A quirky short film-like premise gets expertly expanded under vast Irish sky, casually meandering like a stroll down to the shore and back up to the pub into the territories of pure drama and absurdist dark comedy, respectively. What is a friendship? What is a life well-lived? “How’s the despair?” These questions are bandied about in a snappy, smart script (Dominic’s tragic arc felt disconnected though), perfectly acted out. Siobahn’s a perfect third character (“You’re *all* fucking boring!”).
Tonally more of a bleak war movie more than a high-energy superhero one; the added weight and maturity in the script is refreshing, though the interesting dramatic dynamic of two oppressed nations on edge deserved a more nuanced climax and resolve than a generic and uncomfortable green-screen battle that ends abruptly. Fantastic turns by Wright, Bassett, and Huerta in particular accentuate some great character work though, especially for the grief-stricken Shuri. Great visuals and music.
A little convoluted (really odd how Mr. Sulky Hoodie was over it so quickly at the end there), with an unnecessary thread or two (the mom grief was a one and done scene) but I guess that’s the tricky web of teenage romance and self-discovery for ya. You can see the ending coming 4 times around the track away but you’re still rooting for leading lady Lara Jean the whole time. Fun edits (fantasy and reality are mashed together in amusing ways) and cinematography (lots of whip pans) top things off.
Lettuce talk about this movie. I certainly have no beef with it; it’s buns of fun and it was so nice to ketchup with all the great characters as they Bobbed and weaved through the madcap musical mystery plot filled with giant sinkholes worth of humour, enjoyable songs (Grover’s went on way too long though), some surprisingly suspenseful action (see the trapped car), and engaging arcs for the kooky kids (Louise’s in particular tugged on my heartstrings like two hanging from a pink bunny hat).
A nice collection of vignettes on the power of the stories we see and show (highlights include Uncle Boris’ rant on family and art and the confrontation in the school hallway–“Why’d you make me look like that?”), not to mention some fun looks at the ins and outs of filmmaking (see the perfect–well, eventually–final shot). Amidst the compelling family drama, though, the central character arc could’ve used a few more incising elements like that shot where he imagines himself shooting his own life.
Has a scrumptious classic dinner party-whodunit feel, with a compelling first act full of subtle clues that let you know something’s afoot, and then a second act where the other foot (in a shoe) drops and the layers are peeled back. The humour is excellent (“Please tell me you did not think sweatshops are where they make sweatpants”), the drama less so; Andi’s glass ceiling-and-other-objects-shattering arc is effective but the others are never likeable enough to justify how they tagged along.
The romance is unfounded (should’ve just focused on Jack if you’re only going to develop it at the end) and the story arc is truly baffling (the first act “There must be something more! Let’s try something different!” resolves with “Nah, don’t try new things and don’t fuck with tradition”), but as an exercise in humour and aesthetic it works great: Jack and the townsfolk’s morbid and creepy yet enthusiastic take on Christmas is hilarious and the songs and animations are all uniquely delightful.
Works well as a rain-soaked, chilly/ing to the bone thriller; Lou is badass (see her shoulder pop-in and “Fuck!”), the violence is brutal (see the cabin fight), the villain is frightening, and the cinematography and music are both excellent (see the haunting opening sequence). It falls apart, unfortunately, when it overcomplicates things with a lackluster twist, puncturing the cool air of mystery around the central character and muddying up the climactic third act with tons of exposition.
It’s pretty much just a bunch of white guys in suits (space and business) getting tense while talking on headsets, doing math, and flipping switches, but it’s directed to plain procedural perfection; the swirling technical banter envelops you in the world (and out of it) and the methodical problem to solution plot points create suspense and release very effectively. To this formula are added nice touches of humour and emotion (“You never know what events are to transpire to get you home”).
The set up is fine, but then halfway through dinner the engaging conflict with outsider mom Kate promptly disappears in a whiff of marijauna smoke and we’re left with a mostly chemistry-less foursome doing some generic letting loose with no real purpose or character arcs to fulfill. There’s a good skit or two (see the weed shop stop; Melanie interrogating Alfred) but there’s also way too much Adam Levine (his whole subplot is excruciating), and the dad storyline doesn’t really work either.