Relevant story today
With Black Lives Matter and a growing socialist movement in western nations today, Judas and the Black Messiah is a fascinatingly relevant film. William O’Neal and Fred Hampton are the titular figures of this film. The story is intentionally one-sided in its depiction of a key historical era in America. Even so, there is plenty of nuance and a lot of suspense.
Familiar but enjoyable
There’s something familiar about Raya and the Last Dragon. It’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s there. In this review I’ll try to zoom in on exactly what that thing is. Regardless, the studio applied a formula that works for the movie. The journey is enjoyable and the ending is satisfying.
Storybook come to life
Sometimes the look of a movie is enough to grab my attention. Animation that is unique or (nowadays) uniquely traditional can really catch the eye. Wolfwalkers is one such movie. The trailer and critical buzz added to my interest, but ultimately it was the gorgeous visual style that led me to sit down and watch. From start to finish, Wolfwalkers delivered on that style.
A raw look at class and culture
I knew very little about and had low expectations for Netflix’s The White Tiger, so I was pleasantly surprised when everything seemed to work on screen. While the story beats feel familiar, the dominant cultural themes make the movie feel entirely original. There’s an underlying message to the audience about today’s ‘third world’ becoming tomorrow’s ‘first world’. When the main character says “It’s the century of the brown man and the yellow man, and God save everybody else”, it’s hard not to pay attention to him.
Powerful storytelling in a digestible format
I have to admit that when I first saw the trailer for Promising Young Woman, I thought I had the whole movie figured out in advance. My guess was: Woman goes on a rampage of revenge against all the men who wronged her in the past. And on a very surface level, I was somewhat right. But below my broad assumption, there’s a lot more to this film than a one sentence summary.
When a movie feels like a play
Like many people, my interest in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom revolved around good critical reviews and seeing Chadwick Boseman’s final film appearance. In fact, before watching the movie, I knew nothing about the 1984 August Wilson play that it’s based on. And that’s really where this review should start.
Sometimes the simplest stories are the most effective
When Pixar’s Toy Story came out in 1995, I remember acting more impressed than I actually was. I knew that something special had been made, but I couldn’t help feeling disconnected from the movie itself. Looking back on it now, I think I was impressed. But it wasn’t Toy Story that impressed me; it was Pixar itself. And after watching all of their movies, multiple times, for two and a half decades, Pixar has continued to impress me time and time again.
Let’s talk about WW84
If you’ve been following the online discussions surrounding Wonder Woman 1984, you’d know that this movie is very divisive. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some people have mixed feelings. I’m in that latter category. So let’s break down why.