I’ve witnessed Damien Chazelle’s third feature film “La La Land” four times in the cinema. The magic remains during the multiple viewings. Predictable every time – but what matters is – the magic of the motion picture. The singular magic is rare and – I instantly fell in love with the cinema once more – anew – like how it was when I was five years old having no idea why the cinema exists – the family introduced me to the movies during adolescence and I’ve never looked back.
Yeah, I fell in love with the movies during the “Monsters, Inc.” (2001). “Inside Out” (2015) provided all the feelings. “La La Land” delivers a fresh appreciation of the cinema. Just dance, sing, and listen to the soundtrack (by Justin Hurwitz) on repeat.
Attempt to answer the following question: Did a movie ever reinvigorate your love of the art form? Not at all.
I am fully aware why the cinema exists. I realized the fact prior to witnessing “La La Land”; however, it is extremely obvious now.
I am like a little kid in a candy store during a few screenings every year – discovering original and beautiful films are rare sights.
“La La Land” stood the test of time during the four screenings. It will stand the test of time several years from now. I imagine the film airing on Turner Classic Movies, alongside the Jacques Demy classics. Yes, it may be difficult to see that now – but Mr. Chazelle directed a classic – a bittersweet love letter to the 1950s Hollywood and sometimes, it is declaring Get your act together, Hollywood. Stop producing crappy movies for the public. Like really, how many sequels do we need?
Thank you, Damien, for revitalizing my love for the movies. I once pondered that I was losing my film passion with all the underwhelming movies. Please do not disappoint with your fourth feature film, Mr. Chazelle.
The mainstream film offerings allowed us to repeatedly ponder the following: Do movies still matter? Why do the films continue to disappoint?
2016 is arguably Hollywood’s lowest point. Remakes, reboots, sequels, and superheroes are predominant, which vacates no room for original content. A “Free State of Jones” here and “Bad Moms” there will not rescue the unfortunate box office revenues. And yet, excellent adult fare was nonexistent (outside the likes of “Hell or High Water”, “Indignation”, and “Swiss Army Man”).
Two consistent patterns transpired during this year: While mainstream movies are severely lacking, independent films saved the day. While the kiddie flicks deliver brilliance, the adult oriented narratives are upsets.
Hollywood is excessively focused on franchise material and thus, forgetting the motion picture purpose: to allow the two hour escape and to provide meaningful narratives. The Summer movies didn’t deliver escape and meaning.
Films still matter due to they play a significant role within our culture. If movies didn’t exist today, we would witness traveling Broadway shows and depend on television and radio. While television is arguably in its primetime right now, film still boasts plenty of power to prove us wrong.
Contemplation occurred several times during the Summer Blockbuster Season. 2016 is underwhelming; however, we must remain hopeful throughout the Awards Season. The Awards Season may indicate an optimistic future ahead.
So, it’s time to prepare and demonstrate your importance, Hollywood. Several eyes are watching.
The 2016 Summer is concluding within the following couple weeks. The Summer Movie Season is a considerable disappointment in terms of box office and film quality. The independent films shined their light in the midst of the crappy mainstream fare – the documentary “Gleason” provides heavier emotion than all the commercial films combined.
“Café Society” and “The Meddler” are the ideal independent films. The former mocks the current Hollywood condition – endless sequels, remakes, and superheroes and simultaneously, the retro atmosphere allows you to feel like witnessing a motion picture during the 1930s. The latter strikes a chord – investigates the family relationships, the protective mother model, and the like. It’s modest and intimate and one of my favorite films during 2016. Yet, “Gleason” is a powerful documentary. Melancholic without the overdose, the documentary examines the ALS progression and yeah, it’s difficult to restrain the sobs. The additional awesome indie films include oddball “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”, profound fart joke “Swiss Army Man”, and strange love narrative “The Lobster”.
Despite the lacking mainstream offerings, the reboot “Ghostbusters” (2016) emphasizes girl power and applauds “Ghostbusters” (1984) and “Finding Dory” and “Captain America: Civil War” are surprisingly brilliant, considering the films are sequels to the respective brand or franchise.
The 2016 films are nothing to write home about. Several folks admit they desire original content and yet, they still see Marvel movies. It’s confusing bullcrap. The domestic box office hates to confess moviegoers want unique films and so, the outstanding and memorable movies are independently financed (e.g. Bleecker Street, Amazon Studios, et al). The trends remain unvaried.
