Tag Archives: Mahershala Ali

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) Review

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Time: 166 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] contains offensive language & sexual references
Cast:
Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button (adult)
Cate Blanchett as Daisy Fuller (adult)
Taraji P. Henson as Queenie
Julia Ormond as Caroline Fuller (adult)
Jason Flemyng as Thomas Button
Elias Koteas as Monsieur Gateau
Tilda Swinton as Elizabeth Abbott
Mahershala Ali as Tizzy Weathers
Jared Harris as Captain Mike Clark
Director: David Fincher

Born under unusual circumstances, Benjamin Button springs into being as an elderly man in a New Orleans nursing home and ages in reverse. Twelve years after his birth, he meets Daisy, a child who flickers in and out of his life as she grows up to be a dancer. Though he has all sorts of unusual adventures over the course of his life, it is his relationship, and the hope that they will come together at the right time, that drives Benjamin forward.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the last of David Fincher’s films I had yet to see. People usually don’t talk so positively about it when it compares to the rest of his filmography, it’s known as one of his ‘weaker’ movies, and it did seem like the only one of his movies that seemed just a little awards baity. I put off my viewing of this partially because I heard some mixed things from other people about it. I was actually surprised by how much I liked the movie, I actually think it’s rather great.

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Most of David Fincher’s films are regarded as being rather ‘cold’ (and I can kind of see why), but The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is definitely his most emotional film. It’s pretty much just following this man in his extraordinary (and fictional) life. Some have called it an awards bait movie, and some moments felt like that at certain points. However with the memorably and lively characters, warmth and genuine emotion, I got quite invested in the movie. It’s a long movie at around 2 hours and 45 minutes long. While I did still like the movie throughout, it probably didn’t need to be that long. It does start off a little rocky, quite slow. But as it progresses, it really picks up, and by the time the first act was finished I was into it.

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The cast all work together. The titular character of Benjamin Button is played by Brad Pitt, and he’s great here, he believably portrays him in every stage of his life and his development is played very well. He’s the centre of the movie through and through, and Pitt plays him wonderfully. Cate Blanchett is also great as the adult version of Benjamin’s childhood friend, the two of them share some believable on-screen chemistry. The supporting cast with the likes of Tarji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, and others are also great in their respective roles, and do their parts to stand out quite a bit.

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David Fincher’s direction is fantastic as usual. Once again it’s a movie that you don’t expect him to really take on, but he goes all in on with this movie, and on a technical level it’s great. It’s a great looking movie, the cinematography from Claudio Miranda is really good. Fincher usually applies CGI to enhance the look of scenes, mainly in the background (and done in such a way that you don’t even notice it). While that’s probably the case here, here he also uses it for the aging effects on Brad Pitt’s Benjamin Button, and over a decade later it still generally holds up. The score by Alexandre Desplat is also quite beautiful and fit the tone of the movie.

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David Fincher has made better movies for sure, but The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is not to be overlooked, I’d actually consider it to be great. The cast are top notch, Fincher’s direction is outstanding as to be expected from him, and the story itself is quite emotional and beautiful. It may be one of his ‘weaker’ movies (it’s definitely not among his best), but it’s still worth watching for sure, and nowadays I don’t think people give it enough credit.

Moonlight (2016) Review

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Moonlight

Time: 111 minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes
Cast:
Trevante Rhodes as Adult Chiron/”Black”
Ashton Sanders as Teen Chiron
Alex Hibbert as Child Chiron/”Little”
André Holland as Adult Kevin
Jharrel Jerome as Teen Kevin
Jaden Piner as Child Kevin
Naomie Harris as Paula
Mahershala Ali as Juan
Janelle Monáe as Teresa
Director: Barry Jenkins

A look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes), a young black man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to manhood is guided by the kindness, support and love of the community that helps raise him.

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I remember watching Moonlight in the lead up to the Oscars, I thought it was great, and it had the biggest surprise of all that night when it ended up winning Best Picture, it was quite a big deal. With that said, I didn’t remember a lot of it from my first viewing, and I definitely needed to watch it again. It definitely improved a lot on a repeat viewing, and I can now confidentially call this a fantastic film that deserved all the acclaim that it had received.

