Friday, July 31, 2020

Seriously Single: Movie Review

A legitimately crazy ex-fling.
The South African (English language) rom-com Seriously Single is basically 4 movies in one. If it was four different short films, a couple of them would be entertaining and really good. As one movie, it’s better than it had any right to be, but there are still pacing issues and character issues as Dineo (Fulu Mogovhani) goes through many highs and lows in her love life.   2020

Directed by: Katleho and Rethabile Ramaphakela

Screenplay by: Lwazi Mvusi

Starring: Fulu Mogovhani and Tumi Morake

Thursday, July 30, 2020

aTypical Wednesday: Movie Review

A smart, funny and clever comedy.
Not quite a directorial debut, aTypical Wednesday is, however, the first feature-length fictional film written and directed by J. Lee. It’s a funny and clever comedy that both subverts expectations and gives audiences what they want. The themes are common comedy-drama fodder, namely: relationship issues, bullying and race relations. All three play into one another really well with a lot of laughs along the way.   2020

Directed by: J. Lee

Screenplay by: J. Lee

Starring: J. Lee, Cooper J. Friedman

Friday, July 24, 2020

The Kissing Booth 2: Movie Review

More kissing booth: more of everything.
I was all prepared to hate this. Two-and-a-quarter hour sequels to mediocre teen rom coms don’t exist for good reasons. But it wasn’t all bad. The Kissing Booth 2 took a number of the same qualities to the first, added a few new characters (kept all the same important ones), and then attempted to improve on the common criticisms. Too much was squeezed into this one and the result is a slightly over-done teen flick. 2020

Directed by: Vince Marcello

Screenplay by: Vince Marcello, Jay S. Arnold
Based on the book written by Beth Reekles

Starring: Joey King, Jacob Elordi

Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Sunlit Night: Movie Review

A mixed bag of sullenness.

On the surface, The Sunlit Night offers comedian Jenny Slate the chance to stretch her dramatic chops, but in reality it’s a mashup of three different film ideas with no clear theme or substance. In the first 10 minutes we’re treated to a quirky comedy. Frances (Slate) is a struggling New York artist living in a tiny apartment with her deranged parents and sister. The sister might be normal, but she gets left behind.   2019

Directed by: David Wnendt

Screenplay by: Rebecca Knight Dinerstein

Starring: Jenny Slate

Friday, July 17, 2020

A Simple Wedding: Movie Review

Fresh, joyful romantic comedy, consistently funny and heartwarming.
Movies that start with a break-up that look (at least to the audience if not some of the characters) like their relationship is turning a corner and moving onwards and upwards, always hook me in, especially if the humour catches you off-guard. It’s a good sign when romantic comedies are this funny from the opening scene. That’s how A Simple Wedding won me over, and it never lets up. I was laughing, laughing, crying, crying-laughing through the entire film. Let me back up and hopefully you’ll appreciate this film as much I do. 2018

Directed by: Sara Zandieh

Screenplay by: Sara Zandieh

Starring: Tara Grammy, Christopher O'Shea

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Blow the Man Down: Movie Review

Thriller of crime and family - funny, captivating, beguiling.
From the opening scene and deep-voiced men singing melancholic sea shanties, Blow the Man Down summons you into their grit-filled world -- familiar to some, fictional to others – and takes you on a journey of crime and family. The two are intricately connected, of course, especially when directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy present us with such an atmospheric, tightly-woven thriller where every beat matters. The backdrop is Easter Cove, Maine, a small fishing village where nothing is as it seems. 2019

Directed by: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy

Screenplay by: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy

Starring: Sophie Lowe, Morgan Saylor

Friday, July 10, 2020

Mr. Jones: Movie Review

A poetic and supremely told story in the pursuit of truth.
London, 1933: Mr. Jones, a young accomplished Welsh journalist has the attention of some of the most powerful men in British politics. He just had the opportunity to interview Hitler and Goebbels and believes an intention to invade Poland. The old, white men laughed. One of them said, “Hitler will soon realize the difference between holding a rally and running a country.” They’re not taking this seriously. It’s even more chilling watching this in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic and an American president who would rather hold rallies than run a country. 2019

Directed by: Agnieszka Holland

Screenplay by: Andrea Chalupa

Starring: James Norton, Peter Sarsgaard

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Athlete A: Documentary Review

I'm angry and you should be too

I don’t watch a lot of documentaries because often it results in me being really pissed off and feeling like there’s nothing I can do. Athlete A grabbed my attention though, maybe it was the simplicity and artfulness of the poster, maybe it was because of the high profile names involved, or maybe it was because Larry Nassar’s in prison so I knew going in there was a sense of justice being served. Unsurprisingly, I was angry throughout the film, but that’s also pretty much the point. 2020

Directed by: Bonnie Cohen, Jon Shenk

Starring: Maggie Nichols, Jennifer Sey

Available on: Netflix

Photo credit: Melissa J. Perenson for AP / Netflix

Friday, July 3, 2020

Hamilton: Movie Review

A work of art.
Hamilton is finally available for the masses. And even though it is just a taping of a stage musical, it doesn’t feel like an event that I missed out on (but of course it was; the last four or so years of pop culture discussion made sure of that, but not any more). This is a cinematic wonder where we have the best seats in the house for, especially since the multi-camera taping allowed for multiple angles which we wouldn’t get otherwise. 2020

Directed by: Thomas Kail

Screenplay by: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr.