Sunday, January 10, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: The Devil All the Time (2020)

Hands down, the coolest thing about The Devil All the Time is the fact that the movie is based on a book and that its original author joined the movie as its narrator. The gruff and serious tone of Donald Ray Pollock's voice really gives the film a level of shine and emotional tone that is hard to beat. However, the movie sadly lacks any other such element.

Instead, what is likely a densely woven book becomes a festival of bad things happening to people. From dull serial killers to cancers, suicides, and child abuse, the story of this massively depressing tale is made up out of numerous equally depressive snippets. Yet, they all come together in some shape, but that mosaic doesn't help its flat, emotionally-void delivery and the star cast doesn't help either. This is why The Devil All the Time feels like a dark comedy of absurd where someone simply forgot to add the funny parts.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Impossibility Nonexistent: An Exciting Action Movie Screenplay for the Next Decade!

Often in the world of cinema, an excellent screenplay will be known long before it even becomes a movie. Too often, however, innovative and engaging screenplays fail to get the proper attention simply because so many ideas get floated around. Impossibility Nonexistent is a screenplay for a film that definitely needs a lot more attention as it stands to become a very unique and thrilling movie.

Firstly, the core of the film revolves around a real-world element. Here, that element is represented by a line of products from Benigna Parfums. Because of that, the plot of Impossibility Nonexistent includes the same exquisite perfumes in its basic premise. This is how the screenplay presents itself:

"The plot revolves around a female protagonist on a mission to produce the most exquisite perfume ever created when the formula was stolen by the film's antagonist that took a new turn for what is truly entertaining and inspirational."

However, this is not the sole unique element that the film offers. It will also start a range of well-known but yet-to-be-revealed actors, as well as leading roles played by a female from a minority group. Everyone knows that modern Hollywood production suffers from a serious lack of diversity, but Impossibility Nonexistent is a different kind of screenplay that offers its key role to a group of people too often overlooked in mainstream cinema. Furthermore, the screenplay itself uses a range of topics and themes, all woven into the main plotline. This way, it will present an in-depth tale that shows the world to be more than the things that otherwise meet the eye.

If you love bold movies that are willing to roll the dice with their diversity, creativity, and uniqueness, follow Impossibility Nonexistent Instagram account. There, you'll be able to see how this screenplay takes shape and then becomes a one-of-a-kind movie!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Two-Paragraph Review: Tenet (2020)

Pop culture is more and more saturated with all manner of influences from the video game industry. The main takeaway I have after watching Tenet, after a range of other negative impressions, is that even Christopher Nolan cannot escape that influence. I won’t reflect on the convoluted story, the whole sadly misguided and underdeveloped science fiction element, bland characters that are neither fully-formed nor interesting, or anything else from the failed narrative segment of the movie. Instead, I will only focus on the scenery and the setting of each part of the film.

If you took out the fact that this is a creation of one of the otherwise best big-budget filmmakers of the 21st century and simply said that this is the new Call of Duty game, the scenes wouldn’t change. First, you have a Slavic city opera siege level, followed by a training level which shows you how guns work, and a few short cinematic sequences. Then, the plot moves to an exciting Indian city skyscraper level, followed by a heist scene at a Norwegian airport. That is then intersected by several more small cinematic scenes, a car chase level, and a revisit of the airport level, now from a slightly different perspective, only to culminate in a massive battle at an abandoned construction site and a tense personal sequence on a yacht in Thailand. For me, besides this showcase of theoretically exciting but actually completely desolate generic scenes, the film offers absolutely nothing more. I think that even as a game, the Metacritic score for something like this would be 6.5.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Movie Review: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Often, great movies do present a powerful political message. However, when the whole point and purpose of a director/writer is to do just that, the results are often much less poignant. The trial of the Chicago 7 is the perfect example. Played by an incredible cast composed of excellent actors who went above and beyond to represent real people, the film still falls flat and renders itself irrelevant.  In my view, this is mainly due to the key man behind it - Aaron Sorkin.

Once more, Sorkin does what he does best - writing clickety-clack dialogs and making every individual segment of the film seem a bit too epic and historically relevant for my liking. It seems like he said to himself that he has to make a very impactful political piece of cinema. But that very obvious desire makes the film often shaky in connection to its very convoluted legal background (especially when it comes to the role of Bobby Seale and his plotline). Here, the film often shows some nodes of this complex legal case, but the connection between it and the implied tyrannical elements of the US government stays murky.  

However, a much bigger problem is the finalization of the whole story. It ends up as an ensemble collection of all manner of sappy “the good guys won in the end” courtroom drama cliches. It even features a slow-clap-people-rising scene, accompanied by a teary-eyed boy who just realized that his dad is a true hero. All that ends up on a level that would make Hallmark writers cringe. So, in other words, Sorkin needs to stop with this process of turning himself into Starbucks of smart-looking, but shallow and patronizing movies.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Two-paragraph Review: I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

Now, Charlie Kaufman is a smart guy. He made some incredible movies that are definitely unlike almost any other movie out there. However, I'm Thinking of Ending Things is unfortunately not one of them. It's nowhere near bad or poorly-crafted, but that odd energy that inhabits all of the great Kaufman movies here actually ends up being a problem.

The start of the film perfectly showcases this issue. As the two characters chat on, mixed with the internal monologue of the main protagonists, the views get an insight into the rest of the film. Yes, they will strain to find meaning and connections, they will try to unravel the poetry and symbolism from long, pseudo-monologues. But, ultimately, they will decide against all of this because the movie simply does not connect on a more basic level. As that smart kid who always wanted everyone at school to see how smart he is, I bet that this movie also found out that you can be very intelligent and utterly dislikable at the same time.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Two-Paragraph Review: My Octopus Teacher (2020)

In a sea (pun intended) high-strung and flashy documentary movies and series, covering everything from, oh, I don't know, tiger wanglers and drug use, it's refreshing to see a topic that is anything but sensational. A friendship between a man and an octopus is definitely among these topics. Yet, with this premise, My Octopus Teacher managed to create an insightful, informative, and heartwarming (without approaching its audience as someone stupid) tale about a special relationship that bridges space and species.

In the documentary, a burned-out nature cinematographer dives into the shallow but enthralling waters off the tip of South Africa, only to find a particular octopus that truly becomes its teacher. Touching and impactful, the movie is a very interesting and introspective look not just at this fascinating species that might be more like us than we ever suspected. At the same time, it might be able to reveal more about us than we alone ever could.