The Awards Season is just commencing. Biopics and the like is anticipated to deliver the goods. However, the 2016 Summer is already forgotten.
The Top Ten Summer Films (Personal Preference)
1. “Café Society”
3. “The Meddler”
4. “Ghostbusters” (2016)
5. “Finding Dory”
6. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”
7. “Swiss Army Man”
9. “The Lobster”
10. “Captain America: Civil War”
When moviegoers must rely on independent fare for innovative storytelling, you recognize mainstream cinema is enduring a consistent routine of superheroes, sequels, remakes, and reboots. But equivalently worse is mainstream and independent films lack diversity. #OscarsSoWhite may be trending during the Awards Season.
Superheroes are not rescuing the predictable mainstream film offerings. Their movies are exceedingly lacking in various departments (exception is “Captain America: Civil War”). Add to the fact the “original” films are just respectable. (My “Suicide Squad” review is forthcoming during Thursday, August 4, 2016 evening.)
By some means, audiences must inform Hollywood: We are sick of redundancy in movies. Sequels are announced before the origin narrative debut in cinemas. Ridiculous – green light a film after the box office tells the tale. I swear the studio executives’ green light movies in their sleep. (Warner Bros. Pictures recently announced the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sequels during the morning. The origin tale debuts on Friday, November 18, 2016.)
Ten years ago, modest budgeted films were the norm. Currently, the superheroes and sequels are the standard. Look at the movies playing at the local multiplex and most films are just that.
Less is almost always superior.
The superhero craze is extremely saturated. Marvel tentpoles are achieving the DC tentpoles caliber. Yes, “X-Men: Apocalypse” (Marvel) and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (DC) share several similarities.
You may feel like you are witnessing identical films within the same year. That’s how much tedium exists in the film marketplace. Consequently, the monotony is sucking all the fun out of the cinema experience. Hollywood continues to ignore the warning signs.
Independent cinema provides superior rewards.
The eluded Summer Blockbuster Season commenced during May 2016. Summer is allegedly to deliver “escapism entertainment”. I am able to argue that this Summer is severely lacking in various departments. In my opinion, independent films are currently enjoying the glory days. Of course, the indie sector provided some disappointments -- but “Midnight Special” overshadows the letdowns. (Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” cannot come soon enough.)
May witnessed the likes of “Captain America: Civil War”, “Money Monster”, “The Angry Birds Movie”, “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”, “The Nice Guys”, “X-Men: Apocalypse”, and “Alice Through The Looking Glass”. I almost immediately forgot about their existence. “Civil War” is slightly memorable due to it providing relevance to the current era. Still, ignore the message and it’s a typical Marvel movie.
June continued to worsen the Summer prospects. “Me Before You” is a respectable romance tearjerker, which follows the steps of “The Fault In Our Stars” (2014). “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” attempts to deliver a groundbreaking mockumentary; ultimately, fails to do so in this film critic’s perspective. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is an additional forgettable sequel to the myriad of pointless sequels. “Now You See Me 2” and “Warcraft” are the worst films of 2016 thus far. I do not understand why they exist. Yet, “Central Intelligence” and “Finding Dory” are fine films. The former is a delightful surprise and meanwhile, the latter is authentic awesomeness due to Pixar Animation Studios. “The Shallows” is today’s replica of “Jaws” (1975); highly recommend seeing the Steven Spielbergian classic before the forgettable Blake Lively versus shark knockoff. “Free State of Jones” is genuine Academy Awards bait; however, it is mostly inferior. “Independence Day: Resurgence” did not revive the “Independence Day” brand.
July continues to demonstrate the substandard film offerings. “The Legend of Tarzan” may deliver some hunk and Margot Robbie, but the star power did not rescue the mess. Spielberg, yes, Spielberg disappointed with “The BFG”. What the heck?! He’s a legendary director and yet, cannot produce a kid friendly “masterpiece”. “The Secret Life of Pets” is cute and advocates animal appreciation; however, it does not surpass the “Despicable Me” series. “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” is a crass yet unnecessary comedy film. Nonetheless, the men are handsome. “The Infiltrator” is subpar, compared to “Sicario” (2015). Bryan Cranston deserves better than a drug cartel narrative. Showcase Cranston’s damn talent! “Ghostbusters” (2016) is the most tolerable reboot during 2016 thus far; although, it did not earn the classic status like “Ghostbusters” (1984). Female power. “Ice Age: Collision Course” is an insufferable film. The “Ice Age” series is colliding with several asteroids. “Star Trek Beyond” is incompetent adventure into outer space. Rest in Peace, Anton Yelchin and Leonard Nimoy.
