Friday, January 13, 2017

La La Land

The vintage Hollywood look of this film is worth your money spent in and of itself.  The cinematography and colorful costuming give it a vibrant look making it come alive on the screen more so than other movies.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone give above average performances singing and dancing.  The story and characters are developed nicely between musical scenes. However, while the writing is brave and unconventional during most of the film, challenging monotonous Hollywood scripting, it takes a cowardly turn in the very end with a typical regurgitated conclusion, reminiscent of so many average movies. The writers refuse to take the film all the way and crash boundaries.

Nonetheless, La La Land is highly recommended and a requirement for anyone seeking pure enjoyment with an original film in the theater.

Assassin's Creed

Based on a video game the adaptation of this film includes unique performances by Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Irons and notably Marion Cotillard.  Filled with action, the best parts of the movie take place between those sequences with rich dialogues between Cotillard and Fassbender. As a result, a great story is developed making the action scenes almost unnecessary. In addition, it is not necessary to have played the video game to understand and take meaning from the film. Lastly, the violence is tame compared to that found in those games, making it suitable for older kids. Recommended for fun entertainment.

Fences with Viola Davis and Denzel Washington

While Viola Davis and Denzel Washington give powerful acting performances the story loses its meaning and depth the last hour of the movie. The theme is an African-American working class family in the 1950s. The film early on is excellent with elements of economic struggle, survival and challenges within the family, notably Denzel Washington's internal struggles. Later, however, the story transitions abruptly and wholly to those internal struggles and the deep themes of the movie fall by the wayside. However, as a whole, it is worth seeing in the theater. Enjoy.