Does it pass down the torch? Yes. Does it share similarities with the… MoreDoes it pass down the torch? Yes. Does it share similarities with the original "Rocky" film? Yes. Does this film stand on it's own? Absolutely! "Creed" follows the son of the late Apollo Creed as he hunts down Rocky Balboa to train him. In hopes to continue his fathers legacy while still maintaining his own name, young Adonis Creed will do whatever it takes to get into the ring. As he meets a young girl along the way, you completely buy into their connection and you never once think that it feels forced. This film is essentially about fighting for your name, but at its core it really is a release from the "Rocky" films and an introduction into the new generation. Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan share amazing chemistry, bringing me to tears on multiple occasions. "Creed" is easily one of the best entries in the franchise, even comparable to the original. With a great script, incredible performances, a story worthy of the title, and direction that puts you in the front row, "Creed" is fantastic! If I had one complaint, it would be that it might just share a few too similarities to the first film. By the end of the film I felt I was just accepting the conclusion. In the end, I loved this film from start to finish and I recommend seeing it in the theatres for the full experience. Terrific!
While neither one of Pixar's best, nor weakest entries, "The Good… MoreWhile neither one of Pixar's best, nor weakest entries, "The Good Dinosaur" follows Arlo, a young dinosaur (represented as a human figure) who is desperate to make his mark. After running into the first human (a critter), he is lost in a river and must find him way home. As they realize they are not really a threat to one another, they work together to find home. The film is really about what would have happened if the meteor did not kill the dinosaurs, but as a children's tale. In this film the dinosaurs are represented as the humans and vice versa. I feel like this film got pretty sloppy when it was trying to get it's messages across and the fact that villains has to be in it felt very out of place. The animation is some of the best I have ever seen from Pixar and the fun, yet sentimental story told here is well worth the price of admission. Will I be talking about this film as one of Pixar's classics? No, but nobody is perfect. "The Good Dinosaur" is a great fun family adventure that kids and adults can both enjoy (i.e. a few adults humour scenes had me busting a gut). This is a very solid film that I can recommend families see this coming holiday season.
Another Seth Rogen-lead comedy hits theatres, this time disguised as a… MoreAnother Seth Rogen-lead comedy hits theatres, this time disguised as a Christmas film, and I must say, I was smiling the whole time. In 2001, (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) parents are taken from him on Christmas Eve, and every year since, it has been is friends tradition to take him around New York City looking for the best party. 14 years later, his friends are famous or have a family and are willing to take him out one last time. Hilarity ensues and the underlying tone of friendship really gets the spotlight throughout. I really enjoyed watching this movie. Yes, you will get the obvious stoner jokes that you have come to expect from Seth Rogen comedies, but there is always a little more when you have Jonathan Levine at the helm as director. Working with Gordon-Levitt and Rogen on the film "50/50" worked wonders for him, and it's no surprise I works again here. The whole cast has great chemistry and their characters all seem to evolve nicely. This film really is about self-discovery at its core, with a stoner/Christmas comedy cloak thrown overtop. This adult Christmas comedy will be a blast for any fans of Seth Rogen. Maybe this is just me being a fan of Christmas films in general, but I really liked this movie. Highly recommended!
Picking up immediately after "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1,"… MorePicking up immediately after "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1," this conclusion of the popular franchise is not only admittedly better than the previous instalment, but a very welcome finale to the franchise. The most worrying aspect of this film was the first 20-30 minutes, when it continues the slow pace that hurt the first part so much. Thankfully, getting it's footing just in time, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" becomes an exciting, emotional ride to the finish line. Taking breaks here and there to recall past films and help bring everything to a head is really what made this film work for me. The action is great, the characters develop more than you think they would, and the send off for the series is much more emotionally powerful than I would have envisioned. Every character has their moment so that you see why each thing happens to them before the final scenes. Although there are pacing issues, that is only due to the fact that it was a bad idea to split the final chapter into two films, but we should be used to that now I guess. Nevertheless, this could have easily been a 2-3 hour finale rather than 2 films. In the end, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" is a much better instalment than Part 1 and a great finale to the franchise. Highly recommended to fans. If you have been following since the beginning, you will definitely appreciate this conclusion. Well done!
Considering the pace of the first two films, you would like think that… MoreConsidering the pace of the first two films, you would like think that this third instalment would at least try to keep up, but it sadly falls short in almost every regard. Jennifer Lawrence plays the character of Katniss perfectly once again, and the entire cast around her do their very best, but splitting this book into two films was a very obvious mistake, seeing as there are no real stakes here, until the very end, but then you have to wait for the resolution. If they wanted to make this film three hours to get the point across, I would be totally okay with that, but there is a bit too much plot for it's own good. More of a political thriller than a hunger games film, "The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part 1" feels like the epitome of a cash grab. It is not a bad film in any way, it just feels like an unfinished one, and that is what bothers me. It is a very well-written film for what it is, and there are a few very intense and shocking moments, but they do not make up for the padded out story. I am both extremely excited and scared for the finale, because there is a lot set up in this film and I am not quite sure if they can pull off this conclusion in a two hour film. Overall, It is a well-made set-up but nothing more. I wish it had the same level of depth that the first two films had. I would say that this instalment is a disappointment, but I kind of got exactly what I expected. "The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part 1" did not sit with me the way I wished it had. It is definitely worth a watch to see where the story is headed, but it does not screaming multiple-viewings like the first two. Entertaining, well-made, but ultimately unsatisfying.
