LA LA LAND * outta *****
No shock here. Even some critics didn’t like this one very much. I honestly stopped watching it halfway through it was that bad. I wouldn’t usually review a movie I didn’t finish, but to do so would have been torture. It’s basically like watching a high school drama production shot on a stedi-cam. The staging, song quality, choreography, singing, and script were all amateur hour. Emma Stone has no Hollywood glamour and Ryan Gosling just seemed out of his element. I understand that he had to take piano lessons for months to play this role, well here’s a crazy idea… hire someone who can not only play the piano but also sing and dance! Was Justin Timberlake busy? Same with Emma Stone, she’s not a dancer or a singer, so why is she in this? I would barely even call her A-list. She hasn’t proven that she can headline anything more than a rom-com, unlike Amy Adams.
ARRIVAL *** outta *****
Arrival is a ridiculous premise and one of the stranger takes on first contact. That said, I was actively engaged in the movie the entire two hours which cannot be said for most films so I give it a 3. Now having said THAT, if you expect the movie to make any sense by the end, keep dreaming. There is an interesting twist that involves the magic of time travel but it is never explained. Amy Adams character makes a nonsensical and unethical choice at the end that really lowered my ranking of this movie. It was simply sloppy writing. Amy Adams carries the movie and I did like that it stays with her the entire time, but the whole thing hinges on this idea that the aliens would expect us barbaric humans to translate their language instead of them (with their obviously superior science) translating ours. IT MAKES ZERO SENSE.
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA * outta *****
Here’s another well reviewed movie to avoid. I can’t understand how a critic could sit through this dull-as-paint-drying-mopefest and give it a 5 star rating. It is one of the worst movies of 2016. Casey Affleck plays the same guy he always plays: monotone kid-faced sociopathic Boston guy. This time he’s a psycho because he accidentally killed his entire family and burned his own house down. Later in the film he leaves burning food on the stove and takes a nap. So after he’s killed his three children he plays with fire again. And we are supposed to feel sympathetic for this moron? His brother, Kyle Chandler, shows that he’s just as dumb by putting Affleck in his will to manage his own family and business after he dies suddenly. Bad idea. Affleck’s character can’t even get himself a beer without ending up bloody and beaten. So in the end, it’s a terrible movie with no story to tell, it’s a “slice of life” thing that’s set in the ‘90s for no reason.
MOONLIGHT ** outta *****
At least it’s not as bad as La La Land. That’s about all I can say about this slice-of-life Richard Linklater/Boyhood-esque “movie.” I only realized by the third act that there was no story and therefore no convincing conclusion. It starts off strong with good acting, music, pacing, etc. But then when Chiron finally grows up none of the lessons he’s learned in the first two acts pay off. This is widely described as a gay movie, but Chiron never even becomes sexually active, he’s more like a celibate. He thinks he’s gay, but never acts on it. So what is the point of this movie? You sympathize with him as a confused shy little boy, but then he just becomes a thug in the end. You would think that the point would be overcoming adversity or something. But no, he’s just an asexual gangsta drug dealer. Ok. It’s not a one star star piece of crap like La La Land, but it’s no where near a Best Picture of the Year award. Mahershala Ali (House of Cards) is the best thing about it so naturally he disappears in act one, never to be seen again.
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS ** outta *****
Similarly to Moonlight the best thing about Nocturnal Animals is it’s supporting star Michael Shannon. It would have been best if the whole movie was about his character. Unfortunately, not only is his character not the main character, he’s not even real in the movie. This is one of those travesties known as a “film-within-a-film.” Amy Adams (wildly miscast) gets a manuscript from ex-husband Donnie Darko and the movie is her reading it and imaging it was a movie in her head. So yes, the entire plot shown in the trailer is all in her imagination. Really ’nuff said. This movie sucked.
At one point she walks past a giant painting that says REVENGE as if the point wasn’t clear enough that this crime novel is about their marriage. See, she said he would never be a successful writer and divorced him. Now he can write a bestseller about what a bitch she is and get the ultimate REVENGE!!! HAHAHA!
Based on this film and the director’s previous one A Single Man, it’s obvious that he hates women. Amy Adams is portrayed as a superficial cunt and his last film was about gay dudes who think that women are basically children who should be ignored. Also the main reason to totally not see this movie is the opening credits. Just to drive home how much Tom Ford hates ladies, it’s five agonizing minutes of the most obese and wrinkled examples of the female form he could find; jumping around with sparklers in front of American flags. Apparently this is supposed to be a political statement of some kind. Just horrible. If Shannon wasn’t in this thing it would easily be a one star film.