Aaron Sorkin is a very famous screenwriter. He wrote The Social Network, Steve Jobs, and has even done great television like The Newsroom. His writing is distinctive when people say lines from his scripts, you know it. But this movie is a little different than those other projects. This is Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut, which should be a really big deal. Seeing the first trailer, I was not convinced this would be a good as it should be. I was both surprised but also let down.
Molly's Game has a few problems. The first is that no one feels at home speaking from the Aaron Sorkin script. Again, a Sorkin script has a certain feeling to it that no one in the movie really captures. Jessica Chastain really tries to make it work, but it the performance did not live up to my expectation.
The expectation I am talking about stems from the fact that Molly's Game feels like a mashup of Sorkin's two other movies. The Social Network and Steve Jobs in particular. There is a really smart protagonist faced with very difficult circumstances that intelligence cannot remedy. On top of this, the story structure is made up of continuous flashbacks stemming from a present moment. It's really too reminiscent of those two other movies without being as good.
The editing was weird in places with some very random insert shorts to fill space. The soundtrack was not at all compelling and it made me wish I was watching a different movie from Aaron Sorkin. Yes, the story is amazing, thankfully its based on real events just like his other standout works. I think that this is the weakest movie he has done so far. Maybe he wasn't ready to be a director or maybe he needed actors that could capture the flow of his work. Whatever it is, I hope his other works go up in quality.
I did have a fun time watching the movie. The story was fun like I said before. The acting was serviceable enough and it was a complete movie. It just didn't live up to my expectations.
So I would say, overall, you could watch it. You do not have to see it in theaters so definitely wait for it to rent. If you are going into the movie hoping for a Sorkin great, this is not one of them.
The Greatest Showman had to grow on me. From the very first trailer, I wasn't sold. Even the second trailer didn't make me confident in seeing the movie. That whole process mirrors my experience watching the movie itself.
The movie starts off with some cringy lines from child actors that are off-putting. When the movie transitions to Hugh Jackman's character as an adult it immediately improves. But then the movie continues to make really easy choices when it comes to the storytelling. It takes the easy way out, rushing through what would seem like important plot points. It likes to skip through hardship that the characters take and focus on the positive. For all the talk about inclusion and overcoming prejudice, it doesn't really portray the hill to climb.
If you take the constant head scratching that is the story and ignore it, the movie is nice on the eyes. It's colorful and full of life with some great vibrancy in colors. The soundtrack, since this is a musical, is actually really good. I love to listen to the music thinking about the scenes in which they were used in the movie. That being said, the musical numbers are not that magical in the movie itself. Some are, but most don't portray the magic that you feel listening to the music by itself. Pretty much every song is used in the movie as a tool to create positivity. This means that whenever you feel like some emotional depth might actually happen in the movie, it is picked up by a musical number.
The standouts from the movie are obviously Hugh Jackman but also Zendaya. Jackman is a no-brainer because he is great in everything he does, while Zendaya is a genuine surprise. This is due to the fact that she is barely in the movie but still makes a strong impression. I was not familiar with her before this year's Spider-Man: Homecoming, but now hope she is in a lot more movies. Zac Efron proves he can still sing but still can't prove to me he has range in acting.
Overall the movie was pleasant enough. It's pretty enough to look at and has some really great music. I am happy that the movie came out solely for the soundtrack. At the beginning of the movie, Jackman and the director come on screen and thank you for coming to a theater to see the movie, but you could rent this at home in a few months time.
I was excited about this movie, to say the least. I really liked the idea and the trailers really hooked me into what would be happening in the movie. Then I started listening to the movie soundtrack, which is great on its own. I really wanted to like this movie and I did like some of it.
The first third of the movie is the weakest part. This is due to some weird editing choices and music selection. Some scenes just don't cut together in tone and pacing. This followed up with the weird music choice throws the movie off balance. Other than that, the rest of the movie is fine. It plays out like a lower budget movie with some cool magic spice added in.
