Molly's Game Review - Jessica Chastain

Molly’s Game

This is Jessica Chastain’s movie through and through. At this point in her career, it seems almost futile to keep repeating what an incredible actress Chastain is. What else is new? But once again, Chastain crushes it, storming through this film like a hurricane. The performance is so good that it’s almost a crime that Sorkin decided to overlay the film with constant narration. Sorkin may be one of the best dialogue writers working today, but that’s a talent that works best when he’s having two characters bounce that dialogue off each other. With narration however, it starts to weigh things down to the point that you start to wish narrator Molly would just pipe down and let on-screen Molly get a word in. 7/10 [Full Review]

mother!

mother!

[I]t’s hard not to at least appreciate a film that is so wholly committed to going insane. The last stretch of mother! is an anarchic nightmare, filled with scenes that appear to be trying to one-up each other in terms of shocking material. Aronofsky’s script doesn’t pull its punches, and the horrific imagery begins to come fast and furious, one shocking moment on top of another, to the point that you might find yourself dizzy from it all.

By the time the end credits roll on mother!, you’re either going to be on board with the lunacy Aronofsky is selling, or you’ll be annoyed at how thick he laid it all on. At the very least, though, you won’t be bored. 7/10 [Full Review]

Mudbound Trailer

Mudbound

Dee Rees‘ sweeping American epic Mudbound will be another reminder that Netflix, who released Okja earlier this year, are capable of distributing truly great movies. Set before and after World War II, Mudbound follows two families – one white, one black – living in rural Mississippi. With stunning cinematography by Rachel Morrison, Mudbound is marvel to behold, and contains the same sort of scope one might expect from a sprawling novel. While some may be overwhelmed by Mudbound‘s length and scope, others will likely be blown away by the heavy themes Rees is painting on such a huge canvas. 9/10

On Chesil Beach Review

On Chesil Beach

A novel is a novel, and a movie is a movie. A novel can be turned into a movie, but to do so successfully, it must surrender certain properties of the page to better suit the screen. This seems obvious, but it bears repeating because this common sense seemed to escape Ian McEwan when adapting his own novella On Chesil Beach for the cinema. By keeping a literary structure intact, the film is dead on arrival. 5/10 [Marshall Shaffer’s review]

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Review

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

It seems Wonder Woman has not one but two origin films in 2017. After breaking the box office and single-handled rescuing the DCEU with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, the Amazon Warrior’s impetus is explored even further with Angela Robinson’s sweet, funny, and sexy Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.

Robinson’s film follows the people who helped create the most popular female superhero, and it’s not your typical creation tale. Instead, this is a polyamorous love story about the man and two women who fell in love with each other and eventually put their heads and kinks together to create Diana of Themyscira.  8/10 [Full Review]

roman isreal

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. is too meandering for its own good. Gilroy is obviously a talented writer – he has a wealth of credits to his name – and Nightcrawler showed him to be a promising new director. There are a few visual flourishes to Roman – like when Gilroy goes in extremely close on Roman’s face during a revealing conversation with Ejogo’s character and blurs the focus of everything outside of the frame–- but none of the energy or life on display in Nightcrawler is present here. Hopefully, this will be nothing more than a sophomore slump and Gilroy will come bouncing back with a better film. For now, though, Roman J. Israel, Esq. should probably be stricken from the record. 5/10 [Full Review]

the shape of water

The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water unfolds with a dreamy grace, full of moments that will have you uttering blissful sighs of content. Alexandre Desplat’s score is lush and romantic, perfectly underscoring the film’s tone, and the cinematography courtesy of Dan Laustsen recalls the look of films from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Del Toro creates one gorgeous moment after the next, including a show-stopping scene that turns into something out of a classic musical. It’s the type of thing only del Toro could create. 10/10 [Full Review]

suburbicon tiff

Suburbicon

It’s not often that one film attempts so many different things and manages to make none of them work, but gosh darn it, Suburbicon somehow makes such blundering seem easy. Director George Clooney packs a whole lot of ideas into his tale of the underbelly of 1950s suburbia, but they’re really bad, lazy ideas, which is a shame because Suburbicon has quite the pedigree. 5/10 [Full Review]

unicorn store review

Unicorn Store

Unicorn Store might not wield the fanciest and finest filmmaking techniques to convey this morsel of knowledge, but it does show Larson possesses a wisdom beyond her years (as anyone who follows her on social media can attest). The first part of the equation can be learned, honed and perfected. The second part is not so easy to pick up. 7/10 [Marshall Shaffer’s review]

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