Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Sonic the Hedgehog is a surprisingly touching, funny and badass video game movie that does justice to the video game icon. Nothing particularly new is brought to the table, but James Marsden's character is just as important and front and center as Sonic. Jim Carrey does what he does as Robotnik, for better or worse, and delivers some of the darkest and most obnoxious jokes. There's a lesson here, though not a deep one and the special effects moments are super cool. As a lifelong gamer, it's nice to see when games are adapted to screen successfully. It's no classic, but Sonic the Hedgehog is a fun experience that's worth a watch.
Spike Lee's powerful neighborhood block drama is effective and ever-poignant. His mix of humor and focus on all the aspects of the neighborhood block make the ending all the more powerful. The heart comes from unexpected places as we see the moral tug of war between Mookie, his friends, and the white Italian family running Sal's Famous Pizza. The film is also pretty unique in that it blends vignette-style filmmaking with poignant drama. The famous racism montage still hits hard and brings to the light the prejudice that everyone holds. Do the Right Thing makes its arguments loud with a fantastic cast. This is an essential watch.
Lucky is a drama about an elderly man living his small town life and reflecting on death. Harry Dean Stanton is fantastic in the titular role, lending gravitas to a somewhat grumpy old man who's pretty well loved by the community. Well directed, this slice of life film is short and sweet and spreads good messages about what life is actually about.
Spike Lee's epic biopic is a brutally honest look at the Civil Rights leader. He's not always shone in the best light, but what's brought forward is what he ultimately did to stand up for his people. Denzel is brilliant and his transformation throughout the film is nothing short of astounding. Lee's direction also shows off his chops as a filmmaker, implementing many different styles and influences throughout, making it as much of an artistic film as an argumentative big budget production. His ability to seamlessly link it to modern times makes us realize how little progress is made and makes him such an important modern filmmaker. The three and a half hour run time rarely feels extravagantly padded and the various characters are all interesting and incredibly well fleshed out. Also, how can you not love Angela Bassett?
Wes Anderson's stop motion caper is creative, cool, and so much fun. His tale of a former thief struggling to find a foothold in mundane life is amusing and the titular character is brought to life by George Clooney, a perfect fit. The stop motion animation flows incredibly smooth and all the character and sets look organically crafted. The same is said for the villainous humans who, in proper Wes Anderson form, are just people trying to live their lives and dealing with a desk who is harming their industries. Deep character moments, fantastic supporting cast and characters, and many inner conflicts make this a more mature animated adventure, and a true Wes Anderson film. This is one of my favorite animated films.