Reviews

‘Annihilation’ Review

“A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.”

To quickly sum it up. This movie is Predator on acid. Interpret that however you want.

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(PARAMOUNT)

I’m dead serious when I say that Annihilation, Alex Garland’s latest science-fiction film is an acid trip. Throughout the film I kept asking myself, “man this is going to be really difficult to write about.’ Annihilation is best served in dialogue when discussing the film, because it is such a complex and unique film. This is the definition of heavy science fiction, where it leaves you scratching your head long after the movie is over. I’m still digesting what I saw, because it asks so many questions, and like most great science-fiction movies, it doesn’t always give you the answers you are searching for. Now that can leave the average movie goer with a lot of frustrations because you invest your time and money into the movie, and don’t come away with certain answers to questions that are lingering throughout the entire movie.

I’ll say this first and foremost, this movie is not for everyone. You need to have knowledge in your taste in film going into Annihilation. Because this isn’t some grand science-fiction epic, with a ton of action and explosions. It’s also not a summer blockbuster like Black Panther which dropped last week. This is almost an art-house movie, in the sense that it seems small, but asks MASSIVE questions about biology, evolution and what it means to be human. When Alex Garland came bursting onto the scene in 2015 with Ex-Machina, he instantly became a fan favourite when it came to the science-fiction genre, so when he was attached to direct this movie, based on the best selling novel, people’s ears were perked up to say the least. Add in Natalie Portman as the star of the show, and now people were seriously intrigued. The first trailer dropped and I was instantly hooked and this became my fifth most anticipated movie of 2018. Here’s the thing about building up movies, sometimes they aren’t exactly what you want them to be, or simply don’t meet your expectations. Annihilation just wasn’t what I was expecting, so I can’t say it didn’t live up to what I wanted it to be. It would be unfair of me to criticize a movie just because it wasn’t what I thought it “should be.”

No one is going to go see this movie, not because it’s a bad movie, it’s currently sitting at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, but because it’s so different. People just want to go into a movie and sometimes not have to think or be told a unique and insanely different kind of story. Comic book movies, sequels, prequels, they all rule the box-office right now, and it’s a shame, because I think if you can, you should head out and see this movie. It’s deep, it’s rich, it’s very thought provoking material, where I’m still not sure what the message or the ending means. When Kane (Oscar Issac) suddenly returns home, his wife Lena (Natalie Portman) is shocked beyond belief. Meeting each other in the military he went on a top secret mission and had now been missing for just over a year. Thinking he was dead, when he resurfaces, he just isn’t the same. Shortly after his return, he needs medical attention and slips into a coma, and that’s when we find out that he had entered the ‘Shimmer.” Lena is now in Area X, located just outside the Shimmer, she intends to find out what happened to her husband and embarks on an expedition inside it, along with 4 other crew members. Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Anya (Gina Rodriguez), Cass (Tuva Novotny) and Josie (Tessa Thompson). All these ladies excel in some sort of scientific background and want to know what exactly is at the hear of the Shimmer. This is a female led film, all of them giving great performances, I thought Gina Rodriguez was tremendous, and we should be again celebrating an all female cast, not just for that single reason, but also because it’s a fantastic movie. Everyone pulls their own weight, and Tessa Thompson is a freight train that cannot be stopped right now.

See something three years prior landed on Earth, at a lighthouse, and ever since, the Shimmer has be manifesting and growing. Every team they send in, never make it out alive, until Kane. Things start off normal, but the Shimmer is a myserteous place for a reason, and when they start to realize that the laws of nature do not apply here. They discover a crocodile that has been crossbred with a shark. From the very get-go the team realizes they are most likely on a one way mission, but they want to try to find some sort of answers. The further they get into the Shimmer, the weirder things become. Lena realizes that their own DNA has been compromised. You knew all of that from the trailers, so I won’t go any further into plot points or spoilers, because everyone should really have the opportunity to fully take in this flick. The visuals are simply stunning, with a 50 million dollar budget, the visuals are better than most blockbusters, and Garland really builds a world of his own. This is just a really ambitious movie, with imaginative story-telling. It’s almost the definition of mesmerizing because at times, you aren’t really sure what you are watching, because it’s so vastly different from anything you have ever seen before it. It can be terrifying in moments, fun in others, and all around suspenseful. It’s unsettling, you see things that make you want to look away, but get you so immersed in the movie, because you want to know why these things are going on. You really want to know what the Shimmer is, but it’s not about the end, it’s about the journey.

