Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Boys in the Band: Movie Review

A period flashback to a film we need now.
Heavily advertised as a Ryan Murphy film, it’s not hard to mistake the producer’s influence on The Boys in the Band (notably in the opening sequence and the casting); however, it’s the film’s theater roots that become more prominent as the film went on. Unsurprisingly, it was originally a stage play, and is essentially a one-location, real-time movie.   2020

Directed by: Joe Mantello

Screenplay by: Ned Martel, Mart Crowley

Starring: Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto

Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Personal History of David Copperfield: Movie Review

The joyful juncture between youth and maturity.
Similar to how director Armando Iannucci’s previous film The Death of Stalin is sort of based on real events, The Personal History of David Copperfield is sort of based on Dickens’ David Copperfield, which, in turn, is sort of based on real life. It’s a fantastical, upbeat, energetic take on Charles Dickens’ tale with Dev Patel's excellent turn as the titular mischievous orphan.   2019

Directed by: Armando Iannucci

Screenplay: Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci

Starring: Dev Patel

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Swimming for Gold: Movie Review

Mediocre production, nothing to elevate the overcoming-the-odds inspirational story.
Swimming for Gold is squarely directed towards its teen/pre-teen audience, but even if I put myself in 12-year-old me’s shoes, I assume I would be disappointed by this. It’s a mediocre production that tries to squeeze in all the important beats of overcoming-the-odds inspirational story. None of the story lines are appropriately fleshed out to help connect the audience.   2020

Directed by: Hayley MacFarlane

Screenplay by: Eric Bergemann

Starring: Peyton List, Daniel Needs

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Percy: Movie Review

An important story with a simplistic focus.
What feels like ripe material for an epic courtroom thriller, Percy instead takes the road less travelled. It focuses on the people. Which feels like a very apt focus considering the challenges that the agricultural community has faced with the growth of corporate farming and the decline of family farms. It’s a story of David vs Goliath when the septuagenarian Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser (Christopher Walken) took the giant corporation Monsanto to court.   2020

Directed by: Clark Johnson

Screenplay by: Garfield Lindsay Miller, Hilary Pryor

Starring: Christopher Walken, Zach Braff

Sunday, September 13, 2020

I Care a Lot: Movie Review

Cynicism guides this dark comedy thriller.

I Care a Lot has a rhythmic opening scene. A man, desperate to be heard, causes a physical disturbance at a nursing home. He wants to see his mother, but he’s not allowed. Meet Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) who happens to be the legal guardian of this man’s mother. She’s a lawyer who the courts have put in charge of caring for older folks who can no longer take care of themselves.   2020

Directed by: J Blakeson

Screenplay by: J Blakeson

Starring: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage

Saturday, September 12, 2020

I Met a Girl: Movie Review

An empathetic look at mental illness that is sweet and uplifting.
A story of hope, illness, resiliency, and love. I Met a Girl is an occasionally uncomfortable watch, but an uplifting one at the same time. Marketed as a romance, it’s not as light as you might expect it to be. Devon meets a girl and is in love, but he also suffers from schizophrenia with frequent bouts of delusion and paranoia.   2020

Directed by: Luke Eve

Screenplay by: Glen Dolman

Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Joel Jackson

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Broken Hearts Gallery: Movie Review

Genuinely funny and real empathy for the characters.
I’m having a curious relationship with The Broken Hearts Gallery. I have forgiven a lack of realism in romantic comedies in the past (because you just have to), but it’s particularly irksome here. The main premise is unrelatable and unlikable and yet I like everything else about the movie. The film has empathy for its characters, it's only fair that the audience does too.   2020

Directed by: Natalie Krinsky

Screenplay by: Natalie Krinsky

Starring: Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Shiva Baby: Movie Review

A unique and unnervingly real romantic dramedy.

Shiva Baby is a unique film. We’ve seen real-time films before but not in this Jewish slice-of-life (and death, we are at a Shiva after all) way. This is a comedy-drama-romance, but told so intimately and unnervingly real that it feels like it’s own genre. It is nothing like a romantic comedy, and yet on it’s surface, it’s a comedy about a young woman in a not-good relationship and what is she going to do with her life.   2020

Directed by: Emma Seligman

Screenplay by: Emma Seligman

Starring: Rachel Sennott, Molly Gordon,
Polly Draper, Danny Deferrari, Dianna Agron