Hello, fellow moviegoers!
La La Land is directed by Damien Chazelle, and it stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. It tells the story of two people, one a jazz pianist, the other an aspiring actress. The two keep running into each other, and eventually they start dating. This film explores that relationship, as well as their careers in Hollywood just trying to make a living doing what they love. Oh, and it’s a musical, so there’s that too.
I knew that I had to see this film before I made my Top Ten of the Year list (which will be coming out later this week). I had heard that it was really good, and I was a big fan of Chazelle’s 2014 film Whiplash. I was really looking forward to this film, and I can honestly say that it is everything I wanted it to be, and more. Much more.
Let’s start with the obvious thing. La La Land is a musical. However, it’s not a musical in the way you might expect. It’s not like most musicals where it’s extremely obvious that it was made to be a musical. This film doesn’t feel like a guy sitting in a room thinking “I’m going to write a musical. It’ll have this many songs, and this is where they will be”. No, La La Land gives the vibe that while it was being written Chazelle thought “Hey, a song would work well here”. All of the music naturally fit into the film, and it wasn’t distracting at all. Not once did I catch myself thinking “Oh, they’re singing now.” Every time a song would start to be sung, it was such a seamless transition. It never felt sudden or abrupt.
About the actual songs and music in the film, they were fantastic! They were all so catchy that you actually might go out of your way to listen to them outside of the theater. For example, I am actually listening to the soundtrack while writing this review. All of the songs are so different from each other, and they are so elegant yet fun. The main song that plays between these two characters was absolutely beautiful. It’s a recurring tune throughout the film, and every time it played, I couldn’t help but smile. Justin Hurwitz did the music for the film, and he will be winning an Oscar for it. There is no doubt about that.
The two main characters in the film were the kind that you can’t get enough of. When this film came to a close, I found myself thinking that I could’ve easily spent two more hours with those characters alone. They were both such interesting and in-depth people individually, and every second they were on screen I couldn’t get enough of them. When they were together, that joy of being with them is increased exponentially. This jubilation is only heightened by the powerhouse performances given by both Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. They were both perfectly cast in their roles, and they will without a doubt be nominated for Oscars for this film. I wouldn’t doubt them winning either. They both carried this film magnificently.
One thing that stood out to me was the dialogue, or rather lack thereof. There are times in this film where it feels like you haven’t heard a line of dialogue in ten minutes. It was just music and watching these events and characters on screen. This technique was used brilliantly! The audience learns just as much about these characters through these scenes as they do when they are actually having a conversation! It’s a technique that I’m sure has been used before, but it worked wonders in this film. It only added to the overall sense of awe that this film creates.
There are a lot of different themes that become evident throughout this film. Beyond the surface theme of love, there is so much more to unpack in this film. There are themes about doing what you love no matter what happens, there are themes about not pandering to audiences and tons more. I cannot wait to see this film again, and again to see what else there is to uncover.
Finally, I want to talk briefly about the ending (Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything). I loved the ending to this film so much! It went a direction that I was not expecting, but it fit the overall feel of the film extremely well. It was handled amazingly! It was so fitting when considering what events had happened throughout the film. It leaves you feeling happy for the characters, but you’re also sad for reasons I won’t give away.
La La Land wasn't just an amazing film, it was an experience. It was a love letter to classic Hollywood, but it also had a modern feel to it. The music by Justin Hurwitz was elegant, and the grand musical numbers feel natural to the plot. The characters were extremely realistic and believable, and they were only heightened by Gosling and Stone’s performances. All of this was tied together by the flawless directing by Damien Chazelle. I loved La La Land! I’m glad I saw this film before I made my Top Ten List because it might just be at the top of it. I’m always apprehensive to give these out because so many people do it so frequently, but there’s no doubt about it. La La Land was perfect!