This is survival of the fittest, they are battling new elements that the human race has never seen before, but also one another. It leaves you scratching your head at times, because in certain parts they take you one way and you think this is where the movie is going, but then they flip things around, and you want to know why the movie shifted gears so quickly. Don’t worry the climax delivers copious amounts of that blood and gore and a ton of tension, you will get your fill. The landscape is miraculous, it’s a world that wants to shake you up a bit, it’s uneasy for a reason. Some things are better left unsaid, and in some instances unsolved. You don’t get all the answers you are looking for, but going on this acid trip is worth it. Sometimes you need to expand your own horizons, step out of your comfort zone and experience something new. Annihilation is just the thing you are looking for. It’s like creating a new cocktail and Annihilation is part Arrival, part Predator, and part 2001: A Space Odyssey and that is the greatest compliment one can give.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Review – Annihilation = 90/100

 

Reviews

‘Black Panther’ Review

Haven’t seen Black Panther yet? “Wakanda” do about it? You can get your butt to the theatre and enjoy this movie, that’s what!

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(DISNEY)

“T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.”

The latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is none other than Black Panther, which was written and directed by Ryan Coogler. It continues the story of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) after the events of Captain America: Civil War, where he is set to become the King of his country Wakanda. After Civil War came out, there were a few standouts of the movie and Boseman and his portrayal of Black Panther was one of them. So when they attached Ryan Coogler to helm his first solo movie, everyone was excited. First things first, the hype surrounding this movie is massive, and I understand that, but this is also a movie, and like every movie, it has flaws. This is important to discuss, because I believe that if people dissect this movie and talk about the good (which there is so much of) but also the flaws, they might fear repercussions. Which isn’t fair, because like most movies, especially comic book movies, they are bound to have flaws in them, it just comes with the territory. So I think it’s best to view the movie as a whole and just enjoy it for what it is. A terrifically directed, well acted Marvel movie, which will please audiences everywhere and make a boatload of money.

What does it take to be King of a nation? What responsibilities comes with it? For T’Challa he is about to find out about all of these things, and what it truly means to be a great ruler and leader of a nation. Going into Black Panther, I knew there would be a strong political message, and strong social commentary, which there was. But Coogler found a way to do it so seamlessly and naturally, that it really tied the movie together. Wakanda is the most technologically advanced country in the world, yet they hide in plain sight. Built on the backbone of Vibranium, they have the means to do so much, but they keep all of these secrets to themselves. They do not help the outside world, and millions of people could use their help. T’Challa is conflicted when he becomes King, because unlike previous rulers, he believes Wakanda can be doing so much more. They have the power and tools to help so many of those that suffer; yet they do nothing, and that starts to eat away at him. This is where Michael B Jordan’s character Killmonger comes into play. You see, he is of Wakandan decent but was raised in America, so he didn’t have all of this technology and a safe space to grow up in. Now an adult, he wonders why they sit back and do nothing, while their kind is struggling in the outside world. So when he challenges T’Challa to the throne, he wants to be King, so he can use their technology to essentially rule the world. Or take back what was rightfully theirs. Michael B Jordan is such a great young talented actor and when he was cast as Killmonger, and I saw he was going to be playing the villain, I knew this had serious potential to be a special performance, it was. He gives a charismatic performance, the best villain since Loki, and the craziest part about Killmonger is, you feel for him. Like I said, he wasn’t raised in the protective bubble that is Wakanda, he was raised in the outside world, and had to deal with all the hardships that come with that. Stuff we know to be true and see everyday on the news, and he is extremely pissed off that they have done nothing about it. So when he shows up in Wakanda and starts asking all of these questions, it makes all the other characters start to question their own beliefs, and that is what makes the movie so damn good. What makes a truly great villain is when he makes the hero question his own belief system and what it means to be a hero, and Killmonger does just that. Because deep down, you kind of believe in what he believes in. Why doesn’t Wakanda help the outside world? Why aren’t they using this incredible technology to help those in need? So you start to see where he’s coming from, but like every great villain, he goes about it the wrong way. He questions the entire existence of Wakanda and what it means to be the world’s most powerful nation, and they start to listen. Michael just gives such a powerful performance, like I knew he would and continues to just knock it out of the park. That brings me to the biggest flaw of the movie, not enough Killmonger. He has such a cool introduction and you are instantly connected to him, then we go about 40 minutes without him. The movie needed more, because whenever he was on screen, you couldn’t look away, and every one of his scenes was intense.

