Movie review for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and ‘A Monster Calls’ (2016)


Before moving on to the movie reviews, let’s talk about Donald Trump for a while. The day has finally arrived. It’s the President’s Inauguration Day in United States and Donald Trump has officially becomes the 45th President of the country. I have high doubt that he will do well on his job on the highest office of US because he is already 70 years old now, has no political experience at all, a bit too extreme on certain issues, unprofessional behaviour, and couldn’t even speak well. Like it or not, he is the president now. That’s already a fact, and goodbye to President Obama for his 8 years of service as the first Black President of the United States.

Now, moving on back to the movie reviews. Recently, I watched two new movies. And yes, I’m still watching 2016 films. Not a single 2017 film yet. They are ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and ‘A Monster Calls’, and both are really good movies.

‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is a biographical war drama film about the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacificist combat medic who was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refusing to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty. The movie starred Andrew Garfield (as Desmond), Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, etc.

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The movie has a compelling true story with proper characters’ development and appropriate pacing. The war scene at the ridge is explosive, thrilling and got me on the edge of my seat. It delivered far beyond merely actions, but also excels in conveying the bravery and determination of Desmond Doss on bracing through the enemies to save the injured during the war. Andrew Garfield did an excellent job taking on this role. This is his best role yet that I have seen. He is one young good actor and I first saw his talent from his supporting role in ‘The Social Network’. I wouldn’t have surprise that his performance here will grant him his first ever Oscar nomination in best actor. Director Mel Gibson also did a great work here. Besides that, the sound editing work is wonderful and suits well to the several touching and heart-stopping moments throughout the film. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ a total of 8.0.

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‘A Monster Calls’ is a dark fantasy drama film about Conor, a child whose mother is terminally ill. One night, he is visited by a giant tree-like monster, who states that he will come back each night on 12.07am and tell him three stories. Conor seeks the help of the tree monster to cope with his mother’s terminal illness. The film starred Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Tobby Kebbell, Liam Neeson (voicing the tree monster), etc.

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This is certainly not a typical monster film. You won’t see a monster roaming the Earth and destroying buildings (well you still see a bit of that here). It’s a more psychological-themed and I welcomed this new approach. The young boy, Lewis MacDougall, who portrayed as Conor did a very good job (but he can actually do better in some scenes) and I saw glimpse of Tom Holland in him. Soon, this young boy will be as famous as Tom Holland who get famous after appearing in ‘The Impossible’, a disaster movie that is directed by J.A. Bayona (he also directs this movie). On the other hand, it’s great to see Sigourney Weaver back in film and she is great. Same goes to Felicity Jones as the ill mother. I myself also learnt a lot from the three stories told by the tree monster in this movie (also very beautiful visual depiction of those told stories). They are meaningful and convey a lot of messages in life. The final scene (Conor has to let go of his pain and accept the fate that his mother is going to die) also relates a lot to my own experience and is very sad and touching. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘A Monster Calls’ a total of 7.7.

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And, looking at this progress, it is most probably that I would have watched over 100 films (2016 movies) before the end of this month. That is a great accomplishment that matches back to the similar record I had for 2015 films. It’s not easy to do that. You really have to spend a lot of time and effort on it too.

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

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