappy to even be picked up there has to be A list stars willing to do it just for the money and I’m convinced that is what happened here. It is alarming that a relationship such as Aurora’s and Jim’s was even allowed to be brought to screens because of how toxic it was. I never thought anyone could make any of Pratt’s characters seem creepy and irredeemable but Passengers did that. The fact that he took her life away was appalling to me and a female character should not be treated that way in this day and age. Yes she beat the shit out of him when she found out, yes she stopped talking to him but to have her save him at the end after everything is utter lunacy.

Apart from the controversial storyline, which for once I actually felt bad for a Jennifer Lawrence character it was utterly boring and repetitive. Passengers proves that neither of them are good enough to carry a movie on their own. Morten Tyldum did what he could with a horrible script but it wasn’t enough. The only thing I will give Passengers is that it had pretty visuals and the cinematography was tolerable. The first half of the film is boring and could have honestly been cut down but sure go ahead and show time passing by having Pratt grow a beard.

Another thing that could have saved this movie was the chemistry between Jen and Pratt but there was zero of it. Nothing. It was completely forced because there was the impending notion that he woke her up so anything he did I felt victimized her. It was odd seeing them together, they are such an odd pairing maybe it’s because they look alike and could literally pass as siblings. There was no sexual chemistry which could have made not only the sex scenes but the intimate scenes leading up to it a bit richer.

This film was a dud, a flop and it shouldn’t have been made but sure go make mediocre movies with A listers so you guys can keep up with the rest of them. Great job Sony.

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Sing Review 

Lazy, sloppy and a complete mess of an animated feature. Illumination Entertainment has gotten traction because of those stupid minions and they have dumbed down their films. If it weren’t for the extravagant cast lending a voice to these characters I would not care for a single one. There are too many characters and not enough substance in order for their own stories to become relevant or carry out. The editing is horrendous and all the best parts are in the trailer. The half star is for Reese Witherspoon as Rosita singing and dancing to Bamboleo in the grocery store.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I would like to start off by saying that the Star Wars franchise is by far the most confusing saga that I’ve ever seen. Having these films out of chronological order is stressful and unnecessary and it is what turned me off the most before I actually sat down and watched them. Rogue One is a prequel to the sequels – I know it’s tricky – and it did a pretty good job with revealing how to destroy the Death Star.

The cast of characters were well written and I have to admit I got emotional because of how racial diverse the cast was. Representation in cinema is extremely important and it was wonderful to see the Rebel Alliance filled with so many different races uniting together to take down the Imperial Alliance. We had some light laughs with the new robot K-2SO who was very sarcastic and blunt. Diego Luna had great chemistry with Felicity Jones and I enjoyed the scenes they had together. The real star of this film was Donnie Yen who played Chirrut Imwe who believed in the force so strongly that even though he was blind he heard and felt everything. He was an incredible edition to the Star Wars franchise and he will definitely be a highlight for years to come.

I thought it was a nice transitional film from Revenge of the Sith to A New Hope. Yes Darth Vader himself makes an appearance and I really do love him as a villain I hope one day (I know this is getting excessive) that we do get a standalone after Anakin becomes Darth Vader, I think there is so much story there! Also the CGI characters that were brought back was a nice addition to accurately continue the story so there is a seamless flow to the saga. All in all they did a great job with the characters, that was Rogue One’s strength, the representation and the character interactions.

Moana Review

Moana is a wonderfully refreshing story about a young girl venturing out on a quest in order to fulfill her destiny. From the moment Moana began it showed how every child can already have leadership qualities within them and I was pleasantly surprised by that. As the elder went on to retell the legend of Maui, Moana was sitting wide-eyed, front and centre and I could feel the ambition through her eyes.

Disney has done incredible work but once they partnered with Pixar their animation has gone on another level. It was beautiful created, I audible gasped when I saw the water interacting with Moana. Disney managed to give an element – water – a personality and that is extraordinary. Moana’s animation is expertly crafted and very detailed which I appreciated it. I also appreciated the strength of our lead female character. It is wonderful to see the conventional narrative being turned on it’s head by having a young daughter inherit the family legacy. I was impressed with how they wrote for Moana and how everyone else fit into her narrative. I loved that not only was she soon to be chief but she was a warrior and is not really labelled as a princess! Given all this amazingness Disney had the awesome idea by having Lin Manuel Miranda blow us all away with the music that went along with Moana’s story, which was inspiring!

