Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight
I am a big fan of director Wes Anderson so in honor of Isle of Dogs coming out this week. I decided to review his first full stop motion animated film, Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox surrounds the life of a fox who promises his wife to stop being a thief so they can live a normal life when he discovers she is pregnant. But after a good amount of time, Mr. Fox is longing for adventure again and recruits a possum to help rob his human neighbors of their goods. But these human neighbors turn out to be animal hunters which causes Mr. Fox, his family, and his animal friends to be in danger.
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Game Night surrounds three couples who regularly have game nights, but the stakes are raised once Brooks (Kyle Chandler), Jason Bateman’s brother in the film, stages a murder mystery game which leads to his kidnapping, the couples then have trouble figuring out what is part of the game and what is real.
First off, this film is really fun. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams have a really great dynamic here. They are both super competitive people, which means that they are the main focus of the film and take all their game nights seriously. They also work well with the two other couples. But Jesse Plemons, who plays the creepy neighbor, is the real standout here. He was able to balance being stoic and serious with trying to insert himself in the couple’s game nights, which made all the other characters uncomfortable – it was great.
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A Wrinkle in Time is directed by Ava DuVernay and surrounds the story of Meg (Storm Reid) whose father (Chris Pine) has gone missing for four years. Her father was a scientist that believed that you could travel the universe through your mind alone. So when three mysterious beings – Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) – show up to help Meg, her brother, Charles Wallace, and her friend, Calvin, find her father they must travel the universe to do so.
While the premise sounds interesting enough, I was disappointed by A Wrinkle in Time. The ultimate downfall for me I think was the acting by the kids, they felt very wooden to me, though the dialogue also wasn’t very good. The kid who played Charles Wallace especially was really annoying throughout most of the film. And the only part of Storm Reid’s performance that I bought was her relationship with her father.
The newest season of Jessica Jones dropped yesterday and I, personally, couldn’t wait for it. Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter, is my favorite of the Marvel Netflix superheroes because she is such a deeply flawed, damaged human and rightfully so given all that has happened to her.
Season 2 is definitely not as good as season 1. Season 2 revolves more about Jessica’s past and her origin, all of which is interesting, but I think this season definitely lacks a center focus. With season 1 the focus was on Kilgrave, a villain played by David Tennant, and Jessica. But with Kilgrave gone, there wasn’t a main antagonist presented until about episode 5 which definitely made the first part of the season drag along. But the latter half of the season definitely picks up.
Annihilation is a sci-fi movie surrounding Lena (Natalie Portman) whose husband, Kane (Oscar Isaac), has gone on a secret mission to what is called “The Shimmer” and is the only person to have ever returned but is not well. Lena then decides to go to The Shimmer in order to find out what has happened to her husband.
I knew pretty much nothing about this film, I didn’t watch any trailers and only vaguely knew of the concept, which intrigued me, and I think that us film lovers may actually enjoy movies more if we go in blind. Let me start out by saying that the visuals in this film are stunning, especially everything that happened in The Shimmer. The production designer really deserves a lot of the credit here. It was both beautiful and creepy to see what lied behind The Shimmer and there are plenty of horror elements in the film.
Here are my thoughts on what’s going to win at this year’s Oscars and what I want to win at this year’s Oscars.
Nominations: The Shape of Water, Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, The Post, Phantom Thread, Get Out, Dunkirk, Lady Bird, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Who Will Win: Three Billboards
Who I Want to Win: The Florida Project (not nominated) or Lady Bird
Three Billboards is a worthy Best Picture contender and I wouldn’t mind seeing it win. But the only thing that really bothers me about the film is the tone – Three Billboards is a dark comedy, and while I do like dark comedies and appreciated their moments in the film, I think that in many instances in the film the drama would’ve stuck better. Lady Bird would be my choice to win out of the nominations because it’s such a strikingly real movie. Though I would rather have The Florida Project be nominated and win because of it’s impact on me – I can’t quite forget that film, it has still stuck with me since I’ve seen it.
Photo courtesy of Netflix
A Futile and Stupid Gesture is a Netflix film about the Douglas Kenney, the comedy legend who came up with the National Lampoon brand and films like Animal House and Caddyshack. The movie revolves around his life – his college years, his friendship with Henry Beard (who found National Lampoon with him), his rise to fame, his chase for approval from father, and his struggles – a typical biopic narrative.
Douglas Kenney (who is portrayed by Will Forte) is a man who can’t find real meaning in his life. Though he co-founded National Lampoon, his heart wasn’t always in it. He wasn’t someone who can handle responsibility, which frustrated his friend Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) to no end. Both Forte and Gleeson give nice performances here, especially Gleeson who I have not yet seen veer into the comedy route, though he is more of the straight man in this film.
One Day at a Time is a comedy Netflix original series surrounding the Alvarez family. A misfit, Latino family living in LA. This series is a typical sitcom, but one I enjoyed due to its social commentary on many problems people face today.
Penelope (Justina Machado) is a divorced mother of her two kids, Elena (Isabella Gomez) and Alex (Marcel Ruiz) struggling to balance work and motherhood as a recent Army veteran. She has an overbearing Cuban mother who lives with her and an annoying landlord who seems to always be in her home.
Given my previous review of Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman, I thought that it would only be fitting to pair the giant female superhero blockbuster with the people that inspired her.
Wonder Woman revolves around Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), the Princess of Themyscira, who lives on an isolated island away from mankind with Amazon warriors, all of whom are women. When Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island, he alerts the Amazons of the war going on in the outside world, Diana believes that the Greek god of War, Ares, who her mother has always warned her about is behind World War I and joins Steve Trevor to the land of men in order to stop Ares once and for all.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a more under the radar film that centers around the unconventional life of the creator behind Wonder Woman and the women who inspired him to create the famous superhero.
2017 was the year for Wonder Woman, but I don’t think that many people were aware of this movie. I barely got the chance to see it now and let me just say that the performances all around were magnificent. Luke Evans stars as Professor Marston, Rebecca Hall stars as Elizabeth Marston (Professor Marston’s wife), and Bella Heathcote stars as Olive Byrne (their mutual romantic partner).