July’s final week delivers “Nerve”, “Jason Bourne”, and “Bad Moms”. I hope this week provides slight improvement with one or two delightful surprises.
August is the Summer Blockbuster Season’s final month. I am absolutely dreading it. August is known as the “leftover month” – studios do not have faith in the films and dump the “leftover” movies to conclude the Summer before school commences. August will witness the likes of “Suicide Squad”, “Florence Foster Jenkins”, “Sausage Party”, “Pete’s Dragon”, “War Dogs”, and “Hands of Stone”.
Ultimately, the 2016 Summer films are painful for film critics such as yours truly. I detect every film merit and fault. It’s bitter to witness due to I recognize Hollywood is able to deliver tremendously more than abysmal films. I’ve seen almost every film, excluding horror films. Yet, I cannot help but notice Hollywood requires a major revamp. The domestic box office profits prove audiences desire original content and simultaneously, the film industry is ignoring the warning signs.
Please support independent cinema. Whereas mainstream cinema follows the typical formula (for each movie genre), independent films are not afraid to consider outside the box.
Hollywood provides very little content to the female and minority audiences. Most films are male driven. Superheroes are everywhere. Just pondering about the fact is depressing.
I recently revisited “Ghostbusters” in 3D during Discount Tuesday due to it is a beautiful film to behold. Some moviegoers are still trashing the film; however, it received a B+ CinemaScore. You must understand the reboot is damn good movie. It remains pretty fine during the second viewing. The 3D is slightly worthless (only effective during the few sequences though). Like I’ve said in my review, it does not surpass “Ghostbusters” (1984).
Hollywood is slowly, but surely attempting to represent all minorities and ethnicities. Nonetheless, testosterone will always remain in films (it’s pretty much unavoidable). The Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS, Academy Awards/Oscars) is demonstrating progress via recently inviting six hundred or so new members. No more #OscarsSoWhite. (Nate Parker's “The Birth of a Nation”!!!)
I am sometimes frustrated about the female and minority representation in films. Yet, I continue to see almost every film currently playing at the cinema (except horror films) due to I provide film reviews here. However, it’s a miracle to witness female power. One of the many reasons I revisited “Ghostbusters” (2016) in the cinema.
Ultimately, Hollywood is trying. Slow improvement is currently occurring (better than nothing). Pretty please see “Ghostbusters” (2016) and attempt to ignore the fact it’s a reboot.
POWER TO THE FEMALES AND THE MINORITIES!
“Ghostbusters” (2016) will debut in cinemas in one week – on Friday, July 15, 2016. I’ve seen excessive hate for the film via social media, which is pissing me off. I love the beloved “Ghostbusters” (1984); however, nothing will be able to surpass the classic film.
I hate to be harsh, but do not criticize a film before you see it. Simple, right? Not for the aforementioned film. (I plan to see the film during the Thursday evening preview or debut day, review to be posted afterwards.) I am freaking excited to see the “Ghostbusters” reboot. It is one of my most anticipated films during 2016.
With that said, I am providing you with five reasons the “Ghostbusters” (2016) does not deserve the backlash.
1. Director Paul Feig. He helmed the box office triumphs “Bridesmaids” (2011), "The Heat" (2013), and “Spy” (2015) and the films deliver awesome humor. What could go wrong with this guy behind the camera?
2. The cast – Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. The women are likable and most of us expect to receive chuckles. But, the trailer is terrible. It did not allow the kicking ass females to shine.
3. New Generation “Ghostbusters”. Before anything, you must see “Ghostbusters” (1984). It is one of the many films that define cinema, in my opinion. If the Millennial Generation is lazy, whatever – see the reboot – but it will probably pale in comparison.
4. Female Power! Hollywood is a male driven business (it’s devastating); however, witnessing females to dominate a blockbuster movie is a miracle. Females are abandoned because the film industry is selling us franchise material (primarily male focused) all the time.
5. Awful trailers, respectable movie? Like I’ve said before, its marketing campaign is atrocious. Based on the trailers, distributor Columbia Pictures lacks confidence in the reboot. I have so much faith in “Ghostbusters” (2016); hate it to be a major disappointment.
Review Structure Key
Regular reviews ~ Word count varies.
Mini reviews ~ Positives and negatives (+/-) analysis.
Brief reviews ~ One hundred words, more or less.