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This movie is broken up into 3 parts, showing 3 stages of lead character Chiron’s life. The first part is him as a child, the second is him as a teenager, and the third is him as an adult. All three of these parts were quite different from each other, yet consistently great, there wasn’t one part that felt particularly weaker than the other (although the third part was a little slower). It is so engaging seeing Chiron make all these discoveries about himself and grow as a person. It’s very well written by Barry Jenkins, the dialogue is fantastic, it felt absolutely real. That’s really the biggest takeaway of this movie that I got, it all felt real and genuine. Now I’m not particularly big on coming of age stories, I have enough trouble emotionally connecting with most movies, and coming of age movies particularly don’t really work for me (probably mainly because most of the apparent appeal is being relatable and I just can’t relate to most of their stories). However this easily ranks amongst this subgenre, especially and recent years. I think most people can connect with Chiron and his story, and that is really a testament to the writing.

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The three actors who played Chiron (Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes) were fantastic. They all captured this character perfectly at the different stages of his life. Something I heard about is that they didn’t base their performances on each other, giving their own interpretation to the material they gave, and I think that added a lot. The supporting cast was also great. Naomie Harris was really good as Chiron’s mother, and the rest of the cast that includes Janelle Monae and Andre Holland also do their parts. The standout though was Mahershala Ali, who is easily one of the best actors working right now. He wasn’t in the movie a whole lot, but he left a real impression in his scenes, especially in the scenes with Alex Hibbert as the younger. Even when he’s not in the movie, you felt his presence throughout the rest of the film.

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Director Barry Jenkins absolutely delivers here, this is his sophomore film, and his work here is excellent. This movie is smaller and independent, and you can feel that through and through, and it was to its benefit. The cinematography by James Laxton was beautiful, not one shot or camera move felt out of place, and the lighting and the use of colour is just stunning to watch. There are so many memorable scenes and images that really stay with you long after seeing the movie. A lot of the time, there weren’t any soundtrack or music, and that helped to invest you even more into the story and the movie. It made it all feel even more real, and much easier to be invested in it all, whether that be with ambient sounds or silence. The score by Nicholas Britell when present though, is excellent and impactful, and really added to the film a lot. The editing also deserves a lot of credit, making many of the moments even more impactful.

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Moonlight is such a fantastic movie and deserved all the praise. The performances, beautifully written story and incredible direction all comes together to a profoundly moving coming of age tale that definitely ranks among the highlights of films from that decade. If you haven’t already, definitely check out Moonlight when you can.

Alita: Battle Angel (2019) Review

Time: 122 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb
Cast:
Rosa Salazar as Alita
Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido
Mahershala Ali as Vector
Keean Johnson as Hugo
Jennifer Connelly as Chiren
Ed Skrein as Zapan
Jackie Earle Haley as Grewishka
Director: Robert Rodriguez

Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita (Rosa Salazar) is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido (Christoph Walt), a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.

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Alita: Battle Angel is a movie I had been hearing about for a while, mainly about how it was based on an manga and the lead actress had motion capture to make her eyes bigger to make her look like the lead character from the source material. Aside from that I really didn’t look too much into the movie. As it started to get close to its release date however, I started to pay attention to it, and I was starting to look forward to it. It has a cast involving Christoph Waltz and Mahershala Ali, James Cameron is producing it, Robert Rodriguez is directing it and at the very least, it looked very visually entertaining. Alita: Battle Angel was better than I thought it would be. It suffers from some problems (mainly the sequel baiting) but on the whole I liked it.

