Friday, March 24, 2017

You here now, that's all that matters.

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck. 

- Joss Whedon

Knowing what I know, and working where I workI'm very much on the fence of fully supporting the notion that we should all be ourselves. Sure, living a life that isn't yours seems to be nothing short of tragic, but have you spoken to some of these motherf--kers walking the planet these days? They're terrible human beings. Like, the absolute worst. And trust me, anytime someone announces that's just the way I am, it's usually code for I'm an unapologetic dickhead, and I could quite honestly give a f--k about you or anyone else.

So, again, I'd like to support you being you...but, uh, like my man Jospeh Hill Wheldon says, not if you're a shitty person.

No lie, this one gets my vote for top 5 posters ever. 
As the main character of the Oscar-winning Moonlight, Chiron isn't a shitty person, but instead appears to be a good person dealt a shitty hand (perhaps the shittiest of hands, frankly). The film, broken into distinct acts, chronicles Chiron's life at three pivotal moments: adolescence, high-school, and adulthood. In these stunningly captured scenes, we're given a window into the broken life of a little boy as he tries to navigate the depths of poverty, drug-addiction and homosexuality.

Alone.

While not quite the relentless gut-punch that was Manchester by the Sea [review], Moonlight instead breaks your heart just as quietly, but on a much larger scale. For Lee, it was essentially a singular incident that ruined his life. But for Chiron, his life is a mess for countless reasons, any of which could destroy a little kid. But piling them all together? It's so f--king one-sided, it's not even funny. And what's worse, it's likely a situation that is mirrored all over this godforsaken country. Hell, even if Chiron didn't have narrow-ass shoulders, the weight of the world this young man carries would still drive him straight into the warm ground of southern Florida.


But it doesn't, actually, as somehow, through the knee-deep muck of a youth spent in survival mode, Chiron makes it through. Sort of. He may have become the thing he hated most, sure, but one gets the feeling that it was simply the means to an end. Like playing make believe for twenty years. Which was probably worse than all the other shit he went through combined, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel...


He may not look like it, but this little dude can eat.
Looking back (it's been a couple of weeks), I whole-heartedly appreciate the story that Barry Jenkins crafted and told, as it's an extrememly moving film. Obviously, it shattered my heart at times, but despite what I've written here, Moonlight didn't really stay with me. It didn't quite resonate as much I thought it would.

The performances are all excellent, and as ugly as the subject is, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful film. I'm not sure if anything is necessarily missing from 2017's Best Picture winner (uh, obviously not, officially speaking), but I actually enjoyed all the Oscar-nominated flicks that I saw more than Moonlight [note: I didn't see Lion or Hidden Figures]. Maybe it was just too intimate, too small, or maybe it had a slightly familiar aftertaste, or maybe I'm just a heartless, racist, homophobic jackass.

Speaking of things we've all come across too many times (ignorant dickwads, that is), here are the Yays and Boos. Luckily, on the opposite end of the terrible person spectrum, lies one quietly badass fella going by the name of Mahershala Ali. Dude, this guy? Incredible.


