Hidden Figures (2016)

Hidden Figures Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures is a 2016 biopic starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. It is a clichéd film in every way.

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Here at NASA we all pee the same color

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Hidden Figures Movie Review……………………………………………………………..
This is one of those movies that are so predictable not only in the actual execution, but also in the expected rating and quality. I knew I was going to give it a 3.5 and I ended up giving it that exact rating in the end. It is that kind of middling movie that is so familiar and such a shameless crowd pleaser, but still well acted, imporant and competently made. It is basically the ‘Bridge of Spies’ of 2016.
The three characters themselves are never properly developed, though the actresses playing them are certainly immensely likable in their roles. Octavia Spencer was nominated basically just for being a popular actress and everyone is talking about Janelle Monae and her role is also very slight and not the best. I do not understand that, but clearly Taraji P. Henson gave the best performance and her role was the biggest and best established. She should have been nominated.
This is obviously an important story. These three African American female mathematicians were hugely influential in NASA and it is certainly admirable that we finally see their stories. But although you have that importance factor and it is a charming, certainly extremely likable film, it is predictable from beginning to end and that hurt it a lot.
Hidden Figures is well acted, directed and shot. It is okay in its execution, although not the best. The script is solid and the movie can also be quite funny at times while constantly being likable in its characters. But the dialogue is so on the nose and lacking any subtlety whatsoever that it actually annoyed me hearing some of the more ridiculous lines spoken.

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Hidden Figures Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

I liked the glimpses into their personal lives and the issues were mostly well emphasized. But I would have liked to have seen more of the space stuff as I am a big fan of astronomy myself. But here we mostly only get boring mathematics and some of those scenes were done in the most obnoxious, arrogant manner possible which unpleasantly reminded me of ‘The Martian’.

But overall it is a solid film and although long, it is quite engaging and harmless. It did not deserve to be nominated for Best Picture at all in a very strong year and it is certainly the weakest nominee after the mediocre ‘Hell or High Water’.
Hidden Figures is an expectedly solid and clichéd film. It is very well acted with Taraji P. Henson actually being the highlight, the characters are very likable and this is definitely an important story, but it is told in the most predictable manner possible with not enough astronomy in it, overly annoying science scenes and a total lack of subtlety filled with many ridiculous lines.

My Rating – 3.5

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Jackie (2016)

Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie is a 2016 biopic directed by Pablo Larrain and starring Natalie Portman. It is a solid, but inherently troublesome film.

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There comes a time in man’s search for meaning when he realises that there are no answers.

And when you come to the horrible and unavoidable realization,

you accept it or you kill yourself. Or you simply stop searching

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Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

I liked that the film followed just the assassination of Kennedy and how Jackie dealt with it. That decision led to a much more focused and interesting film. And certainly more dramatic and emotional. Some scenes here are so good with the highlight being the entire third act which has some truly moving moments and even a couple of interesting things to say.

However, Jackie still suffers from the regular problems of these political biopics and that is of course its dishonest approach. The film is basically a glorified and even at times propagandistic and plain aggressive case for how great of a president and man he was when in reality he had a number of affairz with different women, but of course that fact was entirely omitted from this film.

And Jackie herself felt overly sympathetic which is where lies the movie’s biggest problem. Clever and truly great biographical films present their subjects as human beings, both admirable and flawed. Here however, she is basically a saint with no flaws whatsoever. That was so problematic. And all of the other characters are exactly the same, but unlike her, they are forgettable and do not impact the film’s plot at all.

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Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

There is one superb thing in this film that nobody can deny and that is of course Natalie Portman’s performance which is simply astonishing. It is one of the best performances of the year and I honestly think that she should have won an Oscar for this film instead of ‘Black Swan’ as she is so much better here. She not only became this person and entirely sold her movements and her speech patterns, but she also sold those highly emotional scenes and was just a force to be reckoned with. She is the reason to see this otherwise so-so film.

