Starting off with an absurdly big and impressive musical number — which involves a traffic jam, vivid colors, and an infectious showtune — La La Land sings as one of the best movies of the year, though it doesn’t quite hit all of its marks as a complete crowd pleaser. The opening is not just a statement on the film’s over-the-top tone, but as a call to the audience to shake off the dullness of sitting in a stationary spot for a long period of time waiting for something to happen, smile, and enjoy the ride. La La Land is a blast!
It’s been 10 years since audiences have watched a Mel Gibson-directed in movie in theaters and it seems the 60-year-old controversial director has missed a step or two between feature films. Hacksaw Ridge is a very old-fashioned movie, but it’s juiced up with modern Hollywood action with bloody and hellish wartime battle scenes. It seems to be at odds with itself.
Just cutting to the chase: Moonlight is my favorite movie of the year. It’s simply the best thing I’ve watched that’s deep, layered, and something we never see on the big screen, the coming-of-age of a gay black man in the inner city. Moonlight accomplishes a lot in only 110 minutes and anyone who’s interested in cinema should stop what they’re doing right now, find where this movie is playing at a theater near you, buy a ticket, and watch it in all of its glory and wash over you. It’s an experience that’s deeply engaging and unique.
It’s hard to talk about The Birth of a Nation because of its subject matter; it takes a look at a very shameful period of American history. But facing the nastiness of history and culture is the only way to understand the past and the future, which is why it’s tough to sit through the movie.
In 2013, Fede Alvarez made his directorial debut with The Evil Dead remake. While most remakes lazily follow the same template as the original, Alvarez brought a certain sense of tension and dread while building on top of what Sam Raimi did in 1981. For his new film Don’t Breathe, Fede Alvarez takes that same sense of tension and dread while tightly building something original and all his own.