Michael B Jordan isn’t the only standout in this superb cast. Again this movie is being celebrated because of the massive African American cast, which it should be. The movie is so rich in black culture, but Coogler also uses that to build a culture of his own, which is that of Wakanda. The world building here is incredible, and you leave the theatre wanting to see more and to understand more. They could have just said, look at this magical place we have made up, and not given any insight to their beliefs or culture, but they dive so deep into it, you almost begin to think it’s a real place. That is truly the work of a great director. Letitia Wright who plays Shuri, the little sister to T’Challa was the breakout star of this film. She gives one heck of a performance, where she can be fierce and feisty, yet provides some of the biggest laughs in the entire movie. A star making performance in my mind, and I expect to see her in many things down the line. I can’t wait to see her in upcoming MCU movies, because she was so great. The whole cast is awesome, and I know they all had so much fun making this movie together and knew what it would mean to the world. This really is a special movie, during a time when we need a movie like this. Because the themes and the messages behind it are so relevant today, that it makes it that much more important. Marvel could have just made another stereotypical comic book movie. About a guy in a costume and have a ton of stuff blow up. Yes stuff goes boom and there’s a guy in a costume, but it’s about so much more, and that’s why it’s so important.

In the end I really enjoyed Black Panther, it was a fun ride, with plenty of action, the CGI in some parts was a tad underwhelming, but overall it’s was fine. I prefer a better-told story and a strong message behind something than having incredible CGI. Ryan Coogler is now three for three in directing and he’s only 31 years old. That’s a very inspirational thing, seeing someone so young create such incredible movies. He has such a bright future ahead of him, and personally I can’t wait to continue watching him make movies for decades to come.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Black Panther = 90/10

Reviews

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Review

“Remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. Before you know it, your heart is worn out. And as for your body, there comes a point where no one looks at it. Much less wants to come near it.”

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(Frenzy Films)

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Do you remember what it felt like? Maybe your first crush? Your life changes when you meet that person, or you have certain feelings for the very first time in your life. It’s a special moment in every person’s life because well love is suppose to make you fell something, it’s suppose to make you feel complete. Call Me By Your Name is just that, a love story. Just so happens it has to be a gay love story, which occurs in the summer of 1983 in a villa in Italy. Honestly who wouldn’t want to fall in love in such a place? Italy is such a beautiful country, filled with beautiful people and in the summer of 1983 it saw a romance form like no other.

Elio (Timothee Chalamet) is a 17 year old boy who in the summer lives in a villa in Italy with his parents Mr. Perlmen (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Annella (Amira Casar). His father, an archaeologist who studies sculptures, brings in a grad student every summer to help him with his work. Elio rarely thinks anything of these students, as they come and go every year, and he never seems to be able to form any sort of bond or friendship with them. When Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives, well everything changes. Hammer, has a statuesque stature himself. From the very get-go you notice the size difference between Oliver and Elio. The Perlman’s are as the world would put it today “boujee,” they are fluent in multiple languages, well read and educated and appear to have an incredible amount of wealth. When Oliver first arrives, Eilo gets a sense of entitlement and cockiness, and is immediately fascinated by him. He gives off an “American” vibe, for instance, whenever he leaves, he declares “Later!” Elio is thrown off by his behaviour, but the two form a bond right away.

