Reviews

Mortal Kombat (2021) Review

MORTAL KOMBAT!!!

Probably Not Worth Your Time

Did you see the trailer up there? Yeah, that trailer is a better experience than the actual 2021 film adaptation of the gruesome fighting video game series. By a whole lot. That’s not to say there isn’t fun to be had, but it’s really important that if you have an expectation of an epic film, dial that back by 90% and then recalibrate because this Mortal Kombat. Is a lot like the ones made in the 90’s. It’s a cheese fest with extra cheese, but prettier fights, and bloodier fatalities.

What makes this a more difficult pill to swallow though is the opening to this movie, is good. Like really good stuff. It gives an excellent introduction to two of the most recognizable fighters of the video games. Yet as soon as the title card plays, the idea of making an interesting film in the world of Mortal Kombat crumples to the ground like a body that just lost its head. Instead what is left is a bland building a team together movie with very loose threads to the establishing scene of the movie. The skeleton of a better movie is in here, but that is all it is. The cheese is heavy form from so many lines of dialog to just very confusing moments for characters in the world of the film. There were several moments of “oh come on” running through my mind before I had to laugh and just take it as it is.

While the movie fell flat on being an interesting one, does it work as just a ridiculous entertaining movie? Sometimes. There were some fights and fatalities that were fun, but the ratio was not in their favor. The best moments of the movie are the ones with Sub-Zero and Scorpion, which unfortunately this movie is not directly having either of those characters as the main character. So instead you are left with well suped up versions of the 90’s movies. If those older movies never existed I could have given this one a pass, but they do so it makes it much more confusing why they didn’t try to write a different take on this story.

This video game adaptation sadly falls into the same pitfalls of many other ones, they want to try and check boxes for fans. They may have done so but it makes for a weaker movie and begs the question why make it at all if it’s only going to be a lesser version of the games. It stings even more when there is a good idea buried in the nearly two hour movie. The movie’s first ten minutes or so could have made for something much more compelling. Instead the ambition was left at the door for something that falls short of being truly worth your time. If you are a fan of the games, you may get a kick or two out of this, but for anyone else go into this expecting something bad and super cheesy. It may help you like it more.

Reviews

Godzilla vs. Kong Review

Godzilla Vs. Kong is the title match we have been waiting for, and it delivers in spades.

Watch This NOW!

Staring in 2014 Legendary Pictures brought back the skyscraper monster movie to modern audiences with Godzilla. Every two to three years since they have given us another one. Godzilla vs. Kong is the most fun of them all. Unlike the last big Versus movie to come out (Batman V. Superman), this movie had the proper table setting of previous films for each title character which what-do ya-know, lets the Versus movie focus on the whole versus part.

This movie delivers in exactly what trailers and the title promises, Godzilla and Kong going toe to toe, and each time they do it’s an explosive awesome spectacle to watch. The action in this movie is great, like a boxing match, but with atomic breath and house-size battle axes. There’s just something more fun about watching Kong throw fighter jets and Godzilla than puny humans duking it out. It also does a better job of putting the humans to the side, and using them more for what they should be in these movies, a bit of context and offering slight support or resistance to the two massive titans battling it out. They are not the focus of the story, and that’s great.

Now sure, you could nitpick the hell out of the plot but since the movie doesn’t pay as much attention to it, it really doesn’t distract from the action that you came to see. Of the bigger plot side of things I do have to commend the writing and directing of bringing out the strengths of the two monsters. Godzilla throughout the movie is what he’s been established as, a force of nature. On the other end Kong is given a more character related role because that’s what Skull Island already brought to the screen. Again, having movies prior to this confrontation greatly aided in allowing this movie to really focus instead of having to explain days worth of explanation to make things line up.

All this is to say, I really enjoyed Godzilla vs. Kong, it’s everything I could have hoped for out of a movie pitting these two mega monsters at one another. to me it felt like a Kong: Skull Island sequel with a Godzilla Hurricane thrown in. It’s just plain fun, which is the point right? If you are a fan of fun action explosive destruction action movies, do yourself a favor and watch this movie now!