Jackie’s Oscar-nominated costumes are certainly exquisite and the year’s best. The film is surprisingly well edited and involving for a political biographical piece. It succeeds as a historical picture as it transports you to its time period really well with a good eye for detail. It is very well made for sure and it features some pretty interesting conversations owing to a solid script and dialogue. It is a shame then that some other lines ring so false and propagandistic.

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Jackie Movie Review………………………………………………………

Two of the biggest offenders here are the overabundant graphical details of the murder which were thoroughly unnecessary and the score which is simply horrible. How it was nominated for an Oscar I will never know. It is so aggressive, moody and dangerous that it suits the science fiction horror sensibilities and genre much more than a historical drama. Truly, the musical choice is so bad that it actually becomes distracting. But thankfully the film is well made in other technical areas. Overall, I liked Jackie to some extent and some scenes are even commendable in their dialogue, but the biased approach hurt it in the long run.

Jackie is a solid and sometimes even great, but obviously very flawed movie. The performance from Natalie Portman is truly inspired and she is simply phenomenal here, some conversations were quite interesting, the film is emotional and it is pretty involving which I did not expect, but the score is horrible, they almost entirely glorified her and it is so annoyingly biased and even propagandistic at times with a couple of lines that rang false.

My Rating – 3.5

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Lion (2016)

Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Lion Movie Review

Lion is a 2016 drama film directed by Garth Davis and starring Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar and Nicole Kidman. It is one of the year’s best films.

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Every night I imagine that I’m walking those streets home

and I know every single step of the way, and I whisper in her ear – I’m here

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Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

It follows a true story of an Indian boy from a small village who, while waiting for his brother on the street, boards a train and accidentally ends up in Calcutta. Eventually, he gets adopted by an Australian couple and he decides to search for his village and his mother with the help of Google Earth.

The story is so powerful, human and extremely emotional that I was blown away by it. The fact that it is real and that it did in fact happen only bolstered its power to me. Those final images of the real people were so moving to watch. This is one of the rare movies that made me cry and I almost never cry watching movies. That’s how powerful it is. But the reunion scene just made me tear up how wonderful and emotional it was. Truly one of the best scenes of any 2016 film.

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Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

I loved the film’s structure. Some may say it is problematic that the second half is more dramatic and slower than the first one, but I liked that quite a bit. To me the second half is even stronger than the first one as I thought that his journey as a small child maybe could have been trimmed down a bit. But I still was fascinated watching it. He truly had a crazy, difficult life and following him from one city to another, encountering many bad people and terrible poverty and situations on the street was devastating to behold.

But I loved the second half. It featured excellent dialogue and it just phenomenally put into perspective the issue of adoption. When Kidman’s character makes that speech why she chose to adopt, well, that is probably where the movie shines the most in terms of sophistication and message. She tells us that having biological children is actually a very selfish decision as you bring a child to an overly populated planet when you can help a child that is already born and struggles in poverty and is parentless.

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Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The movie showcases how difficult and emotionally exhausting adoption can be which is here best exemplified in their second adopted son Mantosh who is very problematic as he has self-harm and anger issues. As Saroo states – by adopting them, she also adopted their previous, troubled and difficult histories. Yes, the movie truthfully showcases both the pros and cons of adoption, but it still ends it on a positive note, by telling us that it is still a beautiful, human thing to do and I was just inspired by that sentiment.

I loved the characters, so well realized and having read the interviews, it is evident that real Saroo and others are happy with this adaptation which is another proof of its greatness. It is faithful. He was great here, but I liked his girlfriend quite a bit too and their relationship was well developed. Everyone else was excellent, but the highlight is Sue naturally as she is such an inspirational person and a beautiful soul whom I respect a lot.

The acting in Lion is as great as the various accolades have been telling us. Rooney Mara and David Wenham are quite good, but Priyanka Bose was superb in the mother’s role. I dislike Dev Patel personally, but I couldn’t deny how superb he was here, delivering a very good, respectable performance.

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Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

However, Sunny Pawar is so underappreciated here. He gave such an amazing performance for a child actor and he even stole the show from Dev Patel as he was more memorable in the first half. A very underrated child performance once again. But to me Nicole Kidman is easily the standout actress here. Wow, she was fantastic and she definitely delivered the year’s finest supporting performance. She was subtle when needed and emotional when the dialogue and the scene demanded. Her speech sequence is really something special.

