Good Time

I’ll say it again: Robert Pattinson is a decent actor. That doesn’t save this film, but it helps make it watchable. A brothers/buddy story, where one of the two needs to be taken care of, in more ways than one, but the caregiver is not always making the best choices…

Bleak and frenetic at the same time, we don’t know what is going to happen, but assume the worst. How can this end well?

The Irishman

Too much hype? Sure, it’s ambitious, but especially at this length, it’s a difficult story to follow, even if you come to it with some knowledge of the Jimmy Hoffa story.

And poor Al Pacino… really? You’re going to bellow your way through this role too? I’ve said it many times before, and I’m not going to stop now: One. Trick. Pony.

De Niro is better, but then, De Niro is better. While we may have seen these tics and mannerisms many times before, he at least inhabits his character, and is fun to watch.

White Boy Rick

I thought this was another movie. I thought it was Bodied, about a white guy who enters the world of battle rap. That one’s not supposed to be that great, but this movie had a workman-like quality that made it watchable. White boy in a black world of drug dealing. Kind of cardboard characters, but everyone does a good job with their parts, and it’s not boring.

Annihilation

Kind of like Interstellar crossed with Contact, but in a swamp. With Alien vs. Predator in the mix. Sort of. And then Slenderman appears… Not great, but not terrible.

Crazy Rich Asians

This wasn’t as good as it was cracked up to be (Best Picture, Comedy or Musical, at the Golden Globes?), but it made for fine airplane fare. It was fun, and mostly witty and nice to look at. Lots of attractive people, clothes and cars and baubles and all that… it passed the time.

The Favourite

The cheesy phrase “deliciously wicked” comes to mind. I do prefer my period pieces to have a bit of wink, wink, nudge, nudge (Peter Greenaway and Baz Luhrmann come to mind), and this film falls into that category. The three leads strike just the right balance, and then – slip, twist, pivot – imbalance. I’ve always liked Rachel Weisz, but Emma Stone has grown on me. As for the queen, Olivia Colman gives the perfect, nuanced performance. She deserved her Oscar.

East Side Sushi

Equal parts charming and clumsy. It felt like a senior project, and the script had all the usual characters, as if cut from film school cardboard. But there is heart, and… Oakland.

The Handmaiden

Is it fair to say that this is┬áPark Chan-wook at his most restrained? And most elegant. Which is appropriate, given the tale at hand, and its source material. It’s great to look at, and very solidly structured. My only real complaint is how easy it is to see what is coming, during the second third of the film…

Isle of Dogs

I like Wes Anderson best when he doesn’t have doesn’t have actual actors being so quirky. It’s better, and less cloying, when puppets are put into these situations, and saying these lines.

Even if the lines are in Japanese. Would I have liked this film as much if there were no Japan connection? I’m not certain. And I’m also not sure about the racist charges that the film seems to be attracting. Again, maybe because I know that Japan is… like this?

At any rate, first-rate eye candy, as usual. Superb attention to detail. I liked it.