Category Archives: Movie Review

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Movie Review – The Perfection

Category : Movie Review

Director: Richard Shepard

Starring: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Steven Weber

Year: 2019

The Perfection is like if Get Out was crap.  The same lead actress, the same creepy white guy character, the envy of gifts, the imminent and bizarre blood; cou*copy*gh.  Richard Shepard, whose only “claim to fame” is Dom Hemingway, is more a TV and made-for-TV director, not a feature guy who can produce original content, so he simply stole a near-masterpiece of modern horror and added in a cello to make unsuspecting audiences think they were watching something completely new.  News flash, Richie; we’re not that dumb.  I don’t have much faith in humanity, but I’m sure there will be enough people who recognize what you did that I won’t feel completely alone.  But I’ve also seen gushing reviews come out, which only proves to me that some audiences/critics will love anything that’s remotely sensationalized, regardless of the messy rest.

A stunning cello virtuoso, Charlotte had to quit the instrument and leave a prestigious school when her mother became ill, putting her own dreams on hold.  Another girl, Elizabeth, took her top place, and would become a world-renowned player, while Charlotte watched from the sidelines.  Now that her mother has died, she is free to return to the world she once loved, though not as the young student rising to super-stardom; that path is now blocked.  But Elizabeth, Lizzie, seems lovely, and the pair of young ladies instantly connect upon meeting each other in Shanghai.  But it’s not all coming up daisies, there’s something more sinister in the air, starting with a strange sickness Lizzie contracts, and involving a small tattoo that both women share, connecting their mysterious pasts as well as their violent futures.

Lesbians are en vogue right now, and I can’t imagine how insulting that must be, while activists clamor for equal representation, to have your sexuality used as a tool to attract audiences.  It’s obvious when a story is done to reflect gay couples in real life and when it’s done to grab attention to a low-quality product, and I strongly feel that The Perfection is the latter.  This film isn’t edgy, isn’t groundbreaking, isn’t representational, it’s a gimmick, and that’s not cool.  It’s a recycling of a plot we recently watched, with the same actress we watched, from a slightly different point of view, with some of the same themes, about music instead of photography, with rape as a story arc done in bad taste; and we’re expected to applaud?  Bad on Netflix for picking up this project, and not simply for social reasons, maybe I’m just being too sensitive, but also because, well, it just sucks.  Allison Williams is talented, but literally no one else in the cast was, and the gore was stupid at best, insulting if you look into it too closely.  The plot was dumb, I hated the direction, the acting was no good, and I felt like I needed a shower after watching, which I’m guessing might have been part of the intention, a purposeful ick factor, but for that the filmmakers have only earned a “screw you”.

My rating: ☆

 


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Movie Review – Rocketman

Category : Movie Review

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden

Year: 2019

If Bohemian Rhapsody was one of the best films of 2018, Rocketman has to be considered one of the best films in the history of the world.  And while we’re comparing the two, if Rami Malek was the best actor of 2018, Taron Egerton must be the best actor who has ever drawn a breath.  If that’s what we’re doing here, if we were to put these movies as close to each other as their quality deserves, than whatever BoRhap got Rocketman needs one hundred fold, because it’s that much better.  Dexter Fletcher might just be getting started as a director, but he’s paired himself with Egerton twice, which shows that he’s smart, and he was willing to experiment a little with the typical biopic formula, which tells us that he’s brave as well.  For although this Elton John story feels similar to the Freddie Mercury tale we just heard, it’s miles above in daring drama, and should be unanimously voted as the superior feature.

Reginald Dwight didn’t seem destined for great things, growing up in England in the 50s, a child of a loveless marriage and the son of a distempered father.  But his talent for music, specifically the piano, singing, songwriting, and picking tunes out of thin air, was unmistakable.  Reggie would eventually get a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, and then would try his hand at making a record, putting his stuff on display for the first time.  A friendship with a tone deaf songwriter named Bernie Taupin got things going in the right direction, and, using Elton John as a stage name, the pair began to produce some hits.  But the life of a rock&roller isn’t just glamorous, it’s also dangerous, as wealth and happiness don’t always mix well, and neither do despair and recreational drugs, as Elton would soon find out, with rock bottom looming ever closer.

