1Q 2020 Twitter Film Reviews

Roundup of my Twitter film reviews from the first quarter of 2020!

#Vivarium brings a compelling premise and two fantastic performances from its leads. The effects are well done, and the story keeps you gripped all the way to the end…on which I will not comment and yield my remaining characters to blank space in its honor. 2/5*

#Midway Great cast full of interesting characters that doesn’t quite get off the runway. The story, of course, is amazing, as are the players in it. But 2 hours just isn’t enough time to tell all the nuances of the story. This one tries to do too much. Still worth a watch. 2.5/5*

#Carriers The performers, especially Pine, give it their all in this dour, plague film. The story needed more; felt like half a movie. Liked the angle; more focused on the psychological impact than thrills and action, like its predecessors. 2/5*

#6Underground is a Michael Bay movie. It’s all over the place with lots of hero shots, explosions, ridiculous action and over-the-top humor. If you, like me, find that entertaining, you’ll like it. If you don’t, then not for you. Too much story; could’ve been a miniseries. 2.5/5*

#Emma Great vehicle for Anya Taylor-Joy, who put on a full display of her considerable acting abilities here. Great photography; highly reminiscent of Wes Anderson (and tonally felt like him). The story is not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. Enjoyable, forgettable. 2.5/5*

#DarkWaters A slow-burn, compelling true-life drama on a complicated subject. Ruffalo has never been better; wish he could’ve seen an Oscar nom for it. The story is deeply disturbing, the scope unbelievable. Does a great job at showing how those cases work and the stakes. 4/5*

#TheInvisbleMan One of the best horror/thrillers I’ve seen in years. Elisabeth Moss delivers a perfect balance of damaged and strength. Effects are fantastic. The story manages to walk the tightrope of thrilling while not going too far, like a lot of horror-esque films. 3.5/5*

#TheCallOfTheWild Yes it’s sappy, often cheesy and there’s a lot of unnecessary and lame CGI…but there’s still a beating heart at the center of the film that draws you in and keeps you glued to the screen. Ford is terrific, of course, as is the scenery and the music. 2.5/5*

#QueenandSlim is anchored by its two leads, whom have crackling chemistry and turn in Oscar-level performances. The film has style to spare – when it works, it works, but it loses its balance with substance from time to time. Ultimately compelling and timely. 3.5/5*

#TheWayBack If you’ve been waiting to see Affleck the actor at the level of Affleck the director, this is your film. His performance is stellar throughout, elevating a story that’s good, but an odd mix of straight formula and anti trope. Still – compelling and well done. 3.5/5*

#TerminatorDarkFate A significant improvement over the now-disavowed sequels after T2, if not a full return to form. for the franchise. Natalia Reyes is solid as the new savior, and it’s great to see Hamilton back as Sarah. Story oddly slight for a Terminator movie. 2.5/5*

#TheReport is an important film that everyone should see. Burns does a great job keeping the film moving and compelling, despite a lot of politicians talking. Driver delivers another understated yet powerful performance. The film will tire you out, but isn’t that the point? 4/5*

#downhillmovie The Way Way Back and The Descendants are two of my favorite films, so despite the weak trailer, I was excited for another entry from Faxon and Rash. I don’t know what went wrong here, but whatever it was…was considerable. Hope they do better next time. 0.5/5*

#DolemiteIsMyName So how is it possible that Eddie Murphy missed out on an Oscar nomination for this? Murphy was just outstanding in a well-told story with enough twists, turns, heart and of course humor to go around. Shows great cinema can be a whole lot of fun, too. 4.5/5*

#TheAssistant When you get 1/3 of the way through and realize that it’s a day in the life movie, you wonder if you’ll get bored. But you don’t. With spot-on performances and tensely drawn scenes, you realize it’s a horror-thriller…that happens every day. Chilling, really. 4/5*

#JustMercy is an important film with a clear message, even if it is a shade paint-by-numbers at times. Cretton is a director on the rise, and one who knows how to draw the best from his performers. Jordan proves again he’s a top leading man, and Foxx has seldom been better. 4/5*

#TheGentlemen is a hell of a lot of fun. There’s plenty of twists and turns, and feels like it has some Ocean’s 11 DNA in it as well. It’s a bit too long, and not sure we needed all those characters, but everyone’s on top of their game. I had a great time. 3/5*

#BadBoysForLife If you’re looking for a coherent plot, deep character development and catharsis, you’ve missed the point. It’s loud, it’s ridiculous, it’s a whole lot of fun and the best film in the series. Smith and Lawrence still have great chemistry, 17 years later. 3/5*

#Harriet Cynthia Erivo delivers a powerhouse performance, but it’s ultimately disappointing that she wasn’t given more to work with. The film itself is bland, superficial, overly melodramatic and ultimately comes up hollow. Tubman, an American hero, deserves better. 1.5/5*

#Judy is a film that’s designed to do one thing: show the utterly transformative performance of Renee Zellweger. Boy, does it ever succeed at that…hers is a performance for the ages, and she owns every single frame. The film itself is solid, if a little uneven. 3.5/5*

#PainandGlory You come for Banderas’ much-lauded performance, which is rich, subtle & layered. The story needs some work. The first act is over-long, the third act way too short & the moment that throws us into the climax and resolution is far too slight, almost unearned. 2.5/5*

#RichardJewell It’s hard not to feel like you’re been manipulated here, even as you watch a very solid film with great performances all around. But could we have a better defined villain, both in form of government and media? Could’ve benefited from a different structure. 3.5/5*

#TheTwoPopes is surprisingly a lot of fun amidst its heavy discussions of the past, present & future of the institution it shows & the man who now leads it. Lacks structure, but makes it work. I’ll steal this line though: “A liberal fantasy about a conservative institution.” 4/5*

#MarriageStory Should win every acting award there is…can’t say I’ve seen a series of powerhouse performances like this in some time. The compassion that Baumbach has for all his characters, their worlds and their stories, is what makes this special. Hard to watch though. 5/5*

#Parasite I’ll be honest; I’m still digesting this film. It’s tempting to pass it off as a one theme film, but it’s so much more layered and complicated than that. The performances were perfect, and no frame is wasted by the DP. Going to be thinking about this for a while. 4.5/5*