‘Roma’ Film Review

Grade: A

Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf, Yalitza Aparicio, Daniela Demesa, Diego Cortina Autrey, and Carlos Peralta in Roma (2018)

Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’ has received tons of praise and hype prior to its Netflix release, with many saying that it will become an Oscar favorite, leading to its ‘Best Picture’ nomination. It has also received accolades for Director and Foreign Language Feature, which makes its chances of being recognized by the Academy that much likely. It is clear that more Awards events are recognizing Netflix films as more than at-home entertainment, but instead works of art. In fact, each moment in ‘Roma’ could be seen as art, from its first shot to the last. 

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‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ Film Review

Grade: A

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Everyone knows that the Coen brothers are master storytellers, so it seems to be no surprise that their latest feature, ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ is an anthology film. It is not a collection of many genres (despite having elements of comedy, drama, and action), but a series of vignettes set in the old west. It is in line with ‘No Country For Old Men’, and their remake of ‘True Grit’ as a western, yet more fun and exciting. Its stories range from the ridiculous and absurd to dark, cautionary, and gritty; which is what the Coens have been about for their many years of film-making.

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‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Film Review

Grade: A

Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

“Supercalifragilistexpialidocious”, “Practically perfect in every way”, “Wonderful”. All these words could be used to describe the character of Mary Poppins as well as her feature debut back in 1964 (She used to be a character in P. L. Travers’ series of books). Her return in this sequel is just as glorious and spectacular. Though, this time, Emily Blunt dons the uniform that Julie Andrews wore, as well as that chipper English delivery she won the Academy Award for. While time will tell if ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ gets nominated for a majority of Oscars, as far as I am concerned, I enjoyed this movie and will call it “delightful”.

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‘The Christmas Chronicles’ Film Review

Grade: C

 

Kurt Russell in The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Christmas may have been a month ago, but I still feel the need to talk about ‘The Christmas Chronicles’; Netflix’s most recent holiday movie, produced by Chris Columbus (who directed both ‘Home Alone’, and ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’), and starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. Just the combination of a well-respected actor donning the white beard and red suit with the magic that comes with each Christmas movie should be enough to bring some yuletide holiday joy, right? While there is no doubt that parents with children can enjoy this offering, there is no denying that this Netflix movie is just your average children’s movie filled to the brim with , and family drama.

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‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Film Review

Grade: A

Shameik Moore in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

I never would have thought that an animated ‘Spider-Man’ movie would be the best in the series, but here we are. ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ is the type of film that respects its superhero and history while also being entertaining and meaningful. It tells the story of Miles Morales (making his on-screen debut), and his own personal journey to become Spider-Man. Most comic book fans know that Peter Parker was not the only webslinger who has existed. Throughout the years, there have been many incarnations of Spider-Man, and most are represented in many different animation styles. 

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‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Film Review

Grade: A-

John C. Reilly, Ming-Na Wen, Brad Garrett, Irene Bedard, Kristen Bell, Jodi Benson, Bill Hader, Jennifer Hale, Taraji P. Henson, Linda Larkin, Jane Lynch, Kelly Macdonald, Idina Menzel, Mandy Moore, Paige O'Hara, Anika Noni Rose, Sarah Silverman, Alan Tudyk, Pamela Ribon, Jack McBrayer, Kate Higgins, Gal Gadot, Timothy Simons, Ali Wong, and Auli'i Cravalho in Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

Out of all the modern Disney movies that has come out in recent years, none has ever tackled the subject of the internet more than ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, the long-awaited sequel to ‘Wreck-it Ralph’. While most people are looking forward to ‘Frozen 2’ (Seriously, who was?), I was waiting for ‘Wreck-it Ralph 2’ to finally be made. Though, one could argue whether a sequel was truly necessary when the first film was great on its own. Thankfully, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ does not lose its sense of social commentary or charm when compared to ‘Wreck-it Ralph’.

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‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Film Review

Grade: D

Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, William Nadylam, Alison Sudol, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Ezra Miller, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

If there was ever a reason that ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ did not need a sequel, I would suggest looking no further than ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’, which has intentions to give characters more depth, yet cannot seem to find a comprehensible story to go along with it. It was clear that the real reason this sequel was made with the first film being extremely successful (I mean, fans of ‘Harry Potter’ were not ready to leave J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World), yet with the way ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ was received, it is easy to see why it did not do as well. Many people blame the fact that Johnny Depp was cast as the titular villain despite his real-life controversies, or there it just was not as good. Yet, I believe that it had to do with the fact that the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ worked so well as a stand-alone film that nothing could top it.

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‘Adam Sandler 100% Fresh’ Stand-up Special Review

Grade: B+

Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh (2018)

I have never done a full review of a stand-up comedy special, but there is something about ‘Adam Sandler 100% Fresh’ that is extremely noteworthy. “Special” is more than a word to describe it. In fact, this may be the best thing Adam Sandler has done comedy-wise in recent years. While he can be a great dramatic actor with films like ‘Punch-Drunk Love’, ‘Reign Over Me’, and ‘Men, Women, and Children’, his comedic efforts as of late have been nothing but juvenile and forced. Despite his brand of risqué toilet humor being portrayed here, it actually works to full effect. Never has something so dirty been so entertaining to watch and listen to.

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‘They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead’ Film Review

Grade: A+

They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018)

The late Orson Welles was truly ahead of his time. He was a perfectionist who loved the arts, but never wanted to make a movie. At least, until the studio heads kept bugging him to make one. That is where ‘Citizen Kane’ came in. It was so known for being “the greatest film of all time” that even with each feature made, Welles could not escape the praise surrounding it. Years later, he set out to make a film that would satirize the culture surrounding not only cinema, but the pressures of making a movie. That film would be known as ‘The Other Side of the Wind’; a film faced with many troubles that Welles never got to finish it. However, it finally did reach completion in recent years, leading to its Netflix release.

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Jacob’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

It is officially that time of year again where I count down the movies I am looking forward to in the later year. Let me tell you, there are a lot of movies for me to get excited for. Sadly, only ten could make the list! Without further ado, here are the ten movies I am looking forward to come 2019!

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