Top Ten Films of 2016

2016-top-ten-films-header

It’s time for me to finally let go of 2016 by officially announcing my top ten films of 2016. I’ve said this multiple times at the beginning of 2017, but I just don’t think 2016 deserves to be known as a bad year for movies. I think it was a bad year for blockbuster films, but at the end of the year there were so many great films to watch. Continue reading “Top Ten Films of 2016”

REVIEW: La La Land (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Summit Entertainment
Theatrical Release Poster – Summit Entertainment

The following is a review of La La Land – Directed by Damien Chazelle

They don’t make movies like they used to. Cinema is dead. – Odds are that you’ve encountered similar sentiments online or by the water cooler this past year. 2016 was, somewhat unfairly, called a bad year for movies, when it was just a bad year for summer blockbuster films. As is always the case with discovering new films, you have to know where to look.

It is all about finding the right talents, the right studios, or the premises that will pique your interest. Sometimes the right movie for you is one that reminds you of great classics but still isn’t blind to the nostalgia it’s feeding on. With a charismatic and charming cast, a brilliant director, and a genre that people are sometimes turned off by, La La Land is here at the right time to breathe new life into our love of movies.  Continue reading “REVIEW: La La Land (2016)”

REVIEW: O. J.: Made in America (2016 – Documentary)

Release Poster - ESPN Films
Release Poster – ESPN Films

The following is a review of O. J.: Made in America – Directed by Ezra Edelman

Orenthal James Simpson – a USC Trojans legend, Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, movie star, and a convicted felon. In 1985, 5-time Pro Bowl and 1-time NFL MVP O. J. Simpson, a former running back for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He had become an actor, and in a few years he would become a movie star with the popular The Naked Gun movie series. Ten years later, in 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. O. J.: Made in America tells the story of O. J. Simpson’s tumultuous life leading up to his imprisonment after an armed robbery in Las Vegas in 2008. Continue reading “REVIEW: O. J.: Made in America (2016 – Documentary)”

REVIEW: Silence (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Paramount Pictures
Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of Silence – Directed by Martin Scorsese

Based on the 1966 Japanese novel of the same name, legendary film director Martin Scorsese’s next historical epic Silence is a story about the limit to one’s faith for a priest in a foreign, strange, and Godless land. It takes place in the 17th Century and the film opens by showing intense punishment in Japan. Father Ferreira (played by Liam Neeson) is witnessing Christians being tortured, and we soon learn that he eventually renounced his faith. Continue reading “REVIEW: Silence (2016)”

REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Roadside Attractions
Theatrical Release Poster – Roadside Attractions

The following is a review of Manchester by the Sea – Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan

Manchester by the Sea mostly takes place in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, which is the hometown of our main character Lee Chandler (played by Casey Affleck). At the beginning of the film, however, Lee is a relentlessly self-punishing and reserved janitor who no longer keeps in touch with the rest of his family. He spends nights getting drunk and getting into fights with anyone who looks at him the wrong way. Continue reading “REVIEW: Manchester by the Sea (2016)”

REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Directed by Gareth Edwards.

In 2015, J. J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens proudly announced that the good Star Wars was finally back. Gone are the days of the disappointing and operatic George Lucas prequels. With The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm proved that the future of the Star Wars saga – the episodes – were in good hands. But what about the untold stories of the prequels? To answer several unanswered questions Lucasfilm will give us these spin-off films that they call ‘Star Wars stories.’ Continue reading “REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)”

REVIEW: Arrival (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Paramount Pictures
Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival – based on a short story by Ted Chiang.

The very best directors can do anything. They aren’t just locked in on a single genre, they master multiple essential ones. They also aren’t ‘filmmaking slaves’ to a single franchise. While they may operate within a franchise from time to time – like Alfonso Cuarón did with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – they don’t dedicate their careers to them. Continue reading “REVIEW: Arrival (2016)”

REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Warner Bros.
Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros.

The following is a review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Five years after the end of the Harry Potter film series, Warner Bros. is ready to bring you another story in the wizarding world of the Rowlingverse: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Make no mistake, this film does not feature Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, or Ron Weasley. In fact, Fantastic Beasts takes place in the 1920s – a very long time before Hagrid told Harry that he was a wizard. Continue reading “REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)”

REVIEW: Doctor Strange (2016)

Theatrical Release Poster - Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Doctor Strange. The reviewed film was seen in IMAX 3D.

At this point, people expect a lot from Marvel Studios. Doctor Strange is the fourteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and most of these films have been pretty well-received. Still, Doctor Strange is a bit of a risk, seeing as it is introducing magic and beings from other dimensions to the universe.

While Doctor Strange has to introduce its own corner of the universe with just this film, Marvel Studios has been releasing these films in a smart way. Marvel Studios has, essentially, been preparing moviegoers for this kind of film with Thor, Ant-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Doctor Strange (2016)”