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.
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.
We can’t judge a movie for what it could have been, but what it is. And what we have is a great cast, some compelling set pieces and a lovely message about the importance of helping others.
It is one of the most joyous films I’ve seen recently – not because it avoids the darkness of the past but because it embraces it. “Blinded by the Light” tells us that our life songs are made up of many verses – some beautiful, some painful. To deny any one of these verses makes the song, as a whole, a little less sweet.
Give the credit to who you will- be it Scorsese or Gomez-Rejon or the cast. But thank your lucky stars that this actually saw the light of day and that it managed to be as compelling, thoughtful and engrossing as it is.
If it doesn’t feel like the definitive final word on “Star Wars” – nothing does these days- there is still plenty that will likely deepen fans’ love and appreciation for the franchise while putting a smile on their faces.
For a film predicated on one of the greatest losses of life in human history, it is curiously muted and dramatically flat. A compelling story is there on the page, but it never rises to the level of great drama on the screen.
One of the many strengths of “Adopt a Highway” is how it looks straight into the suffering and doesn’t turn away for nearly 80 minutes. We see the lives of people rarely seen on the big screen or even in their own lives. It gives them a voice and a face. Even more importantly, after staring into the void of suffering, the film dares to tell us that there is hope.
Yeah, it’s a one-joke movie, but at least the one joke is consistently funny and delivered by a cast of comedic ringers.
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?
The whole thing feels like an obligation and a paycheck for all involved. But remember: Just because they were obligated to be a part of this, that doesn’t mean you have to be.
In the end, Freundlich leaves his sad, rich white people adrift in a sea of mediocrity. I see no reason why we shouldn’t just leave them there to cry melodramatically into their wine in peace.
We, like Jojo, are all caught in a constant tug-of-war between hatred and love, darkness and light. The stories we consume can play a part in that battle and can help determine the victor. That’s why films like “Jojo Rabbit” are so important.
It’s Heller’s encapsulation of the ethos of Fred Rogers – his intentionality, his kindness, his goodness- that makes this one of my favorite films of 2019.
When there’s not a single character you care about in a cast of dozens, that is a sign of bigger film-making problems. Emmerich has got the old war movie bombast down pat, but he displays little of the heart, the brains or the compassion.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is more of a tone-poem than a film – a collection of isolated scenes that, when brought together, create an evocative sense of time and place. Like all good modern art, it is something of an empty void- a vessel onto which viewers can project their own interpretations and thoughts and personal histories.