So what did you think of La La Land? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Check back later this week to see my Top Ten Films of 2016!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
The Dark Knight is one of those films that you must see in order to consider yourself a fan of superheroes or film in general. Heath Ledger’s take on The Joker has, in less than a decade, become one of the most praised film villains of all time, in the same conversation with the likes of Darth Vader; and Christian Bale’s Batman voice has been cause for a string of impressions and jokes throughout pop culture. With the newest take on the Batman character set to hit screens this Friday, in Batman v Superman, I figured now was the perfect time to review this highly acclaimed film.
The Dark Knight is directed Christopher Nolan, and it stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman. It tells the story of Batman as he continues his battle to take down the mob in Gotham City. When the Joker arrives, Batman has to face new challenges he’s never faced before. The Dark Knight is regarded as one of the best superhero films of all time. Does it really deserve that title?
The Dark Knight is, without a doubt, the best comic-book film ever to be produced. This film is an experience. Not only is it an absolutely fantastic superhero film, to put it simply, it’s just an amazing film overall!
This take on the Batman character and mythos goes for a more realistic approach, and it pulls it off in spades. Director Christopher Nolan and his brother Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan were able to craft such a complex and interesting story about mankind, and who we become in dire situations while simultaneously keeping the spirit of the Batman character alive. You don’t have to be a fan of the Batman character to enjoy this film.
To add to the brilliant storytelling, the acting in the film is stupendous. As I mentioned earlier, Heath Ledger’s take on the Joker has now become iconic. His performance in this film is awe-inspiring. The ways in which this man transformed himself into the character gives you chills. The voice and laughter that Ledger created for the Joker fit the character so well. He also added many little nuances to the character that add to the overall presence. Whenever the Joker is on screen in this film, you cannot look away, even if you wanted to.
Christian Bale was also terrific as Bruce Wayne/Batman. He was able to portray both sides of this character so well, and he really made you feel the inner turmoil he is going through. The entire supporting cast is just as notable. Michael Caine was great as Alfred Pennyworth, and Gary Oldman was the perfect Commissioner Gordon. Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman were also very good in their respective roles.
Despite the two-and-a-half hour runtime, you are never bored watching this movie. This is due to the excellent dialogue, interesting characters, and thrilling action sequences. Immediately from the first scene of the movie, you are hooked! The overall aura of intensity that this film creates is unlike any other superhero film to date.
The Dark Knight is as amazing as a film can get. Heath Ledger was magnificent as the Joker, and the film as a whole is a marvelous look at how we as humans react when put in intense situations. All of this was made possible because of the brilliant directing by Christopher Nolan. If you have not seen The Dark Knight. Do it. Right now. Don’t waste any more time! You won’t regret it!
I usually don’t like to give 10's to a film. People say films are perfect way too much nowadays. But, I give The Dark Knight a perfect score, and I'm not even thinking twice about it. It's that good! (You can see what other films I’ve given a 10 to by clicking the category on the side of the page) This is a breathtaking film. What do you think of The Dark Knight? What would you give it out of 10? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
**This Wednesday’s post may be delayed to Thursday, depending on when I finish the second season of Daredevil (*hint *hint). Follow me @kruze_reviews on Twitter for any and all updates!
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Hello fellow moviegoers!
Birdman or The Unexpected Value of Ignorance stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Zach Galifianakis. It is the story of Riggan (Keaton) who is an actor that used to play a very popular superhero named Birdman. After he decided to stop being Birdman in 1992 and start focusing on actual acting, his career really hit a downwards slope. Now he is trying to piece together this Broadway production that is having all sorts of problems. This film is being praised by everyone and their dog, but is it worth seeing?
Birdman is undeniably one of the best films of the year. This film is a great perspective at so many things. Acting, family, addiction, critics, depression, and so many more. The story of this film is so enveloping that you legitimately feel like you are there with these characters and that you are a part of this story. Part of the reasoning for that is that this movie is filmed to make it look like it is all one shot. Which is really difficult to pull off. But, they did it, and they did it well. There are times where I have no idea where the cuts are even at. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu did a magnificent job directing this movie. Not only could he pull of the whole one-shot filming style, but the performances he was able to get out of his actors were mind-boggling.
