IHGB Movie Reviews: Sing, Passengers, Hidden Figures, and LaLa Land
I was a movie-going machine over the holidays. Sitting in a darkened theater and transporting myself into the world of the people on the big screen is one of my greatest joys. I suspect I’m not alone in this boat.
Instead of breaking out my movie reviews film-by-film, I decided to write brief paragraphs about each one. I didn’t want you to think iHateGreenBeans had turned into a movie critic website. I also didn’t want you to think I’m phoning in my posts. I realize the end of 2016 was a bit light, but there is a reason. You’ll have to wait a few more weeks until I can share the reason why.
I was looking forward to all four of these movies. And I liked them all. For the most part…
Starring: A bunch of really cool people
The biggest note I have for this movie is to be familiar with the characters going in or you’ll spend precious time trying to figure out why the koala bear’s voice is so familiar. Newsflash: It’s Matthew McConaughey. Seth MacFarlane is Mike the mouse, and Reece Witherspoon plays Rosita the pig. I had no idea Scarlett Johansson was in it until I just looked at the list to figure out how to spell McConaughey. She’s a porcupine who likes to rock.
Tori Kelly plays Meena, an elephant with a B-I-G voice, but it was the soulful gorilla who punched me in the face with talent the entire show. His name is Johnny and he’s voiced by Taron Egerton. Taron Egerton is my new musical obsession. The best part about this discovery is that Taron is an actor. An actor who can sing the crap out of a John Legend song.
Go see this movie for Johnny, Rosita, her piggy singing partner Gunter, and the bit where all the different animals audition. I think it’s adorable and worth the price of a ticket.
Starring: Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence
I assumed Passengers was a space-themed love story. That is a sort of true statement. It’s a fantasy, space-themed action movie with some romance thrown in because Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence are attractive and likable individuals. It’s hard to write a helpful review without ruining the entire plot, but I’ll try to walk that line. I wish the characters got together at the beginning of the film. I wanted to laugh more. I wanted the love story to stretch out. I didn’t expect to be so depressed about certain situations and so irritated by others. To continue on this very vague line of thinking, I believe I would have liked Passengers better if I watched it with action eyes, instead of romantic eyes. Also, I hated the ending. With that said, Chris Pratt is a mechanic-type and his forearms are glorious on the big screen. Take that tidbit for what it’s worth.
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Go see this movie. It’s wonderful. It’s enlightening. It’s a true story. Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer are perfectly cast. I think Janelle Monáe, who I know as a singer, commands the screen. She is beautiful, smart, funny, and steals the show in the best way possible. There’s a part in a court room that will make you weep with joy. There’s another part with a “Colored Ladies Room” sign that will give you chills. And when Kevin Costner says, “We all pee the same color at NASA,” you may applaud.
La La Land
Starring: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
I love Ryan. I love Emma. I love them together. Musicals are my life. Musicals + Love Stories = Lincee Heaven
That’s a pretty high bar.
The opening number is phenomenal. Sadly, in my opinion, it ever-so-gradually declines as the movie plays out. I liked it a lot. I didn’t love it with my entire being. That made me sad. I appreciated the love story, the acting, the dancing, the authenticity of the storyline, and the musicality of every scene. Emma and Ryan have sincere chemistry. I just wanted it to be more. Also, I hated the ending.
Did you see any of these films? What did you think? Also, do I need to bite the bullet and go see Rogue One? I’ve been told as a Star Wars fan, that answer is a big, fat, YES. Thoughts?