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Disney's Grandest Show
Ever since I was child, no film has managed to stick around so much in my life and at the same time still spectacularly mesmerize me as an adult as Disney's 1940 masterpiece Fantasia. In the realm of animation, Disney was pioneering with a wide collection of animated films and shorts but nothing to this scale had ever been attempted especially during the time(beginning of the 1940's) when it was made. Fantasia is by far one of the most inventive and awe-inspiring cinematic experiences I have ever been able to see in my life! As a young child I couldn't really appreciate the film so highly beyond it having some neat animation sequences, but as an adult there's so much more I have noticed and grown to be even more fond of.
As I said a moment ago, Fantasia is a very inventive piece of work where you have such an eloquent blend of music and animation that come together to create a massive spectacle that you're unlikely to forget. The blending of these elements make each animated sequence full of meaning, emotion, splendor, and awe. Music is such a powerful tool when used to convey meaning within any visual entertainment, which in 1940 a film like this one was rather new for audiences to see. In a way, this film acts as a big experiment bringing filmed orchestral performances played to visualize the story in the music. As a child I was so fascinated by several of the animated sequences, but particularly I was most taken away by 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' and 'The Rite of Spring' segments. Both of those segments blew me away with their animation and presentation. I never got tired of seeing these two segments, constantly watching them on repeat almost to the point where you could blindfold me and I would be able to describe to you exactly what is happening on screen. While at times, these animated segments delighted and wondered me but at the same time some would terrify me, specifically 'Night on Bald Mountain'. Getting an emotional reaction from a film like Fantasia is quite interesting not just because you wouldn't expect that from such an old film, but that acknowledgement of credit goes to stellar musical composition+visuals. Even though some moments did scare me, yet that wouldn't be enough to keep me from coming back.
From the time I was maybe five or six to now being in my twenties, I will find myself coming back to Fantasia from time to time no matter what the occasion is. It's a timeless piece of entertainment that anyone of any age can go watch at any time in their life. Disney's Fantasia stands out as a big achievement for animation as well as cinematic experiences in such an early days of film entertainment. Overall Star Rating: 8.7-8.8/10
It all starts right here!
When you are wanting to create an idea for a feature film, it's great to start somewhere small. That small start comes in the form of a short film, which can introduce not only the primary idea or concept of the story but it also can introduce a wide range of elements. When an aspiring filmmaker introduces these elements in a short form first, it allows them to create a blueprint for something even bigger- "The Feature Film". Shane Acker's thesis project from his time at UCLA film school, brings about the beginning of something he would build upon later to the 2009 feature length film version.
9 takes animation to a dark and bizarre realm where a living rag doll like being struggles to survive and fight against an enemy of terrifying proportions. Acker's dark animated world gives off such a ruined and atmospheric world resembling that of the apocalypse, where a world has ended and what remains struggles to survive. In the midst of this apocalyptic realm, there is a little more being offered to us here in terms of mystery and science fiction, but it's explored only to a certain point. Despite not going to extreme lengths in those areas(being that it is a short film and time is limited) it still manages to feel compelling and intriguing all the way through its 11 minute runtime. It is not in any way a perfect short film or concept, but having said that 9 is an excellent model for a short to feature film process.
Shane Acker created this all computer generated world that is both visually creative and detailed with stunning visuals and sound design. The animation appearing on screen is well detailed with very clear textures and modeling, but what enhances that animation is the lighting. Just like in live action and non-animated films, the right lighting setup can have a great impact on what's being shown on scree- creating mood, emotion, atmosphere and so on. Lighting throughout the film acts as a constant reminder of the darkness of the world and how fearful the characters are in this world. Then one of the last things to notice in 9 is the sound design, which is quite good. Each and every sound feels right on point with the interactions between characters and environment. Even though there is no actual dialogue being spoken, the film's sound design and visuals all come together to tell an interesting story.
Once 9 has ended you are left with an interesting concept for a story, where you might be asking yourself, "Is there more to this world?". The answer to that is yes there is, which came as Shane Acker's 2009 full-length feature film version. As I said earlier in this review that this film is in no way a perfect idea, but it does show great promise for future endeavors to further explore the world of 9. Overall Star Rating: 8/10
Following them into War!
