4Q 2020 Twitter Film Reviews

Mercifully, we’re done with 2020…and here’s the last quarter of my Twitter film reviews…

#Tenet A complex film which requires the fullest attention from the most active viewer. The story, which can only begin to be understood in the first viewing, is ambitious, layered and thought provoking…though I could’ve used more emotional investment in the characters. 4/5*

#LastChristmas Emilia Clarke is wonderful and is more than worth the price of admission on her own. I enjoyed the much-maligned twist and while the film has significant structural issues, it’s a joyful way to spend a couple of hours. Critics – have a HEART, will you? ūüôā 3/5*

#MaRaineysBlackBottom Every actor in this film should win an Oscar – this is the best performance by ensemble cast in years. Boseman lights up the screen every time the camera hits him. The story is timely, compelling and paced to perfection. And, of course…the MUSIC!! 5/5*

#LetHimGo I’m not really sure what this film was trying to be, but it has a compelling story and great performances all around nonetheless. The brooding western feel pervades throughout and the scenery is spectacular, of course. Well paced for a slow burn revenge thriller. 3.5/5*

#UncleFrank Great vehicle for the underrated Paul Bettany, who is fantastic. Stylish direction and smart writing makes for a delightful film with heartwarming moments, which balance off some of its more melodramatic ones. Left a little more on the table than it should’ve. 4/5*

#LetThemAllTalk Wonderful (and mostly improvised) performances and the signature Soderbergh photography, and it’s a nice low-key couple of hours, but I’m not entirely sure what, if anything, the film was trying to say. Slice of life, sure, but felt like it wanted to be more. 2/5*

#HoneyBoy You can feel the catharsis moment for screenwriter/actor LaBeouf coming through the screen. It could very easily be one note and heavy, but the world is well-drawn with a light touch, the characters 3 dimensional, with incredible performances from the leads. 4.5/5*

#Mank Could well go down as a classic film about the making of a classic film, though the subtext often outshines the actual A-story. A wonderful juxtaposition of political plotting – contrasting yesteryear Hollywood politics with the dysfunction of this year’s shit-show. 4.5/5*

#HighFlyingBird Subversive, talky, erratic sports drama without any actual game play involved. Soderbergh always brings a unique perspective, and this is no exception. Great performances all around. Don’t love the iPhone shooting; picture is flat, especially in the blacks. 2.5/5*

#HillbillyElegy The critics are wrong here. Amy Adams and Glenn Close deliver transformative performances which are worth the price of admission on their own. The story is compelling, if slightly disjointed, but delivers a message of hope in the midst of trying family times. 3/5*

#ARainyDayinNewYork Not one of Allen’s better efforts and one of his constant refrains of longing for something which never actually existed but much like killing time on a rainy day in New York, has a certain effortless charm that somehow keeps it compelling yet breezy. 2.5/5*

#ThePersonalHistoryofDavidCopperfield Dev Patel has never been better, and the film itself is light, breezy and a breath of fresh air. Told at a frantic pace, it’s a delightful tale of whimsy, life’s ups and downs, and the joy of meeting people and forming your own family. 3.5/5*

#CafeSociety To some it may be fluff. But there’s a charm that comes with these characters and performances, and the earnestness of the storytelling combined with the visuals makes this a pleasant evening of cinema. Eisenberg and Stewart need to make more films together. 3/5*

#MadeInItaly A nice film with a good heart which must have been highly personal to its two leads – a real-life father and son who lost their wife/mother. The scenery is beautiful. The story is a well-worn road, but comfortable, with few bumps, which we need in 2020. 2.5/5*

#BadTimesAtTheElRoyale Compelling characters that are well acted, but the overall film is far too long. Slick, stylish and well shot. Has a Reservoir Dogs feel, but loses urgency as it should be ramping it up and in the end, feels just a bit too empty and tired. 2/5*

#OnTheRocks One of the most Murray-ist rolls we’ve seen in a while, and his easy chemistry with Jones and Coppola’s minimalist style more than makes this worth a watch. Lacks the depth of Lost in Translation, but it’s fun, breezy and enjoyable. 3/5*

#Rebecca Beautifully shot and acted; especially the literal rose-colored view of the world during the courtship phase. Pace drags in the second half. As good as it is, the result doesn’t really justify a remake of the classic. Maybe a modern take next time? 2.5/5*

#BoratSubsequentMoviefilm Like before, there’s about 45 minutes of brilliant satire, and 45 minutes of filler. But this time, the filler isn’t a lot of gross-out humor, it’s a little more human, if clumsy – a father-daughter story. The satire is what we need in 2020. 2.5/5*

#FromTheVine An offbeat romantic comedy of sorts that, at times, is exactly the kind of soothing, quasi-fantasifull film we need right now and at others, wandering without a sense of direction. But enjoy the scenery, the earnest performances…with a glass of good wine. 2.5/5*

#TheTrialOfTheChicago7 Should be mandatory viewing in the United States, especially during this election cycle. One of the best films in years, and a lock for a Best Picture nomination and at least a screenwriting nomination for Aaron Sorkin. Couldn’t have been better. 5/5*

#projectpower Intriguing twist on a premise we’ve seen before. Solid performances all around. Cinematography is fabulous, particularly towards the end. Clearly set up for a sequel. Story is paint-by-numbers, doesn’t make full use of its setup, but a fun ride nonetheless. 2.5/5*

#ImThinkingOfEndingThings I have no idea what I just watched. There’s some fascinating imagery and performances and I don’t mind slow burns, but you’ve gotta lead us somewhere. Instead, the entire thing derails in the third act and leaves us with…what? I’m not sure. 1/5*