Silence (2016)

It’s 17th Century Japan and Christians are not liked. If you even closely identify yourself as a Christian or appear to be one who practices that religion, consider yourself dead. Among those who have been killed, many of them are priests who traveled from Portugal to Japan. Their goal: to spread the word of Christ while trying to help out the Japanese citizens who were secretly following the faith. Stuck over there is Father Ferraira (Liam Neeson), a mentor to the priests who are in Portugal. He is also someone who is highly respected in Catholicism. Two priests in Portugal decide they need to go to Japan to rescue Father Ferraira and bring him back home. Father Garupe and Father Rodriguez (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) take the trip to Japan to attempt to carry out this mission. However, as soon as they arrive they quickly discover that they are not welcome and must lay low while trying to find Father Ferraira.

For a film that Martin Scorsese has been pushing to make for nearly three decades now, all I have to say is that it’s about time. For whatever reason this movie was not being picked up by anybody and after so much time of trying, he was finally able to make it work and has created one of the more emotional films he has made in a long time. Silence will quickly become one of the better religious epics that we will see. Scorsese is someone who is very religious, so it’s understood as to why he wanted to make this movie so badly. Religion is one of his passions something that he holds very dear. Silence is a movie that is nearly three hours long, and even though it is slow-moving, it really seems to go by quickly. That is because it is so interesting and intriguing.

I believe it goes without being said that Andrew Garfield is slowly, but surely becoming one of the major names of Hollywood acting. Let’s try and forget his role as Spider-Man and focus on good roles he has done. Like 99 Homes. Garfield has truly risen to the top of his form in Silence and there could be a chance that he becomes Scorsese’s next Leo. That might be too high of praise, but the guy was definitely was unbelievable in this and I really hope there is some consideration for an Oscar nomination. I think you could almost say the same thing about Adam Driver. Although he is just starting to really expand on his acting career now that HBO’s, Girls is coming to an end, he really shines in the movies he is in. I really believe we are going to be seeing much more work from him and that is something I’m happy about.

Silence to me is easily one of the best films of the year and I hope it gets the recognition that it deserves. What else can you really expect from Scorsese? The man has been my favorite director ever since I discovered that good movies existed. It is a really dark, but powerful film that is a must-see for all movie lovers. In addition to the outstanding acting and exhilarating storyline, Silence is a movie that will never be forgotten and may be Scorsese’s best film since The Departed. The great thing about his movies is that you pretty much know what you’re getting and that is a great film. What intrigued me the most about Silence is that it will affect people in many different ways. While it may cause some controversy, I think it will actually be something that people understand no matter what religion they are. It is not the type of religious flick that caters to one audience, and that is what the most interesting thing about it is.

Overall, Silence delivers on everything that it wanted to present. This is the most passionate and emotionally powerful film that we have seen from Scorsese since The Last Temptation of Christ. This is a film I cannot praise enough and despite how long the move is, it is absolutely one that you need to see.

Grade: A

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Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens (2015)

After much pain and agony, it’s finally back!

A lot of events have taken place since The Return Of The Jedi. A major issue occurring is that after a long time of searching, Luke Skywalker is hiding and nobody has any idea of where he is located. Thirty years have gone by since the defeat of the Galactic Empire and the galaxy now faces a new threat, even though it seems as if things were going to start slowing down. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is the leader of the First Order, which is the new enemy. The Resistance is still in full effect and in order for them to be able to defeat the First Order, they need to find a small droid that holds a map that will lead to Skywalker’s whereabouts. The droid itself is with a young girl named Rey (Daisy Ridley). Along her journey, she meets up with Finn (Jon Boyega), a former Storm Trooper of the First Order that now wants to convert to the Resistance. In order to defeat the First Order and make sure the Resistance stays strong, Rey and Finn have to make sure this droid stays by their side.