Lion is also beautifully made. The cinematography here is absolutely stunning and is the year’s best looking and best shot movie. Whether in India or in Australia, it was beautiful to witness, but also realistic in its sequences. I loved that it didn’t shy away from Indian problems such as child sex trade and slavery, both presented here.

As for the direction, it is very good and especially great given that it is a directorial debut for Garth Davis. The film features a terrific script which is not only moving, but thematically rich and it features realism and a great message regarding adoption. It truly is an inspirational movie, but also a universal one as almost anyone can relate to the search for parents, coming from a poor area etc.

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Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

I found the dialogue to be terrific as well with a couple of excellent lines and many thought-provoking discussions. The film is also very well edited which was quite an accomplishment having in mind its difficult to adapt structure. Lion was always riveting to me and never at all slow. It is almost perfectly made and I rarely say that. Really, there is nothing wrong with this movie, at least nothing comes to my mind right now when writing this review, though that may change upon second viewing. But for now, it is a great movie that deserved much more accolades than it got and it is quite possibly the best 2016 has to offer.

Emotional, smart, realistic and just so powerful, Lion is a masterpiece of a film. It features such terrific performances with Nicole Kidman being particularly outstanding, it is beautifully shot, so well edited and directed and it features excellent, thought-provoking dialogue and a great message. It showcases both the pros and cons of adoption, but that eventually it is a beautiful decision. Everyone can relate to this movie as Saroo’s journey is amazing and heartbreaking and it is all the more powerful having in mind that it really happened. It is one of the rare movies that made me cry and it is in my opinion the very best film of 2016.

My Rating – 5

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Loving (2016)

Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Loving Movie Review

Loving is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. It is a pretty good, albeit not great film.

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Tell the judge I love my wife

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Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

It tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving who fought hard until they won the right to marry and thus entered the first interracial marriage. The story is naturally important and it should prove immensely relatable to anyone belonging in any kind of minority for sure. I liked that emotional tone to it and I liked that it was a very understated drama which I really appreciated along with its accurate portrayals of real-life people and situations.

The characters are solid and I liked both of them quite a bit. They were endearing together and you naturally root for them. However, although some scenes are wonderful, most scenes between them left me cold and I found the film to be sorely lacking in terms of romance. It needed to be very romantic to sell this important couple and their suffering, but I just never got that from these two unfortunately.

But the acting is terrific and both of the actors deserved all of the received accolades. Ruth Negga is as good and as subtle as critics have been saying all the time. She sold those more intimate and moving moments superbly. But I also really liked Joel Edgerton in this movie because he had to play a physical performance and he totally became this redneck from South which was commendable. But he was also great in his smaller moments. Both are so good and they put those supporting actors to shame.

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Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Loving is very well directed by Jeff Nichols and it is actually one of his better movies and much better than his overrated Midnight Special from the same year. I also found the editing to be pretty good, though not great. The film was also pretty well shot and overall it looked great.

But Loving is one of those movies that are more important in plot than truly great and it certainly didn’t deserve those great reviews. It is a good movie, but never great. It is actually very engaging for its long running time which is long for this pretty simplistic story. I was never bored honestly. But I found the film’s lack of better character development problematic as we just never really meet those other people and family members properly and we never really meet the two protagonists quite well and they are actually quite weakly developed. Very well acted, but weak as characters.

It should have been more emotional. I liked its subtle approach, but in terms of their relationship, it was too subtle and it needed to be more overt in order for us to see the importance of their case and how strong their love truly is. But I liked its realistic approach in terms of the costumes and places and it looked like a real 1960s picture which was great.

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Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

To me the highlights were all of the sequences between the two as the court and overall politics scene wasn’t the most interesting. And I wished that we got more from these two together. But overall it is a pretty relatable, emotionally strong film that succeeds as a pretty good, even today relevant historical drama.

