LIL'-LIL' MOVIE REVIEWS:
CATCH UP ON 2016, PART ONE
I'm sorry, so sorry. It's been far too long since BeerMoviesMusic has done any music reviews. I promise this will never happen again. Promise. And to make it up to you, I will now give several lil-lil-lil movie reviews to catch you up with the rest of the 2016 movies before I get into all the new movies for 2017. Here goes...
LA LA LAND
written & directed by Damien Chazelle
Ignore the snark and believe the hype-- this is about as good as movie-making gets and is BBM's choice for MOVIE OF THE YEAR. Damien Chazelle establishes himself among the best in the business as he combines aesthetic cinematic beauty with dark humor, and somehow fits it all into a modern-day musical. And the music is not only great, it's also spaced masterfully throughout the film so that it never feels forced or cheesy. I can honestly say I haven't smiled longer throughout a film I saw in a theater since I was a child. Also at the Q&A, Ryan Gosling gave me this look...
What more do you want?
directed by Martin Scorsese;
written by Scorsese & Jay Cocks
Silence is not very entertaining. In fact, most of it is very slow and kind of boring, but it's also a very powerful and moving film. "Faith" is the theme here, and it's challenged in every way that it could. What does faith mean? How important is faith to you? Are there more important things in life than faith? Should you put faith above people? Where is the fine line between devotion and insanity? When does faith stop becoming about God and start becoming about you? Andrew Garfield delivers a very strong performance as a Jesuit priest finding out his own personal answers to each of these questions as others suffer all around him. Silence is a very brutal film in many ways, but also a damn good one for anyone interested in examining the meaning of life.**
** Spoiler warning-- Silence does not answer the meaning of life. You have to answer that shit for yourself. But watch it all the way through... even if you may suffer a bit along the way.
written & directed by Jeff Nichols
The story of Richard and Mildred Loving should be a historical look at our country's dark past, but somehow it's a subject that is amazingly relevant to what's still wrong in American society today. What the fuck? Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga are both ridiculously fantastic in their roles as the couple forced to hide their marriage from the state of Virginia, and both should be heavy favorites in the respective acting categories.
Here's a crappy pick of Jeff Nichols from the Q&A
The only problem keeping the pretty-good film from being a great one is the storytelling. Loving plays out more like a highlight reel of the historical events as opposed to telling Richard and Mildred's story. The two are already together in love when the film starts, and even though the two actors are good enough for us to believe they deeply care for one another, we never get to see why-- how did they meet? What did they first see in one another? How did they first approach the delicate situation or did they even care what everyone else thought?
directed by Gareth Edwards;
written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy
The Disney money grab rolls on. And while Rogue One is much better film than the cartoon-like, snarky-hipster remake of Star Wars that preceded it, it really doesn't break any new ground or do anything that every other action-adventure movie has done since the beginning of time. It's cool to see Darth Vader back in action and to see AT-ACT walkers on the beach, and the cast is fairly likeable, so it's enough it entertain for two hours, but when you leave, you will wonder if you couldn't have spent that time doing anything else. Am I seriously the only one who thinks that these new Star Wars movies are missing a soul? Probably...
directed by Karyn Kusama;
written by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi
The Invitation felt like it was gonna be really good from the start from a encounter with a coyote to the character development between a former couple who lost a child together to the mystique of an odd dinner party... but it eventually fell pretty flat. Much like The Boy earlier in the year, this film did a great job building tension and intrigue, holding my attention with me sitting on the edge of my seat for a good 2/3rds of the running time. Then the big reveal finally hits, I just went, "Meh," and honestly did not care what happened to any of the characters after that. This is a prime example of what you get when one puts so much effort into the setup and then just hopes the payoff writes itself.
TO BE CONTINUED...