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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Knives Out

Emmy says:
A great who-dun-it with an amazing cast. The delivery of information is wonderful with the audience getting the characters memories contrasted with what they say. Absolutely love the setting and knitwear! 9/10.

Jeff says:
I knew I wanted to see this the moment i heard about it … this cast, this director, a whodunit? What’s amazing is that it didn’t disappoint – it was BETTER than I had anticipated. The amount of detail given out through unreliable narration gives the armchair sleuth much to mull over. Even with the knowledge we are granted, there’s still tension leading into the denouement which is a feat in and of itself. An instant classic. 10/10.

IMDb

IT Chapter Two

Emmy says:
A remarkable continuation of the story. The visual design elements to represent altered reality were effective. The changes to the backstory were still plausible and worked for the screen. Supporting characters were used well, and didn’t detract from the main story (as they sometimes did in the book). I feel like there was a lot I might have missed, so I probably want to see this again. 9/10.

Jeff says:
Stephen King is known for being unfilmable. There are some movies that somewhat prove this wrong, but they all have one thing in common: they don’t exactly stick to the written page precisely. The best adaptations of King’s work take the idea, atmosphere and intent of the written version and does something similar that works better for the visual medium. This is what happened here. Even know what happens in the books, I was tense and anxious for the characters throughout. I felt a pervasive dread in many of the set pieces. The parts where the story differs from the book were effective and still felt like they fit. My only complaint is that some things in the book were cut, which I understand, but it meant some of the related material that was left in didn’t make much sense as they weren’t properly resolved. Still, a great end to the tale. 9/10.

IMDb

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

Emmy says:
This film is a comfortable ride in movie making through a lens of nostalgia. The position of some camera shots allow the audience a sense of voyeurism and bring home the fact that we are watching normal life. Small details like having multiple songs play during car trips give the feeling of time passing and I really connected to the repetition of mundane tasks. The performances from the actors are brilliant. This really is a love letter to the end of the Golden Era, crafted with a subtle complexity. 10/10.

Jeff says:
Usually, we don’t want to give information away that will potentially spoil parts of the film. In this, Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 60’s Hollywood, however, you need to know a few things: Sharon Tate, wife of Roman Polanski, was killed (with friends) by members of the Manson Family while Roman was out of the country. “The Family” lived at Spahn Ranch, which used to be a movie set for Westerns. This is important to know, especially for those who don’t remember, because this film is a flight of fancy – a “what if” that uses real people and events, but changes things. An amazing slice of life, that almost doesn’t feel like Tarantino (except for the revelling in the 60’s) until the end. An incredible film, well acted and well told. A must see, if you love movies.  10/10.

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