Black Panther

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Deep in the heart of Africa lies a city beyond its years named “Wakanda”, with technology and weapons that are far superior than the rest of the world. But it’s up to their new king, if he will choose to let the everyone else know about his kingdoms best kept secret.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to know that the whole world was hyped to see this movie social media and even my friends and family couldn’t wait to see it. Im sure the heavy use of african culture or that it’s our first MCU movie of 2018 was the reason, either way it’s so cool to see a movie bring all types of people together for a weekend. Which the product that the hype is around is so worth it the kingdom of Wakanda is so massive and beautiful the many locations from the waterfall he is crowned no g at with the many people surrounding to the open fields reveals that the city is probably as big if not bigger then a normal city in the states even Asgard which is portrayed as This luxurious place of grandeur never feels big because we never see more then two places, so the world building This time was a major upgrade.This is the first Marvel movie that doesn’t rely on a second character to sell the movie either Black Panther gives you everything you want to know about the character and is confident enough to center around not only the powers of the “Panther” but also Chadwick Boseman who plays T’Challa is a heavy hitter actor who handles the drama with a gusto, as he is challenged as a new king and his decision to do things different under his monarchy. We get by far the most complex villains in the MCU with Klau and Erik Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan gives a solid performance and will have anyone secretly rooting for him throughout the movie. Even Serkis who plays a mentally unstable man with a  Vibranium cannon on his right arm both of them were a great one two punch together… but both are completely wasted “Killmongers” small amount of screen time isnt noticable because of the performance, however he has a strong introduction and doesn’t come back until late in the second act, even Klau who technically is his debut (he has a cameo in “Age of Ultron”) fills in that gap that Killmonger is missing in and though both were great together it was a miss by Coogler to give both of them more screen time. Speaking of Ryan Coogler he is one of my new favorite directors, so I knew bringing his vision into this universe was going to be a home run. Other then the culture that surrounds Wakanda, not much is different that you haven’t seen in every MCU movie before. The fight scenes were very shaky and in the dark and if you’ve seen “Creed” Coogler’s movie prior to this you’ll see how impressive seeing a fight would look with Coogler behind the camera and it’s never fully realized I think bringing him on was a fantastic idea but not fully giving him the reign and limiting his ideas to just production design is really confusing. We also see Coogler s inexperience with extensive CGI, many scenes you see are obvious that there was green screen, which I can give a pass to considering this is his first mass budgeted movie and have seen this problem with other directors before.
Overall Black Panther is a fun time in theater and definitely one to get a group of people together to see, im going to give Black Panther a “B”. If you enjoyed what you read like and subscribe for more and check out my smaller reviews on Instagram and Twitter @cinemaflavor.

I, Tonya

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I,Tonya tells the story of Tonya Harding and her infamous involvement with the sabotage of Nancy Kerrigan, so she could have the upper hand advantage at the 1994 Olympics, will also telling her life story in the process.

 

Dysfunction is only shown in movies in a dark,disconsolate way it would be disrespectful to add a lighthearted feel to something to the likes of domestic abuse or any felony…that is until I saw this movie! Man who knew you could get such comedy gold from a story that isn’t funny in any way, I always appreciate dark humor even though I don’t get to see it often.(I hope not to get patronized for that) But a in bad situation the first thing everybody wants to do is laugh at it, so why not. In Tonya’s case she completely fell off the face of the earth after the incident, and who knew her personal life just as bad as her being hated for being accused of attacking Kerrigan. Her life was such a wreck it amazes me that anyone could tell it in comedic way and it would actually get some critical praise.

 

2017 has had several movies with strong casts The Post,Shape of water,Ladybird, and this movie is no exception. Everyone involved have such great chemistry together in a movie where it’s supposed to look like they don’t get along. Margot Robbie proves that she has acting chops, her deleterious relationship with her mother and husband putting Margot through an array of emotion that a damaged person would go through when they don’t know what love is. Allison Janney is such a disattached mother who has good intentions and shows them in such horrifying ways, Janney has always shown she can fit in solid roles but she disappears into this repulsive women I’m looking to her to win the gold in March. Sebastian Stan and his Paul Walter Kauser are comedy gold together, most of it coming from Kaiser who steals every scene he is in. Outside the Marvel films I haven’t seen Stan do any other role but it’s clear he has potential to be a leading man.

 

I, Tonya has some pacing problems it was only two hours but felt much longer, weirdly it’s not slow, the energy from the music and comedy there’s a rhythm to its “mockumentary” style that is nice to look at, but the second act is more a transition from one story to another and then circles back to Tonya’s upbringing again, that you don’t see much of an ending coming any time soon that had me adjusting in my seat quite a few times.
Overall this movie is enjoyable I can see this getting a good following through streaming and cable in a few years but if it’s playing near you take the time to see it. I’m going to give I, Tonya an “A”. If you like what you read like and subscribe for more and as always you can find me on Twitter and Facebook as well @Cinemaflavor.

