Spring is here! Celebrate the season of new with an exciting slate of movies this weekend. Enjoy the brilliance of the Coen brothers, a masterpiece by Charlie Kaufman, Star Wars, the biggest movie of the year and Creed with Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Here are my thoughts on the must watch movies this weekend.
Few modern filmmakers boast as wide a spectrum as the incomparable Coen brother. Ethan and Joel have shown the world the dark side of humanity with No Country for Old Men, and the hilarity present in violence with Fargo. Their catalogue, which includes all-time greats, cult classics and fantastic comedies, has a new addition, which somehow combines all three. Hail, Caesar! might be the strangest cinema experience of your year, but it is one that cannot be missed. Starting with a remarkable cast, including Coen veterans George Clooney, Francis McDormand and Josh Brolin, and rising stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the dynamic duo have crafted an extraordinary feat of eclectic writing and directing. An opportunity to see the work of modern masters on the big screen.
Animation has always been able to expand the realm of possibility in film. Modern animation lets us make raining meatballs, head-spinning action and talking animals. Charlie Kaufman, on the other hand, allows us to see the intricacies of what it means to be a human. The writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation has an extraordinary ability to understand and respect the complex layers of human emotions. Anomalisa is, therefore, the most genuinely human animated feature you will ever see. It may be the most human film you will ever see. Many have called it the perfect film. Kaufman’s creation transcends animation, and is nothing short of a moving cinema experience. Most definitely a certified must-see.
Star Wars is the most important film series in history. That alone made the expectations for its seventh installment almost unattainable. Luckily, guided by J. J. Abrams, and a slew of new, exciting characters, The Force Awakens largely fails to disappoint. I am undeniably excited for the future chapters of George Lucas’ visionary creation, especially after The Force Awakens. Abrams ideally balances fantastic action, inner turmoil, galactic tension and the nostalgia of the original trilogy. Aided by the newest tools of visual effects and the fresh faces of Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Adam Driver, the newest episode is able to pay homage to its quirky, lovable universe and characters, while also forcing the plot forward with enviable passion. Episode VII is a certified must-see, and I’m sure you won’t want to miss Episode VIII, directed by Rian Johnson.
Two of the biggest films this past year are installments in epic screen series. Both the Star Wars and Rocky series have captivated audiences and become cultural objects. The newest installment in Sylvester Stallone’s project, Creed takes a turn into the 21st century, with Michael B. Jordan donning Jumpman sweats and exciting a brand new crop of young moviegoers. Ryan Coogler lends his direction and writing, bringing the creations of Stallone to the big screen in memorable fashion. Jordan, who stunned in Fruitvale Station, transcends the tropes of boxing or sports movies, delivering a layered acting performance in the style of Stallone’s original, inspired performance. Creed does not disappoint.