FvF has some great actors and a story that I normally wouldn't be interested in but that was actually incredibly engaging to me. I'm not much into race cars or racing, but at the end of the day, despite the fact that this movie was based on true events, it's more than just about racing and race cars. FvF is about the drive of competition, what it means to be a team player and what being smart looks like. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances Matt Damon and Christian Bale gave as their characters and loved the dynamic and chemistry the two had. The two had memorable moments that made many scenes of this movie hit hard and be really entertaining. The story and script are also great; the dialogue is really good and the way the movie progresses allows for the characters to change a little bit and develop really cool relationships with each other. The film flows really well; it does have some awkward moments for the characters, but those moments don't disrupt the flow of the movie and more serve to show us who these characters are at their core. The characters have some absolutely savage lines in this movie that show that they have a pair of balls on them and that they aren't afraid to be who they are. FvF is also a movie about being you and not being afraid to stand up to someone or tell them that they're wrong when you know for a fact that they are wrong, even if that someone is a friend. FvF also exemplifies the concept that sometimes the experience can be just as satisfying as the victory, even if you don't win. There is a bigger point here that I'm trying to make, which is this: FvF may be fundamentally about the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari regarding the 24 hours of the Le Mans, but it has so much else going on in it that it'll be able to appeal to audiences who, like me, aren't into racing or race cars that much. People can appreciate this movie for a lot of different reasons, which is one reason why it's so good to me and why I was just as entertained watching this movie the second time as I was the first time. I think I appreciated it more when I was able to see it not just for its filmmaking technique but for its bigger themes and messages. This movie may not have won the academy award for best picture, but for me it's a must-see and I strongly recommend it for people even if they don't care much for its premise.
The Hurt Locker is a movie whose brutal realism and accuracy makes it an incredibly engaging and successful film. This film stars one of my favorite actors, Jeremy Renner, who gives one of the best performances of his career and is great in every scene that he is in. His character is complex and representative of what happens to many people who go to war; you learn more about him as the movie goes on even though he doesn't develop that much as a character. Hurt Locker is a fantastic dramatization and portrayal of the Iraq War and what it was actually like for the soldiers who've been there and the many dangers they faced during their tours. While the characters themselves are made up, the situations that they're put in aren't, and the way this movie portrays those situations is very well done and extremely realistic of what those situations would be like if any of us were there. This film does have some fun dialogue and interactions between characters, but for the most part it strikes a serious and nihilistic tone, which is appropriate for its premise. Hurt Locker manages to build anxiety and make you nervous but in a different way from how horror movies do it; you're not fearful about what's going to happen next, but you know how high the stakes are for the characters which keeps you gripped your seat a little bit nonetheless. There are no jump scares in this movie, but it still has heart-racing moments in its own regard. There is one really upsetting moment that defines the emotional stakes and makes it clear that there are consequences for your actions, even if those actions aren't harmful in intent. Hurt Locker isn't an entertaining movie, but it's a very engaging and interesting one. This isn't a film you have fun with, but one you watch for appreciation of the script, directing, acting and story, especially considering that this movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This movie doesn't have a lot of rewatch value, but it's good to see it every few years or so just to remind yourself of what happens (it's also a plus, for me, that there are 4 MCU actors in this movie, Renner being one of them, though none were in the MCU at the time). The end is satisfying and could've definitely been the set-up for a sequel, but I'm glad that a sequel was never made since Hurt Locker stands so well on it's own. Despite how many guns and explosions are in this movie, this isn't quite a film for those who are fans of Call of Duty or GTA, though it does come close at times. For me, this movie is a must-see for people who appreciate good and realistic filmmaking and who are interested in the genre.
Moonlight takes the spot for my second favorite movie of all time. The concept/theme is interesting but the way it's executed is out of this world and makes that concept/theme so much deeper and more engaging. The writing, directing and acting are all great and this is a movie that proves that you don't need to have a total A-list cast to make a fantastic and Academy award winning movie; the only actor in this movie who I knew before seeing it was Mahershala Ali, who gave a phenomenal performance and deserved the Academy award that he won for his work in the movie. Chiron is a unique and complex character and it's really engaging to watch how his personality affects him and his relationships with those he cares about as he grows up. The structure of this movie is also really cool, as it's divided into 3 sections that each detail a part of Chiron's life and how he changes as he goes from a boy to a teenager to an adult while still remaining the same in many ways. This is a film that showcases that no matter how old you get or how much mental development you go through, you'll still be the same person in a lot of ways. The way that the movie flows and transitions through these 3 sections is great and doesn't feel disruptive to it at all or cause any awkward or abrupt moments. Another thing that makes this movie more unique and complex than it may appear at first glance is how the movie is described in a google search. You'll see it as "Gay & lesbian/Drama" or "Drama/LGBT" and a synopsis will talk about falling in love. I definitely agree with the drama, and it's undeniable that Chiron is a gay character, but this movie isn't about romance or LGBTQ related themes. It certainly includes them and makes sure we know about them, but Moonlight is really a coming of age story that's rare and underrepresented in cinema and that's part of what makes this movie as good as it is. I'm sure that there are people in the real world who have stories similar to that of Chiron and yet we never hear about any of them. Moonlight is a film about stories we don't normally hear or care about. The struggle that Chiron goes through is a product of his upbringing and the environment that surrounds him throughout his life, and it's a struggle that I'm sure so many other people will be able to relate to. This movie speaks to and for all of those people, and in that way it's a fascinating work of art. Via all of this, Moonlight is incredibly realistic and accurate of real world situations, something I always appreciate in a film. This movie is a must-see for people who appreciate the genres that form it's story and plot and well deserves the Academy award for Best Picture that it won.
