Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Knives Out - Review

The whodunit, a genre of mystery long overdue for a shock to the system, and who better to do that than writer and director Rian Johnson. With a little bit of poking at Agatha Christie style clichés and an infusion of stylish, witty, and sharp writing, Johnson has provided a a modern version of murder mystery. And his skill as a storyteller, and joy in fooling the audience with twists and turns, make Knives Out a devilishly good time at the movies.

Marriage Story - Review

On the surface, the title Marriage Story seems ill-fitting for the tale of two people in the process of a divorce. But dig down deeper, into the sorrow and pain, and you’ll see that the film does tell the story of this couple’s marriage, just in bits and pieces, the shattered remnants of what once was. Its equal parts a couple falling out of love, while struggling to remember why they were in love in the first place, and picking up the pieces to figure out how to move forward, and it may just be the best film of the entire year.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Queen & Slim - Review

It seems everything and everyone is getting a modern 21st century upgrade these days, including Bonnie and Clyde. Though the famed crime companions were far more notorious for their ill-intent and violent tendencies, Queen & Slim are the opposite, meaning no harm, but falling into a life of running due to the circumstances that befall them. Within moments of their tragedy, decisions are made, families are abandoned, and they both become symbols for everyone else’s lives and stories.

Friday, November 22, 2019

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood - Review

For many, the reassurances of a calming voice on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was an essential piece of their childhood. From the basic subjects of emotions, the feeling of love or anger, and the beauty of friendship to the darker topics of war, divorce, and even death, one fateful PBS program covered it all. Fred Rogers has had an enduring impact on so many lives, and director Marielle Heller is here to remind everyone of how the inherent goodness of one man can mean so much.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Frozen II - Review

Disney basically runs the world these days, but in 2013, it was only the beginning. Only a few years after acquiring Marvel and Lucasfilm, Disney Animation was still largely caught in a string of critical disappointments or mediocre box office receipts. That is, until Frozen happened. The 2013 film took the world by storm, breaking numerous records, becoming Disney’s most successful animated film ever, and even picking up a couple of Oscars. Six years later, the sequel has arrived, but can it recapture the magic of the original?

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Irishman - Review

Here it is. The film that has been on the top of a lot of people’s most anticipated lists for quite some time. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s a Martin Scorsese film, one of the greatest directors to ever do it. It’s got three of the best actors of all time in the cast. Oh, and it just happens to be a technological undertaking unlike anything Scorsese has done before with de-aging done throughout a majority of the runtime. Now the question is: does it all work? Yes, so much so that it almost seems easy.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Ford v Ferrari - Review

The world of racing is sort of baffling from an outsider perspective. On one hand, you have the perpetual left turns during a NASCAR race, followed by devoted domestic fans who watch for the crashes more than anything. On the other, you have the respected world of racing, the winding tracks of Europe that provide as treacherous an event as you might find across the globe. Ford v Ferrari plays in that world, specifically the world of the 24 House of Le Mans in 1966, and the mission of a few men to take down the dominant Ferrari.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Report - Review

On the brink of additional political turmoil and strife in 2019, it seems oddly fitting to revisit the misguided decisions of past administrations with The Report. Like most other political dramas about the release or suppression of a scathing document, everything is by the book and fact-forward, a make it or break it move for most people’s viewing experience. In this case, it only helps the frustrating and insightful experience of the entire film.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pain and Glory - Review

Pain and Glory. Two words that conjure two very different reactions, almost opposites even, yet director and writer Pedro Almodóvar shows how each feeling needs the other. In a film that isn’t totally autobiographical, just auto-fiction, a fact brought up by the film itself even, Almodóvar holds up a mirror to his life and spills the reflection out for the world to see in the form of Pain and Glory.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Last Christmas - Review

For those that start the Christmas music on November 1st, Universal has your back. Last Christmas is here to continue the trend of starting the holidays way too early, with a story about a down on her luck woman who sees the benefits of kindness around Christmas thanks to a mysterious man. What a crazy, original concept for a Christmas movie right?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Doctor Sleep - Review

Returning to a traumatic nightmare can sometimes be the most opportune way to heal. In the world of Stephen King, that likely entails venturing back to a twisted hotel, desperate to pull the soul from your body or shatter your mind into a million pieces, all while running from a group of vampire-like creatures attempting to feast on your unique abilities. And while on the surface that sounds a jumbled mess of tones and ideas, director-writer Mike Flanagan manage to maintain a solid through line.