Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Little Women - Review

For over 150 years now, the words of Louisa May Alcott have maintained a place in literary history. Since the classic novel was published in 1868, its had its fair share of adaptations, both traditional and vastly different, so it’s not easy to justify a new version in 2019. However, writer and director Greta Gerwig doesn’t try and justify her reasons, choosing to tell the story we all know in a slightly different way and letting the themes shine through.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Uncut Gems - Review

The Safdie Brothers, a directing duo that produces films that are bound to not be for everyone. In 2017, Good Time put them on the map for a lot of people, with its grimy, loud, and violent portrait of a New York criminal. In 2019, they return to the formula for more griminess, noise, and violence, but this time with some added comedy from the Sandman himself.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - Non-Spoiler Review

The long wait is finally over. Two years after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the final installment in the Skywalker saga has arrived, much to everyone’s delight (or for a very small portion, dismay). In a year where it seems every big pop culture pillar is pitching  in a bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, game seven pressure situation, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker seems to be facing an even bigger obstacle than that: Star Wars fans.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Bombshell - Review

The year 2016 brought a reckoning upon predatory men of power unlike anything anyone had seen before, and one of the larger takedowns of that crusade was the Fox News women and their stories. Their place in this movement is up for debate, mainly hinging on their continued culpability in the faulty reporting of the network and their blind eye to other evil affairs, but Bombshell seeks to place one element above all else: their humanity.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

1917 - Review

Captivating and brutal, stories of war are amongst the most popular ventures for Hollywood to embark on for the past handful of decades. However, World War I always seems to be passed up for World War II or more recent conflicts when it comes to dramatic, grand tales of battle. But not this time. This time, director Sam Mendes steps into the trenches of the Great War, brings some fancy camera work from Roger Deakins along with him, and creates one of the best war films ever.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Jumanji: The Next Level - Review

At least the creatives behind the newest entry in the Jumanji franchise have the self-awareness to reference the repetitive nature of their world with the sequel’s title. And while that general self-awareness transfers to the film in some regard, it still doesn’t save the film from being largely the second film, just on a grander, bizarre scale. Fortunately, the cast and crew have a blast with this premise that it translates to the big screen and saves what could’ve been a busted game.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Two Popes - Review

Finding drama at the center of a conversation about the inner workings of the Papacy isn’t easy. It doesn’t get easier when you consider that the bulk of the film in centered on just two characters: Pope Benedict XVI and Jorge Bergoglio. The handles very much like a play, complete with dialogue heavy scenes, few locations, and even the way the narrative is structured. And it all ties back to the central question of it all: can there really be TWO Popes?

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Waves - Review

When stepping back and looking at a film, at all its excellence and shortcomings, an idea of its merits as a whole film usually emerges. It doesn’t always happen that way exactly, but more often than not, some clear image of what a film’s intentions were will come through. Waves is different. From the moment its dizzying opening scene throws everyone off balance to the serene moments that close the film, piecing together what it wants to be is kind of half the battle. A battle that Waves only wins if you can make it through an onslaught of color and sound at the beginning to the more graceful, reflective second half.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Aeronauts - Review

Once upon a time, hot air balloons used to be the future of flight, an engineering accomplishment of flammable gas, silk, and a precarious basket that lead to new heights. Now, they’re a novelty, an experience that’s sought after by less and less people as the years go by. But boy were they all the rage in 1800s London, and The Aeronauts seeks to explore just what a flight above the clouds could look and feel like, even if it nixes telling an interesting story along the journey.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Dark Waters - Review

A drama about a chemical company poisoning citizens and the court proceedings that follow it hardly sounds like an entertaining venture on the surface, but reality plays out differently. Though entertaining may be the wrong description, Dark Waters aims to be enthralling more than anything, its execution is solid. However, the bar for films such as this are difficult to clear, and even if Dark Waters has talent behind it and elements that do work, it doesn’t quite make the leap.