Coming of Age: The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen movie poster
3star“And I say to myself, ‘Everyone is as miserable as I am. They’re just better at pretending.'”

The Edge of Seventeen is being called a “teen-angst masterpiece,” but this darkly comical coming-of-age portrait of youth is a walk in the park in comparison to my teenage years.

What immediately captured my attention was this movie’s masterful marketing: “In the tradition of classics like Clueless, Mean Girls and Juno…” and “This film captures the essence of what made John Hughes movies so special.”

the edge of seventeen movie gif     The edge of seventeen movie gif

Classic and timeless are being tossed around by many critics describing this movie. I don’t want to start this review on the wrong foot, because I enjoyed the film, but I missed the masterpiece that everyone else is experiencing. This glimpse into a suburban teenager’s world is as average as it is predictable. If you want to see something you haven’t seen before, you won’t find it here.

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Review: Arrival is Year’s Best Sci-Fi

Amy Adams Arrival
“If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?”
5star

If E.T.’s landed on Earth tomorrow, what would you do? If you had the option to change the course of your life, would you do it?

Arrival is the most cerebral experience of 2016, and the intimate nature of the film has everything to do with that.

The film is not entirely original; it takes the age-old science fiction premise of aliens landing on Earth with the panicked world asking: “Why are they here?” But this sci-fi addition has all the right ingredients from it’s cast to director to score to script that produces some serious thought-provoking material. The exploration of this archaic, hypothetical reality leaves me wondering when this inevitable future will occur off-screen. I’m. Not. Ready.

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7 Great Actress Roles Oscars Forgot

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Welcome to 7 more gloriously under-looked excuses to have a good old moan. This time the ladies. The years and years of the Academy’s illustrious history in rewarding great work in cinema has generally been very kind. But boy do they forget about a lot of terrific performances. And I am talking every single year. Below are 7 performances I am particularly fond of, and I know I am not alone here. These are not necessarily my all-time favorites, but they are certainly plucked from the very best that missed out on Oscar nominations. I know, three of the actresses derive from France – what can I say, I am something of a French cinema fanboy. It could easily have been all 7. Hell, 100. For now, get acquainted with these Oscars-neglected, but extremely talented women. Enchanté.

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7 Great Actor Roles Oscars Forgot

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As we hurtle towards the film industry’s awards season beyond the festival circuit, I tend to fall deep into the heartbreak of those that don’t make it to the Oscar nominations. I know, the Academy Awards are miles away, but those in the field of reporting and predicting the Oscars are already talking about it. Not all can make the final cut of course amidst the politics of preferences, and I am never short of choices that didn’t receive AMPAS recognition. It’s impossible to choose set favorites, but I picked 7 actresses and 7 actors from the array of many that the Oscars seem to have forgot. Let’s save the dominant of the species til last and start with the men.

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Review: Moonlight is Magnificent

Moonlight 2016 posters4star 2

“At some point you’ve got to decide for yourself who you gonna be. And let nobody make that decision.”

Moonlight brings the internal struggle of being a gay black man in America out of the shadows by shining a light on the concept of masculinity within the context of personal identity.

“What’s a faggot?” asks young Chiron, mercilessly bullied by classmates each day, because they consider him different.

Moonlight unfolds in three chapters of one man’s life, from childhood to young adulthood, as he discovers who he is as a black, homosexual man in the Miami projects. With themes including race, homophobia, identity and black masculinity, it’s a miracle that a film of this nature was made. It’s going to be the answer to last year’s #OscarsSoWhite.

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The film is based on the unproduced play by gay black playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. “Black men loving each other is a radical idea,” McCraney admit. It certainly isn’t a conventional story, but it’s one that desperately needs to be told.

Being poor, black and struggling with sexual identity are things I know absolutely nothing about. What I can relate to in Moonlight is identity and how society can negatively affect personal development in crucial stages of life. It’s bold exploration of personal adversity is exactly what the world needs to see right now.

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7 LGBT Films You Haven’t Seen… But Will!

Laurence Anyways movie

I’m spreading the word about the LGBT film experience, and I’ve picked 7 little wonders of the film world that delve into transsexual lifestyle, forbidden love, secret affections, identity crises , homophobia, etc. Spanning the corners of the world, from Canada, France, and England, to Sweden and Greece, then Iran and over to Cuba. The stories told here on celluloid are great ones, enlightening reflections on the human spirit and depictions of romantic, sensual bonds. So dig out your watch-lists and make room for the following seven:

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The Magnificent Seven is a Great Remake

the magnificent seven 2016 gif4star-2“What we lost in the fire, we’ll find in the ashes.”

 It’s been 56 years since Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen burst onto the screen introducing a generation to one of the greatest Westerns of all time. Now, director Antoine Funque (Training Day) has decided to resurrect a nearly extinct genre for a new generation of cowboys.

If you’re familiar with my reviews, you’ll know that I’m not the biggest fan of remakes or reboots, especially when you’re tapping into golden nostalgia. I’m also not a fan of Westerns or shoot-em-up flicks, so what sold me on The Magnificent Seven?

the magnificent seven remakes

Generations of Magnificence

The Magnificent Seven (1960) is actually a remake of the 1954 Japanese epic Seven Samurai. Whether or not you believe this is a story in need of of re-tellling, Funqua cites our current political atmosphere is the perfect opportunity to modernize a classic with diverse heroes attempting to halt political corruption.

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10 Movie Bloggers You Should Be Following

Follow these blogs

On the Screen Reviews has been active in the blogosphere since 2012, and during this four-year span, I’ve serendipitously stumbled upon other great movie blogs.

I’ve never made an appreciation post to the websites I frequent and interact with, so I’ve decided it’s time to pay respect. These are the top 10 movie blogs you should be following, and they’re the ones I interact with the most.

In no particular order, here’s some clickbait.

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2016 So Far: Revisiting 7 Movie Scenes

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With the awards season ebbing towards us we ought to pay some respect to the films gone by in 2016 before they get swept away. More specifically, then, with an array of cinematic moments to choose from I plucked these 7 indelible scenes from 7 very different movies, which have all left their mark on me in various ways. By no means my favorite moments, or my favorite movies (though some are), but certainly deserve their pin in the 2016 map. In no particular order…

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The Birth of a Nation is a Mess

the birth of a nation movie poster
2star
The Birth of a Nation is a great made for TV movie. There. I said it.

Nation is being billed as an important movie — a story that demands to be heard. I hear it, but my most anticipated movie of the year has left me empty and uninspired.

Since it’s double win in January at the Sundance Film Festival taking home both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize, Nation was the movie to beat in the 2017 Oscar race. The film was picked up by distributor Fox Searchlight who ushered movies like Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave and Birdman to Best Picture glory. It’s been the most talked about movie of 2016…but for all the wrong reasons.

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Director Nate Parker said he wanted to make a film that fell in line with films like Braveheart and Defiance, where the opposed rose up against the oppressors. But let me tell you, this is no Braveheart.

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