Movie review for ‘Swiss Army Man’, ‘Moana’, ‘Arrival’ and ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ (2016)


My current holiday in this January is the best time for me to catch up on some movies released last year. This week has just reached its half-way but I have already watched four new movies. They are ‘Swiss Army Man’, ‘Moana’, ‘Arrival’ and ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’. Here below are my short reviews to these 4 films which are all released last year (2016).

‘Swiss Army Man’ is a comedy drama film about a hopeless man who was stranded on a deserted island and befriended a dead body. They then together go on a surreal journey to get home. The movie starred Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. All I can say about this movie is that it is very weird and strange but tremendously interesting. All the farting and sex talks are meant for comedy (and they works well and not annoying to my surprise) and the very end subject that prevails is the friendship and the strange bonding between this hopeless man and a dead body slowly being reanimated. This movie also saw fine performances by the two males, Paul and Daniel, and their chemistry is very good. A very odd movie that turns out to be surprisingly good. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Swiss Army Man’ a total of 7.6.

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‘Moana’ is an animated movie sets in ancient Polynesia that revolves on a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui that reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island. The daughter answers the Ocean’s call and seek out the Demigod to set things right, paving the way for a great adventure on the ocean. This is a fairly enjoyable animated movie and I can see the reason why it is nominated in various awards right now in animated film category. But I don’t think it has a chance of winning because its story, formula and techniques are pretty familiar to us all without anything that screams breakthrough or ‘cool stuff’. It is still an entertaining animated movie and out of 10 points, I rate ‘Moana’ a total of 7.2. However, the song by Moana entitled ‘How Far I’ll Go’ is pretty nice to listen to.

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‘Arrival’ is a science-fiction film about a female linguistic professor who is tasked to interpret the unknown language of the alien visitors in one of the 12 spacecrafts that landed in separate locations across the world. This is not an ordinary film about incoming extraterrestrials invading our planet but a movie that needs us to think deep and ask questions from its unique approach to the movie’s plot. It goes on a totally new approach on this extraterrestrial genre which is very welcomed. If you are looking for action scenes since there is extraterrestrial presence here, then don’t go for this movie. You will be bored to death. But for me, I’m in for a unique cinematic experience and this movie delivered. It deals not with invasion or attacks but time and culture. Seriously, this film got me mind-fucked. There has been quite some time since I last watched a film that got me sit still, asking questions and get amazed. This movie is good and no wonder it is being nominated everywhere in best film category now. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Arrival’ a total of 8.0. This movie also saw great and solid performance by Amy Adams.

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‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ is a biographical comedy-drama film based on the real life of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress in 1940s who became an opera singer known for her painful lack of singing skill. The titular role is portrayed by Meryl Streep and yes, she nailed yet another role with amazing performance here as expected. She is now looking forward to its record-breaking 20th nomination in the upcoming Oscars for best actress from her wonderful performance in this movie. Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg are also excellent in their supporting roles, the former as her husband and the latter as her hired pianist. I thoroughly enjoyed this biographical movie which is warm and poignant. The ending is touching too and further shown to us that Meryl Streep is not an over-rated actress as claimed by Donald Trump in his recent tweet in response to Meryl Streep’s indirect attack on him in her award acceptance speech in Golden Globes last weekend. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ a total of 7.7.

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(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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