I’m already doing it and I probably shouldn’t be, but Rocketman is going to be compared to BoRhap, especially because the latter did so well last year, even though most of us understood that it wasn’t technically solid, despite its many awards.  It took good music and a hard-working performance further than it should have gone, because the bones of the movie weren’t that great, and we all probably would have been better off popping in a CD instead of plopping down on the couch.  But Rocketman is better, in every way, which will lead to a lot of unrest if it doesn’t receive even more acknowledgements than its predecessor, because it deserves them.  It’s punchier, it thinks outside the box, it brings in other actors than the lead, and it’s an all-around better film presentation; I know there are going to be people who disagree, but I think they’re wrong.

And I was a bit concerned at first; I didn’t know the genre was more musical than biopic, or that we would be drifting around through Elton’s memories like a ghost, often in fantasy mode instead of history.  That was a lot to take in at first, his mom and dad simply bursting into song, his songs, while he’s a little kid, and then EJ floating around on stage as in a dream; it knocks you back a step, but once you find the groove the creativity really does help elevate this picture above other similar, more static contemporaries.  Also, Taron Egerton > Rami Malek, it’s simple math, and he shows it in every scene.  This kid is the next big star, if he isn’t there already, and stumbles like Robin Hood (2018) won’t turn our attention away from the grand path he’s definitely on.  For the most part, the side cast was A1: Bell, Madden, the kid versions, Tate Donovan, Stephen Graham (who about stole the show).  The only actor I didn’t dig was Bryce Dallas Howard as Mrs. Dwight; she’s not British and she’s not that wonderful even when she’s American.  But that’s a minor glitch, as were the slightly poorly timed lip syncs and the repetition throughout of a few of the same themes.  The end will get you though, and the music is obviously fantastic, sang well by every cast member, with a story that we might have seen before, but perhaps not done quite so well.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Observe and Report

Category : Movie Review

Director: Jody Hill

Starring: Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Ray Liotta

Year: 2009

Although Seth Rogen and Danny McBride often meet up in the movies, I think they represent two distinct styles of comedy that you’re either a fan of or you hate, and I happen to love Rogen, while I can’t stand McBride.  Jody Hill is the director who matches with McBride’s humor, works with him often, and if that’s your thing then more power to you, but it isn’t mine, which is why I can’t gush over Observe and Report.  It’s funny, Rogen is funny, some of the ideas are funny, but mostly the movie simply comes across as coarse and stereotypical, not original like Superbad or completely off the wall like This Is The End.  It has its moments, there is some cool comedy , and maybe I needed to watch it ten years ago when I was younger, but I see nothing special here other than an improved Paul Blart ripoff.

Ronnie wants more than anything to be a cop, but he’s currently only mall security, a job he takes way too seriously as he waits for his chance to make it big.  Some recent crimes have demanded his attention, and he’s so ready to face them head on & to make a name for himself.  First, a flasher shows his goods and then runs away, next a robber hits a shoe store, so there’s a chance for Ronnie to make a splash, if only the real detectives would get out of his way and let him get to work.  Also, on a personal note, Ronnie is in love with a makeup counter girl named Brandi, who isn’t the kind of lady you take home to mama, while the lovely Nell pines away without him even noticing.  A lot to maneuver, and Ronnie isn’t the brightest bulb, but sometimes you just get lucky; other times you fuck everything up and get fired, so.

Seriously, Paul Blart came out a few months before Observe and Report, one of those weird times of film dichotomy, which doesn’t make the latter look very good, even though the former was a complete flop.  Hill & Rogen were able to improve upon the concept, that’s for sure, but they still weren’t very original, and not all that clever either, resulting in a few laughs but nothing more.  I found the first half far more appealing than the second, as everything witty came early, and all we were left with by the end was an odd storyline and not enough talent to pull it off.  Also, the more you hear these jokes the more offensive they become, so I grew tired of the comedy quickly, and started to wonder if I should be laughing at all.  But I did, it’s a goofy romp, nothing more serious than that, Rogen is a natural, Faris is good too, this movie simply won’t go down as must-see cinema.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – The Messenger

Category : Movie Review

Director: Oren Moverman

Starring: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton

Year: 2009

I missed my opportunity to have it revealed to me in The Messenger that Ben Foster is a tremendous actor, having already discovered that from other films by the time I got around to watching this post-war drama.  Pandorum, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Lone Survivor, Hell or High Water, Hostiles, Leave No Trace, Galveston; Foster is one of the lucky ones to emerge from child stardom, hold it together, and make it as a legitimate actor.  Not only that, he’s one of the best we’ve been seeing for the past 10 years, and there’s no sign that he’s slowing down.  I think, had I seen The Messenger when it came out, that I would have been blown away by his performance, because it’s unarguably great, he is so the man.  But I just watched it and I already knew he was amazing, so I guess I wasn’t impressed, which left me finding the movie as a whole only good, not great.

