Justin Baldoni: Meaningful storytelling

In a recent podcast with Film Riot, American actor, director, and filmmaker Justin Baldoni revealed his secrets to telling a meaningful story. The director discussed how his latest films were inspired by real-life and how he allows the story of those around him to motivate him creatively. Everybody has a story to tell, and so much of filmmaking is simply listening and watching the stories of everyday life unfold around you.


Justin’s new film “Clouds” is now available for streaming on Disney+. He went on to explain the film’s long process to be made, and how the film was inspired by real life. Justin had a long-standing relationship with Zach Sobiech, a 17-year-old dealing with osteosarcoma. Justin promised Zach he would tell his story one day, and now the film is finally done being brought to life.


Baldoni also expressed that everything he knows about the film came from working on film sets and learning as he went. Acting on film sets was his means of college education, and he asked questions whenever he could and learned from watching the filmmaking process around him. Always be watching and listening to those around you. You never know when an inspirational story will appear before your eyes.


Check out Justin Baldoni’s full podcast with Film Riot Here


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FireFly lane (2021) review

Synopsis: Tully and Kate meet as young girls on Firefly Lane and become inseparable friends throughout 30 years of ups and downs. First episode date: February 3, 2021 Network: Netflix Program creator: Maggie Friedman Executive producers: Maggie Friedman, Stephanie Germain, Katherine Heigl, Lee Rose, Shawn Williamson, Peter O’Fallon My Review: After watching the first few episodes of this series, I was not sucked into …

Alien(s) (1986) Review

Synopsis After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team. Upon arriving at LV-426, the marines find only one survivor, a nine year old girl named Newt (Carrie Henn). But even these battle-hardened marines with all the latest weaponry are no match for the hundreds …

Alien (1979) Review

Synopsis In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and …

Stargirl Review (2020)

Synopsis

A teen develops a budding romance with Stargirl Caraway, a free-spirited new student who makes a big splash on her first day of school.

Initial release: March 13, 2020

DirectorJulia Hart

Music composed byRob Simonsen

Adapted fromStargirl

ScreenplayJulia HartJordan HorowitzKristin Hahn

My Review

Overall, this movie is very lighthearted and enjoyable to watch. As a whole, the film was cute and not too predictable. However, it lacked strong character development and the music numbers were painful to watch.

I think the major reason the musical numbers felt so awkward was because the transition from a normal scene to a musical number was almost non existent. There was no smooth transition between the two which felt very unnatural. The actors also seemed very uncomfortable during these scenes, which was painful to watch. The songs were catchy, and I taped my foot along to the music, but watching it was the hard part.

Overall, the acting was good. Especially with movie mainly consisting of young actors/ actresses. However, I do think that Graham Verchere (Leo) was a lot stronger than Grace VanderWaal’s (Stargirl). I’m not sure if that’s becuase I was such a huge fan of the Stargirl book as a kid, but her performance seemed off and inconsistent at times.

One of my major issues with this film was the lack of development for Archie’s character. The audience was given very little background or information about him, and I know the book goes into a lot more detail. Because of this I felt a lack of interest and investment into his character.

I did thoroughly enjoy watching this film, and it definitely is not a typical cheesy high school movie. Which is something I greatly appreciated about the film.

My Rating

4.5 out of 10

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Toy Story 4 (2019) Review

Synopsis

Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. As Woody and Bo discuss the old days, they soon start to realize that they’re worlds apart when it comes to what they want from life as a toy.

Release date: June 21, 2019

(USA)DirectorJosh Cooley

Featured songYou’ve Got a Friend in Me

Initial DVD release: October 8, 2019 (USA)

Box office: 1.073 billion USD

My Review

Pixar did it again with this film. I reached for a tissue several times throughout this movie, and I throughly enjoyed every second. I had low expectations before watching this film, because I felt like Toy Story 3 ended perfectly. However, Toy Story 4 really surprised me and I would now consider it one of my favorite Toy Stroy movies.

I love the direction the filmmakers took with Bo Peep. I enjoyed seeing what happened with her between the film, and her character growth made sense. I wasn’t aware that a reunion scene between Woody and Bo Peep was much needed until after watching it on the screen. Overall, Pixar did a phenomenal job re creating everyone’s favorite Toy Stroy characters. However, my one main issue with this movie was the way Buzz Lightyear.

