La La Land – A musical! After seeing how much buzz this is generating, I thought it wise to take a look. And it didn't disappoint. From the opening dance number to the final scenes, this is a must see for all those budding writers, actors, and performing arts students out there. Keep at it, and who knows. It just takes one yes. With believable onscreen chemistry, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone put on refreshing performances as two wannabees trying to make it. Not sure if they've done this kind of thing before, but if they haven't, it's good seeing them stretch their wings and doing something different. Ryan Gosling has come a long way since his fresh-faced appearance in that Hercules: Legendary Journeys episode. Excellent! Where's the screenplay?
A Monster Calls – A bullied kid. A dying mother. A huge talking tree. And you have a recipe for a very imaginative tale. While there's nothing new in the main story, it's how it's told and presented that makes this stand out. Based on the novel of the same name, this is definitely worth watching. With solid performances all round. Very creative and original. Very Good.
Hacksaw Ridge – It's been a while since we've had a good war movie. And this definitely fits the bill. What makes this stand out from the crowd is how the story unfolds on screen, and that's down to the writers. They didn't do a quick character introduction and throw us into the action as soon as possible. We're given plenty of time to get to know what makes them tick and why they think and behave the way they do. With superb performances all round, and some pretty intense scenes, this is one to watch. And it's directed by Mel Gibson! Excellent!
Jackie – A docu-drama of sorts. A movie that follows Jackie Kennedy after the assassination of President John F Kennedy. Natalie Portman (Leon), really gets into character as Jackie Kennedy. Giving one of her best performances to date. Only real gripe is the soundtrack. It's very good, but a little overwhelming at times. Often drowning out the dialogue. Not sure if this is to reflect the turmoil and distress that her character is going through. It just seems overkill at times. Other than that. Very Good!
LION – One heck of a story. One heck of a journey. Adapted from the book 'A Long Way Home' by Saroo Brierley. This tells the story of Saroo, who finds himself hundreds and hundreds of miles from home, and the arduous and dangerous journey that he finds himself on. A thought provoking story that sends you on an emotional roller-coaster of a ride. A movie that expertly handles so many themes on so many levels. Extremely well written and directed. With some outstanding performances. Excellent!
Moonlight – From a storytelling point of view, you really can't fault this in any way. The subject matter and themes are handled in such a caring, thoughtful and poignant way, you can't help but feel for the main character's journey through this story. The script, direction, and performances put this on a level rarely achieved when dealing with material of this nature. Expertly handled in every way. Most Excellent!
Hidden Figures – A feel good movie. It gives off good vibes from the very beginning. Everything gels. From the great performances to how the story unfolds. And that's down to the writing. The direction. The performances. Especially the dialogue. Everything comes together and delivers. And it has a superb cast. Excellent!
John Wick: Chapter 2 - Did they need to make this? Probably not. Do they need to make another one? They do now. Is this as good as the first one, not quite. But he does use a pencil, or was it a pen. Which makes it all worth while. And he does have a well behaved dog in this one. Hopefully they'll find a fresh angle for the third one. Introduce more characters from the hotel. Maybe a possible love interest. Or someone he cares about. And we'll have another winner. Very Good.
Spider-Man: Homecoming - It's only been three years since the last one. Does this one bring anything new to the table? Sure does. Sony working with Marvel. That's what's been needed. Having Spider-Man brought into the Marvel Universe brings a whole new dynamic to the world he exists in. Lots of potential avenues and roads to travel along. Something 2oth Century Fox should consider doing when rebooting The Fantastic Four. Spoiler! Glad that Michael Keaton was kept in the loop. Hopefully we'll get to see a lot more of him in future storylines. Capturing villains is so much better, than killing them off. Very Good!
Beauty & The Beast - It's been a while since I watched the animated version, but this appears to follow it pretty closely. This is definitely one the whole family can enjoy, without worrying about any dark or scary parts. Hopefully, Disney will continue this trend, and consider doing some of the less successful animated movies of the past. Very Good.
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
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