Tenet

Emmy says:
A glorious mess of insanity. Many cool bits and convoluted choreography that was very entertaining to watch. Nolan certainly had fun. 9/10.

Jeff says:
This movie is an example of spectacle over substance. There’s also a little more than a whiff of Nolan’s pride at his own cleverness that isn’t really deserved. Full disclosure: I missed around 20 minutes near the start because our ‘little intern’ was being a bit loud, but I don’t think I missed anything of substance and it didn’t mean any of the plot elements were lost on me. The hook of this film is interesting, and executed faithfully in parts, but there are so many obvious flaws or pitfalls that were just ignored or hand-waved over. The set pieces were excellent, and one particular event that features both early and late in the piece was actually a delight even when clearly telegraphed. Acting was good, casting was top shelf, no expense spared on the visuals … but I was left underwhelmed by the narrative being told (or not told). 8/10.

IMDb

The Invisible Man

Emmy says:
Elizabeth Moss has delivered an absolutely incredible performance with this movie. It took her less than 2 minutes to have me anxious about her situation with almost no sound. The voyeuristic positioning for the cameras certainly increased the feeling of paranoia. Music was wonderfully done with many patches of silence and loud obnoxious pieces that kept me on edge. I do love this interpretation of Wells’ Invisible Man. 10/10.

Jeff says:
From the first scene, I was tense and on edge. This movie holds you and doesn’t let go. This is one movie where you should know what it’s about before seeing it for two reasons: firstly, if this is going to give you uncomfortable connections to your own or someone you know’s past you might find this too unpleasant (it’s that effective!); and secondly, there are so many shots tracking away to an empty part of the room … you have to wonder if there’s something you’re supposed to be seeing there, which ramps up the tension for the audience. Cleverly crafted, compellingly conveyed, cathartic climax. 10/10.

IMDb

Fantasy Island

Emmy says:
Some great effects and setup. Problem is that the third act twist was completely jarring for me and didn’t gel with what had been presented beforehand, which completely broke the movies spell over me and I was jaded with the ending. To me this is not a case of insufficient information to understand the curve ball, but a case of conflict with previous character portrayal. Really enjoyed the movie until that point. 6/10.

Jeff says:
This has been panned by most reviews I’ve seen or read. I get that. It’s not great. On the other hand, it’s a darker version of the series it’s based on – which never wanted to explore the darkness of “getting your fantasy”. The remake touched on it, but didn’t last long enough. This movie had good effects, some interesting characters, a good premise, but spoils it. Some have said the ending makes no sense, and while I can create an explanation from what we were given that explains everything … I shouldn’t have to. This deserves better … but from the writers first. 6/10.

IMDb

Parasite

Emmy says:
I was completely absorbed in where this story was heading, and none of the characters were really likeable. The situations shown were really hard hitting and provided more emotional response than the actors within. Not to diminish the acting here, each character has so much depth on display. 10/10.

Jeff says:
This movie deserves all the awards. Brilliantly shot, excellently acted, amazing story. I still don’t quite know what to say without spoiling. This movie makes some interesting commentary about how one opportunity can be the difference between success and penury. My only qualm is after the set up and before the climax it dragged a little … but it’s a small quibble that might well be just me. Well worth seeing, especially if you can avoid spoilers. 9/10.

IMDb

Sonic the Hedgehog

Emmy says:
Light-hearted fun with many silly parts. Jim Carrey was a good Robotnik, yet even still it seems I do not enjoy watching him. Ending was nice, with the expected cliffhanger for another movie. 6/10.

Jeff says:
It’s harsh to say it, but as someone who was a Sonic player instead of a Mario player … I’d rather watch Super Mario Bros again than watch this. Predictable, except where it the decisions were incomprehensible, although entertaining enough if you realise it’s for kids. The problem I had is that this movie is relying on nostalgia that the ages it’s aimed at won’t have. Some of the ‘jokes’ that didn’t land are also way too adult – and quite frankly disturbing (since when is encouraging a sister to end her happy marriage funny?) The CG rework was worth it, but the story needed work too. 5/10.

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Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Emmy says:
The disjointed story telling was perfect for this film and no effort was wasted in trying to make the characters sympathetic. Absolutely enjoyed the Fun Gun and completely blown away by the fight choreography in the third act, and that’s without the spectacular use of the sets. An insanely fantastic film with an epic soundtrack. 10/10.

