LIL'-LIL' MOVIE REVIEWS:
CATCH UP ON 2016, PART TWO...
Oh, and here's the second part of catching up with 2016...
directed by Garth Davis; written by Luke Davies
Get ready to cry. It doesn't matter who you are and where you came from as you experience the journey of an adorable little boy (played by newcomer Sunny Paware). Now, I've gotten lost before, but this kid got, like, really lost, and he didn't even have a GPS to get him back home. The little kid is awesome. You will love every single second of his journey (which mostly consists of running from assholes) so much that even though Dev Patel also gives a solid performance of the older version of the same character, you'll almost want to boo when he comes on screen knowing that you don't get to see little Paware anymore. I just got sad imagining it again. Aw. So go ahead, go watch this incredible true story and try to hold your fucking tears back. I dare you. Asshole. Sorry, I don't know why I just called you an asshole. Maybe you're not an asshole, but you're no Lion, I'll tell you that much.
directed by Denis Villeneuve; written by Eric Heisserer
Director Denis Villeneuve has put together a nice little streak of really great, intense thrillers with well-rounded characters with Prisoners and Sicario the past few years, and Arrival does not disappoint, either. It may actually be the best of the bunch. It's a sci-fi mind fuck with a really deep message and Amy Adams is at her best-- what more do you fucking want? It's the kind of movie that makes you regret complaining about the little bullshit that happens in your life and focus on the things that matter. Yeah, it's that good. I just teared up again thinking about it. Goddamn it! Why do all the good movies make me get the sads lately?! Arrival is definitely one of 2016's best films, and it's one I feel pretty safe recommending to just about anyone.
written & directed by Tom Ford
Double-down on Amy Adams, please. The best advice I can give to someone when watching Nocturnal Animals is to push through the first 20 minutes. It will be slow as fuck, but I promise you if you keep going, it will be worth it. Designer Tom Ford's second film is very dark noir (redundant, yes I know) about revenge. The revenge is very layered in this case, but I won't go into too much detail, 'cause I don't do spoilers here, but just know that this is a clever script for such a seemingly simple one. By the way, if you were unsure if Tom Ford was ever a fan of David Lynch, Noctural Animals is a resounding yes to that question, as Lynchian is the only way one can describe the aesthetic he was going for. Oh, and also, if you're into extremely overweight women dancing naked, you will love this film even more than everyone else.
directed by Barry Jenkins;
written by Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Moonlight is easily one of the best films of 2016, as it is also the "story of a lifetime." Okay, so that's a clever tagline that really means it's the story of someone's lifetime. Admittedly, I had a really hard time dealing with the shaky, out of focus, constantly moving cinematography of this film, but once I adjusted and really got in the story, I realized that was intentional. Life is not the beautiful movie we want it to be. It's always moving, and hardly the way we want it to, and it's rare that anything ever comes completely into focus, but yet we're stuck here anyway, spending most of that shitty time figuring out just who the fuck we are. Shit. Was that too deep for a Lil-Lil Movie Review? Maybe. But this film is a must for anyone who loves dramatic cinema. Though some may be turned off by the subject matter, I think most human beings will find that Moonlight to be one of the most universally relatable stories about growing up told on the big screen in quite some time. And that goes for everybody no matter who or what you really love in life.
HELL OR HIGH WATER
directed by David Mackenzie; written by Taylor Sheridan
Hell or High Water may not win any awards this season, but it definitely deserves any nominations it gets, and may very well be the most satisfyingly entertaining of the bunch. It's got two very likeable outlaw brothers (played by Chris Pine and Ben Foster) being chased by the grizzled, clever ol' veteran cop that's ready to retire (Jeff Bridges, of course), both who are actually doing the right thing even though the right thing in this case is a bad thing for the other. What's the most satisfying is the role that banks play in this whole caper... without trying to give too much of the plot away before you see it. But this shit's good and you should watch it and love it as soon as possible. Yay, movies!
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
written & directed by Kenneth Lonergan
The rumors are true. The rest of Hollywood will be hard-pressed to find a better acting performance this year than Casey Affleck's portrayal of a broken man in Manchester by the Sea. It's quite fucking heartbreaking to say the least to watch this man's eyes take in the terrible events life has put in front of him. The film itself is also pretty funny for such a goddamn depressing movie. I actually found myself laughing out loud in between bits of tears as I sat through the two hour and 17 minute run time. Unfortunately, Manchester by the Sea is only about 3/4ths of a good movie, maybe almost 5/6ths? It's a gut-wrenching, emotional roller coaster for at least two hours or so, before the film finally inches towards a resolution where it loses everything it took so long to build up. It's still definitely worth watching, even if only for the phenomenal acting of not just Casey, but a more-than-decent job done by Michelle Williams and newcomer/Matt Damon clone, Lucas Hedges, as well. You know it has to be worth something if I'm recommending you watch something with really annoying Boston accents in it, right?