Will Montgomery has recently returned from a tour of duty with the U.S. Army, and his first assignment back home is to join the Casualty Notification Team; the guys who knock on your door when your loved one has been killed serving their country.  Will is dealing with his own problems of rage and displacement after seeing what he saw overseas, but now he has this job to try to wrap his brain around too, this daily grind of watching widows weep over dead husbands, fathers collapse after hearing that they’ll never see their daughters again.  Will works alongside Tony Stone, who has been hardened by this job, and by his own time in battle, pain callused over by rough wear.  The pair of servicemen might attempt to help each other through this grueling task, but they also may not be able to manage the despair that plagues them every day, the pressure of being messengers of death.

I generally don’t think that Oran Moverman is a good writer or director, but he did do the screenplay for Love & Mercy, one of the greatest movies of the last 5 years, so I can’t completely knock the guy; he’s just not exactly special.  Neither is The Messenger, a film that relies heavily on its lead actors, which is fine, but even heavier on our surprise that Ben Foster can carry the load, which was a problem for me, since I didn’t watch this movie until after I already knew we was a genius.  No one will ever accuse Woody Harrelson of being a genius; he’s done some respectable things, especially later in his career, but he’s essentially always the exact same character; it just fits sometimes.  The veteran story here is a troubling one, a very painful portrayal of life after service, and we can all get behind that, none of us want our soldiers to suffer in any way.  But that message is lost after a while, the story flounders, and while the acting is good, the script isn’t really.  And so The Messenger kind of flies by and fails to leave a lasting impression, while being solid enough not to require steering away from.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Rudy

Category : Movie Review

Director: David Anspaugh

Starring: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Charles S. Dutton

Year: 1993

Perhaps the greatest sports movie of all time, Rudy ranks right up there with Hoosiers and Field of Dreams, defining Americana in a way that, really, no other films have ever been able to match.  In fact, Hoosiers has the same director and writer as Rudy, and you can tell; there’s a certain formula this team followed when producing such a heart-wrenching sports film, and I’m not mad about it.  Rudy is the inspirational story to top all other inspirational stories, and it’s true, which is even more fun.  You can watch it once, you can watch it a thousand times, the message will always come shining through, and when that music plays at the end you’ll well up; I dare you to try not to.

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger has loved one thing above all else his entire life, and that’s Notre Dame football.  Although he’s small, not overly-intelligent, and nonathletic, Rudy has always told everyone he meets that someday he’ll play ball for the Irish, that they should buy their tickets now, because it’s not a question of if but of when.  After being denied admission, witnessing a friend’s death, and leaving his schoolyard sweetheart behind, Rudy travels to South Bend to find a way into his favorite university and onto his favorite team, even if that means enrolling in a nearby junior college first, and putting in the grunt work of being a human tackling dummy for those players lucky enough to dress for the Fighting Irish.  But Rudy’s dream isn’t crushed, it’s only on hold, and his day will come, simply because he’s worked hard enough to earn it.

Rudy is the ultimate never-say-die movie, which is funny, because Astin is also the star of Goonies, who also never say die.  Grownup Sean plays Rudy well, the lovable character that we will all root for to the end, because we see ourselves in him and want our own dreams to come true, no matter how unlikely they may be.  And the rest of the cast is great: Favreau, Dutton, Ned Beatty, Lili Taylor, Vince Vaughn, Robert Prosky from Mrs. Doubtfire, Jason Miller from The Exorcist.  But it’s the music that really drives the passion, those iconic songs by Jerry Goldsmith, tunes you will never forget.  All combined, the pieces make a great cinema experience out of Rudy, a true marvel of emotion and perseverance and hard work, paying off at the end with magical moments that will go down in film history as some of the best we’ve ever seen.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – John Carter

