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Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
One of heck of a good time!
Eddie Murphy is back on top with this biopic of Rudy Ray Moore, the hustler, shameless self-promoter of wildly cornball action-comedies of the 1970s. Murphy has finally found a character to really sink his teeth into...and Murphy relishes every moment of inhabiting the joyful and strangely charming yet naive character desperately searching to simply express himself a an entertainer of the people and for the people. His character is an outsider who elevates other outliers all searching for validation and some simple joys in the midst of working class America.
Murphy is funny, charming, and touching as this flawed heroic character. He deserves all the acclaim for bringing this story back to life and surrounding himself with talented ensemble cast and strong direction and wonderfully zany costumes of the 70s era.
This film is at times foul and other times touching and it deserves your attention throughout as it revels in the joys of telling a story deserving to be told and to be relished and enjoyed by anyone searching for an escape from the mundane or cynical stories prevalent in movies of today.
Star Trek: Discovery (2017)
Bizarre version of Star Trek
I was excited to see a new Star Trek series and was doubly excited because it was shot in my hometown of Toronto. But watching the final product was a deflating and confusing experience.
This "future" is dark and depressing and this is supposed to be gritty reality baring its soul to an audience. The truth of the matter is "reality" is more re often beautiful, joyous and happy. Making a story dark and depressing is easy. Making a story that actually mirrors "reality" WILL have light and dark elements mixed together...just reflect upon the great stroyteller Shakespeare. Even in the darkst of his tales (Macbeth) there are "knock, knock" jokes. However, moments of believable levity, especially clever word play requires intelligent writing.
The Characters lack what made the original series clever, engaging, riveting and amusing. Besides the whole idealism of a positive future, the RELATIONSHIPS between characters (especially the captain and their immediate subordinates) MADE the original series GREAT entertainment. This series lacks a strong lead and lacks ANY interesting, morally redeemable, let alone engaging, even charming characters. The bromance of the original series made it genuinely touching and gave it an emotional core that this series COMPLETELY lacks.
The Klingons and their 10 minute unintelligible scenes in every episode are both hilariously bad and bizarre. The writers must have thought, "let's make the enemy completely foreign and confusing and force the audience to be utterly mystified and tune out for washroom break."
The only good aspect of the series is that all the money thown at it produced some cool looking cgi effects but I don't watch sci-fi to look at shiny objects. I watch sci-fi for great characters who exude charm, intelligence and make the future something to look forward to. I watch sci-fi for genuinely engaging storylines that make me think this could be Shakespeare in space. Even Shakespeare knew that you need stories with both high and low brow scenes. And even Shakespeare knew that sometimes you can write something completely fluffy and humourous and then later write something really dark. Surely we, 400 plus years after Shakespeare can say that we've learned something, "in the future" about good storytelling.
First Man (2018)
Visually Spectacular Epic!
Just saw the IMAX world premiere at TIFF. The film is a character study of eil Armstrong against the backdrop of the spectacular epic journey to put man on the moon. It offers genuinely interesting insight into Armstrong's mind and family life and how this affected him throughout the whole process of going to space. The film will clearly dazzle with realistic depictions of the astronauts in training and travelling in space.
Gosling has an impressive and solid performance. Foy's role was a more muted performance...her role was perhaps less demanding.
The film is an excellent one, well worth the watching!