Special Note: This is the first movie I have seen in theaters since the pandemic shut things down. I’m vaccinated myself so this gave me the confidence that with mask on I could feel comfortable watching a movie on the big screen again. I’m glad I did. I saw this in the Dolby Cinema format at AMC, and wow does this movie have a completely different feel in a theater versus at home. The booming sound with every explosion and blow, the massive screen. It’s worth it! So if you can safely see the movie in a theater, this is THE optimal experience to watch the movie. Stay safe!

Reviews

The Little Things Review

It’s a lot of little things that makes this movie difficult to watch.

Probably Not Worth Your Time

How to talk about my thoughts of The Little Things? I guess to start, I’ll help you understand why I am opening with a question. Have you ever watched a movie or a tv show, or even read a book where while you are experiencing it you begin to understand that this feels very similar to “X” example? And then your second thought is and X was so good why isn’t this? Well that’s kind of the feeling I have with this movie, and I’m struggling to fully express my thoughts without first giving you that background. I have watched plenty of crime/drama/thriller’s in my life, and those prior experiences make this movie feel lesser than what I’m sure someone fresh to the genre may find as a decent if not good starting point.

Me though? I can’t say I was a huge fan. Which is all the more difficult for me since the three leads of this movie are fun to watch. Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto, these are all Academy Award winning actors. They are in a genre that suits their talents, and they are playing roles that fit them well, but damn it, this movie falls flat for me.

The general premise of The Little Things is Rami Malek’s Jim Baxter is leading a case to find a murderer who is killing young women in very specific ways. This is a serial killer, with a pattern. Washington’s Joe Deacon is a washed up former detective who once had Baxter’s exact position. Something went wrong though, and it destroyed his life, to where all he has are cases and the inability to let it go. This pair latch onto Leto’s Albert Sparma, a creepy guy who fits the bill of the murderer. Thus begins a story of trying to prove that the slime ball did it. Yet at the same time the film is trying to build up a focus of comparing the two lawmen, showing what happens to someone who let his job consume him, and someone just starting to fall down that path. Both of these stories have promise and could be an interesting journey. The problem is when they come to a head in the end, it’s just not very satisfying.

I’m convinced that if given several more hours this film’s conclusion could have worked. But it also could have simply been a structural problem. The film gives more of a spotlight to Washington’s Baxter, but it’s Malek’s character that actually goes through a significant transformation. If we were given more time with him, it might have felt more consequential, instead it’s focus on following an already relatively ruined man doesn’t really work too well unless the mystery leads to a conclusion that gives him something he didn’t have before. This film doesn’t do that.

Stepping away from the heart of what makes this thing tick, I still have to give it to the trio of leads. They are still entertaining to watch. Yet at times Washington’s character had mannerisms to him that really misled me to an unsatisfying conclusion by the end of the film. It’s like he was trying to will a more interesting story for his character that never got the onscreen moment to confirm it.

All this is to say, somewhere there is a really great crime mini series that these three actors could have been a part of. Instead The Little Things is a movie with missed potential that left me disappointed and thinking about wanting to go and watch HBO’s True Detective again.

Reviews

Wonder Woman 1984 Review

Life is good, but it can be better! I wish they used that philosophy for the movie too.

Maybe Watch It?

Wow, well that was a mess wasn’t it? A well financed, moments of fun mess. I have a lot of random thoughts to say about this movie but let’s take it back for a minute. Wonder Woman 1984 is the sequel to the solid first 2017 entry. The first movie’s strength in my opinion was the fun back and forth between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. The fish of water story with Pine’s Steve Trevor brining Gadot’s Dianna up to speed of what World War I life was like was fun. Her fighting to save everyone from Ares was cheesy at times yet had moments of inspiration. It was a solid movie. The ending was just okay, the villain was boring. It was overall a decent super hero movie.

Wonder Woman 1984 has that same fun chemistry between Dianna and Steve, more Wonder Woman action scenes, and this time one villain that is entertaining in every scene. Yet this movie can’t hold a candle to the first, mostly because the plot feels stuffed. There is moments that are just slightly nonsensical even for super hero movie logic, and the lesson that Dianna learns throughout the movie is one that they tell you in an opening sequence of scenes. In that short film seven minutes or so, you get the entire point of the movie right there.

