Although Gareth Edward’s film has some pacing issues, particularly in the first half of the film, the movie as a complete package is dearly entertaining. For the main character, a lackluster introduction to her background and motives means that the principle “show, don’t tell” is perfectly illustrated here. Instead of letting us know her as an individual, we are merely told about what she has done and is willing to do, and thus audiences can’t quite grasp the passion she wants to convey. Meanwhile, and not befitting the role at all, Diego Luna plays the anti-hero but falls flat; like a two-dimensional monologue machine. And pertaining the rest of the cast, audiences are left wondering what’s the point of introducing us to individuals that seem to have hidden depths only to learn that that they feebly renounce to their beliefs (and even lives). Even so, and befitting to a Star Wars film, the world and its various ambiences are engulfing and immersive, thrusting us into the saga head-on; and once the pacing is established, we can fully appreciate the female heroine in her fullest potential and grasp the importance of what is to be done. Two important remarks: the comedic relief portrayed by the robot, boding well for the history of Star Wars companions; and an excellent battle that gives viewers the feeling of hope and union represented by the rebel alliance. In conclusion, would I recommend the film? Definitely. Would I state it’s a good film? Not particularly, but it is very entertaining, and for Star Wars fans and followers it delivers a slither of hope that the saga will continue, with more films and a deeper insight into the universe as a whole.
Watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High almost 40 years after its release means beckoning a timepiece of history that has been preserved in video form. In a way, although it might not be the best created film, it represents a cultural segment of American history that transcended for the individuals that lived through an epoch. The fashion, language, and other shenanigans of the 80s are conveyed through a cast of characters that, although unknown at the moment, would become extremely important for Hollywood per-se. One can ever ponder how Sean Penn transitioned from his role as Jeff Spicoli into what he has become today, or how big hitters like Mike Damone got lost against the backdrop of cinema as the years passed. In short words, Cameron Crowe crafted a stereotypical coming of age film, but one where his characters are so well scripted that audiences root for them and care for them (who wouldn’t like to have a brother like Brad?). Fast Times at Ridgemont High so symbolically represents an era, genre and place that its inclusion in the Library of Congress is no surprise, being “culturally, historically and aesthetically significant”. A downside of its duration is the fact that audiences can’t get to know the characters in a more distinct manner (in comparison to TV series), especially those secondary personas that had a substantial impact on the film (Forest Whitaker).
From the same director that helmed “Sicario” comes 2016’s best science fiction film: Arrival. A movie that, although extremely distanced from real events (an alien apparition on earth), delves into what human cooperation and teamwork means for the sake of development and humanity itself. And after a tumultuous 2016 that highlighted racism, segregation, hate, and zealousness, Arrival becomes a small message that resonates for filmgoers. Pertaining to its cast, Arrival hits the spot in almost all the right areas, with only Forest Whitaker failing to transmit the same level of energy as the rest of the cast (his absence helps the film more than his presence). Even so, the duo of Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner is likeable and manages to impress throughout the entirety of Denis Villeneuve’s direction. A point of emphasis is made on the use of a non-linear narrative progression utilized to perfection that achieves the single objective of making audiences think with a predetermined mindset, judging the main character because of it, and in the end realizing the main message that the film wanted to transmit.