When a stellar cast is assembled for any film, immediate interest… MoreWhen a stellar cast is assembled for any film, immediate interest ensues (for me at least). Even with a bad script and a terrible story, a cast can make something watchable. Luckily, this is a story worth telling, with a smart script and terrific performances all around. "Spotlight" revolves around the true story back in 2001, when a newspaper investigated the story of multiple priests that had been accused or assumed child molesters. This film keeps you engaged the entire time, but the main gripe I think many moviegoers will face, is that it has a slow pace and seems to go on a little too long to hold everyone's interest. What helps the pace is that the story always stays interesting and I was always enthralled with the story. Whether it was a brutally honest and tragic scene or some comedic relief, this film had it all. From a story and acting standpoint, this is a stellar film all around. The pacing is really what bogs this film down. In the end, "Spotlight" is a terrifically made film that I definitely recommend for people who are intrigued by this story. I do not think it will gain an audience outside of that crowd. "Spotlight" is a great watch.
While some may get more out of it than others, "Brick" is the type of… MoreWhile some may get more out of it than others, "Brick" is the type of film that you either choose to go along with or you don't. As Brendan discovers his ex-girlfriend has been murdered, he begins to uncover the mystery by working with an underground crew of drug dealers. While you may think all of the answers are given by the end of this film, I surely think the opposite. They try very hard to explain everything through the visuals and through excessive amounts of dialogue, and I think that worked about 75% of the time. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as the leading man and director Rian Johnson does a great job for his first ever feature film. With incredibly intriguing cinematography, a great (yet complex) script, and energetic editing, "Brick" is a very solid film. It definitely warrants multiple viewings in order to understand the full message being given. I would highly recommend this movie to film junkies. Other than that, I feel this film will leave too much to be desired. Personally, as a whole, I think this is a great film!
"Spirited Away" follows Chihiro as she moves to a new town with her… More"Spirited Away" follows Chihiro as she moves to a new town with her family. Upon discovering this new world after losing track of direction, he parents become pigs (literally) and she must accept this world she has been born into, along with the name "Sin" that has been given to her. Discovering answers she needs to get out and how people and things are much more than they seem to be, her character transforms more than any child character I have had the pleasure of viewing in a long time. "Spirited Away" may not be one of the best Miyazaki films I have seen, but it is certainly a great one. With a whole lot of heart, twists, and lessons, this is one film you surely shouldn't miss. I have to fault the film for taking a little too much time as her character of "Sin" as she works to being released from this world. Everything else was developed wonderfully, I just feel this film could have shaved off ten to fifteen minutes. In the end, this is a great film with an really good story and beautiful animation.
"The Art of Getting By" stars Freddie Highmore in the leading role as… More"The Art of Getting By" stars Freddie Highmore in the leading role as a very smart loner becomes entangled with his high school crush and begins to slack off in school when he can no longer focus. With themes about the meaning of life, the outlook on the world itself, and how love can find it's way back no matter what, this is a very well-made picture. A very small-budget film with a great script are always my kind of film, seeing as the crew and cast all devote their time to something they believe in. This story works on many levels and the editing style is very unique. The cinematography, mainly the filters used over the lenses for each particular scene, was genius. Although I think the film loses an insane amount of ground when the love interest, played by Emma Roberts, is an extremely unlikable character, going for his friends other than him. The first half is a very enjoyable indie film, but everything good is swallowed up halfway through. The cast is great but the characters are not likeable enough by the end. I really enjoyed the outlooks on life, but the film is kind of a mess otherwise and the conclusion really didn't feel earned.
Tastefully done with care and ease, "The Pleanuts Movie" brings back… MoreTastefully done with care and ease, "The Pleanuts Movie" brings back the classic characters in all of the ways you hoped they would. The central story is that there is a new girl at school that Charlie Brown is gushing over and does not have the guts to speak to her. Side plots include a 3D look into what snoopy has been fighting all these years and Charlie Brown trying to win a talent show to impress this new mystery girl. I loved every aspect on how they mixed the old school two dimensional style animation with the new school 3D. It was done carefully and the callbacks to the original specials were done perfectly. Although it does rely on some of the source material to drive the story, I was able to look past that and see that they were just trying to pay homage. "The Peanuts Movie" will put a smile on your face no matter when you watch it. It is the children's feel-good film of the year. Is it one of the best animated films I've seen in a long time? Of course not! It is an extremely fun family film with great laughs, a heartwarming story for kids, and great messages throughout. This film may borrow a lot of elements from the past, but it is still great. This film was a pleasure to watch!