Dann Michalski's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Snowden (2016)
1 day ago via Rotten Tomatoes

From Oliver Stone comes the powerful and provocative political drama Snowden. The film follows the career of NSA analyst Edward Snowden who became a whistleblower, leaking classified surveillance programs developed to fight terrorism. Joseph Gordon-Levitt leads the cast and gives an incredibly good performance. Additionally, the script is especially well-written, showing the moral and legal complexities of surveillance programs along with Snowden's internal struggle with developing and using them. Also, the film doesn't try to paint anyone as a villain, but rather sees surveillance as an insidious outgrowth of the military-industrial complex and advances in telecommunications. Remarkably compelling and intense, Snowden is a well-crafted biopic about one of the most controversial figures in American politics.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
3 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

From Ang Lee comes the compelling war drama Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Based on a novel, the story follows returning war hero Billy Lynn and his squad as they wrap up a good will tour by appearing in the halftime show of a Dallas Cowboys game. The script is especially well-writing and addressing a number of topical issues, including the exploitation of soldiers, PTSD, and the comradery of brothers in arms. It's not really pro- or anti-war, rather the film looks at the realities that soldiers face. The cast is fairly good and delivers some strong performances. And the production values are especially well-done, particularly the cinematography. A smart and thought-provoking film, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is incredibly powerful.

Kubo and the Two Strings
6 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Kubo and the Two Strings is a thrilling animated film from Laika about the power and importance of stories. To protect himself from the Moon King, a young boy with a special power to animate objects with the playing of his shamisen sets out on a quest to find a mythic suit of armor with the help of a monkey and a rogue samurai. Featuring the voice talents of Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, and Rooney Mara, the film has a fairly decent cast. And the stop-motion animation is especially good, with some interesting character designs that are remarkably detailed and tactile. However, the storytelling is rather weak, providing little explanation as to the characters' magical powers or why they're fighting. Also, the ending is incredibly lame and nonsensical. But story problems aside, Kubo and the Two Strings is an entertaining adventure.

Zootopia (2016)
8 days ago via Rotten Tomatoes

"Anyone can be anything." Zootopia is an incredibly fun and entertaining film from Walt Disney Animation. The story follows a rookie police bunny who teams up with a street hustler fox to track down a missing otter, and together they end up uncovering a dark conspiracy. Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, and J.K. Simmons, the voice cast is especially good and gives some great performances; creating really colorful characters. And the animators do a great job at creating interesting character designs for dozens of different kinds of animals. However, the writing is very heavy handed in its messages about tolerance, the politics of fear, and not stereotyping others. There's also a bit of confusion in how this world of anthropomorphized animals works. Still, while it has some problems, overall Zootopia is a cute family film that delivers a lot of laughs.