Listen up, Little. This guy knows what he's talking about.
Yaaaaaaaay!
  • Man, if Juan accurately portrays how modern drug-dealers handle themselves, I really gotta get some new friends. 
  • Oh, and his lady? Soooo fine. Damn, Ms. Harris. Damn. (oh, and she's an incredibly nice person, too).
  • It's kind of cliche at this point, sure, but the swimming scene is so beautiful, so touching, you know? I'm sure film professors jizz all over themselves with this bit.
  • Sorry, School Lady. We ain't hearing none of your shit today. 
  • Speaking of, I am definitely not an advocate for fighting in school (even if there's about a half dozen kids I'd like to fight myself), but that retaliation move? Holy. Shit. 
  • Man, I don't know what to say about Kevin. Like...he was basically a good dude and a good friend, uh, forever, but that's also what makes him so f--king terrible, too. Still, in this film, he ends up with a Yay.
  • As is their 'unplanned' tryst on the beach. Sure, it doesn't exactly help either of them in the short term, but...long term? Well...
  • And finally, that final scene was just about perfect. Really nothing more to be said...
I guess it's a start...but c'mon, Ken. That's it?
BOOOOOOooOO!
  • Get his gay ass! These f--king punks...
  • Hey Mom, are you really in a position to pull your boy away from a friendly fist bump? Uh, I don't think so.
  • Thankfully, I missed the day in school where we all whipped out and compared wieners. Is this really a thing? Guys, a little help here....?
  • Shit. Outisde of the time Freddy almost grabbed Nancy's bidness, this flick takes the cake for worst bubble-bath ever. 
  • The faggot question/conversation destroyed me. Poor dude, has no idea what it means...or, even worse, he does.
  • I could probably do about twenty bullets on Chiron's high school days, but I'll just boil it down to two:
    • those dudes that are always messing with him...
    • and the way Kev handles peer pressure
  • While I thought the transition from kid to teenager was handled well, I was initially shook when I saw the adult version of Chiron. Who's this baby 50-Cent looking motherf--ker? I guess we all tend to overcompensate as adults for the demons of our youth, but damn, dude. Took that shit a little too far, no?
  • And I also gonna boo the fact that I was convinced that Juan was Little's/Chiron's father, too. Fine, it probably doesn't make any sense...but I still think it could have worked. And the real reason I'm pissed about this? Had they been together, Ali would have had some more screen time, dammit.
  • Not to be a dick, but...I thought this flick ended at least three times. And every time it kept coming, my enthusiasm waned just a little bit more.
  • And finally, the idea that someone, anyone, can live their entire life and never be in love/be loved is unfathomable. This poor kid, struggling in every single way imaginable, couldn't even afford something that's inherently free. Absolutely tragic. No one deserves such a life. 
But if everyone deserves love (and to be loved), does that apply to the rotten f--kers that litter this film? Does Chiron's drugged-out mom deserve love? What about the bullies in high school that torment a poor kid just for being gay? Should they be themselves? Or are they just that way as a result of a lack of love in their own life?

Honestly, I don't even know. I'd like to say that everyone deserves to be loved...but I just can't. 



That's the just way I am.

15 comments:

  1. I get what you're saying about Moonlight not staying with you.. I saw this before I saw few other nominees (Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Fences) and after I'd seen Manchester By the Sea and I haven't seen any of the other nominees for Best Picture yet BUT I don't think any other movie that Moonlight deserved the win in terms of integrity. I don't think any of the Best Picture movies this year were out of this world, stood above and beyond the rest (granted, I haven't seen all of them), but it seemed like a very muted and quiet year in general. And among that quiet, Moonlight screamed the most.. I hated the ending in a way because it crushed me, and it just.. I hate endings like that.

    But you said all the right things about it.. even though I loved it a bit more I guess.. but as you said, Manchester By the Sea gave a much heavier punch because it was much louder in its message. But sometimes the quiet ones are those you need to look out for..

    PS: That poster is a work of art.. deserving of a place in a museum !

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    1. Yes! I very much appreciate your take on this one. Frankly, while winning/losing Best Picture used to actually bother me, I really don't care about that stuff anymore. At least..not like when I was a kid.

      That said, when I saw Moonlight, it was after its Oscar victory, and that certainly elevated my expectations. I imagined myself to be absolutely slayed by it, and instead I was just really, really bummed out. Manchester DEVASTATED me. Clearly the ability to make someone sad doesn't make a film actually 'good', but I couldn't shake it. For days.

      I'm glad you loved this movie! Just hearing you (or anyone) say they love a film only makes me want to see it again, you know?

      I could stare at that damn poster forever. Like, forever ever.

