Hot Rod (2007)

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Self-proclaimed stuntman Rod Kimble is preparing for the jump of his life – to clear fifteen buses to raise money for his abusive stepfather Frank’s life-saving heart operation. (IMDb)
Yeah, I get it, comedy can be subjective, but with the way this film in particular is so endlessly creative and colourful and full of child-like wonder and fun in its quest for the laugh (which maybe could’ve been put on brief pause in Rod’s rock bottoms), I feel particularly called to shield it from from any big ol’ meanies who don’t like it. You do you, Hot Rod. Keep ringin’ those bells, jumpin’ those ramps, coolin’ those beans, singin’ those songs, and kickin’ that ass. You’re funny AF.
8/10 (Great)

 

The Old Man & the Gun (2018)

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Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. (IMDb)
Over a wonderful aesthetic (warm cinematography, clever editing, and cozy jazz), light and leisurely character set-ups (Forrest and Jewel have great banter) set the stage for a fun little plot (Affleck’s weary cop is a perfect match for Redford’s relaxed con). The final act fails to wrap things up as gracefully, however, thanks to a couple plot snags (why let him leave the bathroom, and why a horse instead of the car?) and Forrest’s now irritatingly breezy attitude in the face of adversity.
7/10 (Good)

 

North Country (2005)

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States — Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit. (IMDb)
Theron melts into her character here, displaying with ease both Josie’s brokenness and courage. Her experiences of abuse and her lonely fight for her rights are tough to watch but are thoughtfully shown, as picturesque scenes of the equally isolated Minnesota countryside and its bleak mines punctuate her story along with clips of her eventual court case. The supporting cast here is impeccable and solidifies this moving film that comes to a satisfyingly redemptive and tear-jerking conclusion.
7.5/10 (Really Good)