At one point or another, everyone has cried during a film. A moment unexpectedly overcomes us as it becomes impossible to detach our emotions from the screen. It is, generally speaking, the mark of exceptional dramatic filmmaking. When I took my seat to to watch the Son of Saul, I fully expected this sort of reaction. After all, it captures the experience of a man named Saul Auslander as he is forced to assist Nazis exterminate Jews in Auschwitz, thus delaying his own death for a few months. Reading this description, or any others, one immediately creates a sequence in their mind of what events will unfold, emotions will be experienced, and story will be projected. I ask you to avoid this approach, for when I left the theater, I was still dry-eyed. It was then that I realized how easily first-time Hungarian director László Nemes could have made an overly sentimental picture with moving music and scenarios that tug at our heart strings. By not allowing the audience to experience these types of moments, he has reproduced the complex feeling that so many Holocaust survivors have explained: tears were not enough to express the horror.
Within the first twenty minutes of Dirty Grandpa, almost every synonym for genitalia has been used at least twice. That alone could represent the experience of watching this movie, but the runtime lands at 102 minutes, so there were many more sexual references to be had along this unconventional road trip movie.
As another year of Oscar nominations comes and goes, the saying “the more things change the more things stay the same” rings in my head. A new year of movies has arrived, but not a whole lot has changed. The noms are released, people complain that “X” movie wasn’t nominated for “Y” category, everyone makes their predictions, it all feels rather familiar. In fact, this is one of the most boring Oscar years in recent memory due in no small part to 2015 being a somewhat tepid year for film. All of the films nominated for Best Picture are based on or are a follow-up to pre-existing material and events as opposed to last years best picture contenders which featured three original films. That being said there were a handful of quality films so let’s take a look at some of the major categories.
This past year has been a tremendous year in movies, with summer blockbusters as big as “Jurassic World,” and record breaking box office numbers from the highly anticipated “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” With awards season upon us, the buzz is nonstop about top runners such as “The Revenant,” “Spotlight,” “Room,” and others. Every year during awards season, we remember the ones getting nominated for the top awards. Every year, great films go forgotten, and 2015 is no different. From the summer of 2015, here is a list of five such films, films that might otherwise go overlooked.
It’s the most anticipated movie of the year, and maybe even the most anticipated movie of the decade thus far: the long-awaited return to that galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I, after avoiding spoilers like the plague, finally got a chance to sit down and see a Star Wars movie in theaters for the very first time; that, in and of itself, was a great experience. But getting right to it, is this a perfect film? By no means; it has a few problems. Is this a perfect Star Wars film? As much as I love this film series (well, five sevenths of it, anyway), there’s no such thing as a “perfect” Star Wars film, in my opinion; there are films in the series that are so nearly perfect that I and many others can sort of call them “perfect.” Is this one of those movies? Absolutely. This is right up there with A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi; this is the best Star Wars film since the original trilogy, and hands down one of the best films I’ve seen all year. And, to keep the spoilers on the Internet to a minimum, this review will be spoiler-free. So, without further ado, this is my review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Continue reading
A quick preface before we begin: I’ve actually seen this movie before watching it again for this review. In fact, it’s one of the first movies I remember getting on DVD. But with the release of Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur last month, I figured it would make sense for me to review Disney’s other movie about dinosaurs; I am talking about 2000’s Dinosaur, which blends live-action scenery with computer-generated dinosaurs to create a great-looking film with a few flaws. Yes, it’s been long enough that I can talk about this film without my nostalgia-goggles on, so let’s get right down to it: this is my review of Dinosaur.
The underdog, the arrogant superstar, the training montage, the final fight–we’ve seen it all before. It’s a pretty typical setup, and Rocky wasn’t the first to use it. So why did people go to see it? And why would people want to see Creed, the newest installment in the series? Because of the passion. Take any story, even the most clichéd or overused, tell it with genuine passion and the audience will be moved every time.