Category : Movie Review

Director: Andrew Stanton

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe

Year: 2012

I would ask what could had been had Valerian been half as good as John Carter, but that’s exactly what happened; Luc Besson created something five years later that was exactly half the quality of something Disney (of all companies) was able to produce in their spare time.  To be fair, Disney had history on its side, and a great early sci-fi series, written by by an American legend in Edgar Rice Burroughs.  John Carter came out one hundred years after the first Barsoom tale, honoring the writer and all his stories about Mars & its people.  I’m not sure what I was expecting when I sat down to watch this film, but definitely not something so solid, such a pleasant homage, and so easy to enjoy.  I wouldn’t say no to another in this franchise, as long as it took its predecessor’s route and stuck to the pure entertainment that worked so well the first time.

John Carter is an emotionally wounded Civil War veteran who finds himself in a sticky situation out in the Wild West, on the run from both American soldiers and Apache braves.  He stumbles upon a mysterious cave and accidentally transports himself to the desert landscape of Mars, where a thousand-year war is being waged between two rival cities, Helium and Zodanga.  Carter has amazing strength and agility away from Earth, and is taken as a great warrior by the savage Tharks, who aid him in rescuing the Princess of Helium from the evil Zodangan warlord, who is himself being aided by a curious, immortal people who work in the shadows to pull the strings on lives like puppet masters.  Carter must tread lightly to survive in this new land, but will have to make bold decisions eventually, when the fate of the world begins to teeter toward destruction.

What a fun ride, from start to finish, and what an absolute surprise.  Disney nails this nod to the greats by relying heavily on what we’ve already shown to have liked before; simple action, color-coded rivalries, love stories, and dogs.  Seriously, John Carter isn’t rocket science, it’s a basic formula, which worked then and can work now, if done correctly.  Now, the movie version of the story gets a little muddled, and I’m still not sure what the point was of the secret puppet people, but you don’t have to look too far down the rabbit hold, you just need to sit back and enjoy.  When my kids get slightly older I could watch this with them, it’s good for all ages, and they’d still interested from beginning to end, even with the slightly long run time.  I liked Kitsch as Carter, he was an easy hero to root for, and the supporting cast was strong: Willem Dafoe and Samantha Morton with good voice work, Ciaran Hinds and James Purefoy from Rome, Mark Strong and Dominic West as villains.  But man did I hate Lynn Collins; more than once I thought she was about to double cross and then realized that she was just a terrible actress.  Like, really terrible, but that still didn’t stop me from completely immersing myself in this wonderful world and enjoying (mostly) every minute.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Category : Movie Review

Director: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown

Year: 2019

The 2014 Godzilla was a major disappointment, since the visuals were so awesome and the story was so awful.  We probably would have been better off watching in complete silence except for the roars and explosions; that’s what we were there for anyway.  Don’t rely on acting and plot if you can’t do the job, just let the movie be a creature feature and leave it at that.  You’d think they would have learned from that experience when it came to making King of the Monsters, but they sure didn’t, instead, damn them, they doubled down.  The dialogue was stupider, the acting was worse, the plot was nonsensical, and I wish no one had spoken one line the entire time, that would have made things so much more enjoyable.  But I have to say, the action also packed twice the punch, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this massive monster display; it was almost worth the human drivel.

We now know that there are gods living among us, great Titans of the ancient world who have not abdicated their thrones, they are only resting.  Godzilla saved humanity from destruction five years ago, but now humanity is considering destroying him, along with any other Titans who happen to be buried in secret sites around the globe.  Some want them all dead, some want them studied, and some want them released; it’s a mad world.  The family at the heart of it all is the Russell clan, mom & dad being scientists who developed a way to “talk” to the monsters and maybe even control them.  But the miracle device gets into the wrong hands, and now the Titans are waking all over the world, coming alive to rip mankind apart before we even draw breath.  Can Godzilla save us once again, or will we kill him before he gets the chance?