You know if the whole movie can be summed up in the opening scene of the movie, I kind of wonder, why tell that story at all? But stepping aside that really quick, I do want to give props to Pedro Pascal playing Maxwell Lord. Pascal plays this guy as if he’s hopped up on cocaine or coming off of it the whole time, and it makes his character super amusing to watch whenever he’s on screen. Between him and more Chris Pine riffing off of either Dianna or the 1980’s that was what made the movie fun. There were some action scenes that were cool, and looked very colorful compared to the very dark looking first film, but none of the scenes felt anywhere near as impactful as Wonder Woman charging through No Man’s Land in the first either. There’s fun to watch in this movie for sure, but understand it’s longer, and not as smooth of an experience.

Now that I have got past the, I liked some things of this movie, I can feel okay going into the this movie was bad thoughts. I won’t go spoiler heavy but again, when the plot can be summed up at the start of the movie, it just makes the rest of it kind of seem pointless. So much so that it made me even more interested in what the villain was going through versus the protagonist. Then because with sequel’s more is better. Which irony that is one of the main things Maxwell Lord keeps preaching, why not have more? The movie is trying to tell why that isn’t a good idea even though the movie itself does that very thing. Why have one villain when you can have TWO? Well if you can’t properly develop one of them, or just rehash the old, social awkward person gets power and turns evil twist, you maybe shouldn’t run with that idea of more.

I get it though they wanted someone for Wonder Woman to have super hero fights with. Which fine, but don’t shrug off this antagonist to the side every chance you get if you don’t want viewers to not care one way or the other if they are around. This is all to say there is just a lot of stuff in this movie that doesn’t feel like it’s given proper time to grow and sink in with the viewer. It’s happening, it’s surface level, and it never goes deeper than that.

I could talk about the very odd way that Pine’s Trevor is back, and the questions it begs you to ask because of it, but I’m sure you have read about it and without spoiling things I feel like I can’t do justice discussing that. A couple more nitpicks that bugged the hell out of me. First, was an uplifting scene towards the later half of the movie that plays music that I have heard way too many times for some dramatic moment of learning something or a renewed sense of purpose to fight. It was lazy and for me it took me out of the scene as well as left me disappointed in the score. Second, the whole use of the 80’s, when I said the score was lazy, it didn’t even take the fun route of using 80’s music, they mostly used the 80’s for fashion and that was about it. Seemed very strange to me to put the year in the title of the movie if they were even going to use that time period to its full extent.

Alright, I’m done, I’m done! Wonder Woman 1984 was okay. I feel like if I saw in theaters though, I would have been a tad more annoyed. So thanks HBO Max!

Reviews

Tenet Review

Tenet offers you not just an action fest, but a new universe to dig into and that alone is worth the jump into this crazy movie.

Watch This NOW!

I want to preface everything you are about to read below with some background. First, I have a Christopher Nolan bias. I can see the flaws of his movies, but generally speaking, they never overcome the things that I love about his movies. In my book, he is one of the best at creating something big and explosive while also trying to create something with substance. He’s the blockbuster auteur. Second, I watched this movie at home well after the theatrical release which meant even while avoiding full on reviews or spoilers, I did hear rumblings about problems that some viewers of the movie had. Third, along with watching it at home I watched 75% of the movie with subtitles on.

ALLLLRIGHT, with all of that out of the way let’s get to this. I watched Tenet last night. At the time my thoughts were, I liked this movie a good deal. After a night of sleep and a day to let this movie rattle in my brain more. I love this movie. It’s Nolan’s deep world building and unique concepts dialed up to 11. Which for a story and world building creative like myself it’s like a drug to my veins. I couldn’t get enough. It’s shot beautifully, with composition of scenes both capturing bold images and reality warping action. It’s score it’s loud booming Nolan but with a techno spy thriller vibe. Finally, it’s cast also hits a typical Nolan high of excellent high caliber actors getting to play in a crazy action heavy world.

I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot at all, but for the sake of discussion of other elements here’s a brief idea of what you are getting yourself into. Tenet is a cold war spy movie where instead of trying to stop some nuclear holocaust, it’s a cold war about the flow of time. You read that right, the flow of time. The normal flow we all know and an inverted version of time, where objects and people inverted are experiencing time backwards. Where everything, movement, flow of energy, life and death, it’s all playing in reverse. Why this is happening, who is fighting for what? I will leave that to you to find out.