Alita is based on a manga series that I haven’t read but I’ve heard it has a following. I was really wrapped up with this story and the world that it existed in. There is a lot of worldbuilding and for the most part I really liked it. One of the biggest things to note is that this is clearly setting up for future movies and you can feel that throughout the entirety of the movie. For the first two acts it feels like it’s the first half of a movie, I was still on board with what was going on, it’s just that it feels like we should’ve progressed much further in the overall story than we did. With that said, compared to some other movies that try to do a ton of worldbuilding in their first movie, Alita actually does it alright. There is some exposition that just flew completely past me and I didn’t process everything that was set up, however I was able to follow the main story. It also does some sequel baiting and is really relying on the assumption that it will receive some sequels to continue the rest of the story. With that it feels like it’s restraining itself to have this movie cover up to a certain point in the story because other movies would cover later portions of the plot. With that it does make me think that it should’ve been longer, it’s surprisingly only 2 hours long.

Rosa Salazar was perfect in the titular role of the cyborg Alita. You immediately like her when she first appears and she just has such an on screen presence, convincing in both her innocence and in how capable and dangerous she is. She goes through some development over the course of the movie and she was one of the strongest parts of the movie. The rest of the cast is also good. Christoph Waltz is well suited in his role as the scientist who puts Alita back together (best performance I’ve seen from him in a while) and Jennifer Connelly is also good in her role. Mahershala Ali is one of the best actors working right now and here he gets to chew the scenery as one of the villains, it’s not one of his best performances by any means but he plays his role well despite not getting much to do here. The cybernetic villains really get to show off more, with both Ed Skrein and Jackie Earle Haley working well as formidable adversaries for Alita in motion captured roles. The weakest link in the cast was Keean Johnson, but I don’t think it’s necessarily him that’s the problem, it’s more his character and the whole romantic subplot with Alita. Sequel baiting aside, that romantic subplot was the weakest part of the movie, it follows very familiar beats and isn’t entirely convincing, it just feel really forced. I’ve seen it done worse in other movies, it’s just that it really sticks out in this movie when everything else is really good. Thankfully certain reveals at least give his character more to work with than just being the love interest. There are also surprisingly brief appearances from some known actors in the movie. I looked up the cast list after watching and there were some names that I recognised, which was even more surprising since I didn’t notice them in their roles in the movie. Some of them appear in a couple scenes at most. A couple are full on cameos and don’t appear for more than 10 seconds, one of them was quite jarring and was in the middle of the movie. The other was at the end of the movie, in a key role who is clearly going to be heavily involved with the future movies (if they are going to happen). The cameo is also from an underrated but recognisable actor and if the sequels do get made, I’m looking forward to seeing him again.

Robert Rodriguez directed Alita really well, it is really worth seeing in the cinema because it’s a stunning looking movie, Bill Pope really shot this really well. Any time there’s an action scene, it’s fantastic, it’s fast, it’s brutal, and these scenes are among the best moments of the film. Battle Angel can also be surprisingly violent despite it’s PG-13/M rating, there are decapitations and limbs being sliced off and it’s very effective and I loved watching that. Alita does seem to have the upper hand in each situation she’s in (at least in this movie) however it’s directed in such a way that you still feel quite a bit of tension as the people she’s up against seem incredibly dangerous. The visual effects are really good as to be expected but the practical sets and effects are also worth praising, they really have designed this world very well and put a lot of thought into it. Much of the designs are creative and exaggerated which fit this world that they created. As for the motion capture on Rosa Salazar for Alita, it actually works pretty well, you get used to the design very quickly. The score by Tom Holkenborg/Junkie XL is among one of his best, fitting the movie very well and particularly shines during the action scenes.

Alita: Battle Angel is a visually stunning, entertaining and all around solid cyberpunk movie, led by a fantastic performance by Rosa Salazar. I really do think it’s worth seeing, especially in the cinema. Even if you don’t like the story, it’s worth seeing for the visuals alone. I really hope we get to see the sequels, there’s a lot that they set up here and there’s a lot of potential for this series to be truly great.

Green Book (2018) Review

Time: 130 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Coarse language
Cast:
Viggo Mortensen as Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga
Mahershala Ali as “Doc” Don Shirley
Linda Cardellini as Dolores Vallelonga
Director: Peter Farrelly

Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) is world-class African American pianist, who is about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while controlling racism and danger in an era of segregation.