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    2. I watched it before the nominations were revealed so I had none of the Oscar expectations. I think it helped, it took the pressure off and it just let me enjoy it. Machester By the Sea.. man, I was in a filled theather alone crying my fcking eyeballs out.. BTW out of curiosity I went and looked how I scored them initially (I log Letterbox scores right after and never really change them, even though my scores change after time) and gave Moonlight 4,5 but Manchester 5.. I think it's the right score.

      Have you watched La La Land already?

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    3. I think that seeing it beforehand would have surely changed my view of it. And I love what you're saying about seeing Manchester in the theater. I would have been a f--king mess. I could barely contain myself at home...my wife and I both staring at the screen, not daring to look at each other for the entire duration. Goodness.

      I'm totalyl down with your scores.

      I did and I loved it. I would have given it a 5 out of 5. Easily.

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  2. I liked this one more than you did it seems. When you said you thought it ended a few times, I was raging when it actually did end. I wasn't ready to go.

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    1. Ha! My mom said the same thing (I redboxed it for her...as she's unable to use the machine???). Anyway, I was ready simply because I was exhausted...and as this was a very quiet movie, I was near the end of basic human functioning for the evening.

      I hear you though, Brittani. We were on the brink of this dude finally getting some joy in his life...and it just sort of fades away. But the implication is there, right? He's gonna be...okay? ish?

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  3. Yup. I liked this movie but forgot it pretty quickly too. Honestly I think it simply ticked all the right boxes to win BP. I do find it odd though that LLL won six awards, but not BP? Smells of political correctness to me. Or perhaps I'm a racist homophobe too! :P

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    1. It definitely ticked all the right boxes, but I'd say this one didn't feel like that was why it was made, you know? There's been some Oscar-baity shit before, and this didn't feel like that to me.

      I REALLY don't want to consider that the Oscars has to go the political correct route, only because then what the f--k are we even doing with these awards? But...yeah...who the Hell really knows?

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  4. "And finally, the idea that someone, anyone, can live their entire life and never be in love/be loved is unfathomable." Damn between this and the whole kids part in Manchester ur reviews are really depressing me lately

    I forgot about this movie pretty much the moment it ended. It was fine and thank God it win over the most superficial movie of the year but when people tell me Moonlight is better/moved them more than Brokeback Mountain I just roll my eyes

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    1. I am not trying to depress anyone! These damn serious movies are to blame...as they get thinking more about life and death, than say tits and ass. Or in your case...beards and bulge.

      You and your irrational hatred of La La Land. I love that f--king movie. And always will. Er, hopefully.

      I forgot pretty much all of Brokeback that wasn't Anne Hathaway taking off her shirt. Hmm. Maybe I should rewatch it?

      Nah. That's time I could spend re-watching La La Land.

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    2. Smh at everything in this comment other than "beards and bulge" which would make a rad band name

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  5. I'm with you on this one. This was the first year I watched and enjoyed all of the nominated Best Pictures, but this was at the bottom of the pile for me. It broke my heart, but ask me my thoughts in a year and I'm not gonna remember much!

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    1. Allie!!!

      I almost feel bad that it didn't stay with me, as if I'm missing something, but the other films (assuming we need to compare them for some reason...) simply resonated more. I actually liked Hacksaw Ridge more, and it seems like everybody around here thought that movie basically sucked. So...

      ...well, what the f--k do I know, right?

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  6. I liked this one way more than you. I know it's a heavy film, but that's kinda my thing. Of course, I take my fair share of breaks with tits & ass movies. As for this movie, it did stick with me. It's been more than a month since I saw it but I was able to write my review as if I just watched it last night. It really works for me. By the way, your last boo and the thoughts that follow are just perfect. Great job.

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  7. OK, I'm back, now that I finally watched and reviewed this movie. Wow, it seems that I liked this one a lot better than you did. Like Brittani, I was disappointed when it ended -- I wanted more. But paradoxically, like you, I thought the ending was perfect.

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