A good old-fashioned war film takes an audience to some deeply troubling times in history(whether its story is fictional or non-fictional) and brings together a group of characters dropped right in the midst of all the war-torn chaos. Like any war film, there's a mission or series of events the characters must go through in order to achieve their goal and having a triumphant victory to bring their war to an end. To get to that triumphant victory there's going to be some sacrifice which can come in any form, whether it's emotional, physical, psychological, etc. A lot of times I have seen these films tell compelling narratives with a wonderful cast of characters, but you as the audience feel as if you are just watching the story from a far or observing these stories invisibly. In the case of 1917, we pretty much get all of what I previously mentioned, yet unlike other war films this film manages to completely immerse you into the story and take you right along side of the characters as they go on their mission. It's a massively immersive thrill ride that allows you to get a complete feel for everything that happens before your eyes.
Now many have gone to compare 1917 and its familiar elements to that of a previous hit war film Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, which I would have to admit they do feel quite similar to each other. Dunkirk was an experience to see and hear what happened during WWII in those areas surrounding Dunkirk, however, it still felt like I was merely invisibly observing the events rather than completely feeling like I was right there next to the soldiers and civilians. 1917 takes its audience right into the action and has you follow right along side the characters every second of the journey. It makes you feel like you are just another soldier going on the mission as well. I do tip my hat off to Same Mendes for creating such an experience that you don't get have often during a film.
1917 has a good narrative with some good leading characters, but nothing overly complex in those areas. Now I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing and as I just previously said it has a good narrative, but it's a rather simple story- two soldiers are given a mission and they go to reach the objective. Simplicity can be good a lot of times, but with this kind of film you need to have something to compensate for the simplistic story(that they do have in this film). Where the film really shines and excels extensively is in its technical areas such as the cinematography, music, sound design, etc.(especially in its cinematography). I know that I have mentioned the immersive multiple times already, but I will say it once again- this is film is an immersive experience! Perhaps the biggest factor to creating this immersive experience comes from master cinematographer Roger Deakins as he turns the camera from a observational presentation tool to an "on the ground" and personal viewpoint for the audience to feel like you jumped right into the film as if you were a fellow soldier. As soon as the film starts, the camera is in constant motion and never really comes to a complete stop. This concept of having the camera at a constant state of motion gives you the feeling that you are on a journey and that the journey continues to go forward. Beautifully framed and composed while being in a constant state of motion. Stitching together scenes so seamlessly that it appears the characters as well as ourselves never stop moving owes itself to two things: exceptional choreography and clever editing. Yes it's very apparent that this film was very much choreographed and most likely practiced countless times in order to nail the scene as perfect as possible. With excellent cinematography and choreographed scenes comes the next big part here is the clever editing used to keep us up with the continuous journey. Taking careful moments in the progress of the film, editors select moments where to hide a cut and make it seem as if they never really stopped rolling.
Then we get into the next big parts of the film, which all involve the sound areas. It cannot be overstated how important sound is in a film, especially to a film like 1917 where sound is essential. The sound design heightens the audiences senses to get e good feel for the tension and atmosphere in any given scene. Just another way to feel immersed, having the sound of gunfire, explosions, footsteps, and other sound effects to make you feel the same way as the characters on screen. Thomas Newman's score not only lends a hand to the tense war-torn atmosphere, but also reaches the deep emotional guts of those going through war.
In the end, 1917 manages to create an immersive experience that keeps you at the edge of your seat and takes you right into the film's story. A journey for audiences to follow right along with, which allows you feel and hear everything happening as if you yourself went back literally to 1917 during WWI. The films masterful technical elements never disappoint and make up for the rather simple story. Never have you seen or felt a war film like this one! Overall Star Rating: 8.5/10
The King is still standing... for now
If you are a monster movie fan or just love a good entertaining action flick, this film is for you. I had a lot of hype and anticipation when it came to this film and I have to say that it didn't disappoint for the most part. By the end of the film, I walked out feeling pretty satisfied, but like any these kind of films there are going to be a few negative things to take notice of. Many of those who go to see these films don't expect to see stellar writing and storytelling, they come to be entertained and awed by the sheer spectacle. I feel like this film falls under the scenario of "matter/style over substance".