All of the gunfire scenes are nothing special. They feel low stakes and inconsequential with no real weight to them. The scenes with physical combat are not much better due to close-ups of people's faces obfuscating the action. The only scenes that are visually stimulating are ones that include magic.
Character and plot-wise, the movie did a serviceable job. I came to really like Nick the Orc played by Joel Edgerton. It almost feels like that character was designed to be the most relatable to an audience member. And though Nick was a standout, the movie overall made me care about the characters in some capacity. It was enough care for the ending to work well enough that I was satisfied by the end.
There were some story points that didn't really make sense to me. Like why it was important for Nick to let that one Orc go since it doesn't really change how the movie progressed in any way. But I would say it was a net positive experience.
It helps that you don't have to pay an admission fee to see the movie because that would make it a hard to recommend. I would say if you have Netflix, give it a shot. There are some scenes, that are very spoiler heavy, that are cool standout moments that could be worth watching the movie alone for. I do have a problem with the trailers showing so much of the ending and almost all the action. Why did you have to do that Netflix?
7/10 So did Ward's wife leave the city and just come back?
Matt Damon in a movie about people being shrunken down to a couple of inches tall. How could you not want to see this movie? The answer to that question is if you saw the trailers. There was something off about what the trailers would show of the movie. After seeing the film, it now makes total sense why the trailers are the way they are. But after seeing the movie you come away with a question. What was that movie even about?
Downsizing starts with two flash forwards. You know, two things that say "X Years Later". Within the first five minutes, there are two of these things. I usually take that as a sign that the movie ahead might not be that good. Aside from some good jokes, this movie is boring. It alludes to themes that make statements about the world we live in today. Whether it is about global warming, class division, or so many of the other things it touches on, it never chooses one.
This movie is literally about nothing. If you only follow the main character's journey, he goes from being a guy in a dysfunctional marriage to pretty much still being the same person at the end of the movie. There really is nothing to unpack here except for all those themes that the movie continuously alludes to. There is nothing special here, nothing worth watching the movie for. There are so many other movies that have themes similar to this one, only those are actually enjoyable to watch.
Overall, Downsizing was 2 hours of boring. Nothing stood out as a positive for this movie that would compel me to recommend other people see it.
I was excited to see The Shape of Water. It looked magical and bizarre. A love story between a monster that lived in water with a mute woman seemed a little far-fetched. I liked the feeling of it taking place in a 60ish time period. I wanted to see what role Michael Shannon played in the movie because he always does something interesting. The deck was stacked against the movie, but also in favor of it as I went to go see the movie.
The movie is rated R, but only for the sole purpose of nudity. This kind of struck me as I was not expecting it, especially so early on. But it really did shape the tone of the movie and really give characters, as an outsider looking in, perspective. The movie continues seemingly plainly, nothing too much out of the ordinary happens. Sure it was a beautiful movie with great set design and a magical quality to it, but it left me confused.
What I now realize is that the movie is a well of creativity that can be drawn from. At its heart is a fairy tale movie, one for adults. A market that will probably remain vacant as Disney recreates their own iconic fairy tales into live action. It's a story about not belonging in a world, a world that pushes away the different because it doesn't want to understand. A classic fairy tale with really unique characters. The main characters can't speak, so looking back, there was much more to those scenes than just silence. It operates on so many levels that it is not a movie that you can just turn your brain off an enjoy, but you don't have to analyze every little thing.
This isn't going to turn into a think piece taking apart the movie. I just want to point out that you could rightly have a much better time appreciating the movie for what it is. Overall I enjoyed the movie. I didn't pick up on everything it had to offer, but what I did experience was interesting enough to watch. I feel like my experience is the base that can only be built upon.
Yes, you should see this movie, no it doesn't have to be in theaters. With some great music and a great look it really stands out. I can see why it is so beloved by many and am hoping to see it again.
