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Student Voice staff shares their take 2017 must-see films

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Student Voice staff shares their take 2017 must-see films

The staff of The Washington Post anxiously awaits the decision of the Supreme Court in the Oscar nominated and critically acclaimed film, “The Post”. Photo credit: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The staff of The Washington Post anxiously awaits the decision of the Supreme Court in the Oscar nominated and critically acclaimed film, “The Post”. Photo credit: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The staff of The Washington Post anxiously awaits the decision of the Supreme Court in the Oscar nominated and critically acclaimed film, “The Post”. Photo credit: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The staff of The Washington Post anxiously awaits the decision of the Supreme Court in the Oscar nominated and critically acclaimed film, “The Post”. Photo credit: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

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Movies are not only entertaining, but a fun escape from realty. They are much needed stress relievers for the busy life of a college student. The Student Voice shares their favorite must-see movies of 2017-18.

The Post Review

“The Post” is one of many incredible Oscar-nominated movies highlighting current world issues throughout this past year. The film stresses just how vital a free press is, while reminding us that the truth holds power over even the most powerful people.

“The Post” tells the true story of The Washington Post’s first female publisher, and the paper’s struggle to release the disturbing truth about the Vietnam War during the Nixon administration. As the public finds out that their loved ones were sent off to a war the government knew the U.S. was not going to win, the papers face a battle of their own when their first amendment right is threatened by the President of the United States.

Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), the first female publisher of The Washington Post, comes off as rather timid and submissive towards the beginning of the film. After being continuously undermined by multiple board members, she slowly builds the confidence that leads her to make one of the biggest decisions in the paper’s history. Her character development is both impressive and inspiring.

Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), is wildly entertaining throughout the film. His sarcasm and wit add quite a few instances of welcome comic relief. His determination to publish the truth, even with all odds against him, created wonderful suspense. Despite their opposite personalities, Streep and Hanks had fantastic chemistry.

The cinematography was incredible to say the least. Whether it was the close ups of the old printing presses, or the wide-angle shots of the bustling streets of New York, the movie was absolutely beautiful to watch. The costuming and set design were on point for the time period, as well as the dialogue.

I can easily understand why this movie has been nominated for so many awards. It is truly entertaining from the moment it begins to the moment it ends. For a suspenseful and truly relevant film, “The Post” is well worth seeing.

-Hannah Elders

Dunkirk Review

“Dunkirk” does an exceptional job of putting you in the true story of resolve England displayed as a nation during the evacuation from Dunkirk early in World War II. The viewers step into the incredibly realistic and anxiety-filled world Christopher Nolan has recreated.

The situation faced by the British Expeditionary force is dire, although the film offers only a short background in the beginning. Narrative focused cinematography makes up for the lack of dialog as Nolan walks the viewers through several parallel story-lines. Although this can get confusing, the jumps from story to story are not on a linear timeline, and tend to weave in and out of each other. If you aren’t paying attention to small details, you might miss big ones.

Detail is clearly important to Nolan. Most of the aircraft used in the movie are the real models used in the Second World War, and the logistics required to operate antique aircraft coupled with IMAX cameras are extensive and difficult. The payoff, however, is large when a Spitfire turns to give pursuit of a BF-109, and it’s actually happening and in high fidelity. This fidelity offers a brief window into what took place nearly 75 years ago, and it doesn’t hesitate to show the viewer the tragedy on the ground.

The movie is heavy, and throws away the romanticism of many war films in exchange for reality. Nolan is English, and the historical significance of what took place at “Dunkirk” is clearly showcased in the desperate tone set by it’s characters. By choosing not to shy away from the brutality one would face in that situation, I think Nolan expresses a high level of respect towards the actual people who were there.

The actors do a tremendous job of expressing a sense of realism through a script with very little dialogue. I don’t think many other than Tom Hardy could communicate so much through their face while most of it is covered by an oxygen mask.

Overall the film is very good, and if you are a fan of Nolan’s work you will enjoy it. It is a heavy movie, however, so watch with caution.

-Kevin Bell

Call Me By Your Name Review

“Call Me By Your Name” delivers a beautiful and melancholic coming of age love story that is sure to wrench you by the heartstrings.

The story follows 17-year-old Elio Perlam, played by Timothèe Chalamet, who spends the summer of 1983 with his family in a 17th century villa in northern Italy. Elio spends his time swimming, reading and playing music in a picturesque setting, while his father studies ancient sculptures. Elio’s idyllic life, however, is soon disrupted by the arrival of a doctoral student that interns with his father. Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, strikes up a friendship with a reserved Elio that eventually blossoms into a sensual and deeply emotional romance.

