‘Detroit’ Film Review

Grade: A

If there is a lesson we should all take from ‘Detroit’, (A.K.A. Kathryn Bigelow’s newest attempt at an Oscar.) it would be the phrase “History repeats itself.” You see it in the news more than ever – reports of rioting, racial tension, and police brutality – whether it be as a trending topic on Facebook, on the newspapers delivered from city to city, or your television. This type of negativity is really hard to escape, but these are not new problems, they have become social issues for decades; causing the connection between racism and police matters to become debatable among those who hear the news. It happened in the 60’s, and it is still causing discussion now; which is why Bigelow decided to bring this true event to light. 

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‘The Dark Tower’ Film Review

Grade: F

It looks like ‘Pet Sematary’ is not the only terrible Stephen King film adaptation I have seen yet. Yes, Mary Lambert’s 1989 horror – Ahem! – classic was a nonsensical and grotesque piece of camp, but there was something entertaining in its cheesy demeanor. In Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of ‘The Dark Tower’; King’s 8-part series of books, however, the entertainment factor goes down to zero. This movie had potential to be a great epic, instead, it fell flat from the word “Go!”. I had more fun trying to spot the many Easter Eggs hidden throughout than I did sitting through this badly acted lackluster. Excuse that understatement! “Bad” is no way to describe the experience of watching this film; let’s go with “Boring”. Not since ‘Twilight’ have I seen actors feel like they wanted to collect their paychecks and wanted to go home from another day of work, hence a few alright performances from Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, who at least try; being huge names and all.

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‘Atomic Blonde’ Film Review

Grade: B-

With ‘John Wick’, and now ‘Atomic Blonde’, director David Leitch (who was a stuntman for actor Brad Pitt) has proven himself to be skilled at directing action. Don’t believe me? Look at the way the action sequences in this action-thriller are choreographed. Charlize Theron manages to give and take every blow to and from her adversaries with a Bing! Bang! Boom! Making you feel every hit; injecting you with an adrenaline rush fit for an action movie. In one scene, that takes place in an apartment in West Berlin, MI6 agent, Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is escorting a man named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) to safety, when she is confronted by KGB agents, who come one by one as if they are re-spawning video game characters. She starts offing them in a long drawn-out sequence not set to music (almost all action sequences are stylishly set to 80’s New Wave, such as ‘Father Figure’ by the late George Michael, or ’99 Luftballons’ by Nena), albeit not as intense as the church shooting in ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, there is still a quiet intensity while watching people get stabbed, bloodied, punched, even kicked down the stairs; making it one of the greatest, and well-filmed action sequences.

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‘The Emoji Movie’ Film Review

Grade: D-

I can’t really say that Sony Pictures Animation’s ‘The Emoji Movie’ is the worst thing I’ve seen all year; Its characters are as vibrant and colorful as the world they inhabit. This doesn’t excuse the fact that this cheap attempt at comedy is one of the most cringe-worthy, and annoying animated films I have come across. Yes, this is a children’s movie. No, that doesn’t mean I have to go easy on it. When you have a movie where two “Meh” emojis (Voiced by Steven Wright and Jennifer Coolidge) say how they’re feeling in a tiresome manner, or the villain becoming an extremely happy emoji who gushes her words as if she is talking to a baby emoji (Maya Rudolph, you are much better than this!), of course I am going to be annoyed at the least! I expected ‘The Emoji Movie’ to have some potential in its gags, however, the only funniest jokes seem to come from Poop (Voiced by Sir Patrick Stewart, no joke.) and a hand emoji named Hi-5 (Voiced by James Corden).

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Jacob’s Top 10 Stephen King Films

In honor of this week’s release of ‘The Dark Tower’, starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey; based on the popular book series by horror master Stephen King, as well as next month’s newest R-rated adaptation of ‘IT’ by King. I have decided to do my top 10 favorite Stephen King movies. Before I get started, the thing about Stephen King is that his work is so popular that it was a shame I couldn’t do a list on my favorite adaptations until now. Without further ado, here are my Top 10 favorite Stephen King films.

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Film Analysis: ‘American Beauty’ – Why Lester Burnham is an Inspirational Protagonist!

Warning: Content below contains spoilers for Sam Mendes’ Oscar-winning critical darling ‘American Beauty’. If you have yet to watch this film and are scared of spoilers, please turn away! Otherwise, keep going and enjoy this analysis! I am not responsible for anyone’s decision to tread such dangerous territory such as this!

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‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Film Review

Grade: B-

Since late 2009, when James Cameron’s spectacular ‘Avatar’ came out and became the highest grossing film at the time (until J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ broke that domestic box-office record a few years back), 3D was mainly used as a marketing gimmick in order to bring in the big bucks. Not to say that CG is a bad thing; I don’t mind looking at colorful characters or immersing myself in a world of beauty. I am starting to catch on to the techniques filmmakers are using. CG is looking more noticeable; making it really hard for me to “feel the moment” so to speak. There are times when the CG in Luc Besson’s ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ looks noticeable, but if one were to sit back and relax, you could immerse yourself in a world of beauty and realize that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

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‘Dunkirk’ Film Review

Grade: C+

It is never a wise idea to trust marketing. In fact, the only purpose it serves is to bring people in to see your movie. I was sucked into Christopher Nolan’s newest “blockbuster” ‘Dunkirk’, which showcased the historical Battle of Dunkirk, which occurred from May 26 to June 4 1940; I had never really learned much about the event in school, let alone have researched it years before Nolan decided to turn this into an early Oscar contender (Indeed, it might happen), but much like his previous film ‘Interstellar’, its first trailer intrigued me. Seeing a group of young men duck for cover from an oncoming plane set to bomb the beaches of Dunkirk gave me an excitement for Nolan’s next blockbuster. Upon further seeing this retelling of an event which happened so long ago, I felt tiresome, while at the same time admiring the work put into this.

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‘The Big Sick’ Film Review

Grade: C+

‘The Big Sick’ – written by (and based on) the husband-and-wife team of Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani – is not your usual romantic comedy, let alone a pretty special one. Sure, it’s sweet, emotional, very funny, and sentimental; its problem comes from the fact that the first 15-20 minutes of this semi-biopic feel like a condensed version of the romantic comedies that have come before it. Add in a sort-of ‘While You Were Sleeping’ story-line, social commentary on race and our health system, and the likes of Holly Hunter and Ray Romano trying to get back to the acting game, and you have ‘The Big Sick’!

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‘Baby Driver’ Film Review

Grade: A

 

From the word “GO!”, Edgar Wright’s ‘Baby Driver’ is a vehicle that never runs out of gas (or tunes) for the trip. Each and every moment is non-stop action and master film-making that Wright uses to full potential. With every drive young Baby (Ansel Elgort) makes, the action is exciting, as well as dangerous. At every turn, danger never quits and he has to be in the middle of it. Why does Baby drive? What is he doing there? And most importantly, “What is the thing with the music in his ears?”, most characters who question him and his ability to be a getaway driver, ask Doc (Kevin Spacey), the crime boss who sets up all the robberies Baby has to be a part of. The story behind Baby’s condition, location, and job, is quite tragic. When he was a little kid, Baby’s parents died in a car crash leaving him with tinnitus, or “a hum in the drum” as Doc calls it; (Don’t worry, that wasn’t a spoiler! It was in the trailer!) the only way Baby can drown out the ringing in his ear is to have music playing in his ear at almost all times. Not only does this make him the best getaway driver in the business, it also serves as the film’s main soundtrack.

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