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No X-Mas Spirit Whatsoever
While Hawn and Russell are clearly having a blast, the XMAS SCRIPT FROM HELL offers a really creepy elf (with what seems an Australian accent?) but no X-Mas spirit whatsoever. Another franchise down the drain as the creators completely lose touch with what made it work in the first place.
Let Him Go (2020)
Ultimately a movie you would never want to see or recommend
Let's be crystal clear. Costner and Lane are so professional and interesting by themselves you could watch them build a garage and still be entertained. But movies have to more than the sum of their parts. Here Thomas Bezucha has written an abomination of a script where the real "mystery" -- why the girl married poorly in the first place -- takes place outside the narrative and off-camera almost before the opening titles. In these kinds of melodramas, there are usually story beats developed early on so, that when the climax comes, the audience is tuned in and feels satisfied. Bezucha doesn't care about his audience at all. He tells the story, it seems, to suit only himself. Just like the main villain that he created.
Talking to God (2020)
***A LEGIT REVIEW** FINALLY
TALKING TO GOD is a well-intentioned indie with a clever idea that runs out of steam precisely 30 minutes in. Up to that point there was considerable potential. It also stands out for the largest number of fake reviews I have ever seen in a single cluster. Here is a tip -- for a review to appear credible it should NOT give 10/10, should NOT use the same exact phrasing as all the other fakes, and should NOT come from members who all joined at the EXACT SAME TIME and only left behind a single review.
The key to this movie as follows
To be fair, UNBREAKABLE was a solid little film, the kind of film you can see more than once and not feel ashamed the next day. However to justify this bizarre trilogy -- so much talent, so little to show for it -- you would have to consider the first film on par with Matrix I or Lord of the Rings I, to explain why anyone would bother with the other two. You decide. Take a moment. I'll wait.
finally a perfect episode
The series often sustains itself and simply being comfortable and brilliant at the same time but until this episode never actually turned on the turbo boosters. Here the action, the writing, the acting all kick in at the same time. Wow.
The Victims' Game (2020)
Definitely worth a view .. for these reasons
Just as in the west (THE GOOD DOCTOR) lead characters who are "on the spectrum" is also a popular trope. Solid production values mesh with aggressive performances to form a very entertaining series. Some things to note: (1) some of the english subtitles are slightly off. This is because in China it is common to work as a professional translator but still have problems with English idioms; (2) rare in a TV series, time at the end of each episode is allotted to the producers to explain how the series was shot; and (3) Italian-Asian star Wei-Ning Hsu has one of the most exotic "looks" in the industry and will not go un-noticed by male viewers.
Jiu Jitsu (2020)
There is no Jiu Jitsu in this movie
Which is a crying shame since since Jiu Jitsu was a uniquely modified form of judo that Japan popularized after WW2, and it would have been nice to finally give it a movie all its own. Speaking of missing things, ditto for the plot, the acting, the audience interest and the entertainment value. Nice to see that Tony Jaa is still working, though.
... to the early days of cinema when a tight script, talented cast and first-rate director could make even the most simple story compelling. The cast is rock solid, Robbie a standout, and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte has mad skills. Fimmel, who stole the spotlight in Vikings and looked lost in RAISED BY WOLVES, steals all his scenes.
All Joking Aside (2020)
smooth Canadian indie, much better than it should be
Comedy is hard work. Ask any comedian. And basing an entire script on the deconstruction of comedy is the hardest work of all. Look at Mrs Maisel, a project that started with some of the best producers and writers in Hollywood yet eventually lost itself anyway. This little film remains compelling and engaging right to the finish, thanks mainly to Markinson who steals each of his scenes and unfailingly connects with the viewer. Just as a good comic should.
Just to be crystal clear
One of the best episodes in arguably the BEST dramatic series ever done, live or animated, ever. I have done over 1500 reviews here and this is written in 2020. Nothing comes close to the quality here.
This review written during "the 2020 election" which seems destined to be a turning point of some kind for civilization. Much the same way that Stephen King was being fully authentic only in his novels about other authors, Carpenter is authentic only when dealing with his own mixed feelings about what it is to be human in modern society. Easily his best work -- because of the powerful humanistic theme -- you can see it just as easily as a love story with redemption themes; or a full-blown condemnation of what the species has come to. That is the true genius of the film.
Textbook disconnect between critics and public
It is almost as if, with the advent of streaming media, the critics are desperate for an actual feature to gush over. They picked the wrong movie. There are clever bits here and there, but the directors endless love affair with the tropes of low-budget film making, static scenes, dim lighting -- all these will ultimately disappoint. And the gushers would do well to remember that the director's father may have started with low-budget productions but eventually graduated to blockbusters like A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. We can only hope.
The Craft: Legacy (2020)
Way better than the reviews suggest
Forget for a moment that this film is to be a sequel to a 25 year old film that most people have forgotten. Instead consider the energy that the Director injects into the film to compensate for the lack of a traditional story arc ... as a kind of evolution. A new kind of horror. One that engages (thanks to exceptional acting and casting) as much as it horrifies.
Lovecraft Country (2020)
one of the best
The first sode sets the bar a bit high but the overall the series is quirky, unpredictable, engaging, fun, astonishing and overall one of the best of the season.
Yellowstone: Sins of the Father (2019)
icing on the cake
Standout episode in a darn good series. Kostner has more than redeemed himself for playing Robin Hood. The quality is going to be hard to maintain going forward however.
Raised by Wolves (2020)
Amanda Collin steals the show ...
... which is barely worth stealing. And Fimmel who ordinarily never gives a bad performance is completely lost in his character. The story is cringe worthy. Blame Scott who is the poster child for a downward career arc.
I Am Not Okay with This (2020)
there is more than one breakout performance here
And the writing is so sharp you could get paper cuts from just watching. One of the best of the season.
Killing Eve: Are You from Pinner? (2020)
Extraordinary episode confirms that this show is now and has always been about Comer, Sandra Oh is just along for the ride. And a great ride it is.
Balthazar: Les disparues (2018)
to die for
Writers smart enough to end with an andrenaline rush -- this episode is cinema quality.
Young Wallander (2020)
great acting qnd production values!
But if the main character was any more woke he would arrest himself and then defund himself.
Once every 100 reviews I simply tell the truth
And the truth is that whatever hope this series had of being a gritty detective series disappeared after the first season. What remains however is a tasty treat for diehard fans of Burke and Granger. And, trust me, those are legion.
Hope and Crosby would have understood ...
Because road movies have not changed much in 100 years. Haley Lu Richardson carries the film with gravitas but hey she is almost 10 years older than her character, playing younger. The pace is faster and funnier off the top but does not hold,
Happy Town (2010)
close but no cigar
You would a country with so many small towns would be able to bring out that small town vibe, but Canadian production values in 2010 were not subtle enough to pull that off. Every aspect of the production is too crisp, over-lit, over-acted and completely inauthentic.
cold labs, cold characters
Tried a few episodes and could not find a character I cared about. There is a difference between cool characters and an ice-cold story.
joie de vivre
In an age of forced diversity when being different is almost a crime, this show pops. Tomer Sisley brings to mind (for those of a certain age) the "Kojac" vibe, where the detective is even more interesting than the crime. Great production values, a great watch.