Chalamet faithfully plays the role of an angsty adolescent that says less than what he feels. Hammer bounces off Chalamet’s performance with a confident charm that chips away at the teen’s self-imposed barriers. Their relationship on screen builds into a loving bond that is deeply intimate and realistically portrayed.

The direction by Luca Guadagnino is commendable for subtly portraying the dance of attraction and inner turmoil brought on by young love. This film respects it’s audience by showing more than it tells. The cinematography is gorgeous yet subtle. Each scene is visually arresting and picturesque in such a way that it adds to audience’s immersion into the Italian setting.

Though the pacing can seem to drag at times, each frame carries a purpose and weight that adds a welcome dimension to this rich and emotional tale. The film is helped by the use of music by Sufjan Stevens. His atmospheric sound and heavy-hearted lyrics powerfully reflect the melancholic turns during the film’s more emotional moments.

-Martin Bilbao

Get Out Review

Jordan Peele makes his directorial debut in “Get Out”, a highly anticipated must-see movie that blends horror, mystery, and racial tension. Peele, who is previously known for his comedic work on his Comedy Central sketch Key & Peele, breaks the mold of traditional movie genres to create one of the most rewarding film experiences of 2017. The movie takes a bold approach on racism in today’s America, while brilliantly putting the viewer in the shoes of its minorities. Scoring an initial 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, “Get Out” certainly lives up to its hype and is sure to have you on the edge of your seat by the time it’s over.

Growing up, movies have always been my go-to entertainment. I typically pride myself in predicting the forthcoming in these types of movies. “Get Out”, however, gave me something I have long been waiting for in a movie: a filmmaker that challenges me. Although there were plenty of hints (perhaps even obvious ones) as to what was coming, it took the entire movie for all of them to come together into a stunning finish.

The acting was phenomenal. Although the film is technically classified as horror, it was also brilliantly hilarious (which was not an easy task) and had the whole theater gasping, screaming, and laughing together in unison.

The story follows Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young black man whose white girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) takes him to upstate New York to visit her family for what was meant to be an amicable weekend. Upon arrival Chris is introduced to the help of the home. They are the only other black people within miles, and Chris immediately notices that something is very…off. After an annual family reunion catches Chris by surprise, things take a twisted turn as the dark secrets that lie within the Armitage family are uncovered. Whether you are a fan of comedies, psychological thrillers, or horror films, Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” has something for everyone. This film is a must-see and will not disappoint.

-Kendall Sattler

Lady Bird Review

“Lady Bird” has been one of the most talked about films of the year. The movie tells the story of a girl named Christine, or “Lady Bird.” Lady Bird struggles with her identity as well as her relationship with her mother. As she grows tired of Sacramento, tensions rise with her family as she longs to leave her hometown for college.

Saoirse Ronan is wonderful as Lady Bird. Her character is somewhat complex for the role of a high school student. While being very quirky, shameless, and rather fearless, Lady Bird surprisingly longs for popularity at school. She juggles multiple opposing characteristics, which makes her character rather unique. Laurie Metcalf, who plays Lady Bird’s mother, was also a highlight of the film. She plays a role that I believe reminds every girl of their own mother in some way, which helps audiences everywhere relate to the film. Both Ronan and Metcalf were fantastic on their own, but were most entertaining when they were together. Some of the most amusing and relatable scenes in the film are the one-on-one scenes with Lady Bird and her mother.

When it comes to the plot itself, I can’t say I was totally impressed. It felt somewhat slow at times, and didn’t exactly live up to the expectations I had built up for it. The movie itself was very good; however, I believe its “must-see” status was a bit overdramatized.

The cinematography helped me to feel what the characters were feeling. During moments of sadness or boredom, the shots were filled with dull colors and drab settings. During moments of happiness or nostalgia for Lady Bird and her mother, there was a noticeable change in color and lighting that really fit the mood.

Overall, I thought “Lady Bird” was very good. Comparatively, however, I think there are multiple nominees that deserve the win over this movie for best picture. I can’t say this movie is particularly mind blowing or incredible, but it is definitely very well done.

