Posted in 5 Stars, Film Reviews

Weekend – Review

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Godard at arguably his most politically aggressive during his earlier years, but at the same time he’s showing how he doesn’t even care what the audience is making from the images they are being given. But perhaps what makes Weekend such an intriguing watch is the notion that it has become so radical to the point it obscured its own message, yet never was I bored watching whatever Godard wanted to convey from the first scene to the last. But on a mere conventional standpoint Weekend could be the story for a comedy, and yet everything is revealed almost like a horror film – because everything comes by at such a baffling rate and it’s only where it only shows how wonderful Godard is.

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Posted in 3½ Stars, Film Reviews

The Post – Review

✯✯✯½

Steven Spielberg’s movies are either a fun time or a boring lecture. Those who have stuck around with his work for so long would already be able to recognize his trademarks regardless of the sort of films he makes whether it be his usual sentimentality or father-child issues – because they’ve pervaded the many sorts of films he makes whether they be fun for the masses or a historical drama. Quite frankly, I’ve never exactly been the hugest fan of many of Spielberg’s historical dramas (although Schindler’s List may be an exception I still have my own reservations about its handling of the subject matter) so The Post was not going to be a high priority for me. But after having been pleasantly surprised with Bridge of Spies, I figured it was worth giving a chance – and I’m glad I gave one to The Post.

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Posted in 3½ Stars, Film Reviews

All the Money in the World – Review

✯✯✯½

Shortly before the release date of All the Money in the World, Ridley Scott made the abrupt decision to reshoot every scene involving Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of J. Paul Getty with Christopher Plummer recast in the role instead after many sexual assault allegations have been levelled against Spacey. But even if Kevin Spacey hadn’t already been a sexual predator beforehand, the decision to cast him – a 58-year-old man under heavy old man makeup in order to play an 80-year-old J. Paul Getty never made sense. So how exactly does Ridley Scott manage to make All the Money in the World work the way it did? It’s still something I’m wondering but the rate at which Ridley Scott is continuously working is among many things that I’ve always admired about the filmmaker.

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Posted in 5 Stars, Film Reviews

Harvey – Review

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I wonder what life must be like from the perspective of Elwood P. Dowd, because it sounds like he’s clearly a man who needs help with trying to keep up with the pace of everything around him. But to talk about why Harvey is a thing of beauty should already be easy enough, for it is a film about a man trying to cope with a world that moves so fast around him to a point of being overwhelmed. Quickly enough it only became clearer to me what it was that I absolutely loved about Harvey, aside from the fact that it carried what was easily one of my favourite James Stewart performances. It wasn’t just a fantastic James Stewart role that we were watching here. It was perhaps him at his most down-to-earth and relatable.

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Posted in 5 Stars, Film Reviews

The Shape of Water – Review

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Guillermo del Toro going out to prove that love has no limits – in what may arguably his best film in the English language alongside his best film since Pan’s Labyrinth. Much like Pan’s Labyrinth, what Guillermo del Toro has presented to audiences through The Shape of Water is a perfect fairy tale for grown ups, because it brings its viewers back through time in the same way that a memory would. It feels refreshing but also relaxing, yet the reminder that Guillermo del Toro places his viewers within is a sense of tranquility – and often from the most unexpected ways imaginable. But that’s one among many things we know a director like Guillermo del Toro has been best at, because his imagination isn’t anything like what any other director can present on any day.

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Posted in 4½ Stars, Film Reviews

A Christmas Story – Review

✯✯✯✯½

Unlike many who have stuck around with A Christmas Story as its popularity had only continued to grow through repeat airings on television during the holiday season, I didn’t end up seeing the film until my late teens. I didn’t end up seeing it for whatever reason and the moment I finally got myself around to watching A Christmas Story for the first time I thought it was only far too fitting that I had punished myself over the years for being too lazy to actually get around to watching the film when I was much younger. I know I’d have loved it when I was a kid because it just brings back the memory of what we all liked to remember as “the most wonderful time of the year.”

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Posted in 3½ Stars, Film Reviews

Black Christmas – Review

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Bob Clark’s name is easy to recognize around the holiday season for having directed both a slasher film set around the season as well as arguably one of the most popular films all about the nostalgia of being a kid at Christmas. But Black Christmas isn’t solely known for being one of the most popular horror films about the holiday season, but also it has been widely considered the first slasher film alongside its reputation as one of the most successful Canadian films from the period. With its reputation as the first slasher film and eventual influence on later films of the period, the question that begs to be answered is how well does it hold up today?

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Posted in ½ Star, Film Reviews

Office Christmas Party – Review

½

You can already look at the title “Office Christmas Party” and soon it’ll spell out where your expectations are going to be set. But even with a low bar being set in stone, Office Christmas Party still somehow manages to disappoint. You can’t seriously look at a title like “Office Christmas Party” and expect anything more than a crude sex-crazed comedy about a party that happens to be within an office setting during Christmastime, but even on that level it doesn’t seem like it has enough to sustain its running time of 105 minutes. At the very least one can be thankful enough that it isn’t the sort of mess that Project X was but that’s the most a movie like Office Christmas Party can really be given.

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Posted in 4½ Stars, Film Reviews

The Disaster Artist – Review

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James Franco goes behind and in front of the camera to tell the story of the making of the infamous 2003 cult film The Room, often regarded as one of the worst movies ever made. But Tommy Wiseau’s The Room has enjoyed another reputation of its own because it’s already an enigma, it’s difficult to truly put together how it was even made because even the most skilled filmmaker couldn’t have been able to replicate its wonder. It was easy enough to be skeptical that a film about something of the sort would only be none other than a vanity project showing how well can Franco perform an imitation of such a unique entity, but through The Disaster Artist he also created a more empathetic and even cynical picture that goes beyond my expectations.

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Posted in 5 Stars, Film Reviews

The Best Years of Our Lives – Review

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William Wyler’s films are award favourites but I haven’t always loved his work consistently. At his best, he’s created tender melodramas or entertaining comedies and at his worst, he feels unbelievably bloated. The Best Years of Our Lives, at a staggering length of 172 minutes, feels at risk of carrying the bloatedness of Wyler at his worst, but the way he spends time here says otherwise, for not only is a thoughtful melodrama about veterans coming home from war present and instead a staple of its own era that to this day remains one of the most self-reflexive pieces of cinema ever made. But if the title weren’t already an indicator, the very nature of the story being told can bring one in for something tender.

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