Jeff says:
In honour of this movie, and Valentine’s Day, I can only say: what she said. 10/10.

IMDb

Jojo Rabbit

Emmy says:
I never expected to laugh so much at Hitler. Amazing cast and beautiful direction. Surprisingly appropriate soundtrack. Loved the illustration of humanity. 9/10.

Jeff says:
I am amazed at how well Taika Waititi manages to blend the ‘funny’ of this film’s hook, with the genuine human drama (albeit from a 10 year old’s view, so it’s a little safer) of Germany at the end of WW2, with the cutting satire that those in power at that time deserved. The cast is incredible, with impressive work all around. This film went to dark places I didn’t think it would, and found humour in places I wasn’t expecting. There is so much going on, and so much to discover. I feel like this should be shown in high schools, but the swearing might make that an issue … although it’s appropriate too. 10/10.

IMDb

Bombshell

Emmy says:
This movie was unfortunately very familiar and uncomfortable. Margot Robbie showed the emotional turmoil of being in that situation perfectly while in Roger’s office and later on the phone to a friend. The director did a magnificent job of showing what happened without the film resorting to voyeurism. Very well executed. 9/10.

Jeff says:
There is undoubted veracity to this film. It is a testament to their attention to accuracy that the only quibble (I understand) from the women portrayed is that one conversation (with a composite character) didn’t actually happen … and yet needed to be there to make the point it did. Very well acted, and amazing casting all around to get close to the famous faces represented. Even for those who followed the stories at the time, this is a compelling drama … and hopefully it can contribute to helping eradicate this sort of behaviour. 9/10.

IMDb

Little Women (2019)

Emmy says:
A delightful and charming film, gorgeous costumes and sets. An emotional roller coaster with real heart. Loved it. 10/10.

Jeff says:
This is an excellent movie, told brilliantly. The slight change to the narrative structure from the book makes the most of the parallels between ‘then’ and ‘now’. The acting, staging, costuming, and details were all exquisite. There isn’t much more to say because the movie was just that well made, well told, and thoroughly enjoyable. Go see it. 10/10.

IMDb

Jumanji: The Next Level

Emmy says:
A great sequel that shows the talent of these actors. A lot of fun but I feel it fell just short of Welcome to the Jungle. 8/10.

Jeff says:
Wow, the acting just gets better. Sure the NPCs aren’t as well developed, but that’s often the case in simple linear games. Once again our avatars do an incredible job of portraying their players … and it’s clear as day when it’s someone else. Great work all around, still enjoying the people and the central conceit … but it’s the law of diminishing returns – rewatching Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle still brings a level of joy that this one doesn’t quite have. Don’t get me wrong: I had a blast, and can’t wait for the next instalment that is clearly planned. 8/10.

IMDb

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Emmy says:
Absolutely overstuffed! So much in this movie but unfortunately no time to appreciate it. I’m exhausted from watching a marathon at sprinting speed. Some great scenes and dynamics, only I didn’t get a chance to take them in before the next plot point was being shoved down my throat. 7/10.

Jeff says:
That was a lot of action in a short runtime. As always, I enjoyed returning to the galaxy far far away … but there was just so much happening that it was tiring and not because we were at the midnight session. While I appreciate the need to wrap up loose threads, there were some that were left unresolved while unnecessary (albeit pleasing) fan service took the moment instead. Some moments even hearkened back to trivial beats in the original 1977 film! Mostly done well, and there were definitely some outstanding elements that hit hard and were still harder to shake. 7/10.

IMDb

Joker

Emmy says:
A truly uneasy film to watch with a narrator so unreliable I have no idea what actually happened. Some great camera work with the constant face only close ups juxtaposed with scenic shots of a narrow/confined environment. The acting by Phoenix was fully immersive and I found it seriously unsettling. 8/10.

Jeff says:
I did not enjoy this film. It was exceedingly well made, and tells the story in a way that is thought-provoking. The characters are well-acted. Unfortunately, the story ‘punches down’ – making mental illness the spectacle and wallowing in someone’s misery. While effective, this is never something I can enjoy (personal preference/viewpoint). I also have a few other issues, in terms of how some characters are served (or rather, not served) by the story. For a movie trying to be edgy, some of the choices made seem safe – and the movie suffered as a result. 7/10.

IMDb

 

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