Loving is pretty good, but far from great. I found that the film needed to be more romantic as it was sorely lacking in that area and it was overall more important than great, but it is very well made, actually commendably subtle and understated in its approach, its subject matter is still relevant and it features very good performances from both Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton who entirely carry this movie on their shoulders.

My Rating – 4

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Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 war biopic directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield. It is one of the year’s best films and the biggest, most pleasant surprise.

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I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe

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Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

It follows an American pacifist combat medic who refuses to carry or use weapons of any kind to stay true to his faith and eventually saves more than fifty wounded people by carrying them himself and thus becoming a hero. This is one of those old-fashioned movies that could have come out during the fifties, but that here is a good thing as rarely today do we get great war movies as well as religious pictures.

This one succeeds at both of those fronts. It is such a strongly spiritual movie that I was just blown away at how emotional and powerful it is, yet understated and never sensationalized. This is probably one of the most spiritual movies that I have ever seen. But it succeeds as a war picture too because the action is terrific along with the technical aspects and the film perfectly transports you to the action and helps you realize the suffering as well as the bravery of the soldiers there. So good.

It also succeeds as a biopic as it tells you everything you need to know about Desmond Doss without ever making the whole affair sappy or overly sentimental. He is an important person in history and I am glad that he got the movie treatment and such a great one at that. He is one of the most admirable and purely good men who ever lived and a role model for everyone.

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Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

The other characters are pretty good as well. I really like Smitty and following their rivalry and eventual friendship was emotionally rewarding, yet realistically portrayed. Sergeant Howell is also pretty good, albeit the character we’ve seen before and done better in ‘Full Metal Jacket’. Vince Vaughn is solid and Luke Bracey is so good in this minor, but important role. Hugo Weaving as the father is also terrific and Teresa Palmer as his girlfriend is quite solid. I wanted more from their relationship in the second half, but the first half, although traditional, was still romantic and well done.

But Andrew Garfield is just fantastic in the main role. He was always believable and not only is his Southern accent strong, but he sold even the most difficult and emotionally exhilarating moments beautifully. It was a difficult role and he got a lot of screen time, but he excelled in it and gave his best performance yet and quite probably the best male performance of the year.

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Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Now Hacksaw Ridge isn’t perfect. I wanted more of a closure in its third act. I absolutely loved the interviews of real Desmond Doss, that felt authentic and fitting. But I still wanted more of a fitting finale to this story as the film just sort of ended. It was abrupt. And the second problem is the action which felt highly exaggerated in violence at times. I know that is necessary for a war flick, but it still felt overly gory and violent in a couple of disgusting scenes.

But the action is overall very good and again the film transports you well into the battle arena. The film is technically polished and not only well edited, but also stupendously well shot. It is one of the best shot films of the year with some highly memorable and authentic imagery. But the direction from Mel Gibson is also one of the year’s best, so strong and so professional and I am glad that he is back with this movie in a big way as he deserves it. He showed what a knack for traditional storytelling he has one more time.

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Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

So Hacksaw Ridge definitely deserved all of those nominations that it received and it is one of the year’s best films for sure. It is also one of the better war films that I have seen which says a lot. But what says the most about its quality is that I liked this movie so much despite being bored personally by World War II flicks. But here he found a new, previously not that well explored angle and brought us a fresh WW2 picture which is a huge accomplishment.

Hacksaw Ridge is the most pleasant surprise of 2016. It is overly violent at times and the conclusion needed more closure, but other than that, this is one of the best films of the year and one of the better war films that I have ever seen because Gibson found a new, previously unexplored angle to a regular war picture. His direction is fantastic, the film looks gorgeous, it is emotional and always understated, it is very spiritual and it features one of the best performances of the year from Andrew Garfield who was just phenomenal here.

My Rating – 4.5

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Ed Wood (1994)

Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Ed Wood Movie Review

Ed Wood is a 1994 comedy drama biopic directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Martin Landau among others. It is an amazing, wonderful movie.

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Visions are worth fighting for.

Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

It follows Ed Wood, an acclaimed director of trashy movies from the fifties. It follows his career while he made some of his best known works as well as his romantic relationships and his friendship with Bela Lugosi. The film is the kind of biographical picture that succeeds in almost every way and it is a rare biopic that is timeless and almost artistic in a way. It is one of the finest genre films I’ve seen for sure.

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

I loved its richness. The film deals with a lot of themes and it is such a nuanced, incredibly well scripted work. Of course you get his career endeavors and his artistic struggles. That was all very well done. But even better are his relationships with women as his first relationship was doomed from the beginning and it was dramatic to follow its conclusion whereas the second one was a successful one, romantic and moving. But of course the friendship that formed between Ed and Lugosi is the highlight and that was just wonderful to witness. There truly is a lot for everyone here to enjoy.

The director is brought to life beautifully and Johnny Depp has rarely been this good in a Burton flick. It is one of his best performances I’ve seen. Very charismatic and sympathetic. Lugosi is also great and those scenes where they addressed his doomed career were just so tragic and yet absolutely hilarious at the same time. Martin Landau thoroughly deserved his Oscar as he played this role remarkably well. But Sarah Jessica Parker is pretty good herself and Patricia Arquette is very likable. All of the characters here were stupendously well written and all of the actors and actresses delivered top-notch performances. The casting in this movie also couldn’t have been better.

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Ed Wood is an incredibly funny movie and I laughed out loud more than a couple of times because some of the lines were just absolutely hysterical to hear. Of course the humor is strong when the script is so stellar and the dialogue is just terrific. Such a well written, polished work all around. It succeeds as a funny comedy and as a serious, heartfelt drama and that is such a commendable feat.

It isn’t a perfect movie honestly. Some of the parts weren’t the greatest. I found Depp’s performance to be great in the first half and in the second one it was typical. I found the entire third act to be incredibly underwhelming. It is good, but never as great as the film was before it. It was a shame as the only film I’ve seen of his is ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ and yet that is the only movie here that wasn’t particularly well utilized when all of the others were so well depicted.

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Ed Wood Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Ed Wood is also gorgeous in terms of the technical aspects. This is the kind of film that just had to be shot in black and white and its crisp, polished look brought a lot of sophistication and professionalism to the picture. Many scenes and shots here are memorable and highly exquisite. The same goes for the costumes and the score. The attention to detail is evident and the direction from Burton is incredibly strong and possibly his best directed work yet. He showcased an obvious care for this subject and person and that coupled with a great talent and style led to the movie being so amazing and one of the best that he’s ever made without any doubt.

With beautiful and fitting black and white photography, possibly the best direction from Tim Burton yet and great performances from Johnny Depp and Martin Landau, Ed Wood benefited from obviously being made with a lot care and it has such phenomenal dialogue and that along with such a stellar script led to a great humor with a lot of the lines being absolutely hilarious. But it also succeeds as a drama as some scenes are poignant and dramatic. It is a wonderful, truly great film that is one of the director’s best and also one of the finest biopics that I have ever seen.

My Rating – 4.5

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Queen of Katwe (2016)

Queen of Katwe Movie Review………………………………………………………….

Queen of Katwe Movie Review

Queen of Katwe is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Mira Nair and starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o. It is such a clichéd flick.

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In chess the small one can become the big one.

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Queen of Katwe Movie Review………………………………………………………….

It is about a Ugandan girl living in a slum in Katwe who learns to play chess and attends the Olympiads. This is such a basic, overly typical biopic done in way too familiar and overly sentimental fashion to be enjoyed more despite it being quite well made technically. Disney here did it by formula and never brought anything new to the table. Both as a biographical drama and as a sports/chess flick, it is dull.

It is definitely well acted, but David Oyelowo in my opinion was much more memorable and better than Lupita Nyong’o from whom I expected a bigger role. But he is quite good and most of the others did a really good job as well. But it’s a shame that the characters are so slight, so boring and so typical that these actors were all wasted on a slim material.

