We are all dreamers at one point in our lives. It's just that some of us dream much longer than others. 'La La Land' is story about two special dreamers and their path to reaching their dreams. Set in Los Angles, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star as a struggling jazz musician and an actress trying to make it big in the city of stars. The film is a homage to the great musicals of past Hollywood like 'Singin' in the Rain'. It is even shot in Cinemascope like the old Hollywood musicals. It does a great job of creating a nostalgic atmosphere.
The nostalgia of old Hollywood blends perfectly with the contemporary storyline. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone share great on screen chemistry and are perfect for this movie. The music, singing, dancing and the backdrop of lovely landmarks of Los Angles all blend to create a magical film experience.
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 92% Audience- 89%
Yong's Rating- 4.5/5
Every once in awhile you are lucky enough to be treated to a film that reminds you why you fell in love with going to the movies. It completely emerges you in its fantastical world, and for a few brief hours you forget about all your troubles.
'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' follows the adventures of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who embarks on a journey to the States with a magical briefcase full of wonderful creatures. Mr. Scamander's arrival seems to have awaken a disturbance between the wizarding and the non-magical world.
Taking place during 1926, author J.K. Rowling expands her magical vision of the Harry Potter universe. 'Fantastic Beast' is full of action, mystery, love and hope. Even though the film takes place in the Harry Potter universe, you do not need to be familiar with all the Harry Potter books/movies to appreciate this movie. I think wizards and muggles alike will agree that 'Fantastic Beasts' is well worth your time.
Yong's Rating- 5/5 Stars
Pixar continues its streak of making really really good movies. Pixar is as dependable as Antonio Brown is in a PPR league when it comes to making feel good, memorable movies. (Sorry, I'm getting a bit excited for the upcoming fantasy draft.)
'Inside Out' takes an inside look into a young girl's mind as she moves from the small town life style in Minnesota to big city life of San Francisco. Joy, fear, anger, sadness, and disgust portray the emotions controlling the young heroine. The cast was wonderful overall, but I felt that sadness, voiced by Phyllis from 'The Office' just stole the whole show.
Maybe it was because I had a similar experience of moving to a whole new world as a young kid that I found myself relating to the young heroine and all the crazy mix of emotions she was going through. It really can be scary to move to a whole new environment as a young kid. I found myself really enjoying this film. No matter your age, 'Inside Out' is a sweet and enjoyable film that's sure to make you smile.
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 98%, Audience- 91%
Yong's Rating- 4/5 stars
'An Honest Liar' is a fascinating look into the life of James Randi. I'll admit I had no idea who James Randi was before watching this documentary, but as soon as it started, I was drawn in right to the end. 'An Honest Lair' tells the story of James 'The Amazing' Randi, a famous stage magician and escape artist who devotes the second half of his life to expose paranormal healers, psychics, and con artists to the public. Randi devotes his life to open the public's eyes to truth behind the workings of the con artists. The behind the scene battles between Randi and the con artists is told in a way any great documentary does. It flows seamlessly and I was simply drawn to the screen. In the backdrop is the person, James Randi himself. If you enjoy watching well made documentaries, then I would highly recommend 'An Honest Lair'. You won't regret it. Trust me.
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 97% Audience- 93%
Simply put, 'Draft Day' is nothing more than a propaganda film for the National Football League. Along with the rise in popularity of NFL, the draft itself has taken on a life of its own. Even popular enough to have a mainstream movie made about it starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.
In the film, Kevin Costner plays Sonny, the GM of struggling Cleveland Browns. He faces pressure from attention seeking owner and an angry fan base to turn the franchise around as quickly as possible. His best chance to save his job and his beloved Browns is to hit big in the upcoming draft. The movie focuses on the days surrounding the draft and the tough choices the GM is faced with.
'Draft Day' mocks the intelligence of any competent sports fan. You can say 'Draft Day' is loosely based on the NFL draft because the transactions that takes place in this movie just are not possible. This film is geared towards casual fans who have no idea how the NFL works, but the trouble is that no causal fan would want to see about movie about the NFL draft. Which confuses the hell out me, because 'Draft Day' manages to alienate both of its target audience at the same time. If you want to get a real look into how the NFL draft really works, I would recommend '30 for 30: Elway to Marino'.
Rotten Tomatoes- Critic- 61%, Audience- 66%
Yong's rating- 1.5/5 stars
Have you ever wondered what it would've been like to visit Jurassic Park if John Hammond's vision came to fruition? Well, now you can. Some 20 years later, the park is finally open for business. And it looks like business is not booming as when it first opened. People have grown tired of the novelty of seeing dinosaurs. In order to draw new visitors to the park, the scientists use genetic engineering to come up with new hybrid species of dinosaurs. Faster, stronger, and bigger is what seems to attract the crowd. The newest coming attraction turns out to be much more than the park asked for.
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard star in the newest chapter of the Jurassic Park franchise. The two are refreshing addition to the franchise. They share a very good on screen chemistry. Chris Pratt has great charisma and he seems perfect for his role. I've always had a soft spot for 'Jurassic Park' in my heart. We all know the two follow ups to the original 'Jurassic Park' were very disappointing. So, I had my doubts about 'Jurassic World' at first, but I ended up enjoying it. Watching it on IMAX also didn't hurt the overall experience. 'Jurassic World' is one of those film made perfect for the big screen experience. So if you get a chance to watch 'Jurassic World' on the IMAX screen this summer, I'd suggest you go. I'm sure Mr. Hammond would approve.
Rotten Tomatoes- Critics- 70%, Audience- 87%
Yong's rating- 4/5 stars.