Anyways this long explanation was all to let me say the action is this movie is insane. Have you ever seen a car chase where several cars are moving in reverse time reacting as if they are course correcting to things that have already happened to them but not to you? How about a fist fight where one person is fighting as if they are leaning into punches or stabs because this has already happened to them? It’s at times difficult to comprehend but it makes for something you just haven’t seen before. It makes the action interesting not just on the first watch but on several watches later. You have something new to focus on, a perspective shift. That is awesome and I love this movie for this mind twisting way of seeing these things.

A complaint that was in my head from the start of watching the movie was for many the movie didn’t make sense, where did some people come from at the end of the movie? Why was this event happening? So on and so forth. Basically the thought in my head was be prepared for this movie to not make sense. As I watching though, that was never a problem for me. I don’t know what was so difficult for some other viewers to follow but most of it contextually from the world the movie establishes answers most of the simple questions to me. The making sense of the action is what is more of a challenge. Where at the start of the movie there were moments where I had no idea what I was watching but as I watched the movie and learned more with the lead character called the Protagonist (played by the excellent John David Washington) it made sense to me just as much as it was making sense to him. Which shocker makes for a better viewing experience over knowing everything detail beforehand like some must have wanted.

The other major complaint of the movie I had noticed involved the audio of actor’s voices. Basically the audio mixing sucks. This, I agree with 150%. I don’t know why the mix of dialog is always such a pain point for Nolan movies but they tend to be his Achilles’ heel. This is still true hear. It was very inconsistent between scenes and more of an issue at the start of the movie. I tried watching the movie without subtitles but a quarter of the way flipped them on and kept it that way till the end of the movie when it was mostly action. So caution to those who watch this movie, you should flip those subtitles on because it will make taking in the plot of this movie a whole lot easier.

I could and would love to talk more about this movie, but to say too much would just spoil the fun. If you are like me and like Nolan’s body of work, Tenet hits all the Nolan highs and the pesky audio mixing lows. For movie watchers who have a low attention span, like several of Nolan’s other movies this may not be the one for you unless you willingly accept that you won’t get the movie and just want to watch the spectacle. Which make no mistake this movie brings it in that regard. It’s loud, and it’s unlike anything you have seen before. For those though interested in jumping into a unique time bending world, Tenet offers you not just an action fest, but a new universe to dig into and that alone is worth the jump into this crazy movie.

Reviews

The New Mutants

Untapped Potential

Maybe Watch It?

The New Mutants was interesting. As I watched the short for a super hero 90 minute movie, I kept thinking about how it felt like this was either a first draft, or a cut down far too much over produced final piece. From what I have read it appears to be a bit in the middle. To be up front this movie, isn’t like the trailer above. Or at least not to the spooky level that you’d think.

Instead it’s kind of a mix between a horror lite movie for pre-teens and a Breakfast Club style group of misfits movie. It’s a blend that at moments works even if it’s not the movie you are getting in the trailers, but it doesn’t feel earned. I mentioned earlier the movie is a little over 90 minutes, well you can tell. There were moments were things just felt missing. Nothing that would make the plot not make sense, you can follow it easily enough, but missing in that I didn’t feel connected to any of these mutants journeys or relationships. There is a skeleton frame of a movie here, that could have used 15 to 20 minutes of additional scenes to really cement what they were aiming for.

At the heart of this thing is a group of traumatized teens, like any other X-Men movie, but instead of having some heroic professor’s teaching them right and wrong they are in a prison hospital causing them to reexperience that trauma. The concept is interesting, different from the X-Men. The cast is adequate, good actors not given too much to do. It’s these things that makes this movie an odd one for me. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I liked it a bit, but more because it made me think, “I would like to learn more about this part of the X-Men universe.”

I’m not even frustrated at what I watched, maybe because it was so short, but it does make me wish what could have happened if director Josh Boone would have had the opportunity to do reshoots? Not two years after the Disney Fox purchase where Maisie Williams has aged up considerably but in the normal half year or so time frame these reshoots really take place. What could this have been if this movie was much more horror like, to an R rated quality? How much more of a unique and awesome experience would that have been?