Queen of Katwe is really well made. It is solidly directed by Mira Nair and, as I said, the acting is pretty good, but the highlights were the cinematography and score. The score is quite African in tone and fun, accompanying its scenery really well. But some of the shots at the city were great and some of the Ugandan scenery was wonderful to watch. I loved that it was shot in real Uganda and Katwe. I always respect when they shoot in real locations, that is so commendable.

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Queen of Katwe Movie Review………………………………………………………….

But unfortunately, although technically pretty well crafted, the film is just incredibly boring to watch and actually quite long for this very simplistic storyline. Some of the sequences were just way too saccharine in nature and this is the type of Disney film where its sugary attributes were annoying instead of charming. It is an overly sentimental piece of fluff, overly meant to be inspirational and never really inspirational. A forgettable and formulaic picture for sure and one of the year’s most overrated and clichéd films.

Queen of Katwe is technically very good with good performances, it was commendable that it was shot in Uganda, the scenery is great and the score is pretty good, but the movie is so clichéd in its overly simplistic narrative and so saccharine in its emotion that it was quite boring and annoying to watch.

My Rating – 3

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Sully (2016)

Sully Movie Review………………………………………………………….

Sully Movie Review

Sully is a 2016 biopic directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks. It is one of the most overrated films of the year.

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Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.

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Sully Movie Review………………………………………………………….

It is about the Miracle on Hudson where a captain safely landed a plane on the river without anyone being killed. Needless to say, this premise alone doesn’t really have a potential for a feature and surely enough, the film is overblown to the ninety-minute frame with a boring and repetitive storyline.

Clint Eastwood is a great director and even though his direction here is definitely good, this is still one of his weakest films to date. The same goes for Tom Hanks. He gives a good performance, but not as great as you’d come to expect from his caliber.

The film is, as I said, competently made as it looks good and is well acted and shot, but the editing, although they try their best, is still problematic as the film’s jumping in time isn’t all that exciting to watch. The movie is so overblown that it repeats the incident one more time! That is how simple this story is that they just couldn’t make a feature without going into filler territory.

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Sully Movie Review………………………………………………………….

Sully is one of those movies that are overly traditional. What am I talking about? I am talking about its heart. Yes, it is overly sentimental and sometimes even ridiculously so. It is the type of movie that they made a lot during the 80s and 90s where you have this great inspirational figure and story and a lot of emotion that’s supposed to move you. They did a solid job with that here and the film is solidly built with okay character development, but the subject alone is not all that exciting and I was never really moved or inspired. I felt underwhelmed at the typical nature of this typically American movie and I don’t understand why the critics love it so much. It has to be because it has Hanks for its actor and Eastwood for the director. There is no other way to explain it.

Sully is an immensely overrated movie that is as typical as it can possibly be. It is competently acted and directed, but it’s traditional in a bad way as its inspirational story is familiar and overly sentimental plus this particular story is too simple and short for a feature and the result is a boring and even repetitive film that sometimes went into obvious filler territory.

My Rating – 3

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Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins is a 2016 biographical dramedy film directed by Stephen Frears and starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. It is such an entertaining, pleasant biopic.

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People may say I couldn’t sing,

but no one can ever say I didn’t sing

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Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

It is about an opera singer known for her apparent lack of singing talent. This is the kind of biopic that you can’t believe that it was real and that its protagonist in particular was a real-life person as she is so crazy and ridiculous. And that is exactly the major strength of this film – its ridiculous and silly nature that produces some good laughs. It succeeds as a comedy because some scenes with her singing were just hilarious and it also succeeds as a drama, especially in its poignant third act.

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Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

The titular character is so well developed here and I liked how complex she is. She is clueless about her singing incompetence and acts like a diva, but still has a big heart which is evident in her helping the troops and being aware of them as others in the movie never are. But she is also a very vulnerable woman as her phobias and illness really affect her in a tragic way. St. Clair Bayfield is annoying. Yes, he evidently cares for Florence, but he still cheated on her and I just found that appalling and I found the movie’s treatment of that affair very unfortunate. They just swept it off the rug and the movie has Kathleen eventually leave him and that somehow solves this problem? That was so odd and ridiculous.