Most days for Elio are spent riding his bike, reading pool side in his swim trunks and flirting with the local girls. Oliver joins in with all of these activities, and when they start to bond and begin a friendship, Elio doesn’t know how to react. He isn’t sure if this is a real friendship or if Oliver is just being nice and Elio is merely the professors kid. Elio is a 17 year old kid, he’s going through what any 17 year old goes through. An insane rush of emotions and hormones. Elio is so intwined with Oliver, he cares so much about how he views him and what he thinks of him. The movie doesn’t give us any back story to Elio’s character, so we don’t know if he has had feelings like this before, but once Oliver arrives, it awakens something in him, he begins to finally see the light.

Call Me By Your Name isn’t so much about “doing it,” but rather wanting to “do it.” It’s about discovering your true sexual orientation and being comfortable in your own skin. For the most part, our two leads are wearing no shirts and just swim trunks, it’s summer, it’s Italy and it kind of sets the stage for some early physical contact, when Oliver offers to help Elio with his injured shoulder. The word “gay” is uttered once throughout the whole movie, which you might find strange in a movie about a gay romance. The one time it is said isn’t even directed at either one of our leads but rather a person in passing. The conversations about that subject between Elio and Oliver often happen off screen and I found this quite fascinating. This all happens naturally because director Luca Guadagnino allows it to, he sets the stage early on, and we watch as this progresses. Remember Oliver is only here for the summer, so this ends up being a painful summer romance, and when they finally figure out what they share together it is simply too late. The problem lies within Elio where he at one point asks Oliver if he is sick. Oliver simply replies “I wish everyone was as sick as you.” You almost wish these two would have had more time together, because they ultimately wish the same thing.

From the very start you knew these two would get along, Elio and his self confidence and intelligence meshed well with Oliver’s sometimes arrogance and often at times bro-ish behaviour. They are attractive to each others intelligence first, then it becomes more physical. They seem perfect for one another, but all good things must come to an end, and when the summer ends, so does this romance. It’s a coming of age kind of summer for Elio as cliche as that sounds. By the end of the summer, he is now who he was meant to be, and he is heartbroken.

The two leads give inspiring performances, and have incredible chemistry. It’s a testament to both actors. And they seemed to form a great bond in real life as well. Timothée has such a bright future in acting and seeing this side of Armie Hammer made me respect him even more as an actor.

This is 1983, the world was a different place and this kind of relationship wouldn’t have been accepted. So when Oliver arrives to work for Elio’s father, the two become close. He becomes part of the family. They have an incredible close knit family, that is very tight. So as this is going on, you are unaware of how the parents are viewing this and if they know what is even going on. Throughout the movie, glances are shared between the Perlman’s, that gives you the idea that they know something is going on. Nothing is ever said between the pair or to their son. They are being so supportive of their son, and they don’t even have to say a word. They are generous people, the kind of parents you want to grow up with. As one would put it, they are reading between the lines of this friendship forming before their eyes. They notice the changes in their son. They are allowing their son to become something, that as it’s put in the movie, most parents would not allow to happen. Allowing their son to grow into the person he is meant to become is your job as a parent. You know the saying – you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? That’s pretty much what Call Me By Your Name is about. Oliver and Elio sit outside well into the night and talk about how much wasted time they had this summer. That most things in life come and go so quickly that before you realize it, that thing you are experiencing is already a memory. Some of the greatest things in life are ephemeral, and for Elio and Oliver, their love is the greatest example.

The movie ends with a beautifully haunting speech by Michael Stulhbarg when he sits in his office with Elio and tells him about love. About what he experienced with Oliver is the type of love that people will search for their entire lives. That he wishes he found what they had this past summer. He envies what he had with Oliver, and that most parents wish and pray their son would land on his feet – he’s no such parent. It touches on everything you just felt watching Call Me By Your Name, all the themes and messages the film was trying to convey. “We rip out so much of ourselves, to be cured of things faster. That we are bankrupt by the age of 30, and have less to offer each time we start with someone new.” This final interaction between father and son is so powerful and emotional, that I feel like it’s a scene that will almost live on forever. When you are unsure about something in life, maybe love, go watch that scene and be reminded it’s okay to be different and that love is such a powerful thing. Don’t let the world change who you are, and be who you are meant to be. I am shocked Stulhbarg wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for this performance. The more I sit with this movie, the more I think I enjoyed it.