On a technical note, the film succeeded greatly while its narrative/storytelling aspect fell short. The immense spectacle of Godzilla and the other Titans conquered the screen with each and every appearance. Awesome creature designs, well composed/framed action shots, booming sound design + music, and great use of color. Visual effects and grand spectacle elements made this film an immersive experience on a large scale.
From the narrative/storytelling side of the film, I found it to be a little weak and basic. I don't mind simplistic stories in many films- in this case of the creature features or action films specifically but at least some attempt to add a little flare and substance to make it more developed. There is an underlying story in this film, but not a very strong one. Messages possibly revolving around environmentalism can be seen yet they are not very effective in bringing awareness to it. One positive note I will make about the story is that I appreciate them attempting to explore the background and history of Godzilla and the Titans. The characters felt not as vibrant or interesting with the exception of Ken Watanabe's character. Godzilla being the main man of the show came in big and strong for the spectacle, however, I would have liked for him to have liked for him to have more substance and humanity- making a monster feel relatable or something more. This film just didn't quite make that turn towards a potential achievement.
Overall it was an entertaining film that had things for me to stand up and cheer about, while at the same time it had things I might be rubbing my eyes thinking, "why?". It wasn't a great film, but certainly entertaining to watch the spectacle. I would definitely recommend the film if you're looking for an energetic, action packed creature feature and to be entertained by such a classic character. Overall Star Rating: 6.9-7/10
Looking at and past the divisiveness, so I can see more
Among all films adapted from the world of comic books or graphic novels, this one has been considered one of the most divisive of them all, however, among the divisiveness I believe there is still something quite enjoyable and entertaining about this film. The divisiveness is understandable and I can get while people give this film a hard time. One of most commonly heard reasons behind the divisiveness is its faithfulness to the graphic novel or attempt at it. While there are maybe some problems with it, I can't help but admire some the positives in it.
I have to admire Zack Snyder with his effort to make this adaptation a reality. Comic book and graphic novels are not always very easy to do so, especially when it comes to something as highly regarded as Watchmen. I admit that I saw the film first before reading the graphic novel, but it did give me push to go and read it. The graphic novel is one of the best things I've read- massive complexity to its plot, thematic depth, dark/gritty comic book world, interesting use of colors, and dimensional characters. A lot of these elements can be seen in the Snyder's film adaptation- some are achieved while others are partially done, yet we also get some of Snyder's distinct cinematic style adding a new element to this adventurous adaptation. Going back to the general complaint about the film being "too faithful" to its original source material, I find that partially true. While the majority of the film does greatly resemble the graphic novel on a visual and narrative standpoint but does stray away some. The graphic novel is full of thought provoking themes and ideas the story involves itself with each page you flip to next, however, Snyder's film does try to invoke those same elements I mentioned a second ago, but only goes to a short distance when telling them. Another way of saying it could be that it's only on the surface level rather than wanting to dive deeper. Another thing I would like to mention since we live in the time of Marvel's Cinematic Universe, Watchmen doesn't try to sugar coat itself or lessen the darkness of it simply to fit a wider audience- mainly family and kid oriented target audiences. Just because it comes from a comic book doesn't mean it needs to sacrifice what made it so infamous and groundbreaking in order to fit a traditional formulated type film so that it pleases a general audience/make a quick buck.
Snyder manages to find a way to somewhat balance itself in its plot in order to get as much of Moore's original storyline but not feel like its leaving out too much or obviously rushing. The color I will say does tend to differ a lot from the graphic novel, in which it appears more colorful while the film goes for a more darker tone in the sense of color with the occasional pop of color(mainly from Dr. Manhattan). Following Zack Snyder's trademark use of slow motion, several moments in the film are enhanced by the visually impressive technique allow audiences(more for those who have read the graphic novel) to mentally visualize moments from the graphic novel as if they literally leaped out of their panels/coming alive. Production value exceeds very well in capturing the right look and feel of the world the Watchmen inhabit. Like any other comic book related film, when it comes down to the costumes and outfits for the characters there are a lot to consider or discuss. In the case of this film, the costumes for some characters remain identical to the original graphic novel's designs drawn by Dave Gibbons, while others were changed, some of it border-lining on campiness, yet it doesn't feel like it's done without good taste. The major addition to the film by Zack Snyder was the opening title sequence, which I found to be such an immersive visual tool throwing the audience directly into the world they are about to see. Not just the sheer visual images being presented on the screen are immersive, but Bob Dylan's song "The Times They Are A-Changin" perfectly compliments each moment in the sequence showing that times are changing both literally and metaphorically. This sequence I'm glad is in the film and strongly believe that the film wouldn't be same without it.
