Demi Lovato opens up to her fans as she gives a heartfelt message of her past and current struggles in life. Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated peels back the layers on one of the world’s biggest pop stars.
Intimate and personal, Demi’s newest YouTube documentary is a real hit as we journey back in a time-capsule up to the creation of her sixth studio album, Tell Me You Love Me (Sept. 29). Demi’s newest album is her most raw and vulnerable music to-date. As Demi belts out her harmonics on screen we see a glimpse of the pop stars’ authentic self. The documentary is just shy of an hour and 20 minutes, but Demi doesn’t waste a beat. Within the first minute Demi states, "I actually had anxiety around this interview because the last time I did an interview this long, I was on cocaine."
This gives the audience an honest look into her past life and her openness on screen. But to know Demi best, we have to understand what she’s been through and has overcome. Throughout the documentary, we learn the depths of Demi’s battle against addiction and bipolar disorder. Through all of this, Demi helps convey these messages to her fans in her lyrics as we see them morph on screen. The doc, though at times can be narratively messy, travels from the start of her career as a child, through her collaboration with the Jonas Brothers on Disney Channel and the release of her sixth studio album.
Emotions running high, Demi’s heartfelt letter to her fans proves that she’s still growing in this messy world of ours. The deepness of her lyrics carries out to others who have also struggled with addictions in their life. Tell Me You Love Me is Demi’s most important body of work yet and shows us how she got there. Time after time, we see her fighting back and showing us her true colors of strength and empowerment. Though Simply Complicated can be a bit disjointed in its construction, nevertheless; Demi’s voice soars. “I think scars are like battle wounds - beautiful, in a way. They show what you've been through and how strong you are for coming out of it.” You can watch the full documentary right here. Check it out below!
Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated is not rated (NR).
Let's take a look back. 2016 was a great year for film and gave us some masterclass cinema, along with groundbreaking achievements. Here's my top 15 picks for that year.
Lady Gaga resonates energy into Gaga: Five Foot Two, as we see and absorb a glimpse of the superstar’s backstage life.
In the latest Netflix original documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, Lady Gaga shares with us a vulnerable look of her life during one of the most pivotal periods in her career yet. The doc is directed by filmmaker Chris Moukarbel (Banksy Does New York and Me at the Zoo) and is shot in the style of cinema verité, giving viewers unfiltered, behind-the-scenes access to Gaga and her backstage life. We get to spend time with her close friends and family members, as she releases her 2016 album Joanne. Gaga also deals with personal struggles throughout the film and opens up about her current and past wounds. Moukarbel's compelling portrait captures Lady Gaga's life over an eight-month period.
On top of Gaga’s professional career triumphs, viewers also see her cope with the intense emotional, physical and chronic pain caused by the onset of fibromyalgia. These moments of pain will cause the viewers to feel an enormous amount of heartache for our beloved pop star. Other moments in the doc reflect more ordinary aspects of her life, whether it's attending a family christening, visiting her grandmother or cooking and playing with her dogs at home. This helps open the door for a better understanding of normal life off the stage lights. The doc follows Gaga from the release of her fifth studio album, Joanne, to her glorious and critically lauded Super Bowl LI halftime performance.
While, there are some inconsistencies in the large portions of performance footage, nevertheless, Gaga: Five Foot Two succeeds in sending out its heartfelt message and better understanding of Gaga herself. Gaga delivers a humane performance, as she sheds light to her struggles in life but doesn't allow them to overcome her. She's on top of the world. In the end, Lady Gaga is still the high-wire queen of pop. “Don't you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are.” – Gaga
Gaga: Five Foot Two is Not Rated (NR).
A rare sequel that both deepens and expands the universe of Blade Runner. Denis Villeneuve’s (Arrival and Sicario) masterpiece is probably one of the greatest cinematic experiences I’ve had in a long time. Blade Runner 2049 is a knockout sequel, well worth the 35 year wait.
2049 is a film that needs to be seen by the masses and by any other sci-fi fanatics out there. For Blade Runner junkies who grew up re-watching the original classic on TV, like myself, this was one of the most satisfying sequels I had the privilege of seeing on the big screen. Yes, Blade Runner 2049 is that good. It boasts a visual feast and lives up to the original title’s sci-fi virtues. 2049 is a landmark achievement in a modern world, currently full of bloated sequels and reboots. I took in every minute of Villeneuve’s lengthy 2 hours and 43-minute run time and, in the end, I could have stayed longer. Without giving away too many spoilers, in the simplest of terms 2049 comes out full throttle and ready for action.
The 1982 original is based on Philip K. Dick's book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? That film focuses on a blade runner who must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator. Since its original release there have been seven different versions of director Ridley Scott’s (Alien and Gladiator) masterwork. My favorite being the original 1982 US theatrical release and 2007's The Final Cut. The theatrical release boasted Harrison Ford’s cheeky voiceover and neo-noir pulp, but was hindered by the studio’s cliché “happy ending” scene with Deckard and Rachel. In 2007, Scott's version finally came to life. Blade Runner: The Final Cut is a retro-futuristic, visually stunning landmark for sci-fi. Giving the audience a new experience every time they watch it.
Helmed at its core, this latest version of Blade Runner is the purest form of Scott’s original intent for the film. Now, we travel from 2019 to 2049 Los Angeles. Scriptwriters Michael Green (Logan) and the masterful Hampton Fancher (Blade Runner) infuse us into a world full of visual wonder and destruction. The legendary Cinematographer Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption, A Beautiful Mind, No Country for Old Men and Skyfall) also makes his mark on this film. From the hazy orange and yellow tones of Las Vegas, to the deep neon blues and purples of Los Angeles; every single frame is awe-inspiring. Deakins, who has been nominated 13 times for an Oscar, deserves his trophy now. He has been well overdue for a long time.
His keen skill and perfection of 2049 sends viewers down a dazzling road of art. 2049 also showcases Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford has the dynamic duo, who are dynamite from start to finish. Villeneuve’s mind-bending experience is one for the ages. So, here’s my short synopsis of 2049: 30 years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (an excellent Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. K's discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (a superb Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
This iconic film should send sci-fi fans everywhere cheering from their seats, as they melt away with awe. 2049 show us a deteriorating world full of high class societies, workforce slavery (replicants) and hell bent technology infused with selling sex. Breakout star, Ana de Armas, plays Joi, an artificial intelligence who is produced by the Wallace Corporation. Joi is also K’s holographic girlfriend. Even though we can see through Joi, in the end, she shows us what it really means to be human. 2049 is full of rich cinematic senses as we gaze into K’s eyes we see the true conflict eating him away. While Deckard’s mysterious past has finally caught up with him.
Ford, for his part, is nothing less than a revelation as we see him soar to new heights. Fueled with fresh ideas and a purpose, 2049 is a film that I will hold close to my heart. It’s a masterpiece and deserves 5 stars. Powerful, brutal and deeply satisfying, it’s the must-see movie extravaganza of 2017. So please, go see this tour de force in theaters while you still can. 2049 is an event waiting to be seen and captured purely on the big screen. It will continue to ask the questions of what is the meaning of life? Or what does it truly mean to be human? "All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain..." "Your story isn't over yet. There's still a page left."
Blade Runner 2049 is rated R (Restricted). For violence, some sexuality, nudity and language.