I will also never look at a peach the same way again.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Call Me By Your Name = 84/100

Reviews

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ Review

The most family friendly movie you’ll see all year!

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(FOX SEARCHLIGHT)

“A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.”

How does one deal with loss? Everyone deals with things in their own unique way, and for Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) buying three billboards is how she copes with hers. The biggest fear for any parent is the loss of a child, and when it happens unexpectedly and in the worst way imaginable, that can take a toll and have a serious affect on any parent. So when Mildred’s daughter Angela is raped and murdered she is determined to find those responsible. Well several months pass and NOTHING has happened, no arrests, no questionings and Mildred has pretty much had enough. So outside her house are three blank billboards. She takes it upon herself to buy them and writes up a harsh message for the chief of police, Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Mildred can’t believe there hasn’t even been one arrest. It’s pretty obvious that Willoughby and Mildred are familiar with one another, most likely growing up together in this small Missouri albeit fictional city.

Three Billboards at it’s core is how people rebound and cope with loss. For Mildred it’s putting up those three billboards. She knows this will not bring her daughter back, but I took it has a symbol, that as long as she has these in her life. There’s still a little part of her daughter left, which was hope. For Mildred’s son Robbie (Lucas Hedges), well he isn’t to thrilled about having these billboards outside their home. It’s hard enough for him having Mildred as a mother at the moment. Everyone in town knows who she is, and he may love her, but he’s a little embarrassed by it all. Now everyday he goes home, he has to be reminded that his older sister was raped and murdered, because as he puts it – if there wasn’t a second of the day he wasn’t thinking about it, he certainly is on the car ride home. They have a chaotic family, her ex husband was very abusive, both physically and mentally. Mildred is one of the strongest characters in film in the last year. Frances McDormand is a freight train, and gives such an incredible performance. Mildred is taking on the entire town and doesn’t back down from anyone, including the police.

Which leads me into the next part of the film, which deals with the police department in Ebbing Missouri. We have Willoughby, who is a level headed cop. He’s a family man and deep down it breaks his heart that he can’t catch the men responsible for Angela’s murder. But as he tells Mildred, they could not find a DNA match and there just wasn’t enough evidence to convict someone

. When he tells Mildred they can’t go around and get DNA from everyone in town, she doesn’t understand why they can’t and why it is ethically wrong to even consider that. She can only see the end goal, which is finding the killer, and she doesn’t care how she gets there. They have a complicated relationship, they understand each other, but at the same time can’t see eye-to-eye. You see, Willoughby has cancer and it’s killing him. So you feel for him, because not only is there a giant billboard telling him to do his job better, which he has, but he’s also dying. One scene in particular with Mildred and Willoughby where she goes into the police station for questioning, and you think you know how the scene is going to end, but then it takes a serious turn, and from there the whole movie kind of changes. Up in to that point, the movie was going in one direction, but after this scene, you couldn’t really predict anything that was going to happen. It’s an emotional scene, and it really makes the movie feel real and raw.