The Departed is probably my favorite movie of all time, which for me is no small statement because there are a lot of movies that I absolutely love. The writing, directing, acting and cast are all phenomenal and make every second of this movie enjoyable. This is a gangster-crime drama that's smart, effective and truly a Martin Scorsese movie. From start to finish the film flows incredibly well and is very engaging and entertaining to watch. The story and plot are very interesting and creative and the way that both are executed is also fantastic. The A-list cast of this film feels like it's out of a dream: Matt Damon, Leo DiCaprio, Vera Farmiga, and so many others. The movie doesn't squander any of them and Scorsese does a great job of capitalizing on the chemistry these actors have and making great use of them in general. The dialogue is also great; I love that this movie doesn't hold back on the cursing and vulgar language which makes so many scenes incredibly entertaining in a way that isn't over the top. It also adds a lot of humor to the movie which is nice because so much of this movie is serious, which is appropriate of it's genre. The performances from every cast member are superb; they deliver all their lines perfectly and have some cool accents that amplify a lot of scenes, and overall contribute a lot to how good this movie is. What I like the most about The Departed is how it doesn't hold back on any fronts: language, violence, death and other themes that are core to the gangster-crime drama. It goes full force with all these things to make this movie as realistic as possible and deliver in every way that it needs to, and this works very well towards making the movie successful. I'd say this isn't a movie for kids and you need to be mature and prepared for a lot of what you'll see. This is really an adult movie. The end is also great: it makes everything culminate and wrap up perfectly which allows the movie to conclude on a satisfying and appropriate note. The Departed is well-worthy of the Academy award for Best Picture and I'm glad that it won it cause this is a movie that you need to see whether you're into filmmaking or not. I've seen this film twice and I could watch it again and still have a lot of fun with it. The Departed is an outstanding movie and is a must-see for viewers who are into a variety of different genres since The Departed is a mix of genres and incorporates them all beautifully into it's core premise.
Well, it looks like the MonsterVerse redeemed itself from King of the Monsters, and redeemed itself really well. Godzilla vs Kong starts off strong with an absolutely dope opening credits sequence that does a great job of referencing the previous movies and making it clear that this one is a culmination of the three that came before it. The story and plot of the movie are creative and good enough to make the movie cohesive and flow pretty decently which is sure to keep viewers engaged and invested for the full runtime, and a surprise here and there only supplements this. This movie doesn't have much character development in it, but it really doesn't need that considering it's title and does a great job without it. The acting is better than it was in KotM and helps this movie get to the heights of Godzilla and Skull Island. The kaiju action is really where this movie excels the most, and it's probably the best we've gotten so far in the MonsterVerse. The fights between Godzilla and Kong are great, showcase that both have attributes that help them in combat and makes Godzilla seem a lot more powerful than he was in either of his previous two outings in this universe. The humans are again given the opportunity to lend a helping hand, but this movie makes it clear that humans are truly no match for Godzilla even with all the weaponry and soldiers they have; the first encounter between Godzilla and Kong makes this clear. This movie also fundamentally changes the relationship the humans have with both nature and the big monsters via a certain mechanized creation that becomes known a bit of the ways into the movie and hugely important at the end. GvK should teach us that we can't fully control nature or beat it with our own creations and that nature will always have a level of dominance over us no matter what we do. In essence, the nature/culture binary is discussed a lot in this movie, something I really appreciated. The final battle sequence is an absolute delight and has a few lessons in it: the enemy of my enemy is my friend and sometimes, there are bigger fish to fry. The final fight is one of my favorite in the entire MonsterVerse and actually shows development on the part of Godzilla and Kong; it's really fun to watch and allows this movie to transcend it's title a bit. There are parts of the movie that go a bit overboard and slightly off the rails, and Bryan Tyree Henry's character gets irritating at times, but other than that GvK earns redemption for the MonsterVerse and is entertaining, action-packed and engaging for its full runtime. I hope to see more movies in this universe after this one.