All of the acting in this movie is fantastic. Michael Keaton did such a great job, and you have to wonder how much of his acting in this movie is channeled from personal experience? I would predict that he is going to win the Academy Award for Best Lead Actor this year. He was great. Everyone else in the movie was also great. Emma Stone gave one of the best performances of her career. Edward Norton did a great job pulling of this actor who feels like he's only acting when he's not on stage or in front of a camera, and he can kind of be a jerk at times. One of the best parts was definitely Zach Galifianakis's performance. To see this guy who is almost always a comedic actor pull of this dramatic role and do it so well is awesome! I cannot praise this cast enough!
Towards the end I did feel like the movie dragged a little bit though. I thought the movie was about to end at one point, then it didn't. Then I thought it would at another point, then it didn't. Then when it finally did end, the way it ended was pretty well done, so I can't complain too much.
So overall, this is definitely one of the best movies of the year. I don't think it is going to win Best Picture, because of how good Boyhood was, but if it does I will definitely be a happy camper. The acting was amazing, the whole one-shot film style was very interesting, and this is a movie you need to see, especially if you work (or want to work) in the film industry.
This film was so amazing! Definitely a must see for everybody! What did you think of Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance? Do you think it could win Best Picture? Could Michael Keaton or Edward Norton win one of their acting awards? Let me know by commenting on this post!
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Hello fellow moviegoers!
Boyhood is a film directed by Richard Linklater and starring Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, and Patricia Arquette. It follows the life of a boy named Mason from when he was 6 to when he leaves for college. What really makes this film special is the fact that they filmed it over 12 years. So as the characters grow older and more experienced so do the actors. There has been a ton of Oscar-hype for this film, but is it really as good as everybody is saying it is?
I watched this movie with my Dad and it was such a great experience. Personally, I am more in the generation of Mason, so the entire movie I was relating to him a lot. But, my Dad was telling me how he was relating to the father played by Ethan Hawke because of the struggles he was having not only as a father, but as a person as well. This movie, is undeniably one of the best films I have ever seen. No matter who you are, you will be able to relate to somebody in this movie.
Watching the beginning of this film, I felt like a kid again. Seeing Dragon Ball Z on the TV, talking about which Stars Wars character was the coolest (including those in the prequels), and just having a good time. But as time went on, Mason starts to turn into a young man and you can really relate to all the things he is going through. I absolutely loved how they really didn't have an exact set script when they began. They started filming, and just let time take the reigns, while making sure it did hit a few plot points along the way. This film so realistic that for a little bit I forgot I was watching a movie and thought I was watching a bunch of a friend's old home videos or something. It was so accurate. It didn't try to sugar-coat everything. It showed you how life is, just plain and simple.
The acting in this film is breathtakingly terrific. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were both great as Mason's parents. I absolutely loved how the movie wasn't just about Mason, it was also about how his parents after they split, and how they dealt with their kids while they were growing up. These two did a terrific job pulling that off. Patricia Arquette was the Mom that the kids lived with most of the time, and her character really carried the weight of raising these two kids. The emotion she brought to that character was great! Also, Ethan Hawke was the father they visited quite often who was really just trying to be a part of his kids lives. I absolutely loved how you could really see how much he cares about these kids just by the look on his face whenever he's around them.
But enough about them, let's talk about Ellar Coltrane. Whoever cast this film did such a good job, because they had to choose who would be able to pull off this performance for 12 years, starting as a kid nonetheless. Ellar Coltrane was the perfect pick for Mason. As a kid, his acting may not have been the best, but that can be forgiven because not a lot of kids can act very well. But the thing that made him so great in the film was that as he grew older, he also grew better as an actor. By the end of the movie, he was acting brilliantly!
So, in conclusion, I absolutely loved this film. The characters were great, the acting was brilliant, and the story was amazing. The fact that they filmed it over 12 years is so cool. It is definitely a great achievement in film history. You definitely have to watch this film, no matter who you are.
So what do you think of Boyhood? This film will no doubt be nominated for Best Picture, but do you think it could win? Let me know by commenting on this post!
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