Moonlight (Lookin’ blue)

The emotion vested within the core of this story is as gut-wrenching as it’s foretelling on one’s purpose from the creator himself. The subtlety of raw despair is often felt but left unsaid, due to the overwhelmingly troubling external forces surrounding Little. The altruistic actions of Mahershala Ali’s Juan towards Little propel the framework to the very conclusion itself.

Along the way–after some years eclipse–Chiron finds himself combating his mother’s addiction and the trauma that is high school. Humans will undoubtedly rear the ugliest of forms, but Chiron travels towards an infinite discovery of his own metamorphosis. Sometimes an escape offers clarity, even though the shift in scenery is only but a temporary notion. Teresa.

Black has reinvented himself in an attempt to shed demons from his past. While the bandage method has healed a few wounds, others–deepest of all–still remain. A call from a love thought to be lost shakes Black’s very foundations–sending him on a whim back to Miami to unlock the very door inside the subterranean chasm of his soul.

Be who you are–true to your heart. Don’t allow the world to define your novella. You’re the author–walk forward with your eyes focused ahead.

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Stranger Things

The Stranger Things intro theme is the quintessential example that less is more and a haunting melody can reverberate the very depths of the human soul.

The Netflix original is a love letter expertly written to Spielberg, John Carpenter and others from the 80’s. The plot matches the tone and the characters are a perfect accompaniment to drive the script home each of the eight episodes.

Subjectively, I felt as though the revelation of the Demogorgon’s appearance did not translate effectively to the tense, creepy tone the Duffer Brothers achieved. The aesthetic recalled more to a licker from Resident Evil 2 than anything original.

Still, the show is a solid 8.25/10 for me.

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The Shallows

The Shallows arrives just in time to erase the disappointing and underwhelming memory of Open Water, The Reef, and other shark pretender films. What those attempts lacked, The Shallows wields and flaunts… The missing link, or so to speak. There is a deep sense of isolation Blake Lively’s Nancy experiences, which effortlessly transfers to the audience.

The film places Lively, two surfers, and a tequila-affixed slob pitted against a massive, monstrous, bloodthirsty Carcharodon carcharias on a hidden gem island in Mexico. Surfing isn’t as safe as some may actually believe. You see, the miscalculation is on the plate (ahem) of the Homo sapiens, for the white pointer is merely being a territorial predator protecting the immediate realm of her kill. “Beneath this glassy surface, a world of gliding monsters” as Dr. Higgins states in Deep Blue Sea.

The ever-expanding and impending dread of the great white’s prowling (torment even) of Lively, and the slight sprinkle of exaggeration while maintaining some realistic paradigm shifts, is where the successful breadth of this script and direction lies. The result is a rematch of human tenacity, will, and innovation versus the White’s power, speed, and ferociousness.

It’s a bloody, grande ‘ole 87 minutes, so strap in and enjoy the red waves.

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Only Yesterday (US 2016 Release)

“There will come a time will only yesterday will get you to tomorrow. Don’t let yesterday become too far away.” -Zachary Nathan Smith

Intricately woven, Only Yesterday will transport your mind and heart to the days where purity and simplicity took lead. The script is expertly crafted and invokes a personal journey. During this journey, I found my soul recovering memories of the younger self, processing vivid memory clips, and unearthing them to present day for adult life application: A crossroads of yesteryear and present year colliding at breakneck speed. The past offers much clarity to the present and even the future… A repeat of our mistakes, or an alternate decision that conjures new roadway ahead.

Our grade school years are a time of infinite discovery, though we yearn for the freedom and complexity our adult life will bring. In all irony, our adult life can be dull, repetitive and a swirling void of dissatisfaction if we’re not doing what we love to do. This is why Only Yesterday is such a beautiful film. In two hours, Isao Takahata revolutionizes the importance of our passion for life, our memories of the past and how we choose to allow them to shape our future.

Never allow your mind to cease travel backward. For when that day comes your path ahead will be one that is dimly lit and void of the very innocence, grace and raw character that your soul has become. Never fully grow up inside your heart and mind, despite what others may say or do. Be true to yourself through and through.

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