The main ensemble cast consisting of Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Malin Akerman, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan- come together to bring their characters to life right out of the graphic novel. The one character I'm most impressed with and found to be an awesome portrayal was Dr. Manhattan played by Billy Crudup. Out of the main characters Dr. Manhattan is by far my favorite of the Watchmen. There's such a rich emotional complexity and depth to the character, which Crudup completely immersed himself as that god-like figure struggling to balance his humanity and intellectual understanding. I think throughout the film a considerate amount of time was given to developing Dr. Manhattan character, which gave us the opportunity to see all his dimensions(sides). Besides the performance itself, the effort put into making Dr. Manhattan visually impressive as he comes off as an actual person/character on the screen rather than appear as just another one of many visual effects.
Watchmen is definitely something to admire about when it comes to adapting such an infamous piece of work from another medium. Again it does not completely matchup to Alan Moore and Davie Gibbon's graphic novel, but it does have a good number of positive qualities worth cheering about. Overall Star Rating: 7.6-7.7/10
Uncut Gems (2019)
That was a nerve-racking experience!
It never ceases to amaze me what A24 is able to conjure up when it comes to independent film sector. Indie films have their own unique ways of storytelling and style, which Uncut Gems fits that description to a tee. The Safdie Brothers have delivered us one hell of an anxiety driven roller coaster story that keeps your nerves up at maximum practically the entire 2 hour and 15 minute runtime.
After seeing the positive reactions to the 2017 hit Good Time many were eager to see what the Safdie Brothers would come up with next. Both Good Time and Uncut Gems has introduced the public to the Safdie Brothers distinct style of filmmaking. The world of Uncut Gems resembles a dirty, grungy and nerve wracking environment that the Safdie Brothers created and they manage to take audiences through this world feeling every bit of it. They manage to keep you on the edge of your seat through Sandler's performance and energetic editing, which maintains that sense of anxiety and stress that we're suppose to feel. At the same time though it can feel a little exhausting by the end, which was something I did feel during my screening.
It was my understanding that there were some skeptic mindsets from many people when they heard Adam Sandler doing a gritty, serious drama piece. I would have to admit that it would be hard to believe myself that Sandler would be doing another drama since his last one being 17 years ago with Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love. Yet after seeing this film, I have to say that Adam Sandler really did surprise me with his performance and I must tip my hat off to him. Sandler's portrayal of the problematic gambler Howard gives us a character that we can all be scared for, be annoyed with, be angry at, and even too some extent feel pity for him. Every decision Howard made, whether it was to foolish lend his prized stone to celebrity or use the money needed to pay off his debt and make one last big gamble with it, these decisions made our feelings and emotions towards Howard feel like they were in a massive tug of war match. Sandler take on a more serious role does show good potential for him to expand his ability in playing characters with a lot more darkness, grit and emotion, however, I fear that it's going to take a few more tries for him before people see beyond his traditional silly comedies.
The last few things I really want to mention is that while this has been on many peoples' top films of 2019 and has been talked about a lot, but the biggest group that many have claimed to just completely ignore this film was the Academy. Snubbing Adam Sandler from Best Actor has been one of the biggest disgraces(to many people) by the Academy. While I do think Sandler gave a terrific performance and that he can definitely play dramatic roles if he is given the chance, yet I think it is very hard for people to see beyond all the comedies that he has done over the years. Now has Sandler had come could comedy films? Yes absolutely, he has had some good comedies but he has also made some pretty bad ones as well. Many in the entertainment industry are going to look back at his past films and see that it all can be is a "funny man" nothing more. As for the film itself, I thought it was well done, but at the same time I feel as if the film was a little too raw and extreme for some- more specifically the Academy. Arthouse films or unconventional films are no strangers to the Academy, but something about Uncut Gems didn't resonate well or hit the right spot with Academy members. I have to be honest and say that I can understand in some way as to why the Academy didn't recognize this film. Throughout this review I have mentioned several things that that make this film unique and its own, however, those same things sort of lead to its omission. I keep thinking that Uncut Gems came across as a little extreme and some people didn't take it well. Some time is needed before a film like this one could become more acceptable by those in the higher brow or prestigious groups.
