I watched a lotttt of modern movies in March! A couple of them will be getting full reviews, but here are the rest:
Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Like many a young bookworm, Belle has always been my favorite of the classic Disney princesses. I was skeptical about this live-action version, especially when the casting of Emma Watson was announced. I enjoyed it much more than expected. It’s beautiful to look at and very engaging. Watson did a better job than I thought she would (though she doesn’t emote quite as strongly as she should, especially in the big dinner scene!), and the voice performances are very good. I liked the live-action Cinderella more, but am happy with this, as a big fan of the original.
Before I Fall (2017) – I watched this mostly out of curiosity. I read the book a few years ago but didn’t love it, and wondered whether the movie would improve upon the source material. It’s a pretty close adaptation of the book but I actually enjoyed it more. It’s melodramatic but has many moments that ring true to the adolescent female experience, and I really liked Zoey Deutch’s performance. Bonus: the book’s author, the screenwriter, and the director are all women!
Get Out (2017) – This lives up to the hype and is definitely one I can’t wait to re-watch. I feel like it’s one of those films that reveals more and more to its viewer upon repeat viewings. Jordan Peele apparently has tons of social-issue horror flicks planned, and I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with!
I Wish (2011) – A sweet and at times sad Japanese drama about a young boy who puts his hope in the magic of two passing trains to reunite his family. After his parents separate, the boy and his brother are living apart, one with mom and one with dad. When a new train gets the whole town talking, the boy learns that any wish made as two trains pass each other in opposite directions will come true. Interesting concept, and nice performances as well. I enjoyed watching it.
Kong: Skull Island (2017) – Such a fun popcorn adventure/”monster” flick. Well-paced, exciting, and quite impressive visually. I loved John C. Reilly’s character and performance, especially.
The Last Word (2017) – Sentimental but charming. I don’t think it’ll be remembered as one of the best films of the year, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Shirley MacLaine is wonderful.
Life (2017) – Had to cover my eyes a lot through this one. I was entertained by it (especially since I watched it with my sister, who always spends the entire moving whispering her A+ commentary to me haha), but I saw that ending coming from a mile away!
Sunny (2011) – My favorite film discovery of the month. This South Korean drama follows a woman who reunites with a friend from high school, and discovers that friend is dying of cancer. The dying woman has one wish: for their entire friend group, nicknamed “Sunny,” to be reunited before she passes away. This film offers such a wonderful depiction of friendship as it ebbs and flows. The stories of the women as adults are fascinating, and the flashbacks to their younger days in the ’80s are a lot of fun. It made me laugh quite a bit, and almost made me cry! I’ve already added it to my DVD collection, and re-watched it as soon as it arrived.
A United Kingdom (2016) – I saw this film sort of by chance. Was visiting a museum in Ann Arbor (home of the University of Michigan) with my dad and it happened to be playing at a convenient time at the Michigan Theater after we left the museum. I loved Amma Asante’s Belle, as was interested to see this based-on-life story, which I knew nothing of before seeing the trailer for this film. The performances are very good, and the story is every bit as fascinating as I expected it to be. Not among my favorites of the month, but a good film.