The New Mutants is a middle of the road X-Men movie. It’s not the worst of the bunch but that comes down to the fact that the setting and scenario is pretty different from the seven X-Men movies before it. Yet, after the successes of Deadpool and the brilliant Logan (which this movie references at one point) it is disappointing that this movie was not better than just okay.

Announcements

Film Followers – yeah, I’m Thinking I’m Back!

Hey out there, yeah you the person reading this. So 2020 has been a thing huh? When the movie world kind of shut down, so did I when it came to watching new movies. I’ll be honest I haven’t been a huge streaming movie person when it comes to new movies. A lot of time, I would say 90% of the time, the movies I have seen on a Netflix have been, well just trash. Not the so bad it’s good trash, but like the smelly kind in your place that you have to quickly toss that out or the stench just sticks in the room for days kind of trash.

That’s all to say, I was not looking forward to the idea of having to go to places like that for new movies, and new movies weren’t really coming out. Well it’s almost been three quarters of the year and some movies did trickle out. Enough of them, that I’m going to start posting some reviews on the ones I have seen. And if HBO Max really sticks to their guns and releases their movies on streaming same day as theaters? I’ll for sure watch them all. Well maybe not all of them, Tom and Jerry I’m looking at you. That’s all to say, I want to get back to seeing movies again, I have watched a couple of movies in the past weeks and it felt good to get back into that rhythm.

That said, I wanted to come back with some changes and some criteria. There are way too many damn movies on streaming platforms. Like far too many. I’m not watching them all, and a lot, like I said, are just Netflix-gotta-have-more-things-for-you-to-watch bad. Which nope, naw, no thanks. I’ll be a tad pickier and not watch twenty Anthony Mackie movies he made for Netflix in three weeks. (No offense Anthony Mackie, you do make some good stuff!)

On to the changes though, I’m done with ratings. Score’s are silly. What I think of some movie, score wise, could mean widely different things to you. So instead of scores BEHOLD! My score replacement!

  • Watch This NOW!
  • Maybe Watch It?
  • Probably Not Worth Your Time

Also my thoughts on a movie I may have scored at one point coughRiseOfSkywalkercough might have changed. Sometimes you get caught up in the moment, and think a bunch of flaws are gold when they are actually that fools gold that rubs off when you touch it. Which by the way I might go back and do some refreshed thoughts on some movies I wrote about in the past.

Remember when you looked good?

Anyways this was a long post to say, Film Followers has returned! but… not like Palpatine, like Aragorn. That was a pretty epic return.

Thoughts

The Oscars 2020 – Reactions

Parasite WON!!! I really did not think it was going to happen. I thought maybe at best it would split best picture and director with Sam Mendes’ 1917, but it took it all. All in all I don’t think there was any winner that really seemed too much of a stretch. Well maybe 1917 losing production design to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I mean come on people, the meticulous work it required to recreate WWI is a bit mindbogglingly. But fiiiine, Hollywood really likes itself so it had to get one in there before they did something that will benefit the industry by voting Parasite to the win.

While we are on the winner subjects, this year the academy did a slightly better job in making sure most winners had a chance to actually thank people for winning. This years award winner that just made me smile to no end was for the original score category. Hildur Guðnadóttir definitely deserved it and I can’t wait to hear what she does next.

Outside of the award winners themselves, the show itself continues to be this very weird thing. The opening number had little nods to a handful of movies that were straight out snubbed this year which okay… The Cats bit while amusing at the beginning was also super effed up when you think about them throwing a special effects team under the bus when I’m sure they weren’t the ones getting to call the shots on anything in the production. Then you had fresher actors/actresses that would welcome out the actual award presenter which felt very strange. To the point that 1917 star George McKay actually pointed this out before passing it off to another presenter. Then there was the out of the blue Eminem performance. Just a whole bunch of head scratching things. Which still bugs me because then they have to rush the next award winner off the stage.

The Oscars still feels like they are trying too hard to please people that really don’t give an F. I don’t know how many years they are tied to ABC but once that deal is done, (or if it’s an every year thing) they should really push this out to additional options. Streaming partners would be a smart move. The sooner they can stay away from needing to please viewer numbers and instead can focus on the actual award winners themselves the better.