While can appreciate the craftsmanship and unique style put into the making of Uncut Gems. It proved itself to be a film that comes from passionate minds that want to tell their stories in the way they want to. There are definitely some things to admire about this film, but I would say that by the end it made me feel exhausted and unconformable at times which doesn't necessarily mean that's bad just that I wish the intent for it was more controlled/intentional. Overall Star Rating: 8/10
Thinking About Doubt
Doubt is a film that takes what made it such an impactful show on the stage and transfer it to the silver screen. There are many things stage plays and films do differently in order to bring to life the stories they wish to tell, however, there are times where it can feel similar. The production of Doubt is note complicated one, not requiring large production value when it comes to sets, costumes, lighting, and such. Rather than focus so meticulously on the visuals or spectacle of visuals, this film centers its focus on the intelligent writing and powerful performances of the casts. With John Patrick Stanley, writer of the original stage play, coming in to helm the film as the director and a primary cast consisting of Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman- nothing but excellence could be expected.
I have admired many of the principals casts' performances throughout their respected careers. I would say that there is no denying these performances form the principal cast can be considered some of their career bests. These performances from Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman have such power and emotion resonating with each dramatically fueled scene. The actors took a very high level of seriousness in order to sell each scene well. A major contributor to the fine tuned performances comes the well-written screenplay. I think having the original author/writer of the stage play invites certain advantages to push the progress the production smoothly. The story John Patrick Stanley's crafts is not only emotionally impactful, but it is also highly thought provoking. Keeping you invested in the story, constantly wondering that truly happened in the story's central conflict. Another bug part about this film is its handling of themes- including religion, morality, and humanity. All themes go hand in hand when creating tension, power, and emotion between the characters. I found myself "in doubt" whether or not I knew the real answer to the central conflict, which I find very good by the end. Thought provoking films have a good way of keeping audiences invested and wanting to know more. So again, this film exceeds that greatly to the very end.
Overall I found Doubt to be a film with a great deal of power and really making you think while watching it. I can see what all the buzz was about when i first heard about it. An adaptation that exceeds well and performs very highly. If I ever get the chance to see the theatrical stage production I'm going to take it. Overall Star Rating: 7.7-7.8/10
A Grand Interpretation of a Character
When I first heard news about them making this film, I was immediately hooked and became excited to see what they will do with the character's story. Joker is easily one of the most popular and intriguing characters in entertainment. Yet he is not a character that can be so easily defined, which can be seen in the comics. Joker has been in the world of comics since 1940 and he has captured our attention. His story has been told time and time again having no one specific origin story, which makes it a challenge for filmmakers to tell the origin story of such an infamous character. In the case of this film, it's best not to treat this story as a strict, clear cut origin story but rather it's one of multiple possible origins. As Joker once famously put it in Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke, "If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!". Todd Phillip's Joker takes the story of the Clown Prince of Crime to new heights and gives a take on a classic character unlike anything we've seen before. It is something new and different, unlike any traditional comic book film made in the last decade.
As I mentioned a moment ago that this film is not like your traditional/standard comic book film. In this day and age where we are dominated by Marvel's blockbuster cinematic universe and DC's attempted efforts, it's easy to make the assumption that just about any film related to comics will be another traditional comic book film. That is simply not the case for Joker as it is something infinitely more. Joker is a much darker and grittier take on his story, but in the form of a deep character study. This type of story allows audience members to become deeply involved and invested in the character's psyche and you as the audience member must take in as much information as possible in order understand the character and story. The film exceeds in that area greatly by taking us into a dark and cruel universe and see a man who has lost his way and more importantly- how the character is this way. Beyond the great character study aspect of the film, there are other several elements that make this film complete. Those other elements are consistent of the acting /performances, direction, writing, cinematography, music and production design.
Perhaps the biggest and most outstanding part about this film is Joaquin Phoenix's brilliantly terrifying performance as Joker. Phoenix brought such a neat and in depth look that allowed him to fully embody this character. Compared to previous versions of Joker, Phoenix's portrayal felt very personal and I believe that is largely due to this film's deep focus into the psyche of the character. Phoenix created two insightful perspectives, one for each persona of the character. One persona being Arthur Fleck(the man beaten down by society- before the madness began) and the other persona being Joker(the true, real Arthur Fleck- the end result of society's beating). One question I know people might be thinking of or have already thought of... was Joaquin Phoenix's performance better than the late Heath Ledger's? To be honest, I still hold Ledger's performance as the top one of all the other actors who have taken the opportunity to play this character. As for Phoenix's placement among the other actors, I would admit that Phoenix came pretty close but Heath Ledger's Joker still remains the best of them all.
The directing and writing of this film go hand in hand, especially since there was some concerns of Todd Phillips taking the helm. For the most part Todd Phillips is known for comedies such as the Hangover Trilogy, War Dogs and Due Date. so when Phillips decided to make the transition from comedies to dramas, he managed to make the transition very well. Phillips handles the material greatly, exposing what talents he has for turning a comic book character's story into a dark and gritty examination of a damaged individual's mind. In part of the Phillip's direction, the writing aspect is something to take notice of. Rather than do a direct/traditional comic book adaptation, Todd Phillips and Scott Silver take a well known character with many different origin stories and create a completely original feeling story. Beyond being inspired by the comics, writers took the opportunity to put in some real life influences into the world in which the story takes place in. Mental illness, problematic social interaction, violence in society and more- all culminate together to make this film feel real. This type of realistic feel/quality has definitely made some people feel unnerved or even scared, which I don't blame anyone for feeling that way. Some have went on to complain that it will inspire violence, but I believe myself and many others find the film to do the exact opposite. I find the real intention of the film is for audiences to think how much society itself plays a major role in how we can create social monsters as well as understand society's intricate problems in order for us to fix them. It serves as a cautionary tale for all of us to take note of.
Another important aspect that made this film so outstanding was it's beautiful cinematography. There were some truly gorgeous and brilliantly chilling shots captured by cinematographer Lawrence Sher. A nice consistency in the overall dark and grungy tone seen from the first shot to the very last one- nicely composed shots, flowing movements, and great shot variety throughout. They also put in a lot of detail towards the production design which includes but not limited to set production(value), lighting, costumes, makeup, props and more. The last big point I want to focus on pertains to the music/score. This aspect to me payed a large tribute in what made the film feel so unnerving and tense at times. Hildur Guðnadóttir created a series of musical pieces that evoke the vast and darkened emotions, which reflects both the character and the world. Every time I hear "Defeated Clown", I feel both amazed and terrified by its beautiful somber melody.
Overall I found Todd Phillips's Joker to be another film that pushed boundaries and shifted things around for comic book related films. A really well-made and well-told film that will certainly not be forgotten anytime soon. A film that we all know deep down is fictional, but it does have a great many real world influences and lessons for us to learn. Overall Star Rating: 9.1/10
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
A Film of Epic Scale and Epic Proportion= One of the Greatest
Every once in a while there is a film that will blow you away from start to finish, in this case Lawrence of Arabia ins one of those very few films that will blow you away. For many years my grandfather enjoyed this film and suggested it to me for some time, finally being old enough to see it, I see why he and many others have enjoyed it. Epics are a kind of film that take an immense approach towards a story that needs a massive vision in order to tell such a story. David Lean took this massive vision in order to create something of epic scale and scope, which captured the extensiveness of an epic-genre film. Like most other epics, they take a great amount of time to tell their long stories, some ranging between three to five hours long which I will say may be too long for any kind of film. Lawrence of Arabia runs in at three hours and thirty-six minutes would seem like a rather long film, but this runtime feels appropriate when telling the progressional story of T.E. Lawrence building his character in great depth. Think of it like breaking the character of T.E. Lawrence into several parts such as a man, soldier, hero, leader, and advisor. In regards to the performances, Peter O'Toole brings T.E. Lawrence to life on multiple levels making us feel for his life journey and all other circumstances that he faces on that journey. All supporting and secondary performances adds a lot of good flare as well, especially from Omar Sharif's character. The direction by David Lean resonates every minute of this epic, Lean took such great care in creating a film of scale, meaning making this film both look and feel immense. Great utilization of wide lenses and shots allow the look of the film to larger than life, which in turn makes those particular shots more impactful.
