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REVIEW – A Quiet Place

October 13, 2018 1 comment
Directed by: John Krasinski
Produced by: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller
Written by: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski
Edited by: Christopher Tellefsen
Cinematography by: Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cade Woodward
Year: 2018

 

Damn. Who knew that Krasinski had this in him? Always an affable actor, Krasinski’s work behind the camera, unfortunately, has been less than… well, good up until this point. Krasinski made his directorial debut in 2009 with the David Foster Wallace adaptation Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, which seemingly passed through the public consciousness without much notice. It took another seven years for the actor-turned-director to take another shot at directing with 2016’s The Hollars, a star-studded family dramedy that similarly fizzled. Luckily, Krasinski seemingly isn’t one to back down, as his third film, A Quiet Place, is an unexpected, drastic departure from his previous two productions, with the director putting together a fairly intense, bold horror film that has me wondering if he just hadn’t found his niche until now. Read more…

REVIEW – Love, Simon

March 31, 2018 Leave a comment
Directed by: Greg Berlanti
Produced by: Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner, Pouya Shahbazian
Screenplay by: Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger
Edited by: Harry Jierjian
Cinematography by: John Guleserian
Music by: Rob Simonsen
Starring: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., Logan Miller, Talitha Bateman, Keiynan Lonsdale, Miles Heizer, Joey Pallari, Tony Hale
Based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Year: 2018

Full disclosure that, to some of you, may sound a bit more like a disclaimer : I’m embarrassed to admit this, but… I am writing this after having seen the movie in theatres twice. I rarely do that for any film that isn’t something like Star Wars, or a superhero movie, or any number of films that benefit greatly from the sensory stimulus of a theatre experience. Love, Simon, a romcom about teenagers, is hardly in the same category. So why, then, did I pay good money for a second theatrical viewing, including concessions, to see this run-of-the-mill film about teenagers when I didn’t even do the same for Lady Bird, another film about a teenager that was among my personal picks for one of the best films of 2017?

Read more…

2017 IN REVIEW – My Favorite Films of the Year

March 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Alright, so I had intended to get this done a while ago – weeks ago, in fact, but at least before the Oscars. Naturally, life, as it does, gets in the way of ambitions, and so I’m releasing it as soon as I could.

2017 was a terrible year, but it wasn’t all bad in terms of the films that came out. In fact, there were quite a few that I loved this year, and… well, here they are! Below are the films from 2017 that either I personally enjoyed the most or that resonated with me the most. As such, I do not call them “the best,” but I do consider them to be exemplary. Unlike my previous two lists, each film is categorized roughly into the genre I think it (mostly) fits into (there’s always going to be overlap), and then in the usual ascending order of quality within the genre.

Even with all these, I can’t say I’m not relieved this is all over, finally. I kinda want to go back to reviewing films now, and 2018 is already well underway now… Read more…

REVIEW – A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment
Directed by: Ana Lily Amirpour
Produced by: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah, Elijah Wood
Written by: Ana Lily Amirpour
Edited by: Alex O’Flinn
Cinematography by: Lyle Vincent
Music by: Johnny Jewel
Starring: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Mozhan Marnò, Dominic Rains, Rome Shadanloo, Milad Eghbali
Based on the short film by Ana Lily Amirpour
Year: 2014

 

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, as a film, is as vague and provocative as its title suggests. Its hero, the titular Girl, is herself a mystery, spending her nights walking down the streets of the ravaged Bad City, Iran, cloaked in the darkness with the help of her pitch black chador. The conservative covering suggests a subservient nature to everyone who encounters her, but it’s more than that – it’s a disguise this unassuming and lonely Girl puts on to conceal her true identity. She’s an empowered, strong woman who will not be taken advantage of, least of all by men who see her and other women as objects to own and use. She is no object. In fact, she isn’t even really human… Read more…

REVIEW – Wonder Woman

June 6, 2017 1 comment
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Produced by: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle
Screenplay by: Allan Heinberg
Story by: Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs
Edited by: Martin Walsh
Cinematography by: Matthew Jensen
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis
Based on DC Comics characters created by William Moulton Marston
Year: 2017

 

Seventy-five and a half years. That’s how long it has taken for Wonder Woman to finally get herself a film of her own. Twelve years. That’s how long it’s been since the release of Elektra, the last major superhero film starring just a major female superhero in the lead role and not as part of a team of predominantly male heroes. Five. That’s the number of films I count from Wikipedia’s list of superhero films since 1920 that have starred solely a female lead: Supergirl (1981), Tank Girl (1995), Barb Wire (1996), Catwoman (2004), and Elektra (2005). It’s six only if you count the TV movie Witchblade (2000), which acted more like an extended pilot episode. While comic books have always had their own struggles with female representation, film adaptations (and even some original works) have always seemingly struggled more, largely because a lot more is riding on them ($$$). For some reason, executives just never really saw these properties as being as marketable (i.e., profitable) as their male counterparts, and it seems as though the aforementioned films have stood as evidence of why that is the case, both in the execs’ eyes and, sadly, in the eyes of many in the general audience. Read more…

