I’m not a fan of Shakespeare, never have been. A couple of years ago I tried to watch the Best Picture-winning film Hamlet starring Laurence Olivier from 1948 and it drove me batty. Of course, I didn’t finish it. Since then, I’ve found absolutely no interest in Shakespeare’s work…until Denzel Washington starred in The Tragedy of Macbeth.
As I continuously heard the buzz about this new film adapted from one of Shakespeare’s greatest hits, I decided, what the heck, let me watch it. And I’ve got to say, it was pretty good.
More than anything the film is absolutely stunning. Joel Coen, who wrote and directed the film, brought such a vivid beauty to the black-and-white cinematography of the piece that I found myself invested simply because the directing was stellar.
The execution of the story wasn’t half-bad either. At first, I found it a bit hard to follow but it wasn’t long before I understood what was transpiring perfectly and from thereon I was sucked in.
This movie will definitely get a bunch of Oscar nominations, including another Oscar nomination for Denzel Washington as Macbeth. He won’t win because he’s got a lot of competition this year; Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Andrew Garfield, but he did do a great job.
All in all, if either one of the Coen Brothers makes a movie I’m always excited, and for good reason. This film was fantastic.
I’m giving it 95 out of 100 and 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.
A few months ago I watched Eternals and upon my first viewing, I thought it was a good movie. Nothing overly special but nowhere near the searing Rotten score it garnered by critics. Yesterday evening I rewatched it for the second time and I’ve got to say, I was a bit blown away.
Eternals is the type of movie that benefits greatly from a second viewing because so many things make more sense. Like Ikaris’ robotic behavior and his unwavering duty to Arishem, the nuances between the heroes and their conflict with Arishem’s grand design, and so much more. I found myself deeply invested in the story and I’ve got to admit, I got a bit emotional a couple of times.
Eternals is at its best when Chloe Zhao dives deep into the epicness of this story. At times, the humor that mainly Kingo brings feels a little forced or a bit out of place in the ultra-seriousness of the story but the humor is there to remind us it is, in fact, an MCU movie.
The action, when there is some, is more brutal than most installments in the franchise. I found myself wincing and quite worried during the Deviant attack in the Amazon. Zhao made sure to let us know at all times that the Deviants were predators and they viciously attack as such. It’s no surprise one of the Eternals died during that sequence.
I’ve seen two more Oscar-winning films this past week so I thought I’d share my reviews of them. Enjoy!
The Imitation Game
A couple of days ago I decided to watch The Imitation Game, a biographical film about mathematical genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his collaboration with MI6 during World War II which led to his creation of what is technically the world’s first computer. Unsurprisingly, Cumberbatch, who earned his first Oscar nomination for the role, did an incredible job. Despite having my reservations about this film, it turned out to be far better than I would’ve imagined.
What made it more compelling as a story was the non-explicit yet the truthful depiction of Turing as a homosexual during a time when being gay resulted in a prison sentence. The constant thru line of his true self being alluded to yet hidden away provided more meaning to the film’s title, The Imitation Game, and added an extra layer of depth the movie surely needed.
Keira Knightley also did a tremendous job in the film, garnering a deserved Oscar nomination for her role as Turing’s best friend.
All in all, the film wasn’t the best biographical film I’ve seen (that still belongs to Malcolm X which Denzel Washington should’ve won Best Actor for, by the way) but it was a good one. I’ll give it 91 out of 100 and 4 out of 5 stars.
It’s been a busy movie year. I’ve seen a bunch of movies, some that have been legitimately enjoyable while there have been a few stumbles along the way. Now it’s the end of 2021 and it’s time to share my ranking. Enjoy!
32. The Matrix: Resurrections
When I saw the official teaser for The Matrix: Resurrections I wasn’t expecting the best movie ever but I wasn’t expecting a movie that bad.
A few days before the fourth installment hit HBO Max I watched The Matrix with my sister (it was only my second viewing… and it was awesome… again) so I was fresh into this story. Then I watched Resurrections and my head practically exploded.
It’s so bad and as someone who has never been a fan of this franchise, this movie just seemed even worse than I could’ve imagined. The story is an intriguing concept but poorly executed, Yahya Abdul Mateen II is a TERRIBLE Morpheus, and the actors, set designs, and costumes sometimes feel like a high-budget show on Syfy. It’s that bad.
31. The Suicide Squad
There are people who will say this is one of the best comic book movies they’ve seen. I beg to differ. The Suicide Squad is a ridiculously violent, boring island adventure with a bunch of unlikable characters and maybe two standouts. And yeah the villain was actually intimidating…for two seconds. Then he was killed in such a ridiculous fashion that I was left just staring at the screen like, “Really.”
But I’m glad there were people who liked it.
30. In the Heights
In the Heights used to be my least favorite film of the year but there are two films worse than it this year for sure. It’s is still one of the worst musicals I’ve ever seen though.
29. The Little Things
I wasn’t expecting this movie to be good but I wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it was either. I love a good whodunnit movie but this film just didn’t cut it. And its conclusion was infuriating!
Before I begin this review I must let you know, Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite actor. Every time he’s making a new movie or show I am intrigued and so when I heard of one of his latest films, The Electrical of Louis Wain, the biopic of a famous British painter who brought cats to life in extraordinary ways.
Well, this film was far better than I expected. I had heard the buzz a few months back when it was debuting at the film festivals but it still took some time for me to finally check it out. I’m glad I did.
This movie is remarkable in its ability to transport you into a whole other world and with Benedict Cumberbatch’s incredible acting leading the way the film became one I will not soon forget.