Reviews

Birds of Prey Review

Take a less funny Deadpool plus John Wick action and slap Harley Quinn-isms, and you got yourself Birds of Prey.

Score: 3 / 5

2016’s Suicide Squad wasn’t a good movie. Out of the mess that is was, there were two shining spots, Will Smith’s Deadshot, and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. That said I always felt like Harley Quinn was a character that shouldn’t be the center of attention. So when they announced a Birds of Prey movie, I thought, well that is smart. Another questionable hero/villain team up movie, where maybe they could learn from their mistakes. They did, but it is wrapped around Harley being more than just a side character, and that kind lessened the experience to me.

First to the good. The action in this movie is awesome. It’s the best thing about this movie. It has a John Wick feel to it, which the stunt experts from that franchise consulted on it, so that makes a lot of sense. In fact, the movie kind of feels like it was cut that way to really really emphasize that the action here is the star of the show. I thoroughly enjoyed a sequence where Harley breaks into a Police Station. It’s the real gem of this whole movie.

Along with the action quiet a few of the new cast members were a real blast. Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary, Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s The Huntress, Chris Messina’s Victor Zsasz, and Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask were all a lot of fun to watch. Where Suicide Squad had a villain problem, Birds of Prey did not. The real bummer of these new characters is that they felt like extras in a Harley story, and thus you don’t get nearly enough time with these characters as you would like.

This leads into the problem, the overall structure of the movie has Harley acting like a Deadpool of sorts and the rest of the Birds of Prey are her X-Force. And when I mean Deadpool I mean full on voiceover forth wall stuff, some vulgarity, and the main character seeming a bit off because that’s cool. It’s just Harley Quinn is not Deadpool. Margot Robbie who is an amazing actress, cannot match the Ryan Reynold’s mastery of Wade Wilson.

Also, the over reliance on the action really created a problem that Suicide Squad had. Every other seen felt like a music video for the soundtrack that Warner Bros was able to secure. It felt very noticeable, and had me wondering was a lot of this movie left on the cutting room floor? It wouldn’t shock me because the plot was very barebones, and it felt like things were just happening and less that it was a flow of character beats.

Take a less funny Deadpool plus John Wick action and slap Harley Quinn-isms, and you got yourself Birds of Prey. Its excellent action does the heavy lifting, as the Harley focus detracts from the fun new characters that feel like extras in a shallow Harley Quinn solo show.

Thoughts

The Oscars 2020 – My Thoughts and Predictions

The Oscars are upon us once more! And I did a thing! I watched all the best picture nominees! Well almost, I watched half of The Irishman, annnnd it wasn’t for me. No amount of additional voice over and old people movements in digital young bodies was going to change my opinion on that one.

Anywhoo, I felt after a year of pretty consistent movie blogging that I would actually take the Oscars a tad more seriously. But in serious I mean, just have fun with it because honestly an awards show for art is a little crazy when you think about it. You know that thing that is subjective and has different context based on every individuals own personal life experiences? Yeah, let’s find a way to objectively say which one is better. So to the FUN!

Below I’m going to give you some quick thoughts on all the best picture noms, along with a few other highlights at the end of movies outside of the big nine.

Ford v Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari was a solid sports drama movie. It was good, great even, but I really don’t have much more to say about it. It didn’t blow me away nor did it do anything that really annoyed me. It was just a really great average movie, which alright cool, but did it really need a best picture nom?

The Irishman

Maybe I just don’t like mob movies? Maybe I don’t really hold Scorsese on a pedestal? Or maybe I still haven’t found the Netflix movie that makes me a believer in their quality? I don’t know, but what I do know is I couldn’t sit through this thing. I watched over half of it, and the way the movie was told with so much voice over explaining every detail, and the odd decision to use de-aging instead of casting other actors for the younger versions of the main characters was just obnoxious to me. It felt like this movie could have been a miniseries, 8-10 hours long, and then you could have done away with endless voice overs. Out of all the nominees this was the lowest of the low for me, and could have been replaced by so many different movies that I feel deserved the slot over this.

