Moonlight (2016)

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Chiron has a hard life. His dad is dead, his mom is a drug addict, the kids at school don’t like him, and he realizes when he’s young that he just might be gay. Which, in his neighborhood, is the equivalent of painting a bright red target on your back. His only friends are a drug dealer named Juan, Juan’s girlfriend, Teresa, and a boy named Kevin, whom Chiron is attracted to, and who just might have feelings for him as well. Will they wind up together? Will Chiron find some peace in life? Well, you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out. Continue reading

The Age Of Shadows (2016)

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When the Japanese learn that a resistance group is smuggling explosives into Seoul, they send Officer Lee Jung-Chool to stop them. An ethnic Korean with a history of selling out his countrymen, Lee is initially eager to bring the rebels down. But when one of the insurgents he has a hand in killing turns out to be his old classmate, he starts to have second thoughts about the whole affair. Continue reading

Paterson (2016)

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Paterson is a bus driver who likes to write poetry. He’s got a wife who wants to open a cupcake shop, and a bull dog who can never stop growling. Every morning he wakes up, goes to work, and listens to his passenger’s conversations. And every night, after he eats dinner and talks to his wife, he takes his dog for a walk, and hangs out at his local bar. And the next day, he does the exact same thing, all over again. Continue reading

La La Land (2016)

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La La Land tells the story of two struggling artists, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who meet and fall in love in LA. And that’s really it. It’s just a movie about two people trying to get by, and their relationship. Theres no big super villain plot. The world is not at stake. There’s not even a real sense that if they were to break up, they’d be all that unhappy. And, spoilers, they do break up by the end, and are just fine. Continue reading

Split (2016)

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What if someone kidnapped you? That’d be scary, right? Well, what if the person who kidnapped you also had Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, meaning every time you spoke to them, you were talking to someone different? That’d be downright terrifying, wouldn’t it? M Night Shyamalan certainly thought so, and thus made the subject of today’s review, Split. Continue reading

Hush (2016)

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Imagine you’re out in the woods, miles away from any kind of help. Someone’s nearby, and that someone means to kill you. Now imagine that this killer, this boogieman in the dark, can’t be heard. Because you can’t hear. And the killer knows this. And he’s gonna use this to his advantage. If you can picture all this, then you’ll have a good idea of what to expect with Hush, the subject of today’s review. Continue reading

The Wailing (2016)

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The story of a small town detective trying to solve the mystery surrounding a series of bizarre deaths, all of which seem connected to this weird Japanese hermit, The Wailing mixes a lot of different genres and tones. At once a mystery, police procedural, supernatural horror film, and comedy, the picture shifts from silly to gruesome on an almost scene to scene basis. In one moment, the protagonist’s daughter will catch him and his wife banging in their car, and in another, a deranged man in a hospital will be shown disemboweling himself. It’s an odd dichotomy, to be sure. There’s also a lot of inconsistency with the characterization here. What I mean by that is, in one scene, the protagonist will be shown as doubting there’s any supernatural cause for the deaths, then, in the next scene, he’ll be more than happy to let a clearly crazy woman walk through an active crime scene and tell him stories about satanic rituals, and then, immediately afterwards, he’ll be acting all skeptical again. It’s weird, to say the least. And yet, for all the inconsistency with characterization and tone, for all the idiotic choices the protagonist makes, for all the blending of genres and motifs, I was consistently riveted by The Wailing, and would honestly recommend it to you all. Continue reading

The Nice Guys (2016)

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It’s the 1970s, and Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe are two, down on their luck Private investigators, who come together on a case involving the death of a porn star, a big auto manufacturer, and a government official’s radical activist daughter. (Well, actually, Ryan Gosling is a private investigator. Russell Crowe is just a thug people hire to beat up guys who are bothering them). But that’s not important. What is important is the fact that they join forces, and embark on a funny, memorable adventure, with some great acting and good dialogue. Continue reading

Arrival (2016)

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When twelve massive UFO’s arrive on Earth, the US military hires an expert linguist (Amy Adams) to try to communicate with the Aliens. Quickly realizing that oral exchange is useless, since the extraterrestrials aren’t talking in the classic sense, Adams and her team decide to use written language to try to decode what the creatures are, and why they’re on Earth. And now we have a big mystery, which, I’m sorry to say, never really gets solved. But before I launch into my complaints, I would like to list some things that really worked about this movie. Continue reading

Train To Busan (2016)

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The story of an absent father, Seok-woo, taking his daughter on a trip just as a zombie outbreak occurs, Train To Busan is a fun, fast-paced thrill-ride that never lets up. I can honestly say that I was never bored while I was watching it, and even though I don’t normally care for zombie flicks, I left the film feeling deeply satisfied. A large part of my enjoyment derived from that quick pacing I mentioned. This truly is a fast-moving film, with no extranious scenes, and some really cool action sequences. And the acting is also really good. My favorite character, by far, is this tough, working class dude named Sang-hwa, played by American MMA fighter Ma Dong-seok. He’s got a lot of charisma, and there are some really awesome scenes where he puts on gloves and just goes to town on the zombies. It’s really fun to watch. Continue reading