Movies: Man Down, La La Land, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Man Down

man-down

We recently saw this film.  It was a bit confusing and sometimes overwhelming.  Overall, it did a good job of showing what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can look like.  Some of this movie can be difficult, if not painful, to watch.  That said, it is probably the most effective movie representation on the topic.

The acting was impressive.  Shia LaBeouf plays the lead character, a young Marine, husband and father sent to war.  Gary Oldman plays a military doctor trying to unravel the mental damage.  Kate Mara plays the wife and mother.  Jai Courtney plays the best friend and fellow soldier.

Listed as a Drama/Thriller and rated R for extreme violence.  Run time is 1 hour, 32 minutes.  Absolutely not appropriate for children.

The critics mostly trashed this film.  I think it is a necessary story that needs to be told and taken seriously.  In limited release.

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La La Land

Who says the ‘good old days’ of Hollywood musicals is dead?!  La La Land shatters that myth once and for all.  This film is visually stunning.  Director Damien Chazelle definitely hit a home run with this production.  Lead actors Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have a glowing chemistry together.

The cinematography is brilliant.  As an example, the film opens with a phenomenal single shot in the middle of an LA freeway that turns into an extraordinary musical jam session.  The story flows effortlessly from scene to scene like a river.

This Romantic Drama is rated PG-13 with a running time of 2 hours and 8 minutes.  This is a charming story that never loses focus on what it wants to say. Oscar material to be sure.  This is sure to be an instant classic.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The much anticipated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was recently released to excited audiences and well received by most critics.  We found it interesting and somewhat entertaining.  It had all the usual bells and whistles we have come to expect.

But, for life long Star Wars fans we were disappointed.  It felt “pieced together”, like tons of loose ends were recycled from the conference room white boards and cutting room floors with the goal: “Let’s see what we can come up with folks!  This is all good material and there ought to be a good story our customers will buy!”

The cast was typically good.  Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed and Forest Whitaker all delivered on their character performances.

Rated PG-13 and listed as Science Fiction/Action.  Directed by Gareth Edwards and a $200 million budget.  Worth it?  Share your comments.

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2 thoughts on “Movies: Man Down, La La Land, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

  1. You were spot on with “La La Land”! Wow, look at the Golden Globes wins! I haven’t seen Rogue One yet since you didn’t really like it. A friend of mine did go see it and she said she got a nice nap….!

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