The Shape of Water

20171204 poster The Shape of Water

In the early 1960’s, a lonely woman discovers a humanoid water creature being tortured at the secret lab where she works, and as she develops interest in the creature, she tries to find a way to save him. The story kinda reminds me of Splash, which starred Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, although this story is heavier, more adult-oriented, and more surreal. Other than a tad bit slow start, the pacing of this movie is just right. The tension towards the latter half keeps you pulled in. The visual effects are also done very well. If you don’t mind inter-species relationships, you’ll like this movie.

Official Movie Website

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Roman J. Israel, Esq.

20171114 poster Roman J Israel Esq

Roman is an idealistic but kinda savant-like lawyer who has lousy negotiation skills. A series of events results in him doing something wrong. Can he recover from it? I wanted to like this movie because, well, Denzel. But, the first hour and a half dragged on too long and could convey the story just as well if it were compressed by 30 to 40 minutes. The last half hour though – that part is well done. The suspense leading up to the final resolution and after-effects – that part of the movie was well done. Just be patient if you want to watch this movie.

Official Movie Website

Coco

20171120 poster coco_ver6_xlg

Young aspiring musician Miguel’s family has banned all music because his great-great-grandfather left his family in pursuit of music, but Miguel somehow finds himself in the Land of the Dead during Dia de los Muertos and learns his true family history. The story is very good but there are some scenes that may not be too kiddie-friendly – there is at least one scene that may scare little kids. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this movie about family. And the animation is amazing!!! The vibrant colors, intricate details, life-like movements – wow! Definitely a must-see!

Official Movie Website

Wonder

20171115 poster Wonder

Based on a best-selling book, this movie tells the story of Auggie Pullman, born with a facial deformity and home-schooled his whole life, until now, when he starts fifth grade at a regular school, for the first time ever. Will he make friends? Or will he be bullied? Jacob Tremblay gives a terrific performance as Auggie, and the supporting cast does a great job as well. There are funny moments and heart-warming moments, but thankfully no overly sappy moments. “If you have a choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” -Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Bring the entire family to this movie!

Official Movie Website

Justice League

20171113 poster justice_league_ver29_xlg

Yasss!!! DC delivers on this much-awaited movie and finally elevates the rivalry with Marvel. After Superman’s death, Batman needs to assemble a team to battle Steppenwolf, who has come to earth to find three Mother Boxes. The story, action, special effects, humor, music – everything works! And we finally get to meet the rest of the Justice League who were teased in the sub-par Batman v Superman. Definitely a movie to watch! And stay all the way until the end of the credits to see two bonus clips.

Official Movie Website

Wonderstruck

20171025 poster Wonderstruck

Two stories simultaneously unfold slooooowly – a girl in 1927 looking for her mother and shown silent and in black and white, and a boy in 1977 looking for his father and shown in color. The two young actors who portray the leads do a good job, but how are these two stories related? As the scenes switch back and forth between 1927 and 1977, you’ll keep trying to look for clues to figure out how they intersect. However, when the link between the two is finally revealed, they still leave one big question unanswered. No need to rush out to watch this movie, but when you do, see if you have the same uanswered question at the end.

Official Movie Website

Daddy’s Home 2

20171012 poster Daddy's Home 2

In this sequel, a dad and a step dad with extremely opposite personalities plan a combined Christmas so their children don’t have to shuttle back and forth for the holidays. Then their respective dads, with whom they have extremely different father-son dynamics, show up. Will Ferrell, John Lithgow, Mark Wahlberg, and Mel Gibson deliver non-stop laughs, some sappy moments, and even some cringe-worthy moments. The supporting cast (except for Alessandra Ambrosio, who is purely ornamental) is also good, especially the two kids who play Megan and Dylan. Never saw the first movie? No problem – this one stands on its own. This is definitely a fun movie for the holidays.

Official Movie Website

Thor: Ragnarok

20171030 poster thor_ragnarok_ver17_xlg

Marvel definitely scores another win with this movie. Thor has to protect Asgard from being destroyed by the powerful Hela. Plot, action, humor, special effects, musical score – everything just works for the movie. The 2 hours and 10 minutes will fly by, and you’ll be entertained all the way through as I was. The cameos are fun, too. Stay all the way through the credits so you don’t miss a couple of interesting clips. And watch the movie in 3D!

Official Movie Website

Thank You For Your Service

20171024 poster Thank You For Your Service

Trauma is often unseen, unspoken, and sometimes untreated. This movie, based on a true story, depicts the challenges a group of veterans face when they return home and try to resume civilian lives. For those of us who have no first-hand knowledge of PTSD, this movie is an eye-opener. It is a well-made movie, but it can be difficult to watch, with some gruesome scenes and some very emotional and gut-wrenching scenes. Nevertheless, I do recommend watching this movie.

Official Movie Website

Suburbicon

20171023 poster Suburbicon

An idyllic all-white community meets its first black neighbors while a mother gets killed in front of her young son during a home invasion. The first 40 to 50 minutes of this movie is a snoozefest. But then, the interesting stuff starts as the murder unravels, the real motives are revealed, and the guilty party tries to deflect guilt onto the black neighbors. And all through this, the movie keeps you on edge as you hope that the young son comes through somehow unscathed. Good to watch? Sure, if you don’t mind waiting a while to get to the interesting parts.

Official Movie Website