REVIEW – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 8, 2017 1 comment
Directed by: James Gunn
Produced by: Kevin Feige
Written by: James Gunn
Edited by: Fred Raskin, Craig Wood
Cinematography by: Henry Braham
Music by: Tyler Bates
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Sean Gunn, Elizabeth Debicki, Chriss Sullivan, Sylvester Stallone
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
Year: 2017

 

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was the little known film that could, becoming an unexpected smash hit with audiences and critics back in 2014 despite possibly being the most obscure and quite literally out-there property to be given a major film by Marvel Studios – or, really, any previous comic book adaptation, save for maybe Howard the Duck, a fact acknowledged by Guardians’ post-credits scene. Say what you will about Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but while Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor were almost certainly not on the same level as Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, they weren’t nearly as bizarre in concept as a team that features a talking, gun-toting cybernetic raccoon and his sentient tree companion whose specifically limited vocabulary makes Chewbacca’s system of howls seem plausibly understandable by comparison. Smart marketing and director/writer James Gunn’s keen sense on how to make all this palatable to even mainstream audiences, however, won out, and the film – and even its soundtrack – was, again, a massive success. Naturally, a sequel has been made. Read more…

THEATRICAL REVIEW: Swiss Army Man

July 8, 2016 1 comment
Swiss Army ManDirected by: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan – as “Daniels”
Produced by: Eval Rimmon, Lauren Mann, Lawrence Inglee, Jonathan Wang, Miranda Bailey, Amanda Marshall
Written by: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Edited by: Matthew Hannam
Cinematography by: Larkin Seiple
Music by: Andy Hull, Robert McDowell
Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Year: 2016

 

I’ve never been so moved by a movie with this many farts since… well, probably ever…. Read more…

2014 IN REVIEW: My Top Films of the Year

February 22, 2015 1 comment

The LEGO Movie - Batman and Benny

I saw so many movies this year, I honestly couldn’t pick the best movie. The selection was so wide because I saw so many, I honestly couldn’t pit movies I just enjoyed versus films I admired. So, this year, I’ve decided to do something different — I separated them into genres. it’s not exactly what you might expect – Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t in sci-fi, for instance, because it’s much more of an adventure film in space.

I’ve ordered these based on gut instinct overall, however, and so you’ll be able to see what I (currently) favored over others. That being said, however, all of these movies are fantastic.

I’m tired of explaining things, honestly. The process of doing the year in review this year was a lot longer than I intended. So, yeah. You know the drill. Read below! Read more…

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2014 IN REVIEW: The Films I Didn’t See (September – December)

January 31, 2015 2 comments

The Skeleton Twins - Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader

I’m not going to waste too much time this year on introductions. For this third and final part of my review of films I didn’t see, we’re going through the prestige Oscar-baiting season. You know — hammy acting, controversial subjects, beautiful cinematography, politics… It’s often a mixed bag, and for every stunning masterpiece, there’s often a lot of films that misstep and come off like a cheap cheeseburger dressed up to look like prime rib. … I’m hungry.

This is by far the biggest portion of films I didn’t see, largely due to a lot of them coming out so much more recently and not being available to rent, if I missed them in theatres.

Yes, 2014 may have been a record year for me seeing the most movies from that year, but there were still movies I never got around to or never even had the ability to see due to either foreign or limited release. I still like going over them, however, as this process often leads  to me finding some unexpected gems that I might enjoy. Some of these I might become so interested in that I see them before I even get to the films I did see, so there is actually a possibility you might see these films reappear in this 2014 in Review series if that becomes the case.

Anyway, here are many of the films from September to December 2014 that I didn’t see, for one reason or another. It’s by no means complete, but that’s what you get when you’re using Wikipedia and Best of/Worst of lists from other sites. Read more…

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REVIEW: The Family Stone

December 21, 2014 12 comments
The Family StoneDirected by: Thomas Bezucha
Produced by: Michael London
Written by: Thomas Bezucha
Edited by: Jeffrey Ford
Cinematography by: Jonathan Brown
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, Dermot Mulroney, Craig T. Nelson, Luke Wilson, Tyrone Giordano, Brian J. White, Elizabeth Reaser, Paul Schneider
Year: 2005

 

Every family has a traditional family Christmas film, I’m fairly certain. My family has a few, and they’re probably yours, too: Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf… (I’ve pretty much already exhausted reviewing all my favorites.) Of course, everyone has their oddballs. I like to throw in Die Hard, though not everyone recognizes that one as a Christmas movie (they totally should – family togetherness and such). My mom and sister? They like The Family Stone, and so, more often than not, that’s one of the movies we end up watching this time of year, though I, admittedly, usually end up finding a nice distraction while enjoying the company of family. I’m not a fan of the film, you see, and I’ve seen it enough times to feel like I knew it inside and out. I admittedly got a bit mouthy about it last year, though, despite seeing it a few times, and this upset them both. This year, I figured I’d watch it again on my own and see if I was being unfair to it. Naturally, this also meant that I intended on writing a review of it, too. Here it is. Read more…

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