Page 1 of 11

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:49 pm
by anonymous1980
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Matthew Broderick, Tate Donovan.
Dir: Kenneth Lonergan

After his brother dies, a janitor with a tragic past is tasked to care for his teenage nephew. This is a film where a lot of sad, tragic things happen. One of the things that I loved about it is that never wallows in it too much. A lesser director and writer would have tried to maximize the misery and the tears and thought there are emotion and tears in this, Kenneth Lonergan's intelligent script peppers this story of grief with humor and humanity. It is brought to life by an excellent cast led by Casey Affleck, delivering the performance of his career. Overall, the film didn't exactly blow me away (I might have liked it better if I wasn't spoiled about a plot point), but it is a fine piece of work.

Grade: B+

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:45 pm
by anonymous1980
13TH
Cast: N/A.
Dir: Ava DuVernay.

The title refers to the 13th Amendment which freed black people from slavery but contains a caveat that though all men are free and equal, prisoners are not and how people in charge have exploited this loophole throughout the years in an effort to keep minorities in check. This film makes that a jumping off point to explore mass incarcerations and institutionalized racism in the U.S. government. Though the film felt a bit repetitive and seems to hammer points a bit too much, it is undeniably a compelling watch. I applaud the fact that it's non-partisan about this issue. It doesn't let the Democrats off the hook and even interviewed a few conservatives to get their side. (Surprised Newt Gingrich came off as a reasonable human being for once here). It may be imperfect but it must be seen.

Grade: B+

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:24 pm
by ITALIANO
Greg wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:
What I meant was you call for someone to have views that go against the consensus, but, do not appreciate it when someone has views that go against your own.


Yes, Greg, I know what you meant (why have I got into this?!), and I realize - again - that you are right and that often the consensus is better. Well, there could even be a - how shall I put it - remotely RATIONAL way of being original, but you don't need to worry.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:09 pm
by Greg
ITALIANO wrote:
Greg wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:But maybe one day you could hate a movie which others love, or the opposite. I mean - it CAN happen. Just this.


On the other hand, I remember you being fairly bemused when I said I thought Last Tango In Paris was overrated.


True. Yes, ok, forget what I said - let's stick to the consensus.


What I meant was you call for someone to have views that go against the consensus, but, do not appreciate it when someone has views that go against your own.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:00 pm
by ITALIANO
Greg wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:But maybe one day you could hate a movie which others love, or the opposite. I mean - it CAN happen. Just this.


On the other hand, I remember you being fairly bemused when I said I thought Last Tango In Paris was overrated.


True. Yes, ok, forget what I said - let's stick to the consensus.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 3:49 pm
by Greg
ITALIANO wrote:But maybe one day you could hate a movie which others love, or the opposite. I mean - it CAN happen. Just this.


On the other hand, I remember you being fairly bemused when I said I thought Last Tango In Paris was overrated.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:02 am
by ITALIANO
anonymous1980 wrote:There are films that people despise that I champion, Showgirls for example


I see. Mmm... Ok, well, don't worry then - go on as before.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:22 am
by anonymous1980
ITALIANO wrote:
anonymous1980 wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:Anonymous, you are definitely a great guy and very intelligent - but really, the moment you write something which is even vaguely against the "general consensus", which doesn't feel just like a summary of what mainstream critics say about a certain movie, which flows naturally from your life experiences rather than from something you and everyone else have read - well, I swear that I will open a bottle of champagne. I'm not joking - the bottle is ready and for years now I've been reading your reviews day after day looking forward to finally open it. It's still closed, but who knows...


What do you want me to do? Hate the movie when I loved it and was moved by the film?


Of course not. I'm sure that you are very honest - as you must be. It's not that. But maybe one day you could hate a movie which others love, or the opposite. I mean - it CAN happen. Just this.


It has been known to happen on occasion. There are films that are considered classics by a lot of people that I did not care for: John Hughes's teen movies for example. There are films that people despise that I champion, Showgirls and Tim Burton's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for example.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:49 am
by ITALIANO
anonymous1980 wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:Anonymous, you are definitely a great guy and very intelligent - but really, the moment you write something which is even vaguely against the "general consensus", which doesn't feel just like a summary of what mainstream critics say about a certain movie, which flows naturally from your life experiences rather than from something you and everyone else have read - well, I swear that I will open a bottle of champagne. I'm not joking - the bottle is ready and for years now I've been reading your reviews day after day looking forward to finally open it. It's still closed, but who knows...


What do you want me to do? Hate the movie when I loved it and was moved by the film?