In the original Toy Story film, Buzz thinks he is a legitimate space ranger and not a toy. As the movies go on Buzz comes to terms knowing that he is in fact a toy, and the audience sees him mature and grow from the first film. In Toy Story 4, Buzz believes his “inner voice” comprises the buttons attached to him. While this added an element of comedic relief to the film I felt that it was backyard progress in Buzz’s maturity.

One issue I had with Toy Stroy 2 and 3 was that the villain in both these films seemed similar to me. However, the villain of Toy Story 4 was endearing and new. To me Gabby Gabby was such an interesting villain becuase as an audience member I truly sympathized with her. While the audience may not agree with what she’s doing, it’s easy to understand and grasp why she’s doing it. I found myself rooting for her to find her own child to love and treasure.

After watching the ending scene of Toy Story 4, I felt the character’s stories truly came to a final resolution. There were no more loose ends left at the end of the film, and I truly felt it was a perfect ending to the Toy Story series. The characters and story within this film captured my attention the entire time. I was completely emotionally invested into this film, and I appreciate how much it had me equally laughing and crying.

My Rating

8.4 out of 10


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Togo (2019) Film Review- How Historically Accurate is the Film? Is Balto a Fake?

Synopsis

Leonhard Seppala leads a team of sled dogs across the wintry Alaskan tundra in 1925.

Initial release: December 20, 2019

DirectorEricson CoreBudget: 40 million USD

Music composed byMark Isham

NominationsWriters Guild of America Award for Television: Long Form – Original

My Review

Togo was the first original Disney Plus movie I watched, and it set the bar high for any future original films. This movie is so well crafted, and it will have you both crying and sitting in suspense at several points throughout the film.

My favorite element of this film is the plot and storyline. There are very few movies that come full circle at the end, leaving the audience satisfied. However, this is DEFINTIELY one of those films. Every plot point and action came together beautifully, and the film led the audience down a constructed and well-organized plot. Every single scene fit in perfectly with the ones before it and after, and this created such a smooth flow throughout the entire film. Which created an overall environment for me where I forgot I was watching a film because I was sucked in and invested into the plot.

The other magnificent element of this film was the camera work and color grading. The film has an overall smooth and realistic look to it. The scenes in the Alaskan wilderness look so real and lifelike it feels as if you’re there in the snow with Seppala and his sled dogs. Every aspect of this film plot wise, visually, music, and editing came together flawlessly and compliment each other perfectly.

When I first saw this film and read its description I was immediately intrigued. I have been to Alaska and have volunteered at the famous Iditarod dogsled race, and while I heard Baltos name mentioned many times, I have never heard about Togo until watching this film. After watching this film, I immediately began researching its historical accuracy and found it was pretty much spot on. There are only two major differences between the film and real like that I could find. The first is that Leonhard Seppala had a young daughter in real life, which increased his desire for survival. The second is that in real life Seppala’s track with his team across the frozen sea was actually much more suspenseful and treacherous than the film showed. According to Seppala’s account, the rope connecting Togo to the rest of the team completely snapped and fell into the icy water. Togo bravely jumped into the water, grabbing the rope, wrapping it around himself, and pulling the team to safety. Overall, the film does an outstanding job of sticking to historical accuracy and this is something that goes extremely appreciated.

But that still holds the question of why Balto got all the recognition and fame while most people have never heard of Togo. In reality, Balto was the dog to complete the last section of the relay to deliver a medical serum and save a handful of sickly children. Therefore, at the finish line, Balto got all the photo ops and praise. That’s not to say Balto doesn’t deserve any recognition, in fact I’d say every dog and musher that aided in the relay deserves some. However, all the teams other than Seppala’s travelled an average of 31 miles each. While Seppala and his dog team travelled over 260 miles led by a twelve-year-old dog named Togo. Togo and his team faced the most dangerous treck and whether than any other team, and I believe this deserves lots of recognition.

My Rating

5 out of 5

I have not been this excited after watching a film in a long time. I highly recommend giving it a watch if you have access to Disney Plus. Especially so we can all educate ourselves on the historical serum run of 1925 and finally give Togo the recognition he deserves.


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Lucas Hagar: The Influence of NArrative Storytelling on Documentaries

In a podcast with Film Riot, Lucas Harger talked in-depth about his filmmaking process as well as the creative cross between narrative film and documentary filmmaking. As a filmmaker, Lucas has been successful in crossing between editing both documentary and narrative stories to produce unique and creative content. According to Lucas, being able to create …

Onward Film Review (2020) *Spoiler Alert

Synopsis

Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father. Like any good adventure, their journey is filled with cryptic maps, impossible obstacles, and unimaginable discoveries. But when dear Mom finds out her sons are missing, she teams up with the legendary manticore to bring her beloved boys back home.

