closer to the actors in dialogue scenes, which allowed the viewer to have a deeper connection with them. These medium shots created an intimate environment necessary for everything to work as well as it did.
Even with a cast pulling its weight and great visuals, the movie struggles to get across its purpose. I could feel it nipping at me as no story so intertwined with religion could forgo having a point. This lack of a definitive driving force caused me to question different aspects of the film. In a way, my confusion mirrored the struggles the characters were going through, and while this might not have been the intended effect, it's oddly poetic. On the other hand, they didn't find any answers, and neither did I.
If you've lacked in quality content since quarantine started, this is a fine choice. It might not expose you to anything you haven't seen before, but it'll probably keep your interest. It's a finely made movie with a couple of tense moments, but this is no thriller. Even with its shortcomings, The Devil All The Time happens to be one of the best films I've seen this year—kind of a sad statement about the year rather than a reflection on the picture itself
The only all knowing being present, is the writer that determined all the characters' fates
Apart from this core theme, the other praised aspect was Delroy Lindo's performance. Having a character be a veteran visibly dealing with PTSD and grief captivated other reviewers, but the number of ailments given to him seemed over the top. While there were serious aspects to the inner demons that Lindo's character was fighting, being the only member of the main cast to be a Trump supporter sucked dramatic tension from his scenes. You can't have the guy having panic attacks with a bipolar disorder also be the only one supporting Trump. You've pigeonholed the character into being an unstable wreck that shouldn't be taken seriously. Nuance is thrown out the window, and any dramatic choice the actor makes only contributes to the demented psyche the character is portrayed as already having.
One area that everyone seems to agree on is the cinematography. The shot composition is diverse and captures the rural landscape of Vietnam beautifully. Others have pointed out how cinematographer Newton Sigel has previously worked on documentaries, but fail to mention those were all shot before 1995. His contemporary work includes movies like Bohemian Rhapsody, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Jack the Giant Slayer. While I wasn't continually impressed with the framing and picture, there were definite standout moments that earned the recognition that he is getting.
When it comes to the story of Da 5 Bloods, it combines a couple of different genres. At the center is a group of veterans reminiscing on the past and honoring one of their fallen friends. On the periphery, is the treasure hunting action movie that causes the conflict. The setup has the rekindling of a long friendship and establishing characters as they start their trip. Along their journey, they meet other characters and learn more about each other. To emphasize their bond, flashbacks of the group as a platoon during the Vietnam war are inner cut. These sections were shot on film and in a square-like aspect ratio. This presentation does a lot to sell the time period and mood of the clips, making them a welcome cutaway from the rest of the scenes.
For me, the entire plot was entirely predictable. I was never surprised or caught off guard like other reviewers and wholeheartedly refute the idea that there was a twist. If anything, there were narrative threads that were created and never finished. Some elements came out of nowhere and were never resolved. The setup was so transparent that I can't believe anyone was surprised by how events unfolded.
While the production quality of the film is quite high, nothing stood out as exceptional. The story was too pedestrian for me and failed to focus on its central message due to a character choice. I was never drawn into the experience and felt distant from what it was trying to say. A considerable barrier was the music; it was distracting and felt inappropriate at many times. There would be serious moments where a playful and silly score would be used, robbing the scene of the intended tension. An exception to the rule would be the use of a Marvin Gay song that excelled and became the picture's greatest moment for me.
I wish I saw what others are clamoring about. My indifference to this film can be contrasted with my enjoyment of BlacKkKlansman. While that movie felt laser-focused, this was the opposite. There were just too many different things that bothered me or just didn't work. I understand that my experience was in the minority, and since I don't think Da 5 Bloods is bad, I do slightly recommend it. There is enough action and intrigue for a regular audience member to have an enjoyable experience. If you keep an open mind, there is a good enough chance that you will experience the Oscar-caliber film that I missed out on.
RIP Chadwick Boseman
Since I brought up acting, the cast is a phenomenal ensemble of familiar faces that delight. Standouts include Hugh Grant—cause of course, Charlie Hunnan, and Colin Farrel. They bring life to the film as they all play their parts to a tee. Grant appropriately chews the scenery opposite Hunnam, who plays the straight man as they lead the audience through the plot while being inner cut by everyone else. It's when Farrel pops up and elevates the mood with his relaxed demeanor, a feat only aptly described as an oxymoron, when everything is working at it's best.
