Paul McGuire Grimes of Paul’s Trip to the Movies reveals if he thinks the new movie about space travel and another new release are worth making the trip for. Plus he has a home release that he recommends you take a look at.
FIRST MAN (theatrical release)
Movies about space exploration will always fascinate audiences, especially when they are based on true stories. Neil Armstrong was the first man who touched down on the moon back on July 20, 1969. While many people remember that day, there are new generations who don’t know his story and what it took to get the Apollo 11 on the moon. Ryan Gosling stars as Armstrong. He’s a devoted family man and NASA engineer who is in a state of mourning after his daughter passed away. He heads full on into work mode in the aftermath applying for and then being selected as part of Project Gemini. Its mission was to create and perfect space travel techniques to send the Apollo space shuttle up to the Moon before the Soviets accomplished that feat. Armstrong worked alongside his team as they saw it go through many trials and tribulations leading up to the moon landing including many space shuttle malfunctions along the way resulting in the death of many of his friends and fellow crew members. Armstrong was ultimately selected to be a part of the Apollo 11 crew with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
-Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Corey Stoll
-Directed by Damian Chazelle, the Oscar winning director of La La Land and Whiplash. Along with his cinematographer, they have taken a very intimate claustrophobic approach to some of the camera work taking you right inside the cockpit. The shaky camera may affect some audience members.
-Chazelle is clearly inspired by the masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey. He’s always trying to create stunning visuals using practical effects instead of overly relying on CGI.
-As Neil Armstrong, Ryan Gosling is the strong silent type. He’s a very reserved kind of character. Gosling excels at this actor trait as he continues to play very internal characters.
-The film’s pace is a bit slower than expected reflecting the time period and quieter nature of who Neil Armstrong was. It takes its time to build up to the epic and majestic ending with the moon landing.
-You’ll want to see this one at the IMAX at the MN Zoo. The ending is shot with IMAX cameras and deserves to be seen on a massive screen.
-Loved the use of real audio, footage, and commercials from the time period. Don’t believe the fake news as this movie is very American showing our flag multiple times throughout and punctuates the movie with one of Kennedy’s memorable speeches.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? First Man is not to be missed in theaters.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
THE HATE U GIVE (theatrical release)
Starr is a high school girl living in the middle of two different communities. Her family lives in Garden Heights in a low-income mainly black neighborhood run by gang kingpin. She attends a private high school in Williamson, which happens to be primarily white school. Starr doesn’t quite know where she fits in best as she’s still struggling to find her voice and feel like a part of a community. Her life is completely altered one night after leaving a party with her friend, Khalil. As they were driving home, a cop pulls them over and Khalil is shot when the cop mistakes his hairbrush for a gun. Starr is the only witness what really happened between Khalil and the cop. She suffers some PTSD as she struggles with finding her voice when everyone around her has an opinion on how she should act and what she should say about that fatal night.
-Starring: Amandla Stendberg, Russell Hornsby, Common, Regina Hall, K.J. Apa, Issa Rae, Anthony Mackie
-Based on the young adult book by Angie Thomas. Clearly written and now brought to the big screen as a response to the real headlines of Philando Castile and Oscar Grant. The title is taken from a Tupac song about how the systemic way we raise our youth.
-One angle of the movie is all about helping the youth find their voice and how they can break the cycle for a new generation.
-Amandla Stenberg gives a phenomenal performance not to be missed. She’s a fantastic young talent who really wrestles with Starr’s continual conflict at hand.
-The movie works best if you think of it coming from Starr’s point of view. When you open up to the rest of the movie, it brings up about every angle of this topic when it comes protesting, riots, All Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, gangs, and police brutality. It raises a lot of questions and ideas without always answering them or making its point crystal clear to its audience.
-It definitely stirs emotion kicking you in the gut at times. It should hopefully prompt discussion on the way home regardless of how well it makes its point.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? It should help our youth find their voice regarding a variety of difficult conversations about race in our society.
RATING: 3 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
EIGHTH GRADE (home release)
Kayla is nearing the end of eighth grade and is making that transition into being in high school once fall approaches. She doesn’t have many friends and is raised by her dad as her mom is no longer in the picture. She spends her free time creating You Tube videos with tutorials on how to be your true self and having confidence. The irony is that she has a hard time putting her words of advice into practice. She’s shy and is often ignored by the “cool kids.” Eighth Grade is that slice of life movie that puts in perspective what kids are going through at this critical age of adolescence.
-Written and directed by Bo Burnham who’s making his feature film debut. He uses interesting techniques with music and camera shots to get you right in the mindset of Kayla and her inner monologue of being an outcast and the struggle of putting yourself out there.
-Newcomer Elsie Fisher is a breakout star. She brings forth a raw and vulnerable performance as Kayla.
-Don’t often see coming of age movies that deal with this age bracket. It’s very different than a high school coming of age story.
-Dialogue feels so natural with the way these characters talk with the yeahs, umms, and likes. Terrifying look at how obsessed kids are with status, social media, likes, clicks and follows.
-Eighth Grade in 2018 is far different than it was when I was that age, and this movie can be a great lesson for kids Kayla’s age as well as parents struggling to understand what their child is going through.
-You really feel the awkwardness, the embarrassment, cringe-worthy nature of Kayla and other kids in school trying to act older than they are.