Category Archives: Like It

Movies I liked but likely won’t watch again. Something was off that I wish had been done differently.

2020 Oscar Nominated Short Film Reviews — Nefta Football Club and Brotherhood

With the 2020 Oscar ceremony just around the corner, now is as good a time as any to get into the nitty gritty of what are perhaps the least talked about Oscar categories. The three short film categories get a bit of a short shrift from Academy Awards viewers, but some true talent can and have come out of these categories.

Below are reviews for two of the Best Live Action Short Film nominees: Nefta Football Club and Brotherhood.

 

Nefta Football Club

Yves Piat’s Nefta Football Club follows Continue reading 2020 Oscar Nominated Short Film Reviews — Nefta Football Club and Brotherhood

2020 Oscar Nominated Animated Short Film Reviews – Hair Love, Kitbull, Sister

The Oscar nominations have dropped. Among them are a number of great short films. Three of the contenders for Best Animated Short Film are currently available to view online: Hair Love, Kitbull, and Sister. And they’re all worth seeking out.

Hair Love

Hair Love is my favorite short film of 2019. Released through Sony Pictures Animation and playing before the inferior The Angry Birds Movie 2, Matthew A. Cherry’s film is Continue reading 2020 Oscar Nominated Animated Short Film Reviews – Hair Love, Kitbull, Sister

1917 (2019) Movie Review

The buzz surrounding 1917, the new film by Sam Mendes in tribute to his grandfather, is its technical achievement of appearing as if it is two extremely long takes. Aside from one pointedly hard cut, the film hides its edits in its pans across surfaces which cover the frame or in tunnels of darkness.

It is a technique reminiscent of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (Hitchcock would have attempted a completely one-take film if he were not limited by the technical capabilities of the time, which only allowed about seven minutes of footage before the film had to be changed out). The long tracking shots through trenches might also bring to mind Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, whose long takes make the film feel surprisingly modern.

If you are a long take purist, however, you may Continue reading 1917 (2019) Movie Review

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Movie Review

When me meet Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) at the start of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the new Fred Rogers biopic directed by Marielle Heller, he is giving a speech at the National Magazine Awards. Having won the year before for his tough-headed journalism that doesn’t make him many friends, Lloyd is presenting the award to this year’s recipient. Without any vigor or pomp, he delivers his canned address by making appeals to the power of journalism. With magazines, Lloyd and his peers can “change a broken world with [their] words.”

But Lloyd clearly doesn’t believe that. At least, he doesn’t have the Continue reading A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Movie Review

Ford v Ferrari (2019) Movie Review

In Ford v Ferrari, director James Mangold, working from a script by Jez Butterworth; John-Henry Butterworth; and Jason Keller, aims to capture the euphoria found inside the dangerous world of racing. The opening voiceover from Matt Damon’s car-driver-turned-car-dealer Carroll Shelby expresses a longing for that moment when the car peaks at 7,000 revolutions per minutes. At this speed, the car becomes weightless, a non-existent entity, and the driver simply moves along the open air as if carried forth through pure adrenaline alone.

Mangold eventually gets to a place where his film can attempt to distill that euphoric, high-adrenaline feeling. Certainly, there is Continue reading Ford v Ferrari (2019) Movie Review

Gemini Man (2019) Movie Review

There is nothing particularly novel about the setup of Gemini Man. Will Smith plays Henry Brogan, a master assassin with 72 kills under his belt. He is on the verge of retirement, and the government organization that hires him, the Defense Intelligence Agency, sends the next great thing in assassination against him.

The first act is a thorough illustration of Brogan’s unmatched skill. He evades, he eviscerates, he saves. He exposes the young agent who has been tasked with surveilling him (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). He looks down the sights of plenty of guns (with the gun cocked at a super cool angle). Long story short, Continue reading Gemini Man (2019) Movie Review

Review: The Platform (El Hoyo) – Fantastic Fest 2019

Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s The Platform concerns not so much the platform as it does the pit, a pit descending hundreds of stories down through a concrete prison established by “The Administration.” Two people are housed on each level of this enclosure. Some are volunteers, others are criminals, but they are all prisoners. Each day, a platform descends housing a bounty of food and drink. The people at the top can eat as much as they want; those down below get what’s left, if anything. And every month the prisoners switch floors.

Goren (Ivan Massague) wakes on his floor—47, not too shabby all things considered—not knowing what Continue reading Review: The Platform (El Hoyo) – Fantastic Fest 2019