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?
i went in expecting to really dislike Rogue One. it’s definitely not my favorite, but it’s solid. and i’m also a fan of the blind asian ninja guy. i can’t wait to own SING and put it in my kids’ rotation. Passengers really made me think……… what would i have done?? i don’t know. a huge question of loneliness and selfishness. what would you have done? and LALALand was super creative, but i left feeling blue. can’t wait to go see Hidden Figures again and take my tween girls – they NEED to see the story of those amazingly bad-a** women! talk about true courage!
I really enjoyed Passengers, even the ending. I think I would have been selfish in their situation too
I think I need to see Rogue One. You’ve convinced me votemom!
I took my 4 year old grandson to SING. It was his first movie in a theater, and I was a little unsure if we would be able to stay because he does *not* sit still. But we made it through the whole movie, and he was enthralled. I loved the movie too, but enjoyed watching him enjoy the movie even more.
That is so sweet. It is DARLING.
The only one of these movies I have seen is “Hidden Figures.” I wholeheartedly second Lincee’s recommendation! And yes, people did spontaneously APPLAUD during the movie in the theater I was in. I was very young at the time this took place, and lived in the northern part of the US, so I did not witness “separate but equal” conditions. I did however become aware through my parents and the media as I got older. I think this will be a big eye-opener for millenniums (like my kids who are in their 20’s). It shows what real life was like back then for certain members of our society, and I think kids will be shocked (unless they had good history teachers in their schools who taught them details about this era.)
Absolutely. I agree completely.
GO SEE ROUGE ONE, LINCEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
As a NEW star wars fan (yes, I’m 33 and a new fan, so there, folks!), I have seen them all, and this was was way better than last year’s movie. Shoot me where I stand, Star Wars superfans, but this was an original movie that did not recreate “A New Hope” like “The Force Awakens.” Mind you, I really liked last year’s movie, but I will see this one in the theatres again if I can get there before it’s gone. It’s excellent, and the scenes are worth the big screen.
Additionally, to 100% appreciate one key character, I highly recommend watching the “Ip Man” on Netflix. You will likely want to write a blog review of this and may even take up the martial art of Wing Chun (I know I do!). Also, Yip Man, on whom the movies are based, was the teacher of Bruce Lee. Take that for what it’s worth. But yes, this does relate to Rogue One, and yes, it will greatly enhance your love for the supporting cast of this movie.
Oh man, Lincee – see Rogue One!
So, you think I should see it then? Kidding. I’LL GO!!!
The entire time I was watching LalaLand, I was thinking to myself how much I loved it, how beautiful the cinematography was, and how I couldn’t wait to own it and play it over and over and over again. That last 20 minutes though. I literally wept so hard that people started shushing me. I left the theater completely destroyed. I still don’t think I’ve made a full recovery.
I feel you Kasee. Maybe we can own it and just not watch that part?
I felt the same way! When I got out of the theater with one of my friends, she simply said “hated it.” (Reminded me of the movie reviews they did on In Living Color.) I was astounded, this was such a rich, layered movie with an ending you don’t see coming and can be mad about, but understand when you think about it. I could go on but I don’t want to spoil anything. Also, if you are an old movie buff (West Side Story, Singin’ in the Rain) I think you’ll appreciate the nods throughout. Plus: Ryan Gosling–enough said. 🙂
I saw Lion this weekend and it is a must see! My daughter saw it with me and went again with her fiance the following night. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for the tip, Shannon!
My husband saw Passengers. Also hated the ending.
I saw sing with my 2-year-old. We both loved it. He was dancing in the theater by the end.
I also HATED the end of La La Land. Very very much. My SIL’s roommate had to leave the movie early and missed everything after Emma’s big audition for the casting director. I would have preferred to have the movie end there as well.
Amen. The audition was awesome!
My new favorite genre is 3d animated musical movies. Loved The Secret Life of Pets-hilarious! Loved Sing, loved Angry Birds. Being brought up going to Broadway musicals, i couldn’t wait to see LaLa land. I found it very disappointing. Most actors have great voices as they are multi talented. I felt Emma and Ryan were mediocre sing and dance stars. Thought it was way too long, and very repetitious. If for not all the hype, and if I had seen it at home, i probably would have enjoyed it more.
I hate to agree, but I do, with Emma and Ryan’s singing. IT HURTS MY HEART.
I haven’t seen any of these so I’ll change the subject ! Since you like musicals, are you watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend?
Definitely note-worthy! Love the musical numbers in that show, it is hysterical. I like the “I’m so good at Yoga” and “Heavy Boobs” numbers the best 🙂
Here’s what made me cry watching LaLa Land…Tom Everett Scott! So charming with a great future ahead of him in That Thing You Do. And now he’s in a tiny role in this movie. What happened?!
Agree on Sing (and I was going crazy trying to figure out the voices) and wept and clapped at Hidden Figures. These quietly intelligent women did so much for others with grace and dignity.
At least he got a role. I haven’t seen him in years. Loved him in That Thing You Do.
I’m so glad you hated the ending of La La Land, too. I get why it ended that way, but I feel like I’m judged by more “enlightened” and “artistic” people for wanting it to end differently.
I get that. I’m a sucker for a happy ending.
I saw Sing with my 8 yr old son (he loved it) but it fell short for me. I actually found myself dozing off near the end. I usually like the kids’ movies, but this one was just “meh” for me. I think the animal auditions were the best part, and I found the koala really unlikeable.
I haven’t seen any others, but I really want to see Hidden Figures in the theater, and probably Passengers when it comes to the TV movie channels and I have a free preview weekend 🙂
GO SEE HIDDEN FIGURES ON THE BIG SCREEN. Wait for Passengers to come out later in the year.
Ditto on the ending for LaLa Land!!! Was it made by the same people who gave us the HIMYM ending?! Still bummed about that too 😉
I really loved La La Land because of it being unique. I loved the story and the music was fun. I agree about the ending. It was heart wrenching, in a way, but I pretended that it was different in my mind–that’s probably called denial.
The only one of these movies that I have seen (so far) is “Hidden Figures” and let me tell you, it was the best movie I’ve seen all year – that being said, it is the only new movie I have seen in 2017. It made me laugh. It make me cry. Parts of it made me angry, and while I didn’t applaud, parts of it did make me cheer (a fact that earned me a couple of dirty looks – clearly not everyone is as passionate a movie watcher as I). And frankly, it stressed me the hell out during the Freedom 7 flight and I already knew how that played out. You know it’s a good movie when you get stressed watching something you already know the outcome of. If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it!