LA LA LAND Review
Reviews / December 14, 2016

‘La La Land‘ is a glorious and masterful piece of cinematic art. Damien Chazelle, who directed last year’s bold ‘Whiplash’, gives us another The main characters are vibrant and well fleshed out, the cinematography and lighting are among the very best that audiences have seen making each shot dynamically picturesque, and (of course) Justin Hurwitz’s original songs are all very fun and deeply drive both the scene’s message and emotion home. This type of delightful and original entertainment is what critics and audiences have been craving, and the perfect emotional feel good movie for both this holiday season and all year round. Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress living in LA (those letters, of course, make up 75% of the title) who is currently stuck being a barista and being constantly rejected at auditions. She meets the passionate jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who is also pursuing his dream of owning a jazz club (which, for some reason, also must serve chicken). Through persistance, compromise, and several musical numbers their relationship and dreams begin to blossom. As Sebastian enthusiastically proclaims “it’s conflict and compromise and it’s very very exciting!”. The plot and characters are relatable without feeling cliche or…

MOANA Review
Movies , Reviews / December 14, 2016

We are truly in the middle of the next Disney renaissance. Disney animation has hit another home run with their latest feature, ‘Moana’. This story continues their long legacy of being fun for the whole family, with state of the art animation, catchy songs, timeless messages, and characters that audiences will love. This new adventure directed by John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet) subverts other aspects of the genre focuses on the past of the Pacific Islander culture while still being a movie for everyone to enjoy. In Moana, the egotistical demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) had stolen the life-giving heart of the sea with devastating consequences. The courageous titular character (Auli’i Cravalho) then must leave her safe island home for the first time in order to convince Maui to be a hero and help restore life to the world. They go an adventure across the ocean helping each other achieve their potential while encountering dangers along the way. The plot is solely driven by the two lead characters and their individual missions, which keeps the movie very focused without any distracting or downright unnecessary side plots. The movie also boasts a refreshing lack of…

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Review
Movies / November 16, 2016

Welcome back to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Several years after the release of the final Harry Potter movie, we finally return to this world (though 81 years before those events). The characters, environment, and culture are all entirely new. This movie has the perfect amount of old material mixed with elements from the original series. Most reboots are guilty of either being too new to feel connected (i.e. ‘ 10 Cloverfield Lane‘) or simply feel like they are rehashing classic beats (i.e. ‘Jurassic World‘). David Yates, Steve Kloves, and J. K. Rowling start a fresh series that wizard fans of any age can come to love. The story follows magizoologist Newt Scamander in 1926 who ventures to New York City on a mission. There his case full of some rather fantastic beasts opens releasing a slew of these creatures. Newt and his new friends must face the Magical Congress of the United States, muggles (or no-maj, as they are here called), beasts (of course), and dark magic as they work to keep the world safe. The movies uses Rowling’s style of foreshadowing, fantastical feats, and fun throughout. Newt himself is played by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne. He is very quirky and…

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