Jojo Rabbit

Finally to something I actually enjoyed. I really enjoyed the Taika humor that oozed out of this movie. The way he was able to turn a story about a Nazi fanatic child into something more hopeful than dark was brilliant to me, plus of Scarlett Johansson’s two nominations, this one is the one I would like her to get the award for. Was it the best movie of the year? I wouldn’t say so, but it’s definitely up there.

Joker

I said it in my review, I’ll say it again, Joker is a dark messed up movie. It has the most nominations of any movie this year, but of the eleven it’s going to get just two. That would be for the insane performance from lead actor Joaquin Phoenix, and the haunting score from Hildur Guonadottir. The rest of the movie is very well made, but those two standouts are what you should see that movie for.

Little Woman

I’ve never seen or read any Little Women adaptations, so I didn’t know what to expect out of this. I liked it. All of the actresses gave great performances (was a big fan of Florence Pugh), the story was very positive, and by the end you felt pretty good after watching it. The costumes were also a pretty big standout of this one.

Marriage Story

Well looky here, another Netflix movie, and another movie that I just didn’t like that much at all. To be fair it’s goal of capturing the emotional war that is a divorce it met excellently with this movie. It’s just for me, the crux of the movie being these two characters felt very off to me. They didn’t feel like real people, and when a movie is all about making you feel uncomfortable that doesn’t help either. Where at the end of Little Women, I had this good feeling about myself, this movie just made me feel down. That said, there were some solid performances in there, I don’t think this was necessarily Adam Driver’s best work, but I guess enough did to get him in the best actor category. It’s Laura Dern’s evil lawyer character that will surely when best supporting actress against her fellow co-star Scarlett.

1917

Now we are getting to the good stuff. 1917 is one of the best movies of 2019. It’s one shot wizardy, the production design, the directing, the acting, the score, this isn’t a thing that I didn’t like about this movie. It’s powerful, it’s relentless, and you the viewer are there for every moment of the nightmare that was World War I. This is the favorite to win most of the major categories, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it did just that.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

My only issue with this one is it felt a tad too long. There was some extra Sharon Tate fluff that I don’t think really made the movie any stronger, and just stretched things out where they didn’t need to be. Outside of that though this is a great movie. The Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt pairing was just as good as we all hoped it would be. Even when the two characters go on their own journeys they are both entertaining to watch. Out of all the awards this one is up for, Brad Pitt’s supporting actor nomination is the most likely to win come awards night.

Parasite

And here we are. Parasite is the best movie of last year. While I love 1917 just as much, I can’t argue that Parasite’s expertly crafted script, editing, production design, and cast are a perfect mixture that creates one of the most unique experiences I have had with a movie in a long time. The big question is, can it break the Oscar barrier for ignoring movies that don’t have English as the primary language? I don’t know the answer. This movie should win all the awards it has been nominated for but the ones I feel pretty confident in are best original screenplay and best international film.


So those were the big nominees, but there are some movies that I felt deserved a little more love than what they got. So here’s a few that missed out, that should have definitely been in the conversation.

Knives Out

For me the were three movies that were up there as my favorites of 2019 and in my favorites of the last decade. 1917, Parasite, and Knives Out. Knives Out got an original screenplay nom, but this one deserved more. Best Costume Design, Best Support Actress (Ana de Armas), and Best Picture. For those who haven’t seen it yet, please give it a shot!

Us

Horror movies don’t get the support of the awards circuits, and I think that’s a shame. This movie has such excellent acting performances since move the cast is playing TWO roles of the same person. At the very least Lupita Nyong’o should have received a Best Actress nom, but I would also throw this one in for Best Cinematography as well.

Booksmart

Along with horror, comedy is another one that gets ignored when it comes to awards. While I can’t say for sure which categories this one should get nominations for, best original screenplay maybe, it’s still one of the best movies of last year and deserves some kind of recognition.


And there ya have it, my thoughts on the big movies before the awards night. While some categories are a lock, I’m hoping for some drama between the big heavy hitters in 1917 and Parasite. I would not be upset if either movie gets all the awards, but it would definitely be a statement if Parasite got the Best Picture win. Well I guess we don’t have too much longer to wait, go make some popcorn and get the drinks going, it’s movie awards night!