Every mainline Star Wars movie has been very similar to each other up until this point. People forget that Star Wars was always a series targeting families and children. Though there was great wonder and stories surrounding the movies, that tone never seeped into the movies themselves. The stories that populated the rest of the Star Wars universe were always different in tone, and I think people have come to expect that from the movies. Fan theories and wondering where the movies will take you can and are poisonous. This happened when the Matrix trilogy came out and I hope it doesn't happen here.
When The Force Awakens came out, people were ecstatic. The excitement overwhelmed people into overlooking the faults that the movie still bears. This movie does not have that blinding cloud for me, so when I say that the Last Jedi is good enough , I mean it.
The Last Jedi has the best cinematography of any Star Wars movie. There are so many beautiful shots that could be posters themselves, such attention the framing of the movie really went a long way in making the movie feel new. This is important because it reflects on the new direction that no other main Star Wars movie has gone. This isn't a rehash of Empire Strikes Back like the Force Awakens was just A New Hope. There is a new feeling to the movie that can throw some people off, but I'm glad that it happened.
This change does not come without consequences though. The first casualty to the new direction is pacing. This movie is not paced out well. The story beats are not well cut together. You will go from intense scene to more of the same. Any example would give away the plot of the movie, but think about it this way. Imagine a Nascar race, but instead of watching one lap, it cuts halfway through to a car in a pitstop getting its tire changed. When that happens you would think to yourself, "I didn't even get to finish that moment". That is the majority of this movie.
The next problem is overarching story vs micro story. There is finally some real character development at the expense of what the story actually achieves. You finally get some truly great moments of characters coming into their own, but not really progressing. This movie doesn't answer the questions you might have had, but it wasn't made to. All the fan theories and speculation might make you really not like the result that you get. In short, the total story leaves you in a state too similar to the one it starts off in, it feels like nothing is achieved in the movie.
As a movie, this is a good one. As a Star Wars movie, this is a mixed bag. It is in peek form when it acknowledges its legacy and uses that as a building block into creating a deeper story. The most harm it does to itself is trying to work with the new characters that were established in the last movie.
The biggest difference between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi is that after The Force Awakens, you wanted more. After this movie, you don't feel like you want more. All the questions that the first movie gave you are answered in this one, though many people will not like those answers.
I really appreciate the classic storytelling that was infused into this movie. There was more balance to each side and a mirroring effect that really helped you understand the motivations of the Rebellion and the New Order. It is ironic in a way because it takes a sledgehammer to what Star Wars could have been going forward. The two sides are forever morphed into things that are unfamiliar, even to the prequels.
This movie felt more like a platform that comics, tv series, and books will build upon to flesh out the Star Wars universe. It satiated the desire for a new Star Wars barely but left a trail of pain behind it. With this movie, it is now more apparent than ever that there was never a plan for this trilogy. People defended The Force Awakens by saying that the whole story was already planned out and that everything would fall into place. This argument truly holds no real weight, but then was made even worse when it was revealed that there was no official plan.
This movie is a beautiful mess. A mess, but one that was filmed beautifully. I would recommend you see it on a huge screen if you are a casual Star Wars fan and all the way to super Star Wars nerdom. If you go to the movies for fun, you don't have to watch this.
When I saw the announcement for this movie, I was excited to see how it would turn out. I had read the book when I was younger and wondered how they would adapt that story to film. I liked how Blue Sky turned Horton Hears a Who into an animated movie and was hoping for the same to happen here.
The movie starts out off-putting. None of the voice actors hit the mark in believability. I don't believe what they are saying and I don't believe that the voices I hear are coming from the characters on screen. This annoyance becomes less of a problem after the first 15 minutes where the movie transitions to the one that you see in the trailer. But a different kind of problem becomes apparent, Blue Sky spent no money on actual voice talent. Everyone didn't sound that good other than Ferdinand himself. It was a really poor showing for everyone involved. The voices were not convincing enough to buy into the movie.