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Green Book still is one of the surprise Oscar frontrunners, both for the lead performances and for the actual film. I actually first really heard of the movie from the backlash that has been developing against it, with people comparing it to Driving Miss Daisy and criticising its attempt at taking on racism, which is surprising considering that at the same time it has been quite the crowd pleaser. I had been hearing some contrasting reactions, some really liking it, others hating it, so I really didn’t know how I was going to feel going into it, and I ended up really liking it, even if I don’t necessarily consider it to be Best Picture worthy or anything like that.

While racism is a big part of the movie, Green Book at its core is a road trip movie, and as that type of movie, its really good. Something that often happens with some road trip movies following two people who are completely different from each other that don’t get along and then become best friends, is that the change is sudden and unbelievable, usually just because of a certain event. Green Book however develops it gradually, and scene by scene we get to see the relationship change over time instead of having it occur suddenly. Despite the director’s past movies, the humour of the movie comes more from the situations and the characters interacting and doesn’t seem forced. The movie is genuinely funny throughout, even hilarious at times. Racism definitely plays a notable part of the movie, but Green Book isn’t necessarily trying to tackle it as its main focus. It’s not BlacKKKlansman or anything, again it’s a road trip movie set to the backdrop of the racist deep south. Its examination of race is pretty surface level to be honest, but at the very least its because they weren’t trying to do it. Its not romanticising the racism either (in fact from what I remember I think Driving Miss Daisy was much more so), it is critical of racism when its present. By the end of the movie, it’s pretty clear that racism isn’t solved, and it’s definitely not trying to claim that they have. While I’m at it, no, Green Book is not a white saviour movie like some people have claimed it is. Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) is established as a naive racist, ignorant at many points and leaves room for him to be criticised. The only way he really ‘saves’ Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) is that he’s his bodyguard, which is part of the reason he was hired to begin with. Green Book recognises the flaws with both people but at their core is a deep humanity, and they both learn from each other, so in a way they both sort of help each other. While it can be seen as an Oscar bait movie, it doesn’t feel like it was made to be, despite some scenes feeling like they were written to tick the boxes for people to want to nominate it for awards. It does get a little sappy towards the end but considering what type of movie it is, it’s appropriate and is fitting. Now with every movie based on a true story, there are questions as to whether what was said is actually accurate. Some might’ve noticed that Don Shirley’s family came out against this movie for some inaccuracies. The problem with fact checking this movie is that the story is so unknown and intimate that not many people would’ve known. Also, one of the writers is the son of Tony, who apparently got all his information from his father and apparently Shirley as well. So you may need to take this movie with a grain of salt but I think generally it’s accurate, even if some areas might’ve been tweaked as what tends to happen to true life stories turned into movies. Also while it’s a bit of a minor issue, I think it wasn’t the best idea to call this movie Green Book. On top of it just being an easily forgettable title (and easy to confuse with Green Room), it actually has very little to do in the movie. The Green Book if you didn’t know (and most people today don’t know) is basically a guide for black people travelling through the deep south for safe places they can go to. While it is interesting and does play a little bit of a role in the movie, it gets probably 2 minutes focus tops. Not only that but it gives the impression that it’s going to be from the African American viewpoint and/or have a heavy focus on racism, which it isn’t. Even Driving Dr Shirley would’ve been a better title. In terms of other actual problems, I feel like Green Book was a little too sanitised and clean for the subject matter. Not that they needed to go into R territory but going a little less sanitised may have been better.

The two leads Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are really great in the roles of Tony Lip and Don Shirley and they are great together. Both Tony and Don are very different from each other and yet despite all the odds, over time they form this unshakable bond together. Viggo Mortensen as Tony could’ve easily just fallen into a complete Italian stereotype, and at first he seems like he is. Throughout the movie he does a lot of the cliché Italian things with the accent and the things he says but despite that, he still manages to deliver the character very well. Tony is a very simple man, he’s not the smartest of people (he’s flat out dumb at some points) but Viggo makes him work and plays him really well. Mortensen is known for being a really committed and serious actor but here he seems very loose and free and is actually quite great at the humour. Mashershala Ali gives yet another fantastic performance here. Shirley is a more complex role compared to Lip, with him being very closed off and having a lot of nuances to him, he only really opens up later on and you get to learn more about why he acts and does what he does. While I get that some people wanted to see the movie from Don’s point of view, when it comes to this story, Tony is a more open, talkative and laid back character, so it’s natural that he’s placed more in the forefront and that the much more reserved Don would be explored later on.