Onward (2020) - IMDb

Release date: March 6, 2020

(USA)DirectorDan ScanlonBox office: $103.2 million

Budget: $175–200 million

ScreenplayDan ScanlonJason HeadleyKeith Bunin

My Review

I was so excited when Disney released this film for streaming instead of pulling the plug on its release. As a Disney Pixar movie, I figured this film would not disappoint. However, it far extended my expectations.

Pixar's Onward: Release date, plot, cast, pictures, trailers ...

The thing that stood out to me the most about this movie was the message of family and the bond between siblings. The whole movie Ian and Barley Lightfoot are trying to bring there dead father back for just one day. As the older brother, Barley has a few special memories of his father. Ian was still not born when his father dies, and he makes a list of everything he wants to do with his father. However, the spell to bring their dad back goes wrong, and it leaves them with their father only from the waist down. The two must go on an elaborate and dangerous journey to complete the spell.

The whole movie the boys are so fixated on bringing back the rest of their father, they lose sight of trying to make the most of the situation they were given. Later on in the movie the two boys have a bonding moment with their father through dancing. Since their father can feel the vibration of the music. This was such a precious moment, and I wish there would have been more like it.

Read the first Onward movie reviews | Cineworld cinemas

It drove me crazy to think of all the moments the two boys were missing out on with their father. However, through their adventure we see the two brothers bond and grow closer than ever. It became apparent while watching the film that Barley had become a father like figure to Ian over the years. Ian himself does not come to this realization until the end of the film. While it was painful to watch him come to this realization so late, it was a heart full and tear jerking moment for the audience.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characterization of this film. Each character had distinct character traits and they each stayed true to those through the entire movie. However, that’s not to say there wasn’t any character growth. In fact, we see each character in the film grow on an extensive level. Overall, this was a very fun and lighthearted film. It had me laughing and crying at others. I recommend watching this film, and I would for sure watch it again.

My Rating

4.8 out of 5

Onward lawsuit | why Disney and Pixar are being sued for a van ...

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julie taymor: the cross universe of film and theatre

In a recent podcast episode with The Treatment, Julie Taymor discussed her new movie “The Glories” and how she uses storytelling to externalize what characters are feeling on screen. Julie Taymor is a Tony Award-winning director of both theatre and film. Her goal as a creative is to master the fantastical elements of the film …

r-e-s-p-e-c-t on a film set: advice from mimi leder

In a recent podcast with the Director’s Guild, Mimi Leder, an American director and producer, gave her best advice for keeping a healthy and productive film set. Mimi’s key piece of advice was to treat everyone with the respect that they deserve, and to always show them your appreciation. She pointed out that the cast …

Newsies (1992) Film Review

Synopsis

In this musical, homeless New York City newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly (Christian Bale) befriends two newcomers to his trade, brothers David (David Moscow) and Les Jacobs (Luke Edwards). When publisher Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall) sets new rules that make it harder for the young newspaper salesmen to make a buck, the boys go on strike. Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman), a journalist who’s sympathetic to their plight, gives them some tips in public relations, as the newsboys’ battle grips the city.

Newsies (film) - D23

Release date: April 10, 1992

(USA)DirectorKenny Ortega

ScreenplayNoni WhiteBob Tzudiker

Music composed byAlan MenkenJ. A. C. Redford

My Review

This is a very lighthearted and enjoyable film. The actors of the movie all do such an incredible job, and it’s easy to buy into the world of the movie. I’m sure watching this production onstage or on Broadway would be a more enjoyable experience, but the movie is a close second.

Newsies (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

For a Disney film, I was surprised by the amount of violence and ideas the film suggested. There are several times in the movie when the Newsies get a little rouged up on the streets of New York. However, the newsie strike is a historical event that led to lots of riots and rough housing, so I appreciated the historical accuracy of this movie. This is definitely an emotionally heavy film that will make you frustrated.

I was most curious to see Christian Bale in this film because I have never seen him sing and dance. I’ve seen him in a wide range of acting roles, and I wanted to see how he would live up to the hype. He is definitely not the best singer. But his dancing blew me away. In fact, all the dance numbers of this film are incredibly well filmed and choreographed. From an acting stand point Bale carried most of the weight. Bale plays the hero and protagonist of the film, and I found myself emotionally invested in his story from the very beginning.

