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Celebrating Static and Screen’s 100th review

100July 4, 2020 marks a significant milestone. It’s not just our country’s birthday, but it’s also the day that Static and Screen published our 100th review.

Yes, in the course of just six months, we have published 100 reviews and written over 89,000 words. Since our formation, Static and Screen has had over 1,400 views from 300 visitors from 17 different countries. I’m very proud of how far we’ve come and look forward to the next 100 reviews.

In celebration of this milestone, I thought I would share some of the greatest hits of Static and Screen – the reviews that have made the biggest impact over the last six months. Think of this as a launching pad to a great (or in some cases, not so great) movie night.

I look forward to more movie conversations in the coming weeks, but for now sit back, relax and enjoy the best of Static and Screen.

Most Viewed:

This one’s pretty self-explanatory- these are the reviews that folks keep coming back to time and again.

littlewomenlead
Courtesy of Sony Pictures
  1. “Little Women”

“This film may not convert any new fans and might not even win over all of the old fans. But for this literature lover, it worked beautifully in spite of – or is it because of? – its contradictions.”

  1. “The Irishman”

“‘The Irishman’ is a solid film that is worth watching on Netflix where you can pause it frequently for bathroom breaks and maybe watch it at a faster playback speed.”

  1. “Marriage Story”

“If you are going to make a romantic comedy with no romance and very little comedy, why would you want to tell this story?”

  1. “The Report”

“The depictions of torture are brutal and hard to watch. The acting, with the exception of Bening, is often unexceptional. But ‘fiction’ it is not.”

  1. “Desperados”

“If you prefer your comedies with a significantly lower dolphin-penis-to-joke ratio, I’m sorry to say you’re out of luck.”

  1. “Coda”

“There’s some truth in the old joke that a good actor can read the phone book and still find meaning in it. Thankfully, Stewart is one of our best living actors, and the script for ‘Coda’ is at least a couple notches above the yellow pages.”

  1. “Spies in Disguise”

“Movies, even the most insubstantial ones, can influence the way we view the world. And, if a goofy pigeon spy movie can teach young boys how to be better men, better leaders and better people, who am I to give it a bad review?”

  1. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

“‘Rise of Skywalker’ has little of the throwback joy of ‘The Force Awakens’ and none of the creative (if controversial) revisionism of ‘The Last Jedi.’ So what does that leave us with? Not much, unfortunately.”

  1. “Grand Isle”

“You – smart discerning reader that you are- already know that it’s bad. Its two biggest stars are Nicolas Cage and Kelsey Grammar, for god’s sake. It has a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. So telling you that it is bad does not quite cut it.”

  1. “Frozen II”

“If ‘Frozen’ taught us anything, it is that you can, on occasion, capture lightning in a bottle. But, if ‘Frozen II’ teaches us anything, it’s that lightning never strikes in the same place twice.”

Most Liked:

You know that Like button at the bottom of each review? Fans of these reviews pressed that button – a lot.

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Courtesy of Universal Pictures
  1. “Cats”

“Director Tom Hooper has added more dialogue, more ‘plot’ and less cohesion. He’s overcluttered the film with distracting CGI and jokes that don’t land. He somehow managed to make ‘Cats’ even more weirdly sexual than it already was. And that is just in the first 10 minutes.”

  1. “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”

“If the others interviewed fall into the too-easy documentary trap of endless praise for their subject, that seems warranted for once. It is impossible to come away from ‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ without an appreciation for what the author has done for the English language and those marginalized in American society – accomplishments that are unquestionably worth celebrating.”

  1. “Motherless Brooklyn”

“If you’re going to make a ‘Chinatown’-aping film noir in 2019, these are the folks to make it with. They devour the dialogue like they haven’t eaten in weeks.”

  1. “The Willoughbys”

“Netflix’s ‘The Willoughbys’ is perhaps the textbook definition of style over substance. But, oh my, what style!”

  1. “Marriage Story”

Most Likely to Succeed:

These are the reviews that weren’t necessarily among the most viewed, but consistently got views week after week and month after month.

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Courtesy of Lionsgate
  1. “Knives Out”

“‘Knives Out’ is impeccably acted, beautifully designed and quite fun at times. It is also more than a little enamored with its own cleverness – a self-love that I’m not entirely sure it deserves.”

  1. “Marriage Story”
  2. “Little Women”
  3. “Call of the Wild”

“It never talks down to children and never assumes that a good story well told needs to be embellished upon to get their attention.”

  1. “I Still Believe”

“It is not a revolution in faith-based filmmaking by any means, but it is certainly an evolution – both for the industry and the Erwin brothers themselves.”

About the author

Stephen Dow is an award-winning journalist with a passion for film – not just consuming it, but thoughtfully and actively engaging with it. He believes that these modern myths have a lot to tell us about our world and ourselves.  He can be reached at staticandscreen@gmail.com.

 

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