Reviews of Movies, TV shows & metro Detroit Restaurants

Short movie & TV show reviews and metro Detroit restaurant reviews

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Reviews & Ratings for the 2019 Oscar Best Picture Nominees

I've seen all of the movies nominated for Best Picture and there was only one that I didn't like. Here are my ratings and short reviews for each.

I absolutely love this movie! The story is almost as old as Hollywood itself as this 4th version of A Star is Born (the 1st one came out in 1937), yet this new take on such an old story is truly wonderful. I have seen it 3 times, including twice at the theater. The performances by Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and one of my all-time favorite mustaches & voices, Sam Elliott, are all Oscar-worthy. And even Andrew Dice Clay gives a heartfelt performances as Ally’s dad!

Who knew Bradley Cooper could sing? We know Gaga’s voice is out of this world, but Cooper really nails every singing performance. The on-screen chemistry between these two is something to behold and is a big part of what makes this movie so special. The scene where the two of them sing “Shallow” really shows off their chemistry, Gaga’s acting skills, and Cooper’s acting AND directing skills. It’s an all-time great movie scene.

This is by far my favorite movie out of all the nominees and one of my favorite movies period of the last 20 years...9.5/10 stars

The greatest superhero movie ever? It’s quite possible that Black Panther is just that. I was very happy that it got nominated for Best Picture because it’s not just a great superhero movie, it’s a great movie...period.

In addition to being great movie, it’s pretty groundbreaking as well. Not only is it mostly an all-black cast, it’s a superhero movie with an all-black cast that made a shit ton of money (the highest grossing movie of 2018). This cast is one of the highlights of the movie as everyone turns in great performances, with Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of Killmonger topping them all.

Black Panther is a great movie and I loved it…9.0/10 stars

I am a fan of Queen. I’m not a superfan, but I love their music. Bohemian Rhapsody has issues with continuity, reality, chronology, and editing. Its offscreen issues abound as well with the ouster of director Brian Singer and this contributes to the movie's sloppier bits. In spite of all of that, I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. Hearing Queen’s music rocking a movie theater was a joy in & of itself. It took everything it had in me not to sing along while watching it. I’ll do that when I watch it at home!

Other than the music, the 2 biggest highlights of the movie are: (1) Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury (which is fantastic) and (2) The reenactment of Queen’s notable Live Aid performance. This movie nails that performance pretty much shot for shot.

I am definitely a fan of Bohemian Rhapsody, the song AND the movie…8.0/10 stars

Another movie with offscreen trouble and a debate about the accuracy of its events, yet I enjoyed Green Book.

It has a good mix of comedy & drama and the performances are great. Mahershala Ali turns in another Oscar-worthy performance as classical pianist Dr. Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen does a nice job playing his chauffeur/bodyguard turned friend Tony Lip. Their on-screen chemistry makes this road trip movie quite enjoyable. And this is no ordinary road trip as it’s the 60s and they are touring the Deep South which becomes problematic for them due to Shirley being black.

I think the actors’ performances truly made this movie what it is and why I really liked it…8.0/10 stars

How can a black & white movie be visually stunning? Roma is that movie. Netflix has established itself as a beast to reckon with when it comes to “TV” shows and now it is doing the same with movies with a movie that is the odds-on favorite to win Best Picture.

Roma tells a powerful story of maid Cleo (played masterfully by newcomer Yalitza Aparicio who greatly deserved her Best Actress nomination) who works for an upper middle class family in Mexico City. Director Alfonso Alfonso Cuarón crafts this story wonderfully drawing from his own life growing up in Mexico City. It’s obvious that it’s very personal for him as it is very vivid & emotional. Not only did Cuarón direct Roma, he also wrote it and is listed as its cinematographer. He very well could win Oscars in all 3 of those categories as well as Best Foreign Film. He poured his heart into this movie and it’s very good…8.0/10 stars

BlacKkKlansman is a pretty intense movie (with a few comedic bits thrown in) based on a true story about a black man (Ron Stallworth played by John David Washington) who infiltrates the KKK with a white Jew (Flip Zimmerman played by Adam Driver) acting as his “stand-in” when it comes time to physically meet with the hate group.

In addition to telling a powerful story, BlacKkKlansman manages to do so in an entertaining and at times humorous way. Racism has always been a problem in the U.S. and sadly, it still exists. This movie doesn’t tap dance around that fact, but keeps it in the forefront. I definitely liked BlacKkKlansman…8.0/10 stars

Vice (

In spite of what Vice would like you to believe, Dick Cheney is not responsible for everything politically (mostly politically BAD) that has happened since 1980. After watching this movie, I said this to my brother Dennis:

“As someone who leans left, I still have very mixed feelings about Vice. It's well made and Bale is great as well as Amy Adams, but the liberal skew was even difficult for me to completely stomach. I need to see how much of it is based in facts before I decide whether I liked it or not.”

Another word I could have used when describing this movie is “smug” as that’s the attitude it has. The events it portrays are mostly true, but with a smug take on the truth.

But with all of that being said, I did like the movie and found it entertaining. Christian Bale’s transformation into Dick Cheney is something to behold and will probably get him another Oscar. And Amy Adams does a wonderful job of portraying Cheney’s wife Lynn…7.5/10 stars

I am a big fan of period pieces, especially British period pieces. I love the TV shows The Crown and Victoria, both well-done portrayals of British royalty. I loved Downton Abbey, recently enjoyed the movie Victoria and Abdul, and find most movies about British royalty to be intriguing. But The Favourite? This movie I did not like. I found it to be a big absurd turd (how’s that for a rhyme?).

I do not understand the love for this movie by critics, etc. It has a ridiculous ending, weird music, is not funny, and again, it’s absurd. I like Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Coleman and they are the only reason I am giving this…4.0/10 stars

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