Baby Driver: Go see it Now!

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A dancing young man appears in the first scene

Lost in a world of music

An I-pod for every mood

Does the crime, a getaway driver

Or does he?

Meets not a girl but, the girl

His heart does a twirl

His rare words come out and they connect

The juices in his stomach swirl

And then the movie really takes off

Ansel Elgort is truly brilliant. You may doubt him. You may doubt this film. I am telling you he was born to play Baby. I am pretty speechless weeks after seeing this movie. It is a wonderful action movie. I was in awe. The cast was on point and the cinematography is jaw dropping and truly something to behold. Whether you want romance, action, or a thriller, this movie is for you!

Go to the theater and see Baby Driver!

A rare gem: Beatriz at Dinner

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A lot came to my mind when watching this film yesterday. The film wrapped my senses in a way that I’m not used to. The concept was simple, a woman’s (Selma Hayek) car is broken down so she will stay for dinner where she drove a long way to act as a healer through massage for a wealthy woman. But, this is a healer that works for a very well off woman and her family and the class divide is painfully obvious and even pointed out by John Lithegow’s character who is brilliant as a villain (or is he?). Truly, the audience is meant to pass judgment on his character and whether they agree with the way Beatriz views him after mingling at the party. It is not a Hollywood blockbuster, a thriller, a comedy, or a romance. This film has the genius of floating completely underneath the radar. I spoke to the librarian where I volunteer and she said, “Oh, if you enjoyed The Big Short, you will enjoy Beatriz at Dinner.” Her assessment was spot on. The movies couldn’t be more different but having the same message in the end about the dark side of money, wealth, and power. While the dinner party is composed of several guests, this film gives brilliant insight into their personalities as well as managing to keep Beatriz as the main character. Hayek captives utterly in this film, and that is one reason I believe it is one to see. I don’t want to explain much because I want to encourage everyone to see this film. I believe it is a wake up call about society, about the 1% taking too much, and about appreciating what you get in this life and holding onto it. This film accomplishes that in a gentle, yet profound way. The movie is definitely out of the norm and not what I expected. It isn’t being advertised non stop on tv and that would take away from the way this movie is. It is a rare gem, and I think you should go experience this journey.

Baywatch: A total letdown

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This review will be brief because I truly don’t want to spend more time on this film. I know King Arthur was voted the first big flop of the summer but I would argue (while I haven’t seen it) that Baywatch was the biggest flop of the summer. This movie tries too hard to be funny and I sat there staring at my watch thinking, am I really seeing what I am seeing. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron both disappoint and I have seen them in other films. The scripts were pretty lame, and neither character has much depth to them. Truly, I felt that there was no substance to this movie. It objectives women and the plot makes little to no sense. Okay, the plot actually makes zero sense. All the characters were pretty flat. I know this will sound harsh, but I felt like I was watching the idea for a film, and not an actual finished production. It was very sloppy, not funny, and very cheesy (and not in a good way). All I can suggest at this point is that you don’t see this movie, in theaters or otherwise.

I would recommend Wonder Woman instead. (See my review of that epic and brilliant film)

Worth the Wait: Wonder Woman, an inspiration! 

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When I entered the theater to see Wonder Woman I didn’t know my expectations would be exceeded so much. This movie I declare as a remarkable hit and has great life lessons beyond the magic of the theater. The movie Wonder Woman was so inspirational and absolutely brilliant. I was completely blown away, from the beginning where young Diana begins her training to going to the front to save people from suffering in the world to end all wars once she grows up and is faced with real danger. Not just because it shows woman kick butt. But because of how the iconic character of Wonder Woman brought to life by Gal Gadot. The dialogue was really well done, and Chris Pine was able to create a great character in Steven. His pack of misfits that he brings on the journey are also well developed. The movie is packed with action and brilliant cinematography. The scenes with the bath from Diana’s native land, juxtaposed with the battle scenes later in the film show the remarkable range this movie has. It’s extremely witting, intelligent, and entertaining. She says, “I’m willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves”. In this way and many others, Diana shows cunning, caring, and strength. When she is questioned, she says “I am man.” This sends a powerful message to all women about the strength that we do have as women that we need to embrace and harass to make the world a better place. Just because we cannot save the world like Wonder Woman because we don’t have her powers, doesn’t mean we can’t still to great things as regular people making a difference as strong, courageous women. The work that is so often done by men is done by one woman in this movie, and it demonstrates how that can translate to real life. We need to ignore those who believe we can’t and prove them wrong with actions, like Wonder Woman does over and over. It goes without saying that I say, Wonder Woman is a 100% worth seeing! I give it two thumbs up!

X-men: (a review I forgot to post)

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X-men Days of future past exceeded my expectations in every way. I am sure many people were skeptical of this film as many of my friends were unsure of whether to bother at all. I say, bother. See this movie. The movie begins ominously and it appears the X-men are finished. It is raw with emotion and a beautiful soundtrack. “Humanity has always feared those that are different.” This quote strikes a chord with so many of us. Anyone who has ever felt lost and alone or like they didn’t believe will watch X-men and realize they have the power to change their situation.

X-men appeals to so many because of their powers, fantasies I am sure many have whether it is to fly or bend metal. Logan is faced with the task of saving the X-men’s future by diving into the past and discovering his mentor’s beginnings.

