Home / 2017 / February

Monthly Archives: February 2017

Moonlight is the Oscar 2017 Best Picture Winner!

This was an exciting year for film in terms of diversity AND Moonlight absolutely deserved Best Picture (as well as Best Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay) honors. It is a beautiful story focusing on three periods in a young gay Black man’s life. The film is so personal in its approach that it transcends its own story about Black and gay and becomes something bigger about being different and how we experience the world as “other”. There were some great films this year, but this one stands out for me as one that I continue to think about. I will …

Read More »

A Dog’s Purpose

A movie of short stories about the incarnations of a dog telling the stories of and his/her owners from the dog’s point of view. The concept is interesting, but the movie overall felt so “heavy” with heavy themes – family alcoholism and dysfunction, owner loneliness, and others. The stories were rather interesting but not very well developed. Having written all of this, the movie clearly worked for Eliza, who loves dogs, and she read the book from which one of the lives was taken. So, I will give it a very modest thumbs-up. If you have kids who love dogs, …

Read More »

Oscar 2017 Winners

Best picture: Moonlight Lead actor: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea” Lead actress: Emma Stone, “La La Land” Supporting actor: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight” Supporting actress: Viola Davis, “Fences” Best director: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land Animated feature: “Zootopia” Animated short: “Piper” Adapted screenplay: “Moonlight” Original screenplay: “La La Land” Cinematography: “La La Land” Best documentary feature:  “O.J.: Made in America” Best documentary short subject: “The White Helmets” Best live-action short film: “Sing” Best foreign language film: “The Salesman” Film editing: “Hacksaw Ridge” Sound editing: “Arrival” Sound mixing:  “Hacksaw Ridge” Production design: “La La Land” Original score: “La La Land” Original …

Read More »

The Lego Batman Movie

Batman’s life has become routine – saving Gotham City from supervillains like the Joker, then going to his huge manor to eat dinner and watch movies alone. His purpose changes when he suddenly finds that he has agreed to adopt a young boy from a local orphanage. The movie was a lot of fun. The film pokes fun at Batman and the Joker and examines their psychological lives in the spirit of Inside Out. There were a lot of references to the Batman series and the popular technological culture. The music was fun, and the animation was great. Thumbs up …

Read More »

Gary’s 2017 Oscar Picks!

2016 Favorite Movies 2016  There were so many wonderful movies across categories this year. In thinking of my favorites, I tried to think about which movies moved me and caused me to think about them long after the film was over. There were some films that had great performances but didn’t necessarily hit my top movies (I gave my appreciation to those performances in a previous post). So, my top 15: “Moonlight”. The story of a gay black man, told at 3 periods in his life, was powerful in its truly personal approach to the film. The acting across the …

Read More »

Diversity in the Movies in 2016

Diversity in the Oscar race: Last year, I remember that there were many issues raised about the lack of diversity in the Oscar’s. I agreed with this (although last year, in my opinion, there were not a lot of really strong, award-worthy performances by African-American actors. The root of the problem, I feel, is that there are not enough roles for black directors and black actors to really shine. This year is very different. I wrote to someone that if African-American actors and directors swept Picture, Director, Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress, and Documentary, I would not be disappointed. Has it happened …

Read More »

2017 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Documentary)

Each year, the Oscars nominate short films in 3 categories: Animation, Live Action, and Documentary. The documentary shorts, averaging around 30 minutes each, do what you would expect a great documentary to do: Tell us a story of a place, event, or person that is important and that we don’t know a lot about. The 5 films do exactly that. “Joe’s Violin” tells a story where the lives of a Holocaust survivor and a young girl at a music charter school in the Bronx intersect through a donated violin. “Extremis” examines the frustrations and emotion of a doctor as she …

Read More »

2016 Best Actor/Actress & Supporting Actor/Actress – Reflections

With the Oscars coming in soon, I thought I would weigh in on the nominations for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. The movie choices and performances this year seemed stellar compared to last year, making for exciting competition. In case you are not interested in the reading: My favorites are Casey Affleck, Emma Stone, Mahershala Ali, and Naomi Harris. Best Actor: All of the performances were wonderful, although I have my clear favorite. Andrew Garfield was excellently cast in “Hacksaw Ridge”; Ryan Gosling was very good as a struggling jazz musician in LA in …

Read More »

John Wick: Chapter 2

Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, and this second chapter revisits the end of the first movie as a setup for this one. In the first, his wife had died of cancer. After avenging the loss of his car and the murder of the dog given to him by his wife before she died, Wick went into retirement. However, in this film, he is visited by a former colleague who is “cashing in” on a blood oath, thus forcing him out of retirement. He heads to Rome to complete the assignment so that he can finally go into retirement. …

Read More »

Lights Out

Finally saw this movie from earlier in the year. Sophie (Maria Bello) is mother to Martin (Gabriel Bateman) and Rebecca (Teresa Palmer). At the beginning of the movie, Sophie’s husband (Martin’s father and Rebecca’s stepfather) is killed by some creature – we just see in the dark what appears to be the outline of a woman with long hair. Sophie, who struggles with manic depression, has gone off her medication and is acting strangely. Martin, who is falling asleep at school, tells his sister he was visited by a scary woman named Diana. As Diana stalks the family, her story, …

Read More »
Skip to toolbar