Phantom Thread

Reynolds Woodcock(Lewis) is a highly esteemed fashion designer Who’s strict and poised personality has kept him from maintaining a real relationship, that is until he meets a woman who changes the way he acts and thinks and is willing to fight for there love and herself.

 

Daniel-Day Lewis has had such an interesting career, I say that in past tense only because this is supposedly his last movie. He announced some time ago that he was going to retire from acting, winning three Oscars and portraying possibly one the best movie characters in of the last ten years in “There will be blood”. I say all of this because this feels so different from anything he’s ever done before, it may be because his days of method acting may be at its end and he wanted to end on a high note with the director who helped create “There will be blood” Paul Thomas Anderson, so naturally when I saw they were teaming up again the hype was really high, these two have such a creative intensity together I badly wanted to see how this would play out. I’m surprised this is a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, coming from him this feels held back and conservative it doesn’t have the bright color and raunchiness he is so known for, its surprising, but also interesting to see him create a movie that’s so much quieter in tone.

 

Before I delve deeper into my opinion on Lewis again, it would be criminal if I didn’t mention Vicky Krieps performance which everyone else is sleeping on! She has such great chemistry with Lewis in a role where it’s supposed to look like they don’t have chemistry together, Lesley Manville got the award nod instead and I’m shocked that she is overshadowing Krieps. Other than performance I feel the score in this might not get the recognition it deserves either, Jonny Greenwood uses the dream like sounds you can only get out of a piano to move the scenes along. I don’t usually look for the score in a movie right away but this one stuck out so beautifully from anything I’ve seen this year.

 

Reverting back to Daniel Day Lewis again, this certainly isn’t his best role it’s not even top ten, however it is strong and certainly shows that Lewis still has plenty of creative juice left in his tank. This could be a situation where he feels like he could better use his time somewhere else. I plea that he try to change up the roles he takes instead, method acting takes a toll on the mind and occasionally the body. If anything he should reconsider taking smaller roles in movies…. or switch up the genre. These days you have actors and actresses like Cate Blanchett,Michael Keaton,Ben Affleck investing there talents in the superhero/comic book movies I would love to see how DDL would fair in a role like that.
Fantastically sewn together (pun intended) Phantom Thread is work of art. I’m going to give Phantom Thread an “A”. If you like what you’ve read like and subscribe for more and you find my smaller reviews of some movies on Instagram @Cinemaflavor.

Shape of water

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There are few directors working today that have the talent to create a cinematic world on their own, to start from scratch creating a world that has its own stakes. Guillermo Del Toro is one of those few….if anything he’s actually the best at this peculiar skill and “Shape of water” is no exception to the rule. Set in 1950s Baltimore Eliza(Sally Hawkins) is a mute women who works for a Government Facility that is housing something out of the ordinary. When she starts to fall in love with this merman creature she takes it upon herself to free him back into the wild. Sally Hawkins is fantastic! What she accomplishes with no dialogue her facial expressions and body movement is so reminiscent of silent film actors using only sign language I can’t imagine how hard it was to do all that while also maintaining a strong character. The cinematography is also so vibrant everything in this movie has different shades of green depending on the location, her job has a sickly dead green to it’s walls and ceiling with a little black mixed in, outside of that building there’s more colorful shades of green that have more vibrancy and bounce to them I can’t say it’s better than the cinematography in “Blade Runner” this year however it’s a lock for second place in my eyes . The supporting cast is strong! Richard Jenkins,Octavia Spencer,Michael Shannon,Michael Stuhlbarg, and Doug Jones all give such grade A performances most of it comes from Jenkins that in no doubt in my mind is a strong contender for supporting Actor.

 

Del Toro is such a visionary I’m not one to ever question where and why he picks and chooses his ideas….but i’m curious what he was trying to accomplish with the nudity. Sally Hawkins has multiple nude scenes one of them being a scene of her masturbating in a bathtub in the first twenty minutes, Michael Shannon has a sex scene with his wife that really goes nowhere, and a scene where they explain how the creature’s penis works. I understand the movie is about a “Beauty and the beast” parallel but even if those scenes were cut you can still come to the conclusion that Hawkins and the creature are falling in love with each other. There is even a really out of place musical number that cuts into Michael Shannon’s hunt for the creature in the third act was more interesting.
I’m not as high on this movie as the award circuit seems to be. It is pleasing to look at  its parallels to French culture,pre 40s entertainment and I think a tip of the hat to the videogame “Legend of Zelda” it still didn’t make that much impact on my viewing experience. I’m going to give Shape of water a “B-”. If you like what you read like and subscribe for more and you can follow me on social media on Twitter,Instagram, and Facebook @cinemaflavor.