Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tenet, 2020 - ★★★★★ (contains spoilers)

This review may contain spoilers.

I think anyone who knows me knows that Christopher Nolan is my favorite director working today and is slowly but surely trying to pass Spielberg and become my favorite director ever. I have very much enjoyed just about all of his films and his amazing 1-2-3 punch of Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk (with Dark Knight Rises on the side) is a real accomplishment. Tenet seems to be a cousin of Inception and has a lot of Nolan's calling cards throughout. Expertly crafted while at times confusing the film focuses on the protagonist played by John David Washington who is all of a sudden a true movie star. Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh (bringing it 110% all movie long) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson contribute to advancing the narrative which is the real star of the film. The high concept time bending piece of the plot is a sight to behold and Nolan truly gives the audience something unique and original never before seen in film.

I can't stop thinking about this movie and want to see it again to fully understand it more. I like how a Nolan film is unlike any other movie event. He makes you think differently and each of his films is like a new unopened present to unwrap. This movie is a time bending mind twisting epic splendor that demands to be seen in theaters on the big screen and serves as the perfect catalyst for getting people back into theaters during COVID.






Honestly, through the first half of this movie I was frustrated and really thought that Nolan took a swing and missed with this film. This all changes when the team goes through the time turnstile and starts moving inverted. When I saw Washington driving forwards while the other cars moved backwards, I realized how everything I just saw is connected and that Nolan was really sending the audience back through parts of the movie. I knew that Washington would fly under the door at the Freeport and that whole fight sequence was him fighting himself. It was just jaw dropping to realize that Nolan was attempting this high wire act and the last battle just adds on top. I really didn't totally get the final sequence. The briefing wasn't making much sense.

This is one of those movies I REALLY need to watch again to fully understand some things. Watching it for the second time, I'm sure I will spot some time connections I missed earlier. This movie is certainly not perfect, but I felt the effort and lasting impression should deserve a five star rating. Christopher Nolan is the most clever person in Hollywood right now. He can do whatever he wants in my mind and I hope he never stops creating new stories and entertaining audiences. I was thoroughly entertained and so glad to be back in the theater watching a big-idea flim.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Palm Springs, 2020 - ★★★★

A clever and fun romcom that has a lot of Groundhog Day DNA. At first I thought "here we go again" with the day-repeating trick, but the premise grows on you and the shear likability of the two leads (Samberg and Milioti) make this movie work. Great soundtrack too that compliments the story. Definitely worth a watch and bonus kudos to J. K. Simmons for his supporting role that turns really dark at times.

The Way Back, 2020 - ★★★½

Totally forgot to review this movie months ago. Affleck is the nucleus of a serviceable sports film that focuses more on off court issues of battling alcohol addiction. Some of the addiction scenes seem a bit over the top and there's a lot of predictability to the arc of the basketball season but Ben is on-point and gives a great performance. I thought the divorce story-line is a bit forced and shoe-horned into the story but overall I had a good time watching Gavin O'Connor's latest sports film.

Unhinged, 2020 - ★★½

Not the best movie to come back to theaters for, but I did enjoy some of this. Crowe is batshit crazy from start to finish and larger than a whale in this film. The rest of the cast is cookie cutter with average performances throughout. I didn't really like that we got no back story on Crowe's angry vengeful maniac. There's no motivation for what he does but the director definitely lets him go wild. Not worth a viewing in theaters especially with the current reality of COVID viewing. Regardless I was entertained and happy to be back in an actual movie theater.