The mutants have this constant struggle of how to approach adversity. There is a whole layer added when Logan’s (Wolverine) mind goes back in time to change history. Honestly, I thought this was going to be cheesy and be overloaded with over the top action scenes. It is actually amazing the way the director, cast, and everyone balanced every element from mind-blowing action scenes to scenes wrought with emotion and pain. The X-men give this intense, powerful monologue that really tug on your heartstrings and cause you to be torn.

Everything, Everything: A Review

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My initial thoughts upon seeing this trailer was that this was going to be a really cheesy and pointless movie, and it was not.

Maddie, the title character lives in her home and never leaves due to a medical condition. The plot of this movie really rushes important plot points it could have expanded on for a much stronger movies. Instead it uses popular music and other summer tricks uses to convince teens to see movies. I’m not a teen, 28 in fact, but what I admire about this movie is how it captures young love. I thought the use of fantasy in the film was fantastic. I really appreciated that Maddie’s relationship with Olly, seemed close to what a real relationship would be like.

Overall, I did enjoy this movie but I don’t know if it was something to see in a theater or just rent at home once it comes out on DVD. Many parts of the plots were questionable and it seemed there were great leaps. But there were some simple, brilliant moments in this film that I really enjoyed.

Something that is not a fault of the film is all the hyper teenagers I was surrounded by during the movie. They were loud, obnoxious, distracted, vuglar, and I truly think I would have enjoyed the movie much more and been really able to escape if not for the people around me. I think this movie teaches about love, life, and forgiveness so if you want to see it in theater or maybe on DVD, I think the character is relateable. and the fantasy element of this movie, as well as the way the young couple communicates is really unique and something I haven’t seen before. I will say the couple seems really mature for 18 year olds.

Everything, Everything wasn’t everything I thought it would be. But I think it is worth checking out. I say, See it. Maybe on DVD is better.

Throwback Thursday: Nina’s dark dream world

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I cannot dance to save my life, but I love watching dance and have never seen Swan Lake. You have probably seen hundreds of films, plays, and musicals, but you haven’t experienced anything until you have witnessed Black Swan. Natalie Portman is gripping from start to end. The film is captivating and takes us into Nina’s (Portman’s) world of Dance which we are quick to enter and her mentally ill mind. Masterfully directed by Darren Aronofsky, many angles of this film are ones you consider once the movie is over. It is like a song in your mind and parts of it splash on to you like a hurricane. You cannot look away no matter how disturbing because you want to be side by side with every minute of action and at times you feel that energy. I watched the end in disbelief, knowing it was worth it and that “I felt it, it was perfect.” She wanted it so badly. To become the lead ballerina and the Choice is Swan Lake. We meet Beth, the older dancer who has a horrendous accident the night that Nina has an important dinner presenting her as swan queen to the public. Her teacher is a womanizer and his lexicon is suggestive but Nina wants the Swan Queen role. Enter Mila Kunias.  Lily who has emotions “she’s not faking it” says the teacher, Tom. They are told the story of the black Swan and Nina is chosen to the anger and jealous of other dancers. It is assumed that Nina is having liaisons with Tom. His nefarious behavior or kissing her and groping her is despicable, a man we love to hate.  She is this look of fear that never really goes away. She has no role model.

I was taken aback by her mother’s disturbing influence. Her mother has Nina under her watchful eye and it is alarming to see that while Nina is self- mutilating, her mother just is drugged out in the other room. The little music box plays and sends our protagonist into dreams with the dark, devilish prince that causes her to awake in fright. The male teacher in charge of the company suggests that Nina touch herself, but hurting herself is something Nina begins to fancy. The clothes are extravagant and the film has amazing graceful ballet. It explores a dark side. Nina is falling apart and I can’t help but want to put myself through the screen and hug her. It appears that it is too late for that as The White Swan Nina plays masterfully. It is the black Swan that troubles her and fogs her mind. There are many aspects of this film that you don’t know if they actually occurred or not. Her having sexual intercourse with Lily after lily puts a drug in her drink to let her “roll”. Also, when her mom takes the door knob away and tells Nina she called and said Nina wasn’t well, Nina gets out of the apartment or rather storms out. It is opening night. Here she has a scene with Lily that I will never forget.

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would cross the line for reaching it? This dream she has had for so long is her moment! No one can swoop up and steal her precious time that she slaved away practicing and bleeding in the name of ballet. Perhaps Lily, the new girl, embodies the qualities of the black swan. This film teaches and shows us the dark element of dance. I would never want to dance or have dreams like Nina.  It takes you far past the edge into this world of obsession and madness that Nina cannot turn away from. What I love about this film is that there isn’t time and money and talk about the weather as things that bother you or make you stop and question things. It’s organic in the way it chooses to alarm and electrify your very being. Amid her woes you see that see loves dancing and it is everything to her. This lavish, decadent life she receives a glimpse of but on the downward spiral I want to scream but know it is too late. It’s over before you can help or see anyone who can. Truly it sways and rocks you into a troubled slumber of your own. Not for the weak of heart, I recommend Black Swan to anyone who has ever had a challenge in their life and given up or grown obsessed with that very challenge.