It’s been quite a while since the release of the last Star Wars movie. I waited a little while to write my review because I wanted everyone to kind of calm down somewhat about how awesome this new installment actually was. I actually had to see it twice because I needed to find out if I was just happy because it was back. The fact remains that director, J.J. Abrams really did something awesome with this movie. The last three movies are considered to be disasters by many people and that is what really had me worried about this new movie, but I thought Abrams did everything right with this. As excited as I was for this release, I tried so hard to not have high expectations, due to the fact that the last three were not all that good. Fortunately, I am pleased to say that The Force Awakens is an absolute must-see film. Movie theaters are going to be packed with people for a few more weeks to come.

All in all, I think we can say that this might be the best installment that Star Wars has offered us. I just felt like everything about this movie worked and worked well. I even really enjoyed the acting in this. Daisy Ridley kind of came out of nowhere with this movie and she pretty much killed it, but in a great way. This is the kind of acting I really enjoy to see because everything about it was surprising and great. The number one person who shocked me more than anybody else was Adam Driver. Having know he was going to play the role of Kylo Ren, I was very skeptical about what to think. I wasn’t sure if he was going to ruin this movie or pull off something great. The only way I can really picture that guy is in HBO’s, Girls, saying “Hannah I’m sick of your shit.” Driver really showed that he can be a bit of a bad-ass and play the part well. He had a great voice for the role, so I believe that this was definitely the right move to cast him.

It seems as if many people have some issues about everything with Harrison Ford being in this and how it kind of takes you back to the way everything was in 1983. I didn’t mind that as much because I really liked how everything was tied in with him, Princess Leia, and Kylo Ren. I loved who this movie was filled with tons of energy from start to finish. Even though this movie was not all that original and did not really present a whole new idea, J.J. Abrams really stuck to what the fans of Star Wars wanted to see and I really cannot complain about that. I left one hundred percent satisfied with this film. What had me the most excited was that this movie could have been a total disaster and it wasn’t in the least bit. The Force Awakens has probably been seen by most of the world by now, but if you haven’t seen it yet, or if you are interested in getting into the Star Wars films, this may be a great way for you to do that.

Overal, The Force Awakens does everything in its power to please and entertain the fans of Star Wars. With great directing, acting, and effects, I cannot wait to see what the next installment has in store for us.

Grade: A

This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

Here’s a movie that has been out for a while that I just finally got around to watching. After the head of the family dies, the Altman siblings are asked to honor the one wish their father had: that all four of them sit Shiva for seven days. None of them want to do this, but since their dad wanted them to, they decided it would be best. This is all fine and dandy, but none of the four siblings know how to get along with each other. The oldest, Paul (Corey Stoll), is having a problem getting his wife pregnant. Wendy (Tina Fey) is also having problems with her absent husband and children. Judd (Jason Bateman) is in the midst of a messy divorce that is going on. Although, he does find some peace when he runs into his old friend, Penny (Rose Byrne). The last sibling, Phillip (Adam Driver) is the crazy one out of the siblings who never had a steady job and is bringing home women that are almost twice his age. None of them can really remember what they miss about their dad and this tells a story of how they all get back together as a nice family.

First off, if you are in the mood for a cheesy movie that has its occasional funny moments, this is one you would enjoy. This Is Where I Leave You is a movie that I did not love, but I also didn’t hate it. It tells a great story of a family coming together again after almost ten years without being on good terms. It’s a movie that is worth watching. I can’t say I wasted my time with it even though it wasn’t all that great.

This is a film that had me a little shocked that is wasn’t great because of the cast. I love everyone that was involved with this movie and it was just disappointing to see the movie and not be impressed by it. The script is one that definitely can not find the right amount of tears or laughs, but it still is a movie that makes you smile in the end. It does, however, have some occasional scenes where you do the famous, “laugh out loud”.

This Is Where I Leave You was directed by Shawn Levy. I must say that the movies he directs are pretty bad. I haven’t seen a movie of his yet that I really enjoyed. He has a good amount of movies under his belt as a director and I think that he just should sign off on his directing career. Nothing he makes is all that good. This was probably the best film he’s made.

Overall, This Is Where I Leave You is a movie that is not exactly a great comedy or a real tear-jerker, but it does entertain you in ways that a lot of people would enjoy.

Grade= C (Okay)