Sometimes in this movie when the plot felt rushed, and my investment into the story lessened a little each time. I also wish there would have been more character development for the kids. There’s so much development giving to Bales character that all the others are pushed to the side. Another thing that drove me crazy about this movie was the forced relationship between Bale and his love interest. The audience saw no interaction between the two at all, and then the first scene we see between them Bale asks if she would miss him if he were to leave. This made no sense to me! Their relationship came out of nowhere and was completely forced since the filmmakers were trying to stick to the Broadway plot line.

My Rating

2 out of 5

5 Movies To Help Get You Through Social Distancing

The world right now is a stressful and scary place. Everywhere you look there is news and talk of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s easy to fall into a state of depression and gloom, and to let the stress of everything get the best of you. However, I’m hoping this list of feel- good films can bring a little happiness to your day. As movie lovers film can be a good place to go to for a mental and emotional break from the world.

Frozen 2

Frozen 2 Details | POPSUGAR Entertainment

I think it’s awesome that Disney Plus released this film early on its streaming database. If you have not seen this movie yet, I strongly recommend you go watch it. I have seen this movie twice now and enjoyed it equally both times. No matter how old you are, it’s a light-hearted and enjoyable watch. If you have Disney Plus, go watch it! I guarantee you it will brighten up your day during this stressful time.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off | Gorton Community Center

No matter how many times you watch this film, you will fall in love with it a little more every time. All around this is the definition of a feel good movie. It will have you laughing till your eyes water, sitting on the edge of your seat, and keep captivated until the credits roll.

The Hunger Games (Series)

A 'Hunger Games' Prequel Book Is Officially Coming Out In 2020

These movies are endearing and suspenseful. After watching the first movie of the series, you will not be able to stop until you have seen them all. Which will end up killing a lot of time and allow you an escape from reality. It’s easy to get emotionally invested in these movies, and the story line is very action packed and exciting!

Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire' Review: Movie (1993) | Hollywood Reporter

If you need a good laugh, then this film is a must see. Robin Williams once again does a fantastic job in this film, and will have you laughing until your stomach hurts. Not only that, but this is also a very good feel good movie, and it has a powerful message to it.

The Shawshank Redemption

After A 25 Year Hiatus, A Chance To Finally See 'The Shawshank ...

If you need a movie, that will make you cry, then definitely go check this one out. This movie will suck you in from the first scene of the entire movie. It’s a very tear jerking and a feel good film. Check out my full review of this film under the film reviews section of my blog.

Let me know if you give any of these films a try or if you have any more recommendations of films to watch during this time of quarantine and social distancing.

Coco (2017) Film Review

Synopsis

Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Image result for coco
Release dateNovember 22, 2017 (USA)
Box office807.1 million USD

My Review 

Pixar does not disappoint. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a Disney Pixar movie I have not fallen in love with. I finally got around to checking this movie off of my must see list, and I loved every second of watching this film.

The animation is top-notch, and the color, music, and overall environment created in this movie was astounding to look and listen to. One of the amazing things about Pixar movies is that no matter how old you are, these movies will always have a special place in your heart. This movie is relatable for a wide age range. Whether you’re a kid balancing life and family, a parent trying to understand your child, or an elderly family member stuck in the past. This movie had a lot of life lessons that could be learned, and I truly feel any audience member will connect with the film on an emotional level.

This film was not predictable for me, and I did not see the plot twists coming. Which is not a typical element of a children’s film. The plot had me interested and engaged throughout the entire movie, starting from the first ten minutes of the movie. If you are interested in learning more about other cultures and their traditions, I strongly recommend you watch this film. I have always been fascinated by the tradition of Day of the Dead. This movie gives an interesting look into this tradition, and how family is valued into Mexican Culture.

Overall, this movie is an incredible feel good movie to watch solo or with the family. It’s a highly emotional story that will tug at your heartstrings.

My Rating

4.5 out of 5

Image result for coco

The Worst Movies Of the Last Decade

Rambo Last Blood 2019

Synopsis

Vietnam War veteran John Rambo tries to find peace by raising horses on a ranch in Arizona. He also developed a special familial bond with a woman named Maria and her teenage granddaughter Gabriela. But when a vicious Mexican cartel kidnaps Gabriela, Rambo crosses the border on a bloody and personal quest to rescue her and punish those responsible.
Image result for rambo last blood
Release date: September 20, 2019 (USA)
Box office: 91.5 million USD
Budget: 50 million USD

My Review

This was the first movie I have seen from the Rambo movies. The action scenes of this movie did not disappoint. However, the plot structure and narrative of this movie were not very well put together. While this movie was sentimental for fans of the Rambo series as a standalone movie, it was extremely weak. The plot point that sucked me into this movie was when Gabriela gets kidnapped by the cartel. It feels like only a few moments later when Rambo rescues her, only to have her die. The rest of the movie is dedicated to revenge. However, at this point, I had no strong emotional connection to the movie. I knew since it was a Rambo movie he would succeed in a very bloody battle scene. The conflict was resolved way too soon, and the rest of the movie was just full of filler action.