This fact isn't helped by really weird story beats and super weird lines. First, the story beats seem mishmash together. Its a typical movie about defying expectations, but with some plot devices that you usually don't see, or wouldn't expect to see in this movie. For instance, there is a dance-off between some bulls and some horses, which I was not expecting to see. This is followed up by the weird lines. For instance, the horses use an off-putting incest joke and more cringe-worthy lines for the whole cast to share. It feels like someone from the early 2000's and someone trying to figure out what is "cool with the kids these days", come together to write this movie. With an overuse of the word "stoked" and dabbing being some of the most egregious examples.
There is a kind of weird silver lining to this weird movie and that is the animation. The visual gags are fun for the most part and would work as a short animation. It seems like there are some really great small chunks of the movie that would be fun on their own. Most of these great scenes are with no voice at all. But it was not enough to save the movie.
I would recommend waiting for this movie to come out on a streaming service, or renting it. It feels like a movie you would put on in the background of a daycare center where not all the kids would watch it.
How can a movie about the making of a movie be good? The answer is, have a real-life person be so crazy that making a movie about their life will just work. The Disaster Artists has that and one thing that all other "based on true events" movies wish they had, authenticity. Not only is the movie over the top and enjoyable to watch, its because that is how it was in real life. You can't make up the events that transpired and the over the top nature of the story really draws people in.
There is a certain finesse to the way the story was told. Everyone loves to make fun of The Room, the movie that this one is based around. This really puts people in a certain mindset on how you would see the people behind that movie. This movie tries to break that preconception by showing you that the people behind the movie are not one-note characters. They have feeling and dreams that can be broken over time.
The Disaster Artist is most importantly about a friendship and the people in it. Their wants and desires in life bring them together, stronger than it can pull them apart. It humanizes a person who, to be frank, seems unredeemable when you first hear about him. This is probably the best movie that utilizes meta-culture at its best.
I would recommend seeing this movie. It doesn't have to be in a theater and you don't need to have seen The Room before watching it either. The true-life story is so crazy that anyone can enjoy it.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is a sequel to the original movie that came out in 1995 with Robin Williams. This movie makes no references to that movie in any obvious way, which was kind of refreshing in a movie landscape filled with long continuities. It really uses this fact as a strength so that it can try to be recognized alongside the original, instead of always in its shadow. My impression is that they gave their attempt a solid effort.
The trailers of the movie at first instilled no hope in me. I was sad that they were going to make a sequel to Jumanji, with the team behind the reboot of Baywatch no less. Now, Baywatch was produced by Dwayne Johnson himself. That means he pretty much called all the shots, and the movie suffered for it. He did the same here with pretty similar results but with one big difference. He hired a wider range of talent to work on the movie. This goes from actors to visual effect houses. You can tell that there is a quality bump in the movie compared to Baywatch. I feel it is important to compare this movie with the Baywatch reboot more so than the original Jumanji because it allows me to be nicer to it.
This movie is filled with problems, problems that I quickly got over but that still lingered throughout the whole movie. Things like lines certain characters said, or using stereotypes to define characters. These problems never went away, but once you started to accept that it would never get better, it allowed the movie to become enjoyable. There were funny lines and scenes that really played to the movie's strengths. It feels like the script was tailor written for the actors, which means that it was perfect casting. One thing that was a strength and a weakness was how it was Dwayne Johnson focused. He really likes to make himself the focus of the movie, which when played to his strengths is good and shows a lack of range when acting.
If you can overcome overblown stereotypes as character backstories, if you can get over the weird lines that characters say, and you can power through the weird pacing, this is actually a fun movie. Lots of good jokes and lots of good gags. Definitely a step up from Baywatch. I am really happy that Johnson surrounded himself with better actors than he did with Baywatch. I feel like he is only as good as the people around him, but even that has a limit. I would recommend you eventually see it, it doesn't have to be in theaters.