I would recommend this film to anyone, even if it were just one time. This film has been on many "top films or greatest films of all times", after seeing it I feel that this film justifies its placement on those lists. Overall Star Rating: 8.4/10
Some Like It Hot (1959)
A comedy that did this!
One of the most bold, clever, and hilarious comedies I have ever had the pleasure of watching! A film that made a choice that many would have considered a bit "too ambitious" or " too outrageous" for when it was made that choice being having two men dress and act like women. I definitely feel the idea of cross-dressing would be more acceptable in today's world despite some of society's/culture's differences on the matter, but making a choice such as cross-dressing back in 1959 was a very bold move. The story of the film is a cleverly written piece a comedy gold which combines not only humor but wit, amusement, and great direction. The comedy genre is probably one of the hardest genres to become acclaimed by both critics and audiences, whereas, other genres like dramas some times have easier when it comes being considered an acclaiming film. A well written script and dialogue exchanges all culminate into enjoyable performances from Monroe, Lemmon, Curtis and the rest the secondary cast members.
Some Like It Hot is film that hits the mark in all the right places as a comedy film. Full of laughs and memorable moments that you can enjoy again and again. If you're looking for a good comedy to watch there's no need to look any further. Overall Star Rating: 8.0/10
Green Book (2018)
This film hits me and my family history right at home!
Green Book told a story that is simple and easy to understand, but in a larger scope it deals with serious issue. You don't always need to have a complicated or complex storyline to enjoy a good movie. While I'm not one that likes to see politics in movies much less talk about politics, however, this film approached the topic of race in a respectful and less obnoxious way. Many have said this remark before about the film, so I will continue it by saying it was well acted, well written, well told, overall great movie! Performances from both Viggo and Mahershala were profoundly enjoyable, envisioning real people that you almost wish you were able to meet in real life. The screenplay or writing for it was told once again with a lot of heart, but also found itself being a good personal, conversational script where you as an audience member can find yourself feeling like you could have a similar conversation with someone you know. One of the biggest aspects of this film that I found impactful was the key ethnic demographic as being an Italian-American myself, this all felt very familiar to me. On one side of my family, they experienced much of the same situations as portrayed in the film being an Italian-American family living in the 50's and 60's America where people were divided. Understanding that we are all the same, which are people trying to live their lives to the fullest regardless of the color of their skin. This film's story hit me really close to home, which made it feel like I had a personal attachment to it. In the end, I'm pleased with the film and that a story like this one can be for everyone to enjoy.
Lady Bird (2017)
A story that we can all relate to!
The tremendous work and artistic ability of Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird tells a story that feels like you have either lived this story or know someone that has. Lady Bird has such a relatable story, where you are observing the life of a young teenage girl traversing the struggles of life both at home and at school. Gerwig's story is something that can be considered funny, enlightening, dramatic, sad, crazy, but overall it's relatable. Telling a story about life is as much of a human story as you can get, something that touches us so closely to our hearts. Any teenager, young adult, or even grown adult can see something in this story that feels real to us or have/can happen to just about anyone.
There's a lot more being said on those Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is certainly a depth defining film that tells a story that we will surely not forget any time soon. Like any good film, it must have a way to both entertain an audience and make the audience feel in a certain way. Performances from Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson each bring a blend of love, hate, grief, loss, and a profound sense of humor. Frances McDormand is a shear Tour De Force from beginning to end as you can never forget the look and feel of a grieving mother wanting answers by any means necessary. With the case of Sam Rockwell, he brings along the humor, but also shows his recklessness as someone wanting respect and to show he has a power that people should respect. In accordance with everything from the performances to the story, all can traced back to the carefully crafted work of Martin McDonagh as both writer and director. Overall it is an excellent film providing a balanced blend of drama and comedy that will leave you cheering and heartfelt.