For most people this is Frances McDormand’s movie, but for me, Sam Rockwell steals the show. Remember his character from The Green Mile? Well just image that guy, but he’s a police officer in a small rural town. The definition of a nightmare if you ask me. He’s a bigot, a racist, he’s pretty dumb and he doesn’t mind beating a helpless citizen when he can. Jason Dixon is his name, and pain is his game. The character arc that his character goes through is something else. He literally has all the characteristics of someone who absolutely should not be a police officer, but he is actually the chiefs right hand man. He has one of the most uncomfortable scenes in the entire movie, it really puts you on edge. That’s what Martin McDonagh does so well. He’s the writer and director, and he wants you to feel uncomfortable. Listen, this is a small rural town, in the middle of Missouri, these people are saying every curse word in the book. They have ZERO filter, just think of  a curse word, and someone in this movie says it. Some of the cops are unethical, the towns people are rude and quite frankly racist, and then there’s Mildred right smack dab in the middle. It’s a tug-of-war between the police and Mildred. Both think they are right, and in some way, both parties are right. So when things heat up (literally) between them, people are doing insanely appealing things to get the job done. I don’t want to spoil anything because this is a movie that makes you think. It’s about real world problems, these things are going on in everyday life, yet they kind of get turned into a “he-said, she-said” situation. In the end, Dixon learns how to kind of become a “good police” and take a step back. He’s been through a lot in his life, and that is the reasoning behind some of his behaviour. There are no excuses for how he acts and how he treats people, but when a tragic event occurs, he is determined to turn his life around.

Three Billboards has a ton of heart. It has many heart filled moments throughout the film. Mixed into all of that heart is uneasiness and often hilarious cruel moments. Moments where you’re not sure whether it’s okay for you to laugh or not. Some of it, is almost right in your face. I enjoyed this movie, not only is it well written, but the performances really shine through. Don’t be surprised if this cleans up at the Oscars in a month.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri = 93/100

Reviews

´The Shape of Water’ Review

I guess it’s true what they say. Fish are friends not food.

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(FOX SEARCHLIGHT)

“At a top secret research facility in the 1950s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.”

“Cornflakes were invented to prevent masterbation, didn’t work.” When I heard that quote from Giles (Richard Jenkins) in Guillermo Del Toro’s latest master craft of cinema, I knew I was watching something truly special. The Shape of Water really is a unique movie, it deals with many themes, love, the feeling of being incomplete, friendship and what it’s like to be misunderstood. Movies for the most people are windows in its walls. They allow us to enter the mind of another person, that person is usually the director. Not simply with the sense of identifying with the characters, although that is a very important part. But this allows us to see the world as another person sees it. That can be a very powerful thing and a very powerful tool when making a film. I say that, because after watching The Shape of Water, it’s pretty obvious that director and writer Guillermo Del Toro feels a certain way about love and what it means to be loved and love something themselves.

So Oscar nominations came out early last week, and The Shape of Water was awarded the most nominations with 13. For acting, directing and for best picture. I’ve wanted to see this for a long time, but it finally came to my theatre last week. It’s deserving of every single nomination it got, and this is truly a work of art. Visually this movie is stunning, the visuals leap off the screen and that should be expected in a Guillermo Del Toro film. You don’t have to be a fan of his work or some of his movies, but one thing he does better than almost anyone is the sense of style and colour he uses in his movies. Pacific Rim, the Hell Boy movies and Pan’s Labyrinth, all of these films have their own sense of style and direction. From each project he works on, he marks it in some unique way. This movie is no different and you notice that within the first 10 minutes. He’s proven time and time again that he has a knack for beautiful looking production sets and the quality is always top notch. The cinematography is so lush and sleek, the colours are so rich and they just jump out at you.

The performances are incredible. Sally Hawkins (Elisa) who plays the mute janitor or the princess without a voice, gives a terrific performance. She does so much acting with her face and body language. She’s mute for almost the entire movie, but yet you connect with her character and feel for her. I found it really interesting that she is not able to talk, but lives above a movie theatre, so there are always voices going on inside her apartment. When you also get nominated for an Oscar and you don’t speak that really says something about your performance. She feels incomplete in her life because people only see her as a mute and that makes for a massive void in her life. She has a difficult time connecting with other people, because unless they know how to sign, she can’t communicate with them. When she meets the Amphibian Man (Doug Jones), he only she’s her. He doesn’t know she’s a mute and he learns how to sign. He doesn’t know that she is incomplete and that she feels that way. I just want to give credit to Doug Jones, because he is immersed into this role. Much like Andy Serkis, he doesn’t get enough credit for his performances. Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer (Zelda) who plays Elisa’s co-worker, also got nominated for Oscars. Giles also feels incomplete and somewhat unlovable. He’s Elisa’s neighbour and artist who struggles with being gay, because this takes place in the 1950’s and that was very misunderstood at the time. They really only have each other and their bond and friendship was beautiful to watch. They are trying to fill the empty void in each others life, but they can’t, not until Elisa meets this creature that is being held captive at the facility where she works. This movie is being describe has a woman falling in love with a monster, but as I sat down and watched this film, I realized the real monster in the movie is Michael Shannon’s character (Richard Strickland). He is responsible for finding the creature and serves as security for it. He’s mean, tortures the creature and is an all-round abusive and racist man. Like every single thing Michael Shannon is in, he gives a chilling and powerful performance.