-Hannah Elder’s

The Greatest Showman Review

“The Greatest Showman” is an amazing old-fashioned musical that keeps your eyes attached to the screen throughout the entire film. The movie takes place in the 1800s and follows the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum (Hugh Jackman), who follows his dream by starting a circus with the showbiz spirit. The movie incorporates a brilliant cast for a thriller circus with characters such as Tom Thumb, Dog Boy, Tattoo Man, and the Bearded Lady to create a 19th-century freak-show gallery. This movie showcases the spirit of Bob Fosse with its spectacular choreography, and exemplifies the message that money doesn’t buy happiness.

The movie starts off with a young P.T Barnum, played by Ellis Rubin. He and his tailor father travel to wealthy households as they are continuously treated as low-ranking servants. Phineas meets their daughter Charity (Skylar Dunn) at the house of the Halletts. The duet “A Million Dreams” established their love story, which carries throughout the film.

The various numbers in this movie keep you hooked the entire time with lots of energetic songs and choreography. This film is unlike others because of its unique story line and entertaining flare.

-Darya Abbassi

Logan Review

Hugh Jackman returned for the final culmination of his X-Men character, Wolverine, in the critically-acclaimed film, “Logan.” Screenplay writers James Mangold, Michael Green and Scott Frank depart from the typical, almost lighthearted elements of a superhero movie, to create one of the only R-rated films from the Marvel universe. While profane language and bloody battles are abundant, the dark, heart-wrenching elements that follow the mutant’s story are justification for the mature rating.

Wolverine, AKA Logan, has aged tremendously. His health and superpower abilities have rapidly declined, and he has become an angry alcoholic. Nonetheless, Logan continues to look after an even sicker Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who is continuously having seizures that cause mass destruction on others. It is believed that they are some of the only X-Men left, but this is not exactly the case. A former nurse from a biotechnology lab reveals to Logan that there are children being injected with mutant DNA to become superhuman weapons. The woman requests that Logan find safe refuge for Laura, a child played by Dafne Keen. Logan’s detached nature initially influences him to decline, but he eventually agrees to help. As Logan, Charles, and Laura make their way to find safety, they are chased and continuously attacked by Reavers, a group of X-Men-hating cyborgs.

There is a cycle of defeat and triumph against the Reavers throughout the film, but it is done in such a way that keeps the audience enthralled through its unexpected moments of heartbreak. While I do not want to spoil any major plot twists in this movie, I do want to emphasize the fact that this film is the most synonymous with heartbreak and darkness. There is an attachment to the characters that is unlike another X-Men film. Of course, people have loved and praised Wolverine and Xavier’s characters on the big screen since 2000. They have watched their relationship grow, but they have not seen Wolverine grow warm toward a child like Laura before. They are reminiscent of a father-daughter duo even though Logan is reluctant at first. Jackman does an incredible job of a hardened, ill man who tries to distance himself. Keen, however, is even more impressive. Even though she does not say much, her facial expressions, gestures and fighting skills are jaw-dropping.

Overall, “Logan” is a must watch film, and it does the end of Wolverine justice. It is the first live action superhero to receive a screenplay Oscar nomination, and it is definitely well deserved.

-Emily Nelissen

It Review

The New York Times Bestselling Novel, Stephen King’s IT, hit the big screen in a new and improved yet terrifying fashion on Sep. 8, 2017.

This film was the second rendition of IT, the first debuting as a television mini-series in 1990. This film did not disappoint. As a fan of horror films, “IT” had me captivated throughout the entire duration of the production, and left me with a smile almost as big as Pennywise’s plastered on my face.

Whether it was the brilliant acting from Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, the comic relief offered by the Losers’ Club, or the terrific special effects, I enjoyed every minute of this film. Pennywise, the horrific clown that terrorizes the children of Derry, Maine, had his appearance changed from a clown who seemed friendly and innocent in the 1990 rendition, to a towering, menacing, and nightmare inducing clown in the 2017 rendition.

The Director of this film, Andy Muschietti, did a tremendous job of balancing horror elements in this film. The framing of all the shots in the film is superb, especially the way that he angles the camera upwards to depict a larger Pennywise. One of the seemingly underrated elements that Muschietti utilizes is color. The town of Derry is littered with drab colors and almost nothing that catches the eye. The only elements that do catch the eyes of the audience are Pennywise’s accompaniments. This includes his make-up and clothing, his deep-red colored balloon that appears to be the brightest feature in the film, and his house, which seems abandoned and partly destroyed. All of these elements were key additions to this horrific story.

-Ryan Ketcham

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