Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

I was a little nervous going into this film.  With the resurgence of Star Wars films in the last 17 years there has certainly been some ups and downs and more downs than ups.  I enjoyed the recent addition to the saga, but was unclear as to how this film was going to fit in with the Star Wars story.  My initial impression was that this film would be the first part of a new trilogy, but I am glad that this is a standalone piece that fits in spectacularly with the original trilogy.

Little Prince, The (2016)

The Little Prince is a creatively reimagined retelling of the original novella, written by Antoine deSaint-Exupéry.  While not a direct adaptation, Osborne still succeeds in capturing the essence of the 1943 tale that is engaging enough for children and thoughtful enough for adults.  The film blends together a modern narrative, in the 3d animation format, and an interspersed recollection of the story “The Little Prince”, in stop motion.

La La Land (2016)

They worship everything and they value nothing.

In general, I am not especially attracted to the musical genre.  This could be due in part to a lack of film musicals being released in recent years.  However, it is more likely that I simply struggle to get into the atmosphere of musicals.  The spontaneous dive into a choreographed number seems to pull me away from the plot instead of reinforcing it.  Chazelle has created a musical drama that pays homage to traditional musicals, but does not stick to their format in his new film, La La Land.

Deadpool (2016)

Ryan Reynolds has yet again found a bombastic, confident character that relishes every moment of screen time.  To be honest, I found his style tiring right away when I first saw him in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder.  There is just something about his smug and arrogant demeanor that is hard to watch.  Luckily, his tiresome foibles epitomize the role of Deadpool.

Moonlight (2016)

This film was captivating from the first scene to the last.  Barry Jenkins’ shooting style goes beyond merely engaging and fully submerges the viewer into the story.  Jenkins’ style is so personal to the point of being unnerving at times.  We find ourselves losing our footing with frenzied arc shots that track actors with multiple rotations.  The viewer is unavoidably engaged in empathy and compassion with a series of extreme closeup shots that are so close to the action you can’t help but feel right there in the moment.  These shots compliment the story and the performances exceptionally.