Showing posts from July, 2017

My Thoughts On: The BFG (2016)


Year Released: 2016
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Director: Steven Spielberg
Lead Actors/Actresses: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74

My Score: 6

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of The BFG by Roald Dahl is something that almost every child will enjoy. In particular, the visuals of the film were fantastic, full of color and motion. All of the CGI involved in creating the BFG and the other giants was constructive to the film, not taking away from the real actor’s emotions. In addition, scenes such as the one involving switching gravity near the dream tree were very creative, and I enjoyed them very much. In terms of visual effects, I really respect Spielberg for taking a giant leap with making a child’s imagination come onto the large screen.

Furthermore, in addition to the fascinating cinematography, another great part of the film is the acting. Rylance and Barnhill had amazing chemistry together, and Barnhill especially was able to convey so much emotion and wond…

My Thoughts On: Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island

Year Released: 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Action
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Lead Actors/Actresses: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76

My Score: 5

Kong: Skull Island brings a new addition to the MonsterVerse franchise, joining Godzilla (2014), and it is entirely what you would expect from a monster movie. The movie is almost exactly like what the trailer implies, with plenty of action and beautiful visuals, but not much in terms of plot and character development. It’s really a movie that you can relax and enjoy, especially when you’re trying to not think about anything too hard, but it’s nothing special compared to others.

Starting off with the good parts, the cinematography was above average. I especially liked how Vogt-Roberts was able to creatively transition between completely different scenes, such as the one between somebody getting eaten and another person eating a sandwich. The film itself is very beautiful,…

My Thoughts On: Power Rangers (2017)

Power Rangers

Year Released: 2017
Genre: Science Fiction, Action
Director: Dean Israelite
Lead Actors/Actresses: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, Becky G, RJ Cyler, Elizabeth Banks

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46

My Score: 3

Israelite took a very unique taste to his version of Power Rangers; overall, he attempts to make the theme of the film to be much darker and realistic, incorporating the social hardships and family issues that each character faces to really emphasize their “outcast” status, all the while maintaining the series’ original cheesiness. Unfortunately, this combination of grittiness and cheesiness in the same film simply does not work for me.

The entire first half of the movie is dedicated to building up each of the characters, and the backstories are told very seriously, with deep messages hidden within each of them. However, as soon as the Power Rangers become Power Rangers, they lose all of their individualities. Their fight scenes with Rita (a very cheesy villain)…

My Thoughts On: Before I Fall (2017)

Before I Fall

Year Released: 2017
Genre: Drama
Director: Ry Russo-Young
Lead Actors/Actresses: Zoey Deutch

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67

My Score: 6

Before I Fall is another Groundhog Day-esque young adult film, and it takes a very simple approach towards describing a pretty simple concept: a young girl realizing who she really is, and how to cherish her life. Overall, the story was portrayed fairly well. However, there were a few pacing issues. In particular, I felt as if the first iteration of the time loop took very long; the main purpose that it served was to establish Sam’s popularity and mean girl status, which could already be inferred within the first 10 minutes. In addition, as the film progresses, different events start to scatter the plot. This became a bigger problem at the end of the movie, during the last iteration of Sam’s life, in which she attempts to help and address everybody, but nonetheless is not able to address everybody adequately (for example, the lesbian girl wit…

My Thoughts On: The Prestige (2006)

The Prestige

Year Released: 2006
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
Director: Christopher Nolan
Lead Actors/Actresses: Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76

My Score: 10

The Prestige is one of the most intricate (and yet simple) movies that I have ever watched, and it is so beautifully crafted. It’s storytelling and plot, along with its editing, is expertly put together in a way that not only keeps the audience’s attention throughout the entire movie, but also tricks the viewer so many different times. Throughout the movie, each reveal is excellently timed in a way that shocks the audience, and it is able to do this again and again as the two magicians attempt to outsmart each other, create new magic tricks, or ruin the other’s show. At the ultimate reveal, when you look back at the hints scattered throughout the entire movie (even from the very first shot), you can’t help but think how obvious it should have been the entire time. Indeed,…

My Thoughts On: Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman

Year Released: 2017
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Director: Patty Jenkins
Lead Actors/Actresses: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93

My Score: 8

Jenkins’ entire approach towards this film was, I believe, the best possible way to direct a film about Wonder Woman. The entire movie is actually a flashback from present-day Diana, which I think is a good way to connect this movie to the rest of the DCEU (much like Captain America: The First Avenger).

The most stand-out aspect of this movie was the acting. Amazing acting by Gadot and Pine; they had great chemistry together. Gadot was especially impressive for her dedication to the role (I think she was pregnant at some point?). From her action sequences, to her rambling dialogue, to her comedic moments, to her emotional commitment, Gadot is on point. The movie is able to expertly weave between banter and action, and the short comedic moments are hilarious. The thing that stands out about this DC movie was its focus on char…

My Thoughts On: War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

War for the Planet of the Apes

Year Released: 2017
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Action
Director: Matt Reeves
Lead Actors/Actresses: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95

My Score: 7/8

If you go into watching War for the Planet of the Apes expecting the same action, fighting, and “war” that you saw in Rise and Dawn, I’m sorry to say that you will be disappointed; War is completely unlike any of its predecessors in the Planet of the Apes trilogy. Despite being titled “War for the Planet of the Apes.” this movie is much less of an action war movie, and more of a drama film telling the final chapter of Caesar’s life. Whereas Caesar was young, energetic, and powerful in the previous films, he has gotten much older and wearier from battle, so the film instead focuses much more on his emotions and feelings as he nears the end of his life. Although the replacement of the action-drama mixture of the previous two films with pure drama certainly does not make War for the Plane…

My Thoughts On: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Year Released: 2014
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Action
Director: Matt Reeves
Lead Actors/Actresses: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90

My Score: 9

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is by far my favorite film in this new trilogy, and for good reason: unlike War (the third film), it brings the perfect mixture of action and drama, and it offers an entire new layer of of complexity compared to Rise (the first film). Whereas the first film was merely focused on the struggle between apes and humans, with humans portrayed as the immoral, evil side and the audience really rooting for Caesar and his apes, Dawn clarifies this previous message to clearly show how the apes are truly mirrors of humans themselves by pitting ape against ape. And just how Koba represents the hatred and evil in apes, Malcolm (played by Clarke) represents the empathy and morality in the humans. In the end, this movie brings Caesar into a whole new level of maturity and u…

My Thoughts On: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Year Released: 2011
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Action
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Lead Actors/Actresses: Andy Serkis, James Franco

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81

My Score: 8

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the first movie of the new, rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy, and it honestly seemed to come out of nowhere. Despite having a very simple premise (apes start taking over the world), the Planet of the Apes franchise has always evoked deep thought into human behavior and questioned our perspectives of society. This movie in particular tackles multiple issues, addressing concepts such as freedom as well as questioning the moralities behind genetic engineering and animal drug testing.

First, I want to commend Rise of the Planet of the Apes for telling the story so fluently and gracefully. The entire story is told from the perspective of an ape, Caesar, we as the audience are so easily able to connect with how lonely and constrained Caesar feels throughout t…