Movies like all forms of art, are the most powerful aid to empathy. The good ones ultimately make us into better people. Walking away from The Shape of Water, it’s a movie about love. About being loved. Perhaps it’s about love not being about what you have to say, because the love that is formed is done without the use of any words. That love doesn’t have to be about what you say, but rather what you feel inside. Elisa wanted someone to see past her flaw and just get to know and finally love her. On the flip side it’s also about looking past on what is on the outside. Yes, a woman falls in love with a sea creature, but I think Guillermo wanted to show that love shouldn’t be about what you look like. That looking like that shouldn’t mean you can’t be loved, and when you sit back and reflect on it, it’s actually a really beautiful message. So I don’t know if he had ever felt this way in his life and wanted to try to explain and express the way he has felt at some time in his life, but I would imagine that has to be the case. I think you need to understand and be familiar with Guillermo’s work to fully understand this movie.

Overall, I thought The Shape of Water was a piece of art. A beautiful and unique love story. You really don’t see films like these and I think that’s a good thing. When your movie gets nominated for 13 Oscars it means something. I don’t believe it will win that many, because the categories and other nominees it’s matched up against is stacked, but that doesn’t take anything away from it. It’s a movie that makes you think, it has a really great message. This is just a really beautiful film and if you are a fan of Del Toro’s or a movie buff, this shouldn’t be missed.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Review – The Shape of Water = 91/100

 

 

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Final ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ Trailer

Again, the combination of robots vs. monsters synced up with TuPac is pure genius.

The final trailer for the highly anticipated Pacific Rim sequel has hit the web and it’s a doozy. I’m very much looking forward to shoving my face full of popcorn and enjoying a large farva while I watch this.

In terms of a “popcorn” movie, I don’t know what else you really need or want. I know going in, this won’t be able to top what Guillermo del Toro did all the way back in 2013. No one has quite the vision he has, and his sense of style and artistic view on movies is unmatched. But I know I love the world he built. The characters, and I love watching giant robots kick the living shit out of monsters. So there’s no sense in saying stuff like why bother going if Guillermo isn’t directing and blah, blah, blah. These are the kind of movies you see on a Saturday afternoon when you got some time to kill. Or if you’re like me, you go Thursday night because it’s one of your most anticipated movies of 2018.

I’m done talking up this movie, it’s going to be a really fun time in the theatre and actually has potential to be really good.

Check ya later.

Reviews

‘Molly’s Game’ Review

Michael Cera gives one of the years worst performances. All I will say is he’s suppose to be Toby Maguire. This movie still kicks ass.

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Molly’s Game is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, and it stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom a once promising Olympic skier turned high stakes poker game host.  I love poker, but poker movies can be very hit or miss for me. Turns out Molly’s Game is the best poker movie since Rounders, and of something would have gone a little differently, this would have been one of the best movies of the year. This whole thing is based off an incredible true story that deals with court cases, taking down the Russian mob, the poker underworld and so much more. I feel that’s why this movie works so well is because you sit there thinking, how on Earth could someone end up in these situations? How everything unfolds and the story in general is truly fascinating and I thought Aaron Sorkin did an incredible job.

