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Summer 2016 movies

You know how you go to the movies and then have to sit there for half an hour watching the previews? I always turn to whoever I'm with and say yes or no to each one. Mainly I've been saying NO quite a lot. I guess it's because I'm old.

LaLa Land ***
reviewed by the Phantom
I really wanted to like this movie a lot because apparently everybody else does. It's starts off with a great musical number on the LA freeway. It's a big wow. But that big long song and dance number doesn't seem to have anything to do with the story that follows. It's essentially a boy meets girl musical that starts well enough and then falls apart. There is a formula for Hollywood musicals, and this one didn't follow it, and to me, that's not a good thing. The acting was good, the music was just fine, but the story, rather disjointed, and sometimes way too out there. It was like the director and crew didn't know what to do next so they just ad libbed some stuff. But tucked in here and there are some fine scenes. That's why I gave it 3 stars. But finally, the title. I don't care for the label La La land for LA to begin with. LA is filled with creative, talented, hard working folks who don't seem to get the kind of recognition they deserve. Lala is a descriptor for loopy. I'm thinking that this movie is going to be a serious Oscar contender and there isn't one loopy scene in it, except maybe the opening. I think Hollywood can do better.

Sing! ****
reviewed by the Phantom
It's animated, but who cares. It's not really for kids, but they will laugh at it. Adults will love it. I did and I'm usually not too interested in animated movies. But this one has the heart and soul of Hollywood at its center. It's the show must go on plot that we've seen hundreds of times. But not this way. It's a talent show, and all the contestants are animals. I loved every frame of it, and yes, there are laugh out loud moments. The animals are all so quirky. Good work by all cast members as well as the animators. Fun!

Allied *
This film pretends that it is bigger and better than it actually is. It tries to be Casa Blanca but instead it's just a huge dud from every angle. There are so called iconic scenes, which fall flat or are so over the top that we groan. Like the assassination scene at the opening. Assassinations just don't happen that way. Or the camera circling around while the actors have sex in the car. Please. It's just not that dramatic. But the worst was the story itself. Spy films are generally sort of  morality plays. Good overcoming evil. This one has it all backwards. And WWII takes a back seat to the private lives of the spy couple during the heat of the war in Britain. Another huge mistake. I think the audience agrees with me on this one. I'm not even sure it's worth your Netflix dollars.

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