Thursday, December 24, 2020

Promising Young Woman - Review


Every once in a while, a film comes along that feels like a filmmaker announcing their arrival onto the scene in the loudest possible fashion. With Promising Young Woman, director and writer Emerald Fennell delivers a darkly funny, serious and distressing film. Paired with an actress whose comfort in this setting is practically unsettling, and you get one of the year’s best films. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Soul - Review


As an animation studio, Pixar is no stranger to weightier concepts. Each Pixar film has some message of deeper meaning under the colorful animation and delightful characters, and Soul is no different. It still has all the charm and gorgeous animation you come to expect from Pixar, but with a dash of existentialism and a very easy metaphor for the meaning of life. Yeah, Pixar is going for it this time. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Midnight Sky - Review

The late-breaking space film with hopes of awards glory is basically a staple of the yearly release calendar over the last eight years or so. A visual spectacle with an emotional story and a beautifully done score by a well regarded, award winning composer, and you’ve got the formula for a film that’s at least going to get the attention of awards bodies. However, if you don’t back that up with consistent storytelling or any good characterization, you’re left with another awards season slog. 

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - Review


When adapting a stage play to the screen, the trap often becomes that of stagnation, an un-dynamic presentation that feels trapped within the confines of a room or two. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is no stranger to this, the bulk of the story is set in just two rooms, however, it knows it has two performances at the forefront that will more than makeup for any minor shortcomings. One of which, might just be a career best and a final performance all in one go.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Prom - Review

 Upon the credits rolling after two hours of singing, dancing, and typical musical set pieces, only one thought persisted: this is going to absolutely clean house at the Golden Globes. Not because its a good film mind you, but because this is exactly the kind of star-powered cheesiness that the HFPA gobbles up. Don’t get it confused, there are parts of The Prom that are actually good, but the overwhelming lack of direction make it just another average musical adaption.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Mank - Review

Hollywood making movies about Hollywood. Same tune, different (strange) year. This time, the subject is Herman J. Mankiewicz, the fabled writer of Citizen Kane. In most films about artist of all varieties, the creation of said art is the story, but Mank handles things a little differently. Rather than focus on the writing of one film, it buries itself in the lore of old Hollywood. The glamour, the prestige, the corruption and the sleaze are all on full display, crafting a window into a time long past, even if its ideas aren’t.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Ammonite - Review

When reviewing some films, it’s very easy to label it as “fine” or “okay” and leave it at that. But unfortunately, reviews tend to be a bit longer than a handful of words. Ammonite is a period romance featuring two of the best actresses working today that’s so clearly desperate for awards attention that its almost painful. It is a film that feels like a lesser version of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a dull, drab film that is lacking in any chemistry whatsoever.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Sound of Metal - Review

Life can be a fragile thing, constantly teetering on the edge of irreversible change. In Sound of Metal, that change comes in the form of a sudden hearing loss that damages the main character’s psyche, sobriety, and career all in one fell swoop. Life-altering events in film often play to such a broad audience, taking the easy route to emotional moments and the ever present attempts to tug on the audience’s heartstrings. However, Sound of Metal is different. It lives in the silence, in the small moments, and doesn’t miss a beat along the way.