There are times when I don't feel like churning out paragraphs worth of reviews, so here are bite-sized reviews from 3 releases of 2017: The Hitman's Bodyguard, Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Coco.
The Hitman's Bodyguard is a buddy action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson. It has Reynolds portraying a high strung elite bodyguard hired to protect Jackson's assassin as he has turned to be a high profile witness against a country's ruthless leader, played by Gary Oldman. The whole case with the trial acts as fodder for the duo to unleash their chemistry; their team up works primarily because the characters have personalities that the actors have done before. They balance each other well, and with the action and comedic scenes combined, it churns an entertaining movie. Salma Hayek is the MVP for me; even with her limited screen time, she's still funny.
Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales chronicles the latest (and hopefully last) outing of Jack Sparrow, as he faces off with Captain Salazar. He is joined by the usual forces, like his frenemy, Captain Barbossa. New characters include Henry, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann's son, and Carina Smythe, an astronomer who has connections with someone in the story. This movie was all over the place; there were many characters and ideas that are placed in to put some kind of connection in the narrative but their presence was never justified. For all the fighting and escaping the characters did, this was a lackluster movie.
Coco is Pixar’s latest offering. This surrounds the Mexican holiday Dia delos Muertos or day of the dead. Miguel, the film’s protagonist, comes from a family that has shun out music because of what it did to the marriage of their ancestors. However, he wanted to become a musician. When opportunity arose, he takes the guitar of a well-beloved musical legend, leading him to cross the other side. He eventually ends up finding out more about his ancestry and his musical roots, as well as the importance of family. This was a stunning film. It was festive, the songs were good, and it was a mixture of adventure and fun. It also had a lot of heart. The voice acting was good, and everything was well put together. Compared to other Pixar animated films, this didn’t have a lot of media coverage (at least in my area) but this was great. Pixar has another winner in its hands.