Cosme is a very annoying character and particularly Simon Helberg is incredibly off-putting and I just was really annoyed by him. The problem here is evidently that everyone besides Florence is either problematic or annoying. Hugh Grant gave a pretty solid performance and Meryl Streep is very good and sometimes great in the main role, but I did find her overly theatrical at times.

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Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review……………………………………………………………

Florence Foster Jenkins is a very entertaining biopic. In fact, I was involved in it from beginning to end which is rare for me when it comes to this genre. But because the subject matter is so out of this world and still real, I was fascinated and amused by it. The direction from Stephen Frears is reliably good and the pacing is pretty good as well. The ending was too reminiscent of ‘The Great Ziegfeld’s finale, but it was moving nevertheless. The main character and her story is the reason to see this movie as it is so strong and poignant. The dialogue and score are also pretty good and the film looks good and the tone is pretty well balanced.

Florence Foster Jenkins has sometimes overly theatrical acting and the supporting characters are problematic, but the main character is so intriguing that it was fascinating watching her story. This is the kind of biopic that deals with such a crazy personality that you can’t believe that she was a real-life person and that silliness is the reason why the movie is so entertaining. It is pretty funny at times, but also quite moving and it is such an amusing and well crafted film.

My Rating – 4

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A Beautiful Mind (2001)

A Beautiful Mind Movie Review

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A Beautiful Mind Movie Review

A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 biopic directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly. It is a solid, but basic Oscar winner.

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There has to be a mathematical explanation for how bad that tie is

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It follows John Nash, a mathematician who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. This is the kind of story that is so typical and so clichéd that it never really fascinated me. I’m not saying that the film is boring because it isn’t as it is pretty engaging to watch, but it is so by the numbers that it really bothered me.

I really liked the first half of the movie, much more than the second half. The romance is particularly good and easily the highlight of the whole movie with the stars scene being so charming and I really liked some of the scenes in the third act with the sequence in which he has to say goodbye to his hallucinatory friends being the most poignant. However, that ending still felt too prolonged and it seemed that the movie had too many endings which was weird and definitely felt dragged. And the entire illness aspect of the storyline, though essential, is flawed because it doesn’t come until too late in the movie.

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A Beautiful Mind Movie Review

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Nash himself is pretty good as the main character. He annoyed me at times, but he was also really charming in some scenes. Alicia is also really good and their relationship is exceptionally strong. As for the other characters, they are all pretty well realized, but still not as memorable.

The acting in A Beautiful Mind is of course quite strong with Russell Crowe giving such a good performance. He wasn’t always great as he was weak in some scenes, but he was mostly pretty good in a difficult role. However, Jennifer Connelly gave the best performance here in my opinion as she is great and she stole the show whenever she was on screen.

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A Beautiful Mind Movie Review

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A Beautiful Mind is very clumsy in terms of storytelling, particularly its structure, but its twist with the illness is still dealt with really well as I did not see it coming. It is a flawed movie in terms of pacing as it isn’t particularly well edited, but it does have a good direction from Ron Howard and excellent performances.

The cinematography is very good and I liked some of the shots here quite a bit. I also really liked those math sequences as they were really well executed with a great score. Yes, the film is really well scored and quite moving at times. But I have to say that the film went into overly maudlin territory to me in its third act. Some scenes are very emotional, but others are too emotional to be honest. And the film is definitely too long as the entire third act should have been trimmed a lot. It works as a romance best, but not so much as a biopic. The tone is all over the place, but the dialogue is solid.

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A Beautiful Mind Movie Review

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A Beautiful Mind is an overrated movie as it received four Oscars with only Jennifer Connelly’s win being deserved, but even that isn’t justified as she should have competed in the lead category. The nomination for Crowe and score are much deserved, but the nod for editing is ridiculous as the film is very clumsily edited.

A Beautiful Mind is a clichéd Best Picture winner with excellent performances as well as some moving and some very romantic scenes, but the editing is clumsy, the structure is very problematic, the third act is awfully prolonged and the movie is just too much by the numbers. It is definitely solid, but far from great and quite overrated.

My Rating – 3.5

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