Peter Farrelly is one half of the Farrelly brothers, and while I haven’t seen any of their movies yet, I know that they made comedies like Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, so this is definitely a departure from his previous work. While his direction of his first drama (or dramedy) isn’t anything special, it is competent enough and serves the story quite well. The costume design, production design and music all fit the 1960s era. Personally, I think the most interesting technical aspect of the movie is the fact that they managed to make Mahershala Ali look like he’s playing the piano. They actually had someone else playing the piano so the fact that they somehow made Ali look incredibly convincing is impressive.

Green Book is an entertaining and heartwarming road trip movie featuring two great performances from some of the best actors working today. It’s not a complex exploration of racism in the deep south in the 1960s, it’s meant to be an uplifting movie about a bond between two people despite all the seemingly overwhelming odds around them, and as that I thought it was really good. It’s nothing groundbreaking and I’m not exactly sure why it’s becoming a huge awards contender outside of the lead performances, but for the movie its trying to be, its good. I know that some might be put off by the backlash and some of the things that they heard about it, but I recommend at the very least checking it out for yourself, you may end up really liking it.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Review

Time: 117 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Shameik Moore as Miles Morales/Spider-Man
Jake Johnson as Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man
Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman
Mahershala Ali as Aaron Davis
Brian Tyree Henry as Jefferson Davis
Lily Tomlin as May Parker
Luna Lauren Velez as Rio Morales
Zoë Kravitz as Mary Jane Watson
John Mulaney as Peter Porker/Spider-Ham
Kimiko Glenn as Peni Parker/SP//dr
Nicolas Cage as Peter Parker/Spider-Man Noir
Kathryn Hahn as Olivia “Liv” Octavius/Doctor Octopus
Liev Schreiber as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Mile Morales (Shameik Moore) suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), he soon realizes that there are many others who shar his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin (Live Schrieber), a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.

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There had been an incredible amount of hype for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I personally didn’t know what to expect, all I knew that it was an animated Spider-Man written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and was being regarded as the best Spider-Man movie ever made. I wasn’t hugely hyped for the movie but hearing all the overwhelming acclaim from critics and fans alike made me really interested and seeing it, I can say that it absolutely delivered on every aspect.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s script was fantastic, the whole movie is entertaining from start to finish. The movie is hilarious, with great comedy throughout. At the same time, the movie also really works on an emotional level, its very heartfelt. If you’re a Spider-Man fan you are going to have a euphoric experience with this, there are so many references and Easter eggs here that you’ll recognise and love. That’s not to say that you need to be a big Spider-Man fan to love the movie, it still works reasonably well for a general movie goer, you just might love it a little more if you’re familiar with the comic books. Although the concepts of different worlds of Spider-Man colliding might sound ridiculous and convoluted on paper, it really isn’t. There are two credits scenes, both of them are worth sitting through the credits to see.

I’m not that familiar with Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as a character, this was my real introduction to him and I think they did a great job at essentially giving him an origin story for him here. He’s also much lacking in experience compared to the other Spider-people and this movie is very much an origin story for him. The whole movie is about him coming into his own as Spider-Man, in a world where Spider-Man once existed and Spider-people in other universes exist. Jake Johnson was also a great Peter B. Parker/Spider-Man from a different universe compared to the one in Miles’s universe. Along with Miles Morales Spider-Man and Peter B. Parker Spider-Man, we also have Spiderwoman/Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and Spider-Man Noire (Nicolas Cage), all of them are great. We get to know about their general backstories but don’t get to spend as much times as we do with Miles, aside from him, Peter B. Parker is the one we get to know most. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, with a movie with so many characters, there’s only so much that you could delve into these characters (not to mention we’ll probably get to see them in future Spider-Man animated movies, given that they are all Spider-people). Other supporting characters like Miles’s father (Brian Tyree Henry) and his uncle (Mahershala Ali) were also handled quite well in the story. I guess the weakest link in terms of major characters is Kingpin/Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber), who wasn’t bad by any means. On top of being powerful and menacing, he does have clear motivations but just didn’t feel as strong as a character compared to the others, although it doesn’t detract from the rest of the movie.

