Category Archives: All Movie Reviews

2020 Oscar Nominated Best Live Action Short Film Review — Une Soeur

The 2020 Academy Awards ceremony is a week away. Delphine Girard’s Une soeur is one of the five Best Live Action Short Film nominees, and it is worth taking a closer look at.

Girard’s film begins in a slightly disorienting way. A handheld camera in closeup, positioned in the backseat of a car driving in the night, captures Continue reading 2020 Oscar Nominated Best Live Action Short Film Review — Une Soeur

Gretel & Hansel (2020) Movie Review

Osgood Perkins’ Gretel & Hansel, produced by Orion Pictures and Bron Studios, reverses the names in the title of the classic Grimm’s fairy tale. This is an intentional choice. Not only is Gretel arguably the protagonist of every major iteration of this story, but this version makes a concerted effort to address the gender differences between its title characters.

It is an interesting direction to take a familiar fairy tale, one that could bear rich thematic fruit. Unfortunately, Rob Hayes’ script makes statements toward this theme without much elaboration and with only a cursory connection to the fairy tale text. The film begins with Continue reading Gretel & Hansel (2020) Movie Review

The Gentlemen (2020) Movie Review

In 2019, Guy Ritchie’s live action Disney adaptation of Aladdin was released. It is a film with no discernible trace of Ritchie’s authorial stamp. He follows Aladdin up with The Gentlemen, a film that is so readily a return to Ritchie’s crime film origins that it almost appears as a parody.

The film is framed by a somewhat fidgety, gift of gab private eye named Fletcher (Hugh Grant), who has Continue reading The Gentlemen (2020) Movie Review

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

Dolittle (2020) Movie Review

In one way or another, the movie Dolittle broke me. Coming home from the theater and sitting down to write this review, my mind still cannot think clearly after witnessing a film that my eyes actively rejected. Robert Downey Jr., coming off of his triumphant tenure as Iron Man in the Marvel films, leads an all star cast—a cast which includes Antonio Banderas, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Jim Broadbent, and Octavia Spencer, among many others—in what can only be described by technical definitions as cinema.

It might be important to note that the 1967 Doctor Dolittle, which starred Rex Harrison and was made with a lofty budget, was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and won in two other categories (despite how atrocious it is). It might be just as important to note that Continue reading Dolittle (2020) Movie Review

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