How can you enjoy living when everything around you is swirling dangerously in a cyclone? This question plagued me as I witnessed The Social Network. When I saw the preview I was so excited for this film I stood in place, forgetting about the world around me. The song creep by Radiohead, remade by Scala, explains Mark Zukerburg so well! (I don’t belong here.) It is so much about friendship, betrayal, and life, and not centered around facebook completely. The themes of greed and loneliness travel throughout. In fact I do not have a facebook account and I truly enjoyed this film. The main Mark Zukerburg, is introverted and is starving to belong to a sorority, The Phoenix. His friend gets invited and this is where they start to drift apart. Mark is SO angry that he is not in. Although Eduardo has the money so he is important. I can feel the tension cutting the air and see it. The non-verbal eye contact in this film is astounding! This film’s director (who has done Zodiac and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) brilliantly takes us through a series of flashbacks between the deposition and what led up to it as we see Eduardo and Mark’s friendship dissolve because of the creation of “the facebook” which just becomes “facebook”at the suggestion of Sean Parker. He is in the film long enough to leave me impressed. He created Napster, is broke, and is a villain!
Played masterfully by Justin Timberlake who I expected to butcher his role, did a remarkable job as the puppet master of this movie. Although Eduardo tries to warn Mark, Sean Parker has him strung on by the end of their first meeting at a restaurant as Mark hangs on to every word. Eduardo is our hero in the story but he cannot save Mark because Mark has been taken by computers, technology and greed. The movie shows Harvard’s beauty but human cruelty. When three Harvard elites want Mark to help them launch a website, he agrees. They end up suing although I watched as one of the twins did not want to sue for the longest time because he “was a gentleman of Harvard”. The lawsuits really interested me, and although this movie goes so quickly, everything is a joke to Mark. The cinematography, the lighting, and the quick way that Zuckerburg talks are all absolutely genius. There was an empty theater but I adored so much about what this film means. Mark Zuckerburg is truly two-face, pretending friendship, but hypnotized to making a name for himself. 500 million friends now, by to whom is he really connected to? I feel like he has become a computer a robot, with no emotion. Even if you do not like Facebook like me, you might find this film captivating. So blinded by compulsiveness Mark dies inside. This move truly displays acting and images that left me pondering and awestruck. It is blended with rich fragrant spices of sex, alcohol, violence, and, fury. After all the lawsuits it is about this – “young people who will stop at nothing to get what they want.”
I still recall seeing the trailer for this movie and being particularly excited about the concept: Three women of color with brilliant minds overcoming racism to use their brilliant minds to get a man in space at the NASA program. In addition to keeping our rivalry with Russia very clear, the movie Hidden Figures did something I was surprised with because it did a good job focusing on the work lives of the three women. Often, movies with strong women still put emphasis on their family and this movie did a nice job of showing their families in a pleasant way that helped us gain perspective on them as women. However, it was more in the background and their crowning achievements in their careers were celebrated in this movie. Kate was extremely good at math and worked in that department at NASA. She was a widow with three children and she was asked to check the equations of an all white male division of NASA. She had to overcome the adversity of the colors only coffee pot the men installed one day, and the biggest struggle she had to get her work done was the bathroom situation. The colored bathroom was almost a mile away in another building. This becomes a problem because she cannot effectively do her work, with the amount of time spent running to the bathroom.
Kevin Costner had a wonderful role as a mentor of sorts, I thought, being kind to Kate, the mathematician. But, unfortunately, I found out that his character was not part of a true story. He was a “white hero” invented by Hollywood and based on the texts I am read in college, it was particularly difficult to deal with the fact that they couldn’t stay true to the history and create a white hero who knocks down the colored bathrooms sign, but in real life that didn’t even happen. The adversity these three women faced as women of color is clear from the beginning with their car breaking down and the white male police officer demanding respect. Sadly, in a more passive aggressive way, the second brilliant woman is denied a promotion and it is clear the tension between the white and black women in this movie. The third women, who wants to be an engineer has to take courses at what is a segregated high school. So, to achieve her dream of becoming an engineer she must petition the courts to allow her to study at an all white school. Despite all the backlash and struggle, these three women were pioneers of math, computers, and engineering. I only wonder if they weren’t held back so much if they could have achieved even greater things if their race was not in the way.
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!
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.
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)
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 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.