A Wrinkle in Time 2018

Synopsis 

Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg’s classmate Calvin O’Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all the evil in the universe.
Image result for a wrinkle in time
Release date: February 26, 2018 (USA)
Box office: 133.4 million USD
Budget: $100–130 million

My Review

I was so excited to see this film since this was one of my favorite books as a child. However, from the start of the movie I knew I would be disappointed. The writing was very poor. This movie had such an incredible cast, but the lines did not feel natural and the movie was full of awkward and forced dialogue. They spent most of the budget of this film on graphic images. While the CG in this film was not terrible, it was not the best I have ever seen. With such an elaborate budget, I had higher expectations for this movie. The thing I disliked most about this film is the fact that they changed so much from the book to the movie. In the book, Mrs. Which has a hard time verbalizing and is also described as a traditional-looking witch. However, with Oprah playing Mrs. Which in the film, they gave her plenty of elegant and well-spoken dialogue. Some other major changes include the exclusion of Aunt Beast, the Happy Medium, and the addition of Meg’s bully. A Wrinkle in Time is such a well put together book If they had stuck to it, I think this film would have been a lot better.

Beauty and the Beast  2017

Synopsis

An arrogant prince is cursed to live as a terrifying beast until he finds true love. Strangely, his chance comes when he captures an unwary clockmaker, whose place is then taken by his bold and beautiful daughter Belle. Helped by the Beast’s similarly enchanted servants, including a clock, a teapot and a candelabra, Belle sees the sensitive soul behind the fearsome facade. But as time runs out, it soon becomes obvious that Belle’s cocky suitor Gaston is the real beast of the piece.
Image result for beauty and the beast
Release date: March 17, 2017 (USA)
Box office: 1.264 billion USD
Budget: $160–255 million

My Review

I wanted so much for this film to be an incredible experience. However, it was anything but. My first biggest disappointment was Emma Watson’s singing. There was such heavy pitch correction, and auto tune on her voice it sounded unnatural and annoying. In its entirety a lot of the musical numbers in this film did not live up to those of the animated movie. The only songs I truly enjoyed were Gaston’s and the song they added for the Beast. This movie had such a strong cast, and the acting was phenomenal. However, this movie still did not grab my overall attention and left me knowledgeable of the fact that I was watching a movie.

Dirty Grandpa 2016

Synopsis

Uptight lawyer Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is one week away from marrying his boss’s controlling daughter, putting him on the fast track for a partnership at his firm. Tricked by his grandfather Dick (Robert De Niro), Jason drives the foulmouthed old man to Daytona Beach, Fla., for a wild spring break that includes frat parties, bar fights and an epic night of karaoke. While Jason worries about the upcoming wedding, Dick tries to show his grandson how to live life to the fullest.
Image result for dirty grandpa 2016
Initial release: January 21, 2016 (Brazil)
Box office: 105.2 million USD
Budget: 25 million USD (2015)

My Review

Going into this movie, I knew that it would either be a hit or miss, and it was definitely a miss. The jokes and humor of this movie were just not funny at all. A lot of the humor was juvenile, which I expected, and it just did not reach the target audience for this movie. The humor was very dated and predictable and felt too forced as an audience member. I am a huge fan of Robert De Niro, but I did not appreciate his appearance in this movie. Jack Efron also came across as very awkward and forced throughout much of the film.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2014

Synopsis

Confident in his powers as Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) embraces his new role as a hero and spends time with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in between protecting New York from criminals. However, his greatest battle yet is about to begin. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront an enemy far more powerful than he is. And when his old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns, Peter comes to realize that all his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.
Image result for the amazing spider man 2
Release date: May 2, 2014 (USA)
Box office: 709 million USD
Budget: $200–293 million

My Review

I am a huge fan of Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Spider-Man. However, I enjoyed the first movie in the series so much that this movie highly disappointed me. The biggest thing I dislike about this film is how much it leaves the series opened and not closed. For me, there were way too many subplots of this movie that did not fully tie together at the end. The movie also leaves a lot of unanswered plot holes that take away from the overall film. The portrayal of Harry Osborn in this movie was also a huge disappointment. The character was not written in a way that the audience could connect with him, and he was overall very uninteresting.