Nocturnal Animals

Tom Ford is a visual artist. He fills the frame with such beautiful and vibrant pieces that will overwhelm you. This film is dark, cynical, twisted and painful to sit through because of the content and how well it is sewn together. Tom Ford truly delivers a piece of art that compliments A Single Man. I want him to continue making films because of how gifted a director and screenwriter he is.

First and foremost this cast is exceptional. Every single scene was so subtle and powerful that I was nervous for the majority of the film. The one that surprised me was Aaron Taylor Johnson, he had such a strong characterization that he absolutely terrified me. Also Jake Gyllenhaal deserves so much recognition for his work because he did an exceptional job in this film. I literally ask myself every single day where is Oscar is and I am always disappointed.

Ford chose to use a very choppy narrative in order for the character parallels to work. I found the story within a story quite interesting and the manuscript mirrored Susan’s life. This is how I would interpret the film as a whole considering it’s main theme was revenge. The ultimate revenge is what Edward served Susan after what she did to him. Every single scene was a puzzle piece that needed to be assembled by the end and yet there was still a piece missing physically and the audience had to add the final one to complete the puzzle. It is filled with symbolism that foreshadows the manuscript. It is an intricate piece that needs to be analyzed and understood by audiences.

Susan’s life was picked apart by Edward and that is why he dedicated this novel to her. I can give an in depth analysis of why Ford chose to use half naked women and why the colour red was so prominent in every scene and how Susan and Edward fading into each other is a genius way to create the illusion that they have had the other in mind. Their thoughts bleed into each other, their mind wanders to each other and they think about what they could have done differently.

I have already written too much but it is very difficult to write a review on this film without spoiling it. Jake Gyllenhaal is a brilliant actor and I adore this man, I just wish people would recognize how talented he is. Also, people need to see that

Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson returns with one of the most beautifully adapted acts of heroism I have ever seen. Hacksaw Ridge is possibly one of the best war films I have ever seen in my life and I was moved to tears by Andrew Garfield’s performance. The one thing I can give Mel Gibson is that he does not shy away from the brutal uninhibited violence that comes with being in the battlefield. This is such a well rounded war film that the paternalism is rooted heavily in patriotic nationalism and religious conviction.

Mel Gibson has always been a talented director and it clearly shows in this film. He made incredible choices on the battlefront and some scenes will probably stay with me for awhile. The brutality of it all really captures you, he is very blunt in showing how much of these soldiers lives are effected by any war. The story is powerful, Andrew Garfield gives a sincere emotional performance that he is perfectly suited for. Garfield has this kind gentleness that is carried in his eyes, he developed an emotional connection with the wounded soldiers and those who survived would remember him for that reason.

The main take away from this film is the power of unity, the power of compromise and the power of understanding everyone’s convictions even if you do not agree with them. We are all humans and Mel Gibson was able to incorporate many different positions that make up the constitution of America. He creates a subtext when discussing the fate of Doss in the United States army by showing how problematic their morals are when making decisions by also enforcing patriotism. This film has such great depth and so many layers that makes it a beautifully executed whole.

Arrival

Denis Villeneuve is an exquisite, visionary director. He is one of the few who is able to challenge their audience with the execution of his films. Every single scene is placed in sequence for a reason, each movement is flawless and integral to unraveling the story. Arrival is possibly the best science fiction film that has ever been created because of how well the narrative is structured. The separate ideologies of science and language bleed into each other and both are effective as a whole. This film is deeply rooted in humanity and is relevant to where society is today.

Villeneuve created such a beautiful film, filled with experimental elements and unique compositions that truly left me speechless. He invents new ways to position the camera and fill the space with art. The story itself was brilliantly written and Amy Adams delivered a strong performance. There were many aspects of her character’s mind that filled the edges of the screen and the emotional connection to her humanity was felt.

I can go on and speak about the symbolism of the film but I do not have enough words to express how important this film is. The power of unity is the main theme of this film, among many other spiritual elements that exceed the science of humanity. Denis Villeneuve is a master of his craft, he deserves endless recognition for what he did with Arrival and I sure hope he gets it.