Of course not. I'm sure that you are very honest - as you must be. It's not that. But maybe one day you could hate a movie which others love, or the opposite. I mean - it CAN happen. Just this.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:08 am
by anonymous1980
ITALIANO wrote:Anonymous, you are definitely a great guy and very intelligent - but really, the moment you write something which is even vaguely against the "general consensus", which doesn't feel just like a summary of what mainstream critics say about a certain movie, which flows naturally from your life experiences rather than from something you and everyone else have read - well, I swear that I will open a bottle of champagne. I'm not joking - the bottle is ready and for years now I've been reading your reviews day after day looking forward to finally open it. It's still closed, but who knows...


What do you want me to do? Hate the movie when I loved it and was moved by the film?

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:58 am
by ITALIANO
anonymous1980 wrote: Amy Adams gives one of her career-best performances in this film. Yes, I think she was robbed of an Oscar nomination. This is a film I won't soon forget.

Grade: A.


Anonymous, you are definitely a great guy and very intelligent - but really, the moment you write something which is even vaguely against the "general consensus", which doesn't feel just like a summary of what mainstream critics say about a certain movie, which flows naturally from your life experiences rather than from something you and everyone else have read - well, I swear that I will open a bottle of champagne. I'm not joking - the bottle is ready and for years now I've been reading your reviews day after day looking forward to finally open it. It's still closed, but who knows...

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:25 am
by anonymous1980
ARRIVAL
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma.
Dir: Denis Villenueve.

After a group of mysterious aliens land on various countries of planet Earth, a linguist is tasked by the U.S. government to try and communicate with them. Yes, it's one of the best movies of the year and also one of the most surprising. I've heard people who said they were moved by the third act revelations which I will not spoil and they were right. It is one of the most intelligent, engaging and moving science-fiction films of recent years, an antidote really to the loud, obnoxious versions of this genre of recent years. Amy Adams gives one of her career-best performances in this film. Yes, I think she was robbed of an Oscar nomination. This is a film I won't soon forget.

Grade: A.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:58 pm
by anonymous1980
LITTLE SISTER
Cast: Addison Timlin, Ally Sheedy, Keith Poulson, Peter Hedges, Barbara Crampton, Kristin Slaysman, Molly Plunk.
Dir: Zach Clark.

A young nun about to take her vows goes back to her estranged family after three years when her brother comes back from the war horribly disfigured. This film has many of the bad habits I see from modern day American indie films. But the film has a heart and there's really a sweet sincerity about it that makes it difficult to dislike. Addison Timlin is terrific as the young woman about to be a nun. She actually makes her into a believable, interesting character including the revelation that she was a Goth girl as a teen. Ally Sheedy is kind of hit and miss though as the mom. Overall, still a pretty good film.

Grade: B.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:20 pm
by anonymous1980
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Armie Hammer, Karl Glusman, Isla Fisher, Laura Linney, Michael Sheen, Robert Aramayo, Andrea Riseborough, Ellie Bamber, Jena Malone.
Dir: Tom Ford.

A woman receives a manuscript of a novel written by her ex-husband. As she reads it, we find out it's about a man who loses his family and goes on to seek revenge. I've always wanted to see this film because of the reaction towards. For every person that thinks it's a masterpiece, there's someone who thinks this is a heaping pile of garbage. To be honest, I can sort of see the argument for both which lands me somewhere in the middle with this. It is a well-made, well-acted and intriguing neo-noir with melodramatic elements. It's as if a Douglas Sirk script mashed together with a Tarantino script. However, its rampant cynicism and largely two-dimensional characters do leave a bad taste in one's mouth. No wonder Michael Shannon got the nomination. He feels like the only fully human character in the film. You kind of wish it was about him.

Grade: B.

Re: The Official Review Thread of 2016

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:58 am
by anonymous1980
LION
Cast: Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham.
Dir: Garth Davis.

Based on a true story of Saroo Brierly, who as a boy in India is separated from his older brother, gets lost and placed in an orphanage and eventually adopted by an Australian couple. As a young adult, he uses Google Earth to try and locate his Indian family. Okay, at the hands of a lesser filmmaker this would've been just a plain formulaic "inspiring" true story. However, by spending almost half the film's running time on the early life of little Saroo and the scary experience of being lost, the film actually earns its emotional heft. The sequences in India truly makes this film quite special and better than you'd expect it to be. Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and newcomer Sunny Pawar all give beautiful performances. It's not quite a masterpiece but it's lovely, heartfelt film that can move even the most hardened cynic.

Grade: B+