Into the Spider-Verse is not like any other animated movie I’ve seen before, even just for the animation style. This is just a stunning looking movie, and the action scenes and really everything that happens on screen is just so fluid and smooth. Another thing they did is that they do play with the fact that this is a comic book movie, whether it be split screens or speech bubbles, sometimes its for style, sometimes is for comedy. For this type of style of comic book movie, live action is not able to achieve what an animated movie can, and they definitely take advantage of the fact that this is an animated movie. I will admit that after watching the movie I had a bit of headache, though I can’t tell whether it was because of how I was feeling at the time or whether this type of animation caused it. I do think it is worth mentioning that for some, it will take some time to get used to the animation style.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was an incredibly surprising movie, with a fantastic story and script, great characters and is just entertaining all round. It’s one of the best movies of 2018, the best comic book movie of 2018, one of the best comic book movies ever, and might actually be the best Spider-Man movie yet. Apparently there are more animated Spider-Man movies in the works and I am incredibly hyped for them. Even if you’re not super interested in this movie, check it out. If you’re a Spider-Man fan in the slightest, this is essential viewing.

Hidden Figures (2016) Review

Time: 127 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1]
Cast:
Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Goble Johnson
Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan
Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson
Kevin Costner as Al Harrison
Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell
Jim Parsons as Paul Stafford
Glen Powell as John Glenn
Mahershala Ali as Jim Johnson
Aldis Hodge as Levi Jackson
Director: Theodore Melfi

The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) – brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

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Hidden Figures seemed interesting when I first heard of it. It had a large and very talented cast, an interesting premise and story, and yes, it got many nominations for awards. So, I was curious enough to check it out. However, I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Hidden Figures is full of great performances, solid direction and also a very compelling story. Hidden Figures is really worth seeing, a pleasantly surprising movie.

The story in Hidden Figures was quite good. It’s easy to follow what’s going on throughout the movie, there was no confusion and I never felt bored throughout the movie. The leads were likeable (which was also helped by the lead actresses, which I’ll get into later), and so I was interested to watch what was going on. The stories were interesting for me, it was interesting seeing how big of a role these women had in historical events. Each of their stories was very interesting and it’s easy to be invested in their stories. As for how the bigotry is handled, it’s subtle, at no point does it seem over the top or forced for dramatic effect. This movie wasn’t put in black and white, the way people acted and the decisions made were more complex than most movies which portray this time period. It feels genuine and so its easy to believe what the characters are feeling when they encounter obstacles, almost experiencing what they are feeling. It was an easy movie to watch overall, not complicated but at the same time very enjoyable and interesting enough.

Hidden Figures has a very talented cast all around and they were all great here. The three main leads, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae were all fantastic, they were all very likable and believable in their roles. As I said, all of their stories are interesting to watch and these talented actresses really did carry their storylines well. If there is a main character between the three of them, I’d say that it’s Henson, she was personally a stand out to me. Other very talented actors like Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali and others were great in supporting roles.

The direction by Theodore Melfi was pretty good overall, this is the first film of his I’ve seen. The costume design, music, production design, soundtrack, everything fitted the time period well. So on top of the writing, story and acting, the direction made it a lot easier to be invested in this story. However it wasn’t really the highlight of the film, the story and acting were more the focus. Still solid direction nonetheless.

Hidden Figures is quite a good movie, the acting was great, direction was solid and the overall story was investing and riveting. It was interesting learning about all these events and how significant these people are. It definitely deserves the praise its been getting. Check out this movie when you get a chance. It’s not one that you need to immediately see, but I do think it’s worth a viewing.