There isn't anything special about the cinematography or score, but they don't hinder the quality of the overall picture. There is a small story beat that ends oddly, but nothing else comes to mind when I think of egregious problems. In no way am I suggesting that The Gentlemen is without faults, but the enjoyment to be had far outweigh any slight transgressions that it may embody.
I would consider The Gentlemen one of the best of the year. I know it's early, although I'll be surprised if I don't see it on my top 10 list at the end. It might just be a taste thing as the film doesn't seem to have universal praise; it indulges in very British vocabulary and mannerisms, which are aspects I adore. Though, it could also be that it's a Guy Ritchie movie, and his style isn't for everyone. All of these considerations aside, I cannot deny how much fun and charm this picture has.
I promise its incredible
While it might have been Mendes' idea to make the movie in this way, it was Roger Deakins who actually achieved it. 1917 has Deakin's fingerprints all over it as his signature style is on display in every image. His choice to film with natural light sources leads to mesmerizing sequences that have been spoiled in the trailer. If you decide to watch this in the theater, it will be to see his work on a big screen. I say that because other than the incredibly high production value, there isn't much else to look forward to.
1917 fails to capture the human element of war. It does a great job keeping the audience on their toes as the one-shot presentation keeps the tension high. There are moments of fear, exhaustion, and hope, all of which blend thematically with the setting, but none give you the anchor into its characters. I need more than just a goal and a coherent plot to keep me interested. When I said it had tension and all those other things, I lied. It only had those elements for some of the time, as it mostly fell flat for me.
The driving force of the story is for two soldiers to deliver an order that would save many lives. The importance of their mission is blatant but seems to fall on deaf ears as almost everyone they meet doesn't care. That message of indifference seeped through and became the stance I took. While the script tries to give these characters humanizing moments, not much of it stuck. This disconnect comes down to how they were delivered. I could see the gears turning in the background as scenes of tension would be invalidated moments later. When plot points were being set up and then never referenced again, it felt like they were just cheap tricks.
It all comes down to what you appreciate about the art form. I like movies because they tell interesting stories about engaging characters. 1917 doesn't have that but instead offers a project that excels in production. The fancy camera sweeps, tracking shots, and set pieces offer visually stunning sequences that are enviable. While I didn't enjoy the film that much, I can recognize great work when I see it.
Without Roger Deakins, the movie would have been nothing special
circumstance, could be considered palatable.
That's kind of the whole movie. Disgraceful people do things that make their situations worse. As they continue to dig their own graves deeper, they keep hoping for their big break to rescue them. It's incredibly effective as by the end, I couldn't wait to see how the story concluded. I don't think I like this as much as Good Time, but Uncut Gems might just be the mainstream push for the Safdie brothers to be more recognized.
Probably the most inappropriate Christmas movie you could go see with the family
Whenever there was a wide shot of actors in a room, I could not buy into the fact that these were cat height people. So in a way, I was unoffended by Cats in general.
Now, would I recommend someone one spend the 2 hours to watch people that kinda look like cats dance around to music that isn’t very good? No. But I do have to say I wasn’t bored, just that I almost fell asleep. The almost cozy atmosphere and uninteresting plot provides a wonderful atmosphere to rest your eyes a bit. You probably shouldn’t see this film, ever. But, if you ever need to fall asleep when it comes to streaming, then it might just do the trick.
No one has the time to look into the allusions and symbolism for a play made for the 60s
The quaint and hominess that this movie exudes harkens back to a time of a different sensibility. Halfway through the runtime, you can tell it feels like a classic. Even though the original story came out in 1868, the film brings its message into the 21st century. Without devolving into preaching or propaganda, Little Women is able to balance its fantasy with stark realism. It even injects humor in a way to help release tension while not robbing the plot of its intensity.
Little Woman utterly surprised me. The attention to detail, the proficiency in its craft, it all screams of a seasoned director. I think Greta Gerwig's knack for emotional literacy and her ability to craft scenes that let the audience experience the complexity of real relationships is unparalleled. While everyone is perfectly cast and there is praise to go around, I cannot stress enough how integral Gerwig was to making it all work. As director and screenwriter, this seems to be a unique vision that could have only come from her. I highly recommend the heartbreaking, funny, touching, and beautiful Little Women.