Seriously, the team who wrote this film should be embarrassed.  It makes almost no sense, characters jaunt about like someone invented teleportation, the big character reveal feels like someone making fun of a James Bond movie, and the acting couldn’t have been worse if they had cast the same random dude off the street to play every role.  I was shocked how bad even some of the good actors were, conforming to the worst among them or perhaps just unable to do their job with such a shitty script.  Chandler, Farmiga, Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr, David Strathairn, that one guy from A Star Is Born, another guy from those cell phone commercials; my good god.  They could have saved millions of dollars by casting no one at all, by just letting extras run around, and allowing us to watch monsters play with fire.  That, at least, would have been a step up from the dialogue we were subjected to during this film, and which basically destroyed something that could have been kick ass.

Because, holy cow, was this movie impressive.  The fight scenes, the planes, the creatures, the bombs, the battles, the destruction; it was literally the coolest thing ever.  During those scenes I was hooked, I was there, I was headed for the Titan’s face and I knew I was gonna die if Godzilla didn’t save me, it was that intense.  But, unfortunately, every time we cut back to humans talking I had to roll my eyes, not because I want an action film with no emotion, but because no one involved was able to craft anything remotely resembling actual story.  Supposedly next we’re gonna get a Godzilla vs Kong movie, and that’s cool, but Skull Island had the same problem; flash but no finesse.  So I’m worried that this Universe simply doesn’t have what it takes to be anything other than noise and visuals, which is fine at times, but the noise is so cool and the visuals are so stunning that I wish they were supported by more than just money.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – 50/50

Category : Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick

Year: 2011

Much like Don Jon, 50/50 is a JGL film that we should all have seen multiple times because it’s that damn good.  He’s one of the most talented young actors working, has been since he stepped in front of a camera, and it will never not be a sin that a Robin movie wasn’t made by Christopher Nolan after the ending of Dark Knight Rises was gift-wrapped and set on America’s doorstep.  We need JGL in more movies, he’s been on a small break, but it looks like he’s back in the saddle with some upcoming features, so that’s good news.  He can play the douche-y New Yorker as well as he can the nerdy Seattle-ite, as well as a superhero, I will always contest, and we really should appreciate him more.  We should also recognize 50/50 for what it is as well; a tremendous romantic comedy with real life and real drama as icing on the cake.

Adam has a good job, a nice apartment, a cool friend, a pretty girlfriend, and couldn’t ask for more.  But some back pain leads to a doctor’s visit, which then leads to a cancer diagnosis; talk about a wrench in the works.  Now he doesn’t know what to do, and he’s terrified of dying young from something he never even knew he had to worry about.  His girlfriend is less than supportive, his best friend’s form of love isn’t exactly what he needs right now, his mom is a worried wreck, and the ship seems to be sinking fast.  A young therapist at the hospital wants to help, and she is helping, if slowly, but Adam is also beginning to have a crush on her, so it’s complicated.  Everything is f-ed for Adam, and a coin flip’s chance at a future isn’t the assurance he needs right now, but he doesn’t know where to turn to fine better.

Funny fact; this was one of Anna Kendrick’s breakout roles, which helped her move on from her recurring Twilight character.  That franchise is strange, because Kendrick, Robert Pattinson, and Kristen Stewart all turned out to be excellent actors, whereas Taylor Lautner flopped, and the series will go down in film history as absolutely awful, though it was a pretty big deal at the time and produced some stars, so how exactly do you grade it?  Anyway, going back to 50/50, Kendrick was one of the brightest pieces, but literally no one slacked off an inch, and the result is a movie that’s near magic.  JGL is so likeable and relatable, Rogen is a hilarious best friend, Kendrick is super cute and open, Bryce Dallas Howard has never been better, and Anjelica Huston even makes an appearance, lending the cast some experience.  They all work together fabulously, and Jonathan Levine has never helped craft better; the story works on so many levels at so many different moments.  50/50 is stronger than we remember and should be a standard when it comes to created interesting, heartwarming content.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Category : Movie Review

Director: David Yates

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson

Year: 2007

Reading the Harry Potter books and watching the movies are very different experiences, and produce very different results.  The first four books are spectacular, so fun, so enveloping, and then I think they go a bit downhill as they become darker and bleaker and more war-heavy.  But the films go on their own paths; the first two are wonderfully childish, the third is all of a sudden awesome, and the fourth is a badly-acted shell of the original intent.  The fifth makes up for that misstep, with David Yates swooping in to take over the franchise and to “Muggle” things up a bit.  I’m a purist, I like the novels, I hate when they change too much for the movies, but I also understand that it has to be done sometimes.  Yates toes the line between eliminating too much and trying to jam too much in, and the result is a fairly solid overall experience that gets the series back on the right track.