Most people are familiar with Aaron Sorkin and his brilliant writing, from films like; The Social Network, Money Ball and A Few Good Men, Sorkin is one of the best writers in the industry. Molly’s Game is no different, the dialogue is fast paced, electric and very back and forth. I personally love how the characters talk in a Aaron Sorkin written project, you know real people certainly don’t have conversations like these, but it’s so fun to watch. The rat-tat-ta banter back and forth is so quick and witty and smart that it just sucks you right in. I feel like a story such as this could only be written and told by Aaron Sorkin, and the final product turned out really well. Now for the directing side of it, this is his first time directing anything, and it’s competent. I think one of the issues with the film is the directing and the film could have used say a David Fincher or someone Sorkin has worked with before to make this movie a little cleaner and all around better product. I think he certainly has a future with directing, but for his first time it went well enough, just when you’re writing and directing that can be a lot on your plate.

The performances throughout this movie are certainly what carry the film. They all do such a great job absorbing Sorkin’s incredible writing and dialogue, that well people are getting nominated for awards. Jessica Chastain shines as Molly Bloom. She’s such a great actress, she’s never really bad in anything to be perfectly honest, and she’s on top of her game in this. Not to mention they sexy her the hell up throughout the entire movie, and it’s funny because at the beginning of the film, she wears her “best dress” what at the time was an 88-dollar dress from JC Penny. She goes on to make millions and wear dresses that are more than some people’s rent on a monthly basis. Her journey is quite unique and special. Kevin Costner plays her father, who was her ski coach and also a clinical psychologist. A big theme throughout the movie is father/daughter issues and Molly always feeling powerless to men. That’s why she starts the poker game, because she wants to have power and control over very powerful men. It helps suppress her feelings towards her father, and makes her feel like she as achieved something. Costner is really good in the little screen time he gets, himself and Chastain have one remarkable father/daughter scene towards the end of the movie that was really emotional and it just tied the whole movie together. It’s just a really touching and fulfilling scene, that again is covered in incredible dialogue and it just really makes you live in that moment in the movie. The same can be said for Idris Elba who plays’s Molly’s attorney. They also have some rich dialogue scenes that pack an emotional punch. When he is reluctant to take her on as a client and reveals later than Molly is actually his daughter’s role model, Molly realizes that maybe all hope isn’t lost. I thought Idris gave one of his best performances in a while. He really did well with Sorkin’s script and he was just on top of his game. Michael Cera on the other hand, well he must have a good agent because I don’t know how he got this role.

The movie revolves around this court case, and the prosecutor wants information about the Russian mob that apparently had been playing in her games. When she tells them she didn’t know any of this, but she does have information on actors and directors and businessmen, she feels like she can’t ruin their lives and give up their secrets. She publishes a tell-all book and reveals some names and gossip about her time in the poker world, but not enough. Molly doesn’t want to flip on these people, even after everything she has been through, and would rather serve jail time. Everything really wraps up nicely at the end; I’ll just say that.

A lot of this film is narrated and I know some people can think that can be lazy of the writer to do, and some people actually hate narration in film. I don’t mind it what so ever so it didn’t bother me in Molly’s Game, and Sorkin actually found a way to pull it off in a really great way. For me, the biggest gripe I have with the movie, is one, it’s to long. That’s where the director thing comes into play again, because I think if someone else is directing they find a way to cut off some of the fat of this film. Trim in down about 20 minutes and then its just 2 hours, instead of almost 2 hours and 30 minutes. Secondly the poker scenes themselves were not great. This is a poker movie, and I felt the scenes that involved poker and a shit ton of money being won and lost could have been executed in a much better fashion. Now these are just small nitpicks, but again maybe another director has a better vision for those scenes, that were pretty crucial to the overall finish to the movie.

Overall, I enjoyed Molly’s Game, I love the sophistication of Sorkin’s writing, some of my favorite movies ever, and he has been behind the script. He just wants such encapsulating dialogue and it just keeps you intrigued. It does drag a little bit in the middle, but there isn’t an actual pacing problem to the movie, I just think that’s the lack of directing experience. Go for incredible performances and if you like to gamble this will put you in the mood to do just that.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Review – Molly’s Game = 88/100