The Wolf of Wallstreet 2013

Synopsis

In 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. By the early 1990s, while still in his 20s, Belfort founds his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Together with his trusted lieutenant (Jonah Hill) and a merry band of brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, while Belfort and his cronies partake in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs and thrills, the SEC and the FBI close in on his empire of excess.
Image result for the wolf of wall street
Release date: December 25, 2013 (USA)
Budget: 100 million USD
Box office: 392 million USD

My Review

This film, let me tell you. Watching this film was an experience. I know many people did not like the movie because the main character was so unlikeable. However, the movie makers wanted the audience to dislike the main character, and they pulled that off beautifully. The thing I strongly disliked about this movie is how silly it was. There was no real plot structure, and many of the scenes and plot points in this film had to purpose. Therefore, the movie did not tie very well together and a lot of it seemed like pointless filler. I am also a huge fan of Leonardo Di Caprio and the other actors in this film. But they couldn’t even take this film seriously, which impacted their overall performance. Overall, this while movie felt like a giant joke and many of the scenes felt pointless to the movies overall themes.

The Dark Knight Rises 2012

Synopsis

It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night. Assuming responsibility for the death of Harvey Dent, Batman sacrificed everything for what he and Gordon hoped would be the greater good. However, a cunning cat burglar (Anne Hathaway) and a merciless terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) force Batman out of exile and into a battle he may not win.
Image result for the dark knight rises
Release date: July 20, 2012 (USA)
Box office: 1.084 billion USD
Budget: 250 million USD

My Review 

The Christian Bale portrayal of Batman is incredible, and The Dark Knight is a widely known and respected film found on many of the top 100 films list. In fact, it’s widely acknowledged as a film that every film major needs to see at one point or another. However, this movie was an extreme disappointment compared to its predecessor. The development of Bane was really lacking. As an audience member, I felt no connection to him. What makes a great villain is a character who you hate but have an innate connection or emotion for (like the Joker). Bane is just a puppet for the true villain of this movie, and because of this, there is a barrier between the audience forming a true bond with him. Therefore, the audience has no investment in the quarrel between Batman and Bane, and it’s easy to lose interest in this film. This movie also seemed to drag on for an elaborate amount of time, only to have the conclusion very abrupt and predictable.

Midnight in Paris 2011

Synopsis

Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a screenwriter and aspiring novelist. Vacationing in Paris with his fiancee (Rachel McAdams), he has taken to touring the city alone. On one such late-night excursion, Gil encounters a group of strange — yet familiar — revelers, who sweep him along, apparently back in time, for a night with some of the Jazz Age’s icons of art and literature. TheN more time Gil spends with these cultural heroes of the past, the more dissatisfied he becomes with the present.
Image result for midnight in paris
Release date: May 20, 2011 (USA)

My Review

The overall idea and the plot of this movie are very interesting. However, it felt very long and dragged on and on. The whole movie felt like a giant cliche. The main problem I had with this movie is the lack of character development. Throughout the entire movie, I had no emotional investment with the characters in the film. Which proved to be problematic since the whole movie the audience is watching the main character (Gil) on this literary journey of sorts. This left me not caring about the movie or invested in the movies turn out. Which is surprising and disappointing for a Woody Allen film.

Nanny McPhee Returns 2010

Synopsis

Enigmatic Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives on the doorstep of a harried mother, Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who is trying to raise her kids and tend to the family farm while her husband is away at war. Isabel has her hands full with not only her own three but also with her sister’s spoiled pair. With no time to lose, McPhee uses magic to instill in the children five important lessons.
Image result for nanny mcphee returns
Release date: August 20, 2010 (USA)
Box office: 93.2 million USD
Budget: 35 million USD (2010)

My Review

This movie is such a disappointing sequel to Nanny McPhee. The first movie was so well thought out and well put together that this movie cannot compare to it. As a kids’ movie, it’s great. But the whole movie is so predictable for any older audience member watching it there is no element of mystery or suspense in wondering what will happen. While perhaps it is a kids’ movie, the first movie was not as predictable and cliche. This movie was not as much as a whimsical experience as the first, and it felt like for the filmmakers since the first movie was such a success they put a lot less care and thought into the making of the sequel.