To my great surprise, the film was more sentimental than I could’ve possibly imagined. I found myself crying profusely on a number of occasions and when the film concluded I was in a puddle of my own tears.
Yes, Cumberbatch deserves an Oscar this year. The work he puts into every role he plays is mind-boggling. He can transform from a young, genius detective in Sherlock to a fire-breathing dragon in The Hobbit to a cape-wearing superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and so much more. His level of range is phenomenal and even though I haven’t seen The Power of the Dog yet…I’m rooting for him over Will Smith for Best Actor. He’s an absolute master at his craft and there aren’t many actors like him anymore.
Oh geez, this has turned into a Cumberbatch appreciation post. All in all, The Electrical of Louis Wain is a surprisingly fantastic film and I highly recommend it.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a lovely day.
Every year I share the films I watched the previous year and how I ranked them. This list is just…sad, but we were right in the throes of COVID-19 and well, I was stuck to watching stuff on streaming and most of it wasn’t good.
Thank goodness 2021 was better!
15. Artemis Fowl
I cannot express to you just how bad this movie is. Artemis Fowl is a beloved children’s book that Disney decided to adapt into a film for Disney+ and the result was astronomically bad.
This movie was so, so very terrible that having never read the book I was still offended. Here’s a suggestion: never watch this movie.
14. The Trial of the Chicago 7
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is such a crap fest of a movie. It’s one of those cliche movies with a recognizable cast about an important American event that’s getting Oscar buzz not because it’s actually good but because it’s reflective of the times. I watched this movie all the way through only because I had to write a review. And that was painful.
13. Wonder Woman 1984
Yes, the newest Wonder Woman film has suffered the dreadful sequel curse. Riddled with eye-rollable moments and lackluster action scenes which all culminate into a strange sequel that retains practically none of its predecessor’s charm, Wonder Woman 1984 is a botched film that struggles to convey a message that this movie didn’t need to say.
I wanted to watch Wonder Woman 1984 for escapism, not to be reminded of how messed up this world is.
Safety is a cute, inspiring film but it’s ultimately forgettable.
11. Birds of Preyand the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Birds of Prey wasn’t received very well and for good reason. The movie is a bit confusing and muddled in its attempt to be cool and fresh but I find the film somewhat enjoyable, even though I’ve only seen it all the way through once.
10. Project Power
Netflix movies can be pretty crappy but Project Power is a surprise hit. It’s a superhero film that feels way more realistic, delivering a powerful story that’s actually pretty fun to watch. Comic book movie alums Jamie Foxx and James Gordon-Levitt are the stars of this Netflix movie and they do a great job. If you’ve got Netflix, check it out. It’s actually pretty good.
9. Enola Holmes
After having just finished the critically-acclaimed series, Sherlock I was really excited to meet Enola Holmes, Sherlock’s super intelligent and super eager for an adventure sister. The Netflix original film is well-made and actually had some nice surprises. It also manages to be feminist without being too on the nose (yes, I’m talking about you Wonder Woman 1984) or detracting from the overall fun of the mystery. Enola Holmes isn’t great but I personally found it more enjoyable than the two Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.
If you like Alien you’ll like Underwater. This movie starts quickly and it doesn’t stop. Get ready for a suspenseful ride.
7. The Invisible Man
Don’t sleep on The Invisible Man. This horrifying thriller is actually really good. With an on-the-edge-of-your-seat story that continues to surprise along the way, The Invisible Man is a must-watch if you have HBO Max.
6. American Utopia
Earlier this year on HBO Max, a live Broadway production filmed by Spike Lee and helmed by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter David Byrne called American Utopia debuted and I decided to watch it. For nearly two hours I was sucked into a performance that had me dancing and totally immersed. I know David Byrne for his most iconic works as a member of the hit band, Talking Heads, but it was nice to see him as an older man still jamming. Now I’m a David Byrne fan.
I was not expecting to enjoy this movie as much as I did but Clouds is undoubtedly, next to The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars, the best original piece of content that has come to Disney+ this year. This movie made me cry SOOOO HARD! It was a really headache-induced morning.
4. Da 5 Bloods
Da 5 Bloods is a powerful film that has unfortunately not received the praise that it should. This movie surprised me in more ways than one and could very likely end up rewarding the film’s lead, Delroy Lindo, an Oscar nomination/win. No, Da 5 Bloods isn’t the best Spike Lee movie I’ve ever seen but it’s undoubtedly one of the best.
Christopher Nolan’s latest endeavor is a mind numbing, mind boggling, ridiculous attempt at trying to be the greatest action movie of all time, resulting in what was instead an inspired fail. Tenet is still one of the most visceral and unforgettable films I have ever laid eyes on but its greatness is just a bit too much. But still, give it a look if you have the chance. It’s worth it.
I never thought I would get the chance to see Hamilton. Disney+ made a dream of mine come true and thankfully, Hamilton lived up to the hype. It was everything I had hoped for and more. The music was scintillating, the performances inspiring, and the story was perfectly told, delivering enough humor, suspense, and drama to refrain from being a bit of a bore. Plus, to see a Broadway musical with a cast so diverse literally brought me to tears.
Hamilton is amazing and if you still haven’t seen it yet I implore you to give it a look. It really is something.
And 1. Soul
I was not expecting Soul to be as good as it was but boy was this film absolutely spectacular. With a story that’ll you have reevaluating your own life and meaning in this world, Soul is a fantastically animated, incredibly moving story that left me not only crying in the end but utterly touched. It’s, in my opinion, the best movie of the year.
So there’s my moving ranking of 2020. What will 2021 bring? Hopefully a better year than this.
What have been your favorite movies of 2020? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great New Year’s Eve.