Thursday, November 21, 2019

Frozen II: Movie Review


Beautiful scenery plus characters we know and love.
Can Frozen II live up to the perfection of the original? No? I mean they tried really hard and it’s a thoroughly great movie, but lightning doesn’t strike the same spot twice. It would be hard for anybody to accurately judge Frozen II on its own terms without a comparison to Frozen. I was so blown away by what they accomplished with the first movie, and I couldn’t help but go into Frozen II looking to see what they could replicate, re-create or what new magic they could capture. 2019

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee

Starring: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Noelle: Movie Review


Good-natured comedy.
What starts out as a mundane, cloying, seen-it-a-thousand-times-before Christmas movie turns into a genuinely funny and charming modern update to the seen-it-a-thousand-times before Christmas movie; all thanks to the wildly different comedic charms of Anna Kendrick and Billy Eichner. In “Noelle”, Santa Claus has been in the Kringle family for 10 generations, when the latest Santa Claus passes away, it’s up to son Nick (Bill Hader) to step up and save Christmas. 2019

Directed by: Marc Lawrence

Screenplay by: Marc Lawrence

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Jojo Rabbit: Movie Review


Very funny absurdist comedy.
Jojo Rabbit begins at a Hitler Youth Training Camp. Boys are taught important life skills like how to stab people and how to throw hand grenades which comes right after how not to throw hand grenades. While the girls are taught how to get pregnant. These are 10 year-old girls. During a time of war, and really just at all times, German women can best serve their country by producing more Nazis. If it’s not obvious, and I really hope it is obvious, this is a satire. A satire set in Nazi Germany during World War II. 2019

Directed by: Taika Waititi

Screenplay by: Taika Waititi
Based on the novel by Christine Leunens

Starring: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Parasite: Movie Review


Daring and inventive tale of class inequality.
One might wonder during the beginning of Parasite if the title is a loose translation from a Korean word which doesn’t have a direct English counterpart. The Oxford English Dictionary offers two definitions of parasite: “1. An organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other's expense; 2. A person who habitually relies on or exploits others and gives nothing in return.” Not too long later, it’s clear that writer-director Bong Joon Ho meant the exact title he chose and Anglophones can assume nothing is lost in translation. 2019

Directed by: Bong Joon Ho

Screenplay by: Han Jin Won, Bong Joon Ho

Starring: Woo-sik Choi, Kang-ho Song

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Last Christmas: Movie Review


Sweetness and charm carrying a movie about nothing.
Marketed as a romantic comedy with the possibility of a twist, most viewers are shrewd enough to know that Last Christmas does indeed have a twist, otherwise the movie would be about nothing. And nothing is generally not enough to win audiences over. All three things are going on in this movie: it is a romantic comedy, except very light on the romance. There is a twist, more on that later. And apart from the twist, nothing happens. That’s not entirely fair, but the main issue is how slight the movie is in terms of plot and story. 2019

Directed by: Paul Feig

Screenplay by: Emma Thompson, Bryony Kimmings

Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Motherless Brooklyn: Movie Review

Classic film noir without an intriguing story.

Writer, director and producer Edward Norton has assembled a large cast of prominent actors, all very adept at comedy, and gave very few of them anything interesting to do. Motherless Brooklyn is a classic film noir played out on the Tourette's spectrum – and that's the comedy. Norton plays Lionel Essrog, a private investigator suffering from multiple vocal and physical tics often erupting at awkward moments, and again – that's where the comedy is. With this cast and premise, the movie was ripe for a dark comedy take on a film noir, but Norton chose a less comfortable, less interesting route. 2019

Directed by: Edward Norton

Screenplay by: Edward Norton
Based on the novel by Jonathan Lethem

Starring: Edward Morton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin and Bobby Cannavale

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Laundromat: Movie Review


Smart, funny, zany and unimpactful.
The Laundromat is a fast-paced satire of the rich and the financial frauds that they willfully commit. It fits right in line with Adam McKay’s The Big Short. However, director Steven Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns wanted to make it quicker and less impactful. Less impactful is definitely what it is, this is a Meryl Streep and Steven Soderbergh collaboration that is smart, funny, illuminating, debuted on Netflix and yet most people don’t seem to know it exists. 2019

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Screenplay by: Scott Z. Burns
Based on the book by Jake Bernstein

Starring: Meryl Streep, Antonio Banderas, and Gary Oldman

Friday, August 30, 2019

Falling Inn Love: Movie Review


Cheap ploys, nice romance.
Falling Inn Love is another generic Netflix rom com/dramedy. It’s hard to call these pure rom coms when it’s very light on the comedy, and the conflicts are always built up as if they’re dramatic. But it’s all there, romance, comedy and the usual, predictable conflicts, all wrapped up in an easy-to-watch package. 2019

Directed by: Roger Kumble

Screenplay by: Elizabeth Hackett, Hilary Galanoy

Starring: Christina Milian, Adam Demos