Greta Gerwig is officially one of my favorite directors
It's obvious what Queen & Slim is supposed to be about; it tries to present a plausible scenario and champion a sentiment held by many in society. This in itself would have been great, but the story tries to tackle too many different topics; the film suffers from being bloated and unfocused. The result is that none of the issues get the time they need to be fleshed out. This disappointment piles on top of the editing problems that the movie has. Many scenes could have been removed, and nothing would have changed. Hard cuts required the audience to accept drastically different tones in an instant, a situation that happened many times.
All of the scenes that did work, or evoked an emotional response, were used in the trailer. There were just a lot of choices made in the actual movie that distracted from the merit that was there. While the plot and editing were not very good, the acting breathed life into the film and kept it bearable. The performances by the leads added depth to dialogue that could fall flat and brought the characters' emotions to life. I would not recommend you go out and see this movie, but it wasn't absolutely horrible.
I was waiting for the Bee Gees and it never came
Since the story is designed to be easy to follow, the film inserts scenes of needless conflict to keep the pace moving. An argument can erupt and be solved in the next three minutes of screen time, making the whole thing inconsequential. It's this added fat, which makes the movie not as good as the Hollywood classics that it's trying to impersonate. There is an added problem I have with the story, which stems from the fact it rewrites history. Events happened in a different order; people didn't know each other when they were shown to have met in the film. It's basically a timeline problem that also embellishes drama that never happened.
Ford v Ferrari's quality is shown off in every frame. The cinematography composes familiar shots differently to keep them interesting. It's constantly moving the camera while never crossing action lines to avoid making it confusing for the audience. There are intricate sequences that are easy to follow, with a lot of it shot in camera. Some tremendous full CGI sequences are sneaked here and there, which most probably won't notice.
Along with great racing sequences, the acting from Christian Bale and Matt Damon are the main draw. Their relationship is the heart of the story as they fight and work together to achieve their dreams. You can feel their friendship after a couple of scenes between them, and they continue to sell it throughout the movie. Other critics are praising Bale's performance as something they've never seen from the actor. It's a lot looser and more whimsical than the usual roles he plays.
So this is a pretty easy recommendation. As a crowd-pleaser, it will do its job well. I don't know if including certain events in the film was a good idea, but it does result in the best moment for Matt Damon. I'm vague here, so I won't spoil anything if you do go and see it, I just had to point it out. Also, I feel that in an attempt to be as crowd-pleasing as possible, there were mistakes made that detracted from the final product. So while it was entertaining, and it does get you in the pocket where your anticipation meets excitement, I just wouldn't watch it again.
A lock for Oscar nominations
This complaint of the laissez faire attitude spreads throughout the film and is felt in every scene. There is a distinct lack of proactive action; each character seems to have an aspect about them to lend itself to comedy while betraying the truth of the situation. The attempt to make light of atrocities only works when done in satire, think The Great Dictator from Charlie Chaplin. Where Waititi gets it wrong is making it a Dramedy that pretends to have a message. It's a situation where the intention is well-meaning but didn't translate to action.
The main character, Jojo, doesn't have a moment where he casts off his Nazi fanaticism because it's wrong. Everyone around him except for two people encourages his behavior, pressing him to continue in blind faith. He is given a pass, even though he is a Nazi. That's where all of the critics have their hangups. It gives an out to people for their terrible behavior with no repercussions.
The reason that general audiences like the film is because of the lighthearted mood that rarely falters. The movie's ability to make jokes and keep them going is spectacular. Some gags show up at the beginning of the picture and only come back at the very end. Dialogue is excellent as reasoning for characters' actions are contextualized in little quips that cue the viewer into the hilarity of the situation. It all works due to the cast's great performances.
The obvious standout is Scarlett Johansson, who plays Jojo's mother. I say obvious since she is one of the only actors whose roles are not solely used for comedic effect. Though, Sam Rockwell is a delight as the ineffective German general. The last person to make an impression was Thomasin McKenzie, who plays the Jewish girl. She does a great job being sarcastic and lending the story some humanity.
The strength of Jojo Rabbit comes from how much it can make you laugh. There is plenty of fun to be had while watching it, but when the credits roll, there are some severe insinuations that the movie makes. These problems didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying myself, but they are unavoidable. I also want to make clear that even without the pressing issues at the end, there are still other problems in the rest of the film. I would advise that you go into the movie ready to laugh, but understand that being a Nazi is not ok.
Its extremely enjoyable and simultaneously misses the mark