Posts Tagged ‘chadwick boseman’

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Movie Ratings (July – September 2020)

November 30, 2020

So this is what happened: I wrote a lengthy review for Disney+’s Hamilton on Letterboxd (which doesn’t autosave like WordPress does) and I never saved it and wanted to proofread it before submitting, but I forgot about it and my computer reset on its own and that review disappeared forever. I didn’t have it in me to type it all up again. And then I lost motivation to write any reviews at all and here we are four months later and I have heaps of movies I’ve seen that I’ve never talked about or rated.

Hamilton (2020, Disney+) The writing of this play is next-level genius and seeing the original cast perform it is awesome. This whole show is pure brilliance and Lin-Manuel Miranda never has to do another thing in his career and he will still be a legend forever. 10/10 (Perfection)

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (2020, docu-series, HBOMax) This docu-series about true crime writer Michelle McNamara and her pursuit of The Golden State Killer starts off a little slow and rough but gets very interesting in the last three episodes, even to someone that has read Michelle’s book and has devoured most of the media related to this case.  It’s truly a mind-blowing story but the presentation in the first couple of episodes left a lot to be desired. 6.5/10 (Recommended/Highly Enjoyable)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Netflix) An all-time great thriller with two all-time great performances, courtesy of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. Foster is wonderful, but Hopkins is unreal. His portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in this movie is one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen and he never quite captures the same magic when he reprises the role in future franchise installments. A true classic and one of the few films I’m saying is damn near perfect. 10/10 (Perfection)

42 (2013) I gave this a very distracted viewing back in the day and thought I didn’t care for it, but after Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing, I wanted to watch one of his films and decided to give this Jackie Robinson biopic another shot and I liked it quite a bit more this time around. 6/10 (Recommended)

The Gentleman (2020) This was a nice return to form for director Guy Ritchie. It’s an entertaining and humorous movie and I thought Colin Farrell was great in it. I guess since I’ve seen very few original 2020 releases, this one quite easily sits in my top 5 of the year at the moment, but that’s not saying much. 7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

High Score (2020, docu-series, Netflix) This docu-series examines the evolution of the video game industry through the eyes of pioneering game developers and the people that excelled at playing them. There’s some interesting stuff in this and it’s a nice trip down memory lane for someone that remembers when Atari was a technological marvel, but it also has a bit of a corny presentation and focuses on the players a little too much. 5/10 (Decent)

Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals (2010, HBOMax) Fresh off reading Jeff Pearlman’s book about the Showtime Lakers, I was interested in diving deeper into the legacies of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, so I was quite pleased to find this documentary on HBOMax. It was very entertaining and explores the rivalry and blossoming friendship, on and off the court, between these two legends as their basketball careers developed and they continued to face off against one another on the biggest stage. 7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Back to the Future (1985, Netflix) A classic that still holds up well today. I’ve seen it many times and it’s still tons of fun. 8/10 (Must See)

Mortal Kombat (1995, Netflix) This came out at a time when the games were still seen as controversial (and maybe they still are), so it’s not that surprising that the studio pussed out and made a PG-13 film out of what was clearly R-rated source material. I can’t say this is exactly what I wanted as a 13 year old fan of the games, but I thought they made an enjoyable movie – and I still feel that way. At worst, this is cheesy fun, but considering the limitations of the rating, I think this was a pretty solid win. I’m very curious to see what they do with the R-rated reboot that’s due out in theaters in January (uh, if that’s a thing by then). 5.5/10 (Decent/Recommended)

Starship Troopers (1997, Netflix) This is a cult classic that I remember as being a little better than it probably is. It’s got some cheese in it, but I still found this to be lots of satirical fun. I think the writing and directing in this space epic are pretty good, but the cast brings the overall quality down a bit – it would almost certainly be better with a stronger leading man. 7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Taxi Driver (1976, Netflix) Here I am trying to write about a movie I watched two months ago… I know this much: this movie has reason to be considered as one of the all-time greats, it’s Scorsese’s first truly amazing film (I think Mean Streets fell a bit short of that level), and Robert De Niro is unbelievably good in it. Jodie Foster is also great in this and Scorsese even has a wonderful acting scene as a cab passenger spying on his cheating wife. At worst, this movie is amazing. At best, it might be a perfect film that is one of the greatest movies ever made. I’m excited to watch it again and I won’t wait 20 years between viewings this time. 9/10 (Spectacular)

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Black Panther (2018)

March 1, 2018

Directed by: Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station)
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman

Thoughts: What a huge movie. An absolute colossal success and a groundbreaking film in terms of showing that an almost entirely black cast can produce monster box office numbers. Ugh. I hate typing that sentence. I shouldn’t have to. But one can’t ignore the fact that this sort of opportunity has been sorely lacking in the past and Black Panther will surely open doors and possibly knock them completely off the hinges.

Ryan Coogler and his team really did a wonderful job creating this film. The fictional nation of Wakanda is stunning and fully realized and does as much for empowering women as it does for black people. In Wakanda, women are the fiercest warriors and protectors of the realm, and T’Challa’s sister is the head engineer in advanced weaponry and gadgetry. There’s been some buzz in the industry the last few years about casting a black James Bond, and Black Panther has a lot of 007 in it.

The main conflict in the film is that Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger believes that he has a claim to the throne in Wakanda and challenges T’Challa. Killmonger’s motives and backstory provide some conflict in the viewers as he’s a rare villain that you can possibly sympathize with.

The cast in this movie does a brilliant job, with Jordan being the highlight and Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright also giving strong and fun performances.

Black Panther is a film that fires on all cylinders and provides a thoroughly entertaining film experience. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. I had a blast watching it and I hope it’s just as much fun over multiple viewings. I can confidently say Black Panther ranks in the upper echelon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – possibly as high as #1 – and the presentation of Wakanda and the film’s groundbreaking nature make it a must see in my book.

Replay Value: If I didn’t have so many other movies to watch before the Oscars, I would have seen this again by now. I’m looking forward to a second viewing and I suspect it will hold up pretty well. It is a film I will want to own.

Sequel Potential: The film’s success will certainly fast-track a sequel. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it released in 2020. T’Challa should be playing a significant role in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War films.

Oscar Potential: I called multiple nominations for Get Out at this time last year and I was right on most of them. I feel less confident in Black Panther‘s chances. This film’s strongest cases are probably in the Production Design, Costumes, Visual Effects, and Sound departments. Michael B. Jordan has already got some Supporting Actor buzz, but he probably won’t get a nomination.

*Dina Meter: My wife would have enjoyed this movie.

8/10 (Must See)

*I’m adding a new element to my movie reviews. I don’t expect everyone to have the same taste as me. Someone asked what my favorite movies of 2017 were and my first response was The Shape of Water and the person I was talking to said he hated it. My friend I saw it with didn’t like it much either. I feel like my wife is a pretty good measure of what a casual filmgoer will like or not like. She tends to not enjoy the more obscure films that I like. With that in mind, I’m implementing the Dina Meter, where I will sum up what she thought about a movie or what I think she would have thought if we didn’t watch it together.