We all know the story of The Boy Who Lived (Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire), but his battle to survive is just getting started.  Voldemort is back, even if the wizarding world doesn’t want to admit it; he’s back, rallying his soldiers, and preparing to strike.  Harry seems connected to the Dark Lord even more strongly than ever before, seeing into his thoughts and feeling his emotions.  Dumbledore and Snape try to teach him to control his mind and his temper, but it’s hard; Harry is, after all, a willful teenager on top of everything else.  What’s more, Dumbledore is no longer in full charge of his own school; the Ministry has appointed Dolores Umbridge to monitor, report, and punish, as the Minister is afraid of the famous Headmaster and refuses to take his word that Voldemort has returned.  Harry and his friends will have to fight not only against the Death Eaters, but against school policy as well, as everything turns against them, and the drums of war begin to beat loudly.

The Fantastic Beasts movies aren’t really that good, but I’m not sure that blame falls on Yates’ shoulders; I think the well has run dry.  But then again, he also did The Legend of Tarzan, and that was terrible, so maybe he’s not the best director ever.  But he took Order of the Phoenix in the right direction, modernizing some things without ruining the feel of the original content, so hats off to him for that.  It’s more than just hard to keep the meat of the plot while adapting it into a movie, there’s only so much you can fit in, so I understand the changes, even if I didn’t like any of them.  But what I did like outweighed the bad, giving me a positive experience overall.  Harry was brooding but strong, Ron & Hermione were basically just in the background, Luna is a wonderful character, and Umbridge is so awful and so evil and so perfectly done, you have to applaud what Rowling created and what Imelda Staunton was able to do.  Again, a lot of the detail work of the book is completely ignored, but I don’t know how else the adaptation could have been done, so I’m OK with the decisions that had to be made.  All in all, the fifth is a step up from the forth, and maybe the only later film I like from Harry Potter, if might all be downhill from here.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Review – Summertime

Category : Movie Review

Director: Catherine Corsini

Starring: Izia Higelin, Cecile de France

Year: 2015

I enjoyed Cecile de France so much in Lady J that I had to go back and find her in other films, the first I stumbled upon being Summertime, a tale of forbidden love during a time of supposed change.  She’s such a compelling actress, with so much talent and composure, I just love watching her, even though now it’s become a whopping total of two movies.  But I’ll be on the lookout for her name, and I’ll trust her ability to carry a scene, because I’ve witnessed it now, 2/2.  Izia Higelin I didn’t know, nor do I consider myself an expert of French/Belgian film, but I’m happy to learn if Summertime is any indication.  It was simply lovely to watch, had a strong message to deliver, and needs to be much more widely seen here in the States.

Delphine has always been attracted to women, but has never been able to tell her parents, knowing that they & the village would never understand.  But times are changing, and when she moves to Paris to get a job, Delphine meets a group of feminists who aren’t just pretending to be accepting but are actively fighting for women to have the right to be themselves.  One of the leaders is Carole, who Delphine falls head over heels for.  But there are obstacles: Carole lives with a man, Delphine must return to the country to help her family, and while the world may be changing, it isn’t doing so quickly, it’s being pushed one way and resisted right back.  The pair have an almost insurmountable struggle in front of them if they want to make a relationship work, and allies in their fight are in desperately short supply.

I recently saw a blurb imploring critics and writers not to use Blue Is the Warmest Color as a comparison for female romance stories in film, and to generally stop acting like Lesbians is a genre.  I’m trying to take that to heart, because I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that in the past in my own reviews, or at least in my judgements, so I’m gonna try to do better going forward.  One of the main characters is named Carole though, so I thought of Carol of course, and it has a call-to-action feel similar to BPM, but I said I’m not gonna over-compare, so I’ll stop.  The tale is set in France in the 70s, it feels so authentic, the love story is powerful, the women are great, you completely understand what they are going through, and you root for them with every ounce of your strength.  Summertime is a stunner, if what you want to watch is deliberately paced drama that asks no permission and takes no prisoners.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