Hell or High Water

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.”

Ehhhhh.

I didn’t love the movie, but I also didn’t hate it.  Hell or High Water is basically a modern day Western, while a lot of the time it’s easy to forget it is happening in modern day (for me at least).

The acting in the movie is great and it has a good plot, it just didn’t hook me as much as I would have liked.  I really don’t understand all the rave reviews people have written for it.

Personally, I could have done without the whole plot line of Jeff Bridges’ character.  I only really cared what he was up to at the very end, and by then, what’s the point?  I think the movie was missing some backstory elements that could have made you feel more for the characters earlier on instead of everything coming together in the second half.

If you can handle a slow paced movie about little more than robbing banks for 80% of it, give the movie a try and let me know what you think!

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Moonlight

Moonlight

4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.”

Out of all the Oscar nominated movies of 2017 that I have seen so far, I think Moonlight is actually my favorite.  It’s one of the few that feels bigger than just your average movie, which is what I want from something getting awards attention.

The movie is split into three parts, each telling the story of Chiron in different parts of his life.  I would have watched entire movies on each part because they were so good and interesting.  You get to see how a kid’s environment can really change how they grow and who they become.

If you’re into character driven stories, this is one you’re going to want to see.

My only problem with the movie is how each segment ended.  It was almost as if you get the first act of the story and just as everything is about to change, it ends.  Then in the next part you get a very brief mention of what happened during the gap, but not enough.  What they did with Juan’s whole situation really bothered me!  (You’ll know what I’m talking about if you saw it).

The ending of the entire movie wasn’t any different, unfortunately.  It ended JUST AS THINGS WERE GETTING GOOD!  Why?!

Despite that, Moonlight is a great movie that is well worth the 2 hours!

Jackie

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.”

Yay, finally one of the Oscar nominated movies that I really liked!  There have been too many meh ones that I watched lately.

I thought this movie was incredibly well made from the acting to the overall look of the scenes and the writing.  Seriously, it deserves more attention than it has gotten.  I knew very little about Jackie Kennedy before watching this movie, but I felt like Natalie Portman fully lost herself in the character and became Jackie.

The movie shows Jackie as she tries to hold it all together after the murder of her husband in front of the entire country.  With looks and small moments you can see everything going through this woman’s mind at the time, knowing that her entire life is changed, but she still has to go on for the sake of her husband’s memory and her kids.

If you like history, watch it.  If you like great female characters, watch it.

Nocturnal Animals

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.”

Okay so maybe I just didn’t get it?

Nocturnal Animals juggles the stories of present day Susan, flashbacks of her life with her ex-husband, and the events of the book that he wrote which was apparently inspired by her.  That’s a lot to cover for any movie.  I feel like a plot like this where there is an entire story within the story can be dangerous because you run the risk of one being wayyy more interesting than the other.

That is exactly what happened here.  Throw out the present day, throw out Susan all together and expand a bit upon the “book” and it could have been a really good movie.  The three pieces never really came together for me.  I’m thinking the final scene is supposed to be some kind of aha moment maybe (?) but it wasn’t.  It was a let down.

There was no closure to two of the storylines and really no point to the movie itself other than style and shock value.

If you’re going to watch this one, enjoy the book plot line and ignore the rest of it.  Definitely more enjoyable that way.  And if you got something that I apparently missed, let me know in the comments!

Manchester By the Sea

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother’s heart has given out suddenly, and he’s been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren’t enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.”

While I’m still not on the Best Picture bandwagon for this movie, I do think it is one to watch.  Just prepare yourself for one depressing thing after another, because spoiler alert, even the ending isn’t that happy.

The acting is incredibly well done and the story keeps you interested with bits of funny moments sprinkled in to keep you from feeling too depressed.  Told with a series of flashbacks, you get to see the main character, Lee, dealing with the death of his brother in a way that is heavily influenced by his past.

I think it could have been a great movie if it had been a bit more fast paced with some more comedic moments.  There are parts that dragged and felt like nothing was really going on.  By the end I felt like I had been sitting there for a lot longer than 2 hours and 15 minutes, though I’m sure the fact that I was stuck sitting in the second row of the theatre didn’t help.

For the average person, I wouldn’t recommend this, but if you’re into Oscar-worthy movies like I am this one is for you.

The Lobster

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “David has just been dumped by his wife. To make matters worse, David lives in a society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods. David is kept at the mysterious HOTEL while he searches for a new partner, and after several romantic misadventures decides to make a daring escape to abandon this world. He ultimately joins up with a rebel faction known as The Loners, a group founded on a complete rejection of romance. But once there David meets an enigmatic stranger who stirs up unexpected and strong feelings within him.”

Time for me to binge watch all the movies nominated for Oscars this year…well not all of them, but the ones that look interesting.

Before looking through the different noms, I’d never even heard of The Lobster.  I feel like a lot of the time those are the best ones because they haven’t been hyped up, but are still going to be that kind of movie that’s a little weird yet good.  Does that make sense?

Because this movie is weird.

I mean, come on, people get turned into animals if they don’t find the person they want to marry after staying in a hotel for a few weeks.  I’d love to know who came up with this idea and why!

The Lobster has a dry sense of comedy that is a little bit dark at times.  It embodies the feel of an independent movie, meaning do not watch this if you only like traditional storytelling.  It’s interesting because it’s almost like two movies put together.  The first half focuses on David at this hotel and the other main character isn’t introduced until the second half.

I started watching Black Mirror recently, and I’d say if you’re into that, you’ll definitely enjoy this movie.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.